As one financial analyst remarked recently, if business were politics, Detroit would be the Middle East. However, in the midst of one of the worst auto depressions in history, Ford Motor Company seems to be thriving. Or, at least doing better than its competitors.
Case in point: Ford's F-150 pickup truck is currently the best-selling vehicle of any type in the United Sates, and it doesn't look like it may be in danger of losing this title any time soon. But, it's the compact, fuel-efficient cars like Ford Focus that give us a glimpse of what the future may hold for this automobile giant.
Ford Focus symbolizes the company's turnaround. This car, built on a platform that allows the auto manufacturer to produce half a dozen different cars from the same components, is designed to sell around the globe. Ford expects to sell more than a million of these vehicles this year.
The company, it seems, put the last traces of the recession in the rearview mirror. They not only avoided bankruptcy and federal bailout, but turned into the world's most profitable automaker. The transformation, however, hasn't happened overnight.
Upon taking the CEO job at Ford in 2006, Alan Mulally went on a crusade to save the Ford. Because of the economic recession, Ford Motor Company had to match its current production to the lower demand. They set about reworking some of the traditional models, and adding the new ones. The company got rid of its European car brands that were acquired under the previous leadership, and sold the customer-services operations. They focused all of their resources on the Ford brand.
All this unfortunately proved insufficient to save the company. Ford was forced to mortgage its most valuable assets - just to keep the company going, and hopefully finance the much-needed restructuring. This massive loan was taken just two years before the financial crisis hit, making credit unavailable. Thus, unlike its competitors, Ford had enough money to ride out the economic downturn. A desperate move turned out to be the right thing to do at the right time!
Today, Ford Motor is moving to integrate the company globally. Despite failing in the past, their Ford Fiesta compact is back in Japan. Both Fiesta and Fusion midsize sedan sales are growing at record rates. The second-largest of the Detroit carmakers, and one of the greatest automobile manufacturers of all time, Ford Motor Company has successfully regained its position as an American icon and is now looking to sell cars to the whole world.