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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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More good news from Ford

http://www.detnews.com/article/20101...-debt-by-$1.9B

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Ford reduces its debt by $1.9B
Automaker hopes to regain investment grade status
Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. announced Wednesday that it expects to end the year with more cash than debt after converting $1.9 billion in debt to new common stock that will be issued at month's end.

The last time this situation occurred was the second quarter of 2008.

Debt reduction is crucial for the company that avoided following General Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC into bankruptcy, where those carmakers shed most of their debt. Ford mortgaged everything the company had, including its Blue Oval trademark, to restructure itself and has made cleaning up its balance sheet a priority.

The automaker seeks to get its debt back to investment grade status and start paying dividends again. To raise cash and reduce debt, Ford said in October it would make conversion offers, with cash inducements, on two convertible debt securities.

Investors had until midnight Tuesday to decide whether to participate in the special offer conversion. Ford said 74 percent chose to do so, signaling confidence in the automaker.

Ford will make a $534 million cash payment and issue 274 million shares to the noteholders. The cash premiums reflect the value of pending interest payments.

It is a good deal for both sides, said Stephen Brown, senior director of Fitch Ratings in Chicago. "For $500 million cash, Ford takes $2 billion in debt off its balance sheet," Brown said, adding that gross debt is a key factor in rating companies.

Ford lost its investment grade status in 2005. Most ratings agencies still have Ford a notch or two below the watershed mark.

Ford has reduced automotive debt $12.8 billion this year, down to about $21billion from the $34 billion it held at theend of 2009. Ford also has lowered its total annual interest costs nearly $1 billion. Debt conversions cut interest costs about $180 million.

"These successful conversion offers represent another significant step toward our goal of reducing our automotive debt and improving our balance sheet," said Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth.


From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20101125/AUTO01/11250345/Ford-reduces-its-debt-by-$1.9B#ixzz16JDqRIXo

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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 09:55 AM
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 12:31 PM
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Ford is a sell out for droping Mercury.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 02:19 PM
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Except all Mercury ever was, was rebadged Ford cars, and has been for decades. They offered nothing unique that made them worth buying except for the brand loyalists that steadily bought Grand Marquis'es every year.

Now if you want to take offense with them dropping the Panther platform, I can understand that. Rear-wheel drive cars handle infinitely better than front-wheel, and it's sad to see a great car platform like that get dropped.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 07:34 PM
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Former Ford employee pleads guilty to stealing $50M in trade secrets

Wow! Here's another surprise from Ford.

This story Dated November 24, 2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Autoblog.com
Filed under: Government/Legal, Ford
According to the Department of Justice, 49 year-old Mike Yu has pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of trade secrets. Yu worked as a product engineer for Ford for 10 years before accepting a job with another company, but when he left the Blue Oval, he took more than his family photos with him when he walked out the door. The engineer copied over 4,000 Ford documents onto an external hard drive before letting the company know of his new employer. Those documents included proprietary information on everything from engine and transmission mounting designs to electrical systems and full body shells. Yu began working for Beijing Automotive Company in 2008.

Yu returned to the United States in November of that same year, and was arrested upon his arrival. The Federal Bureau of Investigation found a Beijing Automotive Company laptop among Yu's possessions at that time with 41 Ford design specification documents on its hard drive. Yu had apparently accessed those documents while working for the company.

Under his plea agreement, Yu faces up to six and a half years in prison and a $150,000 fine in addition to an agreed loss amount of between $50 million and $100 million. The former engineer will be deported after his prison time is up. Follow the jump to read the official government statement.

[Source: The Department of Justice]Continue reading Former Ford employee pleads guilty to stealing $50M in trade secrets
Former Ford employee pleads guilty to stealing $50M in trade secrets originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Nov 2010 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 07:44 PM
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 07:48 PM
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So the Chinese company will be call Fured?

Big deal about deporting a Chinese national back to his home country, where he will most likely be treated like a rock-star.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-25-2010, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
It is a good deal for both sides, said Stephen Brown, senior director of Fitch Ratings in Chicago. "For $500 million cash, Ford takes $2 billion in debt off its balance sheet," Brown said, adding that gross debt is a key factor in rating companies.

Ford lost its investment grade status in 2005. Most ratings agencies still have Ford a notch or two below the watershed mark.

From The Detroit News
Look for their stock price to climb again once it becomes "Investment Grade". There are plenty of people and mutual funds who can't/won't invest in any "Junk" stocks.




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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 01:51 PM
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Ford cheaped out with Mercury in the late 70's.
Before then there was a great difference.
Mercury was where ford experimented with new stuff.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 03:11 PM
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Those days are loooooong gone, Mercury needed to go. I was more disappointed when Pontiac was dropped, and I don't even like GM lol

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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 06:41 PM
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I was making a point.
Ford doomed the merc. brand.
GM is worse.
Blew out Olds. and pontiac, two legacy companies.
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 10:57 PM
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Big deal, when Mercury was relevant there were only a dozen companies building off a basic car platform, Today there's 3 times the brands with an almost mandatory 5 style styles of vehicles to choose from. Ford didn't doom it, competition did.

Same goes for Olds when it went down, they went well over a decade without anything remotely exciting or distinct from other brands. Pontiac IMO was worth keeping around, they had the best cars out of the other GM brands when they were discontinued. GMC or Buick should have gotten the death blow Pontiac did.

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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-27-2010, 08:49 AM
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No matter how you feel.....I did enjoy having Mercurys over the years. Yes, they become nothing more than a Ford with a facelift though. So long Mercury, I'll miss you!

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Big deal, when Mercury was relevant there were only a dozen companies building off a basic car platform, Today there's 3 times the brands with an almost mandatory 5 style styles of vehicles to choose from. Ford didn't doom it, competition did.

Same goes for Olds when it went down, they went well over a decade without anything remotely exciting or distinct from other brands. Pontiac IMO was worth keeping around, they had the best cars out of the other GM brands when they were discontinued. GMC or Buick should have gotten the death blow Pontiac did.
Thats the thing though, if Ford needs to compete globally, they need more than two brands.

Ford competes with Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet
Mercury competes with Lexus, Infiniti, Acura
Lincoln competes with Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi

I dont see how Ford will be able to make Lincoln compete with everyone...

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Honda/Acura, Nissan/Infinity, Toyota/Lexus, VW/Audi, Dodge/Chrysler, Ford/Lincoln... See the pattern?

Lincoln doesn't have any models to truly compete with the German Big 3 or high end Caddies. They are all Ford clones like Mercurys, only Lincoln has brand equity.

And "globally" Ford has successfully been in Europe, Australia, and South America for decades, and not only do they not have Mercury, they don't even have Lincoln. Same for the Japanese luxury cars, Acura, Infinity, and Lexus were all American inventions, everywhere else they are 1 make brands.

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post #16 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 08:44 AM
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If there was any recent drop off of a car company that really gets me, it would most definately go to GM dropping Saturn. They werent the common 'replica' of it's parent company just rebaged. Mercury is nothing but a pretty Ford as of lately........

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post #17 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 09:00 AM
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Man I really wish Ford the best of LUCK.

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Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Honda/Acura, Nissan/Infinity, Toyota/Lexus, VW/Audi, Dodge/Chrysler, Ford/Lincoln... See the pattern?

Lincoln doesn't have any models to truly compete with the German Big 3 or high end Caddies. They are all Ford clones like Mercurys, only Lincoln has brand equity.

And "globally" Ford has successfully been in Europe, Australia, and South America for decades, and not only do they not have Mercury, they don't even have Lincoln. Same for the Japanese luxury cars, Acura, Infinity, and Lexus were all American inventions, everywhere else they are 1 make brands.
True, but thats where GM has the advantage with Buick going after Japan, and Cadillac going after Germany. And didnt Ford just hire the old Cadillac project manager for Lincoln?

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There's models from Lexus, and Infinity that compete directly with the Germans and they do just fine with it. Even if Ford did hire the Cadillac project manager, it doesn't solve the problem that every Lincoln car/suv/csuv is based directly on concurrent Ford models and there is no better platform in sight. Today the last thing Ford needs to do is start building super expensive profit killing high end luxury performance cars (they learned their lesson with the MN12/FN10 lol)

GM is not the automaker to be looking to for direction, they are the greatest example of why redundancy in a flooded market doesn't work. IMO the only reason GM kept Buick around was to keep the Chinese happy and not piss off the elderly, they LOVE Buicks

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Thats the thing though, if Ford needs to compete globally, they need more than two brands.

Ford competes with Honda, Toyota, Chevrolet
Mercury competes with Lexus, Infiniti, Acura
Lincoln competes with Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi

I dont see how Ford will be able to make Lincoln compete with everyone...
For one, the Lexus, Infiniti, Acura does compete with Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi. Two, Mercury was not competitive with any of these brands.

Mercury WAS a premium brand but the public at large saw exactly what people here are saying, they were re-badged Fords. Just like any other product line, if the company does not reinvest products grow stale and sales drop. The only question is whether Mercury had any premium brand quality left to save.

As part of "the way forward", many things were cut, mortgaged, or sold . Ford couldn't afford to revamp all product lines without going back to the simple re-badge idea everyone knew would fail. Sometimes you have to cut off a foot to save the leg.

Lincoln has a while before it directly competes with Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi. It's OK to use the same chassis, but body panels and interior need serious changes/upgrades. Engine intake/mount exhaust need more refinement. There is time to improve Lincoln, and bring it back to world class.




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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-06-2010, 09:33 PM
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I'm gonna miss Mercury. My first car (which I still own) is a '78 Grand Marquis. I've also owned an '82 Grand Marquis (which I would have kept a lot longer had it been a different color and not had a variable venturi carb (which the guy at AutoZone told me not to even try to rebuild), and a '93 Grand Marquis, which wasn't in as good a shape as I thought it was when I bought it. Panthers in general were pretty tough, reliable cars, and I'm gonna miss 'em. And I'm gonna keep my old '78 forever.
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There's models from Lexus, and Infinity that compete directly with the Germans and they do just fine with it. Even if Ford did hire the Cadillac project manager, it doesn't solve the problem that every Lincoln car/suv/csuv is based directly on concurrent Ford models and there is no better platform in sight. Today the last thing Ford needs to do is start building super expensive profit killing high end luxury performance cars (they learned their lesson with the MN12/FN10 lol)

GM is not the automaker to be looking to for direction, they are the greatest example of why redundancy in a flooded market doesn't work. IMO the only reason GM kept Buick around was to keep the Chinese happy and not piss off the elderly, they LOVE Buicks
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For one, the Lexus, Infiniti, Acura does compete with Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi. Two, Mercury was not competitive with any of these brands.

Mercury WAS a premium brand but the public at large saw exactly what people here are saying, they were re-badged Fords. Just like any other product line, if the company does not reinvest products grow stale and sales drop. The only question is whether Mercury had any premium brand quality left to save.

As part of "the way forward", many things were cut, mortgaged, or sold . Ford couldn't afford to revamp all product lines without going back to the simple re-badge idea everyone knew would fail. Sometimes you have to cut off a foot to save the leg.

Lincoln has a while before it directly competes with Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Cadillac, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi. It's OK to use the same chassis, but body panels and interior need serious changes/upgrades. Engine intake/mount exhaust need more refinement. There is time to improve Lincoln, and bring it back to world class.
Buick is a good model though for taking a stale rebadge brand building cars for the elderly, and changing it into decent sporty cars for hip young people. I'd be very happy in a turbo Regal or Lacrosse. Having the Mercury brand around was an opportunity for Ford to reinvest and create unique vehicles under the Mercury brand and compete with Buick and Lexus, the midrange luxury. Just how Mercury used to compete with Buick and Oldsmobile back in the day.

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The thing is midrange luxury is entry level these days, and the gap between cheap bare bones and midrange luxury tightened dramatically in luxury's favor over the last 10-20 years, so Fords today are more like Mercurys years ago. Keep Mercury around and you'll just have another Edsel on the market.


The Regal and Lacrosse are direct imports from Opel, Nothing about them is developed for or by Buick. They could have been released as Chevrolets or low end Cadillacs and not made a difference.

Back in the day is just that, I wish we could go back to the days where it's the big 3 offering nothing but a broad range of cars, but it's not realistic anymore when peoples standards demand a degree of luxury and an economic climate that demands reasonable pricing.

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The thing is midrange luxury is entry level these days, and the gap between cheap bare bones and midrange luxury tightened dramatically in luxury's favor over the last 10-20 years, so Fords today are more like Mercurys years ago. Keep Mercury around and you'll just have another Edsel on the market.


The Regal and Lacrosse are direct imports from Opel, Nothing about them is developed for or by Buick. They could have been released as Chevrolets or low end Cadillacs and not made a difference.

Back in the day is just that, I wish we could go back to the days where it's the big 3 offering nothing but a broad range of cars, but it's not realistic anymore when peoples standards demand a degree of luxury and an economic climate that demands reasonable pricing.
Then import the Mondeo and Falcon, put fancy interiors in them and then sell them as Mercurys...

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Because Ford learned their lesson with the Contour/Mistake
lol/touche...

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post #27 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-07-2010, 08:50 AM
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Edsel was a good car.
Ford made a mistake with the styling.

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post #28 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 10:17 PM
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Big deal, when Mercury was relevant there were only a dozen companies building off a basic car platform, Today there's 3 times the brands with an almost mandatory 5 style styles of vehicles to choose from. Ford didn't doom it, competition did.

Same goes for Olds when it went down, they went well over a decade without anything remotely exciting or distinct from other brands. Pontiac IMO was worth keeping around, they had the best cars out of the other GM brands when they were discontinued. GMC or Buick should have gotten the death blow Pontiac did.
I have had a few Pontiac's and I liked them. However Buick is around today as it is a very popular brand in China. Counting the Chinese sales, Buick sold far more cars than Pontiac did. That is why Pontiac died and not Buick.

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Yep, I remember reading about that when GM dropped first started dropping brands, I still think it's asinine. I still don't see as many new/late model Buicks on a day to day basis as I do Pontiacs (in Chicagoland anyway). They could have just dropped Buick here and kept it there IMO

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post #30 of 37 (permalink) Old 12-08-2010, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Yep, I remember reading about that when GM dropped first started dropping brands, I still think it's asinine. I still don't see as many new/late model Buicks on a day to day basis as I do Pontiacs (in Chicagoland anyway). They could have just dropped Buick here and kept it there IMO
Yup, just like they dropped Opel here and kept it there...

Same thing when Diahatsu, Fiat, Alfa, Peugeot and other companies stopped selling cars here.

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