Ford Motor Co., the lone member of the “Big Three” not to accept government help, is suddenly looking across town with dread and a touch of jealousy, the Wall Street Journal reports. A bankruptcy at GM or Chrysler could wreak havoc on Ford’s supply chain, as shared suppliers or dealerships buckled, all while giving the bankrupt competitors an edge by allowing them to exact deeper concessions from unions and creditors.
Until now, Ford has had reason to be optimistic. Sales are plunging—the company expects a 40% slide in car and truck sales for March—but its market share is growing, and it’s already reached cost-cutting arrangements with the UAW. But “the collapse of one of our competitors would have a severe impact,” said CEO Alan Mulally. “The domestic auto industry is highly interdependent.”