It is eerily feeling like 2008 all over again, although I certainly hope that is not the case. Hey Mary (GM CEO) and Jim (Ford CEO), sure would be nice to have those billions back you’ve sunk into self-driving cars about now, wouldn’t it? So, what happens when you burn through these credit lines? Will we see you in Washington again? Not sure that will work this time, but I digress.
Ford Motor Company is taking a series of initiatives to further bolster the company’s cash position amid the coronavirus health crisis, maintain strategic flexibility on behalf of its team and customers, and set up Ford to separate itself from competitors when the global economy emerges from the current period of acute uncertainty.
“Like we did in the Great Recession, Ford is managing through the coronavirus crisis in a way that safeguards our business, our workforce, our customers and our dealers during this vital period,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett. “As America’s largest producer of vehicles and largest employer of autoworkers, we plan to emerge from this crisis as a stronger company that can be an engine for the recovery of the economy moving forward.”
The company notified lenders that it will borrow the total unused amounts against two lines of credit: $13.4 billion under its corporate credit facility and $2 billion under its supplemental credit facility. The incremental cash from these borrowings will be used to offset the temporary working capital impacts of the coronavirus-related production shutdowns and to preserve Ford’s financial flexibility.
On the other side of town, General Motors announced that it intends to drawdown approximately $16.0 billion from its revolving credit facilities. This is a proactive measure to increase GM's cash position and preserve financial flexibility in light of current uncertainty in global markets resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will supplement the company's strong cash position of approximately $15 billion to $16 billion expected at the end of March.
"We are aggressively pursuing austerity measures to preserve cash and are taking necessary steps in this changing and uncertain environment to manage our liquidity, ensure the ongoing viability of our operations and protect our customers and stakeholders," said Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. "Over the past several years, we have made necessary, strategic decisions and structural changes that have transformed the company and strengthened the business, better positioning us for downturns."