The cautious optimism is gone - replaced with a confidence in a profitable future.
For Ford CEO Alan Mulally the company has transitioned into a new phase of growth.
From here forward, Ford not only will be expected to be solidly profitable.
And not just in most parts of the world, but in every region- including the U.S.
Look at Ford's first quarter earnings:
Now Mulally has moved up Ford's profit outlook by a year, saying Ford expects to be solidly profitable this year, instead of next year. As Alan Mulally told me this morning, "This shows we are delivering profitable growth."
In layman terms Ford is no longer a tentative recovery, it's now expected to crank out earnings growth every quarter. And the comparisons from here will start to get tougher.
But that's a problem Alan Mulally would rather have than what he faced last year when the company nearly collapsed.
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