CNBC goes behind the scenes at the Ford Motor Company to tell the inside story of its astonishing comeback just a few short years after nearly collapsing. You’ll meet the tireless and steel-nerved CEO, Alan Mulally, who bet nearly everything the company had in his quest to steer it back from the brink. More astoundingly, Ford rescued itself without a government bailout, unlike rivals General Motors and Chrysler. Today, Ford appears to be a company with a bright future, but one shadowed by a mountain of debt.
CNBC’s Phil LeBeau was granted remarkable access to the company’s inner workings, introducing viewers to an unlikely pair of engineers charged with breathing new life into a legendary but tarnished Ford nameplate, the Explorer. The program also profiles the Ford family, who unlike many other famous American business clans, have never given up their hold on the family firm.
We’ll also take you to the front lines of the brutally competitive automotive industry, the rapidly expanding car markets of South Asia. Ford’s toehold in India, where it is investing heavily, is small, but tenacious, and the blue Ford oval is becoming increasingly commonplace on the crowded and exotic streets of the world’s fastest growing auto market.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally is the auto industry’s rock star. When he took the reins in 2006, the company was on the brink of financial disaster. Mulally was challenged to get Ford back on track — a mission he accomplished.
Sales of Ford’s top selling Explorer SUV fell dramatically in the early 2000s, hit first by a series of fatal rollover accidents caused by faulty tires and then a gasoline spike hike which made gas guzzlers out of fashion. Now Ford is back with a redesigned, fuel-efficient Explorer for the 21st century.
Ford has always prided itself as a leader in automotive technology. Now, they’re developing technology that allows drivers to connect to their cell phones, digital music players and other devices by using voice commands
The Ford Family
The Ford family has owned or controlled Ford for more than a century. It’s been a rollercoaster, boom-and-bust ride.
India is the fastest growing car market in the world and Ford has built a new subcompact car – the Ford Figo — specifically for Indian buyers. The company hopes it will increase domestic sales and turn India into a small car exporter.