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Ford, GM move to stem losses in Europe

Both Ford and General Motors announced steps this week to reduce their losses in Europe.

The region is experiencing a disabling recession that's expected to last at least through 2015.

Car sales are abysmal in Europe, down more than 30-percent from normal demand.

Ford says it may lose a total of one billion dollars in the region for the entire year.

General Motors' losses might be more than that.

Both companies remain profitable, in large part due to the recovery of the auto industry in the U.S.

Ford said this week it will likely close a plant in Belgium by the end of next year.

GM is in talks with a German union about closing one of its factories. And GM has also struck a deal with French car company Peugot to jointly develop several vehicles and share parts suppliers.

The changes won't save money for the companies in time for third quarter earnings, which come out next week.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.