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How Ford lost $24,000 a minute

Old 01-25-2007, 06:59 PM
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Default How Ford lost $24,000 a minute

Very sad news for an American company.

How Ford lost $24,000 a minute or a the cost of a Mustang every minute. Hey you got any extras lying around?

Ford: Biggest loss ever
Annual shortfall roars past company record, as quarter loss comes in wider than expected; larger operating losses ahead.

January 25 2007: 11:28 AM EST
NEW YORK ( -- Ford Motor Co. reported the largest annual loss in company history Thursday. The embattled automaker also posted a fourth-quarter loss that was worse than analysts' expectations and warned of worse showings ahead.

Weak sales of its key pickup trucks in the quarter and $9.9 billion in after-tax charges due to employee buyouts and plant closing plans resulted in $12.7 billion loss for 2006.

That works out to a loss of just over $24,000 a minute throughout the course of the year, or about the price of a Ford Mustang.

As bad as the financial report was, it did not shock Wall Street. Shares of Ford (up $0.26 to $8.46, Charts) gained about 3 percent in morning, as revenue came in slightly better than forecasts, and company officials offered more details of the results on a conference call.

"We know where we are, we're dealing with it and we're on plan," said Ford CEO Alan Mulally about the company's turnaround plans.

Mulally faced numerous questions from reporters during the call about plans by Ford to again start paying bonuses to white-collar employees despite the losses, and whether that would make it difficult to win further concessions it will be seeking from the United Auto Workers union. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that union concerns about the bonuses could hurt negotiations.

Mulally said no decision had yet been made about executive bonuses, but he confirmed it is something Ford is looking at and defended the idea of paying the bonuses, even at a time of record losses. He said Ford needed to makes sure pay for all its employees, both salaried and hourly, was competitive so that it did not lose the people it needs to execute the turnaround.

"We use the word bonus, but it is a key piece of their compensation, and that's how we pay them for the performance they're achieving," he said. "We need the absolute best-skilled and motivated team in all of the positions"

The UAW is in the process of negotiating some plant-by-plant contracts with Ford as the company weighs which plants it will close in coming years. And the union's companywide contract with Ford and the other Detroit automakers expires in September.

Mulally said he's been pleased by the tone of negotiations with the union since he got to the company in September and is confident the union leadership is also committed to making the changes needed to stop the losses.

"I am very pleased...with the UAW's response in working all the elements to improve our productivity," he said.

Continued sales slide hits results
The company has seen a big drop in consumer demand for its key products, such as the F-series pickups. While still the nation's best-selling vehicle, the pickup saw sales plunge by more than 100,000 in 2006 in the face of record fuel prices and a slump in the housing market, which cut demand from contractors.

As the higher fuel prices drove Americans back to car models, Ford was left with a weak product lineup. Its Taurus sedan, once the nation's best-selling car, was discontinued in 2006 after years of seeing most of the demand for the model come from rental car companies. It also got out of the business of making minivans last year as it struggled to play catch-up in the hot "crossover" segment that provides buyers with a more car-like drive for a larger family vehicle.

The shift in buyers' preference left Ford with numerous truck factories that were idle much of the quarter, even as unionized hourly workers continued to be paid near full salary. It responded to the downturn b
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Old 01-25-2007, 10:33 PM
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Default RE: How Ford lost $24,000 a minute

Time to sell Jaguar, Volvo, their shares of Mazda, Aston Martin, Land Rover, and every other company they have. The need money to revitalise their technology now before its too late.
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