Ford concedes it took “a lot of risk” in pursuing its own path in the crisis of a few years ago, but insists it is now reaping the rewards.

The US automaker rode out the economic storm without recourse to US government assistance, in contrast to competitors such as General Motors, and, despite travails in Europe, is enjoying a resurgence in its domestic market.

“We took a lot of risk and took on a lot of debt,” executive chairman Bill Ford told just-auto on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

“I am looking more to the future than the past.”

Ford was speaking as Michigan governor Rick Snyder paid a visit to the manufacturer’s vast stand at the show. His political approach to the industry’s turnaround has won plaudits from Denso, among others.

“It [turnaround] is very exciting,” Snyder told just-auto. “Our role in government is to be a customer service organisation – we are trying to create the environment to create jobs. The auto business will come back into fashion for young people.”

“We balance our budget, we are dealing with our deficit, it is about getting a better alignment.”

Snyder’s efforts for the automotive business in Michigan were hailed earlier in the day by Denso who lauded his approach to the industry.

“The governor has done a really good job and the first thing he said was ‘you are a customer,'” Denso industry relations chief Terry Helgesen just-auto.

“He is there to help serve the people and help business create jobs.”