Ford CEO on fiscal cliff, Lincoln's relaunch
December 4, 2012 -- Updated 1121 GMT (1921 HKT)
- 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."
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 0804 GMT (1604 HKT)
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea -- the three countries facing the biggest health crisis -- are also facing huge bills to try and contain the virus.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
Twitter has lost its position in the top 20 coolest brands for the first time in three years.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1554 GMT (2354 HKT)
As the crisis in Iraq escalates, CNN looks at how Iraq could crack down on ISIS' oil riches under the guidance of its new oil minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi.
August 29, 2014 -- Updated 0842 GMT (1642 HKT)
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is Turkey's new president . So can he revitalize its economic fortunes?
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1724 GMT (0124 HKT)
Experts share their tips on cities they see as emerging financial hubs...they're not where you think.
October 9, 2014 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
Growing numbers of us are willing to serve as bank, teacher or travel agent to people we have never met, and entrust them to serve us in turn.
August 28, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The European Union is stepping in to save its dairy from going sour.
August 18, 2014 -- Updated 1236 GMT (2036 HKT)
Europe's deteriorating relationship with Russia has hit the region's growth, even before new food sanctions begin to bite.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT)
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.
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
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?
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1124 GMT (1924 HKT)
Peer-to-peer finance lets businesses bypass bank loans. Creative companies with quirky ideas find new lending models advantageous.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1524 GMT (2324 HKT)
Evidence points to pro-Russian separatists as perpetrators of the attack and Vladimir Putin is facing questions, David Clark writes.
September 3, 2014 -- Updated 0952 GMT (1752 HKT)
CNN's Jim Boulden looks on the future of online shopping.
August 5, 2014 -- Updated 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)
The biggest Ebola outbreak in history is taking its toll in Western Africa, hitting some of West Africa's most vulnerable economies.