Ford CEO Uses the "R" Word

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

"If demand goes down substantially more than what we are predicting," Alan Mulally told an Automotive News-sponsored industry confab [AN, sub]. "Then we'll fire all our market analysts." Just kidding. In that event, Big Al pledged to "continue to restructure our business to that new demand." While the Divine Mr. M's statement isn't exactly Earth-shattering– what else could Ford do but continue to downsize to match diminishing demand?– FoMoCo CEO's remarks represent the growing realization that Detroit is heading into hurricane-force headwinds. And while GM brass are busy predicting an economic uplift at the end of '08, Mulally is "selling" his company's ability to grasp the proverbial nettle. "It's just so important in business to always be looking through clear glasses — looking at the world and the way it is, the way it's going and have a point of view and then responding… The worst thing is to not look (at reality) and not have a point of view about the future and then not have a strategy and plan that delivers profitable growth in that environment." Look out GM; them's fighting words!

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Umterp85 Umterp85 on Jan 23, 2008

    Mulally is THE reason I have faith that Ford can turn it around. He is not only saying the right things----his actions are following. Hopefully he has enough time and resources to pull it off. If he does---it wil be one of the most remarkable and important corporate transformations in US history.

  • Shabatski Shabatski on Jan 23, 2008

    It is always the most difficult thing in business to look through "clear glasses" and realize that your company's goals and market are not in alignment. By Ford bringing in an outsider that can see clearer than the old brass that's been drinking the Ford Kool-Aid for too long is also the reason I like Ford over all other US auto manufactures. They might continue to loose market share for the foreseeable future, but they will be the most profitable in the end. I look forward to the day I can buy a Ford and not have to immediately explain my decision to friends. (Ford trucks notwithstanding)

  • Sherman Lin Sherman Lin on Jan 23, 2008

    umterp85 is right, Mullaly appears to be a realist and the right person to get Ford's house in order. shabatski, why do you feel you have to explain any of your purchases to anyone? Seriously why does anyone care what some other person chooses as a car?

  • Bunter1 Bunter1 on Jan 23, 2008

    umterp- Well stated. I have been keeping an eye on this guy. Personally I think his leadership, vision, honesty and grasp of reality are unique in Detroit. Go Ford! I hope you're back on top soon. Bunter