Alan Mulally described the remarkable turnaround achieved at Ford – the only major US car company to avoid bankruptcy in the recession. In 2006, when Alan Mulally joined Ford, the company recorded a loss at a time when US car sales were relatively strong. By 2009, Ford posted a profit of $2.7bn, a trend that continued in February 2010, when Ford’s US sales overtook those of General Motors for the first time in more than 80 years.
Richard Lambert, CBI director-general, said: “Alan’s extensive business experience made him ideally suited to deliver this year’s lecture. He has gained great respect internationally for turning Ford around and for saving a global icon from decline.
“Alan’s personal insight into the overhaul of Ford’s US product line, including the introduction to the US of new small cars developed in Europe, and his culture change at an executive level, provides businesses with valuable lessons on how to adapt to a changing economic climate.”
Alan Mulally described the ONE Ford strategy, including the ONE Ford Global Product Development system, which is expanding Ford’s vehicle range, reinforcing the company’s position in mature markets and accelerating growth in emerging markets.
He emphasised the value of Ford’s UK presence as a major pillar of Ford’s global structure: “It has a global role and one that can grow in importance”.
Alan Mulally highlighted the significance of Ford’s UK powertrain engineering and manufacturing expertise. “Ford in Britain can produce two million engines a year including the latest low-CO2 technology petrol engines from Ford Bridgend in Wales and highly-efficient diesel engines from Ford Dagenham in London.
“One-third of Ford cars globally are powered by engines manufactured and engineered in Britain.”
Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre, with its responsibilities for both powertrain and commercial engineering, is the largest facility of its type in the UK and it is a key contributor to Ford being the UK’s 11th largest R&D investor across all sectors.
The UK is the second largest market for Ford vehicles outside the US – again emphasising the country’s global significance for Ford – and it has been the UK car market leader 33 years.
In 2011 Ford of Britain celebrates its centenary and the 100th year of manufacturing in the UK. This historic event is being matched by Ford’s commitment to a £1.5 billion investment programme over the next five years in low-CO2 manufacturing and engineering facilities at Bridgend, Dagenham, Dunton and Southampton.