The Ford Motor Company, founded in 1903 by Henry Ford, is one of the largest auto makers in the world.
During a time of crisis throughout the auto industry in recent years, Ford emerged as the sole American automaker in a position to survive the steepest sales downturn in decades without a government bailout. That helped the company improve its reputation and win new customers.
In April 2010, Ford said it earned a net profit of $2.1 billion, or 50 cents a share, in the previous quarter, and that it expected “solid profits” and positive cash flow from its automotive operations for 2010, a year sooner than it had previously forecast.
Ford said it was the company’s fourth consecutive quarterly profit, and that higher sales had produced its largest pretax operating profit in six years.
The company also said it outsold G.M. in February, something that had not happened in more than 50 years, aside from several months in 1998 when G.M. workers were on strike.
Ford’s current strength stems from what was a literal bet-the-company decision in 2006 to borrow $23.6 billion, putting even the company’s fabled blue logo up as collateral. That money helped Ford move more quickly than General Motors or Chrysler to bring out new lines of more fuel-efficient vehicles, and, more crucially, provided a cash cushion when the car market tanked along with the economy in late 2008. Ford also shifted its strategy to focus on its core brands and has sold off luxury brands, including Jaguar and Land Rover to the Tata Group of India for $2.3 billion in 2009. In March 2010, Ford reached an agreement to sell its Volvo subsidiary to a Chinese conglomerate.
POSTED BY: GC