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Ford CEO Mulally: ‘We’re not going to back off’ on tech-push

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  1. Lincoln0:53, 1:14, 2:26
  2. jaguar1:20
  3. high tech1:03
  4. consumer electronics2:00
  5. Jim Farley2:44
  6. Alan Mulally0:17
  7. Automotive News0:10, 4:25
  8. GM2:51
  9. flat panels1:57
  10. Mark fields3:45

Fri, 9 Nov 2012|

'Talk From the Top' With Ford CEO Alan Mulally

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Hi again welcome to the latest installment of our talk from the top series. I'm Jason Stein editor Automotive News. So this time around we're speaking with CEOs at global auto makers and we're gonna begin today with Ford's Alan Mulally. Since arriving at 2006 Mulally has been credited with completely overhauling the blue ovals culture products and business. And most analysts would argue all for the better. In recent years the focus on the -- eventual departure and a succession plan were hot topics among industry analysts and reporters. But all that speculation was laid to rest November 1 when Ford announced Mulally would stay on through at least the end of 2014. Four days later I sat down with Wally at Ford's Dearborn headquarters. The 67 year old continues to wrestle with challenges that seemingly won't go away. Making Lincoln relevant again and improving the auto makers controversial. Infotainment system. The technology that goes with forged in a reasonable life worked but that high tech gear namely the Mike Ford and Miley can touch control systems. Played a significant role in how the brands spared in the most recent consumer reports annual reliability study. Lincoln finished 26. And fort when he seventh only one spot above last place jaguar. The magazine calls the tellem -- system quote problematic. So far. Mulally says despite all that we're not back off. He says Ford is constantly improving a system which is designed in large part to help decrease driver distraction. What what you've done differently if you were -- I'm not so sure that we -- we would have done anything significantly different. Except for maybe. A little bit more focus on the -- of the initial capability just give you one example about that on on my Ford touch. We need to cut some customers like flat panels as benefits someone like consumer electronics five positions exposition controllers. Some of them like voice commands and at the time when we started we only had like 100 -- Well today we have 101000 voice commands so and hindsight we probably would focus more. On the on the voice activation may be a little bit less in the touch screen. And then brought that technology along a little slower. One part of the business were Mulally is not slowing down is Lincoln. US sales are off 15% this year but Mulally says he's found the right man to reinvent the brand. He really understands luxury he really believes. -- in Lincoln. Well Ali talking of course about Ford's veteran marketing sales and service boss Jim Farley who is now Lincoln's worldwide leader. -- by the way is no stranger to the luxury segment. GM has such a unique experience because he's clearly helped develop. The Toyota upper hand in their products. And then he also led the development. Of the Lexus premium. Worldwide. In recent months Farley has been a prime architect. Behind Lincoln's plan to offer a new style of customer care similar to what you find at luxury hotels Mulally says the vehicle is one part. That that election customer expects and wants and really appreciates. A more personal long term relationship. And so our dealers. Are right size now they're excited about to invest in their facilities. In their people and their teams and they years are gonna provide a very very satisfying how long term relationship to Lincoln customers. And speaking of a strong bond Mulally says he has one -- is new and first chief operating officer at Ford. Mark fields. Feels that the auto -- long time president of the Americas will now lead the company's. Day to day operations including a key weekly meeting previously run -- and -- where all of Ford's global business unit leaders come together by teleconference. Molly however says he'll still be in the room. Mark is going to them lead our business plan reviews on Thursday and I'm going to be dynamite helped sitting right next that to him. While -- focus even more on the for the development of our strategic plan. By the way we've -- appointed to -- well many believe fields is the clear top candidate to replace -- Monday. For more on this talk from the top please read the November 12 print edition of Automotive News of course you can find it online at -- news.com. Coming next week we hear from Renault Nissan CEO Carlos gone. Thanks for watching everyone we'll see you soon.

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You can see that the traffic stop here around you know 4 o'clock 3:34 o'clock. And which something we like by the way. Head Porter Javier helps new Hyundai he's up to the bridge. But determining the location of this heavy duty elevator was a challenge during the planning phase of the project. didn't want to an unsightly exterior lift for all to see so. We figured that we put in the blue box this box bearing a big Hyundai logo. You can still see the cars going up and down its visual but it's not an if you don't see any of the mechanics of the list. So that was a very nice clever design when the sun sets up programmable LED system kicks him. Projecting in a of colors against the bridges white background. We have. Design that took advantage of the traffic there's 600000. Vehicles that drive this freeway on a daily basis and we want it to us. Bill that in a way that they remember that there is on the story here so how is this door impacted drivers. Instances of one story in particular comes to mind. There was that element that bought a car from us and he he said I've been driving this freeway for twelve years. And I've never. Knew there was and they store here. And he he then you man and I end up buying a car. NASA says there's a good reason why many drivers zipped by the dealership in the past. This is what it looked like when massive in his business partners acquired the store in late. the eleven we would call it a glorified. Trailer we had to add a couple of trailer just to conduct business while we are designing in that building. This building. It was a big big change. From what it was and what it is today. The same can be said. For the dealerships significant turnaround in sales. The Hyundai store was selling about. Some are around eight to ten cause a month's new cause of months. And now we're currently selling around hundred parts of. The old facility presented another problem. We had a difficulty hiring the right people when we were in a trailer but that hasn't been an issue since the new building opened its doors. It features a massive show room filled with flat screen televisions in plenty of workspace. If you people like. To be here. They will treat your customers rights and we try to. Create the culture that this is your home. A total of 39 employees worked at the Hyundai store in a nearby Chevy dealership. When asked if it is business partners bought them in 2011. Today 105. Employees worked at the dealerships. About a third of those staffers share their time between the two stores. Quite a few jobs that were added to the community. Back to construction. if it is team broke ground on the new Hyundai store in of 2013. Our goal was to. Opened stores before Thanksgiving and we did the project also came in 800000. Dollars under budget. Due in part to win Hyundai serving as general contractor. In in in the house consultant coordinating work on the project. The move gave more control in terms of spending choosing subcontractors. In design flexibility. For example the source conference room looked good on paper. And then when we looked at its. It was too small and we had to redesign it and the ability to have the contractors. Working for us it was we were able to do that fairly easy we had to. a couple of walls and and it was. Done the fifteen year old massive was born in Egypt and moved to LA as a team. He's held numerous dealership positions over the past thirty years. Including market president for about a dozen AutoNation stores in Southern California. He says other retailers looking to rebuild. May want to consider adding the title of general contract. This is my first dealership and this is something that. It's something that every penny counts in the end. NASA believes he's made when Hyundai in Carson a destination. People make choices every day. People make is that where they gonna work where they can five. What are they gonna buy. And our job is to be Detroit's. You might wonder where the dealership groups in came from. NASA for in his team like sports and decided early on that they like to win. Thanks so much for watching we'll see you soon.

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