Former Memphis graduate sheds light on Ford business plan - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Former Memphis graduate sheds light on Ford business plan

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Ford Motor Company submitted its business plan to Congress yesterday. If it works, the oldest automotive company in the nation will become profitable again. And one of the executives behind the plan is a graduate of what is now the University of Memphis.

Mike Bannister is Chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Credit Company, and a graduate of the University of Memphis.  
"I was there from 1970 to 1973 and I was in the business school," Bannister said

Bannister and his auto industry counterparts are hoping Congress will grant them a government bailout. But Ford has an edge in surviving the economic downturn because they have more money in the bank. 

"Unlike our competitors, we went to the marketplace in December of 2006 and we secured funding that we thought would meet our capital needs over the future 24 to 36 months that turns out to be a very prudent and timely decision," Bannister said.

Ford's request from congress is unique. They are requesting a 9 billion dollar line of credit,  but they hope they will never have to use it.

"We think that we have adequate capitol and liquidity at this point, but the market has moved very quickly and we're seeing some dynamic forces around the global marketplace. So we want to make sure given the frozen credit market that we've had to contend with for the last 90 days that we do have access to funding in the event that we need it," Bannister said.
Bannister defends Ford's CEO Alan Mulally, who made $50 million in the last 2 years and spent almost a million flying around in the company jets. 

"The corporate jets have been put up for sale and so that certainly shouldn't be a problem for anyone," Bannister said.   

And Bannister adds, his boss has volunteered to accept a $1 salary in the coming year if Ford finds it necessary to tap in to the funds they've requested.  

Ford's CEO presents the company plan to the Senate tomorrow and to the house on Friday morning.

As for when Congress will respond to their request, they do not know. But they are hoping it will be some time early next week.

Click here to e-mail Anna Marie Hartman.

Powered by Frankly