Magazine article Newsweek

Ford's New Muscles

Magazine article Newsweek

Ford's New Muscles

Article excerpt

Byline: Keith Naughton

Bill Ford Jr. desperately needs a hit. As the car company his great-grandfather founded prepares for its 100th anniversary, things have rarely looked worse. Sales are skidding, profits are nonexistent and its reputation has been sullied by the Firestone debacle. But at this week's auto show, the scion CEO hopes to show there's gas left in the tank when he wheels out a new racy Mustang and brawny F-150 pickup. This beauty-and-the-beast duo account for a quarter of the company's sales. And if Bill Jr. wants the family firm to be around for another century, he's got to get both of them right.

The new Mustang doesn't go on sale for a year, but Ford is trying to build buzz. The retro fastback styling recalls the hot wheels Steve McQueen drove in 1968's "Bullitt.'' But Ford also hopes to attract the "Fast and the Furious" Gen Y crowd with a beefy 400-horsepower V-8 engine and edgier look. …

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