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For the last umpteen years (since about 1979, to be exact), Ford has owned a significant share of Japanese automaker Mazda, growing in 1997 to a 33.4-percent controlling stake. As such, the two automakers have historically shared a significant amount of resources and product architectures – a system that has helped both companies remain competitive in the increasingly tough automotive market.

Well, we have to say we saw this coming. Ford has officially sold off approximately 20% of its stake in Mazda. The sale reduces Ford's share from a controlling 33.4% interest to just over 13% and puts about $540 million into the Dearborn coffers, based on a sale price figured at Mazda's closing value Tuesday. The cash infusion will certainly help Ford's bottom line in these rough economic times, and the fact that the shares are being sold back to Mazda (7 percent) and to about 20 of its strategi

The financial peril that currently faces the U.S. domestic automakers is no secret, and according to Wall Street Journal report published yesterday, Ford is mulling over the possibility of unloading at least part of its controlling stake in Mazda to raise cash. Japanese media, via the AP, said that Ford would likely keep some interests in the Japanese automaker after such a move -- no surprise when you consider how closely tied Ford and Madza are right now in terms of shared technology. The Ov

Ford's 33.9-percent stake in Mazda, enough to give the Blue Oval control of the Japanese automaker, could come up for grabs if Ford is not able to turn its dire financial position around in short order, according to BusinessWeek. Such a move would likely cause major headaches at both automakers, as the two jointly develop many of their products and combine research and development costs between themselves. In fact, many of Ford's best and most important cars in the U.S. are built atop Mazda's mi