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Ford Credit Absorbs Sub-Prime Unit

March 8, 2002

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DETROIT (AP) _ Ford Motor Credit will absorb its Fairlane Credit arm into the main operation and close its Colorado office, in a move to reduce costs and raise efficiency, a spokesman said Friday.

Ford Motor Credit is the finance arm of Ford Motor Co., and the Fairlane Credit operation makes loans to customers with shaky credit ratings or histories, so-called sub-prime customers.

Most of Fairlane Credit’s 360 employees work out of the Colorado Springs, Colo., office.

The workers will be offered new positions that may require them to move, spokesman Dan Jarvis said.

``We will try to place everyone,″ he said.

Ford Motor Credit reported a loss of $297 million in the fourth quarter of 2001 but earned $839 million for the year.

The decision to absorb Fairlane Credit was not directly made because of those financial results, Jarvis said.

A committee has been studying ways to make Ford Motor Credit more efficient for the past 15 months, and the move to absorb Fairlane’s operations is a result, Jarvis said.

``It came to the knowledge and realization there are different areas of the company doing sub-prime, and you have a duplication of efforts,″ he said.

Jarvis said the absorption of Fairlane Credit will take place between now and July.

In afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Ford shares were down 8 cents at $16.83.

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On the Net:

Ford Motor Credit, http://www.fordcredit.com

Ford Motor Co., http://www.ford.com

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