Ford supported the auto bailout
You may have heard about or seen the new ad from the Ford Motor Company. It features a Joe Sixpack-type guy that bought a new truck from the automaker who is pulled into a “press conference” and asked why he purchased his new vehicle from them. He said, “I wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government,” adding “[t]hat’s what America’s about is taking the chance to succeed and understanding that when you fail that you gotta pick yourself up and go back to work”:
It’s a smart ad to run in today’s political climate given the constant intervention and spending from Washington, but it’s also incredibly misleading.
It’s true that Ford declined money offered by the government, but they endorsed the auto bailout. While defending his company’s decision not to participate in the bailout, Ford CEO Alan Mulally was very supportive of it in a November 2008 interview with CNN’s John Roberts:
Roberts: Why should taxpayers give you any of their hard-earned money?
Mulally: Well, I think the compelling argument is that the automobile industry is just absolutely essential to the United States’ economy. We are in an economic situation now, with the credit crisis and the financial and the banking issues, that we really, more than ever, the automobile industry needs to be part of the solution. And the only thing that we’re asking for is to set up a bridge loan mechanism so that if the economy continues to deteriorate in the near term, that we could access that so we could continue to invest in the products that people really do want and value and help be part of this economic recovery.
Before conservatives and the tea party movement start casting Ford as some sort of taxpayer heros, remember that they enabled and supported the looting of taxpayers through the failed auto bailout and they are just as responsible for creating Government Motors as GM or Chrysler.