Direct descendent of Henry Ford and current Blue Oval chairman Bill Ford Jr. sold one million of his own shares in the carmaker, about one-sixth of his total common stock holdings, in a surprise move last Thursday. The shares were sold at $5.05 each, earning Ford a tidy $5.05 million from the sale.

This means that Ford still owns roughly five million shares of common stock outright, along with almost 400,000 shares through a company plan and trusts, reports Automotive News. The information was made public due to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruling that stipulates that any insider who owns more than 10% of one class of a company's shares must inform the agency when they buy or sell those shares.

Ford spokesman Mark Truby explained that Ford sold the shares to retire debts he incurred when he purchased some stock option shares in the company back in 2005 and 2006. "It was really a personal financial planning decision," Truby said.

Ford shares today closed at $4.92, down 37 cents or just under 7%.

Despite the move, Ford still has full faith in the carmaker. Since 2005 he has foregone his salary and bonus payments, which are estimated to be worth some $25 - $33 million, and doesn’t expect to be paid until the company returns to profitability.