Despite all the consternation about how bad all automakers are doing, Ford Motor Company is surprising everyone by posting a $2.3 billion net profit for the latest quarterly reporting. The positive financial news bolsters the wisdom of Alan Mulally's pre-emptive mortgaging-to-the-hilt of the Blue Oval back when he signed on for the top job. The gain is attributable to one-time debt reductions, but even when that's taken out of the equation, Ford's loss for the quarter wasn't as steep as expected, and the automaker says it's on track to breaking even by 2011, provided the economy starts recovering later this year, like it says it's expecting.
While losses are still the story for Ford, they're shrinking, and the wick is being cranked down on the cash burn. Losing money isn't ever good, but Ford says it's got enough money to stay afloat until the turnaround is complete and if things swing into the black for '11, it'd be the first time since 2004. While its debts are harder to bear than the deals General Motors and Chrylser have recently received, staying out of the government money game has given Ford positive press for its pre-emptive moves. The company's aggressive product upgrading and rollout schedule is hoped to keep the positive reports going.