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Jim Cramer thinks that the disappointing sales numbers announced for automobiles in February is just a fluke. In light of just how strong hiring is in the economy, he's thinking that the auto sales will pick right up where they left off before taking a nosedive.
But what about Ford Motor Company? Those sales numbers included a 1.9 percent decline. Yet, in the past decade it has made an amazing transformation. It was the only member of the big three that didn't take bailout funds from the government during the recession.
Since that time it has cleaned up its balance sheet and reduced costs, putting the stock in a great position. And while Cramer does recognize that auto makers have a significant amount of international exposure he thinks that as the European economies recover, so will Ford's bottom line.
With the international exposure and U.S. dollar gaining strength, will the new CEO Mark Fields take the stock to new highs?
To find out what could be ahead, Cramer sat down with Fields to get the outlook straight from the source.
Fields was confident that Ford will be able to thrive in the current international climate, as the company is very proactive when looking at the environment around them. Every Thursday they get together and meet to discuss how they can deal with the environment proactively.
Where does the CEO's confidence derive from?
"Well, it really comes from keeping our product pipeline full. We launched 24 global products last year, the most we have ever had in our history. Another 15 are coming this year," Fields said.
Fields thinks that Ford's ability to work together as a team and the newly transformed culture of the company have allowed them to achieve such transformation. After all, he pointed out, the company was able to successfully get through a rough period of time without any taxpayer assistance.
As a result, Ford now has a trajectory for growth and the ability to handle any curveball the world throws.
"We are a big multinational company. You have to be able to deal in the current environment where the economic environment changes very quickly, and you need to deal with those risks," Fields added.
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Fields noted the current economy for interest rates strengthens Ford's outlook. In his perspective, a possible rise in interest rates indicates a healthy economy.
"We have to take the long view here. We have been in Latin America, Brazil for 80-plus years. We have been through the ups and the downs, and we will manage our way through this. But the key thing is that we have been very profitable in that part of the world before," Fields added.
Additionally, the CEO also attributed his past experience living abroad to his strong leadership at Ford.
"I spent a lot of years overseas…for me it made me become a citizen of the world. It humbles you because you need to learn how to listen really well and also communicate and ask questions in a way that people can understand and also motivate them."