That's my first car, a '64 Ford Galaxie 500 XL. The engine, a 352 with a 4-barrel carburetor, was a joy to the senses. Gas was $0.25 per gallon in Camden, SC. That was November 1969. I was 21. So was a young man whose dad owned a car dealership in Liverpool, England. His name is Lewis Booth.
Lewis didn't know it then, but Ford Motor Company was his future. Last November, as Lewis Booth turned 60, Ford Motor Co. tapped him as Chief Financial Officer.
As Booth looked over the financial landscape to plan Ford Motor Co.'s future path, he made a critical decision. Ford Motor Co. would not take Federal bailout money. Instead, it would conserve cash and plan to survive the recession.
Restructuring the company's debt, Booth is retiring more than $10 billion and selling off Ford's luxury Volvo line. (That's sort of like refinancing your home from a 15 year note to a 30 year note to lower the payment and selling those antiques you inherited from Grandma on Craigslist.)
In short, he's doing what millions of homeowners are doing with their own personal finances. He's keeping current on the monthly mortgage payment, conserving cash, and looking to improve the situation with the tools available to him. Lewis Booth, whose dad was a car dealer in England, believes that the future for Ford Motor Co. is brighter and more viable without government "help."
While a chorus of analysts are predicting that the company can't survive without bailout money and the handcuffs that come with it, Booth has no interest submitting the company's reins to a federal bureaucracy. A Bloomberg article quotes him as saying “What we’re doing is improving our business such that we don’t need that help. That’s what drives us.”
I know a lot of homeowners who (like me) feel the same way and wish him Godspeed.
Action item: Buy a Ford vehicle!
Call me if I can help you with a purchase or refi mortgage;