Ford Trouble

The Ford Motor Company has posted its largest loss in 103 years of doing business.

Ford lost more than $12 billion last year and Governor Fletcher has called this a great concern. He said state officials are negotiating a plan to keep the automotive giant in Kentucky. Ford has two plants in Louisville.

Even for a company used to disappointing news, the announcement was a jaw-dropper.

“I’m flabbergasted. The only thing I can say to that is wow,” Ford worker, Kevin Doss said.

Ford posted its biggest one-year loss ever ... $12.7 billion. Nearly half that deficit came in the final three months of 2006, as the company struggled with crippling costs and dismal sales.

“They only really make money on the F-Series and a little bit of money on the Ford Mustang. Generally they lose money ... up to $4,400 per vehicle,” said Rebecca Lindland, auto analyst for Global Insight.

The past twelve months for Ford have been a white-knuckle ride. In November, more than 38,000 union employees, half its hourly work force, accepted early retirement and buyout offers. The company hired a new CEO, announced a massive vehicle recall and was nearly surpassed by Toyota in U.S. market sales.

“I hope that we have the resources to bounce back. That’s all I can say because I didn’t take the buyout. I’m in it for the long haul,” Doss said.

Despite the record loss, Ford believes it’s in the midst of a turnaround, saying in a statement:

“We began aggressive actions in 2006 to restructure our automotive business. We fully recognize our business reality and are dealing with it. We have a plan and we are on track to deliver.”

Ford said 2007 will be a pivotal year. It expects the introduction of new and updated models to improve sales and insists the restructuring plan it calls “the way forward” is not a road to nowhere.