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Ford halts Land Rover sales in Sudan after SEC inquiry

Ford halts Land Rover sales in Sudan after SEC inquiry

Ford Motor Co.'s Land Rover vehicles are no longer being sold in Sudan after the Securities and Exchange Commission asked the company about reports that some Land Rovers may have been used by military or paramilitary organizations in the African nation.
The SEC on Tuesday released a letter dated Jan. 5 from Don Leclair, Ford's chief financial officer, who was responding to a Dec. 15 letter of inquiry from Cecilia D. Blye, chief of the SEC's Office of Global Security Risk.
An SEC spokesman said such correspondences are not released to the public for at least 45 days, following the completion of their review by the agency.
Leclair's letter says the company's Land Rover subsidiary had reached an agreement "in recent months" with its United Kingdom-based distributor that handles all sales to Sudan "that no further sales of Land Rover vehicles will be made into Sudan for any purpose."
"Any such sales were lawful," he wrote, and the distributor advised Ford "that the bulk of the small sales volume in Sudan had been directed to the Ministry of the Interior for humanitarian purposes and that other governmental sales had been largely for agricultural development purposes."
Leclair's letter was in response to the letter from Blye that says, in part, the SEC is "aware of published reports alleging links between Sudan's Ministry of Interior and activities of the janjaweed militia in Darfur. We also are aware of published reports that the janjaweed and Sudanese military forces use machine gun-mounted Land Rovers" during incursions against civilians in Darfur, a region in western Sudan.
Blye asked Leclair to address the potential affect that such reports could have on Ford's reputation and share value.
"These reports have not had a material impact on our reputation or share value," he replied, noting that despite news reports and public SEC filings on the matter, "we did not receive any significant inquiries from our investors or the general public."
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Updated : 2021-05-08 01:22 GMT+08:00