When Ford CEO Alan Mulally sat down with me and the anchors of "Squawk Box" this morning, his candid comments about federal loans to automakers show congress is likely to lend the money. As I've said before, I think it's money well spent.
Yes, I know some of you are rolling your eyes and saying, "Give me a break! Why should we bail out these guys? They got into this mess, they can themselves out of it."
Funny, I asked Mulally that question and he admitted Fordwas truck and SUV focused because THAT is what the customer wanted. Now that the market has shifted, Ford has to try and shift with them. Unfortunately, getting the money to re-tool the assembly plants is not easy when the credit rating is in the tank. Hence, the automakers are turning to Washington for help.
Mulally is encouraged the money will be approved, and that Ford will be able to use some of those funds to get its plants and portfolio of vehicles positioned to thrive. Even if gas prices fall, Mulally says Ford will continue with it's plan to build and sell more cars and crossovers.
When I asked him if Ford can make a profit off of small cars, he was adamant in saying it could happen. How? By building world cars and lowering the costs by using the economy of scale Ford will get with sales around the world. You may not believe it, but Mulally is not discouraged.
Turning around Ford won't happen overnight, but with the federal loans Mulally is encouraged the transformation will take place.
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