February 26, 2020 10:30 AM, EST

Ford COO Sees 2009 Crisis Flashback on Faces of Colleagues

Jim FarleyJim Farley by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Ford Motor Co.’s recently appointed chief operating officer said the struggling automaker is operating with the same sense of urgency and crisis that kept the company out of bankruptcy a decade ago.

“Everyone at Ford knows the situation we’re in,” Jim Farley, who becomes COO on March 1, said Feb. 26 at a Wolfe Research conference in New York. “I can see it on the faces of my colleagues and it takes me back to about 10 years ago. I’ve seen the look before.”

Ford was the only automaker in Detroit to avoid the bailouts and bankruptcies that befell General Motors and Chrysler in 2009. But the tables have turned in the last several years. Ford let its product lineup lapse, has posted a string of dismal earnings and botched the launch of its redesigned Explorer sport utility vehicle last year. Its stock closed Feb. 25 at the lowest in more than a decade.

The promotion of Farley, 57, was announced earlier this month along with the early retirement of Joe Hinrichs, the other president of the company.

Ford shares rose 1% to $7.30 shortly after the open of regular trading. The stock has dropped about 22% this year.

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