Ford execs show off new Taurus in Memphis

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - In a tough economy, executives from the Ford Motor Company visited Memphis Wednesday to show off the new 2010 Taurus, the flagship of the company's new marketing strategy.

Ford is featuring the new Taurus in a 100-city tour, aimed at promoting an attitude of optimism about car sales in this country.

"Ford has been gaining market share in the last six or seven months, and market share is so important," Ford's Frederike Toney said.

However, the company's ability to improve market share has not come without a price.

"As the economy has adjusted, we've had to adjust ourselves, and one of the keys was restructuring so that we can be profitable at the demand level," Toney said.

Officials say that included belt tightening measures, from layoffs to plant closings.

Three years ago, Ford took out a private loan for $25 billion to aid its operations.  The loan allowed the company to prevent taking government stimulus loans, like GM and Chrysler.  The decision was a money saver for the company, as interest rates were lower for Ford at the time.

"Some of it was just good planning on our part, and all we have to do now is continue to execute," Toney said.

Now, Ford is in the process of selling off less profitable brands, like Landrover and Jaguar, and  focusing on the Taurus, Fiesta and other cars with the potential to sell.

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