Ford Vehicle Sales Decline 5.5%, Hurt by Bad Air Bags, Tire Recall
                    November 01, 2000

                    A WSJ.COM News Roundup

                    DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford Motor Co.'s sales declined 5.5% in October,
                    hurt by air-bag problems and the effect of the Firestone tire recall on
                    demand for the Explorer sports-utility vehicle.

                                         Ford said total vehicle sales fell to 299,639 from
                                         316,954 units in October 1999.

                                         U.S. sales of passenger cars dropped 11.8% to
                                         112,866 units from 128,015 a year earlier. The
                                         company attributed the decline in car sales
                                         primarily to weaker sales for the discontinued
                                         Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique compact
                                         cars and the Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury
                                         Grand Marquis full-size models as the company
                                         replaced faulty air-bag modules.

                                         U.S. truck sales totaled 186,773, down 1.1%
                                         from 188,939, reflecting lower sales for
                                         minivans, which also were hurt by the air-bag
                                         problem, and lower sales for the Ford F-Series
                                         pickup. Sales of the Ford Windstar minivan
                                         tumbled 21% and Mercury Villager sales declined

                    To expedite replacement of defective air-bag modules, the auto maker
                    has reduced production schedules this week and will suspend
                    production next week at two assembly plants, Ford said. The moves will
                    divert air-bag modules to vehicles in dealer and company inventory from
                    production of new vehicles.

                    Ford also has been hurt by the recall of 6.5 million Firestone tires.
                    Earlier this month, the car maker reported a 7% decline in earnings from
                    operations, noting that the tire recall cost it $500 million before taxes,
                    which included production shutdowns to divert tires and costs related
                    to tire replacements.

                    Ford on Wednesday said October sales of its SUVs rose 11% from a
                    year earlier, with sales of the new Escape compact SUV more than
                    offsetting a 16% decline in Explorer sales, the company said. Escape
                    sales totaled 9,818 in the month, up 29% from September.