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Ford suspends dividend, withdraws 2020 guidance due to coronavirus

People walk by a Ford Escape SUV displayed during the media day for the Shanghai auto show in Shanghai, China, April 16, 2019.

Aly Song | Reuters

Ford said Thursday that it would suspend its dividend and withdraw its 2020 guidance as the company tries to shore up its cash amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Ford also said it would draw $15.4 billion from two credit lines. The company said that it plans to borrow $13.4 billion under its corporate credit facility and an additional $2 billion under its supplemental credit facility.

The automaker’s shares were down 3% in midafternoon trading Thursday.  

“Like we did in the Great Recession, Ford is managing through the coronavirus crisis in a way that safeguards our business, our workforce, our customers and our dealers during this vital period,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement. “As America’s largest producer of vehicles and largest employer of autoworkers, we plan to emerge from this crisis as a stronger company that can be an engine for the recovery of the economy moving forward.”

The company said it had $35 billion in liquidity and $22 billion in cash at the end of 2019. 

Separately, Ford and its U.S. dealers are offering customers a variety of services, including six months of payment relief for some new car buyers, the company said in a statement. 

Ford will pay for three months and customers can defer for up to three more for a total of six months, the company said. The program is only for people purchasing 2019 and 2020 model-year vehicles, excluding 2020 Super Duty trucks.

On Wednesday, Detroit’s Big Three automakers announced they would halt production in their North American factories as the coronavirus sweeps through the nation. 

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