Ford CFO Shanks Sees Growth amid Economic Gloom
Now solidly profitable in North America, U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. is negotiating a challenging European market and planning a major Asia expansion.
By Michael Peltz
As CFO of Ford Motor Co., Robert Shanks has a unique take on the global economy and the U.S. automakers place in it. One of the things thats fantastic about being part of this industry, particularly if youre a global company as we are, is that it is so integrated to what is happening in the external environment, says Shanks, 59, who has spent nearly half of his 35-year career at Ford working outside the U.S., including stints in Brazil, Japan, Taiwan and the U.K. Our business is everywhere in the world, so whatever is going on, were affected either positively or negatively in some way.
In late 2005, Shanks returned from abroad to Fords headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, to work on the restructuring of the companys North American operations with Mark Fields, who runs that business. Ford North America earned $4.1 billion the first six months of this year, more than offsetting losses in its European and Asia-Pacific units. Shanks, who was....