A year ago, many people were predicting the end of Detroit. In light of the financial sector's collapse and the subsequent Big Three implosion (not to mention a few highly publicized chats between Detroit CEOs and members of Congress), naysayers around the world insisted that America's moment to shine was over -- at least as far as cars were concerned. Today, however, we need look no further than Ford Motor Company to see that rumors of Detroit's death have been greatly exaggerated.
Yesterday, the popular Ford Fusion sedan was awarded Motor Trend magazine's car of the year award. Fuel-efficient and affordable (starting under $20,000), the 2010 Ford Fusion scored a whopping 8.8 review here at TheCarConnection.com, and it's had similar appeal among the buying public. Over the past year, the Fusion has boosted sales and helped expand Ford's U.S. market share by almost a full percentage point: the company now holds 15.8% of the American market.
Coinciding with the Motor Trend award was another announcement -- one from multi-billionaire investor George Soros. Soros revealed his purchase of $52.9 million in Ford stock, which, combined with Fusion news, sent Ford shares surging. After flirting with the nine dollar mark, the stock finally settled at $8.98. That's the highest Ford's stock has been in over two years, and a far cry from the low point of $1.26 per share Ford hit a year ago this month.
Whether General Motors and Chrysler will rebound as impressively as Ford is a matter for serious debate -- and at the very least, Ford will be a tough act to follow. Still, Alan Mulally & Co. offer some bright rays of hope for Detroit's future.