Mulally Morning Mayhem! The Ford Quarterly Earnings Call Live-Blog

Well, the numbers are out and things look both good and bad for FoMoCo. As we told you earlier, Henry Ford's baby is seeing things go from bad to worse on the money-makin' front here in North America. On the brighter side of life, they're losing significantly less money overall on a global level. What's this mean for FoMoCo? Well, we're going to listen to Chief Exec Alan Mulally try to make sense of the numbers for us on the automaker's quarterly earnings conference call, and we'll be the only ones with the balls to cover it live. Right here, right now — let's play.

8:55:49 AM: I'm coming at you live and correct from a secret, undisclosed location that may or may not be a Starbucks in Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

8:56:51 AM: I've got a venti cinnamon dolce latte with skim milk, sugar-free syrup and whipped cream (hey, the skim milk cancels that shit out!) waiting for the main man with the master plan for FoMoCo to step up to the microphone.

8:57:15 AM: Man, the MILF's here are of a significantly higher caliber than the ones I normally see at my Starbucks back home. I'm feeling a wee bit jealous...anyone seen Alan yet?

More below the jump.

9:05:16 AM: Yay it's starting! Oh wait...just tiny print on GAAP.

9:05:23 AM: Alan's starting it up to give some basics

9:05:33 AM: Down 106,000 units from last year

9:07:37 AM: Yay for having $35.2 Billion on hand! Too bad they had to mortgage the company to get that cheddar...

9:08:32 AM: According to Mulally, FoMoCo is "making progress on executing the four priorities of our plan —restructuring the Company, accelerating product development, funding our plan, and working effectively as one team"

9:09:57 AM: Is selling five businesses in one year a good thing?

9:10:19 AM: Ford, Lincoln and Mercury have reached "Toyota levels of quality"...umm...yay?

9:11:12 AM: Hey now, that was quick — we're already on to the money man — Don "Chocolate" LeClair to give us the nitty-gritty on the numbers.

9:11:31 AM: The Chief money-man Don "French Pastry" LeClair sounds really tired. Just sayin'...

9:17:49 AM: I understand the need for US automakers to get away from fleet sales, but it's still weird for me to hear Ford banging their chest over lower vehicle sales.

9:19:42 AM: They're expecting better market share overall. Really? From what products? Trucks — ok, maybe...

9:20:22 AM: Oh wait, they're expecting to continue to live life on the Edge-uh...and the dreamy Car-UV reaching higher — the Lincoln MKX.

9:21:12 AM: Ooh, great new vehicles like the...umm....Focus. Also the...umm...Ford Taurus and Taurus X? Right...and don't forget the Bullitt edition Mustang!

9:25:23 AM: They're looking to cut $5.0 billion from operating costs in 2008.

9:25:47 AM: I hope they don't pull the trick the General does where they add up their structural cost reductions for each year...

9:32:12 AM: Well that's interesting...the cash impact of the Jobs Bank and the Employee Separation Programs in the 1st quarter were only $1.2 billion. I actually expected that number to be much higher.

9:33:20 AM: Ah, now the fun stuff — "Planning Assumptions and Operational Metrics." This is where Ford tells us what the entire industry's going to do this year, and how much they think it's ok for them to suck for the entire year.

9:35:06 AM: They don't have the numbers on external quality metrics...but their internal numbers say they're reaching ToMoCo levels? Oh yeah, that's TOTALLY believable. I always think self-measurment is a great idea — probably explains why so many guys think the length of their thumb is eight inches.

9:37:45 AM: Yay! Alan's back on

9:38:24 AM: They're "on track" and "energized." Yeah, he sounds it...of course, anyone sounds "energized" today next to Don.

9:38:43 AM: Seriously — somebody bring that man a Starbucks.

9:39:48 AM: Q&A time...let's start with the analysts

9:41:58 AM: Our boy Kevin just sent us this market minder from a few minutes ago while we were in the bathroom vomiting over the size of the headcount reduction FoMoCo's taken: Ford Motor sees Q3 N. American production flat from a year ago, Q4 up (8.31 +0.43) -Update-

9:52:51 AM: Sorry zoned out there for a moment...anyone notice Ford stock is up pretty nicely in early AM trading?

10:00:49 AM: Ford of Europe has great product lines? Holy cow — really?!

10:00:54 AM: Ok, now bring them here.

10:01:03 AM: Oh wait, that would actually be a GOOD idea.

10:05:11 AM: Good question — "can you tell us how you're building higher quality vehicles — do you have any metrics on it?" The answer? "It's hard to have metrics on it...we'll just have to wait for JD Power numbers..." Umm, if that's the case, how can you say your build quality's increasing?

10:06:07 AM: Wait, why aren't they willing to break out the profitability numbers from Aston Martin? And why wouldn't they break out Jaguar?

10:06:34 AM: Oh wait, they just said all four brands did better, but "the biggest was at Land Rover."

10:09:20 AM: Sorry, had to drop some money in the meter. What did I miss? Oh yay, we're on to the media questions. First up a dead line. Second up...well, yes, we can hear you John Stoll from Dow...something.

10:09:49 AM: Thanks John for helping to explain why the line went dead a few minutes ago. You're a great American.

10:25:04 AM: Ooh, here's a good question..."how's Ford going to reduce by another 2,100 jobs to reach the numbers the plan anticipates? Will you require involuntary reductions?"

10:25:22 AM: The answer: "No significant reductions are anticipated."

10:28:01 AM: OK, there's some serious issues going on here with the conference call system.

10:28:08 AM: Is that a savings measure?

10:30:21 AM: Ok, that's all folks — thanks for joining us. Don't forget to tip the barista.

Related:
Ford's Not Dead Yet: Feeling Better In First Quarter 2007, Loses $1.1 Billion Less! [internal]