Ford Motor Co. today announced a loss of $254 million or 14 cents per share for the second quarter. The new amount is nearly double what the company had previously reported.

Ford stated in government filing that higher pension costs and fewer car sales had contributed to the loss. The Dearborn, Mich.-based firm is in the midst of a restructuring program meant to stem losses in its North American operation.

Massive cuts have already been announced and jobs have been terminated. Six months ago, the company said it would cut up to 30,000 jobs and shut down 14 plants by 2012.

“By year's end, the company will have cut production capacity 15 percent and will be a third of the way toward its targeted number of employee cuts”, Bill Ford said.

The car manufacturer has been selling fewer cars due to a drop in consumer demand for its SUVs, one of the most profitable products. The company sold 224,447 vehicles in July, down 35 percent from 346,429 in July of 2005. This was blamed on the high gasoline prices and the intense competition in the market place, with a surge in demand for smaller cars.

The firm attributed the revision to a 20 percent increase in projected pensions for the full-year of 2006 from $1 billion to $1.2 billion. The loss, combined with a slowdown in sales was a contrast to last year when Ford made a profit.

In the second quarter of last year the profit was $946 million, or 47 cents per share.