We're getting mixed signals from Ford. One week ago the automaker announced it was distributing bonuses to every single one of its salaried and hourly workers, just to say thanks for helping the company reduce costs, improve quality and reduce the ranks. Today we learn that Ford President of the Americas Mark Fields has told his workforce in a weekly webcast that the company earned poor marks on its own internal report card. The poor marks resulted from missing sales targets and not cutting material costs enough in February. We were under the impression that successful cost cutting was one of the reasons for paying out at least $36 million dollars in bonuses to its workers.

We made the argument last week, and again in this week's podcasts, that we bet many Ford workers would much rather have their bonus money go back into the company to ensure all the right moves are made during these uncertain times and their jobs remain secure. This seems even more evident today in light of Ford's failing to meet its own targets for February. Those many millions could pay for the next niche vehicle that sparks a renaissance, or any number of things that could help save the company. Heck, it could pay for a Taurus SHO!

[Source: Detroit Free Press]