Ford Motor Credit


reported a $228 million fourth-quarter loss and said it will eliminate 1,200 jobs, about 20% of its workforce.

The company said the reductions will occur this year as it restructures in response to lower auto sales, and a planned reduction in Jaguar, Land Rover and Mazda receivables. The automaker


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reported a $5.9 billion fourth-quarter loss Thursday


"The drastic and rapid deterioration in the economy, credit markets and auto sales in 2008 brought unprecedented challenges to Ford Motor Credit," said CEO Mike Bannister, in a prepared statement. "Tough external challenges are expected in 2009."

During the quarter, the pre-tax loss was $372 million, compared with earnings of $263 million in the quarter a year earlier. The year-ago net loss was $642 million. The results include a higher provision for credit losses, higher losses due to market valuation adjustments on derivatives, lower volume and lower financing margins.

For the full year, the company lost $1.5 billion.