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Ford won't let sliding stock derail plans

January 09, 2008|From the Associated Press

Ford Motor Co.'s stock slide is a reflection of U.S. economic uncertainty and won't change the company's plans to roll out new models and shrink itself to match consumer demand, its chief executive said Tuesday.

Alan Mulally said Ford had financing in place to weather an economic downturn and a restructuring plan flexible enough to adjust production to a declining market.

"Clearly, it makes it tougher," Mulally said during an evening-long session with reporters. "We took the actions starting a year and a half ago to deal with this."

Ford's stock slid to $6 a share last week, a 22-year low. The shares fell 6 cents Tuesday to $6.10.

Despite deteriorating U.S. economic conditions, Mulally said the firm planned to return to profitability in 2009, and when it did, the stock market would reward it. "There's nothing about the current macroeconomic environment that would change the plan that we have," he said.

Mulally also said his company was not bothered by being passed by Toyota Motor Corp. last year as the No. 2 seller of autos in the U.S. Ford, he said, knew its sales would drop as it moved from a focus on big sport utility vehicles and trucks to smaller vehicles.

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