Higher sales in every product category and for every brand propelled Ford to a 33 percent sales increase in December versus a year ago. George Pipas, Ford Sales Analyst, says it is Ford's highest sales month since May of 2008.
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"I think it's a proof point that the Ford plan is working. That if you concentrate on great products, there quality, class leading fuel economy, all the smart technology we're putting into our products and safety, that eventually it'll begin to resonate with consumers." :16 sec.
Without dismissing the progress made, Pipas wants to keep these sales figures in perspective and did so when he said.
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"We're not nearly finished, but it's a very good testimonial, a proof point that the one Ford plan is working and we certainly look forward to 2010 with optimism, based upon the progress we made in 2009." :16 sec.
Ford’s inflatable rear-seat belt will debut on the next-generation Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle, which goes into production next year.
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"Our full-year sales and the industries full-year sales are among the lowest in three or four decades. So we have to make sure that as good this result is, that we're not nearly at the level that we need to be in order to generate the cash flow that is so necessary for our new product development. Every Ford employee knows that we can do better, and we can make more progress in Two-Ten and that our ultimate goal is to be sustainably profitable." :32 sec.
Maintaining proper alignment with customer demand will be monitored not on a month by month bases but week by week according to Pipas.
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"Make adjustments as required to make sure that we are aligned with consumer demand, because aligning production with demand is really one of the lynch pins of our one-Ford strategy and has been for the last three-years." :12 sec.
Reflecting on the last month of the year, as well as the year, Pipas remained cautiously optimistic, keeping in mind the fragile state of our economy and consumer buying power.
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"December was Ford's best sales month in about a year and a half , it was easily the best month of this year, you have to go back to May of 2008 to find a stronger month. It was the best month for the industry since last August, but still when you consider that ten-million new vehicles were sold in the U.S. this year, contrast that with just three-years ago when industry sales were 17-million, that's like a 30-40percent drop. So, it's still a pretty weak business conditions and consumer confidence is still fragile and has to be watched very closely." :31 sec.