Ford Motor Co.’s decision to turn down the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008 was considered risky back then but now, it is turning out to be one of the wisest moves the carmaker has ever made as the American manufacturer received the 2010 Marketer of the Year award from Advertising Age.
It can be recalled that in 2008, many companies struggled to stay afloat and the US government had bailed out General Motors and Chrysler with generous loans that incited much debate. In 2008, Ford had posted a loss of $14.6 billion so the carmaker could just as easily have signed up for it.
When asked just how much declining TARP funds was worth, Ford marketing chief Jim Farley said, "I think it was worth more than $1 billion of coverage and customer interest.” He said that if Ford had to advertise, it would have spent the same amount for the campaign.
Currently, Ford holds the No. 2 spot for U.S. sales among automakers. In the first nine months of 2010, Ford accounted for 17% of the U.S. auto and light-truck market, behind GM. Ford’s products have improved greatly and they’re being promoted and marketed by a revamped strategy headed by Farley.
Through September, US annual sales are up 19%, nearly double the industry-wide gain of 10%. Ford recorded a $4.7 billion profit in the first six months of this year -- the company's largest since 1998. [via autonews - sub. required]