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Published: Saturday, 10/15/2005

Financial ruin is not inevitable, CEO says

Bankruptcy is not imminent and more work from Ford Motor Co. is still possible despite Dana Corp.'s recent troubles, the Toledo firm's leader assured employees this week.

In his first comments since Dana this week said it would restate its earnings for the last six quarters because of accounting problems, company Chief Executive Mike Burns tried to calm fears.

Mr. Burns told employees, in part, "we must acknowledge that while we have much work to do, we also remain very much in control of our own future."

The Toledo auto parts supplier stunned Wall Street this week with its restatement announcement and the withdrawal of its previous earnings guidance, prompting a steep drop in its stock price.

The Fortune 500 company gave no indication of how much the restatements might affect its financial performance or when the new figures would be available.

Coming so soon after bankruptcy filing last week of Delphi Corp., the nation's largest independent car parts maker, the announcement raised concerns about Dana's fate.

Mr. Burns refuted bankruptcy rumors and said the company still could become a preferred Ford supplier.

About a fourth of Dana's revenue last year was from Ford, but the automaker recently said it would consolidate its list of suppliers and named a first batch of them, without a mention of Dana.

"We fully expect that Dana will continue to be a significant long-term supplier to Ford as it announces its list of supplier partners in the coming months," Mr. Burns told Dana's employees in an electronic message obtained by The Blade.

A company spokesman declined further comment on the message from Mr. Burns.

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