Ford Motor Company

Company Background and History

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Environmental Analysis

Competitor Analysis

Company Performance

Strategic Issues

The Ford Motor Company was founded in 1908 and quickly became an American icon, built around powerhouse franchises such as the Model T, the Thunderbird and the Mustang. Ford has recently been in a downward trend, both in terms of market share and profitability.

Ford competes in an intense market, and has also suffered from the effects of the economic downturn. However, the company spurred bailout funds and has carved its own path to recovery. Despite the feel good story of its past two quarters, Ford still faces a challenging future. It has a poor market position in the world’s largest and most rapidly growing auto market — China. Although Ford has green products in the development pipeline, it lags it competitors in this respect.

Still, Ford has an iconic brand, and a few other advantages that can help to take advantage of the opportunities in the marketplace. In order to do so, Ford must repair its income statement and strengthen its balance sheet. Relations with the dealer network have improved in recent years, but must continue to do so. And the company needs to find a way to leverage the power of its brand.

The Ford Motor Company faces a difficult future, but has the capability to overcome the challenges it faces, save perhaps the economy. If nothing else, Ford needs to survive through the remainder of the economic slowdown because of its precarious financial position. If it can do this, steal market share from GM and Chrysler, and increase capacity in China, Ford will rise once again.


Ford Motor Company is the only one of the big three U.S. automakers not to have taken federal bailout money this past year. While Chrysler and General Motors were using Chapter 11 protections to restructure their businesses, Ford’s management resisted the government’s terms and kept the business afloat on their own. Long saddled with high legacy costs, Ford adopted a unique strategy. Its competitors are no longer saddled with those costs, but those competitors are also owned by the government. This lends Ford a unique status going forward, one that appears to have paid short-term dividends in terms of a faster recovery than its Detroit competitors (Seymour, 2009) but the company’s road is far from certain. Ford is still struggling with declining sales and a high liability burden. The company’s management has not been able to keep up with competitors, either in terms of production or in terms of product development. Ford still has opportunities for growth, however. The question facing the company is to choose the opportunities that will allow for the company to regain its tarnished image as an American icon, and avoid those that will tip the company over the edge into a Chapter 11 restructuring of its own.

Company Background and History

Henry Ford introduced America to the Model T. In 1908, after 20 years of development work. A superior vehicle in its day, the Model T. changed the course of automobile engineering. By 1913, Ford had built a factory outside of Detroit to mass produce the Model T. The next year, Ford built more cars than all other automakers combined. When the Model T. was retired in 1927, Ford Motor Company entered its next era. Armed with the newly-minted Rouge Assembly Plant in Dearborn, Ford launched the Model A (, 2009).

After World War II, Ford captured the hearts and minds of the American people with the ’49 Ford, a vehicle of revolutionary design, and introduced in a variety of categories, most of which (coupe, convertible, sedan) still form automobile categories today. By the time the Thunderbird was introduced in 1954 and the Mustang ten years later, Ford had become an American icon, with a sense of fun and the open road indelibly etched into the American psyche (, 2009).

In the following decades, Ford remained strong. The company’s truck business grew rapidly, and Ford became involved in most of the major automotive trends. Today, Ford has the best-selling auto in the U.S. with the F-Series trucks as well as the #7 (Fusion) and #10 (Escape). With General Motors moving many of its assets, it is expected the Ford will settle out as the number two car company in America, behind Toyota.

Central to Ford’s early success — and current trouble — is its labor relations. Henry Ford, realizing that assembly line work was unstimulating and therefore subject to higher-than-average turnover, began offering his workers abnormally high wages – $5 a day in 1914. Ford also felt that this allowed workers to afford cars — in part he was right. Sales soared, turnover was reduced and the plan was a rousing success.

Ninety-five years later and Ford finds itself burdened by what are termed “legacy costs.” These legacy costs combine to give Ford — and formerly Chrysler and General Motors as well — the highest per hour labor costs in the automotive industry. Ford’s legacy costs include the following: All dollars paid to employees; the cost of contractual benefits for employees; the cost of statutory payments, such as social security and worker’s compensation. These average to approximately $70 per hour. Retirement and benefits make up the bulk of this cost. The benefits include medical care and drug benefits; dental and vision; group life insurance; disability benefits; supplemental unemployment benefits; pensions; unemployment compensation and payroll taxes. These burdens stem from the days when Ford’s production was based on manual labor. A staff in the tens of thousands was granted strong pension benefits, including health care. Ford is now left with tens of thousands of pensioners enjoying not only retirement benefits but rapidly increasingly health care and drug benefits, all paid for out of current earnings.

Ford came into the current economic recession with profits in the middle part of this decade. The company had been successful with SUVs, but demand for these high end vehicles had masked the effects of declining sales in other lines. The company was hit with three years of losses. As the big three automakers all teetered on the edge of bankruptcy, the incoming Obama regime mulled bailout funds for these companies. Ford alone decided against accepting a bailout, feeling that they could recover their business without government intervention — that the long-term costs of such intervention would outweigh the benefits.

Environmental Analysis

An environmental analysis can help to understand the situation that the company faces, and the external forces that act upon it. A common tool for this type of analysis is the PEST analysis — political/legal, economic, social and technological.

The political environment in the United States right now is unique. The other two major automakers in the United States have both gone through government-led Chapter 11 bankruptcies. General Motors in particular has emerged a new company, without its legacy costs (Isidore, 2009). Ford resisted the temptation to take taxpayer money to help it restructure, as the firm’s managers did not feel it was prudent to surrender control of the company to the federal government (NPR, 2009).

That Ford has to this point opted out of the bailout concept does not preclude the company from pursuing this option in the future. In the present, however, the most significant impact is on the company’s competitive environment. Chrysler and GM were shepherded through the Chapter 11 process and allowed to engage is substantial Section 363 restructuring. This was forced upon GM by the government and the restructuring under section 363 essentially allowed the company to keep its good assets while shedding its bad. Its biggest liability — the pension obligations, was turned over the UAW for a share of ownership. The U.S. government is now the major owner of GM, the Canadian government a minority owner. The federal government, with access to taxpayer dollars and the lowest cost of capital possible, is now competing directly with Ford (de la Merced & Glater, 2009).

The political environment is also impacting Ford in other ways. Over the summer, the “cash-for-clunkers” program spurred a short-term boost in auto sales. Over the longer-term, the Obama government is seeking to encourage the development of fuel-efficient and alternative energy vehicles. Such developments could represent both a threat to and an opportunity for Ford.

Ford is also subject to other governments as well. Some, like California, take the lead on the mandated sale of alternate-energy vehicles. Emissions legislation is a vital component to Ford’s business — it must prepare for ever stricter standards in light of governmental efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. State governments and governments in Canada impact Ford with their policies that impact individual production facilities. A few tax breaks here or there can determine where a vehicle is produced. This situation is mirrored in international markets. Ford operates around the world, and places emphasis on local production. The company is subject to a wide range of laws in foreign countries, and is also subject to the impacts of international treaties, including quotas and tariffs imposed by trade treaties.

The economic environment is difficult. The United States may finally be showing signs of emerging from recession, but the recent economic difficulty has taken its toll of Ford. Following the by the ‘cash for clunkers’ program, auto sales have slumped again. Many competitors saw sales fall dramatically in the wake of that program. Ford, however, did not suffer as much. While two of its most popular models, the Focus and the Escape, fell 64.1% and 58.5% respectively in October, sales in other products increased. Ford sales dropped just 5% for October, and were up 5% for the quarter, marking the first such increase in four years. Ford is still heavily dependent on economic recovery spurring higher auto sales.

The economic environment around the world is not much better. Ford’s major markets outside of the U.S. — Canada and Europe — are still suffering from the same lingering effects of the economic slowdown. This has resulted in sales struggles that generally have mirrored those in the United States. The one major economy that has bounced back the fastest from the recession is that of China. While other automakers, notably GM, have benefited from a strong presence in China, Ford has just 2% market share there. Indeed, Ford’s Asia Pacific operations were not a source of strength, losing money in the first half of 2009. To address this issue, Ford is investing in a new manufacturing facility in China in order to increase production capabilities in the long run (Reeves, 2009).

The social environment for Ford is shifting towards one focused on environmental responsibility. Ford’s success with large trucks and SUVs became a liability for the company as consumer sentiment in large swaths of America has turned against big vehicles and towards more fuel efficient cars. The White House has supported this trend, which gives it legs.

The trend towards more when gas prices are high, such as in the first half of 2008. When gas prices begin to come down the social environment loses some interest in fuel efficiency. Thus, a segment of consumers can be said to be price sensitive with respect to gasoline. While this provides Ford with valuable information about cross-price elasticity of demand, it also represents a risk since social attitudes can change much more quickly than Ford’s production schedule.

The technological environment of the automobile industry favors two key factors. The first is an emphasis on automated production and sophisticated procurement. Toyota built a competitive advantage around its supply chain management, employing sophisticated techniques and technologies. Today, Ford and the other automakers have done their best to answer that challenge. The cost savings that can accrue from efficiency improvements in the supply chain and manufacturing necessitate continuous investment in research and development in the area of process improvement.

The second major focus of the technological environment is the development of “green” vehicles — electric cars, fuel cell technology and fuel efficiency improvements. These are often mandated by the government and driven with a modicum of consumer support. All major auto manufacturers are developing solutions in these areas, in order to meet strong expected future demand. For its part, Ford is attacking this problem on multiple fronts. The 2010 Fusion is the most fuel efficient in its class. In 2010, Ford will have a battery-powered vehicle for its fleet customers. By 2011, the company will delivery a battery-powered passenger vehicle. The third generation of hybrids will be available in 2012, including a plug-in. For its conventional products, Ford has introduced EcoBoost engines, which it claims delivers improved fuel efficiency over previous engines. The company expects 90% rollout of EcoBoost engines by 2013.

Competitor Analysis

Ford faces intense competition. Most firms in the automobile industry employ a cost leadership strategy, according to Porter’s typology. Cost leadership occurs within vehicle segments, each segment being differentiated in some way from the others. The number one player in the industry is Toyota. Ford is probably number two, pending the fallout from the General Motors bankruptcy and asset sales. Other key competitors, in order of market share, are Honda, Chrysler, Nissan and Hyundai (Wall Street Journal, 2009).

Each of these competitors has its own unique dynamic. GM is selling off assets and discontinuing lines. Where its sales shake out is unknown at present, but some in the industry believe it will fall to be the number three automaker behind Toyota and Ford. Honda has been hit hard by the downturn but is generally a strong performer with increasing market share. Chrysler has been pummeled during the course of the economic downturn, consumers equally turned off by its products and by the thought that the company will not last much longer. Nissan has had stable market share for a number of years. Hyundai is an up-and-coming company. Its sales jumped 27% in the last quarter — the same last quarter when other automakers were shedding sales. Hyundai is expected to pick up business as GM is closing two lines — Pontiac and Saturn — that formerly competed directly with Hyundai.

Automakers typically compete on the basis of price, quality, service and distribution. Consumers have a high level of price sensitivity when evaluating competing products. The high degree of competition in the industry manifests itself in price competition, in particular from Asian manufacturers not burdened with legacy costs and inefficient supply chain models. Discounting, price negotiation and price promotions are all common in the industry.

Quality is another major dynamic in the industry. Firms compete on the basis on initial quality and on the basis of quality over the life of the car. The concept of quality in automobiles takes on many different dimensions, with a wide variety of metrics in use. The particular metrics and features of importance will vary from consumer to consumer. Even automakers employing the cost leadership strategy must place significant emphasis on quality, in part due to the exceptionally high level of competition in the industry.

Distribution is a key point of competition as well. Most automakers use a dealer network to bring their products to market. Dealers act as both sales people and service centers for vehicles. The strength of after-sales service is another key element of competition.

Ford has a strong competitive situation in the industry. The company has established a strong brand name over the past century. Although this name has been marred at times — the Pinto incident for example — it remains strong, particularly in the company’s core North America market. Ford is the number two or number three automaker in the U.S. market. It has a vast dealer network, and has the industry’s best-selling vehicle. The company has ample production capacity and has “green” products in development. Other than Hyundai, Ford is the only major automaker to have gained sales in the past quarter, an indicator of the strength of the company’s competitive position.


Ford has many strengths upon which it can build sustainable competitive advantage. Among the most significant are brand recognition, product strength and its dealer network.

Ford has perhaps the most recognizable brand name in the automobile industry. The company is an American icon and a household name. Ford’s brand name extends to multiple foreign markets as well. In addition to the corporate moniker, Ford also has several strong brand names in the automobile business, including the Taurus, the Mustang and the F-series in trucks. These franchises are valuable. They drive tremendous business for the company, in part due to their high visibility and resonance with the consumer.

Ford’s corporate brand and its stable of valuable brand names help to do to things. One is that they help to foster a sense of family in the Ford lineup. The consistent use of the Ford moniker, in particular, conveys the strength and history of the company throughout the entire lineup. Each individual line represents continuity of product, function and image, increasing the value of the franchise. The Mustang, for example, continues to benefit from the image created forty-five years ago when the brand was first launched. The F-Series branding is further evidence of the strength of Ford’s branding — the different Ford trucks are viewed by consumers as a singular set of complementary products.

The connotations of the Ford name are especially powerful in the core U.S. market, where the name is synonymous with American freedom, industry and innovation. Ford’s response to the bailout offer strengthened this brand image, spurring response from consumers who gifted Ford with higher sales for the third quarter, versus sharp sales declines from the other major automakers.

Ford’s products are also a source of strength for the company. Ford trucks in particular are well-regarded by consumers. Other Ford products also share good reputations. Ford is performing well with some of its products in overseas markets, such as the Fiesta in Europe. The company has invested considerable sums into product development as well, to bring its products in line with current social and political trends. In doing this, Ford is setting itself up for a stronger future.

Ford also gains strength from its dealer network. This network gives Ford a presence in virtually all markets. The dealers act as salespeople, they perform the service function and they drive business for Ford Credit, the firm’s auto finance arm (and one of its more consistently profitable units). Ford’s dealer relations have in past been characterized as terrible, but the company has taken steps in the past decade to improve dealer relations and better leverage the capabilities of these key business partners.

Counterbalancing these strengths, Ford has several weaknesses that it must overcome. The most significant are its finances, its legacy costs and its small presence in Asia.

Ford was savvy enough to secure additional financing prior to the economic meltdown (Ford 2008 Annual Report). This allowed the company to get through the worst of the crisis without a government bailout. That said, Ford’s finances remain poor. The company made a profit in Q2 and Q3 of 2009, but for most of the past four years has been bleeding red ink. Ford lost $14.6 billion last year, $2.7 billion the year before, and $12.6 billion in 2006. The company does not have a high enough contribution margin to cover its general operating expenses (MSN Moneycentral, 2009).

An examination of Ford’s balance sheet reveals more trouble. Ford was liquid as of the end of 2008, but the company has burned through much of its cash so far in 2009. At the end of 2008, Ford’s debt ratio was 1.07, and the company has been highly leveraged for many years. It currently has negative equity (MSN Moneycentral, 2009), which after 100+ years of business does not represent good return on investment. If the company can turn around its profit picture, it may yet be able to restore equity and pay down some debt, but Ford looks to be highly leveraged for several years. This reduces operational flexibility, which can hamper growth opportunities for the company and devalue shareholder wealth.

Ford, having not taken advantage of the opportunity for a Chapter 11 restructuring, still has its legacy costs. However, the company was able to restructure some of these costs in March 2009. The company was able to negotiate a deal with the United Auto Workers that brings its labor costs down to $55 per hour. While this figure is below the damaging pre-Chapter 11 labor costs at GM and Chrysler, it remains above the costs at newer producers such as Toyota. Ford expects its per hour cost to decrease over time, but until it does, the company remains at a competitive disadvantage (Whiteman, 2009). Worse, GM was able to shed its pension liabilities, bringing its labor costs in line or below those of the Japanese manufacturers, leaving Ford with some of the highest legacy costs in the business.

Ford has a weak presence in Asia. It is expected China will officially become the world’s largest market for cars in 2009, at somewhere around 10.7 million cars, versus estimated U.S. sales this year of 9.8 million (Associated Press, 2009). Ford has the number two or three market position in the U.S., with a 15.8% share of the market (Wall Street Journal, 2009). In China, Ford has a 2% market share (Reeves, 2009), around what a company like Subaru has in the U.S. Ford is a minor player in the world’s largest car market and does not have the capacity to meet demand. The company is investing in a new plant in China, but this will not be putting cars on the market until 2012.

The Asian market represents Ford’s biggest opportunity. China’s growth in particular has been startling. Two years ago, it moved past Japan into the number two position worldwide and is now the world’s largest market for automobiles. With this growth comes tremendous opportunity. Ford should strike while the iron is hot. The Chinese economic miracle is expected to run into major constraints in the coming decades. Scarcity of the essentials of life — food, water and energy — threatens China’s future. Moreover, the country’s peg to the U.S. dollar is unsustainable and with a free float the yuan would crash. Ford can take advantage of the rapid growth, but to delay risks getting into China at just the wrong time. Even in a good scenario, delay means lost market share and brand-building opportunity.

Another opportunity for Ford is the so-called “green” alternatives. There are several options for the company in the field of green automotives. The federal government and many state governments are taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption. As these strategies become more sophisticated, involving economic intervention through tax policy, demand for green vehicles is likely to increase rapidly in the coming decade. Ford has several types of green vehicles in development, but is behind several other manufacturers in bringing green automobiles to market.

Ford also has tremendous opportunity domestically. The company’s iconic brand and extensive dealer network can help it to capture significant amounts of business as the country pulls out of recession. Furthermore, the unique status of Ford as an independent American automaker can allow it to tap patriotism to expand its market share. Helping matters, there is considerable market share on the table for Ford right now. The struggles at the other automakers have given Ford the opportunity to pick up customers from GM and Chrysler. The latter has seen its market share erode from 11% in 2008 to 7.9% today. Ford has taken some of this — expanding market share from 14.3% in 2008 to 15.8% today (Wall Street Journal, 2009). That GM is shutting down several lines and reducing capacity only gives Ford more opportunity to win domestic business from its struggling competitors.

That said, there are many threats to Ford at present. The first is the economy. The current economic slowdown/recession cost Ford billions in lost sales as consumers delayed auto purchases or cancelled them altogether. Car buying in North America and Europe — Ford’s major markets — is strongly correlated with the state of the economy. Although there are signs of life in the American economy, many observers are skeptical that they can be sustained (BBC, 2009). If the economic recovery falters, Ford may lose money for a quarter or two. If the economic recovery collapses, Ford could be in line for a bailout after all.

The second major threat is competition. Ford operates in an intensely competitive industry. As a highly-visible industry leader, Ford is subject to both direct and indirect attacks from competitors. They fight vigorously for Ford’s market share, and have reduced it considerably in the past few decades. Competition in the U.S. market is set to become even more vigorous. Upstart firms like Hyundai are expanding rapidly; Chrysler, Ford and GM all have shed some of their legacy liabilities. While the impact of all these changes remains to be seen, it is fully expected that the automobile industry will be more competitive than in the past, with firms emphasizing both technological development and price.

A third major threat is a shift in consumer sentiment. Ford cannot move quickly enough to satisfy the changing moods of consumers. The company’s lead time for new automobiles is measured in years. Thus, Ford’s success depends in part on gauging the social trends in its core markets. It correctly capitalized on the popularity of the SUV, but failed miserably to match the American public’s sharp swing towards smaller vehicles in light of the downturn and the rapid increase in gas prices in the first half of 2008.

Company performance

In terms of market share, Ford has struggled in the 2000s. The company, in general, has lost substantial market share in the past few decades as increasing numbers of foreign competitors not only arrive in the U.S. market, but outcompete the domestic firms. Ford has, however, reversed this trend in the past year and gained market share, particularly at the expense of Chrysler.

In terms of financial performance, the past few years have been an unmitigated disaster for Ford. The company has seen decreases in revenue — from $172 billion in 2004 to $146 billion in 2008. This has been matched by declines in contribution margin as well — from $28 billion in 2008 to $9 billion in 2008. These top line figures indicate slumping sales and margins that are too tight. Price competition in the industry is strong, and automakers make little per vehicle sold. To succeed with this strategy, automakers must operate at high capacity and earn efficiencies of scale. Slumping sales makes that difficult to do, a major contributor to Ford’s current poor performance.

Ford has been unable to contain its selling/general/administrative expenses. Over the past five years, these expenses have range from 14.6% of revenues in 2004 to 12.1% in 2006 to 15.9% in 2008. In an environment where cost containment is essential, the increase in the past couple of years is alarming.

Ford’s bottom line numbers have deteriorated in lockstep with the top line numbers. The company has lost $30 billion in the past three years, while in the two years prior to that it made $4.7 billion. When Ford wins, it wins small; when it loses, it loses big. Ford has turned a profit the past two quarters and it needed to — it cannot sustain too many more $14 billion losses.

Ford’s balance sheet has not fared much better than its income statement. The company’s asset base has steadily deteriorated over the past five years. While there has been some move in liabilities, the debt ratio has worsened from 0.94 in 2004 to 1.07 today. Ford has become high leveraged, to the point where it has negative equity. This is not only a burden for the firm, but it is indicative of a firm that is losing money and must borrow in order to remain solvent. Last year, for example, Ford recorded a net loss in working capital of $11.379 billion, which cut its cash reserves in half. Ford’s balance sheet cannot sustain too much more damage, and the leverage hinders the company’s ability to make the moves it needs to, like a massive investment in China.

Overall, even the successes of the past two quarters are unlikely to generate enthusiasm among Ford shareholders. The company has a profitable quarter every once in a while, but in general has exhibited poor financial performance in recent years. Ford has consistently lost money, increased its borrowing and cannot make enough money selling cars to cover its general expenses.

Strategic Issues

Without a dramatic turnaround in financial performance, Ford is in trouble. The company hopes that it has taken the right steps, however, to set itself for a return to dominance in the American automobile industry. There are several issues facing the company right now — its financial position, the market share available in the U.S. And China, technological development, and how to achieve all of these things in the context of improved social responsibility.

In order to build share in the U.S., Ford needs to resist the temptation to reduce capacity to meet current levels of demand. Ford instead needs to view itself as a growth company, plundering former Saturn, Pontiac and Chrysler customers for market share. Ford can leverage its strengths in the U.S. market — its iconic brand, its extensive dealer network and its product lines that are similar to these companies’ offerings. Ford should factor in a few points of market share gain when doing its production forecasts and closing plants. The turmoil in the industry is opening doors and Ford can walk through with very little change in strategy, save an ad campaign here or there and the maintenance of existing capacity.

Another strategic issue for Ford is to ramp up involvement in Asia. As potent as the risks to the Chinese economy are, they are unlikely to manifest within the next 10 or 20 years. Although the company has one factory on the go, the Chinese economy and automobile market are growing so rapidly that Ford should start the next factory already. Indeed, that is the pace of business growth in China — matching that has worked for GM while failing to match that has cost Ford. Ford may have difficulty implementing this recommendation given its poor financial position, but the problems with Ford are in North America, not Asia, the risk may not be viewed as the same as for the domestic Ford operations.

A third strategic direction for Ford is to leverage the strength of the firm’s brand to bolster sales in the U.S. Ford has performed brilliantly over the years at building iconic brands. As recognizable as the Ford brand is, however, it is not always perceived in a positive light. Rebuilding the brand will take several steps. The first is to engage the dealer network. They are a significant asset, and one that Ford has generally left untapped. Yet, dealers are a powerful force for brand identity and for marketing new products such as the green vehicles that Ford expects to introduce. The second way to build the brand is through advertising. The focus of most Ford ads is a specific product, with some features and maybe some lifestyle marketing connotations. Ford should shift the emphasis to brand building. The company needs to build franchises again, like it did for the first 80 years of its existence and as it still does with trucks. Anonymous-looking cars with anonymous names do not capture the spirit of Ford, at least not Henry’s company.

The fourth strategic issue for Ford is the state of its finances. Ford needs to restore its balance sheet, but first must attain steady profitability. Ford’s income streams are slowly beginning to recover, but there is little optimism with the expectations for further growth until 2011. Ford needs, therefore, to focus on cost-cutting. In particular, this should be focused on the production level. Ford does not make enough on its vehicles to pays its S/G/A costs. While containing those costs should also be a priority, that alone would not determine Ford’s profitability. It needs to extract more from its name and other assets, in order that it has higher gross margins.


Ford Motor Company is an American icon, but one that has struggled of late. Its finances are a mess and until very recently it was losing heroic amounts of money. Now, however, there are sings of life in two quarters of profit and increasing market share. Ford has some valuable assets, perhaps none more than its brand equity. But in the face of the erosion of brand equity at the other American automakers, this can be enough to help Ford recover. The company must also focus on other key strategic issues, like the rapidly increasing sales of autos in China and the opportunity represented by “green” automobiles in the coming decade or two. Ford appears to have just enough ability and savvy to get through the tough times, but to truly excel, it must focus on leveraging its dealer network and its name, in order to take the market share being forfeited by the other U.S. automakers and capture a greater share in the emerging automobile markets both domestic and abroad. That said, Ford remains one economic hiccup away from asking for the same generous bailout deal that GM received.

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