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Ford welcomes GM and Chrysler bailout

Ford has welcomed the US government's decision to provide $17.4 billion of emergency funding for rivals GM and Chrysler, but reiterated that it is not seeking any short-term financial assistance.

"All of us at Ford appreciate the prudent step the administration has taken to address the near-term liquidity issues of GM and Chrysler," said Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally.

"The US auto industry is highly interdependent, and a failure of one of our competitors would have a ripple effect that could jeopardise millions of jobs and further damage the already weakened US economy."

Ford is asking for access to a line of credit of up to $9 billion in bridge financing, but said it hopes to complete its transformation without accessing a government loan.

Ford recently submitted to Congress its comprehensive business plan, which details the company's plan to return to pre-tax profitability by 2011, which includes the introduction of more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The founding Ford family currently controls 40% of the company although it owns less than 4% of the stock. Chairman Bill Ford, great-grandson of company founder Henry, believes the company benefits from the long-term stability provided by the family's involvement.

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