Ford's plans to get back in the black are being forced off the road by woes at its lending arm, the Wall Street Journal reports. The auto giant made a lot of cut-rate loans on trucks and SUVs in recent years and has been unable to recoup losses on bad loans through repossessions because of the plummeting resale value of bigger vehicles.
The credit arm may still scrape into profitability this year, but with earnings way down from last year's $1.2 billion. The company, preparing to slash jobs as sales shrink, is unlikely to spin off its troubled credit arm the way GM did. Ford has relied on profits from Ford Credit even when the economy was cruising, and the division has been proven to boost customer loyalty.