PHOENIX -- Despite the headwinds it faces today, Ford Motor Co. "will figure it out," the automaker's retired CEO, Alan Mulally, said Wednesday at an industry conference here.
"Ford, like everybody, is trying to figure out what's going on, and it's going to be messy," Mulally, 73, said at the National Auto Auction Association's annual convention, where he was the keynote speaker. "It's going to look messy because it is messy."
Mulally, who helped turn the company around a decade ago and then retired from Ford in 2014, homed in on efforts by Ford and other industry players with regard to new mobility services.
"You see everybody working the last-mile issue right now," Mulally said. "These bicycles are all over the place. I don't know if we're going to make money on that."
It's not just Ford, he said.
"The point is, everybody is working on this, about what transportation is going to look like," Mulally said. "And it's not going to be clear for a while. I think partnerships are going to be a really important part."
However, he expressed confidence that the answers will come.
"What I do know is, at Ford, it has the most talented people in the world, and they care," Mulally said. "They know they're working on something really important. And we're going to be there at the end, and we're going to figure it out."
Mulally did not weigh in on Ford's leadership changes since his departure nor the automaker's current restructuring efforts.
Ford ousted Mulally's successor, Mark Fields, in May 2017 and replaced him with current CEO Jim Hackett. In July, Hackett launched an $11 billion global restructuring of the company.