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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

Rumors of Ford selling part or all of its 33.4% share in Mazda have picked up steam this week since we first reported on them over the weekend, and analysts in Tokyo think a deal that "clears a cloud over Mazda" is imminent. Nikkei English News also reported that Ford has asked Japanese supplier Denso to purchase part of its stake in Mazda, but the Japanese news agency didn't claim any sources and Denso has declined comment in the matter. Most are guessing that potential buyers would include Maz