CHIBA, Japan -- Ford Motor Co. said on Wednesday it expects a similar deal to cut retiree health-care costs from the United Auto Workers union as rival General Motors won this week.
"We expect comparable changes," Jim Padilla, Ford's chief operating officer, told reporters at the Tokyo auto show.
DaimlerChrysler said on Tuesday its U.S. arm Chrysler would also seek immediate talks with the UAW on cost savings along the lines of the GM deal.
GM on Monday, Oct. 17, announced a deal with the UAW to slash its multibillion-dollar health-care costs, sending its shares up as much as 13 percent even as it posted a fourth consecutive quarterly loss.
The tentative UAW agreement, which must be ratified by GM's unionized workers, is projected to reduce GM's retiree health-care liabilities by about $15 billion and result in a 25-percent cut in the company's hourly health-care liability.
The world's biggest automaker said the pact would reduce its employee health-care expenses by $3 billion annually before taxes.
On other subjects, Padilla called the U.S. vehicle market "very difficult. Gasoline prices have more than doubled this year and American consumers are adjusting," he said.
"I expect it to stabilize and then to get somewhat better later in the year and the beginning of next year. It is a difficult market today for everyone," he said.