News by Brand
Home>Topics>>Ford CEO Mulally: ‘We’re not going to back off’ on tech-push

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

Get Adobe Flash Player to see this content.


  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


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 -- Coming next week we hear from Renault Nissan CEO Carlos gone. Thanks for watching everyone we'll see you soon.

Related Videos:

  1. Ford, Toyota Reshape Supplier Ties

    Mon, 11 Aug 2014

    Hello and welcome to our final a joking matters report time Jennifer bond. Not years after the Great Recession auto makers are aggressively launching new and redesigned products. And those cars will have a chance of being hits and they showcase of innovations from parts makers. In this segment will tell you about the steps toy down and for undertaking to improve supplier relations. We really want our suppliers to the first we wanted to be seen as the preferred customers. We want access to their latest technologies and innovations and and frankly we want their best teams on the for an account. How anti tank is gold purchasing bonds the auto maker is in the midst of the year with 23 global product launches. Then includes the mustang and bill aluminum bodied at 150 pickup. Thai tang says one of the innovations on the F 150 was the result of the company's program with the pliers called. Via London business framework. The F 150 will be the first in that segment to have an LED and plant and we worked with it costs run to develop really. On jewel like I had to land so it's got a crystal and it that basically takes all of the energy from a single LEV chip. The initiatives overall aim is to reward suppliers with benefits such as global contracts. And greater access to information about Ford's product plans. Intern at the network of parts makers is expected to share among other things cutting edge technology with Ford. That transparency. Is they key component of the company's one Ford plan. We've been very open with ourselves our partners around sharing future product plans our manufacturing footprint. And really trying to help them understand what it is that we're trying to do and all of markets around the world that allows them. match from there are solutions to us and we can find a win win solution. So how do you suppliers and view their relationship with Ford. In planning perspectives annual survey that addresses that very issue. Ford ranked fourth out of sixth among major carmakers in North America this year good enough for an adequate ratings. It's gore just ahead of the average of nine companies studied. Last year Ford ranked third. While I'm I'm happy that we're doing better than the industry average better than some of our domestic competitors has clearly not good enough. Thai tang says he's making a concerted effort to improve in the area of communication. By reaching out to suppliers CEOs. These are very successful business people were running large global organization so we have a great opportunity to learn from them. What are they doing well how can we apply to afford. The manufacturer that and that's supplier relations study Toyota. The Japanese company made its first significant score improvement in this survey in seven years. Toyota's North American purchasing chief Robert Young saying the foundation of its relationship. Is between little weight and that kids. Continuous improvement and respect. principles which have been deployed. Really on on a global level which include. Open door policy always promoting fair competition. And maybe the key point is ensuring that we develop long term. Mutually beneficial relationships based on trust. Young says the automaker is just beginning accord development work on its new global architecture platform. The goal is to boost the number of parts shared among vehicles to improve quality and lower cost. Young says engaged in suppliers early in that process is vital. We're trying to front load up our collaboration with suppliers design and develop. You know the best commodity based solutions. For the vehicle programs is to look at the future of the uber successful. Over the next two years and we truly will have mutual benefit. By the end of the decade. Young says the challenge will be coordinating efforts both regionally and globally. We've done it before we've never done it really to this magnitude. And of that at the peak work load time that's something I'm a little concerned about. But we've been talking to our suppliers have linked how we prepare we improve our processes. Young also talking about initiatives under way at Rio to promote risk management. This all the supply chain disruptions from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami three years ago. We can only mitigate risk of we understand where those points are. And so based on that were working with our suppliers. As best we can and try to visualize supply chain through the tears. we understand where our product is coming from and we can identify where risk areas are. Both tank and young agreed that the overall goal is to achieve profitable growth for both automakers and suppliers. And speaking of profits is Harvard study by planning perspectives a researcher John hanky. Concludes that a good working relationship with suppliers can boost and auto makers the bottom line. Thank you seeing close relations with suppliers lifted Toyota's profits by 2400 dollars per vehicle. Sold from 2008 2013. Ford gained almost 2000 per vehicle. Thanks for watching our special reports from the planner for on a motive resurgent management briefing seminars. To see all four go to auto slash Trevor city take care.

  2. Nissan’s Diaz on Staying Humble, Hungry

    Wed, 6 Aug 2014

    I'm Tom war affected the tire management briefing seminars in Trevor city Michigan. In welcome to our third installment of agility matters. In this segment will tell you how Nissan North America is engaging important groups to remain prosperous. What are the automakers more recognizable faces says that oftentimes before you can move forward. You have to remember in the past those memories are helping to drive some of the decisions he makes today. So well have that. Personal experience of coming within an eyelash. Of non existence during the tough times in the recession. And then ultimately going into bankruptcy. I can tell you that climbing out of bankruptcy. Perhaps teach you even more about yourself. And about your company and about the business. Fred Diaz reflecting on those dark theories that Chrysler five years ago. He led the resurgence of the Rembrandt that the tennis star before joining me in 2013. As Nissan's US sales and marketing boss. DI says he constantly reminds his team to remain humble and hungry. Because it's so easy to see some success and to see some momentum and it and then to get full of yourself. And then to start relaxing the guys in the Nissan are not standing still on the retail front. For starters the company is going to be quote killing customer satisfaction. We found that essentially what what's happening is that the OEMs in the dealers are all working. Beavers need to fix the school it's not about fixing the it's about fixing what's wrong. In your processes whether it be you know we M process a dealer process that a personnel issue instead of waiting weeks. Or months after a single for a report and customer satisfaction. We're working to provide dealers immediate. Actionable feedback from the customer. real time basis. And when I say real time basis I mean while the customers actually still in the store or maybe even the very next day air would within hours of them leaving the store. Diaz says the move allows dealerships to immediately address customer issues. Diaz and his crew also meeting in person each month with national dealer advisory board. gatherings have been taking place for a body here. The first few months were hiring out of the bad issues the bad practices that things that we were doing wrong such as the stair step programs have been really really hated. In developing a program that gave them a full year of transparency to what their actual sales goals numbers are. The marketing plan lays on top of that so that they are not guessing about what it is that we're doing. Piazza doesn't want to confuse customers either. He says Nissan has among the most ethnically diverse customer bases of any full line manufacturer. As a result he says targeted advertising. Needs to be relevant. And engaging. And most importantly you have to be extremely reluctant. If you're not they will see right through it and it can actually. Do a back flip on you and be very offensive and make the multicultural population that going after run away from you instead of engage with you. Diaz says the retail leopards are keeping stores busy. Through July Nissan North American sales are up 13%. In a market that's up five. But challenges are on the horizon. When these unveils its redesigned full size picked up in 2015. The vehicle will offer an optional commons branded diesel engine. We don't have a a plethora. Diesel technicians in our in our stores right now so Nissan has established in intensive trading program to insurers service tax. Will be able to work on any commons in June that comes into a store. Because with the Cummins diesel fire. Time is money in the cancer than any time the ship. Nissan aiming to become a serious contender in the full size pickup segment. Be sure to look for our final agility matters report that next week. Have a great day.

  3. Toyota, GM make Bets on Alternative Powertrains

    Tue, 5 Aug 2014

    Hello and welcome to our sack and a joking matter reports from the Center for Automotive Research management briefing seminars in Travers city Michigan. From diesel fuel cells industry executives here agreed that there can't be just one power trains solution to meet future tough fuel economy and CO2 emissions rules. In this segment will take a look at the technologies. Companies are betting on and the challenges Amy. Where you know Justin ward says it's important to educate buyers so they choose what makes the most sense for them. And he says the auto maker isn't placing all its eggs in the fuel cell basket. In some cases the Q so cars can it be the right solution 300 miles three minute bills but in other cases and maybe they can do better with a shorter range electric vehicle. And so our job it's it has to make sure we provide in those options. In fact that Toyota will expand its product portfolio when the auto maker launches its first fuel cell vehicle in the U last in the summer of next year. Ward says the timing is just right at least in certain markets. There's been great momentum inside California with the infrastructure And we think it's a good time to take advantage of that there's also been great activity in both Europe and and Japan as well so we think that we're gonna these. I feel so vehicles adopted in those common areas but first. Still this excessive fuel cell vehicles will be turning to the availability. Of fueling stations. As are this puzzle developing. You know the plan. To launch its we need to make sure we understand where infrastructure is an analyst about being. That's where companies like first element can play it very critical role towards the advancement infrastructure. First Alleman fuel led by former GM marketing chief Julie is backed by Toyota. First element is planning a network of hydrogen refueling stations across California by the fall of two point fifteen. Co president of the company Stevens Romero aims to squash the infrastructure debate. Toyota being very bullish on fuel cell vehicles saying that the long term play is going to be fuel cell their acceptance could get off to a quicker start and hybrid stated. In the you have Nissan kind of you know questioning the in this of bringing these vehicles to market and again raising the infrastructure question who's going to build it. Well you know we think that this debate is over we're gonna go out there and build this infrastructure we see a strong potential in these vehicles having had experience with their performance. Now and General Motors eight different story. I'm very excited about diesels in the US market and this is again a first of many examples that going to see from General Motors. GM's new global power train chief Steve talking about the diesel powered Chevy cruise. That company's first diesel car since the 1980s. In addition to that contact that company offers diesel and heavy duty pickups. And did when he sixteen G and its to offer a diesel engine in its midsize trucks. But percent more diesels are on the way for the passenger car segments. Don't be surprised to see one powering a Cadillac Monday. I think it might be logical place for diesel engine I think you know what's one of our strategies to to grow our for Cadillac brand around the world. Got down huge acceptance for the brand and down. Not announcing anything yet but I think diesel offering would certainly be via a logical next up. Over own predict that diesels and cars and light trucks could grow to 10% of the US market by 20/20. That percentage today in the low single digits. Keeper also says with the abundance of diesel activity at GM's Opel brand. Relationships with suppliers are strong and he says that supply base it will help migrate those diesel products to the US. As far consumers' perceptions of the smoking drinking of the past. I would say we have no concerns and that respect so. The modern diesel engines of course. Dress most of those issues. But I would say that even in general we see in the marketplace that there will be a certain amount of acceptance and and it's a trade offer that that and populate them. As you keep her reiterates that diesel isn't healing power answer. In our space I mean we're sort of equally looking at gasoline diesel engines significant improvements in our transmissions. Any significant penetration. Electric electrified vehicles. Tomorrow in current three theories tell more about take a look at how carmakers. Our positioning themselves to be profitable and prosperous in the coming years take care.

  4. GM’s Google Glass Trial and Other Visions of Future Factories

    Mon, 4 Aug 2014

    Welcome to the 24 Center for Automotive Research management briefing seminars in Travers city Michigan. I'm Tom that this is the first of four special reports titled. Agility matters. Many executives we've heard from here in northern Michigan have suggested several ways for companies to state financially fit. Those include quickly adapting to changing technology. And hiring the right people. In this installment. We examine manufacturing. And how some companies are using and sometimes wearing innovative tools to ensure their plans stay on the leading edge. I think the next step of a truly connected facility the next high tech will not be a computer looking used to write the PC. Will be dead on the Plex systems development boss Jason Prater. Since factory workers will start wearing clothing and accessories. That will stream data to plant management. We've just finished the first phase of ability which is they would have people with Smartphones into the next phase of much. The civil war industrial uses Google classes most obvious with the wearable technology. Infected Google class easier muse had General Motors orient assembly plant in suburban Detroit. In this video a worker sealant to a door. GM North American manufacturing chief Cathy Clegg season some advantages. Their production operator he has to have their hands scream out there working as. So we used it would paint the ceiling. I'm somehow their ideas although not in practice in some other ideas that we had available only chance you know. Please you look through whatever you're looking broadcast to us. To the screen and there's wrapped up for another desk participants phone so. We've we've thought about ideas using it for troubleshooting pregnant plant quality problems on the measurement. So Clegg says GM started the Google last experiment late last year. The auto maker owns just a few of the Internet connecting glasses. So it was one idea that we Existing technology and maybe that's something we can apply you probably wouldn't think of using them and it kind of plan. I think it's the first up a long wave of wearable for the he safety that tell people what's going on around them but warns other machines around the someone's too close. Or wrist bands that keep track of partial loss picture least because people who went to work too hard. Employees also on the mind of American Axle CEO David now. He says the drive train components supplier plans to build a fifteen to twenty million dollar tax senator and that's Detroit headquarters this year. To develop prototype components and test manufacturing lines. The center will employ up to 100 people global service as a training ground for many more. If people to engineering in and as. Well as manufacturing type jobs as we're looking for the lean manufacturing center in the complex. As well as a work our suppliers and and then also don't really train our workforce of the future not only us our workforce and even some of the hourly work forces as well because. As we said there's us there's a shortage in Michigan. And there's disorders nationally in regards those trades on the types of jobs and and the skills as we need for the people from the people to do the jobs of the future. The drawing people to auto manufacturing. Has in continues to be a challenge. Executives from Honda in automation firm Kamal are trying to get people to think of it in a whole different way. Some mention three days. Studying dangerous and join him we have really tried to things that perspective in terms of the him so that they look engineer and look at manufacturing. exploiting. Shop run innovation and and forward thinking that as an engineer will always think about engineering and I'm and that's what makes a world class manufacturing. But I honestly believe that it's the interaction. Engineering with people as they keep saying if you don't have people. You come class so you people asking class before you can even stop thinking about calling yourself a little class action. Attracting bright minds in the business a huge topic here this week. Jennifer Vaughn explores the evolving world of power trains in part two of our series tomorrow please that.