Who will keep Ford's winning streak going?

A Ford logo is shown at an event that celebrates the opening of the new U.S. production line where the 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan will be made at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant Sept. 10, 2012.

Stacey Vanek Smith: Directors at Ford Motor Company are meeting today. There's word the agenda could include the first step toward a change in management at the company.

Here's our senior business correspondent Bob Moon.


Bob Moon: To borrow a slogan the carmaker made famous years ago...

Ford commercial: Ford has a better idea!

...analysts find it hard to imagine anyone with a better idea than the company's highly-regarded turnaround whiz Alan Mulally. He's now guided Ford through 13 straight profitable quarters. But at 67, he's nearing retirement, causing analysts to wonder: Who could top his performance?

Rebecca Lindland: Alan Mulally is such an enormous figure, overshadowing everybody else at Ford to some extent. I would imagine it's been a topic of discussion at many Ford dinnertables, you know, of employees at Ford.

IHS Global's Rebecca Lindland says it's also making stockholders anxious. There are reports Mark Fields will be named chief operating officer, putting him in place to take the helm next year. Fields ran overseas operations for Ford, and analyst Jesse Tuprak at TrueCar.com says that should serve him well.

Jesse Tuprak: We think that 80 percent of all growth in new vehicle sales in the next 10 years will happen outside of the United States. And the global understanding of Fields will be an advantage for him going forward.

And with 23 years at the carmaker, Fields is a Ford idea man from way back.

I'm Bob Moon for Marketplace.

About the author

Bob Moon is Marketplace’s senior business correspondent, based in Los Angeles.

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