Ford Motor Co.'s hiring of Kenneth Leet, a Wall Street mergers and acquisitions veteran, served notice that nothing is safe from the ax.
As Ford continues to post losses, the automaker clearly is weighing the sale of assets.
Some publications have said that Leet's marching orders would be to sell the Jaguar brand. But a well-placed Ford insider said that every operation and equity position is on the table. That includes the possibility of selling a stake in Ford Motor Credit Co., which Ford previously had said was not on the market.
Obviously, some equity positions would be easier to unload. Jaguar, a long-term money loser, might not bring much of a sale price compared with perpetual earnings savior Volvo. Land Rover has just switched to its fourth source of powertrains in the past decade. It now uses Volvo and Jaguar engines, after using BMW and Rover Group engines. And while Mazda's profitable portfolio overlaps with that of Ford division, the two automakers' engineering and product development processes are intertwined.
Here is a cheat sheet on potential automotive brands up for sale, with reasons to either unload them or keep them in the Ford stable.