Ford: Sleeping With The Lions

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ford sleeping with the lions

Cry the beloved Detroit. As if eight percent unemployment, rampant foreclosures, and a criminal (now-ex) mayor weren’t enough, the Lions are just awful again this year. And though the oh-for-three Lions just got stomped by the lowly Niners, prompting Bill Ford Jr. to call for President and General Manager Matt Millen to step down, the Fords aren’t selling the family business. In any case, it’s doubtful that selling the Lions would have even netted $5m at this point, less than Bill Ford’s recent stock sell-off. Meanwhile, Ford’s Sales Chief and ex-Lexus maven Jim Farley reckons [what were once] new car buyers are the biggest losers. “The credit issue is becoming a big deal for them as consumers,” he told The Detroit News during a free dinner (with an open bar) Monday night. “It will affect our industry.” Hang on; that would make car dealers the worst affected, right? “Farley said the market is proving too difficult for some dealers, many of whom have been under profit pressure in recent years.” The market. Not Ford’s fault obviously. Wait a second; if dealers aren’t selling cars… “[Analyst Erich] Merkle said September is shaping up to be a bad month for the auto industry, and he said sales could fall to the 12 million unit level on an annualized basis.” Farley says Merkle’s off by one million units. But what if he isn’t?

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4 of 18 comments
  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Sep 23, 2008

    Any NFL team, no matter how pathetic, is worth several hundred million dollars. Remember, LA does not have a franchise.

  • 50merc 50merc on Sep 23, 2008

    "eight percent unemployment" That's all? The pervasive media stories about Detroit's devastation and decline suggested the city's jobless rate must be at least double-digit. Shoot, until recent years economists said the "normal" or "no inflation" national unemployment rate was six percent. There must be a lot of former auto workers who've taken other jobs, moved away, become self-employed or decided to retire.

  • Praxis Praxis on Sep 23, 2008

    50merc, it is only 8% if you include Dearborn and Livonia. For the city alone it is 15%.

  • Eyeonthetarget Eyeonthetarget on Sep 23, 2008

    I think that everyone is just too impatient. Considering that Millen had no formal front office experience, we need to take a deep breath and realize that he's just about finished with his apprenticeship, albeit a very well compensated one. Now that he's made just about every mistake he can possibly make, he's a wiser, more experienced, seasoned General Manager. I'm firmly convinced that we're on the cusp of something special. I see progressive improvement occurring at a meteoric pace. Buckle your seatbelts, firmly secure your caps, and watch how your cheeks and jowls become grossly contorted as you take the thrill ride that sees the Lions jetting into the stratosphere with an enviable run of 3 wins, then 4 wins, then 5 wins....until, chests puffed out in pride, we can celebrate a well-deserved playoff 2014. Can't you just taste it? Go Lions!