Is there light at the end of the tunnel for Detroit, or at least Ford? A couple meager quotes from Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. suggests the bleeding has been staunched in the past couple weeks:
AP: Ford, speaking to reporters in Dearborn at an event to preview new models, said a lot will depend on the last week of the month, traditionally the biggest sales week in December because people are off work for the holidays.
“December for us is turning out relatively well,” Ford said. “So far it doesn’t look so bad.”
Ford sales slid 31 per cent in November when compared with the same month last year, and they’re off almost 20 per cent for the first 11 months of the year. The entire U.S. auto industry is down 16 per cent for the year.
We wouldn’t put much stock in these comments, but it’s a little something to be optimistic about. That being said, right now it all hangs on what kind of TARP-based bailout the White House has planned. Ford says it doesn’t need the cash right away, but barring a real turnaround, it’s need is really a matter of when, not if.