Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Hasn’t Drive a Ford Lately; Not Likely to Any Time Soon
We here at Not Making This Up are big fans of Alan Mulally.
Mulally is the ex-Boeing genius hired to turn around Ford Motor Company three short years ago, and he is the individual responsible for the fact that Ford has not filed Chapter 11, has not taken government funds, and has not and likely will not require a rescue at the hands of American taxpayers.
Mulally is responsible for Ford’s rescue because he’s the guy who decided Ford would borrow every dollar it could get its hands on while credit was easy and nobody else in Detroit could see the same writing on the wall.
But if Mulally is going to turn Ford into a good business, rather than just a survivor, he’s going to have to sell cars. And if my mother’s experience is anything to judge by, Mulally has his hands full.
My mother has been a Lexus driver ever since American car quality started going into slogans instead of the cars themselves. But she recently decided—like many Americans, I’d bet—that since Ford seemed to be doing a good job against all the odds, she’d help the team and buy a Ford.
Now, you would think the local Ford dealer would be thrilled. After all, most businesses in Florida haven’t exactly been shooting the lights out lately, let alone car dealers.
Let alone American car dealers.
But this particular Ford dealer could not be bothered—or at least this particular salesman couldn’t.
Instead of asking a thing about her driving habits, what she planned to do with the car, how she planned to used it, he launched straight into the Guy Question, “What are you looking for?”
As if a grandmother is going to say “Well I want a turbo-charged six-cylinder twenty-five-hundred-CC engine with a Grampton Cycle Frapper and eight-way, hand-tied seats.”
Then, without so much as getting her name and address as she backed slowly away from him, the salesman at the Ford dealership let her go…on down the road back to the Lexus guy.
I Am Not Making This Up
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Posted by Jeff Matthews at 7:46 AM