Ford Chairman and CEO Bill Ford Comments on First Quarter Results
ON FORD'S FIRST QUARTER PERFORMANCE:
"While we are not satisfied with our performance, particularly a loss in North America automotive, we are encouraged by the success in our global operations and at the Ford Motor Credit Company....We have said we intend to restore automotive profitability in North America by no later than 2008 and we remain committed to deliver on our promise."
ON FORD'S GLOBAL OPERATIONS:
"South America, Europe and the Premier Automotive Group continue to deliver year-over-year profit improvement, and PAG and Ford of Europe are in their busiest new product year ever. We also are performing well in emerging growth markets, such as Turkey and Russia, where our sales and share grew. ... While we are not yet earning an acceptable return in Europe, PAG and Asia, continued progress on new products, cost, quality and brand image will deliver stronger results."
ON DRIVING CHANGE WITHIN FORD:
"We are all mindful of the industry environment, the pressure on our suppliers and dealers, unfavorable market share trends, and the fact that our issues in North America are structural rather than cyclical. That is why we remind our people that we will either change ourselves -- or be changed by someone else. My commitment today to you, to every employee, to every shareholder, and to every customer is that we will define our own destiny and reassert ourselves in the industry that we practically invented."
ON FORD'S "WAY FORWARD" PROGRESS:
"Three months in, we are in the very early stage of this strategy to transform the way we do business down to its very core. This transformation isn't going to be quick and it isn't going to be painless. It will involve risks -- and the financial rewards will not be immediate. But in the end, I believe we'll get there."
"We are putting extraordinary effort into improving quality, balancing our brand portfolio, and right-sizing capacity. We are also committed to clearer pricing, protecting our leadership in key areas such as trucks, offering more daring design, working more effectively with our suppliers, driving down our costs and continuing our investment in new products."
ON FORD'S INNOVATION EFFORTS:
"I am confident that we will reshape Ford into a more efficient, nimble and cost-effective company rooted in innovation and committed to delighting and satisfying our customers. And thankfully, we have the financial wherewithal and global strength to do this right."
"Executing properly on the basics is our ante into a very competitive game, but we know it alone is not sufficient to win. That's why I'm personally leading an effort to distinguish ourselves from our competitors through a renewed commitment to innovation. Innovation fueled the birth of this company. Innovation has been responsible for the company's success over the past 100 years. And I am convinced it is what will drive the company to regain its competitive edge and will serve as our compass going forward."