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.
quote: because the interest our government and the US government will make on those loans is quite good
quote: Canada's government isn't, I don't know if yours will.
quote: Also, I'm excited to drive the new SHO!
quote: Or at least offer it for $40K.
quote: My main beef with the SHO is that it's a BIG car. C'mon guys I want an American Manufacturer to build me a 335i sized car with the same power/fuel economy, better interior and offer it for $30K with a 7 speed DSG or 6 speed manual.
quote: I'm guessing it will go bankrupt in another 15 years.
quote: I have also heard a lot of GM fans say they are only going to buy from Ford since they didn't take a bail out.
quote: The IRS assembly weighs about 80 pounds more than the solid-axle setup on the Mustang GT, but it allows a 125-lb reduction in unsprung suspension weight.
quote: Ford engineers said the IRS unit weighs some 80 pounds more than the old live axle, ...
quote: Bumpy roads, which supposedly are the downfall of solid axles, don't even faze it in the slightest. Go drive one.
quote: Ford has leaked that they are going to put the new 5.0 DOHC "Coyote" V8 in 2011 Mustang.
quote: the price is pushing me towards the Fusion but the almost 500HP of the SHO is really pulling my feelings.
quote: Maybe he's already planning on replacing the Ecoboost's turbos with bigger ones?
quote: but I consider a "flappy-paddle gearbox" to be good enough.
quote: Ok I want you to tell me exactly how obama caused the recession and the meltdown of auto sales?
quote: Ok we could have just let GM and Chrysler liquidate