Ex-IM loan to Ford may enhance supply chain

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) has approved a $250 million working capital loan guarantee for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan.

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The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) has approved a $250 million working capital loan guarantee for Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan.

The loan facility will finance $3.1 billion of export sales for over 200,000 vehicles being sold to buyers in Canada and Mexico.

These exports represent 15 percent of Ford’s 2009 production and the vehicles will be manufactured in plants located in Chicago, Illinois.; Dearborn and Wayne Michigan; Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville, Kentucky; and Avon Lake, Ohio. The Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO) will provide the funding for the revolving $250 million loan backed by Ex-Im’s guarantee. The loan, fees and interest will be paid off in one year.

“Ex-Im’s working capital loan guarantee enables both Ford and hundreds of its small business suppliers to maintain their competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank. “This transaction alone will support thousands of high paying export-related American jobs by exporting superior goods and services to international buyers.”

“Ford is committed to using our U.S. manufacturing plants as a growing source of exports to regions all over the world,” said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company president of the Americas. “Our partnership with Ex Im Bank highlights a public-private relationship that supports American jobs and the economy.”

Models to be exported using the Ex-Im loan guarantee facility include the F-150 pickup, Explorer SUV, Focus, Escape, Expedition, E-Series Van, Taurus, and Lincoln MKS and Navigator. Of particular note is that the loan facility will support the export of the new, highly fuel-efficient crossover Ford Explorer SUV. It is scheduled to go into production at the Chicago assembly plant later this year. Ford’s investment in the Chicago assembly plant is adding 1,200 new jobs there.

Ford reports that key suppliers to the Explorer alone are investing in new facilities and hiring for more than 600 jobs in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. According to Tony Brown, group vice president, Ford Global Purchasing, more than 650 companies in 41 states produce parts and components for the vehicles being exported. At the same time thousands of other indirect suppliers provide other services to Ford.

This is an innovative transaction and the first of its kind at Ex-Im Bank. The loan is formula-based and secured by vehicles in transit to Canada and Mexico. The flexibility of the formula-based loan facility will facilitate the continued growth of Ford’s exports.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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