Ford Motor's need for government assistance will depend on how rapidly the economy decelerates, but the company is not in immediate need of help, CEO Alan Mulally told CNBC.
Though the company reported third-quarter earnings that missed analyst estimatesand said it will need to lay off more workers, Mulally said he's fairly comfortable with Ford's cash position at least in the short term, even though it burned through nearly $8 billion in the third quarter.
He said that Ford will, though, need a bridge loan in the coming months.
"It's really dependent now on what happens with the economy and what happens with the consumer spending," he said.
Mulally also said he's concerned about General Motors, which also reported dismal earnings Fridayamid talk that bankruptcy might be the auto giant's only recourse at this point. The nature of the industry makes GM's problems that of the entire sector, he said.
"We're very interdependent," Mulally said. "We're going to monitor that carefully."
As for Ford itself, he said the company is using its resources to alter its product line into something more palatable to consumers, with affordability and fuel efficiency paramount.
"I think this has been our plan all the way along and today we showed we are implementing that plan," he said.
In the meantime, Ford and other industry leaders are working with the government to develop a plan to save the ailing US auto industry.
He said the government needs to provide bridge loans to cash-strapped companies "so that we are a part of the answer in the recovery of the economy."