Ford Says Future Vehicles, Including Next-Generation Ford F-150, And F-150 Hybrid, Not Interrupted By Corona Virus
I’ve been getting plenty of press releases and media alerts from Ford over issues related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many of these stories have been documented here on Torque News, which should be your source for all things Ford.
As I was reading the latest press release regarding Ford’s Corona virus update, one line jumped out to me that should give some Blue Oval fans some peace of mind. Ford announced a suspension of their dividend plan for those who invest in Ford stock. But directly from the press release shows encouraging news when it comes to new products, especially the much anticipated next-generation F-150, which includes a hybrid version of America’s best-selling pickup truck. Here’s the line:
“At the same time, Ford announced it has suspended the company’s dividend, prioritizing near-term financial flexibility and continued investments in an ambitious series of new-product launches in 2020 and long-term growth initiatives.”
Clearly this means that Ford is trying to focus on launches like the Ford Bronco as well as long-term initiatives which surely includes F-150 hybrid and probably the all-electric F-150. That’s some good news, in a time where we need more good news.
‘Built To Lend A Hand’ Program Financially Assists New Vehicle Owners
Speaking of positive news, I reported yesterday on Ford’s “Built to Lend a Hand” program which provides payment relief for up to six months for many new Ford owners.
Under the new program, developed with its dealers, Ford is offering six months of payment relief for eligible new-car customers who finance their purchases through Ford Credit. Ford will pay for three months and customers can defer for up to three more for a total of six months. The program is for people purchasing 2019 and 2020 model-year vehicles, excluding 2020 Super Duty trucks.
“Our dealers are incredibly connected to their communities,” said Kumar Galhotra, president, Ford North America. “And they’re willing to lend a hand by doing whatever it takes to help our customers in this time of need.”
More information on this program is available on Ford’s website.
COVID-19 News from Ford
Ford notified its lenders that it will borrow money against two lines of credit. The incremental cash from these borrowings will be used to offset the temporary working capital impacts of the coronavirus-related production shut downs and to preserve Ford’s financial flexibility.
“While we obviously didn’t foresee the coronavirus pandemic, we have maintained a strong balance sheet and ample liquidity so that we could weather economic uncertainty and continue to invest in our future,” Hackett said. “Our Ford people are extremely resilient and motivated, and I’m confident in the actions we are taking to navigate the current uncertainty while continuing to build toward the future.”
Ford this week announced plans to temporarily stop production at its plants in North America and Europe starting today. The actions were taken to protect the health and safety of employees and respond to issues with the supply chain and other constraints. The company will work with labor representatives to safely and effectively restart production in the weeks to come.
Hackett noted China was the first country to face the virus and is now emerging from the coronavirus crisis and showing improvements in automobile demand. This news on the China recovery should be a source of optimism about the overall economic recovery as the virus abates, he said.
Many tried and true Ford investors and supporters noted that it’s nice to see Ford working hard to manage the turbulent times by not seeking government assistance. Ford managed to survive the last financial hardship without doing that as well, which really positioned themselves well in the market and to take a share of the market from their competitors who did take government assistance.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. In addition to being a nationally syndicated automotive columnist, Jimmy is also author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, and Twitter.