Ford CEO: No Product Tie-Ins With Toyota

Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Alan Mulally says his widely publicized meeting with Toyota Motor Corp. Chairman Fujio Cho in December will not result in collaborative product development, at least for now.

Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Alan Mulally says his widely publicized meeting with Toyota Motor Corp. Chairman Fujio Cho in December will not result in collaborative product development, at least for now.

Rather, he sees a greater opportunity for technology swapping between Ford and its Asian rival.

Meanwhile, Mulally also says there are no current plans to sell off Jaguar Cars. Despite media reports to the contrary, he says he is “pleased with Jaguar's performance and the progress we're making in the quality and productivity at Jaguar.”

However, as with all of Ford's business units, Mulally says Jaguar is under continued evaluation.

Mulally, who has been criticized for not being a “car guy” since going to Ford from airline giant Boeing Co. in September, says he sees many correlations between the automotive and aerospace industries.

“The parallels between Boeing and Ford are really incredible,” he says. They're two great companies. Both are known for continuous improvement and innovation over the years.”

After recently shedding 38,000 United Auto Workers union members from Ford's ranks, Mulally likely still faces the difficult task of asking for more concessions from the union during this year's labor negotiations.

“Union negotiations are really important because Ford's being competitive going forward is the most important for all of us,” he says.

He adds: “I've known (UAW President) Ron (Gettelfinger) for years and have been talking with our employees and our union leadership. I'm very confident we're going to take this very seriously to improve the competitiveness of Ford.”

After securing $24.5 billion in financing recently, Mulally says Ford is in a good position to complete its massive “Way Forward” turnaround plan.

“I'm very confident,” he says, adding, “It's an exciting time to be at Ford.”

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