Dave Leggett | 26 April 2007
Q1 financial results are flying in this week. Ford seems to have done reasonably well, helped by a weak dollar. The US picture will take some putting right though and that will be the 'proof of the pudding' as far as Ford's longer term prospects go. As Mark Fields said, 'that's a work in progress'. At least Ford can claim some significant plusses with the Q1 results. Maybe simply having some good news rather than heaps of bad will act to lift morale too.
It's always interesting to see some corporate stars rising, others on a descent. Nissan's sheen seems to have gone, lately. Toyota may be feeling quietly satisfied about beating GM to the global number one sales spot in Q1 but GM people are right to emphasise the importance of profits and avoiding non-profitable volume (buying share is rarely good). That's something that GM has been doing in Europe for some time now. Sensible.
And MMC is starting to come good at last.
There's proof, if needed, that however bad things look in this business, there's always hope if the management can get its head around what needs to be done and carry the stakeholders with it. And MMC has downsized its business - it's profitable at a lower sales level.
And now we have news of some (overdue) restructuring at Peugeot, which has invested massively in cheaper capacity in central Europe. And it's happening in the middle of a presidential election process, too. There might be some debate inside France, though it would appear that no lay-offs are included. Is it enough? PSA is in a bit of a rut, performance-wise.
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