Ford Offers Up a Piece of Aston
In a briefly worded release on Thursday, Ford put into motion a next, deeper phase of its Way Forward plan by announcing its interest in selling Aston Martin. The ultra-luxury brand could be sold in part or in whole, according to the release. "Aston Martin Lagonda has flourished under Ford ownership, which is why we believe it is prudent to consider a sale of all or part of this prized brand," Chairman Bill Ford said. Aston's separate dealer network and vehicle architecture make it a relatively simple choice to put up for sale; Jaguar and Land Rover, more difficult prospects to sell and to separate from Ford as a whole, were also singled out in the release, hinting that Ford would like to hold on to the other British brands. "We continue to be encouraged by Jaguar's progress and by the strength and consumer appeal of the Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo product lineups." No interested parties have announced themselves but recent reports in the
RELEASE: Ford Mulling Aston Sale (8/31/2006)
Chrysler announced pricing for its two new 2007 models on Wednesday, pegging the Sebring sedan at a base price of $18,995 including destination and the Aspen SUV at $31,490, including destination. The Sebring comes standard with a 173-hp four-cylinder and a four-speed automatic, as well as curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and tire pressure monitors, and a CD player with MP3 capability. The $20,195 Touring edition adds premium trim and 17-inch wheels, while the 2.7-liter, 189-hp V-6 is an option. The Limited model begins at $23,995 and has a 235-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 coupled to a six-speed automatic standard. The
GM Adds Spiffs
2006 Chevrolet Impala
2006 Chevrolet Impala
GM Plans Diesel Expansion by Joseph Szczesny (8/28/2006)
Fuel-frugal powertrains no longer a dirty idea at GM.
Ford Bonds and Stocks React To FMC Speculation
Bonds issued by Ford Motor Credit Co., the financing arm of Ford Motor Co., spiked Monday as investors reacted to a Detroit News story saying the automaker may to sell a controlling interest in its profitable credit arm.
In afternoon trading, FMC's 9.875 percent notes due in 2011 were up more than ten points, or cents on the dollar, at 105.50 cents on the dollar, according to MarketAxess. FMC's 6.625 percent notes due in 2028 were up more than two cents, at 74.75 cents on the dollar.
While The Detroit News article stirred anew the idea that Ford may sell part of FMC, it is not a new idea. But these days, speculators will seize on any news concerning Ford.
Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin resigned from Ford's board of directors last week citing potential conflicts between his role as a member of the chairman's office at Citigroup and the possibility that the bank giant may be involved in some of Ford's transactions in coming months. One of those conflicts is believed to be a possible bid Citi may make for a majority stake in FMC.
FMC could bring Ford around $8 billion at the outside for a 51-percent stake. Citi may be one of the only suitors. Analysts say that FMC is a pure auto financing business, unlike General Motors's GMAC unit, which has attractive mortgage financing and insurance businesses to augment auto financing.
Investors and analysts have been calling for a sale for months, as junk credit ratings have dramatically raised Ford Motor Credit's cost of funding and eroded its earnings.
Shares of Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford Motor Co. rose five cents to close at $8.05 on the New York Stock Exchange. -Jim Burt
Tower, Unions Agree on Pact
Members of the United Auto Workers and the United Steelworkers have ratified amended labor agreements that will result in substantial cost savings for bankrupt Tower Automotive.
The ratification votes end the threat of strike that would have threatened production at Ford, General Motors, and DaimlerChrysler.
Tower said the new agreements cover about 1000 employees in
In addition, UAW members at Tower's
UAW members at Tower's