Tracinda meets with Bill and Al, talks turnaround

Despite the rumors of contentiousness surrounding Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corporation and its agitation in Dearborn, Ford reports that a recent talk between Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr., CEO Alan Mulally, and the investment firm were informal and positive. Never a shrinking violet, 91-year-old Kirk Kerkorian has held large stakes of each of the Detroit 3 in the past. Tracinda's most recent foray into Ford's stock coincides with a shift by the Blue Oval away from its historically strong grounding in truck sales. Ford believes that the truck sales balloon has permanently deflated, and is idling plants and shifting production over to more fuel efficient vehicles as crude oil prices continue to ratchet up an economic squeeze.

Ford's already said "forget it" to a planned return to profitability in 2009, and its talks with Tracinda illustrate that Ford realizes it may not have the lock on better ideas. On the agenda at this particular meeting was an analysis of publicaly-announced details of "The Way Forward." Right now both Ford and Tracinda are coming away from the table repeating niceties, but if history is any guide, at some point Captain Kirk might start instigating in ways that are less than popular.

[Source: Automotive News - sub req., Photo:]

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