I know there was a lot happening in automotive news just 24 hours ago, but things are starting to settle down once more -- at least for now, anyway. And since everyone was so GM- and Chrysler-focused yesterday (and with good reason), I figured I'd share with you Ford Motor Company's statement regarding GM's bankruptcy filing, just in case you missed it.
Within that press release, the Michigan automaker stated, "The Ford team continues to monitor the industry environment and plan for all contingencies to ensure our transformation plan remains on track. At this time, we do not expect any major disruptions to our operations as a result of today's news."
Well, apparently that was an understatement. If you were surfing the auto blogs late yesterday or early this morning then you may already know the good news. For the first time in nearly two years, Ford plans to increase third quarter production of cars and trucks by about 10 percent.
So, what's Ford's secret? Is it somehow immune to the current economic downturn? Well, according to Matthew Dolan's article in The Wall Street Journal, Ford is feeling the crunch, too. Dolan tells us, "Like most other auto makers, Ford is still losing money -- it lost $1.4 billion in the first quarter -- but it has been faring better than GM and Chrysler, in part because it borrowed $23.5 billion in 2006, before credit markets started to freeze up, and was quicker to sell some of its fringe brands. As a result, Ford had a larger cash cushion."
Hmmm...so in other words, Ford did borrow money, but it didn't take federal bailout money from the taxpayers and it also borrowed the cash at just the right time to allow it to weather the storm? I think this proves timing is everything.
Well played, Ford. Well played.