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CS First Boston downgraded Ford Motor (F
) to neutral from strong buy.
Analyst Wendy Beale Needham says the move removes Ford from the Focus List. She notes the recall is due to possible tire damage incremental to a still-pending possiblity of a further recall on the old Explorer. She says the Explorer accounts for $0.75-$1.00 per share of Ford's profits, making it one of company's most important brands.
Beale Needham now thinks the integrity of the brand is at risk. With a greater number of SUV models in the market, she thinks it will be even more difficult for the new Explorer to gain traction in the market.