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. Cruising With Classic Dodges

    Mon, 14 Jul 2014

    Cruising With Classic Dodges

  2. Lincoln’s VanDyke on Making the MKC Different

    Fri, 20 Jun 2014

    The out from Automotive News an appearance at a over California. Media launch. But the 2015. Lincoln and Casey. In case he is Lincoln's decree from the fans throwing compact luxury crossovers like. Lincoln has big ambitions for this vehicle reinvention. Of the brand which has been languishing remember years. We're here Rick Smith van dyke director of global Lincoln. It's going to talk to us about what Lincoln's plans that folks are poorly in case things. Really what would tip the scales for us to decide you and Casey is the second known. Would that leave for another new name Q so. 400 products for years. Having and it's a second I think it's just absolutely right for outlook we expect going here and globally and and really. What we can do. More attention more products from. Where things that's different about every seat from. The first on the Lincoln that was developed. Completely groundout from. Lincoln studio it's. You know engineers and vehicle embedded design teams working together hand in hand and really fighting to make all the right choices looking at. Benchmark luxury premium competitors. Figuring out exactly what kind of portions track whips me. Step up power trip to point three eco boost which is not available on any other car. On the platform that we we're leveraging here these are all very important choices that were making to further differentiate. This product. Getting the word out through social media channels channels pretty big way and we'll also use some of the other channels during the summertime. Such as. Really I think it's because the product you're from advertising as well cinema advertising taking advantage of the media channels that are. Really people are using them and then mention. Well when people using television to. You know important for us to get your awareness. And it's there that's really pump way and that and just the right. You go there.

  3. L.A. Store Showcases New Cars to Idled Drivers

    Fri, 6 Jun 2014

    Our best practices video series continues. I'm Tom Moore back. The 405. Odds are you've heard of or perhaps even driven in the congested interstate in Southern California. Oftentimes. The freeway becomes a parking lot. The dealer heading massive says there are sales opportunities. In that gridlock. So after NASA took over a struggling Hyundai store south of Los Angeles. He made sure the dealerships inventory. Would catch the eyes of idling motorists at any hour. As a result of new brick. Mortar and lots of glass. NASA is selling more cars in attracting new employees to. We want to take advantage of proximity to freeways so we built the building. Right on. For me just feet away from the frantic for a five Hyundai in Carson. The new five million dollar facility centerpiece. Is a 4500. Square foot class display bridge. It's it's two stories off the ground it holds up to eight vehicles. From the inside. Cars look I don't hide with commuters. 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.

  4. Ford’s Hinrich’s Big Test

    Fri, 16 May 2014

    Welcome to our first talk from the top video series of 2014. I'd Tom war back during the next three weeks you'll hear from the three North American CEOs. Will begin with Ford's president of the Americas Joseph Hendrix he's held the spot since December of 2012. And the 47 year old has plenty on his plate. He wants to improve both the vehicle quality and the auto makers launch record you could say the former General Motors executive. Was built for this kind of work. I grew up in the manufacturing systems so kind of launching their power train their vehicles is kind in my DNA a trade is counting on. As he guides forward through sixteen new vehicle launches in North America in 2014. In recent years all of the problems caused vehicles such as the Ford Escape in Lincoln and easy to stumble out of the gate. To ensure smoother launches Hendricks and other are getting involved sooner. We're trying to learn from the thing that happened over the last several years so we can improve as every organization should do. And one of the things we've noticed is it more leadership and engagement earlier in the launch process is necessary to use the judgment. On some of the decisions he made earlier else to help the team remove roadblocks have resources that help solve problems earlier. But the escape and then Casey. Aren't the F 150. For starters the pick up is the best selling vehicle in the US 32 years running. It's also Ford's most profitable vehicle. The 2015 aluminum F 150 is scheduled to hit showrooms later this year. It is arguably Ford's biggest launch ever in Henry says there are two key hurdles to overcome. In the next few months. Couple big challenges first the conversion of the manufacturing plants from steel to aluminum and the bike shops is a big deal we have that coming out of us. The ramp up of supply base and great partners if we have with them through the years on this project. Is gonna be a challenge because we're getting to volumes with new lines and that we haven't seen before some of these gauges of aluminum they're gonna be needed to support. The production so those would be. To kind of the biggest areas of emphasis this year getting ready. But so far we're on plan. Can he's also focused on improving vehicle quality. The blue global cracked the top ten in consumer reports reliability survey in wanting to head. But dropped to 2728. Brands in 2012. Ford was near the bottom of the list in 2013. However Henrikson is Ford's internal warranty data show the company's efforts to improve quality are paying off. It according to the public he should warranty we. Ford warranty claims and accrual rates which are funds set aside to cover future warranty claims. Fall to quote extremely low levels in 2013. We certainly would expect. Progress to be shown in external third party validation of our progress will wait to see that come clearly. One of the things are looking for his progress as we've seen on my Ford touch and also the launches of our new vehicles. The next third party scorecard JD power's annual initial quality study is due out in June. After placing in the top five in twenties had the Ford brand dropped well below the industry average in 2013. From product of personnel. Ford CEO Alamo Wally is retiring July 1. Chief operating officer mark fields will succeed here. Hendricks expects his relationship with fields to remain a collaborative. because march had this job for seven years he now understands what it was like to sit in this role and an important this position has to the to the company. Overall. And so I think our relationship will just grow. Because we have worked together we've been at that table with for seven years together. I don't think mental change at all. Hedrick says he learned a great deal from a particularly when it comes to positive leadership. Even in the darkest days it too late 2008 early 2009. Allen would come and say. This is awful and he'd smile and you say and we get to work on it I mean his his positive. Optimism is infections. And so even when pondered if a caller gets some bad news about it remind myself just how impact ball. That positive energy can be many industry insiders believe Hendricks is a CEO quality executive. Our bread were only asked if he wants to be Ford's top boss someday. It's not something I think about it frankly. Right now the America's jobs acreage out at Ford and I'm fine we'll work with a great team. We have challenges in South America and the launches in all other things is trying to keep as busy. In fact Ford says this vehicle launch schedule is the busiest and most ambitious one in the auto maker's history. It our next talk from the top installment we'll hear from Volkswagen group of America's CEO Michael horn. Thanks for watching we'll see you soon.