Pajamas asked me to respond to a piece they had posted on Monday attributing Ford’s financial woes to an American Family Association Boycott based on the automaker’s pro-gay policies.
After reviewing the company’s history over the past few years, I concluded that the company’s financial woes had more to do with the management of its past CEO, William Clay Ford, Jr., great-grandson of Henry Ford than those policies. Here’s the first few paragraphs of my piece. Go to Pajamas for the rest!
In his piece on Monday, Todd Blumer suggests that the American Family Association’s (AFA) boycott of Ford Motor Company for is policy of “giving money to gay rights groups, offering benefits to same-sex couples and actively recruiting gay employees” has led to that American automaker’s downfall and possible future bankruptcy.
Blumer paints a grim pictue of Ford’s financial outlook, noting its declining sales, finding that the “dropoffs at Ford are far worse than those seen during the same time period at the company’s Metro Detroit counterparts at General Motors and Chrysler.” Indeed, his circumstantial evidence is pretty strong. The AFA announced the boycott in May 2005, the company’s sales have pretty much been tumbling ever since.
In 2005, Ford enjoyed a modest profit. The following year, the company would suffer a loss of over 12 billion.
To attribute Ford’s decline entirely to the AFA boycout would require one to ignore other problems impacting the automaker over the past few years. To be sure, that boycott may well have play a part in Ford’s financial freefall, but it was far from the primary factor.
You can read the rest here.
UPDATE: The Auto Prophet offers an interesting post on this issue which echoes some of my thoughts. I don’t agree with all he has to say, but he does note that the AFA chose Ford while other companies are equally gay-friendly and believes they chose Ford because “it’s high profile, American, and in bad financial shape. If the AFA had chosen Dell, for example, their leverage would have been dramatically less.” With that, I agree. Read the whole thing!