The Juggling Act At Ford
The juggling act at Ford Motor Company continues. For the last month, Ford has been focusing on the production of medical supplies to help with the COVID-19 virus battle. But it hasn’t ignored its mainstay during the virus shutdown. It’s just on hold. Ford just delivered its first order of medical respirators it’s building as part of a joint project with 3M. A medical center in Seattle Washington is getting the first units. Ford is also cranking out a couple hundred thousand medical gowns every week. They’re being made with the same material used for airbags. The gowns can be washed and sanitized about 50 times before they start to break down. The state of New Jersey has ordered one half million of them. While the new medical services side of Ford continues, the “old side”, making cars and trucks, is getting ready to resume production. Like all the other automakers with US production plants, the week of the 18th appears to be the target for Ford, although it is not saying publicly when it hopes to resume production. Ford has been involved in the talks involving other automakers and the United Auto Workers Union over reopening schedules. Through it all, Ford is scrambling to deal with serious money issues. It reported a 2 billion dollar first-quarter loss. And Ford executives are signaling pretax second-quarter losses could hit 5 billion. Ford has been cutting costs and shoring up cash reserves. Part of that was done by tapping into huge lines of credit.