Ford, with smiles, returns to the plan

Jan. 13, 2010 at 2:31 PM
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DETROIT, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. executives at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit said a quick bow was enough, then it was time to get back to work.

OK, maybe a bow and a photo op. After that, "the last thing we can do -- even for a minute -- is rest on our laurels," said Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr.

A little pride was understandable. In 2009, Ford managed to avoid bankruptcy proceedings and federal intervention and maintained its research and development programs, while rival U.S. companies could not make the same claims. Ford gained market share this year after 14 years of declines and capped off the improbable by capturing the Car of the Year and Truck of the Year prizes at the auto show, The Detroit News reported.

It was only the third time ever one company had taken both awards.

Ford Americas President Mark Fields said, "it's important to enjoy the moment, but then get back to business."

Amidst a sharp slump in U.S. auto sales, Ford lost $14.6 billion in 2009 and does not expect to make a profit this year.

"We just have to keep a laser focus on the plan," said Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally.

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