Like many automakers, Ford hit the skids last year. Also like many automakers, Ford's 2008 losses were legendary: the company closed out the year a whopping $14.6 billion smackers in the red. Worst. Year. Ever. (Really.)
Still Ford insists it's doing fine. (Really.) The company burned through $5.5 billion in the last quarter alone, but it's got $24 billion in reserve--much of which is in cash--and available credit totaling just over $10 billion. And, of course, that's not including the $9 billion line of credit Ford requested back in December. (I say "of course" because the feds haven't approved it yet.)
Given all that--and given the fact that Ford never asked for bailout money, and therefore isn't tied to the many strings that money came with--Ford seems poised to pull through the current crisis. Analysts are moderately bullish on Ford's prospects, and the company has taken additional steps to ensure its viability--most notably, cutting ten percent of its North American salarymen and salarywomen, or about 2300 jobs.
As severe as that might sound, Mark Fields, president of the Americas, said, "There's still a bit more to do." By which he might be referring to the upcoming cut of 1200 jobs--20% of the workforce--at Ford Credit's American division. (Canadian workers can breathe easy. For now.) Or perhaps something even more drastic is afoot. Yeesh, we hope not.