CHICAGO (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. said Friday its previously-disclosed plans to cut one of the two shifts at its Chicago assembly plant will mean eliminating about 600 part-time jobs by early November.
Ann Marie Gattari, a Ford spokeswoman, said the move is part of efforts announced earlier this year to bring the automaker's production in line with its sales.
The plant currently employs about 2,200 people full or part-time and makes the Ford Taurus, Ford Taurus X crossover, the Mercury Sable and the Lincoln MKS. The cuts represent about 27 percent of the plant's work force.
Ford, along with the other U.S.-based automakers, has seen its sales tumble this year as high gas prices, trouble in the lending industry and a weak overall economy have stymied demand for new vehicles.
On Wednesday, Ford said its August U.S. vehicle sales plunged 26.5 percent, as demand for its trucks and sport utility vehicles dropped more than 32 percent.
The automaker has taken other steps to curtail production in recent months. Its Dearborn Truck plant, which makes the F-150 pickup truck, is currently idled. And earlier this year, Ford idled its Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, Mich., for nine weeks.
Ford shares fell 6 cents to $4.33 in afternoon trading. They have traded in a 52-week range of $4.24 to $9.24.