No matter how much good news Ford Motor Company executives release to the bean counters on Wall Street, the more they say the companies efforts are not enough and more needs to be done to bring the company back to profitability. No one has criticized Ford more than I have, but enough is enough. Ford is finally doing the right thing and all most experts on Wall Street can think about is Ford somehow recreating itself overnight. That is not going to happen and Ford shareholders need to either stay invested in this company or get out depending on their point of view. Over 38,000 employees decided to take early retirement when it was offered by Ford and the company is closing plants and arranging for new financing with banks to help the company make this difficult transition.
The real issue here is whether Ford Motor Company will continue to “suck up” to these Wall Street bean counters or will they just take their short term hits and do the right thing? Right now I don’t know which way Ford will decide to go, but following the stock market quarterly expectations game got them into this mess to begin with and I believe the only thing which will help this company return to profitability will be to build a better car that folks want to buy and stop listening to these short term Wall Street players who only care about quarter over quarter profit results. For the first time in years, I believe, Ford is trying to do the right thing, but if the company focuses too much on what Wall Street thinks, they will fail once again in building their company brand back to what it once was in the United States and abroad.
I am proud to be the owner of a Ford car and I will buy one again if the company continue to do the right thing and focus on long term quality improvements instead of short term gimmicks like rebates and low interest rates. I have been on record here as saying that Ford Motor Company made a huge mistake, years ago, when they decided to lower the quality of their brand image in order to sell more cars each month at whatever price the market would accept. I once worked in a Ford retail location and from the dealer ownership on down, all anyone cared about was reaching a unit sale volume number each month and if that required selling cars below cost, then that is exactly what they did. This short-term focus on sales, no matter what, caused the American consumer to view Ford products as something cheap, instead of a vehicle with value for the long run.
In the past few months, the board of directors at Ford Motor Company made big management changes to help guide the company back from the brink of bankruptcy. However, no matter how many good decisions the new management at Ford are making right now, it will never be enough for the short term bean counters on Wall Street and, I for one, hope sincerely that Ford management continues to listen to that voice in their head that says that these Wall Street guys are not interested in saving the company, instead they only desire to find stocks, which they can purchase on a short term basis, and earn huge profits, quickly. I believe that analysts and other pundits on Wall Street are doing more damage to American companies than ever before and company executives who make the decision to listen to these nuts are usually disappoint, over the long run, because good ideas take time to develop and Wall Street doesn’t believe in long term approaches to business success.
There is much more to the Ford Motor Company than its stock price or its quarterly profit number. Even with tens of thousands of people taking early retirement at the company, tens of thousands more still work for Ford and I believe the vast majority of those workers want to build a good product that American drivers want to purchase. There have been problems before in the US auto industry and there will be future problems even if the big three get back on their feet and start selling millions of cars once again. However, it might be a good idea, if the Ford family could come up with the cash and financing, to take their family business private so that management could take a long range view of bring this great company back to life. Many company owners have found out how big of a mistake it can be to take their pride and joy businesses into the public arena.
Sure there are short-term riches beyond the belief of most people when a successful company goes public. However, there is a huge long term downside when Wall Street bean counters, that are never satisfied with quarter over quarter results, start eventually blasting a shock which will send that companies shares into the tank. I will say once again that any large company will eventually hit the wall when it comes to this quarterly earnings game and once they miss a number, even just one time, then everyone on Wall Street will move on to the next big name to produce short term profits. It is so critical for US automakers to get away from this stupid quarterly game and start focusing on the long-term success of their companies.
It would be a disaster for Ford Motor Company to go into bankruptcy and possibly be taken over by foreign automakers like Toyota or Honda. While some of you might think that the ideas and vision of Henry Ford are old fashion in this modern world, I happen to think his original ideas are the only thing, which will save this proud company from receivership in a US Bankruptcy Court. For Ford Motor Company there are no short term fixes anymore and the only way to rebuild this great company is from the bottom up and the only people who have the patience to do such a thing are the few folks who still care about the Ford name, more than the companies current stock price.
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