Sunday, August 20, 2006

Poor, stupid (but not hapless or hopeless) Ford

Unlike GM, Ford seems to be facing up to the reality that the age of the gas guzzler is finally gone.

Also unlike GM, they have a reasonable passenger car and crossover range:
  • Fusion (aka Mazda6)
  • Edge (reskin of Mazda CX-7)
  • 500
  • Freestyle
What they're missing of course is a decent subcompact and a B-car. When are they going bring over the (no longer) new second-generation Focus, and what about the Ka and Fiesta.

I give Bill Ford credit for telling some truth here:

As you know, our response to the challenges to our business is the subject of ongoing speculation in the news media, on Wall Street, and in our own hallways and lunchrooms. That's to be expected at a time of great change in our industry and renewed urgency among all of us.

That's why I want you to hear directly from me how I view our situation. First of all, the company's top priority remains the turnaround of our North American operations. As I said when we released our second quarter financial results, Mark Fields and his leadership team are accelerating their efforts, and we expect to tell you in the next couple months what additional measures we will take. These measures may be difficult, but are necessary.

Secondly, I will continue to evaluate the rapidly changing landscape of our industry and review the best ways in which we should adjust. That's why I've hired Ken Leet to assist me and our senior management team in evaluating our business and exploring strategic options. You can read more on Ken in the news release below.

Contrary to speculation, nothing has been decided and we will not rush to judgments. I'm proud of the progress that our operating units and brands around the world are making. Nearly all of them have been through turnaround efforts and have improved as a result. They will continue to pursue the strategies that have guided their progress.

And, as we've said before, Ford Motor Credit Company is a strategic asset to Ford that generates solid profits and dividends. The automotive financing unit continues to have strong business fundamentals and provides key support for Ford vehicle sales worldwide.

It is prudent in a time of rapid change in our industry for us to carefully examine all of our options. In the meantime, however, all of us must continue to remain focused on doing our part to get our company on the path to sustained profitability and success.

Thank you for your continued support of Ford Motor Company.

Bill Ford

No comments: