DETROIT — Cost-cutting largely drove Ford Motor Co.'s surprise first-quarter improvement, but CEO Alan Mulally has a lot to do to achieve a full turnaround.
Mulally told Automotive News last week that it's way too early for a "Mission Accomplished" banner.
"The way to judge the performance, I think, is that every year we want to make an improvement over the previous year," Mulally said. "It will never be over."
Ford garnered lots of praise for posting a $100 million net profit in the first quarter. But company leaders say results will worsen during the rest of 2008, leading Ford to a third straight annual loss.
Ford says it remains on target to post a profit in 2009. But the company isn't likely to realize substantial long-term profitability until the next decade, when a rash of new products arrive.
Here are six things that would will keep Mulally's plan on track: