Ford CEO Alan Mulally continues to lay on the charm, this time popping up at Village Ford in Dearborn, Michigan last Monday to do a trial run on the sales floor of a dealership. We reported in early February that Mulally was planning on spending one or two days at a dealership selling cars, and this appears to be an experiment to make sure his sales skills don't send customers running to the nearest Toyota dealership. It turns out, however, that Mulally is a natural salesman, as he sold three cars in just 40 minutes on the floor, with a fourth sale that's still pending. In one case, he talked Nancy Miner from Liverpool, NY into a Fusion that she was cross-shopping with a Camry. If you remember, Mulally's own garage was filled with all manner of Toyota and Lexus cars before he came to Ford, so the CEO was well situated to present the case for his own Fusion to Ms. Miner. She ended up buying the Fusion and driving it back to New York.
It's just cool a CEO would get down in the trenches and actually engage consumers on a showroom floor. There's no wall of PR behind which he can hide when the tough questions start flying, and apparently he handled whatever came his way with aplomb. Credit goes to Mulally for doing this first, as well. If Rick Wagoner, Tom LaSorda or Jim Press show up to move some product at their respective dealerships, it will smack of a PR stunt and likely backfire. Unfortunately, charm can only take Mulally and his company so far on its path to recovery, so we hope he doesn't get enamored with a life of retail and gets back to doing CEO-type things quickly.
[Source: Automotive News]