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Old 01-07-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Ford Making ’Tremendous Progress’ With Turnaround, Mulally Says

Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said investments in the company’s car lineup and efforts to pay back debt are helping the automaker make “tremendous progress” in its turnaround effort.

“During this worst recession, we chose to increase our investment in new vehicles that people want and value,” he said in an interview from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “Now we are delivering on that product promise, and we’re actually paying the loans back and improving our balance sheet.”

Ford, which reported a 33 percent sales rise in December, gained U.S. market share last year for the first time since 1995. New models like the Ford Fusion are fueling orders at the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker. Its shares have more than quadrupled in the past year, reaching the highest level in almost five years.

“The consumer loves a company that not only has a strong product line but is creating a strong business, and they know they are going to be around,” said Mulally, 64. “The goodwill that everyone has for Ford far outweighs the disadvantages that Ford has now.”

Ford is reaping the benefits of Mulally’s plan to invest in new models with much of the $23 billion the automaker borrowed in late 2006. Ford put up as collateral all major assets, including its name, to secure that lending, which allowed the company to stave off the bankruptcies that befell General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC last year.

‘Driver’s Seat’

“This isn’t just lucky happenstance, it’s a combination of benefits from not taking a bailout, unassailably high quality and an interesting, exciting product lineup,” said analyst John Wolkonowicz of IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. “Ford is in the driver’s seat now. They have more going for them than any other automaker.”

Ford rose 41 cents, or 3.7 percent, to $11.37 yesterday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Sales of the redesigned Taurus have climbed 90 percent since it debuted four months ago. Ford said its models commanded $2,700 more revenue per vehicle in the third quarter, as it slashed incentives and boosted prices.

Ford also is banking on bringing more technology into its cars. It’s using CES as a showcase for plans to put social networking, Web browsing an iPod-style thumb controls in 80 percent of models by 2015.

Mulally, who came to Ford from Boeing Co. in September 2006, posted his first back-to-back quarterly profits at the automaker Nov. 2, with third-quarter net income of $997 million. He has said Ford will be “solidly profitable” on an annual basis in 2011.

“The advantages of us doing this ourselves clearly outweigh any of the advantages of going through bankruptcy,” Mulally said. “The only disadvantage that we have right now is that we have a little more debt, but we’re paying that back.”
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Old 01-07-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Ford Making ’Tremendous Progress’ With Turnaround, Mulally Says

not being a member of the Obama Motorworks companies should be a major plus
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Old 01-08-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Ford Making ’Tremendous Progress’ With Turnaround, Mulally Says

should be a hell of a plus......
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Old 01-08-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Ford Making ’Tremendous Progress’ With Turnaround, Mulally Says

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not being a member of the Obama Motorworks companies should be a major plus
I think this is a major reason Ford is doing so well. People are pissed that GM and Chrysler took the bailout money and then filed bankruptcy anyways. I think this trend will continue for Ford.
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