2010 Ford Taurus SHO

Ford Fusion Hybrid
America's automotive success story continues to soar high

Ford CEO Alan Mulally was mocked by automotive industry analysts and rivals alike.  His company borrowed $25B USD in 2006 at a time when credit was easier to obtain, but seemed less necessary, and offloaded the money-losing Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors in 2008.  Ford also re-mortgaged virtually all the properties it owned, raising a substantial amount of cash.

Now the tables have turned, and Ford is the one laughing.  Ford sales have begun to recover and the company's stock is flying high as it finds itself America's sole major remaining independent automaker.  Twice bankrupt Chrysler is currently owned by Italy's Fiat, while General Motors, which has undergone its first bankruptcy, is now owned by the government. 

After receiving $5.9B USD in government loans to develop advanced hybrid vehicles, Mulally has announced that Ford is carrying out plans to step up production to meet rising consumer demand.  He states, "Our business plan assumed about the amount we got.  It's very consistent with our plan."

Ford lost $14.7B USD in 2008 and a total of $30B USD in the past three years.  However, it now appears on the road to recovery.  States Mr. Mulally, "[Ford] will continue to size production with demand. But clearly with our market share gain, we're increasing production to support the desirability of Ford products."

Still there is some concern over Ford's debt.  Ford says it will be profitable by 2011, but with the government forgiving much of GM's debt, it becomes an issue of which is more economically viable -- Ford's independent image or GM's lean, low-debt profile.

Mr. Mulally merely comments, "We're really on plan with our plan to finance our transformation.  Clearly, we have sufficient liquidity and we've reduced our cash burn and we've also provided guidance that we are going to continue to reduce our cash burn every quarter through this year."

He says that hybrid vehicles and electrics are central for Ford's turnaround.  He states, "We see more and more electrification, both hybrids and battery electric vehicle."

Ford will release a battery-powered commercial van next year.  It will follow that with a Chevy Volt-challenging small sedan in 2012.

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