The Ford family has retained control over the eponymous automaker, despite a growing number of shareholders voting in favour of ending dual-class shares.
At the company’s 58th annual meeting, 33.4% of shareholders, the highest tally ever, backed the proposal to end the class of shares that allows the family to control Ford Motor. Last year 29.5% voted against the company’s dual-share structure.
Members of the Ford family own 70.8 million class B voting stock, accounting for 40% of the company’s voting rights. These shares are not bought or sold but are given as gifts or traded between family members.
Bill Ford Jr currently owns approximately 12.8 million class B shares, both directly and indirectly through various trusts.
He told reporters after the meeting: “Having the family vote and ownership position [has] really allowed the company to stay focused, not get distracted and to survive and ultimately thrive.”
Last year, revenues at the Dearborn-based carmaker fell 1.5% to $134.3 billion (€103.3 billion), although pre-tax profits in the fourth quarter of 2012 were $1.7 billion, the highest in more than a decade.