May 23, 2001

                    Major Business News

                    A Letter from Ford CEO Nasser To Bridgestone-Firestone CEO Lampe

                    This is the full text of a letter that Jacques Nasser, chief
                    executive of Ford Motor Co., wrote to John Lampe,
                    Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. chief executive, president and
                    chairman, on Tuesday (Letter provided by The Associated

                    Dear Mr. Lampe:

                    As you know, Ford has for many months been engaged in an
                    intensive effort to determine the root cause of the tire
                    failures that led to last summer's Firestone tire recall, and to
                    prevent such failures in the future. Throughout this process,
                    Ford has shared its findings and worked closely and
                    cooperatively with NHTSA and with Firestone's technical

                    Based on our work to date, we are concerned that the
                    performance of certain Wilderness AT tires not included in
                    last summer's recall is not at a level consistent with the
                    performance of similar usage tires from competitive
                    manufacturers. This concern rests significantly on data
                    supplied by Firestone and NHTSA, which shows that failure
                    rates for many of the Wilderness AT tires are already worse
                    than competitive standards and may deteriorate further in
                    the future.

                    Our own laboratory and vehicle tests confirm these results.
                    Although we have discussed our concerns with Firestone
                    technical and management personnel, nothing we have
                    learned has changed our view that the tires may present a
                    risk to our customers' safety.

                    Accordingly, we intend to announce an owner notification
                    program to replace all Wilderness AT tires for our customers
                    at no cost to them. This action is preventive in nature since
                    we believe the significant risks are largely in the future.
                    However, the data leave us convinced that this action is
                    necessary to assure the safety of our customers, an objective
                    that I know you fully share.

                    As the replacement effort goes forward, let us work
                    cooperatively to serve our customers and, most importantly,
                    keep their safety as our highest priority. I hope this is a goal
                    on which you can agree.