Ford Motor’s chairman and chief executive officer William Clay Ford Jr., said the company’s restructuring plan is moving along the outline set in January, and is making progress. The comments came Wednesday from Ford on accepting the Automobile Industry Action Group’s award as auto industry executive of the year.
Ford also added the changes are happening daily through a plan called “The Way Forward,” which calls for cutting up to 30,000 jobs and closing 14 plants by 2012. “The Way forward plan is pretty strong medicine. Cost-cutting alone isn’t going to rescue us. Incremental change isn’t going to help,” Ford said.
Ford is the number two U.S. automaker, reported on Monday a 4.6 percent decline in U.S. vehicle sales in March compared with a year ago, with year-to-date volumes running 2.6 percent behind the pace of 2005. Since the company no longer had the luxury of relying on multi-year plans, Ford said he was focused on building a new organization that was more nimble and less bureaucratic and better able to respond to market changes, by monitoring developments across the industry.
“The first thing we have to do is get honesty on the table, honesty about our competitive position, the strength or lack thereof of our products, the robustness or lack thereof of our processes, and really deal with each other with true honesty. It doesn‘t matter how good a plan you put together, if its not based on cold reality, if its not based on facts, its not going to succeed,” Ford said.