November 04, 2009

Ford Defies The Gods

I got a kick out of yesterday’s front page story in the New York Times on the “unexpected” profits of Ford.  In particular this paragraph made me chuckle:

Ford, which earned $997 million in the third quarter and made money in North America for the first time since 2005, has turned itself around largely by cutting costs and introducing cars that consumers want to buy, rather than resorting to deep discounts to lure shoppers into showrooms.

What?!?  Cutting costs?  Making a product consumers want?  This is how business’ are supposed to succeed?  What about asking for handouts from taxpayers?

When Ford chose not to ask for government loans, the company was freed to continue spending on new products like its Fusion and Taurus sedans.

G.M. and Chrysler, by comparison, had to rein in much of their product development programs to conserve cash while they awaited federal aid.

A report by the Government Accountability Office released on Monday said that the federal government was unlikely to recover much of the $81 billion that was invested in G.M. and Chrysler, their suppliers and related financing companies.

Amazing.  It turns out socializing failed companies doesn’t always pay off.  Who’d have thunk it?

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