Ford Motor Company welcomes the opportunity to submit our Plan to the SenateBanking Committee, and appreciates the time and attention Congress is devoting to thecritical issues that confront the domestic automotive industry in the current economicenvironment.In this submission, we first provide an overview of the current businessenvironment, then discuss our Plan for viability, and conclude by answering the specificquestions posed in the correspondence received from Speaker of the House NancyPelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.We all have a shared interest in protecting American jobs, a vital Americanindustry and American innovation. As the Committee knows so well, the ongoingeconomic and credit crisis has affected many Americans – from losing their jobs tolosing their homes. The recession also has had very negative ramifications for the U.S.auto industry, which supports five million jobs in all 50 states and spends $12 billionannually on research and development in the U.S. – more than any other industry.We fully appreciate that the industry needs to transform itself to better competeby developing safer, greener and even better quality vehicles. We recognize Congress’important role as guardian of the American taxpayers, and we hope in our submissionthat we address your valid concerns about our potential for future viability and restoreyour confidence in our commitment to bring change and accountability.As a company and as an industry, we readily admitthat we have made our share of mistakes andmiscalculations in the past. We would askCongress to recognize, however, that Ford did notwait until the current crisis to begin our restructuringefforts, and that much of what we describe beloware actions we have taken and decisions we havemade about the future that have already put us on apath to long-term viability. During the past severalyears, Ford has begun a fundamental restructuringin the way we do business – a restructuring that, asdescribed more fully below, affects every part of ourbusiness, including product innovation, fuelefficiency, labor relations, suppliers, and dealers. Inshort, Ford recognized that our business model needed to change, and we arechanging it. We share Congress’ concern that our industry needs an aggressiverestructuring, and we at Ford already have undertaken many of the decisive actions thatwe believe are necessary to ensure our future success.
While we have much more work ahead of us, Ford did not wait until the current crisis to begin our restructuring efforts, but has already begun a fundamental restructuring in the way we do business.Our early efforts showed promise before the credit and economic crises hit earlier