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Ford: WTF?

Editorial Staff

131,400 - the number of minutes in a three months

44140 - the number of USD Ford has lost in each one of them

46,326 - the average annual income for Americans 2005 - Source US Census Office.

Figures released by Ford yesterday afternoon show a loss in the last quarter of USD5.8 milliard, bringing the total losses for this year to date to slighly in excess of USD7 milliard.

Ford says that it is to close plants and make substantial jobs cuts in order to try to turn the company around, and that more than 3 milliard of the latest figures is to factor in that "restructuring" cost. That's just words to disguise the fact that the company loses, each minute, almost enough to provide an American earning average pay with his full annual salary.

But it will have a hard time doing that as unions fight against closures. Already it's trying to sell off the family jewels with its European operations at Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin and Volvo all being declared non-sacrosanct if a company buyer comes along.

The trouble for Ford USA is that car buyers are just what are not coming along. After all, if one plunders Jaguar to the point where there is little differentiation with a Lincoln, then why buy a Jag? And if a constant range of Ford's SUVs eats Range Rover's market to the point where the only truly differentiating factor is a Union Flag on the wing and an inflated price tag, then why would anyone choose a Range Rover? After all, they can have a Toyota Harrier with a Lexus badge for about the same money.

The figures are shocking. Someone, somewhere is stumping up vast amounts of money to keep Ford going. What's the point?

This quarter's figures show that Ford has lost the equivalent of an typical American's average pay every minute.

We can't help but repeat it. It's just so mad.