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Latest update : 2008-10-21

The automobile industry is one of the hardest hit by the financial crisis. On Monday, Ford France announced the closure of its factory near Bordeaux from late October until at least early January.

Billionaire US investor Kirk Kerkorian announced via his holding company Tracinda on Tuesday that he had begun selling shares in struggling car group Ford and planned to divest his whole stake.
Tracinda said it had sold 7.3 million shares in Ford for an average price of 2.43 dollars per share, for a total of 17.7 million dollars.
The group said it also "intends to further reduce its holdings of Ford common stock, including the possible sale of all of its remaining 133,500,000 shares -- approximately 6.09 percent of the outstanding shares."
The group has hired an unnamed investment bank to help it with the divestment.
In two major operations in April and June, Tracinda built a position in Ford, paying 8.50 dollars a share.
Kerkorian, who made a fortune from running and selling Las Vegas casinos, has held big stakes in General Motors and Chrysler and had bought shares in Ford after seeing "meaningful traction in its turnaround efforts."
The group has been hard hit due to the sharp falls in sales in the United States and western Europe because of the financial crisis and falling consumer confidence.
Ford's September sales in the US fell 34 percent to 116,734 vehicles while year-to-date sales were down 17.3 percent at 1.5 million vehicles. Its US market share fell to 12.1 percent from 13.3 percent in September 2007.

Date created : 2008-10-21