In an interview with Bloomberg’s Matt Miller, outgoing Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) CEO, Alan Mulally said he plans to continue to advise his successor Mark Fields and remain in touch with the company after he steps down next month, “I’m going to stay close to Ford going forward…I’ve fallen in love with Ford, it’s a great company…I’ll maintain many of the great relationships I have.”

 

On Ford’s future, Mulally told Miller, “We’re going to continue to see a very large migration into the larger cities worldwide…Personal mobility and integrated transportations systems, I think that’s going to continue to be very, very important. And Ford, as a transportation technology company, has such a great opportunity to serve in that way.”

Highlights:

Alan Mulally: I’ve Fallen in Love With Ford

Alan Mulally: Seeing Large Migration to Cities Worldwide

Alan Mulally: Vision, Strategy, Talent Key to Turnaround

Alan Mulally: Expect More Hydrogen Cars Long Term

What Ford’s Mulally Says About GM’s Safety Issues

On always having a smile on his face:

 

“Well, I think if you love what you do and then you do what you love you’re always gonna have a smile on your face.  And to your point, when you do really important things, things aren’t always gonna go really well.  So in a way, you look at ’em as an issue, or you look at them as a gem.  It’s a gem that you had a chance to understand this issue, and now you can work it and make it part of the plan.”

 

 

On the pros and cons working direct owners:

 

Well, you know, clearly it’s been an honor to serve two American and global icons with Boeing and with Ford.  You think of Boeing and Bill Boeing, and safe and efficient transportation around, and Henry Ford, and safe and efficient transportation. But the thing that both of those companies have in common is making world class products that provide safe and efficient transportation.  And also run a very healthy business, also contributing to a better world.  So the ownership in both the cases has absolutely been laser focused on creating great companies. I don’t see any difference between the goals and objectives and the vision of both Ford and Boeing.  They’re both absolutely committed to safe and efficient transportation.”

 

 

On coming to Ford when it was having problems:

 

Well, when Bill Ford first approached me, I studied Ford.  I did my due diligence especially focused on the people.  And the thing that amazed me, Matt, was the quality and the depth and the breadth of the talent at Ford.  And I knew that I needed to tap into that.  I needed all that domain knowledge. And if I could tap into that, pull ’em all together around a compelling vision and this comprehensive strategy, then we could work together on the relentless implementation.  And that’s exactly what happened.  Ford is so talented and so process oriented that when we came together around the vision then we went to work together.”

 

 

On whether he imagined turning around Ford in the successful company it is today:

 

“I never had a doubt.  This is a fantastic company, 111 years of innovation and service with safe and efficient transportation.  And the talent that we have.  And what was clear at the time was that we were a house of brands.  We were very complicated.  We operated regionally.  So if we could just bring everybody together around a clear vision together, I knew we’d be on our way with the implementation.”

 

“Matt, I think that I am more convinced than ever, after doing this for 45 years, in the power of a compelling vision, a comprehensive strategy, and then a management system where you manage the implementation of it relentlessly.  And all of us contribute to that, and we all want to be part of it.  We all want to know what the issues are and we all want to help each other.  And I think that works in profit, nonprofit; any organization that is trying to deliver something really important.”

 

 

On which Ford product would he consider his greatest legacy:

 

“I think it’s the complete family of vehicles.  As you know we made a commitment (as far as the Ford brand that we’d make a complete family of vehicles small, medium, and large cars, utilities, and trucks.  And that you’d look at that lineup today, the Focus, the Fiesta, the Fusion, the Taurus, the Mustang, the Escape, the Edge, the Flex, the Explorer, the Expedition, the Ranger, the F-series, the E-series, that trans that family is the finest family of any automobile company in the world.”

 

“I love every one of them.  Everyone is made for a different consumer use and taste.  And to your point, every night I get a chance to drive a different vehicle.  I’ll either drive the new Ford vehicle, or I get a chance to drive all the competitors’ vehicles, because we made a brand promise that everybody vehicle would be best in class.  So the entire garage is filled with our competitors’ products so we ensure that the Ford vehicles are best in class.”

 

 

On what allowed Ford to build better cars:

 

“This complete family of best-in-class commitment, best-in-class vehicle, this is a commitment that we made to the consumer.  And we also took a point of view of what was really important to the consumer:  quality, the functionality fuel efficiency, low CO2, safety, really smart design like SYNC, and of course being affordable. And when we decided that we were going to be best in class, and those characteristics for the consumer, then that just unleashed all of the innovation inside Ford.  So all of it, the design-enabling technology, the fuel efficiency, all of that has resulted in this world-class innovation.”

 

 

On SYNC:

 

“SYNC is a fantastic innovation.  We’ve not had any problems at all with SYNC.  The issue we had is when we went to MyFord Touch and we offered the consumer four different ways of interfacing with the customer, whether it was test screen, whether it was a five- or six-pos– -position controller, or whether it was voice.  And what we found outta that was that what the consumers really like and they find the most useful is voice control. So that’s why we’re focused in on that, and simplifying MyFord Touch.  But SYNC is a tremendous innovation because it allows the drivers to use voice and keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, and actually a better driver… We’ll continue to improve all of the capability year after year in every vehicle.”

 

 

On E.P.A testing:

 

“Well, we are absolutely committed to very best-in-class fuel efficiency and CO2.  And really, we found an error in the way we modeled the aerodynamics.  And so we’ve corrected that; now we do the dynamometer tests and redoing the fuel mileage.  But we are absolutely committed.  Anytime we find anything in our process that needs to be improved, we’ll do it decisively and we’ll do it quickly.”

 

 

On how involved he gets when various issues arise:

 

“Well, the neatest thing about Ford is, as you have reported, is that we have an entire team that is always at the table.  And to your point, every Thursday we review all the businesses around the world.  But we also review all the skill teams

1, 23  - View Full Page