Lauer pressed Mulally on whether Ford would be trying to take advantage of GM’s financial hardship. He also asked why, if Ford was really doing okay, did it post losses in the billions of dollars for the first quarter. Mulally side stepped the competitive advantage questions by saying that Ford is and will be producing the cars that consumers will want to buy. He feels that the line of cars that is being offered to the consumer public today is one of the best lines of products Ford has produced. As far as the financial question, Mulally said that they started to put a company transformation plan in place a couple of years ago and are well down the road to making their goals.
If the 2011 Ford Fiesta is any indication of the success that Ford may see in the future, then GM may certainly have something to worry about. The Fiesta is due to hit dealerships in the Fall of 2010 and to some that is considered a risky move by Ford. Why is it a risky move? The last couple of times car companies have tried to create a “global” car it hasn’t worked out so well. One example is the past Ford Fiesta, which has been a long time running model in Europe or the Geo Metro, which then turned into the Chevrolet Metro and now is non-existent.
The Fiesta may be the exception to the proverbial rule. It has been well received around the U.S. and as I have reported before, a star in automotive social media. So was Matt Lauer on to something when he asked Mullay if he believes there could be a feeling among consumers that they should buy from GM and Chrysler because they have a vested interest in them? We can’t deny that the bailout will make some people loyal to the companies that have mowed threw their tax money, but when it comes to quality American made small and midsize cars, GM and Chrysler are lacking.
Check out the video below for the full clip of Mr. Mulally on the Today Show.