Ford CFO Bob Shanks announced a week ago that he is "comfortable with the present liquidity," with more than $25 billion in cash at the end of the second quarter. Ford aims to maintain investment-grade status through a down cycle in the industry.
Fixing a luxury car brand or building one from scratch is notoriously costly, measured in multiple billions of dollars. Jim Farley, Ford's chief marketing officer, has said the process could take 25 years.
But any automaker that fails to maintain or operate a luxury brand will sentence itself to a permanent financial disadvantage. Luxury vehicles generate disproportionate profits, which can be used to expand markets or support the development of new vehicles and technologies.
The brain trust at Ford doesn't have to look far to see how much GM has accomplished in its move to fix Cadillac. And with its bank accounts on the mend, the automaker soon could be taking its own series of bold actions to bring Lincoln back.