Found On Road Dead

Ford continues its downward spiral, slashing production as they, duh, realize that gas hog SUVs and trucks are no longer selling well.

Check this piece of PR fluff and evasion.

Ford now expects to be about break-even companywide in 2009 on a pre-tax basis, excluding special items, as North America Automotive profitability is delayed.

Well gosh, if you ignore taxes and writeoffs, then of course the financials will look better. Translation: Ford will lose money in 2009, probably lots of it, but is pretending it won’t.

Chrysler is in near-terminal condition and Ford isn’t doing much better. Will they make it? And what happens to Detroit and the Michigan economy if they don’t?

Wayne Kramer wrote “Back To Detroit” about growing up there. Hasn’t changed much, has it?

It’s a hard wind blows through the buildings and empty lots
as the corner of Michigan and 31st waits in ruin.
And the echoes of happy shoppers faded long, long, long ago
back when Chrysler, GM and Ford went mad with greed.

Oh, how we hoped it would turn out right
going back to Detroit

One reason that Japanese carmakers are doing well is because companies there take a much longer view of things and don’t live or die by the next quarter’s projected earnings. Thus, they are somewhat less ruled by short-term greed and the necessity to boost the current stock price to keep investors happy and instead can focus more on long-term objectives – like building hybrids.