Ford is the new number one in the U.S. automotive market. After several decades, the American auto maker is once again selling more cars than any other manufacturer in the entire U.S. territory.
The company, which at some point was on the verge of bankruptcy, advanced into the ground of the most powerful Asian brands, also relegated to the last market positions in respect of the European manufacturers.
The achievement was made possible by a president who proposed without fear radical changes, besides the talent of German engineers.
Ford was considered a hopeless case until recently. Like their neighbours in the traditional American auto-maker region of Detroit, General Motors (GM) and Chrysler, the company suffered the consequences of failures on its models, the low quality of vehicles, its antiquated plants and some overflowing with health costs and retirement in its squads.
The red numbers increasing year after year and Ford was losing more customers. The end of the company seemed only a matter of time.
The turnaround began in 2006. Bill Ford, a descendant of the famous company's founder, Henry Ford, resigned after five years of failures as president of the company and his successor was not only an outsider to the family, but for the whole sector: Alan Mulally, who had spent 37 years of his career at Boeing. A complete shock for the automotive world of Detroit. Moreover after Mulally ignored the old friendships structures and conveniences to renew the company.
A New Era For Ford
The new president cut thousands of jobs, closed more than a dozen plants and sold several unprofitable subsidiaries, including the classic British brands Jaguar and Land Rover and the Swedish Volvo. And several managers had to pack. Mulally followed the example of his Asian competitors, who made U.S. customers one after other fall in love with low consumption, ending the era of high fuel spenders vehicles.
The new president also received help from abroad. In particular, from the German city of Cologne, Ford of Europe headquarters. There, engineers had begun to dispute with the Asian market, successfully so far. The Ford Focus was developed in Germany, and has now become the best seller car in United States. Also the small version of the Ford Fiesta excites the American drivers.
Moreover, the main competitor, the Japanese auto-maker Toyota, is literally being held back by a wave of calls for workshops due to mechanical failures, this means Ford has the road clear.
Last year, the company reported profit for the first time since 2005 despite the economic crisis, by 2 thousand 700 million dollars. "2009 was a landmark year for Ford", Mulally said.