Ford Motor Co. reported profits of nearly $1 billion in the third quarter, after piling up $30 billion in losses between 2006 and 2008. Ford even posted its first profitable quarter since 2005 in its struggling North America division -- after cutting costs by closing more than 10 plants and slashing 45 percent of its workforce in the region since 2005. Did declining federal bailout money help Ford win customers from GM and Chrysler?

Because capitalism works, and socialism doesn't: The secret to Ford's success is no mystery, says Don Surber in the Charleston, W.V., Daily Mail. Ford is the only Detroit automaker that turned down government aid and bankruptcy protection. The lesson here is that capitalism works; socialism doesn't.
"Ford posts billion-dollar profit"

Ford got plenty of government help: Ford did get a "nice boost from this summer's 'cash for clunkers' program," says Michael Fowlkes in Blogging Stocks. But the company couldn't have made that "surprising $1 billion profit" without all that cost cutting. And with Ford now saying it should be "solidly profitable" next year, its investors have "a reason to smile."
"Ford reports first North American profit in years"

Ford's luck could run out: Ford CEO Alan Mulally turned down government help, says Tom Walsh in the Detroit Free Press, saying, "We're happy where we are." Pounding "the drumbeat of difference" boosted the company's image, and its stock price. But now the United Auto Workers are refusing to give Ford cost concessions that Chrysler and GM got through Chapter 11. If Ford doesn't cut costs further, it will be at a competitive disadvantage.
"Ford's mantra of difference was taken to heart by its UAW workers"