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Fire sale continues: Ford cuts stake in Mazda

Tue, 18 Nov 2008

By Tim Pollard

Motor Industry

18 November 2008 16:09

Yesterday GM sold its stake in Suzuki; today Ford announced plans to slash its shareholding in Mazda. Previously the Blue Oval held a third of Mazda’s stock, but it has cut that to just 13%.

Ford admitted the sale was purely to boost its balance sheet, as the Big Three continue to struggle with cashflow. It will raise around £360 million from the sale.

Apparently not. Both companies were at pains to point out that the 30-year relationship between the two companies would not be affected; Ford and Mazda will continue to share platforms and powertrains, and the Blue Oval remains Mazda’s biggest shareholder.

‘This agreement allows Ford to raise capital that will help fund our product-led transformation, and at the same time, allows Ford and Mazda to continue our successful strategic relationship in the best interest of both companies,’ said Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally. ‘Ford will continue to focus on the Ford brand worldwide and deliver the products our customers really want and value.’

By Tim Pollard