Ford Considering Partial Sale of Mazda Holdings

October 13, 2008
Automotive News reported yesterday that Japanese newspaper Nikkei and Japanese broadcaster NHK claim Ford is "close to selling most of its 33.4 percent holding" in Mazda. On the heels of record lows for Ford share prices and the broadening global credit crisis, Ford is considering all possible actions to keep its brand solvent and strong.

Both Ford and Mazda are mum on the subject. Ford spokesman Mark Truby claimed only that his company's relationship with Mazda has not changed, while Mazda stated flatly that "nothing has been decided." Highlighting the urgency with which Ford must act is Standard & Poor's consideration of further downgrades to Ford's credit rating this week, which would send it deeper into junk status.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally insists that filing for bankruptcy does not make sense to the company, and said they plan instead to focus on a company turnaround and exceedingly careful cash management. Whether or not Ford and Mazda part ways, the Nikkei newspaper claims that Ford and Mazda will continue to produce engines and vehicles together such as the corporate 3.7-liter V-6 found in the Mazda6 and Lincoln MKS.--Colin Mathews

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