Skip to main content

Ford CEO on fiscal cliff, Lincoln's relaunch

By Kevin Voigt, CNN
updated 6:21 AM EST, Tue December 4, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Ford Motor Co. is revamping its Lincoln car line to try to recapture past prestige
  • Ford announced Monday it is renaming its Lincoln division as the Lincoln Motor Co.
  • Building up Lincoln after divesting of investments in Aston Martin and other luxury brands
  • CEO Mulally optimistic that U.S. fiscal cliff negotiations will be sucessful

(CNN) -- After divesting from luxury brands purchased in Europe, the Ford Motor Co. is revamping its Lincoln car line to try to recapture the prestige -- and market share -- of the past.

"We had purchased Aston Martin and Jaguar and Landover and Volvo, and we had decreased our investment in Lincoln," Ford CEO Alan Mulally told CNN's Richard Quest. "With our One Ford Plan in 2006, we decided to have a laser focus not only on the Ford brand but Lincoln. We continued to invest in the toughest times and the MKZ is our first proof point of a new line of luxury Lincoln vehicles."

Ford announced Monday it is renaming its Lincoln division as the Lincoln Motor Co. Lincoln is not being spun off into an altogether separate carmaker, notes CNNMoney's Peter Valdes-Dapena, but Ford wants to give it greater separation from the more mass market Ford "blue oval" brand. Lincoln have has its own product development team, designers and salespeople. The all-new MKZ is due to hit the market soon.

"As you know the Lincoln has been part of the Ford Motor Co. for nearly 90 years and its always been known for elegant styling and design, inside and out, and also very useful and exciting technology and innovation," Mulally told Quest.

Ford reinvents Lincoln

Ford was able to avoid the bailouts required to keep U.S. competitors General Motors and Chrysler afloat after an aggressive restructuring that began in 2006, before the financial crisis struck. But the carmaker has been hit of late by the slowdown in the eurozone. The company announced in October the closure of two plants in England and one in Belgium in the next two years, which together employed 5,700 workers.

"We are moving very decisively on our better plan to serve the European customers both with a more complete family of best in class vehicles that we describe, but also taking the actions on the productivity and the utilization of our facilities," Mulally said. "It's going to take us a couple years to do that, we know how to do it, everybody watched us do it in the United States."

Mulally, who has been among the U.S. CEOs who have met with President Obama on the looming U.S. fiscal cliff, says he's optimistic the talks will avert crisis.

"The last few weeks has really centered on discussion about not only the fiscal cliff, which needs to deal with the revenue side but also the expense side, is what do we do to create the environment where businesses can grow, can be more competitive, to provide the economic expansion that we all want," he said.

"I might also add that we are very encouraged by the ongoing dialogue in Europe on the same subject, because clearly we're in a recession in Europe and pulling together around a compelling vision to facilitate economic growth is what's most important for all of us."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:52 AM EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
Jim Boulden on the future of online shopping.
updated 4:42 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is Turkey's new president . So can he revitalize its economic fortunes?
updated 8:44 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
The European Union is stepping in to save its dairy from going sour.
updated 8:36 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
Europe's deteriorating relationship with Russia has hit the region's growth, even before new food sanctions begin to bite.
updated 12:34 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
With cyberattacks on the rise and here to stay, it's a modern-day challenge for people and businesses to get smarter about preventing them.
updated 9:24 AM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Airstrikes, rebels seizing control of oil fields, plus a severe refugee crisis are a recipe for market panic. So why are Iraq oil prices stable?
updated 11:24 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Evidence points to pro-Russian separatists as perpetrators of the attack and Vladimir Putin is facing uncomfortable questions, David Clark writes.
updated 10:40 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
The biggest Ebola outbreak in history is taking its toll in Western Africa, hitting some of West Africa's most vulnerable economies.
updated 5:02 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
Macau has overtaken Switzerland in the wealth stakes, being named the world's fourth richest territory by the World Bank.
updated 10:47 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Saudi Arabian Bateel brand is best known for its delectable dates but it now has more than a dozen cafes and a new bakery in the works.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material. It is so dark the human eye can't discern its shape and form.
updated 12:02 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Jibo robot is designed to be an organizer, educator and assist family members. CNN's Maggie Lake met him and says she was impressed with his skills.
updated 5:09 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
American burger joints have sprung up all over London, but how to know which ones are best? CNN's Jim Boulden investigates.
updated 8:22 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
updated 11:02 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
At the last football World Cup, it was all about 3D. This time around, it's nothing less than 4K.
updated 6:58 AM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.
updated 1:12 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Exotic animals are becoming a profitable business opportunity for Nicaraguan entrepreneurs. CNN's Rafael Romo reports.
updated 11:29 AM EDT, Fri June 13, 2014
Iraq produces 3.3 million barrels per day and has the world's fourth-largest oil reserves. But the current crisis is putting all this in danger.
updated 8:22 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Sandwiched in between Iraq and Syria, Jordan's destiny seems to be one of a constant struggle for survival. John Defterios explains.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Mon June 16, 2014
The gas standoff between Russia and Ukraine could have a knock-on effect on Europe. Explore this map to find out why is the EU nervous.
updated 6:58 AM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Bob Mazzer has photographed inside London's Tube network for 40 years. He's captured history.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue June 17, 2014
The UK capital promotes its tech stars and shows it can compete with Silicon Valley. Here are five companies that pitch to make it big.
ADVERTISEMENT