Although Ford is the only American automaker currently not operating with the federal loans, it is not faring the economic downturn much better than its rivals. It posted a $5.9 billion loss for the last three months of 2008-$3.1 billion more than it did for the same time period last year.
"Ford and the entire auto industry faced an extraordinary slowdown in all major global markets in the fourth quarter that clearly had an impact on our results," said Ford CEO Alan Mulally. Ford posted a net loss of $14.6 billion, compared to 2007's $2.7 billion loss.
Despite a $1.83 billion monthly cash burn rate during the fourth quarter, Ford CFO Lewis Booth said it expects to burn less cash this year. "We look at our burn rate every day," Booth said. "We are confident that our burn rate will substantially slow in 2009, including in the first quarter."
Ford will draw on $10.1 billion of its $10.6 billion in credit lines today. The money is expected to arrive Tuesday, and will put Ford's cash reserves at $26 billion, discounting what it spends in January. It does not expect its North American operations to return to profit until 2011, but it also has one of most optimistic outlooks for 2009 sales among automakers.
Source: Automotive News