Ford CEO Alan Mulally spoke with FOX Business Network's Liz Claman at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, saying that he believes "we're at the bottom" of the recession and that Ford is "on a profitable growth path."
 
Mulally confirmed earlier guidance that Ford is on track to be 'solidly profitable' in 2011 and said that guidance on 2010 profitability would be issued later this month.

"The economy is starting to recover.  We're cautiously optimistic that it's going to keep moving, but all we want to do is look a little bit more at the strength of the recovery, but clearly we're on a profitable growth path," he said.

He forecast the US light vehicle market would be between 11.5m and 12.5m units in 2010.

Mulally also stressed the importance of Internet-based communications for Ford, which explains the firm's presence at the CES.

"We're actually bringing the Internet to the car.  We're going to bring all the applications we can get on the mobile phones today and bring them in the car, and absolutely hands-free, voice activated."

He also said at the CES that the company will produce a range of vehicles which can read motorist's twitter messages to them as they drive down the street. Drivers may even be able to Tweet replies as the cars will feature voice recognition technology. But composing Tweets will not be possible on the first models, due out in the US later this year, because of safety fears.

He outlined Ford's approach to Liz Claman: "We're going to use two five-position switches just like consumer electronics, flat panel displays, touch screens, and of course the really compelling digital electronics.  The whole idea is to use everybody's apps—all your phone technology—you can access all of that, but minimise the distraction so you can focus on the road."
 
Mulally was also upbeat on the year 2009 and what it means for Ford.

"It's an historic year.  One year ago the whole industry was fighting for its life…When we come out of this recession we're going to be part of the answer," he said.

He also told Claman that he believes Ford is in a good position to weather higher oil prices because of its model lineup.

"We're going to be in the best position…We have a full product lineup - small, medium, and large - every vehicle you get from Ford is going to be best in class at fuel efficiency and quality and safety," he said.