Mulally to work at Ford dealership
The CEO agrees to spend a day as salesman at a yet-to-be-determined dealership.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Alan Mulally, former Boeing executive who became Ford Motor CEO in September, is about get a new perspective on his company's sales problems: a dealers' showroom.
During his first visit to the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention in Las Vegas this past weekend, Mulally agreed to spend a day as a salesman in a yet-to-be determined Ford dealership.
Ford (Charts) saw its January sales fall 19 percent in January, dropping it to fourth place in terms of U.S. sales, behind not only General Motors (Charts) but also Toyota Motor (Charts) and DaimlerChrysler (Charts).
Ford's new sales target, set just as Mulally assumed the top job at Ford, is only 14 to 15 percent of the U.S. market, which would likely leave it behind Toyota on an ongoing basis, rather than in its traditional spot as the nation's No. 2 automaker.
The company has lost U.S. market share for 11 straight years, forcing it to announce plans to close 12 plants, offer buyouts and retirement incentives to cut more than half of its U.S. hourly workers and post a $12.7 billion loss, the largest loss in the company's history.
Before he joined Ford in September Mulally had previously run the commercial aircraft division of Boeing (Charts), a company that itself had lost market share to an import competitor Airbus before regaining the lead in new plane orders. But given the difference in businesses, Mulally had far more contact with his company's customers at Boeing than he could have at Ford.
Ford spokeswoman Karen Hampton said that details of Mulally's plans to work in a dealership came up during his conversations with Ford dealers, and was not something he went to the convention planning to do. She said for that reason, there is still no time or dealer set for when he will work as salesman on the floor.