DETROIT (July 27, 2009) — As the Detroit 3 gear up production after summer shutdowns, their shaky suppliers require new government programs to gear up as well, says Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Co.
"It's needed, of course," he said at a press event last week. "It's so important that the task force and the OEMs themselves work really closely together and make sure they understand exactly what the situation is and be able to move decisively."
In the past, Ford has noted the suppliers' plight. In mid-June, Bill Ford, the auto maker's executive chairman, said some government bailout funds should be sent directly to suppliers to help them pay bills.
Analysts fear many suppliers will be denied bank loans and other capital necessary to crank up production. Ford, faced with low inventories, is increasing production in the third quarter. General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group, after quick tours in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, are bringing factories back into production.
But while suppliers need help, Mulally said, consolidation also is necessary.
Said Mulally: "Getting it consolidated and getting it right-sized to the real demand is the best thing we can do for everybody — and allow everybody to start to profitably grow coming out the other side."