Ford CEO Plays "How Low Can You Go?" With OPM
When Fortune magazine asked Ford CEO Alan Mulally about his employer's health, he “ignored the industry convention of talking up future models as a source of improved profitability.” Instead, Big Al focused on how much money the automaker has in the bank. That Ford obtained said cash by borrowing it makes his claim more than a bit disingenuous. As a general rule, healthy automakers rely on selling cars and trucks to generate operating cash. Yet Mulally reckons a bird in hand is better than one in the bush— no matter how you captured it. When a reporter from the Detroit Free Press asked Mulally if he’s willing to draw “a line in the sand” to prevent further sales losses, the Ford CEO was adamant: “Absolutely not.” Translation: Ford is ready to play “How low can you go?” Before contrasting Ford’s woes with the relative success of Audi, the article raises a salient question regarding Ford’s strategy. “If you work at Ford, what kind of incentive is it to be told that the company is trying to reach the bottom but doesn't know where the bottom is?” A psychologist would say you must experience the depths of despair to enjoy the highs of ecstacy. Is this also true for a corporation?