At Ford, it's 'amazing where we've ended up'

Jason Stein is editor of Automotive News
What a difference a year makes, at least on the night before opening day at the Geneva Motor Show.

At Ford's unveiling Monday night, the first reveal event of the show, that positive mood was everywhere.

"You feel the difference a year later," Ford designer Martin Smith told me. "There is just a sense of more confidence with everyone."

Ford's candy apple red five-door Focus wagon drew plenty of positive reviews. So did its European C-Max and the stitching and refinement on the interior of the four-door bright yellow Focus.

Ford Europe CEO John Fleming said the automaker will stay focused, despite all the good news of late.

"We still have a lot of work to do. But we are pleased with reactions to the new cars in Europe."

Over hors d'oerves and bite-size desserts, the feeling was that Ford was on top of the world in Switzerland -- a feeling echoed by two Ford employees that lingered near the five-door wagon.

"Amazing where we've ended up," one said to the other.

"No kidding," said the other with a shake of the head.