Look no further than a designer’s computer screen for an indicator of the troubled economy’s direction, says Ford Motor Co.’s design chief. From upticks in U.S. housing starts to new-vehicle sales jumps, there are road signs the global recession has bottomed out and economic stability is on the horizon. Ford plans to be ready, says J Mays, group vice president-design and chief creative officer. “Although we’re taking into account that the world is going to be slightly more frugal, ...

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