Despite posting a gross operating loss of $2.7 billion for the third quarter, Ford Motor Co.'s net after-tax third quarter losses only amounted to $129 million. That's a significant improvement against last year's $380 million third-quarter loss, though the pre-tax picture is much more grim: a $194 million profit last year was replaced with a $2.7 billion loss in Q3 2008.

Ford has a plan for combating the current downswing in the American market, however. Among its 'improvement actions' is a 10% reduction in 'salaried personnel-related costs', likely meaning a significant number of white-collar layoffs. Earlier this year Ford announced it would be downsizing its North American salaried staff by 15%, making this secondary cut all the more significant.

Cutting costs in the manufacturing and advertising side of operations is also part of the plan. Reducing overall inventories and selling off 'non-core assets' will also help improve liquidity and Ford's bottom line.

“We have a strategy that is broad and specific enough to handle the dramatic changes in today’s environment. We will continue to assess the rapidly changing business environment and modify implementation of our plan accordingly,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally.