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Stokes: Industry Edge
Myron D. Stokes

Myron D. Stokes has been covering the automotive and aerospace industries from Detroit for nearly thirty years. He is the publisher of eMOTION!REPORTS.com and the head of the eMOTION! REPORTS.com Inc.

This Week: Featured Column: On Enron

January 6. 2002

It is our expectation that Toyota will not jump into the rebate fray, simply because it does not have to. However, either a continuation of existing incentive programs or a new, although modest, program will be announced.

Honda's status all but mirrors Toyota's, and its approach will be similar. As regards DCX's announcement of not countering this latest sales stimulus program from GM, the realities of competition will force its compliance -- albeit reluctantly -- in short order. Ford will take similar action as well for the duration of this difficult period that necessitates tactical, immediate effect, marketing activity.

DCX is to be applauded nevertheless, for its smart and gutsy moves -- as demonstrated by its powerful product announcements during the NAIAS media preview days -- to take the lemons of industrio/economic downturn and make... Champagne!

Greenspan Retirement

We guess you're hearing of Greenspan's possible retirement?

If that is the case, he may actually reward the market with half point or one point interest rate increase; something he should have done about 5 decreases ago. The amazing thing is that it will have a positive effect on the market; 500 points for the Dow and approx 120 for the NASDAQ.

Japan Recovery
Even more amazing will be initial rumblings of Japan market restabilization as a result of the rate increase, among other factors.

Ford Force Reduction: What Wall Street Expects

Mere staff reduction will not impress Wall Street; efforts such as this are viewed as a typical first reaction that requires minimal thought and execution. If however, a specific program with set goals and timetables -- not dissimilar to DCX's strategic and tactical action plan of last year -- for a return to profitability is presented along with an announcement that Bill Ford is conferring upon a very capable senior executive the mantle of CEO, The Street will respond positively.

The executive? Nick Scheele. It allows Wall St. to become more familiar with him, along with a title that commands respect.

Another positive would be Wall St. becoming aware of an expanding, more hands on role by a very capable Edsel Ford II. Lest our learned colleagues forget, he grew up at the "feet of Gamaliel"; i.e., his father HFII and this, combined with various operating assignments in the company -- not the least of which were heading a division and Ford Credit -- makes him a most welcome component of the new executive hierarchy. In short, three, possibly four, specific, observable, definable actions that are sure to have the desired effect. We most certainly wish them well.

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