We do not agree with Standard & Poor’s conclusion. We do not believe it accurately reflects the state of our business and the positive progress we have made over the past two years. We’re introducing great new products, we’ve exceeded our cost cutting targets, our cash availability is outstanding and we are on track to achieve our financial milestones for 2003.
The facts speak for themselves:
On Oct. 16, we increased our 2003 full-year earnings guidance from continuing operations, excluding special items, from 70 cents per share to a range of 95 cents to $1.05 per share.
Through the first nine months of 2003, we have reduced costs by $2.7 billion when compared with 2002 and expect our full-year cost performance will be around $3 billion.
Ford Motor Company has a strong range of products, and will introduce 40 new products worldwide in the upcoming year.
We have exceptionally strong liquidity, with $48 billion in cash and cash equivalents.
We are in a solid position with a strong plan in place. We have every reason to believe our financial position will continue to improve.
Ford Motor Company Chief Financial Officer, Don Leclair, and Vice President of Finance and Treasurer, Malcolm Macdonald, today will host a conference call regarding Standard & Poor’s decision at 2 p.m. EST. The call can be accessed on a listen-only basis by dialing 800-299-7098 (International dial-in number is 617-801-9715). The passcode for both numbers is a verbal response of "Ford Fixed Income." A listen-only web cast also will be available on the Internet at www.shareholder.ford.com
. Supporting presentation material will be available prior to the call at the same web site address. Members of the media and investment community representatives participating by teleconference will have an opportunity to ask questions following the presentation.