Mulally recognizes it's the product, stupid!

Alan Mulally, Ford's newest inhabitant of the corporate washroom, has big plans for the automaker's lineup, which seeks to return the company to profitability and worldwide efficiency. What those plans entail hasn't been outlined, but in an interview with Automotive News, the new CEO recognizes that Ford's financial doldrums are based around product and production.
New vehicles will be the primary focus of Mulally's vision, with a move away from Ford's reliance on pickups and SUVs, and more concentration on a larger mix of vehicles. That diversification will not only include more products, but also a serious motivation towards reliability and fuel-efficiency.

A significant factor in this shift will be the effort to streamline worldwide production in both the U.S. and Europe, by limiting manufacturing capacity and preventing product overlap. The latter could indicate what we've been saying all along, specifically that some of Ford's European product line should make its way to our shores. Thankfully, Mulally is a quick study, recognizing that global platforms are the bread, butter and triple-shot of espresso that will right the ailing automaker.

During the interview, the CEO also discussed Ford's bloated dealer network, future interactions with suppliers and the failure of so-called 'job banks,' which Mulally plans to take up with the UAW soon. Ford also plans to debut its "Showroom of the Future" to dealers during the second week of December, which will exhibit future models that focus on the ever-changing desires of consumers.

We're waiting, as always, for more bold moves and Mulally's vision means they may be forthcoming. Let the breath holding begin.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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