DETROIT -- Bill Ford and Mark Fields say Ford Motor Co. must change or die, but they aren't setting many hard targets to help track the beleaguered company's progress.
With Ford Motor on the ropes, CEO Ford and Fields, new president of the Americas, laid out a plan to close 14 factories and cut as many as 30,000 jobs over the next six years. But there were few signposts to show whether the Way Forward plan is working.
The plan -- announced with much fanfare on Monday, Jan. 23 -- does pledge a profit in the troubled North American automotive business no later than 2008. That unit lost $1.6 billion before taxes and charges in 2005. And Ford said it would cut material costs by $6 billion through 2010.
But most other turnaround targets are vague -- such as bolder design and more innovation. So in the absence of specific markers from Ford, here are five factors to keep a close eye on: