Like a horse getting spooked upon hearing a strange noise, Ford has pulled their bailout commercial upon pressure from the White House.
Ford , being the only Detroit automaker that didn’t take money from the American taxpayers in order to lighten its debt load, wanted to highlight this fact in ads starring “real people.” One of the people interviewed was a guy named "Chris." He stated that he "wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government," according to the text of the ad, launched in early September.
While this statement might be true, as General Motors and Chrysler did accept federal funding, Ford CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported the bill back in those dark days.
It seems the White House wasn’t about to have an automaker talking down their policies in front of the American public. With President Obama adjusting his election campaign amid the current economic situation and angst towards the stimulus package, the Ford commercial seemed to be a slap in the face of the administration that approved it. Freedom of speech is what again?
The Obama administration can revel in the fact that the plans have turned GM and Chrysler in the other direction. Each is producing vehicles that the American public seems to be eating up. The commercial that was pulled seemed to rekindle the negative, just when the White House needed the positive.
There is one key fact that Ford seems to be missing in this debacle, though. While they might not have taken the “bailout money,” they did in fact, take some cold hard cash from the government. Ford asked for a line of credit from the federal government and they also accepted billions in the past to “spruce up” its factories. Two years prior to the auto crisis of 2008, Mulally accepted $23 billion to finance a major overhaul and provide a cushion, just in case something was to happen.
While Ford might not have accepted “bailout money,” they certainly got their share of cash from Uncle Sam.