I usually leave the automotive updates to the automotive experts but I couldn’t resist mentioning this one. Ford, the only Detroit automaker to dodge direct government aid and bankruptcy court, surprised investors with net income of nearly $1 billion in the third quarter and forecast a "solidly profitable" 2011. The automaker cited higher pricing, lower material costs, and increased market share for the improvement. Ford cutback production which also allowed the company to cut incentive spending, since the company no longer has excess inventory it must discount heavily in order to sell.
Is this a win for capitalism and free enterprise? While heavy debt and lean times for American car shoppers threaten the comeback, the report puts Ford in a far better position than General Motors or Chrysler, which are still finding their bearings after emerging from bankruptcy.
Ford has focused on product quality, reputation, and making cars consumers want. Ford's cars are winning popular and critical acclaim, like the Fusion midsize sedan and more gas-efficient Focus compact.
The automakers problems are far from over with debt being the largest concern. The UAW also overwhelming rejected a new contract that would have put costs in line with cross-town rivals in the longer-term.
Here’s hoping Ford continues in the right direction.