TIME's story on CEO Bill Ford's plans for overhauling the Ford Motor Co. and taking on Toyota prompted praise for the company from longtime fans of Ford cars and trucks. Other readers remained doubtful about Ford's prospects until its vehicles are as reliable as its foreign competitors'
"The quality of Ford's products must be improved. It's not rocket science. Build safe and sturdy cars that last, and they will sell." BOB DOUCETT Dartmouth, N.S.
To answer the question posed by your cover headline [Jan. 30], yes, I would buy a new car from that man, and I have. Thank you, Bill Ford, for your vision and the capable leadership of your company. They will affect the industry for generations to come. And thanks for my 2006 Mustang GT. It looks great in the garage next to the Taurus and the F-150 Ford truck. BILL HUGHES Lynn Haven, Fla.
As someone whose father has worked in a Ford plant for more than 25 years, I am truly disappointed by Ford's slash-and-burn plans to lay off as many as 30,000 employees. It's always the blue- collar workers who are first deemed expendable. But what Ford really needs to take a look at is its designs. My family has owned nothing but Ford and Lincoln vehicles since my father began working at Ford, but now even loyal consumers are looking elsewhere. MEGAN NORRIS Chicago
In this age of globalization, in which free trade gives the consumer the option to buy the best value in the world marketplace, consumers should give extra points to Ford when purchasing a car. Here's an American company that created the middle class in the U.S. and built tanks and planes that helped us win World War II. Ford should be given every purchase consideration for its vehicles. After reading your article, I feel like waving the flag for Bill Ford. JACK WEBER Oxnard, Calif.
Your story should have done more to address product reliability. The automotive business is not just about styling. Doesn't Ford realize that the American consumer really does care a great deal about dependability? I thought the styling and comfort of my Ford Explorer were far superior to those of comparable imported SUVs. But I quickly tired of taking it back to the dealer every few months for hundreds of dollars' worth of repairs. That's why I traded it in for a Toyota 4Runner, which has been problem free so far. Listen up, Ford! DENNIS L. BARTON Silver Spring, Md.
Cowboys in Love
The critical acclaim received by the movie Brokeback Mountain is well deserved [Jan. 30]. It takes a courageous filmmaker to tackle the subject of a love affair between two men. Like many, I was awed by the depth of the movie and its characters. I certainly have no problem with gay men who establish lasting relationships. But I am concerned about those who carry on homosexual affairs while married to women who have no knowledge of their husbands' extramarital activities. While many people are moved by the pain and forbidden love of the male characters in the movie, I can think only about their wives and the secrets that were kept from them. LINDA ROBERTSON Oakland, Calif.
Your story amply addressed straight people's insecurities about Brokeback Mountain, but you ought to have mentioned that the movie never would have been made without decades of equal-rights activism by gay men and lesbians. JOHN OLSKI Sturgeon Bay, Wis.