Ford Motor Credit Co. is a subsidiary of Ford Motor Co. with its own offices, officers, and directors. Ford Credit buys contracts and leases of automobiles entered into by dealers and consumers. Ford Credit also provides inventory financing for dealers’ purchases of Ford and non-Ford vehicles and makes loans to Ford and non-Ford dealers. Dealers and consumers are not required to finance their purchases or leases of Ford vehicles through Ford Credit. Ford Motor is not a party to the agreements between Ford Credit and its customers and does not directly receive any payments under those agreements. Also, Ford Credit is not subject to any agreement with Ford Motor “restricting or conditioning” its ability to finance the dealers’ inventories or the consumers’ purchases or leases of vehicles. A number of plaintiffs fi led a product liability suit in a Missouri state court against Ford Motor. Ford Motor claimed that the court did not have venue. The plaintiffs asserted that Ford Credit, which had an office in the jurisdiction, acted as Ford’s “agent for the transaction of its usual and customary business” there. Is Ford Credit an agent of Ford Motor? Discuss. [State ex rel. Ford Motor Co. v. Bacon, 63 S.W.3d 641 (Mo. 2002)]

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