DETROIT — It didn't take long for CEO Alan Mulally to earmark the estimated $2.4 billion in annual savings that Ford Motor Co.'s new labor contract will eventually generate.
He's pumping that cash straight into product development, and that's exactly where Ford needs it — maybe desperately.
Between now and the 2010 model year, Ford's major North American launches will include a new version of the Ford F-150 pickup and Flex sport wagon and Lincoln's new flagship sedan, the MKS. But there's not much else in the pipeline.
In a conference call last week after the union had approved the pact, Mulally said Ford wants to put the pedal to the metal to bring out more new products.
"We are now in a position to really accelerate our new product development with great new products," he said.