Ever since Ford CEO Alan Mulally dipped deep into the credit markets before the credit crunch, things have been going his way.
Despite a steady flow of red ink, Ford has succeeded in putting distance between itself and its ailing domestic rivals. Former contemporaries Rick Wagoner and Bob Nardelli have been hauled off to the woodshed; Mulally, meanwhile, was honored by Time magazine as one of "the world's most influential people."
And sometimes you just get lucky. After President Barack Obama had begun shaking hands with auto moguls in Washington last week after announcing his emissions and fuel economy plan, he returned to the microphone for a postscript.
"By the way," said the leader of the free world, "I still have my Ford parked in Chicago. Ford hybrid -- runs great. You guys should take a look."
Mulally pumped both fists in the air, savoring the triumph.
Obama, realizing after a few moments that some other auto folks were onstage, too, added: "But there are also some other outstanding hybrids and energy-independent cars represented up here." That was Fritz Henderson, General Motors' CEO, nodding enthusiastically in the background.