Posted by: David Kiley on September 15, 2008
Ford Motor Co has no plans to seek additional investment from billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian or to press the United Auto Workers union for additional concessions to save money, the No. 2 U.S. automaker’s top executive told Reuters on Monday.
Asked if Ford had any plans to seek additional investment from Kerkorian, a long-time activist investor in the auto industry who holds a 6.5 percent stake in the company, Ford chief executive Alan Mulally responded with a flat, “no.”
“The most important thing we do is manage that liquidity. We’ll continue to make multiple actions to improve our balance sheet,” he said at the Reuters Autos Summit.
Mulally also said the company was content with its current contract with the UAW.
“We are very pleased with our last contract negotiations. We reached agreement in many many aspects on wages and benefits and it really is an enabler for for us operating, as we talked about, profitably in the United States,” Mulally told the Reuters Autos Summit in Detroit.
Ford, along with Chrysler and General Motors have been seeking $50 billion in loan guarantees from the Federal Government to help see it through the current economic downturn and credit crunch. Last year’s energy bill signed by President Bush called for $25 billion in loans. But the severity of the downturn has prompted automakers to ask for more.
But because of the bailouts of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the automakers’ have backed off the extra request and are instead asking that the original $25 billion be made available over one year.