We're not sure what the Ford Motor Company is doing right. But whatever it is, we suggest the other car manufacturers adopt the same philosophy.

It was announced yesterday that Ford earned $1 billion in the third quarter, fueled by U.S. market share gains, cost cuts and the government's Cash for Clunkers rebates.

That's an impressive figure, considering the state of the economy, and the fact that Ford is the only Detroit automaker to not require government aid and bankruptcy protection.

Ford is on solid ground, after losing more than $14.6 billion in 2008 and not having posted a full-year profit since 2005.

The third qurter earning came despite an $800 million revenue drop, but Ford said it cut costs by $1 billion during the quarter. Does this include huge bonuses to top executives? We hope so.

We still have reservations about the Cash for Clunkers program which offered buyers payments to trade in their older and high mileage vehicles. But Ford contends that the program helped them cut costly incentives and raise production. So maybe it was a worthwhile idea.

Whatever the case, when we, as a nation, are searching for any bright ray of hope in the economy, whether it's a climb in the stock market, or a profit by one of the biggest corporations in America, Ford's third quarter success comes as good news.

Bob Urban

rurban@tnonline.com [1]