Insightful analysis and commentary for the US and global equity investor
Contributors: Douglas McIntyre Jon C. Ogg

Previous Posts

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ford Drives Alone (F)(GM)

Carlos Ghosn of "I will run GM for you" fame, says that a time-up with Ford is not in the cards, at least not for now. That's too bad. Ford could use a friend. It has not seen the kind of turnaround that appears to be taking root at GM.

With recent negative credit watches from agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor's, Ford's debt could move further into junk bond territory. That means the credit analysts think a bankruptcy is more likely, and that Ford may run low on cash next year. With a Q3 loss of $5.8 billion and more losses ahead Ford could use a friend, especially if Ghosn could get Nissan and Renault to chip in a few dollars for a piece of Ford. The Ford family may be concerned enough about the future value of their shares that they could go along with letting some or all of the control in the No. 2 US automaker go to someone else.

Ford's European operations could dovetail nicely with Renault. And, without a dealer network in the US, Renault could use the Ford dealer footprint to relauch its cars in the US.

Ford could also use Nissan's factory capacity in the US to close some of its own facilities, and that might give it leverage with the UAW.

But, it isn't going to happen. And Ford needs it to happen now.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

Powered by Blogger