• Mar 27th 2007 at 6:25PM
  • 32
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]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have a pretty favorable opinion of Mulally. I think he is one of the good guys in this industry amd God knows we could use a few of them.

      Three cars in 40 minutes? You should have made him really hump for sales instead of giving him every up the store had that hour. Nevertheless, it was a good PR move and I wish him the best.
      Billy Ray
      • 8 Years Ago
      Unless this bozo just grabbed someone off the street and promised to sell him a car in the showroom for $20,000 off MSRP, it is impossible to sell 1 car -- let alone 3 -- in 40 minutes.

      I have been selling cars for over 20 years. It takes some time to befriend a client, assess their needs, select a car from the lot, present the car and its features, take a test drive, and then present opening numbers. This alone takes 30+ minutes.

      These facts are distorted at best. Bullsh*t. Plain and simple.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You guys are idiots; Village Ford is in DEARBORN (The HOME of FORD) and is A Plan Headquarters (A Plan = Employee discount). So its not really a big suprise to push 3 cars in 40 minutes if peeps have effectively picked a car to buy before they even got there. Right place at the right time...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Japan building cars here is like Tom Sawyer tricking kids into painting the fence for him. They're using our own people to damage our economy. Good jorb!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would buy a good Ford Hybrid that gets mileage equal to a Prius - if he had one to sell?

      I would also buy a full plug-in series hybrid with a small diesel that gets about 80 MPG if he had one to sell - Oh, I almost forgot, Ford did build the Prodigy in the mid 1990s that did just that - so why can't I buy one Alan?????
      • 8 Years Ago
      YEAH, YEAH -- but, as I said when it was mentioned awhile back that he was gonna do this, put him in a dealership in California for a few days. He needs to be somewhere where the American cars have taken their biggest hit, so he can see what the real problems are.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think I may actually know the Nancy Miner mentioned in the article. If it is the person I'm thinking of, I used to play all sorts of sports with her son from middle school through high school.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Final point of assy means far less to me than where the money goes.

      Fusion keeps the huge percentage here.
      Camry sends the huge percentage to Japan.

      So having the money here means that all those thousands of engineering, tooling, supplier jobs can use it to reinvest for future upgrades in this country.

      How many Japanese suppliers also profit from their many systems and subsystems that get assembled here, but send the money back to motherland Japan.

      You all are fooling yourselves. Far more jobs are affected and that is the bottom line. Toyota still imports well over a million cars into this country. Get real.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "He needs to be somewhere where the American cars have taken their biggest hit, so he can see what the real problems are."

      Here here! Let's be proactive and start really trying to fix the problem vs padding the issue.
      • 8 Years Ago
      far jr, after "Gerry's" first point I made a phone call to the local Ford dealer and he e-mailed a copy of a munroney sticker and the build sheet. My neighbor is a manager for Toyoda and though the Monroney only lists point of origin, he looked up the info in the sales manual. Both say that this info cannot by law be witheld upon customer request. Many manufactures have point of origin and domestic parts content on the Munroney, such as GM, Ford, BMW, and MB.
      Gerry, you have such disdain and hatred for Ford that I find it hard to believe you've ever been in a Ford dealer to learn that they may not tell where the car was built. So what do you base your statement on? I recently replaced a couple of work trucks and while I was in the showroom I had some time to kill and looked at most of the products. I had no problem learning origins and contents. Friendly and very helpful people. Maybe you forgot to brush your teeth. As for resale values? So I could get an 06 signature series lincoln for 35K? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Sorry, I prefer Caddy and drive them to 200K so resale is meaningless to me.
      • 8 Years Ago
      far jr, yes I am 100% correcty about the origins of the Fusion and the most discusting thing about these facts is that Ford dealerships DO NOT make this crystal clear to potential customers, and some as with our local dealership actually advertise them as American made. And while some Camrys may be imported from Japan, the VAST majority of those I've looked at from dealerships to supermarket parking lots all start their VIN # with a 1 which means USA. Why didn't you mention anything about the resale values which I am 100% correct on as well? In as far as Scion goes, it's impressive to see at least one company, that being Toyota,which still has vehicles that are 100% made in one country, that being Japan. Find ONE domestically labeled vehicle that can make the claim of 100% anywhere. The Chevy Aveo comes closest at 99%, but that being Korean sure isn't going to be broadcast by GM.
      far jr
      • 8 Years Ago
      Tony... not sure where your numbers came from but it looks as thought the incentives are in fact working for the Prius. Sales through February 2007 are up 41 percent vs. same period last year.

      David... where did you get those stats? Do they show other makes and models in similar fashion?
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