Blog: Live from the Frankfurt show: Day 1 (6)
Glenn Brooks | 14 September 2011
Dinner with Lewis Booth, CEO of Ford Motor Company; J Mays, Chief Creative Officer; and Paul Mascarenas, Chief Technical Officer.
A huge treat to spend Tuesday evening with three of Ford's most senior executives over from Dearborn for the Frankfurt show. Lewis Booth hosted the event for a small group of journalists and the Q&A seemed to work well, despite the wide ranges of interests from journalists based in many different markets.
A reminder that Booth is the man who oversaw the financial turnaround, still ongoing, of a company that was US$33.6bn in debt relatively recently but which now has US$14bn of reserves. The talk at the table was of the company's projected growth between now and 2020. As the CFO pointed out, this is a global industry of 74 million vehicle sales in 2010, which is forecast to expand to perhaps as many a 114 million within the next nine years.
There was also clarification on which platforms will make up that claimed 70-80% of Ford's global production around the middle of this decade, a statement that we heard out of Dearborn earlier this year.
The core architectures will number five: B-Cars, C-Cars, C-D Cars, Transit and Ranger. Interesting to note that F-Series is missing from that list, which only underlines the projected growth in markets outside the USA.
A transcript of the conversation with not just Lewis Booth but also J Mays and Paul Mascarenas will follow on just-auto in the coming week.
A teaser: an all-new Mustang is on the way for 2014 and there should be some surprising engineering and styling features.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....