Ford's Options

Go private, sell brands, or sell Ford Credit? Nothing’s easy

By now it's a familiar refrain. "Everything is on the table." That's what they are saying over and over again at Ford Motor Co. as chairman and CEO Bill Ford tries to impress shareholders, Wall Street, employees, the media, and even customers, that he knows how to make the struggling automaker competitive again.

In time for the September 14 board meeting, Ford's management team is supposed to have hatched out a plan that includes a company-wide buyout offer to pare headcount faster than the old selective buyout plan, the acceleration of a couple of key products, and an acceleration of plant closings. That's for the board meeting. Larger issues, such whether or not Ford should go private, sell Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin, shutter Lincoln Mercury, offer to take full control of Mazda, or sell a controlling stake in Ford Motor Credit are all bigger issues that will take longer than September to sort out, according to Ford executives.

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