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Old 09-16-2006, 08:00 PM
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Union Works.

Proud to be Union.

UAW member.

Union and proud of it.

The white-collar job cuts come on top of a buyout offer Ford made Thursday, Sept. 14, to its 75,000 UAW members in the United States. That buyout offers up to $140,000 to get hourly workers to leave the automaker.
Leave and don't come back.
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Old 09-16-2006, 10:52 PM
  #242  
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With the Big 3's troubles, things are not pretty in MI. Our economy continues to go down the drain.
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:25 PM
  #243  
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this is aweful....so many people, blue-collar, white-collar, losing their jobs
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:52 AM
  #244  
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Post Ford: Jaguar, Volvo, and Land Rover not for sale...

From Leftlanenews...

Ford today said its Jaguar, Volvo, and Land Rover brands are not currently for sale. "For the moment Jaguar, Volvo and Land Rover are not for sale. If that changes we will tell you about it," Lewis Booth, head of the Premier Automotive Group, said during a conference call with analysts in Europe today. He acknowledged, however, that "everything is on the table," and the status of those companies could change.

Currently, the only Ford brand for sale is Aston Martin, which the automaker put on the block nearly a month ago. At the time, the company said Aston Martin could be "an attractive opportunity to raise capital and generate value."

Any possible sale of Jaguar or Land Rover would likely be a package deal, due to the vast number of resources the two companies share. As discussed yesterday, a sale of Volvo would be even more complex, because the Swedish automaker uses Ford platforms.
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Old 09-27-2006, 10:06 AM
  #245  
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Emphasis on the words "not currently"...
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:34 PM
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"Ford plans to sell subsidiary"

The troubled automaker said it is 'prudent' to sell unit that provides extended-care warranties and service contracts.
October 11 2006: 12:58 PM EDT


DETROIT (Reuters) -- Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it plans to sell a subsidiary that provides extended-care warranties and service contracts for new and used vehicles.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker, facing a deepening financial crisis, said it wants to offload Automobile Protection Corp. (APCO), which has access to Ford's distribution network and sells contracts through Ford dealers in the United States.

Shares of Ford (up $0.07 to $8.26, Charts) jumped 1.1 percent in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.

The move is the first since Alan Mulally, a former head of Boeing Co.'s (down $0.75 to $81.38, Charts) commercial airplane unit, took over as chief executive of the troubled automaker.

Ford has sold some non-core businesses in the last year, including car rental company Hertz Corp., to improve liquidity.

The company has previously said it was looking to sell a stake in Aston Martin, its British luxury unit.

Ford, which is in the process of closing 16 plants and cutting 45,000 employees to return its North American unit to profit, purchased APCO in July 1999.

"APCO is a strong company that has performed very well, achieving growth in sales and revenue since its acquisition," Ford Chief Financial Officer Don Leclair said. "As a result of our ongoing strategic review, we believe it is prudent now for us to consider a sale of APCO."

http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/11/news...ion=2006101112
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:04 PM
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Jaguar Bundled with Land Rover? - - Source: The Car Connection

As his construction machinery company JCB abandoned its pursuit of Jaguar on Monday, Sir Anthony Bamford let slip on a detail that has long been assumed as Ford shops some of its businesses for sale. The Financial Times quotes Bamford as saying that "I am not interested in buying the two together and am therefore not getting involved," confirming that Ford has been seeking to sell Jaguar and Land Rover as a pair. A spokesman indicated to the paper that Bamford had been interested in Jaguar alone. Ford has already made public its desire to sell off superluxury brand Aston Martin.
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Old 10-20-2006, 10:17 AM
  #248  
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Post Louis Vuitton CEO, billionaire investor may acquire Aston Martin

From Leftlanenews...

Billionaires Bernard Arnault and Albert Frere are considering a bid for the Aston Martin brand, which Ford put up for sale in August. According to the U.K.'s Financial Times, the two set up an investment fund of $1.25 billion and they are "looking at Aston Martin."

Mr. Arnault is CEO and controlling shareholder of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which owns luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Fendi. Mr. Frere is chairman of Belgian investment firm Groupe Bruxelles Lambert.

While Aston Martin has performed well in recent years, Ford put the company up for sale in order to raise capital. The sale of a struggling brand like Jaguar would not be able to raise Ford the amount of cash it needs. Some observers suspect Ford might be attempting to raise cash in order to take the company private — a rumor first reported by USA Today in August.
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Old 10-20-2006, 10:36 AM
  #249  
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Both those men run incredibly prominent and respected companies. This is a good thing for Aston Martin if Ford does sell it. Probably will really help it regain any cachet it lost when Ford purchased it.
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by charliemike
Both those men run incredibly prominent and respected companies. This is a good thing for Aston Martin if Ford does sell it. Probably will really help it regain any cachet it lost when Ford purchased it.
It didn't lose any cachet when Ford bought it. With Ford's deep pockets, Aston has flurished. It's comeback started with the Vanquish, and the DB9 and V8 Vantage has been great follow ups... Concepts like the car used in Casino Royale probably wouldn't be here withought Ford's backing.
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:17 PM
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Interesting...
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Old 10-20-2006, 06:59 PM
  #252  
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Hmmmm, Louis Vuitton and AM...soon you'll be able to walk around your area China town and buy a bootleg DB9.
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:28 PM
  #253  
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Originally Posted by phile
Hmmmm, Louis Vuitton and AM...soon you'll be able to walk around your area China town and buy a bootleg DB9.
if it looks/drives/feels like an AM for 1/10th the price i'd take one
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:30 PM
  #254  
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Originally Posted by Infamous425
if it looks/drives/feels like an AM for 1/10th the price i'd take one
It just won't last as long, although between the British owners and Ford, I'm not sure that's supposed to happen anyway.
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Old 10-23-2006, 04:00 PM
  #255  
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Post Ford reports $5.8B loss in Q3...

Roh oh s'more!

From Leftlanenews...

Ford today announced preliminary third-quarter 2006 financial results. The company reported a net loss of $5.8 billion, or $3.08 per share. This compares with a net loss of $284 million, or 15 cents per share, in the 2005 third quarter. Excluding special items, the third quarter loss from continuing operations was $1.2 billion, or 62 cents per share, compared with a loss of $191 million, or 10 cents per share, a year earlier.

Special items included in the quarter's net loss reflected the costs associated with restructuring efforts, primarily in North America, as well as the revaluation of long-lived assets related to automotive operations in North America and Jaguar/Land Rover. On an after-tax basis, special items reduced third-quarter earnings by a total of $4.6 billion or $2.46 per share.

"These business results are clearly unacceptable," CEO Alan Mulally said. "We are committed to dealing decisively with the fundamental business reality that customer demand is shifting to smaller, more efficient vehicles. Our focused priorities are to restructure aggressively to operate profitably at lower volumes, and to accelerate the development of new, more efficient vehicles that customers really want.

North America: In the third quarter, Ford’s North America automotive operations reported a pre-tax loss of $2.0 billion, compared with a pre-tax loss of $1.2 billion a year ago. The decline was largely attributed to lower volumes and unfavorable mix, primarily associated with lower industry volume and lower market share, and higher incentives. Cost reductions were a partial offset. Sales were $15.4 billion, down from $18.2 billion for the same period a year ago.

South America: Ford’s South America automotive operations reported a third-quarter pre-tax profit of $222 million, an improvement from a pre-tax profit of $96 million a year ago. The improvement was primarily explained by higher volume and favorable pricing. Sales for the third quarter improved to $1.5 billion from $1.2 billion in 2005.

Ford Europe: Ford Europe’s third-quarter pre-tax loss was $13 million compared with a pre-tax loss of $55 million during the 2005 period. The improvement came from higher vehicles sales, partially offset by higher pension-related costs, lower profits from operations in Turkey and negative net pricing. During the third quarter, Ford Europe’s sales were $7.3 billion, compared with $6.4 billion during third quarter 2005.

Premier Automotive Group (PAG): PAG reported a pre-tax loss of $593 million for the third quarter, compared with a pre-tax loss of $108 million for the same period in 2005. The decline was explained by adverse cost performance, primarily reflecting adjustments to Jaguar and Land Rover warranty accruals and lower volume at all operations, excluding Aston Martin. Improvements in overhead costs were offset by increases in advertising. Third-quarter sales for PAG were $6.5 billion, compared with $6.8 billion a year ago.

Asia Pacific and Africa: For the third quarter, Asia Pacific and Africa reported a pre-tax loss of $56 million, compared with a pre-tax profit of $21 million a year ago. The decline primarily reflected lower production and dealer inventories, adverse mix, and higher incentives, partially offset by cost reductions. Sales were $1.6 billion, compared with $1.9 billion in 2005.

Mazda: During the third quarter of 2006, Ford’s share of Mazda pre-tax profits and associated operations was $40 million, compared with $112 million during the same period a year ago. The decline primarily reflected the non-recurrence of mark-to-market gains on Mazda convertible bonds during 2005, which have now been entirely converted to equity.

Other Automotive: Third-quarter results included a pre-tax profit of $553 million in Other Automotive, compared with a loss of $241 million a year ago. The year-over-year improvement relates to tax-related interest and higher portfolio returns.
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:06 PM
  #256  
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Ford Loses $5.8B in Q3 - - SOurcE: THe Car Connection

Ford lost $5.8 billion in the third quarter, along with two full points of market share.



Even Ford's operations in Asia and Europe lost money, though they had recently turned in small profits for the world's number-three automaker. The red ink in the third quarter left Ford with a loss of $7.24 billion for the first nine months of the year and left it facing another loss in the fourth quarter.



The lone mitigating factor in the massive loss was that continuing operations only caused $1.2 billion, or 62 cents per share, of the damage, a figure somewhat smaller than analysts' estimates.



Ford's huge loss was exacerbated by a sharp drop in the company's revenue, particularly in North America, where sales of pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles have declined sharply. Revenue dropped ten percent to $36.7 billion in the third quarter from the same period a year ago.



Don Leclair, Ford chief financial officer, acknowledged the automaker had run through more than $3.1 billion in cash during the third quarter.



Leclair, while acknowledging the next nine to twelve months will be difficult for the automaker, said the cuts made so far in the company's "Way Forward" turnaround plan should start paying dividends during the second half of 2007.



"It's going to take a while for those benefits to be evident in better earnings and cash flow," answered Moody's Investors Service analyst Bruce Clark, who predicted that Ford would not see substantial savings from the Way Forward plan until 2009.



Alan Mulally, Ford's new chief executive, described the latest results as "unacceptable." He countered, though, that since joining the company he has been impressed by employees' love of the company and their desire to serve its customers.



"This is a critical time," said Mulally, a former Boeing manufacturing executive who joined the company only in September. "We clearly recognize it and plan to deal with the business realities we are facing," he told reporters and industry analysts in a conference call Monday morning.



"Clearly Ford has recognized the shift in consumer demand over the last couple of years. They really focus more on fuel-efficient, smaller vehicles. Not only in the autos but also the crossover vehicles," he added.



Along with the loss, Ford disclosed that it plans to restate earnings for 2001 due to accounting errors involving derivative transactions in its credit company. The restatement is expected to alter the financial results from 2001 through the first quarter of 2006. The company expected the restatement would improve results for 2002, but said results are still under review by auditors.



Leclair said Ford had $23.6 billion in cash available at the end of the quarter, but it was considering using its automotive assets as collateral to borrow cash to maintain liquidity.



"Stabilization of Ford's revenue performance in 2007 is unlikely, given production cutbacks, a slowing economy, enhanced competition in the critical pickup segment, and lack of new impact products," a research note from Fitch said.



Ford said special charges for the third quarter of 2006 totaled $5.26 billion before taxes. The charges included $2.2 billion to re-value assets in North America and a $1.6 billion write-off that reflected the declining value of both Jaguar and Land Rover.



Excluding charges, Ford would have lost $2 billion on its North American automotive operations in the latest quarter. The company lost $1.2 billion in North America in the third quarter of last year.
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Old 11-03-2006, 10:41 AM
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Post BMW nixes rumors of possible interest...



Then again, it may be a blessing in disguise to keep Bangle from mangling the Aston Martin designs...?

Source: Leftlanenews...

BMW said yesterday it has no interest in acquiring Aston Martin from Ford. Although the German automaker never emerged as a potential buyer, there has been a great deal of speculation among enthusiasts that BMW would be a desirable candidate.

"We are a focused company and we want to stay a focused company. We're not interested," BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer said during a conference call with analysts.

Ford bought a controlling share of Aston in 1987, and fully acquired the company in 1994. Since then, it succeeded in revitalizing the company's product line, leading to the marquee's first profit in 40 years for 2005. In late August, Ford announced it intended to sell the company in order to raise capital.
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:53 PM
  #258  
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Originally Posted by TheAcAvenger
You're M6 point is valid, but its the same kind of situation you have with VW's Porsche 911 and their lamborghini.

VW does not own Porsche. Porsche owns a portion of VW.
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:31 PM
  #259  
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http://www.leftlanenews.com/2006/11/...-global-model/

Ford CEO Alan Mulally said Friday he plans to merge Ford's regional divisions and brands into a single global operation similar to that of Toyota, reports the Detroit News. Mulally has a great admiration for Toyota's business model, and hopes something similar can be applied at Ford.
They're paying him how much to tell them Toyota's business plan works?
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Old 11-13-2006, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dom
http://www.leftlanenews.com/2006/11/...-global-model/



They're paying him how much to tell them Toyota's business plan works?
Alot...possibly more than combined salaries of most of the members of this site...
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:30 PM
  #261  
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Originally Posted by dom
http://www.leftlanenews.com/2006/11/...-global-model/



They're paying him how much to tell them Toyota's business plan works?
Hyundai beat Ford to the punch on this.
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Old 11-13-2006, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dom
http://www.leftlanenews.com/2006/11/...-global-model/



They're paying him how much to tell them Toyota's business plan works?
I know what you mean, but Mulally's worth comes into the execution part of whatever plan is decided. That's the hard part.
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Old 11-13-2006, 06:38 PM
  #263  
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I know a few Ford insiders fairly high up on the food chain and they tell me that morale is still in the gutter.

My predictions:

1. Mulally dumps Mercury brand.

2. Aston Martin is bought out by an LBO/Private Equity deal.

3. Ford still bleeds off another $5-9 Billion in cash next year.

4. They ink an alliance with Hyundai

5. Product pipeline turns the corner in '09.
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dom
http://www.leftlanenews.com/2006/11/...-global-model/



They're paying him how much to tell them Toyota's business plan works?
Nothing wrong with that- if Ford follows suit or is an innovator themselves the market will be that much more competitive- which always yields good results for the consumer
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Old 11-14-2006, 07:05 AM
  #265  
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Originally Posted by gavriil
I know what you mean, but Mulally's worth comes into the execution part of whatever plan is decided. That's the hard part.

Ya I know. Just playing skeptical.
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by SSMTL01
Nothing wrong with that- if Ford follows suit or is an innovator themselves the market will be that much more competitive- which always yields good results for the consumer
What people tend to forget is Toyota and Honda COPIED the Big 3 and refined the process, ultimatelty building more reliable cars. I guess now Ford is paying them back
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:08 AM
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Ford to Get $18 Billion in Financing - - Ford Plans to Get $18 Billion in Financing to Address Cash Flow Issues, Restructuring - - Source: yahoo.com

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. said Monday it plans to get about $18 billion in financing in part to address near- and medium-term negative operating-related cash flow and fund its restructuring.

The No. 2 U.S. automaker also said the financing will help protect against a recession or other unanticipated events.

Ford said a new five-year senior secured revolving credit facility of about $8 billion is intended to replace Ford's existing unsecured credit facilities of $6.3 billion. A senior secured term loan will total about $7 billion, and unsecured capital market transactions will total about $3 billion.

Following the transactions, Ford said its "automotive liquidity" will be about $38 billion at year's end. That includes cash, cash equivalents, loaned and marketable securities and available credit facilities.

Ford expects the transactions to close before Dec. 31. The senior secured credit facilities will be arranged by Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking, Goldman Sachs Credit Partners L.P. and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.

Dearborn-based Ford lost $7 billion during the first nine months of the year and has said it won't return to profitability until 2009.

The company has offered buyouts and early retirement packages to all 75,000 U.S. production workers and plans to shutter 16 plants to reduce manufacturing capacity to match lower demand for its products.
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Old 11-29-2006, 03:04 PM
  #268  
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38,000 take Ford buyout
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Con...2154&t=TS_Home

38,000 take Ford buyout
Nov. 29, 2006. 02:32 PM
SVEN GUSTAFSON
ASSOCIATED PRESS


DETROIT — Almost half of Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE: F) said Wednesday that about 38,000 of its hourly hourly production workers — 38,000 so far this year — have accepted buyouts or early retirement offers as the nation’s second biggest automaker shrinks in the face of multibillion-dollar losses and fierce competition from Asian carmakers.

The figure includes approximately 30,000 buyouts during the open signup period that concluded late Monday, plus about 8,000 who took deals offered at limited plants earlier this year.

Also Wednesday, the Dearborn-based automaker said it expects to post cumulative cash outflows of about $17 billion during the 2007 to 2009 period.

Faced with lower demand for its products, Ford had hoped that 25,000 to 30,000 workers would sign up during the just-expired round of buyout offers so it could reduce manufacturing capacity to better match demand. The number who did was at the top end of that range.

The 38,000-worker reduction this year would amount to nearly 46 percent of the 83,000 unionized employees that Ford had at the start of the year.

Ford shares slipped a penny to $8.14 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Those who accepted the buyout packages will begin to leave the company starting in January, the company said.

The eight packages offered to employees ranged from $35,000 to $140,000 depending on their years of service, age and how close they are to retirement. One four-year package offered up to $15,000 per year for college tuition, plus half of the workers’ salaries and health benefits. Another offer paid 70 percent of employees’ salaries and tuition for two years.

“One of Ford’s priorities, and a large cost component of our `Way Forward’ plan for North America, is our ability to adjust manufacturing capacity with demand, while continuing to reduce operating costs and becoming more efficient,” Ford President and Chief Executive Alan Mulally said in a statement. “While I know that in many cases decisions to leave the company were difficult for our employees, the acceptances received through this voluntary effort will help Ford to become more competitive.’’

The latest buyout enrollment period began in October. The offers included traditional packages for employees eligible for retirement, as well as nontraditional packages for employees with at least one year of service.

The company said just more than half of the employees accepted the nontraditional packages, which provided options such as lump-sum payments, tuition reimbursements or scholarship funds for family members.

Pete Hastings, vice president of corporate fixed income at Morgan Keegan in Memphis, Tenn., said the buyout announcement ``represents one step among many on a long road” to Ford’s turnaround. He said the automaker still must address a loss of market share and structural costs that he said are imposed by unions when it renegotiates with the United Auto Workers next fall.

“They’ll probably need another round of restructuring to adjust to the lower capacity from falling market share,” Hastings said.

“They face tremendous challenges. It’s going to be tough for them to achieve the turnaround. It’s certainly a multiyear process, and I’m sure we’ll see plenty of changes in the upcoming months.’’

Ford lost $7 billion in the first nine months of the year, and the company on Monday announced that it plans to get about $18 billion in financing due to negative operating cash flow and to pay for its restructuring. Ford’s share of the market has declined from around 26 percent in the early 1990s to 17.6 percent at the end of October.

The company expects to cut its annual operating costs by $5 billion through 2008 through a combination of the reductions in hourly workers and by also offering packages to 10,000 white-collar workers, with further unspecified reductions in 2009.

In a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ford said more than half of its projected outflow would happen in 2007, including automotive operating-related cash outflows of about $10 billion and cash restructuring expenses of about $7 billion.

Ford said the cash expenses primarily reflect the expectation of substantial operating losses in its automotive operation through 2008 and employee separation costs.

In a note to investors, Bank of America analyst Ronald Tadross said the numbers are $6 billion worse than his firm’s estimate and do not indicate the company planned aggressive action such as cutting multiple product brands, reducing its fleet mix or upgrading plant flexibility.

“So, our model is under review, and we expect the stock to trade down on this news,” Tadross wrote.

Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans said the company is offering three programs to salaried workers — two early retirement packages and a buyout program. If the salaried workers are offered one of the packages, they are not able to select another, although all of the programs at this point are voluntary, she said.

Offers for two of the programs already have been made, while a third will go out in mid-December, she said.

“We think that the majority of the people who take the voluntary separation packages will do so by the end of the first quarter,” Evans said.

Ford has announced plans to close 16 plants as part of the “Way Forward” restructuring plan. Nine of the plants have been identified, but the company has not named the remaining seven.

The company has said it doesn’t expect to return to profitability until 2009, and that things would get even worse in the fourth quarter as market share continues to drop and Ford pays for further plant closures and job cuts to bring its manufacturing in line with lower demand.

In the SEC filing, Ford said it expects to log fourth-quarter operating-related cash expenses of about $3 billion and restructuring cash expenses of $500 million to $1 million.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:48 PM
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Ford CEO Alan Mulally Says He Canceled Order for a Lexus, but Respects Toyota
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Alan Mulally said Wednesday that he canceled his order for a Lexus after taking over as Ford Motor Co. CEO, but he nevertheless respects Toyota Motor Corp. and its luxury brand, though he has no intention of bringing the companies any closer.

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Mulally, who took over at the nation's No. 2 automaker last year, said he deeply admires the Japanese automaker for its manufacturing processes and product development strategy. He said that was the reason for his trip to Japan last month to meet with Toyota executives.

Mulally called Toyota "the finest machine in the world, the finest production system in the world. So we went to study with the master. I really wanted to connect with each of the manufacturers in the industry and to do it quickly," said Mulally, who was hired away from aircraft maker Boeing Co. by Ford.

Reports that Toyota Chairman Fujio Cho met in Tokyo with Mulally at the latter's request had sparked investor hopes about a potential alliance.

Ford on Wednesday reported an 8 percent drop in U.S. sales last year compared with 2005. But it was able to hold off Toyota after Toyota's sales surpassed Ford's for the first time in July and again in November.

Mulally and Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said Ford's painful recovery will be driven by new products brought to market more quickly. They spoke to reporters at a private dinner that featured a briefing and question-and-answer period.

"Despite the numbers, it (2006) was a year of incremental progress for us," Fields said. "It's like building a house. We built the foundation last year. But you don't see the house. You see a hole."
Ya think? http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070103/ford_toyota.html?.v=4
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Old 01-04-2007, 12:31 PM
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Lexus/Toyota Business model > *
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:38 PM
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Mulally's previous job at Boeing involved working with a manufacturing process based on the Toyota system. He's a Toyota guy. That's why Ford brought him over, and Mulally just recently went to Japan to talk with the top guys at Toyota. They are talking about sharing technology. Ford could use the Toyota hybrid system, and Toyota could use Ford's expertise on the full-size truck technology. The Tundra is good, but there's no heavy-duty versions of it which is very important for a truck model to survive in the U.S. market.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Pure Adrenaline
Mulally's previous job at Boeing involved working with a manufacturing process based on the Toyota system.
I always find it funny that the Big 3 don't get any credit for teaching the Jap's how to build cars. Americans basically gave them the Japanese mfg's our "trade secrets" and Demming also helped them out. The sad thing is they beat us at our own game, which is the Big 3's fault.


I think Mulally is bringing a fresh approach to Ford, but won't affect products in the pipeline for roughly 24 months.
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:35 PM
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Overhauling Ford in 2010**2006 Net loss of $12.7 billion (page 1)**

Overhauling Ford in 2010 - - By AMY WILSON | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS - - Source: Autoweek

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. intends to remake its entire Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle lineup by 2010, the automaker's top executives said last week at the Detroit auto show.

That accompanies an earlier pledge to deliver 70 percent new or upgraded products by 2008.

CEO Alan Mulally said the new or upgraded models will offer improved fuel economy, more striking designs, gains in quality, consumer -driven features and better value.

"We're just scratching the surface of what we're capable of delivering to our customers," Mulally said during an upbeat presentation.

The former Boeing Co. executive, hired in September to turn Ford around, waved to the crowd and bantered with Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates, whom he introduced as "someone back in my old neighborhood in Seattle." Gates appeared via satellite from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to tout a new in-car digital communications system - Sync - that will debut in 12 Ford vehicles this year.

Technologies such as Sync are one way that Ford Motor will revamp its lineup, said Mark Fields, the automaker's president of the Americas. Fields also said the company will "dramatically grow Ford's small-car offerings."

He introduced one such small car, the re-engineered and restlyed 2008 Ford Focus. It is expected to go on sale this fall.

Ford also plans to sell B-segment cars - vehicles smaller than the Focus - in the United States. But executives didn't talk about the B-cars or give other details of how Ford will remake its lineup.

Said Executive Chairman Bill Ford: "2007 will be a pivotal year. I believe we've laid the foundation for stronger a Ford beginning this year."
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:36 PM
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This is Ford's absolutely last chance before something dramatic happens to them (e.g. Chapter 11, a merger, an acquisition, etc.). Let's see.
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Old 01-18-2007, 05:49 PM
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Hope sales of the F series don't totally nose dive so they have some money to spend on their cars. There's some promising stuff (and Sync is not one of them) on the way but details and timing will be key.
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Old 01-18-2007, 06:50 PM
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Technologies such as Sync are one way that Ford Motor will revamp its lineup, said Mark Fields, the automaker's president of the Americas. Fields also said the company will "dramatically grow Ford's small-car offerings."

He introduced one such small car, the re-engineered and restlyed 2008 Ford Focus. It is expected to go on sale this fall.
I realize he would be crucified if he said otherwise, but if that's really their idea of progress, then they're screwed.

Ford also plans to sell B-segment cars - vehicles smaller than the Focus - in the United States. But executives didn't talk about the B-cars or give other details of how Ford will remake its lineup.
Or maybe that's why the Euro Focus isn't the barf-inducing turdmobile we get here -- it doesn't have to be the gutted entry-level model. Maybe once the tin cans are sold here, we'll see the Focus move upmarket like the Civic did.
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Old 01-18-2007, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
This is Ford's absolutely last chance before something dramatic happens to them (e.g. Chapter 11, a merger, an acquisition, etc.). Let's see.
I was thinking the same thing. It's no secret that they put up billions in assets as collateral for a huge loan. It's do or die time for them. Because of the Ford's family's continued control of the company, I don't see them doing a merger letting themselves being taken over; Chapter 11, maybe, because they'll come out leaner and meaner, though smaller. An acquisition... I don't see it either. There aren't any good bit players out there worth buying. GM's aquisition of Daweoo wound up being a good thing for them (though we only see a little of the fruits in the NA market), but Ford finding a gem to aqcuire would be tough, IMHO.
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:07 AM
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oo this has the makings of a great story... does it end with the collapse of one of the first pioneering automotive companies or with its recovery? only time shall tell...
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Old 01-19-2007, 12:46 AM
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Show us cars that can compete and occasionally innovate and will will buy! I want the car that was in the new bond. Why would they dangle that in front of me and not offer it in NA?
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Old 01-19-2007, 08:54 AM
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so they get rid of the unions?
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