Ford wants some government recognition; not only for its ability to individually restructure its operations without taking handouts and Band-Aids, but for the future of brand competition.
In a statement released just after the news of General Motors' bankruptcy filing and confirmation of the merger between Fiat and Chrysler, Ford reminded the White House that a 'level playing field' must be maintained in the local car industry.
The Blue Oval has reasons for concern, with the Obama administration and the local taxpayer paying heavily for the bailout of the 'old GM', and owning about 60 percent of the 'new GM'.
The bankruptcy deal also sees an extra US$30 billion handed to the General to solidify its new position, on top of the billions already received (and lost forever) in government bailout funds.
This already moves the goalposts in GM's favour, as Ford will never see this kind of money from the government.
Also, since Ford restructured its own operations and finances by itself without the aid of Chapter 11 or the administration, it will have to repay its mortgaged assets and live with its clearance sale of stock and bonds well into its operating future.
Ironically, Ford has been able to capitalise on GM an Chrysler's continued woes up until now. The company has experienced some growth since January without the heavy competition, and its decision to stand alone and fix its own mess has increased buyer confidence. In fact, Ford USA is planning to increase its third quarter production by 10 percent.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
FORD STATEMENT ON GM BANKRUPTCY FILING
DEARBORN, Mich., June 1, 2009 - Today's announcement that GM is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy is another important development during this unprecedented period for the auto industry and the global economy.
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.
We share President Obama's hope that GM's bankruptcy will be controlled and orderly, and we continue to believe it is important that our governmental leaders and the U.S. Automotive Task Force remain focused on the stability of the supply chain and on ensuring that a healthy U.S. auto industry emerges from this difficult economic period. We look forward to working with the Obama administration to ensure that the government's majority ownership of GM will not change the industry's competitive dynamics and that a level playing field will be maintained.
Ford remains absolutely committed to continuing to make progress on our transformation plan without accessing emergency taxpayer assistance from the U.S. government. We have been executing our plan for several years and now gaining market share and new customers with an unprecedented number of new high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles, such the new Ford Fusion, F-150, Lincoln MKS and Lincoln MKZ. Coming soon are the highly acclaimed Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKT and Transit Connect