Ford Motor Co chief executive Alan Mulally said on Monday the company was cautiously optimistic that it would continue to grow as the U.S. economy recovers.


Ford Motor Company President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally smiles after the Ford Motor Company annual meeting of shareholders in Wilmington, Delaware, May 13, 2010.

This is a slower recovery from the previous recessions, Mulally said in an interview on NBC's Today show. We have sized ourselves to the current demand and we're cautiously optimistic that we're going to continue to grow here.

Asked if he thought the United States was likely to experience a double dip recession, Mulally said:

We do not. I think with the monetary and the fiscal policy, and everybody's attention on growing the economy ... I think that we're going to have good, steady growth here.

Mulally said Ford, which unveiled the new version of its Explorer SUV on Monday at events in New York and Chicago, hoped to be able to create more jobs as the economy improved.

It will clearly be determined by how fast the economy comes back and the industry, he said. With the position that we are in today, we are going to be able to offer some great jobs going forward.

Mulally, who turns 65 this year, said he planned to stay at the helm of Ford for several more years. When pressed for a more specific response, he said he expected to stay in his job for at least three more years.

(Reporting by Deborah Charles, editing by Dave Zimmerman)