Ford's New Focus

Ford Motor Company suffered huge losses in 2008; despite that, they have so far refused Troubled Asset Relief Program or T.A.R.P. money from the U.S. government. They have had no government intervention in their recent efforts to keep the company running. Ford is looking to the future, with its focus on new models to lure buyers looking for great deals in today’s shaky auto market.

Having avoided bankruptcy, Ford is now looking at a four year plan to turn around its financial situation with new product lines. “Within five years, Ford expects to have reduced the age of its global product portfolio by 20 percent,” they reported.

Ford actually reported a 2.3% jump in sales last month, mostly due to the federal government’s CARS program, but Ford is also counting on the success of their new lines.

Some analysts say that Ford’s financial outlook is positive. Rod Lache of Deutsche Bank says, “We think Ford could be (sustainably) profitable by the end of 2009.”

Ford CFO Lewis Booth said, “This isn’t about staying the course. It’s about prospering after the downturn. My job is to make sure we have the proper balance of resources to protect our future.”

The new 2010 Ford Taurus is a big part of Ford’s plans for the future. The Taurus has received positive safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and is being marketed as a more updated and stylish vehicle focused on the needs of today’s drivers.

The Fiesta has been updated and revived to attract the environmentally conscious as well as the millions of consumers who are looking for a low sticker price and better gas mileage. The new Fiesta has been very popular in Europe, and Ford is hoping for big sales in the U.S. in the near future.

“We have made it a business priority to deliver a full lineup of Ford vehicles — small, medium and large cars, utilities and trucks — that aim to be best-in-class in fuel efficiency, quality, technology and safety and available to consumers with exceptional value,” said Derrick Kuzak of Ford’s global product development group.

Ford is making a leap to reach its goals of sustained profitability within four to five years, and the outlook is favorable. Consumer confidence levels in Ford have improved due to the company’s ability to restructure without bankruptcy.

Booth also said, “In the worst of economic times, we are taking the actions necessary not only to strengthen Ford’s business but also to deliver world-class levels of product freshness globally.”

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