Ford Says it Doesn't Need Short-term Loans from Bailout

Renewed request for $9 billion line of credit

Ford Motor Co. said on Dec. 19 it would not need a short-term loan from the government, but lauded the Bush administration's decision to extend aid to its cash-strapped competitors and renewed a request for a $9 billion dollar line of credit.

"We do not face a near-term liquidity issue, and we are not seeking short-term financial assistance from the government," Ford CEO Alan Mulally said.

Ford said it hoped to restructure its business without government assistance but requested the $9 billion line of credit as a "critical backstop or safeguard against worsening conditions."

"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."

Ford said that while it is working to aggressively reduce costs it will continue to invest heavily in product development, including approximately$14 billion over the next seven years to improve the fuel economy of its vehicles. Ford said the comprehensive restructuring plan it presented to Congress will allow it to return to profitability by 2011.

"While we clearly still have much more work to do, I am more convinced than ever that we have the right plan that will create a viable Ford going forward and position us for profitable growth," Mulally said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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