Oct. 24 - CEO Alan Mulally produced Ford’s 17th straight profitable quarter and now sees higher profit and margin this year. Fred Katayama reports.
No wonder Boeing and Microsoft are said to want Alan Mulally. The CEO who engineered Ford's turnaround just produced the automaker's 17th straight profitable quarter. Backed by market share gains in every region, Ford sees higher profits and margins this year. Its F-series pickup trucks guzzled market share, helping Ford grow revenues in its largest market, North America, while it halved its losses in Europe. It now forecasts its business there will go into the black in 2015. And profits soared to a record in Asia. China fueled that drive with strong sales of the compact Focus and sport utilities EcoSport and Kuga. A late comer in China, Ford invested in plants there to take on leaders GM and VW, and that's now paying off. It expects to double its market share in China in the fourth quarter. Just yesterday, Ford said its Focus has become the world's top selling car, a claim Toyota disputes. Ford's stock rose sharply higher on the results. It's up more than 35 percent this year, miles ahead of GM's 22 percent rise. Mulally has transformed the automaker, astutely borrowing gobs of money to fund his plan just before the global financial crisis hit. That enabled Ford to become the only Detroit automaker to avoid bankruptcy.