Look, here's what I think the the real underlying business reason is for them doing this. It's doesn't make the turd taste any better but at least there's a kernel of logic behind it. It's still a situation of alienating your base for a short-term payoff. As we all know, Ford isn't exactly in a strong position financially these days. Giant corporations, like the rest of us, are constantly borrowing money and have to keep after their credit rating such that it is. Loans are secured by assets -- there has to be some sort of collateral that has tangible value. Ford doesn't have a lot left to borrow against that isn't already in hock, so they're constantly looking for a new angle. Right now, they appear to be borrowing money against their intellectual property. The only way to convince a lender to make that loan is to demonstrate that that intellectual property indeed has value and will continue to into the future. Part of this demonstration is to show that you are vigorously defending said intellectual property against dilution. Allowing unlicensed products into the marketplace dilutes the value of Ford's intellectual property and thus makes it more difficult to borrow money. So, it's not as simple as Ford being strapped for cash and thus wanting to squeeze pennies out of licensing a few hundred calendars or whatever. It's part of the bigger picture strategy of continuing to be able to borrow the vast sums they must to continue in business. They can't make very much off of their entire licensing program -- it's the appearance of defending their brand that makes them money. I'm sure there are some within the corporation that realize it blows to step on their core following but see it as a necessary evil in order to plod along for another day. I'm certainly not defending their actions, just pointing out that there's probably a deeper wrinkle to this than what's on the surface.