Ford Motor Company today 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 cash from these borrowings will be used to offset the temporary working capital impacts of the coronavirus-related production shut downs and to preserve Ford’s financial flexibility.
“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.”
Ford has targets of having $20 billion in cash and $30 billion in liquidity heading into an economic downturn. At the end of 2019, those levels were $22 billion and $35 billion, respectively.
At the same time, Ford announced it has suspended the company’s dividend, prioritizing near-term financial flexibility and continued investments in an ambitious series of new-product launches in 2020 and long-term growth initiatives.
Also, Ford said it is withdrawing the guidance it gave on Feb. 4 for 2020 financial performance, which did not factor in effects of the coronavirus, given uncertainties in the business environment. The company will provide an update on the year when it announces first-quarter results, which is currently scheduled for April 28.
Ford this week announced plans to temporarily stop production at its plants in North America and Europe starting today. The actions were taken to protect the health and safety of employees and respond to issues with the supply chain and other constraints. The company will work with labor representatives to safely and effectively restart production in the weeks to come.