Here's a newsflash from the business pages: Ford Motor Company, once upon a time the face of innovation, progress, and a bright glittery future, is a real crap outfit these days:
Ford Motor Co. could post the worst annual loss in its storied 103-year history when the automaker releases its 2006 earnings today. The old record net loss was $7.39 billion in 1992, but through three quarters of 2006, Ford already had lost $7 billion.
Fourteen analysts polled by Thomson Financial expect more red ink in the fourth quarter, predicting an average quarterly loss of $1.01 per share and $1.35 per share for the year, excluding special items.
Ford's shares closed Wednesday at $8.20, down 10 cents.
Let's not worry too much about adjusting for inflation this time around. Clearly, the day is coming--maybe not in the immediate future, but certainly soon enough--when GM or Ford (most likely the latter) goes bankrupt and/or is fully taken over by a "foreign" car company (that is, one headquartered outside the U.S. even if most of their cars are made here), setting off monumental wailing and gnashing of teeth over the End of the American Economic Era, etc. You know, sort of like when the last Woolworth's shut down. Or when A&P went into receivership.
Creative destruction can be a real bitch, that's for sure, especially if you're tooling around in a Tempo.
Former Ford employee Shikha Dalmia looked into the hybrid dreams of former CEO (and human proof of regression to the mean) Bill Ford and saw nothing but green goblins and red ink here.