William Clay Ford Jr. turned the key to his company's future June 10 as he drove out the widely anticipated remake of the top-selling F150 pickup truck. This tough truck is expected to pull Ford back into solid profitability as the Dearborn, Mich., automaker celebrates its centennial and heads into the next 100 years, according to the Detroit Free Press
"Our future starts here and it starts now," the chairman and chief executive said to a cheering crowd of UAW members and local officials, including Virginia Gov. Mark Warner.
"This is a make-or-break for Ford," independent automotive consultant MaryAnn Keller told Reuters news service. "This is without a doubt the most crucial product that they've got coming in the last five years and going
forward for the next five years. This has to succeed. They have to make it work."
Thanks to a $375-million Ford investment, supported by a modest $12 million in subsidies and incentives, the 78-year-old Norfolk, Va., plant -- which started building Model T's in 1925 -- is the first to use Ford's new flexible manufacturing system, which will be in half of
Ford's North American plants by mid-decade, three-fourths by the end of the decade, according to the Free Press