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Ford family on tenterhooks as Senate rejects bailout

The US senate has rejected a $14 billion rescue plan for America’s major automobile companies leaving family-controlled Ford unsure of its future.

The major beneficiaries of the plan were to be GM Motors and Chrysler who now face the very real prospect of bankruptcy. It is understood that the vote failed because of disagreements over how quickly union wages should be cut.

The problem for Ford is that the collapse of GM would cause it serious problems, as the company admitted earlier this week: “Ford fully supports an effort to address the near-term liquidity issues of GM and Chrysler, as our industry is highly interdependent and a failure of one of our competitors could affect us all,” it said in a statement.

Ford is in the different position of not facing a near-term liquidity issue thanks to its bigger cash reserves, but the founding family who control some 40% of the company will now be seriously worried about the long-term viability of the company set up by Henry Ford in 1903.

Descendant and current chairman Bill Ford Jr is backing the company’s plans to introduce more fuel-efficient vehicles, and has reportedly been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that the green message is getting across to the people that matter on Capitol Hill.

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