Ford Motor Co.’s ability to go it alone in the face of a global auto industry meltdown is winning hearts and minds, the auto maker’s top executive claims. “The consumers are much more aware of Ford,” Alan Mulally says. “They’re moving to consider Ford, and buy Ford.” While product appeal is a key contributor to its market momentum, so is consumer confidence the auto maker has generated by spurning the kinds of taxpayer-funded loans Ford’s cross-town competitors General Motors Co. and ...

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