Though there’s no doubt his last name helped a little in landing the job as Ford Motor Company’s CEO, Bill Ford has come a long way in proving himself a competent, determined and intelligent auto exec. Even though the Blue Oval has lost some luster recently, Mr. Ford has shown he’s willing to make tough, long term decisions required to occasion a rebound.

For all that and more Bill Ford is being honored as the 2006 Automotive Industry Executive of the Year award in early April. The award is sponsored by DNV Certification and the Automotive Industry Action Group, and the nominating committee is comprised of auto industry media, industry analysts and automotive supplier CEOs. Rest assured Autoblog was not asked to contribute to the nominating process. (What's up with that?)

Past recipients of the award include Dieter Zetsche, Rick Wagoner, Henry Ford II, Lee Iacocca and John DeLorean.

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