ROME – Ford Motor Co. is weighing whether to give its European workers a cash bonus, the automaker's chief executive said.
"At Ford we like to share our profitable growth with everyone," Ford CEO Alan Mulally told Automotive News Europe when asked if Ford's 66,000 hourly workers in Europe will get a bonus like their U.S. counterparts.
"Ford truly believes that growing the business profitably will benefit everyone," added Mulally at a recent event here. When pressed, he declined to say if and when Ford's workers in Europe would see something extra in their paychecks. Ford already has announced that its 40,600 U.S. hourly workers will get bonuses averaging $5,000.
Ford Motor reported a 2010 profit of $6.56 billion. Its European unit contributed $182 million toward that total. By comparison, rival General Motors Co.'s European arm had a $1.8 billion operating loss in 2010 while the company as a whole reported a $4.7 billion profit.
Ford to focus on One Ford
Mulally said that while rivals are rushing to form partnership to increase economies of scale and to share the cost of developing green technologies, Ford plans to focus on itself for now.
The CEO said Ford is still in the "process of merging Ford into the One Ford" and therefore is not pursuing new partnerships, alliances or takeovers.
Under One Ford, the heads of the automaker's three geographic business units (The Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific) as well as the bosses of various widespread functions meet every Thursday in video conference.
"We are 16 – me included – and we run this global organization truly as One Ford," Mulally said.
Ford spent the last fewer years discarding assets such as Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo and Aston Martin so that it can focus on its core Ford brand.
When asked for his opinion on the future global penetration of battery-powered vehicles, Mulally said he expects about 70 percent of vehicles to have a gasoline- or diesel-hybrid powertrain by 2020.
"Battery powered vehicles – either pure EVs or plug-ins – could account to 15 percent to 20 percent of total demand," he predicted.
To cope with the possibility of a consumer shift to hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full-electric vehicles, Ford plans to build those variants on the same assembly lines used for vehicles with internal combustion engines.