Ford Puts Its Best Face Forward

Maria Panaritis

Talk about putting a positive spin on a bleak story line.

The man in charge of marketing Ford Motor Co.'s sedans and crossover utility vehicles to consumers across North America - Michael Crowley - says his company is ready to rumble.

That's because, unlike its domestic competitors, Ford is way better off.

Crowley was the only Detroit guy on hand at the Convention Center to begin the annual Philadelphia International Auto Show with a can-do news conference.

Instead of dwelling in the dumps and harping on the bad news that is hitting the U.S. auto industry with numbing frequency these days, Crowley and his company made a statement of strength.

"Ford is the best-positioned to prosper - of our domestic automakers," Crowley said. Ford is the only one of the Detroit Big Three to have declined taxpayer loans to stay in business, even though it supports government assistance for its competitors.

"We're in the best financial position, we're funding our plan, we've got the best leadership we've ever had with [chief executive officer] Alan Mulally, a clear vision," said Crowley, seated among a dense display of shiny new wheels on the show floor.

"We believe we're on the right path," Crowley said. "Ford's in the best position to win."

"We're here in a big way because we have something to say," said Steve Randall, Ford's sales manager for the Philadelphia region.

The 2010 Taurus, the new Ford Fusion, the new Mustang Shelby, the high-mileage Ford Focus, the F-150 pickup truck - Randall pointed to them like a proud father.

"We have the products that people want," he said.


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