November 13, 2003
Ford unhappy with credit rating downgrade
Detroit, Michigan – Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade Ford’s credit rating to BBB-/A-3 received an angry response from Ford Motor Company group vice president and chief financial officer, Don Leclair, on Wednesday.
“We do not agree with Standard & Poor’s conclusion. We do not believe it accurately reflects the state of our business and the positive progress we have made over the past two years. We’re introducing great new products, we’ve exceeded our cost cutting targets, our cash availability is outstanding and we are on track to achieve our financial milestones for 2003,” said Leclair.
Leclair said the company has exceptionally strong liquidity, with $48 billion in cash and cash equivalents. “Through the first nine months of 2003, we have reduced costs by $2.7 billion when compared with 2002 and expect our full-year cost performance will be around $3 billion. Ford Motor Company has a strong range of products, and will introduce 40 new products worldwide in the upcoming year. We are in a solid position with a strong plan in place. We have every reason to believe our financial position will continue to improve,” said Leclair.