GREENVILLE, S.C. (Feb. 27)—Michelin North America Inc. is on pace to hit its goal of trimming $200 million in annual operating costs by the end of 2003. Since September, when the cost-reduction program was launched, the tire maker has cut its North American work force by about 500 jobs, mostly through normal attrition and voluntary severance programs, a company spokeswoman said. The cutbacks have been spread throughout most of Michelin's North American plants, she said, adding that "we're making the cuts wherever it makes sense from a business point of view." The firm's North American employment currently stands at about 26,500 compared to 27,000 when it began the cost-reduction program last year. The tire maker's goal is to reduce annual operating costs by about $125 million by the end of 2002 and another $75 million at the close of 2003, the spokeswoman said. Michelin said it did not realize any material savings from the program in 2001.