Blue Oval steps away from the brink on funding
11 December 2008

Ford has distanced itself from its Detroit neighbours, GM and Chrysler, by turning down US government money.

The terms of the bailout agreed by the House of Representatives last night are so restrictive that Blue Oval bosses are doing everything they can to avoid taking federal loans.

"Ford is a company trying to pull itself up by its own bootstraps, and making it on its own and pulling the right levers," executive chairman Bill Ford Jr. told reporters.

Since negotiations for aid began, Ford has only ever asked for a line of credit, which it would be able to access if the economic conditions worsen.

The Blue Oval is now relying on its overseas operations - particularly the successful Ford Europe - to prop up the business and is rushing forward new, greener models like the Ford Fusion hybrid.

Ford set up a $24 billion credit line with banks in 2006 and this has allowed it to shift to building smaller cars and researching future technologies more quickly and effectively than GM or Chrysler.

It was also able to streamline more quickly - selling Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover.

CEO Alan Mulally believes Ford will be able to weather the global economic storm on its own if “current economic conditions remain relatively stable”.

But the company is continuing in its efforts to secure $9bn of emergencies-only government funds as a contingency plan.

Mulally has also stated that he will offer his resignation if the firm needs to dip into government money.

Will Powell

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11 December 2008

"Ford set up a $24 billion credit line with banks in 2006 and this has allowed it to shift to building smaller cars and researching future technologies more quickly and effectively than GM or Chrysler".

Eh? Say's who? Is this the same company that has just introduced its brand new F150 pickup range in the US...? Bit like introducing a new range of patio furniture the day after Noah set sail. They may have begun researching future technologies quicker than Chrysler but no way have they been doing this faster than GM. Their US range is, in a lot of cases, tired and outdated. They didn't see this coming like all the rest of the manufacturers and they only set up this line of credit earlier because they were in such a mess. I'm not criticising Ford but I can't accept that they made the changes because they were forward thinking and had their finger on the pulse.

11 December 2008

I hear what you are saying.....but the Ford empire worldwide must be doing something right if they have said NO to government cash.

11 December 2008

All I would say is do not forget, the F-150 is still (I think even with the down turn) the best selling vehicle in the USA; people do want them.....if Ford do not make them, they will buy them from Toyota or GM......the F-150 as been (I think) something like the best seller in the US for something like 28 years!! (something like that)

Also they are bringing out a new low weight F-100 and they have reduced the weight of the new F-150 etc....

Also take a look at the link to the "Plug in Ranger" from circa 1998 - here is the link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Ranger_EV - they have been playing for a while.......from what I understand it was a successful pilot but it did not go forward.

Also they are introducing the EU models in the US quickly, the new Fiesta saloon is in the US first, they are taking (or have already taken) the Ford Courier.....across; loads is going on.

Also check this out.... http://www.fordvehicles.com/suvs/escapehybrid/?referrer=www%2Eford%2Ecom&glbcmp=ford|vehicles it is the most fuel effieicent SUV on the plant.....I am not being defensive over Ford, all I am saying is that a lot is going on all over (for all manufacturers) and sometimes you do not see it in the news (its just not reported) it is worth having a scoot around the website other news feeds etc.....the Escape Hybrids are Taxi cars in NY - starting to replace crown victorias; Nissan has a hybrid taxi (some stuff we do not see in the UK); loads is going on!

11 December 2008

Well done Ford!

What I personally believe is that they really need to do is to adapt the Eurpean designs over to the US, which would quickly give access to smaller and more efficient cars.

But we all don't know where Ford makes most of their money, the F150 etc are probably really cheap to build and therefore quite profitable. Us in Europe don't understand the US market as well, but you'd have to question how the likes of Toyota have made such big gains in car sales.

Ford UK need to drop some of their dealers, because having experienced them when buying a car they're terrible. One of the biggest names in Scotland, which I'm happy to discuss with Ford but no one else.

11 December 2008

I think you'll find this resistance to public money is based more on protecting the Directors bonus, than anything else.

That would be controlled and no doubt limited by any Government after such a deal.

11 December 2008

[quote Straff]Is this the same company that has just introduced its brand new F150 pickup range in the US...? Bit like introducing a new range of patio furniture the day after Noah set sail.[/quote]

I don't think the F150 is too much of a problem. In US truck terms, the F150 is the small truck. It's the likes of the F250 and F350 you have to worry about!

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

11 December 2008

[quote Autocar]Mulally has also stated that he will offer his resignation if the firm needs to dip into government money. [/quote]

Well done Mulally. You don't need the money(your remuneration package), it's a matter of pride and professionalism. Tell those corrupt bastards in Congress to go to hell. Appointing the purse keeper, the 'Car Czar', a man with no experience of the auto industry, they're extracting the urine.

Typical, it takes an Irishman to show some fighting spirt, rather than holding the goddam begging bowl out and sucking on the taxpayer teat.

11 December 2008

...so could Ford Europe, in theory, export boat loads of Ka`s, Fiestas and Mondeo`s to the US as of tomorrow? or is there loads of reasons why not?

Emissions - surely not

Safety - these cars are all five star EuroNCAP

So whats stopping them shipping now?

Could U.S. Congress assist Ford more by helping them import these cars?

11 December 2008

[quote jonfortwo]...so could Ford Europe, in theory, export boat loads of Ka`s, Fiestas and Mondeo`s to the US as of tomorrow? or is there loads of reasons why not?[/quote]

There is no point in them shipping the Ka to the US because quite frankly it would only accomodate one American and they would laugh at a 1.3 engine! ;-)

Regardless of what I hear Americans say about their cars, I believe they are still struggling to dump their pickups and SUVs - they may want to change to smaller cars but they aren't doing it quite quickly enough to warrant the manufacturers investing in them.

I think the big reason why they don't shift the European Fords to the US is that what would the US Ford employees build? I guess it would cost a fortune to change all those factories around to building 'European American' cars.

11 December 2008

Purely guessing.....and could be very wrong, but I think;

Size; some folks in the US think EU cars are small (by comparison some are very small), but our cars have got bigger; I think they are allowing public opinion/desire to push on a little more; I am no fan of modern mini but it has helped in that respect.

Quality; JD Power survey is a big deal, Ford worked hard to improve.....stabbing in the dark, I would say they want to see if they get any issues with the cars in the EU before putting them into the US

Price; you can get a V8 muscle car with electric everything, leather....etc for $30K, now look at a 1.6 or 1.8 fiesta with leather seats etc for what about £14K........convert dollar/pounds.......I think they are letting volumes increase over here and plus make some changes for the US market

Build; I do not know if they will build them over there, I guess they will (but I am really not sure........I do not know if someone out there knows??).......in which case, it will take time to build/convert facilities

But good on Ford.......and the Irishlad did good!!!....Mulally also did a good job a Boeing....

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