The Hybrid - as much about image building as selling cars - is a surprisingly decent car that takes the kinks out of hybrid driving
Jeremy Cato - The Globe and Mail
- May 23, 2009
One heck of a vehicle! --Ed.
The marketplace has yet to decide on the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid - and its even more important, non-hybrid big brother - but stock investors certainly have given Ford a vote of confidence.
This week, Ford said it netted a total of $1.6-billion (U.S.) from selling 300 million common shares. So that's a big hunk of cash raised by a Detroit-based auto maker at a time when the other two are, as we all know, in a big mess. Ford's new money will mostly be used to fund a health-care trust for union workers in the United States.
Yes, Ford still posted a net loss of $1.43-billion in the first quarter. That's not good, although not completely out of line in today's automotive world. Toyota, for instance, said it had a loss of nearly $8-billion in its latest quarter.
Despite the cash burn, Ford's bosses say they believe the company has enough cash and cash-equivalent funding to operate through this economic mess. They also added, at the company's annual meeting, that they believe no government loans will be required.
The optimism - tempered, of course - is based on one thing: new products. The Fusion and its hybrid cousin are the first in a new model blitz coming over the next 18 months.
"We know we cannot just cut our way to success," said CEO Alan Mulally.
This year, Ford will launch not just the Fusion but also a new Taurus, a new Lincoln crossover and other updated models. The idea is to produce vehicles - cars, in particular, and what a... [Read More]