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November 2, 2021 1:15 PM, EDT

Ford’s Climb Takes Stock Above Levels Last Seen Under Mulally

Ford’s Climb Takes Stock Above Levels Last Seen Under MulallyThe grill of a Ford pickup truck. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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Ford Motor Co.’s shares have climbed steeply over the past couple of months, pushing them to levels last seen when Alan Mulally — the former CEO who is often called the company’s savior — was at the wheel.

The rally got its latest boost last week after the automaker reported impressive third-quarter results, reinstated its dividend and said the chip shortage appears to be easing.



The shares have risen steadily since hitting lows in March last year amid the coronavirus pandemic, helped by strong demand for cars. They have more than doubled since Jim Farley became CEO a year ago and made numerous pledges to aggressively push into electric vehicles.

Farley

Farley

The stock jumped as much as 1.3% on Nov. 2 to touch the highest intraday level since 2011.

Mulally, 76, is widely credited with saving Ford from the bankruptcies and bailouts that befell its crosstown rivals, General Motors Co. and the former Chrysler — now a part of Stellantis NV — during the Great Recession of 2009. Shortly after coming to Ford from Boeing Co. in 2006, he helped engineer a life-saving $23 billion loan that got the automaker through the worst auto market in decades. He left the post in June 2014.

While CEO, the former aeronautical engineer slashed costs, boosted technology and overhauled Ford’s lineup with fuel-efficient new models like the aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup. Ford earned $42.3 billion in the last five years of his tenure, after losing $30.1 billion from 2006 to 2008.

Ford shares more than doubled during his time as CEO. After he left, the stock began a six-year slide under two of his successors, Mark Fields and Jim Hackett.

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