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Ford Says “Ni Hao” to Chinese Financing

Maker aims to bolster lagging Chinese operations – while lowering U.S. costs.

by on Mar.16, 2012

CEO Mulally turns to China for financial assistance.

Ford Motor Co. is trying something new to bolster operations in China. To help support the company’s strategy in China, Ford has announced it’s selling renminbi (RMB)-denominated bonds for the first time. The issue was aimed at investors in Hong Kong, Singapore and elsewhere outside the United States, with total proceeds of $158 million.

“We are pleased with this transaction and appreciate the actions taken by regulators in China that have opened the RMB capital markets for global issuers like Ford,” said Neil Schloss, Ford vice president and treasurer. “This offering was an opportunity for Ford to fund business operations in China while expanding our global investor base.”

Ford was late to the Chinese market, especially when compared to key competitors such as General Motors and Volkswagen, which now dominate that booming market.  Its challenge is to establish a niche in the market – with the maker putting an emphasis on regions of China just beginning to share the economic boom first seen along the Pacific Coast.


Meanwhile, Ford has succeeded in negotiating a new line of credit in the U.S. on what it says are more favorable terms. Ford went heavily into debt as the recent economic downturn began – a savvy move in hindsight considering what happened to its cash-starved Detroit rivals. But it is now trying to improve its balance sheet without the benefits that GM and Chrysler got through bankruptcy.


Former Ford Engineer – and Chinese Spy – Draws 6-Year Sentence

Case underscores mounting problems with Chinese industrial espionage.

by on Apr.14, 2011

Convicted of spying for the Chinese, former Ford engneer Xiang Dong Yu.

A former Ford engineer will be spending as much as six years behind bars after being convicted of stealing trade secrets with the intent of selling them to the Chinese.

Xiang Dong Yu, arrested in October 2009, will also have to pay a $12,500 fine after pleading guilty to two felony counts in U.S. District Court.

The Ford case underscores growing concerns about Chinese industrial espionage – thought the outcome stands in sharp contrast to the spy scandal that embroiled French automaker Renault and has led to the ousting of five senior executives, including the maker’s chief operating officer.

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The 49-year-old Yu worked at Ford from 1997 through 2007.  According to government prosecutors, he accepted another position with Beijing Automotive Industry Corp., in December 2006. But before notifying Ford – which routinely escorts employees out of the building once they take a competitive job – Yu copied at least 4,000 Ford documents onto an external hard drive.