As you probably know, I work for Ford, which is facing a crisis of its own caused in good part by the on-going credit crisis. We have been aggressively restructuring our business and re-inventing ourselves. The crisis we now face is not of our doing. Because of the uncertainties in the economy at large and the scarcity of credit, people have quite literally stopped buying cars. Ford has positioned itself to be profitable at lower volumes than in the past, just not this low.
I have struggled with my own ideologies, saying that “Too big to fail is too big to play.” At the time, my job wasn’t at risk. I still believe that it is true. However, somehow the US automotive industry got to a point where we are too big to fail. The failure of one of the Big 3 auto companies would likely drive many of its suppliers into bankruptcy as well. Because the supply base is so intertwined between all of the major players (including the foreign automakers), wholesale disruption in the supply network would likely cause the failure of the domestics and a suspension of domestic production by the foreign automakers.
I believe from everything that I’ve read and heard that Ford is well positioned to survive a short economic downturn. However, if GM were to fail, the economic fallout would likely also drive us into bankruptcy.
Melanie asked me if the bailout is good or bad. I don’t know. I do know that it is neccessary. I don’t advocate a free ride for anyone. There should be pain for all involved, as we all got into this together. The union, the executives, the employees, the shareholders, and the taxpayers.
Here’s an excerpt from an email I got at work:
There are many who question why the U.S. industry should receive any additional assistance and are quick to assert that the current situation is due to the failure of the automakers to bring new technology to market and an alleged resistance to producing fuel-efficient vehicles. Here are some important points that clearly illustrate Ford’s commitment to a new way of doing business and to bringing the newest, most fuel-efficient technologies to market quickly:
· Ford’s product-led plan to deliver more of the safe, affordable, high-quality and fuel-efficient vehicles that consumers want and value remains solidly in place. We are also well-positioned to take advantage of our global scale and strengths.
· Ford has committed to leading in the development of advanced technologies, including EcoBoost, Flexible-fuel vehicles, clean diesel, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen cars.
· Ford alone has invested more than $22 billion in research and development (2005-07).
· Ford’s quality is now on par with Honda and Toyota and rising every year.
· The new Ford Fusion Hybrid beats the Toyota Camry Hybrid in fuel mileage.
Please take a few minutes to act. There are links below with contact information for your Senators and Representative. Please call them or email them. Tell them that the failure of the auto industry should not be an option. Give us the time that we need to finish restructuring without the added pressures of the credit crisis and economic downturn.
To call your elected officials as a “Friend of Ford” please click here (hint: it will be easier to call if you click on “Print this alert” link on the site below as a complete document will be printed with each of the officials names and phone numbers provided): http://capwiz.com/ford/callalert/index.tt?alertid=12192861 To email or send a printed letter to your elected officials as a “Friend of Ford” please click here:http://capwiz.com/ford/issues/alert/?alertid=12192906
Please feel free to send these links to your family and friends and ask them to take action to support our industry and our economy.