Ford will be cashflow positive and improve overall performance next year after solid earnings in 2010, as it intensifies its focus on smaller, greener models, its chief executive Alan Mulally said on Monday.
Ford, the only large U.S. automaker to avoid bankruptcy during the financial crisis, will also continue to streamline its product line, reducing its range of models from 97 at the height of the crisis to less than 30 over the next few years, he said in a lecture in London held by Britain's business body the CBI.
Credit Suisse last week said Ford could see earnings decline to $1.40 a share in 2011 after growing to $1.71 in 2010 due to higher material and structural costs, as well as burgeoning pensions expenses..
All the fundamentals are moving in the right direction, Mulally said, although he acknowledged the wider economy was slowing after a period of recovery.
Mulally, who Ford wooed away from Boeing in 2006, also said Ford would invest 1.5 billion pounds ($2.37 billion) in Britain over the next five years, describing the country as a center of excellence for its production of greener engine and powertrain technology.
(Reporting by Jon Loades-Carter; Editing by Victoria Bryan)