The demise of the Detroit 3 is unsurprisingly tarnishing the image of American carmakers, however Ford executives are hoping to distance themselves from their neighbors, General Motors and Chrysler, by refusing government loans (for now).

Chrysler and GM's current financial situation is no secret in the press, however Ford has managed to hedge its bets in overseas markets and new fuel-efficient models. Ford planned its shift to smaller, more fuel efficient cars over two years ago, and the Blue Oval even organized its own line of credit with major financial institutions in 2006 to the tune of almost $24 billion. This early line of credit allowed the manufacturer to shift production to its smaller cars and promote research and development into fuel saving technologies.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally is confident that his company will be able to weather the recession without government help if current economic conditions remain relatively stable. Bill Ford Jr., who serves as executive chairman for the company, remarked that Ford's non-reliance on government loans will allow the public to see "Ford as a company trying to pull itself up by its own bootstraps, and making it on its own and pulling the right levers."

While Congress is currently working with GM and Chrysler to streamline their businesses, Ford began the process much earlier when it shed most of its Premier Automotive Group, which included Aston Martin, Jaguar and Land Rover. While the company still controls Volvo, even that business is under review for sale.

However, while Ford may be able to stand on its own two feet for now, the company has discussed taking possible government loans should the economic climate worsen. Mulally has also stated that should Ford require loans and his resignation be a condition of those loans then he would be willing to fulfill that.