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Bet On People Who Actually Pay Their Mortgage: Lewis Booth, American Hero

My first car was a used Ford Galaxy 500 XLThat'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!

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I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson, AZ Mortgage lender.
Mike Jones (Tucson Mortgage Company, LLC): Loan Officer in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona
Think of me as your Tucson mortgage expert.

Call me if I can help you with a purchase or refi mortgage;
(520) 349-9090

Comment balloon 21 commentsMike Jones • March 12 2009 08:53AM

Comments

Mike, I too had one of those 65 Galaxies, with a 390 and a 4-speed, (I was a bit wild as a teenager).  Today I have a 2005 F-150, one of several Fords I have owned.  I admire what Ford is doing and hope they succeed.  Oh, I pay my mortgage, too.

Posted by John Mulkey, Housing Guru (TheHousingGuru.com) over 11 years ago

Nice car...had a 1966 Galaxie 500 XL 2 door with a 390 4 barrel.  And before that a 1964 like you have pictured and similiarly rigged. Those cars could haul. Wonder how many people drive the same kinds of cars their parents did?

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 11 years ago

Yes buy American made cars.  We are getting killed here in the metro Detroit area.  We can use all the help we can get from our fellow Americans.

Posted by Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239, Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com (Real Estate One) over 11 years ago

Mike....yep....I saw an old beat up car, like a teenager would drive. It had a bumper sticker that said "Now that I'm paying for YOUR mortgage, this is the best car I can afford"

Posted by Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner, Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395 (Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395) over 11 years ago

I was very happy to hear that at least one place wasn't taking the bailout money. Great story Mike! Fords have always been my favorite cars and now here's one more reason.

Posted by Mandi Perkins (Pioneer Title Agency) over 11 years ago

Woo hoo! Go Ford Go Ford Go Ford

Everybody asks if I'm a member of the Ford family. This could suggest I gave birth to the president's child, became engaged to the rodeo son or Henry's picture hangs above the mantle.

My answer usually includes I don't drive Fords. But I did and yikes it is getting to be quite awhile ago.

A year after Steve and I had our first baby, I got my first car. Funny huh? Our friends practically gave it to us and it was a fiery red 1968 (think I have the year right) Ford Galaxie. With a BIG engine. Beth rode in what passed as a car seat while we ran around town in a car way too big for me. But it was a great car and had those power things where you just pushed a button to open and close the windows.

Since then we've owned many cars, none of them by Ford. But I might have to change my thinking on this. I love what Ford has done and am proud to say, YES! of course I am a full-fledged member of The Ford Family.

  • Thanks Mike for pointing out great news (and tickling a fun fun memory) kate ford of the ford family
Posted by Kate Kate over 11 years ago

Mike,

I may have to consider my future car buying preferences!!! Thanks,  Fran

Posted by Fran Gaspari, "The Title Man" - Title Insurance - PA & NJ (Patriot Land Transfer, Inc.) over 11 years ago

Mike,

Great information!

I too have a place in my hart for Fords with 352's. When I turned 15 Dad bought a used Ford wagon for me to learn to drive in (well on the street any way, I'd been driving farm equipment) I got my permit and had 10,000 miles on that car before I got my license on my 16th birthday. I loved that car and that engine!

Bill

Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) over 11 years ago

Ford has the right idea too bad other companies are looking for an easy way to correct  bad decisions from the past.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) over 11 years ago

Mike --  Great photo, my Galaxie was the bright green.  It would power slide around the curves, was solid and reliable.  Hope Ford Motor Company can lean it back.  Gutsy move to pass up the "free" government money.

List and Sell (had a 58 T-Bird too, wish I still did)   Gary @ RentonHomeFinder.com

Posted by Gary McNinch, Broker, Renton WA Real Estate (Better Properties Real Estate) over 11 years ago

HI MIKE! I can see from this post that one of the reasons they build solid, practical cars for the average hard worker is because they understand what it means to live like one.  We have A Model-T, Model A, '55 and '65 pickups that are standing the test of time. Just another reason to continue supporting FOMOCO for a long time to come. Nice post!  Gab

Posted by Gabrielle Kamahele Rhind, Broker/Owner (KGC Properties LLC, Tucson Property Management & Real Estate) over 11 years ago

I really appreciate those that choose to make the tough decisions.  Taking bailout money is like getting help from your parents, sooner or later you have to start depending on yourself.  I would bet it will be a benefit to Ford in the long run.

Posted by Tony and Libby Kelly, CRS, ABR, ePro, SRES, CLHMS, CDPE (Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere) over 11 years ago

Mike,

I knew that I liked FORD for a reason.  Thanks for letting us know about the CFO.

Posted by Don Rogers, Realtor, Broker, CDPE, GRI, OnullFallon MO & St Charles County MO homes (Keller Williams Realty Chesterfield) over 11 years ago

Don,

When I uncovered this story, it made my day.  This is the United STATES of America,
not the Federal Republic of America!

Tony & Libby,

Amen to that!  I like the way you think.

Gab,

And you haven't joined the AR group CARS?!  I want photos!  :)

Gary,

And I wish I had the 1948 Pickup!  Thanks for commenting.

Terry,

I believe they do.  Thanks for stopping by.

Bill,

What a great story!  10 K before you were 16!

Fran,

You should seriously reconsider.  Thanks for commenting.

Kate FORD,

I thought you might comment!  It's time to mend your ways and get back to your roots.  What will your grandkids think?!

Mandi,

It's good to see you; thanks for commenting!  See you soon on your blog.

Karen,

I LOVE that bumper sticker!

Russ,

My kids and grandkids (some of them) live an hour north of you in Romeo, MI.  We're remembering you fine folk in prayer regularly.

Andrew,

Thanks for straightening me out on the model year.  I'll see you on your blog!

John,

Thanks for being the first to comment!  I knew you were a stand-up guy!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 11 years ago

Buy a Ford! For sure! I grew up in West Texas driving Ford Pickups and once had a girl friend who actually owned a Galaxy 500! I still have a 96 Ford Mustang GT that I refuse to sell because it is too much fun!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Gary,

My dad bought my mom a Ford Galaxy and as a teenager I got to drive it! I remember a slight fender bender one time and I was in the dog house for 2 weeks! Thanks for the information on Ford..too bad more companies are not going back to basics rather than standing with their hands out!!!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899) over 11 years ago

Dorie,

Two STATES thus far, Texas and my native South Carolina, have rejected the bailout money. along with Ford.  What interesting times we live in!

Russell,

I'd like to see a photo of the '96 Mustang!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 11 years ago

Hey Mike,

  Very well stated.  I have not looked at all at exactly what Ford was doing, but after reading your post, I do not think that I will have to.  You made extremely good, basic points on what everyone must basically do - circle the wagons, conserve cash, cut expenses that are able to be cut and make the adjustments that one can make.  Very nice job and re-iterating fiscal responsibility for big companies and individuals (now if I can only take that advice (j/k - sort of))!

Posted by Khash Saghafi NMLS, Mortgage Loan Officer, Cleveland OH NMLS 1114762 (Liberty Home Mortgage Corporation) over 11 years ago

Khash,

WELCOME to Active Rain!  Thanks for commenting, and I'll see you on your blog.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 11 years ago

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Alessandra

http://www.craigslisthelper.info

Posted by Alessandra over 11 years ago

Alessandra,

Thanks for commenting; I appreciate my readers.  Come back any time.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 11 years ago

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