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Ford calls for government transparency in dealing with GM, Chrysler
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15:05, June 16, 2009

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U.S. Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford said Monday that government intervention has taken the automobile industry into uncharted territory and called for "transparency" from the government, the Detroit News reported.

"There are issues that we just don't have answers to yet in terms of government ownership in our industry and what that's going to mean," he told reporters in Detroit.

Ford said Ford Motor Co., the only American automaker that has not been bailed out by Washington and has not filed for bankruptcy, retains its independence and will be better able to respond to changes in the marketplace.

"We can make quick decisions, we can make long term decisions and we can continue to work the plan we have in place with minimal distraction," he said.

"(It) does give us an advantage. Now, what are the longer term implications? I don't know. And I think it's important that we do have transparency though with the government in terms of the decision making process at General Motors and, I guess to a lesser extent, at Chrysler."

The U.S. government owns 8 percent of Chrysler and will have a majority stake in GM when the automaker emerges from bankruptcy. Both companies are undergoing radical restructurings under government and court supervision, including the elimination of dealerships, factories and product lines.

Some analysts question whether the downsizing moves, designed to cut costs, reduce debt and position the two automakers to become more competitive, will place Ford at a disadvantage over time.

Ford said the government's stated position that it wants to get out of the automobile business as quickly as possible is the right one, but he questioned how and when that would happen.


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