Ford CEO Tells CNBC: Revamping Of Auto Maker Is 'On Track'
Ford Motor Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally told CNBC that the company’s restructuring plan is “on track.”
“We have some areas that we’re watching closely,” he said in an interview with CNBC’s Phil LeBeau at the New York Auto Show. “But generally, we’re on plan both on the restructuring and on acceleration of new product development.”
He said Ford has traditionally be strong in SUVs and trucks and is now moving to “flexible vehicles on car platforms” to meet consumer demand for greater fuel efficiency.
Mulally said Ford has reduced fleet sales and expects the company’s market share to stabilize at 14% to 15% before growing again as new products are introduced.
“Quarter over quarter, we’re restructuring so it’s going to be tough for the next few quarters, but then we’ll start to grow again,” Mulally said.
He denied published reports that upper management will soon be shaken up because Ford hasn’t hit its numbers.
Earlier Wednesday, Mulally said the implosion in the subprime lending market is "a concern" for the automaker.
Mulally said the company's turnaround plans are "about the right size" but it is keeping a close watch on the U.S. economy.
"The biggest thing we've got to keep watching is the economy, because the housing starts, the construction industry, all these things influence purchasing decisions," Mulally told reporters at the New York International Auto Show.
"It's a little bit softer now and we see that in our sales a little bit; but the economy kind of looks pretty good through the rest of this year," he added.
Ford is in the midst of a massive turnaround that calls for the closing of 14 facilities.
Mulally said the restructuring at the company, which posted a $12.7 billion loss last year, has caused "tremendous upheaval," and added that buyouts of salaried workers are "just about done."