LONDON (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co. is planning to double exports from Brazil in a bid to turn around its loss-making South American business without resorting to factory closures, the Financial Times said on Monday.
The newspaper said that the U.S. carmaker was studying plans to sell its new sports utility model, EcoSport, outside the region, and increase exports to Mexico, where the vehicle has proven to be a surprise hit.
Ford wanted to double exports to close to 40 per cent of production, which could reach 260,000 in Brazil this year, the paper said, adding that the company was believed to be studying European, Canadian, Australian, Japanese and emerging markets in Asia for the exports.
Ford does not plan to ship vehicles to the United States, where it is in the middle of difficult talks with its union about job cuts and factory closures, the paper said.
It reported that Ford lost $1 billion in the past two years in the region.
"We've got the proven ability to produce a product at a very competitive price in Brazil," the company was quoted as saying.
The newspaper said that Ford's strategy contrasts with rivals in the troubled Brazilian market who have been laying off workers and extending their holidays.
Volkswagen AG announced last month that its Brazilian arm would cut nearly 4,000 jobs in a bid to counter the weak auto market in that country as well as its key export markets.