For the only Detroit automaker that "didn't take the money" of the federal auto bailouts, Ford Motor Co. keeps paying a price for its comparative success and self-reliant turnaround.
There's no help from American taxpayers to help lighten its debt load, giving crosstown rivals comparatively better credit ratings and a financial edge Ford is working diligently to erase all on its own.
There's no clause barring a strike by hourly workers amid this fall's national contract talks with the United Auto Workers — a by-product of the taxpayer-financed bailout that General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC retain until 2015.
And there's no assurance the Dearborn automaker can use the commercially advantageous fact that it didn't "take the money" proffered by the Obama Treasury Department and use it in TV ads angling to sell cars and trucks. Not if the campaign takes a whack at its Detroit rivals and suggests that Ford no longer supports the Obama administration bailouts it backed in public statements and sworn congressional testimony.
As part of a campaign featuring "real people" explaining their decision to buy the Blue Oval, a guy named "Chris" says he "wasn't going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government," according the text of the ad, launched in early September.