Of the Detroit 3 carmakers, Ford is easily the strongest and compared with its global competition the Blue Oval isn’t looking too shabby either – impressive considering U.S. new car sales are at their lowest level in decades. Furthermore, Ford insists it will be able to reach profitability as early as 2011 without the need for any government assistance.

"We are confident that we will not only survive this downturn, but that we will emerge as a lean, globally integrated company poised for long-term profitable growth," Ford CEO Alan Mulally said, adding that the company was on track to be at or above break-even in 2011 excluding special items.

That was the claim laid out to shareholders at the company’s annual meeting. Shareholders were also requested to approve Ford’s funding plan for a healthcare trust for UAW retirees, as well as a range of changes to voting rules, reports Automotive News.

Ford recorded a net loss of $14.7 billion in 2008 and for the first three months of this year the company has recorded a net loss of $1.43 billion. However, with its recent debt restructuring, the union agreements, and share issues, analysts predict Ford will be able to turn around its past performances and return to profitability in the near future. Incidentally, Ford hasn’t had an annual profit since 2005.