With all the news surrounding General Motors and Chrysler's slicing and dicing to profitability, it's a breath of fresh air to hear that Ford is taking a different tack. The Blue Oval is betting the farm on new models that will lure consumers into showrooms rather than reworking existing models and cutting back development spending.
Speaking with the Detroit News, Ford CEO Alan Mulally said, "We're only going to be in business if we create products that people really do want and value. This is the essence of creating a viable Ford."
Part of the automaker's plan is to invest in the development of small cars in the U.S. and to make those models as profitable as their European counterparts. The recently renegotiated contracts with the UAW should help, but offering the features U.S. consumers crave in a small, inexpensive packages could prove difficult. And new products are only part of the solution.
Ford plans to cut back on advertising spending, reduce salaried payroll by 10% and cut executive bonuses to net between $8-9 billion. All that, along with asset sales and working with Ford Credit, could bring things back into the black (hopefully) and more compelling products have to be part of the plan.