Ford welcomes loan news for competitors

Dec. 19, 2008 at 12:46 PM

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The White House's emergency aid to two U.S. competitors drew appreciation from Ford Motor Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally Friday.

President George Bush said he was authorizing about $13.4 billion in short-term financing for Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. so they can reorganize their operations to be more viable and competitive in the future. The plan also would make available another $4 billion in February if needed. If the automakers cannot show improvements in a three-month window, they must repay the loans and possibly seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Ford's bottom line is is good, so the Dearborn, Mich., automaker doesn't "face a near-term liquidity issue, and we are not seeking short-term financial assistance from the government," Mulally said in a statement.

"But all of us at Ford appreciate the prudent step the administration has taken to address the near-term liquidity issues of GM and Chrysler," Mulally said. "The U.S. auto industry is highly interdependent, and a failure of one of our competitors would have a ripple effect that could jeopardize millions of jobs and further damage the already weakened U.S. economy."

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