Ford Motor Co.’s turnaround is on track, chief executive officer Alan Mulally told the handful of shareholders who bothered to show up in Wilmington, Del., for the company’s annual shareholders meeting.
The slender turnout didn’t prevent a proposal that would have broken the Ford family’s grip on the company. The proposal was supported by 27 percent of the shares voted during the meeting. The strong vote for the proposal suggests the majority of Ford’s non-family shareholders would prefer to end the family grip on the company. It also guarantees it will be voted on again next year.
One of the few shareholders at the meeting ripped chairman William Clay Ford Jr., saying he was a failure and a loser, according to an account provided by the Associated Press.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally, however, tried to put a good face on the company’s manifold problems by saying the company was making steady progress in organizing to meet the challenges.
“As we go forward, you can expect from us what I expect from my team — clearly stated goals and candid assessments of our progress based on facts. Ford Motor Company already has a proud history to gain inspiration from, and many hopeful developments to build on,” he said.
Mulally also noted Ford has several successes last year, despite reporting a $10.5 billion loss. “We had record sales in
“Meanwhile, consumer surveys shows the quality of our Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products in North America is now equal to
Mulally, however, said Ford’s North American sales are under continuing pressure. “But we've made great progress in building products consumers want to buy. Just three years ago, 70 percent of our
Ford’s financial results in the first quarter were better than expected, thanks to cost-cutting in
Mulally also said the goal of the company’s ongoing reorganization is to build more of the products “that people want and really value.”
“We are moving quickly and making real progress, but it’s going to take time to turn things around. As we go forward, you can expect from us what I expect from my team — clearly stated goals and candid assessments of our progress based on facts,” he said. “Our products also will define us as the company that cares about its customers and their communities.”
“Bill Ford and I share the same vision of building clean, fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly vehicles that protect their passengers and our planet. We believe that a company that acts responsibly and is concerned for the greater good will not only be admired, it will be rewarded with growth and sustained profitability,” he added.
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