Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally has told just-auto that he still expects to see Ford return to profitability in 2011.

Mulally was speaking in Dearborn ahead of Ford's Q3 financial results amid some speculation that the firm may announce figures that beat analyst expectations.

"We are on a very sound financial footing right now," he said.

"We have sufficient liquidity and have reduced our cash-burn dramatically."

"We are doing all the investment that we wanted to in new vehicles to make the finest quality, highest fuel efficiency vehicles and we have also given guidance that we are on our way to profitability in 2011."

Mulally also said that he expects a slower and longer recovery for the industry in the US and the world than has been seen in the past.

"We have planned for that based on projections for the economic recovery worldwide," he said.

"From a crisis point of view it's not over, but it is so much better looking forward now than it was a year ago."

He highlighted Ford's actions three years ago in starting on a transformational plan that has put the company in a relatively strong position.

"We moved aggressively and decisively to position Ford for a profitable and growing future and it is happening now," he said.

US: Ford Q3 results could top analyst forecasts

The full interview with Alan Mulally will be published on just-auto soon.

Dave Leggett