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In an interview to appear on FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Countdown to the Closing Bell (3 PM/ET), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally speaks with anchor Liz Claman about the auto industry in regards to the economy. Mulally states that “we really do believe” the auto industry is looking more stable and that “we think the economy is going to expand in the 2 percent to 2.5 percent in the United States.” Mulally went on to say that he believes Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) “going to hit the mark at the right time” with the “increase in fuel efficiency and capability with the F-Series.”

Excerpts below:

On the auto industry looking more stable:

“We really do believe that.  And now clearly, you know, we think the economy is going to expand in the 2 percent to 2.5 percent in the United States.  Now that is a slower expansion than we’ve had in the past from recessions.  But we also are climbing out of the biggest recession we’ve ever had.  But everything that we can see right now, we see that gradual expansion. And along with that comes the industry.  So remember, we ended up, I think, about 14.8 million units in the United States last year.  We think for 2013 that could be anywhere between 15 million and 16 million units.   And of course, our market share, the full size pickup, is up to nearly 40 percent.  And so this is a very important product for our consumers, very important part for economic development in the construction industry.  So we’re – we believe we’re going to hit the mark at the right time with this increase in fuel efficiency and capability with the F-Series.”

 

On paying down the sizable chunk of debt:

“Well, you know, clearly we started out with nearly $35 billion, $36 billion in debt.  And we have reduced that debt now to $14 billion.  And, remember, our mid-decade guidance had a target of around $10 billion, which is about right for our capital structure.  So we’re doing very well on moving forward with our capital structure.”