Ford's Scheele -UK must decide soon to join euro
LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co. President and Chief Operating Officer Nick Scheele said on Tuesday that Britain should make a commitment soon to join the euro as that would help businesses like his.
Scheele, speaking on BBC Radio 4, said Ford was a huge exporter but suffered a competitive disadvantage to companies inside the euro zone because of the pound's strong exchange rate.
"I'd like to see us move, I'd like us to move quickly. I'd like to see a declaration because that would adjust the level at which sterling traded relative to the euro."
Many businesses complain sterling is too strong against the euro and that makes their exports more expensive relative to other countries' products. They also say companies within the euro zone enjoy more certainty on exchange rates.
The British government's position remains that it is in favour of joining the single currency if five economic tests it has promised to assess by next June are met. The decision is subject to approval in a referendum.
Ford Europe President Martin Leach said on an interview on CNBC the company expected the UK, which accounts for about one third of its European sales, to adopt the euro in the next few years.
"We have made our forward plans on the fact that Britain would join the euro sometime in the 2004-06 timeframe," said Leach.
"We would like to see Britain in the euro, providing of course it is at a competitive rate," he added in the interview.
The comments from executives from Ford, the world's second biggest carmaker, echoed remarks earlier this month from Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Japan's Nissan Motor Co .
He said further investment in the company's Sunderland factory in north-east England was at risk if Britain stayed out of the euro and said he was worried about having costs in pounds but revenues in euros.
Anglo Dutch consumer goods group Unilever chief Niall Fitzgerald, a board member of lobby group Britain In Europe, said last week that investment decisions may have to be reconsidered if it looked like Britain was going to stay out of the euro.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....