USA TODAY2:39 p.m. EDT June 20, 2013
Alan R. MulallyChinaJapanFord CEO Alan Mulally is making headlines over in China, from kissing a Transit van to taking Japan to task for alleged currency manipulation.
Officially, his job was to welcome a new Transit van to the world, the 7 millionth. The Transit is unknown in the U.S., but not for much longer. It is about to be built and sold here, a competitor to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van and others.
Mulally planted a wet one on the hood.
When it came to business, Bloomberg News reported that he accused Japan of currency manipulation, giving it an unfair edge when it comes to profitability of exports. The yen has lost 18% of its value since November.
He also said "it's just a matter of time" before Ford exports vehicles from its China plants. A few years ago, auto-industry observers predicted a flood of Chinese-made vehicles being shipped to developed countries such as the U.S. But it never happened, largely because demand in China has been so vigorous there were few left to export.
Ford plans to bring a little more of its company to China next year: Lincoln vehicles will go on sale.