Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ford Canada on the Right Road

For months, this blog has stressed how the Canadian, American, and other global governments should not be pumping bail out money to big business. Publicly funded tax dollars should not be used for private corporate gain.

Finally, one of the big three North American automakers has come out against these government bail outs.

Ford Canada’s chief executive David Mondragon told a Canadian parliamentary subcommittee that federal government bail outs are not the cure, but offering more reasons to buy a North American-built car is.

By promoting the environmentally-friendlier cars now being made by North American automakers, the fuel economy, and the price savings over purchasing an import, Mondragon says people will see the benefits to buying locally made vehicles. He also added, having financial incentives, say more money for trading in a used vehicle towards the purchase of a new one, would also help.

Bravo Ford Canada! Bravo!

Mondragon says the biggest businesses in the country should be pulling their own weight, showing leadership by example through the recession, as opposed to looking like beggars wanting a handout.

"What we need to do is provide an anchor in the sea and right now there is no anchor in the sea for our ship," Mondragon told a parliamentary subcommittee meeting Monday night. "There are great opportunities for governments to help the industry and the economy find the bottom."

If big businesses – hell all businesses – held that attitude during these tough financial times, maybe this recession would end sooner – or at least it wouldn’t be as rough a ride.

Instead of complaining about all the doom and gloom, and then threatening to put thousands of people out of work unless governments toss over bail out money, Ford Canada has taken the high road.

U.S. President Barak Obama is all about buying American. The popular U.S. president says if people buy American-made goods and services, then the people working for the companies providing those goods and services will continue to have jobs.

I think Canadians should buy Canadian – but specifically buy from Canadian companies with healthy attitudes like Ford Canada’s, which don’t hold Canadian taxpayers hostage.

I’m not currently looking for a new vehicle, but if I was, I’d certainly consider Ford above all the other North American manufacturers. The others are pretty good whiners, and maybe even good at securing government loans, but that’s not what we need in this economy.

We need – as Mondragon has said – solid anchors in these rough economic seas. It is one thing to be cutting edge, and have the latest technology. And once upon a time, the cutting edge ruled. But these days, you have to have more than a “wow” factor – you have to have strong leadership, which is committed to the future.

General Motors and Chrysler’s constant bickering about government bail outs doesn’t wow me. But Ford Canada’s ideology that longevity is based on what a company’s leaders does with the company, now that does have some “wow,” and it should influence who you choose to do business with.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather do business with a company that was able to solve its own financial issues, and make it on its own through the rough times, than one that required public funds just to stay afloat.

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