Capital Markets

One of the These Things Is Not Like the Other Ones

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ford

As Bush once again "abandons free-market principles to save the free-market system," Ford distinguishes itself with a whispered "thanks but no thanks."

The deal would extend $13.4 billion in loans to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC in December and January, with another $4 billion likely available in February. It also would provide the government with non-voting warrants, although the exact amount was unclear immediately. Ford Motor Co. has said it doesn't need short-term assistance.

While this isn't going to make me run out and replace my flawlessly functioning and very sexy maroon 1998 Toyota Camry, I'll raise a glass to Ford for making a go at (a tiny, piddling version of) self-sufficiency this time, especially self-sufficiency driven by good old-fashioned self-interest:

Observers around Detroit suggest that the Ford family's continuing control of the company has surely influenced the decision to not seek federal assistance. "Any dilution of equity has to be an issue for the family, and also the loss of dividends," says Brad Coulter, a specialist in bankruptcy and loan workouts with O'Keefe & Associates of Bloomfield Hills, Mich. (Any dividend payment would likely need the approval of a new "car czar," which the White House might appoint if it moves to provide aid.)

More on the bailouts here.

NEXT: Matt Welch on Bloggingheads.tv: Boo on the Bailout and New Deal 2.0

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  1. Hmmmm . . . may have to switch from my GM to a Ford. Probably just go with a Lexus . . . who makes Lexus anyway? Is that Toyota or Honda?

  2. Nevermind. Toyota makes Lexus.

  3. Let’s hear it for enlightened self-interest.

    Naga- Lexus=Toyota; Acura=Honda

  4. P Brooks,

    A bit late but thanks anyway.

    Anyways, what’s the deal with Ford? They trying to make GM and Chrysler look bad by not running their company into the ground?

  5. Go Ford! I’ll take back some of the nasty things I said about your cars.

    Who cares why they’re turning down their spot at the trough, give credit where its due!

    P Brooks – Nissan=Infiniti, Tata=Jag+Range Rover, GM=Saab

  6. Ford has a secret weapon: despite the soul- and car-destroying powers of the UAW, Ford products are about on a par with the Asian imports. GM is far behind and Chrysler is already dead. Read more (if you dare!) here:
    http://avanneman.blogspot.com/2008/12/whats-up-with-detroit.html

  7. ford has volvo, i heart volvos very much (much more when they were still boxy)

  8. I would think Ford would be seriously ticked about bailing out their domestic competitors.

    And besides, if Ford ever needs a loan, it’s nice to know the American taxpayer will be there to…um…help.

  9. Anyways, what’s the deal with Ford? They trying to make GM and Chrysler look bad by not running their company into the ground?

    It’s more like Mulally is desperately trying to fix it, after Jacques Nasser and that nice young Ford boy did their best to run it into the ground.

  10. The Volvos I have been seeing lately actually show some promise. I have no idea whether they actually are worth a damn.

  11. How come none of the talking heads haven’t questioned whether the Prez even has the authority to give out this money? The TARP specifically says it’s for financial institutions. Paulson has already bent the rules by buying equity in the banks instead of buying bad paper.

    My first car I got in 82 was a used 79 Mustang. I never did anything but put in fluids and tires. I drove it 150,000 miles with no problems until the timing belt broke. Luckily I had sold it 4 months before. That was one hell of a car for the abuse it took.

  12. Alan–As a current double Ford owner, I can tell you that Ford is not on par with Japanese mfrs. They’re much better than they used to be, but still nowhere near as good as Honda or Toyota.

    I’ve owned Hondas in the past and my next car will most likely be a Honda again.

  13. And, as much as I hate to pass up an opportunity to bash Nardelli, I think he has actually been on the right track. Now, why Cerberus thought they could actually get it done before the clock on the detonator reached zero…..

  14. Recently got rid of a ’99 Grand Marquis. OK car. Gas guzzler, of course, but my better half liked the engine noises (runs of a 289), and it drove like a couch with good suspension.

    One very likable thing about that car: it got 25 miles to the gallon on the highway. At any speed. I’ve driven full tanks at 45-60 on the back roads of Kentucky, and at 85+ heading down I-10. 25 miles to the gallon. No ifs ands or buts.

    The thing is, a number of little compromises had been made in the design to keep the costs down, and it seemed to need just a little more work, and be a little less robust than some of my earlier cars.

    Replaced it with a ’05 Camry, four cylinder, and I’m pretty happy with it.

  15. No thanks to the bailout….its a better idea.

  16. While this isn’t going to make me run out and replace my flawlessly functioning and very sexy maroon 1998 Toyota Camry

    There is nothing sexy about a Toyota Camry. Even one with a totally hot libertarian editrix/reporterette driving it.

  17. You fool [blank]!!! Picture KMW driving it and offering you a ride. How bout’ now!

  18. bill,

    I drive a 97′ Z-28. AWESOME!!! But the damn thing has to be put in shop at least twice a year for major shit(three times this year). Just this year: Bent axle and stabilizer bar(my fault on both), new cap and rotor system, and replacement of all coolant hoses. Smaller items for this year have included brake job(axle/stabilizer problem), a new belt, vacuum leak, a wheel bearing(don’t ask), 3 headlights, and finally front wheel alignment.

  19. What’s the bet on Cerberus taking the money and getting the hell out of Chrysler?

  20. There’s still a lot of talk about merging some rump end (trucks, Jeep, and?) of Chrysler imto GM.

    God help us.

    I hate to say it, but replacing Wagoner with Nardelli wouldn’t be the worst conceivable option.

  21. Kudos, Ford! Years ago, Henry Ford told FDR to go take a flying fuck. I guess the family still has some of that backbone.

  22. I would think Ford would be seriously ticked about bailing out their domestic competitors.

    Ford would probably like nothing better than to see two of its competitors saddled with a government car czar.

  23. If Ford can turn down a loan, then so can GM and Chrysler! Most rationales for the bailout vanish when you factor in Ford.

    This isn’t about saving an industry, it’s about spending money. The automobile industry just happened to be a convenient package on the shelf to buy.

  24. Good for Ford.

  25. Ford was actively lobbying for the bailout, just because they did not take any money does not mean that they were not fully supported the measure. They might not need the cash, but they certainly wanted their domestic competitors to survive. There is most likely more than meets the eye to this whole affair.

    Also, Ford is looking to sell Volvo.

    Regards,
    TDL

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