[Source: Detroit News]
While parts sales don't typically show up in quarterly earnings reports, they can comprise a big chunk of profits. Ford is protecting its parts investment by filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington against eight companies that are reproducing Mustang parts without the Blue Oval's consent. Ford parts affected are the hood, bumper, fender, side-view mirror and tail lamp assemblies, which are all covered under Ford's 14-year design patent on design elements. Chicago-based LKQ Corp and its Keystone Automotive Industries are named in the complaint along with several companies in Taiwan. Ford has already come out victorious in a similar case involving some of the same suppliers and the F-150, and Keystone is currently appealing. With Ford already winning a similar case, and what we'd assume is a much larger legal budget than the defendants', the Blue Oval will likely come out on top in this ruling, as well.