Mulally plans strong finish, focusing on tech and Lincoln

Alan Mulally: “I'm focusing on longer-range strategic issues.”

Is 2014 more or less a victory lap for Ford CEO Alan Mulally now that he has taken himself out of the running for the top job at Microsoft?

"I haven't backed off one bit," said Mulally, 68, in an interview.

He says he'll concentrate on a few key issues this year, which could be his last at Ford.

"I'm focusing on longer-range strategic issues: vehicles of the future, technology and Lincoln," he said.

Lincoln? Some analysts wondered whether Mulally took the brand seriously enough when he came over from Boeing in 2006. But the luxury brand debuts in China at the end of this year and is rolling out a compact crossover in early summer.

The aluminum 2015 F-150 pickup at the Detroit auto show last week is Ford's latest and biggest technology bet.

Mulally said he is confident history will vindicate his company for being first on the lightweight materials frontier.

"I have committed my life -- 43 years -- to safe and efficient transportation, whether it's commercial airplanes or cars," he said. "I'm so excited to see Ford taking the next step to improve the capability and efficiency."