Ford Motor critic: End the family control

Oct. 23, 2006 at 11:13 AM
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DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Word of another huge loss at the No. 2 U.S. automaker has renewed calls for shareholders to cut the founding family's control.

Ford Motor Co. said Monday it lost $5.8 billion in the third quarter.

"Hampered by a cost disadvantage in the range of $2,500 per vehicle, mostly stemming from its uncompetitive contract with the United Automobile Workers, Ford simply cannot compete," said Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland.

"President for North America Mark Fields and Ford (Chief Executive Officer) Alan Mulally have failed to publicly recognize Ford's fundamental labor cost disadvantage and articulate meaningful solutions. The basic problem is that Ford Chairman Bill Ford simply refuses to recognize reality, and these two seasoned managers are hamstrung by family control."

Morici urged the chairman to resign.

"If the Ford family is not willing to relinquish control, investors should dump Ford stock as quickly as they can write a sell order. (General Motors Corp.) entered the last crisis in as poor a situation as Ford but has moved more quickly to address some of the problems besetting domestic automakers," Morici said.

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