Ford gets bids for Jaguar, Land Rover units
DETROIT -- Cash-strapped
Yesterday was the deadline to submit early bids, but Ford said no sale is imminent.
"We've had contacts from third parties, and we're actively evaluating them as part of our strategic review," John Gardiner, a Ford spokesman in London, said. "They've only been preliminary discussions, and no decisions have been made."
He would not say how many bids have been received or who submitted them.
Ford, which lost $12.7 billion last year and $282 million in the first quarter of this year, has cut thousands of jobs and closed factories to shrink itself to match lower demand for its products.
The company last year mortgaged its factories to get a $23.4 billion financing package to fuel its restructuring and cover expected losses in its automotive operations. It expects to burn $17 billion in cash before returning to profitability sometime in 2009.
Analysts have said the company may be depleting its cash at a higher rate than expected and may need to sell the British brands to raise money.
In March, the company sold its Aston Martin luxury sports car unit for $848 million, and it has said that all options are open, including a potential sale of its profitable Volvo unit.
A company official who asked not to be identified because the bidding process is confidential said yesterday that preliminary bids have been submitted only for Jaguar and Land Rover, and the company did not take Volvo bids.