Do Obama haters love Ford?
The automaker likes to remind us that it didn't take a government bailout like its Detroit rivals, but does the story resonate with car buyers?
By Ted Reed, TheStreet
The Ford story has always been a tale of a company that eschewed a government bailout and pulled itself up by its bootstraps. And Ford has never been shy about telling it. Ford executives, from CEO Alan Mulally on down, have said regularly that the story has helped Ford sales.
A recent TV ad lets a Ford F150 buyer tell the story in his own words: "I wasn't going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government," says the buyer, identified only as Chris. "I was going to buy from a manufacturer that's standing on their own: win, lose, or draw.
"That's what America is about, is taking the chance to succeed and understanding when you fail that you gotta' pick yourself up and go back to work," Chris said. "Ford is that company for me."
Forget the bad grammar because, after all, written English and spoken English are two different languages. Also forget that Ford has decided for some reason to stage faux press conferences in its ads, perhaps to underscore their faux authenticity.
The point is that the country of Abraham Lincoln has not changed much. We like self-reliant companies and people who walked to school in bad weather, uphill both ways.
It remains to be seen whether we also like a president who spent billions to bail out automakers GM and Chrysler and, so far, did not get every penny back.
In comments on our story "Obama haters shun GM," some readers told us that they would never buy a GM vehicle again. Some vastly prefer Ford. But of course, even before 1929 -- the last time our economy collapsed -- our country was split between Ford buyers and GM buyers.
It can be argued that saving GM and Chrysler was a brilliant move that not only preserved a key segment of our manufacturing sector but also created healthier, restructured companies that will benefit millions of shareholders, employees and automobile buyers. In particular, had the companies failed, taxpayers would have picked up billions in pension obligations.
But it cannot be said that GM and Chrysler are self-reliant. Only Ford has been that.
Ironic that now the UAW is going after Mulally for his "excessive pay package".
You couldn't buy the type of goodwill he created for $25 million.
For someone who SAVED a multi billion dollar company like Ford, $25 million is chump change.
As a Ford dealer today, I still have people showing up in my showroom telling me "the only reason they're here is because Ford didn't take the bailout money".
PLEASE Keep up the good work, and don't let the new Ford fall back into the old way of doing business!
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