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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Ford to Meet with Gay Leaders

San Francisco Chronicle here.

Americablog has more.

In the comments, there are people saying that the Bush adminstration figures who now work for Ford who were part of the meetings with the AFA should be fired. In my opinion, that's beyond what the meeting should be about. I hope that the dealers such as Jerry Reynolds from Garland, Texas who arranged the meeting with Ford executives and the AFA will be at this meeting.

It's clear that Ford reacted to pressure from the AFA. They should admit that and move on. I'd be interested to know what the Ford employee group - GLOBE has to say about all this.

NorthDallasThirty has a different perspective on the Ford issue.

A Ford employee comments:

I'll start out with the disclosure that I'm a Ford employee, so anyone here can accept or dismiss my comments as they see fit.

First, I'm as ashamed of the company's behavior in all of this as I was proud of our receiving a 100 rating from HRC previously. It's possible dropping the ads was purely a reaction to continued losses at Jaguar and Land Rover and a lack of productivity of the ads for these brands in gay publications, but it sure doesn't look like it.

Second, it could have been a business decision in the sense that there was a calculation that the antigay boycott would have had the potential for trashing sales of pickups and SUV's. We're making less money on those models than we used to, but on a pre-unit basis I'm sure we make more on them than we make on sedans and sports cars. Pickups alone keep three (I believe) assembly plants running, and a successful boycott in the red states really would have the potential to bring the company down.

Third, lets look at the HRC ratings. We have DCX, Ford, and Toyota Sales at 100 (and an honest accounting after the dropping of some advertising would leave Ford at 86). GM, Subaru, Toyota Manufacturing, and VW are at 86. Then we have Nissan at 29. And that's it. Honda? No rating. BMW? No rating. Mitsubishi? No rating. The Korean manufacturers? No ratings. I'm going to assume the companies with no ratings (or at least the ones with U.S. manufacturing facilities -- meaning Honda and BMW at present) received the questionnaire and either trashed it because they thought it wasn't important or trashed it because they were ashamed of where they would end up. In either event, where is the boycott of Honda and BMW (and Nissan -- 29 is pretty poor, after all)? For that matter, where is the boycott of Exxon Mobil, with a rating of 14, and where a non-discrimination policy and partnership benefits previously offered by Mobil were rescinded after the merger? I've engaged in a personal boycott of ExxonMobil for a few years now, but I sure haven't heard of anything organized. Seems to me the lesson any rational management would glean from this is that the best course is to offer gays nothing because you'll never be called on it, whereas if you go to 100 on the HRC scale and have to backtrack for whatever reason, you'll have people screaming bloody murder. I'm not sure this is the impression we want to leave.

I'm guessing there are numerous Nissans, Infinitis, Hondas, Acuras, and BMWs in the driveways of those who are calling for a boycott of Ford (not necessarily anyone on this thread, so don't write a response just to tell me you have a Lexus or an Audi), and yes this is a fair point to bring up. Leftists in general (and this includes gay leftists) are quick to bitch about declining unionization and declining benefits, but slow to put their money where their mouths are when it comes to supporting union companies and companies offering good benefits.

Those are points worth thinking about.


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