Photos and video Ford Motor Co. scored a hat trick on Tuesday. Motor Trend magazine selected the Ford Fusion midsize sedan as its car of the year. Billionaire financier George Soros revealed his investment arm has purchased $52.9 million in Ford stock. And, the company’s stock price hit a 2year high of $9 per share before closing at $8.98 for the day.
“It’s really gratifying to see that everybody is appreciating the Ford plan and the progress we are making,” Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Alan Mulally said during a crowded celebration Tuesday, while sporting an arm sling because of recent shoulder surgery.
Mulally, who underwent surgery this month to fix a lingering tennis and golf injury, attended Motor Trend’s award ceremony at Ford’s world headquarters.
Mulally said the progress of his shoulder, like Ford, is ahead of schedule and said the Motor Trend Car of the Year award provides additional evidence of that progress.
About 500 employees attended the emotional ceremony, including hundreds who worked directly on the Fusion and proudly stood up to accept credit from Ford’s leaders.
“It means so much to all the Ford employees,” said Sonya Nematollahi, who was the engineering supervisor for the Fusion’s instrument cluster and has worked for Ford for 19 years. “We had such a dedicated team that worked through Saturdays and Sundays and holidays.”
Angus MacKenzie, Motor Trend’s editor in chief, said the 2010 Ford Fusion beat a field of nearly two dozen contenders that were put through intensive driving tests.
First introduced in 2005, the Ford Fusion was refreshed this year with a new engine, transmission and better fuel efficiency as well as a redesigned front end and interior.
Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of global product development, said better fuel efficiency was among the key improvements for the 2010 Ford Fusion.
Because of the improved fuel economy, Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, said the 2010 Fusion has “really done a lot for our image, and it’s done a lot for our sales and market share.”
Since the redesigned Fusion was introduced in March, it has become the top-selling car built by an American automaker.
Top 2010 safety picks
The Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety named 27
vehicles as winners of its top
safety pick award for the 2010
model year. The award recognizes
vehicles that do the best
job of protecting motorists in
front, side, rear and rollover
crashes and have anti-rollover
technology called electronic
stability control, or ESC.
Chevrolet Malibu (built after
Chrysler Sebring (4-door with
Su ba ru Legacy
Su ba ru Outback
Volkswagen Jetta (4-door)
Volkswagen Passat (4-door)
Honda Civic (4-door with optional
ESC, except Si)
Subaru Impreza (except WRX)
Volkswagen Golf (4-door)
Jeep Patriot (with optional side
thorax air bags)