Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally on Tuesday spoke with Charlie Rose on CBS’ “This Morning” and discussed the auto manufacturer’s next big idea: investing heavily in the Chinese market.

“The Chinese market is even larger than the U.S. market today. We have a very good partner in China … So we have a very strong operation in the United States, we have a growing operation in China,” Mulally explained.

Of course, it should be mentioned that although the market in China may be growing, the market in Europe has seen serious declines in recent years.

Not to worry, says Mulally, Ford can compete with the best in any market.

“I’d just like to say again that what we have done with the unions, with the UAW, with our dealers, with everybody associated with Ford, we have fundamentally restructured this company, so that now we can compete,” the Ford CEO explained.

“Europe clearly is an issue for all of us. It’s the biggest decline in the economy in the market that we have ever seen, but we’ll continue to deal with that like we have in the past,” he added.

The CEO also explained Ford’s decision to help out their competition during the darkest days of the recession.

“We had a very comprehensive plan before the economic slowdown and fuel prices were moving up,” said Mulally.

“So we were well on our way to create an exciting Ford. We made a decision to even testify on behalf of our bankrupt competitors at the time because we felt that it was such a critical time for the industry and the United States economy that, if we wouldn’t have helped out temporarily, that we could have had the United States slip from a recession into a depression,” he added.

“So looking back, we thought about it a lot. Would we do the same thing again and testify on behalf of our competitors? I think it was critical to our country at the time.”

Just a quick history lesson: Ford never accepted a government bailout. Instead, the company borrowed $23.5 billion from banks in 2006, mortgaged its  useful assets, and dumped the ones it could stand to part with (i.e. Jaguar, Land Rover, and Aston Martin) so that it could afford to restructure itself. The company has since repaid its bank loans in full.

Meanwhile, their crosstown rival is stuck in loveless relationship with the feds.

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Front page photo courtesy trucktrend.com