Three years into a turnaround plan, Ford Motor Co. COO Jim Padilla still has a lot of work to do.
Padilla must ensure that new products such as the Ford Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle sport wagon are launched properly in North America. Overseas, Ford of Europe is projected to break even at best this year, and Jaguar is losing money.
Padilla will speak at the 2005 Automotive News World Congress. Also speaking will be Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., a politician who has mastered the art of long-term survival.
Dingell, 78, has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1955.
He has championed the industry and has worked for many bread-and-butter issues of the Democratic Party, such as Social Security and Medicare.
Padilla, a manufacturing expert, is responsible for Ford's global automotive operations. His biggest headache in North America is falling market share. Through nine months of this year, Ford Motor's U.S. sales dropped 4.8 percent from the year-ago period. The company lost 1.2 percentage points of market share in the same period.
Padilla is counting on new products this year and next to reverse the losses.