Shocker: Ford beats Government Motors in Q1

posted at 12:12 pm on May 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

“Beats” being a relative term of the amount of red ink, of course.  Oddly, the New York Times and the AP neglected to mention this rather notable occurance, but BizzyBlog did the work that American journalists apparently won’t — research.  For the first time in 80 years, Ford outsold GM, bringing in a topline number of $24.8 billion in sales, against the bailed-out automaker’s $22.4 billion.  Both companies had severe reductions in global sales over 2008′s Q1 figures, with Ford losing almost $15 billion in revenue — and GM over $20 billion.

Ford beat GM on the bottom line, too, although that victory seems somewhat Pyrrhic as well.  GM lost six billion dollars on the bottom line, while Ford managed to stanch the bleeding down to $1.4 billion.  Even that shows better efficiency at Ford, with losses amounting to 105% of sales, while GM’s loss figures to 127% of sales.  Clearly, if either or both are improving, it appears Ford is ahead of the curve compared to the formerly dominant manufacturer.

Ford wasn’t all that far behind GM last year, but the marketplace has shifted in Ford’s favor.  While a number of factors may play into that, could buyers have more confidence in Ford and its staying power for having opted out of the bailout?  And could this also be a signal from consumers that they will punish GM and potentially Chrysler as well for taking taxpayer money, especially since bankruptcy will occur anyway?


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GM and Chrysler are doing nothing to address the problems that will force them out of business. The government will have them build cars that nobody wants. FIAT? If Fiat thought it could sell cars here, they’d already be doing it. GM has too many lines, and too many expenses. They’ll be the next for bankruptcy, which means they’ll be stripped of assets to pay the UAW.

If I was a GM bondholder, I’d be looking for some other sucker to buy my bonds.

Ford is rolling up its sleeves and getting to work. Americans like that, and will buy their cars. GM is begging people to buy them with their “rally cap” campaign – that bugs the crap out of me, and probably other folks as well. Do they really think I’ll buy a new car from Government Motors out of PITY?

hawksruleva on May 7, 2009 at 1:31 PM

Doesn’t Limbaugh advertise GM too? Look at it this way. The Obama administration is financially supporting Hannity and Limbaugh…with our money.

Oldnuke on May 7, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Good point. But it’s still dirty money stolen from our grandkids and while the rest was flushed down the drain.

shick on May 7, 2009 at 1:32 PM

shick on May 7, 2009 at 1:31 PM

It shouldn’t. Contracts are contracts. They honor their signatures. When the contract expires then I expect changes.

Limerick on May 7, 2009 at 1:32 PM

It shouldn’t. Contracts are contracts. They honor their signatures. When the contract expires then I expect changes.

Limerick on May 7, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Another good point I hadn’t thought of. Thanks Limerick!

shick on May 7, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Clearly, Barry is going to have to find a way to defeat Ford. Probably mandate only GM cars for government fleets.

Vashta.Nerada on May 7, 2009 at 1:35 PM

Gee, if they both dumped the unions they could turn those losses into a rather healthy profit.

fogw on May 7, 2009 at 12:31 PM

This would be a great line to put in their Annual Report to Shareholders:

While we took losses yet again this year, it should be noted that our loss was less than the difference between union and non-union labor rates, meaning that if we were paying non-union wages (i.e; the labor rates of our profitable competitors) to our labor force, Ford Motor Company would have reported a profit for the period.

We therefore have determined to move that portion of union labor cost that is above non-union labor cost out of “Expense” and into “Special Charge”, reflecting the true nature and source of the Profit/Loss data.

BobMbx on May 7, 2009 at 1:36 PM

In this economic climate, with the amount of fear generated by the criminal cabal in the WH, a 1.4B loss for Ford is a miracle. Kudos to management.

notagool on May 7, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Punish is such a nasty term. I prefer “Boycott for life”.

Immolate on May 7, 2009 at 1:42 PM

Where’s the list of non-TARP banks? I want to bank there…

beatcanvas on May 7, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Unfortunately I think all banks are beholden to the govt through the FDIC.
So in reality, all of us that have $$ in banks are eventually the pawn of the govt.

Badger40 on May 7, 2009 at 1:45 PM

I see only one thing that can happen now. Obama and his Chicago Thug politics will need to modify fuel/safety/emissions/etc… standards to run Ford into the ground.

While the press will jump at the chance to aid Obama in any way possible.

cntrlfrk on May 7, 2009 at 1:45 PM

The best and fastest way to minimize our long-term exposure as taxpayers to the bottomless pit of waste that is GM is to not buy their cars, new or used, for any reason. Even if you buy their cars for thousands off cost, you’re just helping the White House prop up the fiction of a viable car company. If you play that game, ten years from now we have GMUS producing cars for half the price of Ford and doubling Ford’s sales but 60% of the cost of each vehicle will be subsidized by the American taxpayer.

Just another form of wealth redistribution and I’m not signing up for that.

Immolate on May 7, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Unfortunately I think all banks are beholden to the govt through the FDIC. So in reality, all of us that have $$ in banks are eventually the pawn of the govt.

Badger40 on May 7, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Well, and all car manufacturers have to toe the line on unions and environmental regulations. Can’t keep the government completely out of everything yet…

Recently, a list of TARP-taking banks was posted here. I put it in a spreadsheet on my web site so I could see it by state. I don’t want to bank at TARP banks just like I don’t want to buy a car from Government Motors.

I learned that Charles Schwab didn’t take money. What others banks? How soon will it impact customer decisions on where to bank? I think it should, especially after the results leaked of the stress tests. We have the choice as consumers to do business with non-government businesses.

beatcanvas on May 7, 2009 at 1:58 PM

I sooo look forward to not buying a GM or Chrysler product next year. All of my family and friends feel the same way — with an almost electric enthusiasm.

Way to go, bailout geniuses:

You’ve lost billions of taxpayer funds in carmaker charity that will never be paid back as they go into bankruptcy anyway.

You’ve handed your union thugocracy soon-to-be worthless companies. (Suck on that, UAW.)

You’ve pissed off millions of potential car buyers who will revel in not purchasing any vehicle that has even a sniff of your filthy, lying, sleazy, putrid, scuzzy, creepy, foul, and toxic paws on its corporate identity.

Wow, sure wish I went to Harvard so I could be smart.

Take a bow.

Dion on May 7, 2009 at 2:03 PM

could buyers have more confidence in Ford and its staying power for having opted out of the bailout? And could this also be a signal from consumers that they will punish GM and potentially Chrysler as well for taking taxpayer money

You hit the nail on the head here, I am planning to buy a new car this year and have pretty much settled on a Ford Fusion, as I refuse to buy from UAW Motors, or a company that will soon no longer exist (Chrysler).

PS – I was originally going with a Hyundai Sonata, but I want to help Ford, even if the car is made in Mexico. Although the Hyundai is made in the USA… hmmmm, conundrum…

bspoogeferd on May 7, 2009 at 2:03 PM

PS – I was originally going with a Hyundai Sonata, but I want to help Ford, even if the car is made in Mexico. Although the Hyundai is made in the USA… hmmmm, conundrum…

bspoogeferd on May 7, 2009 at 2:03 PM

You’re still supporting the UAW by buying Ford.

And Hyundai’s good. I’m not gonna lie.

Chaz706 on May 7, 2009 at 2:06 PM

In the interest of full disclosure…if I were in the market for a new car, it wouldn’t be American…unless you consider the Nissan’s built in Smyrna, TN as American since American workers build them.

And I do.

ladyingray on May 7, 2009 at 2:15 PM

First On Race Day..

BobMbx on May 7, 2009 at 1:23 PM

No Chevies racing that day eh?

faol on May 7, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Well, and all car manufacturers have to toe the line on unions and environmental regulations. Can’t keep the government completely out of everything yet…

beatcanvas on May 7, 2009 at 1:58 PM

I agree with this point. But when you open the door for govt to save your a$$, even a little bit, they will bust down your back door while you’re occupied.
I,too, believe industry needs regs dictated by the govt.
But they need to be simple & not onerous.
Take for instance the anti-trust problems we have here.
The US govt has allowed many institutions to concentrate, effectively drowning out competition.
So if one corporation owns 70% of everything in a certain industry(ies) then how can there be healthy competition?
Since our govt doesn’t really ever enforce this stuff, we have such high concentration in many markets that it has become almost impossible to determined where one company’s interest begins & another ends.

We have the choice as consumers to do business with non-government businesses.

beatcanvas on May 7, 2009 at 1:58 PM

I agree. Which is why I still bank at our little hometown bank.
But unfortunately we cannot get the big ag $$ loans we need through our little bank all the time. We have to go through the state -owned Bank of ND.
I don’t mind paying a higher interest rate at my small bank bcs they believe in me as a business owner.
BND does, too bcs it’s state-not Fed.
But in the end, the Feds win over bcs they set the rules in the 1st place & no one is holding them accountable when they change the rules in mid-stream.

Badger40 on May 7, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Is there a list of businesses that look to government handouts in one form or another? Has anyone compiled that?

I’m up for voting with my feet and some public shaming.

beatcanvas on May 7, 2009 at 2:25 PM

How many of these company execs, and employees donated to, and voted for Obama? I’m curious on that as well. How could they not see this coming? I wonder what’s going thru their minds now? Regret? Anger? Disgust? Or are they getting thrills up their legs too, to have this forced down their collective throats?

capejasmine on May 7, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Do like my family did. We moved our account from an OBAMA bank and are refusing to purchase GM or Chrysler. I wrote a very nice letter to both of my senators, my congressman, Dirty Harry and Plastic Peolsi. I forwarded that letter to everyone I knew and asked them to do the same!

sargentj on May 7, 2009 at 2:59 PM

For those of you who may not know this, Ford has been down this road before. Ford vs FDR, it got really, really ugly.
Enjoy reading!

http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=346

sargentj on May 7, 2009 at 3:03 PM

Odie1941 on May 7, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Odie, you need to send that in to Ford. SERIOUSLY.

koz on May 7, 2009 at 3:06 PM

No Chevies racing that day eh?

faol on May 7, 2009 at 2:17 PM

A prophecy. In 5 years, GM cars won’t need restrictor plates in order to qualify at the super tracks. My guess is the Ford racing teams will be using the GovMobile (GM) to shuttle from the pit to the garage area, etc..

BobMbx on May 7, 2009 at 3:13 PM

In the interest of full disclosure…if I were in the market for a new car, it wouldn’t be American…unless you consider the Nissan’s built in Smyrna, TN as American since American workers build them

Here is a list of united auto workers built cars in the US to avoid. It was easier to compile this list than those that were not built by unions. AVOID THESE CARS AT ALL COSTS!

Buick Lucerne
Cadillac CTS
Cadillac DTS
Cadillac STS
Cadillac XLR
Chevrolet Cobalt
Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Malibu/Hybrid
Chrysler Sebring Convertible
Chrysler Sebring Sedan
Dodge Avenger
Dodge Caliber
Dodge Viper
Ford Focus
Ford Mustang Ford Taurus
Lincoln MKS
Mazda6
Mercury Sable
Mitsubishi Eclipse
Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
Mitsubishi Galant
Pontiac G5
Pontiac G6
Pontiac Solstice
Pontiac Vibe
Saturn Aura/Hybrid
Saturn Sky
Toyota Corolla*

UAW PICKUPS
Chevrolet Colorado
Chevrolet Silverado*
Dodge Dakota
Dodge Ram Pickup
Ford F Series* Ford Ranger
GMC Canyon
GMC Sierra*
Mazda B-Series
Toyota Tacoma*

UAW SUVs/CUVs
Buick Enclave
Cadillac Escalade/Hybrid
Cadillac Escalade ESV
Cadillac SRX
Chevrolet Suburban*
Chevrolet Tahoe*/Hybrid
Chevrolet Traverse
Chrysler Aspen/Hybrid
Dodge Durango/Hybrid
Dodge Nitro
Ford Escape/Hybrid
Ford Expedition
Ford Explorer
Ford Explorer Sport Trac
Ford Taurus X
GMC Acadia
GMC Yukon*/Hybrid H2 Hummer
H3 Hummer
Jeep Commander
Jeep Compass
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Jeep Liberty
Jeep Patriot
Jeep Wrangler
Lincoln Navigator
Mazda Tribute/Hybrid
Mercury Mariner/Hybrid
Mercury Mountaineer
Mitsubishi Endeavor
Saturn Outlook

UAW VANS
Chevrolet Express
Ford Econoline GMC Savana

CAW CARS
Buick Lacrosse
Chevrolet Camaro
Chevrolet Impala
Chrysler 300
Dodge Challenger Dodge Charger
Ford Crown Victoria
Lincoln Town Car
Mercury Grand Marquis

CAW SUVs/CUVs
Chevrolet Equinox
Ford Edge
Ford Flex
Lincoln MKT Lincoln MKX
Pontiac Torrent
Suzuki XL7

UAW/CAW PICKUPS
Chevrolet Silverado*/Hybrid GMC Sierra*/Hybrid

CAW Vans
Chrysler Town & Country
Dodge Grand Caravan Volkswagen Routan

IUE SUVs/CUVs
Chevrolet Trailblazer GMC Envoy

sargentj on May 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM

but 60% of the cost of each vehicle will be subsidized by the American taxpayer.

Just another form of wealth redistribution and I’m not signing up for that.

Immolate on May 7, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Next: means tested discounts or “sliding scale” pricing.

You heard it here first!

RegularJoe on May 7, 2009 at 4:43 PM

And could this also be a signal from consumers that they will punish GM and potentially Chrysler as well for taking taxpayer money, especially since bankruptcy will occur anyway?

Yes.

my next vehicle WILL be a Ford of some type… hopefully a Mustang!

VROOM VROOM!!!!

Yakko77 on May 7, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Is there a future with NASCAR only having Fords and Toyotas in the races? I ask that because when K-Mart was in bankruptcy a few years ago, the trustee forced K-Mart to end its sponsorship. I do not know how much money GM and Chrysler put into motorsports, but you can bet the track that the Thugocracy in DC will end it.

Pelayo on May 7, 2009 at 5:44 PM

I think Nascar saw this coming to some extent, and allowed Toyota in to begin diversification. I suspect they’ll survive, but be a bit smaller by 2012. They may allow some other “foreign” makes if necessary.

Haven’t followed it as much lately, but I think they’re moving away from the “distinctive” Ford vs. GM vs. Chrysler styles anyway, toward more uniformity and focus on individual driver skill.

cs89 on May 7, 2009 at 6:28 PM

I will be boycotting GM and chrysler till the day I die. to hell with them if they can’t make it on their own they do not deserve to survive

unseen on May 7, 2009 at 7:29 PM

I’ll never buy a GM or Chrysler vehicle. And I hope Ron Gettelfinger gets cancer of the penis.

ardenenoch on May 7, 2009 at 8:51 PM

The Atlas Shrugged approach is to boycott Chrysler – and probably GM is Obama tries to shoeve a crooked deal down the throats of the bondholders and all the ordinary folk they represent.

Britain has been bad enough for socialist dumb nonsense – but things have normally been legal over here, not a trampling on the normal laws of bankruptcy.

By the way – Fiat has no more money than the UAW. Fiat is threadbare. Some nice cars, but no cash. You are being totally conned on the Chrysler deal – with many more billions of taxpayer dollars being committed to a lsot cause. If as looks likely it all goes pear-shaped, Fiat will walk away with some juicy pieces, nil penalty, and Obama will find some way of baling out the UAW.

What happened to the rule of law ?

JohninLondon on May 7, 2009 at 9:55 PM

Definitely if I buy American I buy:
For Our Redistribution Defense

dhunter on May 7, 2009 at 10:49 PM

GM is a corpse. Bury it already.

ddrintn on May 7, 2009 at 11:48 PM

I like Ford’s hydrogen vehicles (click me; click me again. If we ever get more nuke plants built we can use their excess capacity to start making hydrogen.

Theworldisnotenough on May 7, 2009 at 12:42 PM

.
I like hydrogen/IC, because it uses of the shelf technology. Also cost effective wind or solar would work as an energy source as well.

darktood on May 8, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Definitely if I buy American I buy:
For Our Redistribution Defense

dhunter on May 7, 2009 at 10:49 PM

In ther old days that was Figure On Repairs Daily. That was so close to the truth that I never bought one since my (RIP) pre-historic Mustang.

Annar on May 8, 2009 at 11:53 AM

What happened to the rule of law ?

JohninLondon on May 7, 2009 at 9:55 PM

Ask Chrysler – it became Rule by FIAT.

Blacksmith on May 8, 2009 at 1:34 PM

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