NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Ford (F) could have gone bankrupt like General Motors (GM) and Chrysler. However, according to TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, Ford's CEO Alan Mulally was the difference maker. 

Instead of going bankrupt like its Detroit counterparts, Ford was able to hang tough because Mulally "had the foresight to raise a lot of money before the recession hit," Cramer explained. For this reason, Mulally is one of Cramer's "Bankable 21." GM is an AAP holding.

However, Ford's stock has stalled as investors wonder if the CEO can "clean up" the European operations within his one-year, self-imposed deadline. 

"I think he can do it," Cramer said. He reminded investors how much shares of Microsoft (MSFT) used to shoot up on rumors that Mulally would be the next CEO. 

He concluded that Mulally was able to steer Ford clear of bankruptcy, turn its operations around and "now he's going to turn it into the global powerhouse that it used to be." 

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter.

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