Call it a triple play for Ford.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Ford is on the cusp of turning a profit while market share is rising and resale values improve.
Doesn’t get much better than that in the car world, does it?
The WSJ says,
Another positive sign could come in a report expected to be released soon by auto guide Kelly Blue Book. Two Ford vehicles will appear on the list of 2010 model-year vehicles projected to retain the greatest amount of their original retail price after five years of ownership, said a person familiar with the matter. Last year, no Ford car or truck held a spot on the 2009 model-year list.
Naturally this has PR flacks at Ford in the mood to pat themselves on the back and promote the WSJ article on the company’s Facebook page. But Ford’s work is only just beginning. In fact, this article on BNET says it’s too early to jump on the Ford bandwagon:
So far so good in my opinion, but where I continue to be skeptical is whether Ford can keep it up, unless overall demand recovers more than it has.
Plus, I’m skeptical because I keep reading that consumers are supposedly rewarding Ford for not going bankrupt and taking a government bailout, or conversely that consumers are avoiding Chrysler and GM for the opposite reason.
Whatever the reasons for Ford’s success, consumers are flocking to the company’s vehicles while GM and Chrysler seriously struggle. But good things are on the horizon for both those companies, too. Fiat’s influence will bring a European flair to Chrysler, while GM continues to promise its vehicles are as good as or better than anything else on the market.
The bankruptcy memories will fade into the distant past, and then we’ll have a clearer image of which company’s vehicles are the bigger hit with consumers.
This news, though, from Automobile Magazine, could keep GM’s bankruptcy memories fresh a while longer:
Consulting firm AP Services charged the old General Motors, otherwise known as Motors Liquidation Co., $23 million for three months of work as the company prepared and filed for bankruptcy. The article says,
To finish such a large restructuring in only three months, AP Services had a team of 153 people working on GM’s bankruptcy case. Some team members charged up to $835 an hour in June when the whole company was in bankruptcy. In July, however, the team’s hourly rates dropped as creditors and government officials complained there would not be enough money to cover all the claims. Al Koch, head of AP Services and was GM’s chief restructuring officer [sic], alone made over $455,000 in the three-month period.
One guy made almost a half-million bucks from GM in three months because of the bankruptcy? Wow. Maybe there is a clear reason why folks are flocking to Ford.
Is Ford succeeding because of its vehicle quality, or because GM and Chrysler went bankrupt? Which company would you rather buy from?