Sign of the Times: Ford Leases PAG Headquarters to Taco Bell
Think you got it rough? Well, what if you built a sleek, energy efficient 181,000 square foot corporate headquarters for $68m and seven years later you had to lease it to Taco Bell for ten years? More specifically FoMoCo leased their former Premier Automotive Group (PAG) headquarters to Yum Brands, Inc., of Louisville, Ky. Yum was spun off from PepsiCo in 1997 and currently operates over 35,000 Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, A&W and Long John Silver “restaurants.” Annual revenues are more than $10 billion and their stock is trading at $25.87 per share. Meanwhile, Ford sold Aston Martin to some Kuwaiti investors, Jaguar and Land Rover went to Tata (in India) and is moving Volvo to… New Jersey! Meanwhile a share of Ford stock is worth $1.80 — still somehow cheaper than a gallon of gas. Ford still has about 125 employees in Irvine, California (including the guy that gives us Mustangs) and they’re being relocated next door to Ford’s 90,000 square-foot product development center. The sad news for car guys is that ever since Crystal Cove moved away from Newport Beach, it has taken place every Saturday morning in PAG’s parking lot. No word on whether or not Taco Bell will allow the tradition to continue. Man, the car biz is rough.
Landcrusher: If I may -- because manufacturing jobs (backed by strong unions) actually provided people that didn't go to college with a great living, giving them the chance to buy a home and put their kids through college and retire on time and with dignity. Put another way, a strong manufacturing base allowed the next generation of Americans to be more successful than their parents. That's now dead and buried.
JL, It seems to me those people were not more successful than their parents, just better off materially. I suppose one side looks at that and says they were better off because of governments and unions while the other side says they simply borrowed from the future and the bill is now due.
Ford's cash position is still substantially better than GM's (and most certainly Chrysler, too). Ford still has a few valuable assets to sell, if they can find a buyer- Volvo and their share of Mazda. Wonder how much GM could get out of SAAB? GM is also discussing the sale of the Renaissance Center in Detroit, their headquarters! Then again, who'd buy it? It's in Detroit, after all!
Wait - are we saying new Fords have less (or same) defect numbers than Toyota and Honda or are we saying that come 150K miles the Ford will be aging as gracefully as a Toyota or Honda??? To me how gracefully they age is way more important than how many defects they have under warranty. While I'm on the topic - what are the defects we are talking about? Cigarette lighter malfunctions versus automatic transmissions that won't shift beyond second gear? Rear windows that leak vs a window motor that quits after two weeks? A leaking sunroof vs a defect tailight bulb? I'll be happy to let the dealer fix a couple 10 min problems rather than the tranny explode at 125K miles.