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I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Ford Credit being a great advantage for Ford. For a number of years while the automotive divisions were treading water or losing money, Ford Credit provided a much needed shot in the arm by consistently being profitable.

Around the time Mulally came to Ford there was a lot of speculation about the big 3 spinning off their finance arms to raise cash. All of the credit arms had problems, particularly with vehicles like SUVs that were returned as leases expired suddenly having residual values greatly diminished. Ford Credit avoided the perfect storm that engulfed GMAC by not having drifted into other lending activities, most notably mortgages.

Now that Ford has bolstered residual values through improved quality and restraint on sales to daily rental fleets, Ford Credit is in a great position to help the company by providing the financing that GMAC is not able to. The survival of Chrysler, meanwhile, hinges not only on refreshing a depleted product lineup but also having somewhere for their customers to turn for financing. That should continue to help Ford gain market share despite some cost disadvantage the bailout has given it cross-town competitors.

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