Ford Boss Alan Mullaly Sees Light At End Of Tunnel

June 12, 2009

Unlike General Motors and Chrysler LLC, Ford Motor Company (F) has maintained a more normal outward appearance as the organization has navigated through this current economic storm. For example, Ford introduced the 2010 Ford Mustang at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show.  GM and Ford did not even hold press conferences. The company has launched a succession of new vehicles, including the well-received 2009 Ford F-150 pickup truck and the 2010 Ford Fusion, complete with a Fusion Hybrid model (also introduced in LA).

At a recent event to help launch the all-new 2010 Ford Taurus, Automotive News reports that Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally believes the U.S. economy is poised to improve in the second half of the year. This corresponds with comments editors from TheCarConnection have heard from other manufacturers including Hyundai, Volvo, and Toyota/Lexus. Mulally said, "We think we are right on track to start this recovery. We are very rapidly moving on our plan to improve the balance sheet," Mulally said. "Going forward, we will really accelerate that as we return to profitability and start repairing the balance sheet even more."

U.S. industry sales for the first part of June were "a little better" than May, said the president of Ford's Americas unit, Mark Fields, who was also present at the event. The top executives at Ford, the only U.S. automaker not in bankruptcy, said the automaker is poised to become stronger after posting losses in each of the past three years.

U.S. auto sales fell 33.7 percent in May from a year earlier, while Ford limited its decline to 25.8 percent. Aggressive discounting helped steady results as sales for the month reached 9.9 million units on an annualized basis, the highest mark this year.

Ford Motor Company has announced more new products are coming, including the 2011 Ford Fiesta, that TCC editor John Voelcker recently drove. Especially compared to Chrysler -- that has an aging product line and few new products to introduce in the near term -- Ford Motor Company seems well positioned to benefit from any type of rebound in the overall economy and automotive sector.

[Automotive News]

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