The decision by the Ford Motor Co. board to restore a first-quarter stock dividend was a vote of confidence in the future of the company and in the assumption that the U.S. sales recovery is sustainable. The company has not paid a dividend since 2006.
AutoNation Inc. CEO Mike Jackson says light-vehicle sales are headed back to 16 million units a year, though it may take two or three years. Industry volume topped 16 million from 1999 through 2007 before dropping to 10.4 million in 2009.
Evidence is mounting that the recovery in U.S. auto sales is the real deal.