Ford CEO Alan Mulally

Memorial Day approached with a warning of less consumer travel due to gas prices, and therefore less holiday spending across industries. 4th of July weekend was no exception to this holiday trend. While some are still worrying that summer automotive sales are declining, the season is far from lost according to Rhonda Wilson, Vice President and General Manager of AAA Texas.

“High gas prices this spring have started to impact travel, but the good news for consumers is that gas prices are continuing to drop and more vacation bargains are being offered this summer because travel providers have available space they need to fill.”

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Moreover, a recent article from the International Business Times went out of its way to call out Ford Motor Company as the one business truly embodying what freedom and the American way of life is about. Times are still tough for many industries recovering from economic troubles, especially for the automotive industry that has dealt with setback after setback, but ever since 2006 when Alan Mulally was hired as CEO of Ford, the automotive giant has made an impressive turnaround that many thought impossible.

David Magee, author of the International Business Times article, “How Alan Mulally Saved Ford,” came to the following conclusion that can be an inspiration to all as we head off from this most recent Independence Day toward the rest of the summer and 2011:

“Focusing on key elements required for turning around a company including cost-cutting, product design, lean operations, and one synergistic vision, Mulally shed distractions like Volvo and Jaguar, and preached the passion of One Ford to everybody who would listen. Those inside the company that didn’t listen found themselves another job.

For, despite Mulally’s affability, it was one way or the highway.

Many believed, however, and they are now getting the job done for all to see and experience. Ford did not file bankruptcy, and the company did not take government bailout assistance. Ford Motor Company did it the old-fashioned way – the American way. By leveraging the company’s future and working hard to get the job done, Ford gets the Freedom Award this Fourth of July holiday, representing lessons we can all learn and take into the future.”

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Photo By: Jessica Renaldi / Reuters-Corbis