Mulally drops by dealership, sells some cars

Mulally drops by dealership, sells some cars
Amy Wilson | Automotive News / March 27, 2007 - 5:22 pm
DETROIT -- Four cars (almost) in 40 minutes. That's the Alan Mulally
sales tally at Village Ford in Dearborn, Mich., where the Ford Motor Co. CEO dropped by last week.
In what could be considered a trial run for a planned stint working at a dealership, Mulally dropped by Village Ford on Monday, March 19. He got right on the showroom floor, asking customers what kind of vehicle would suit their family size.
"I'd say 'Hi, I'm Alan. I'm from Ford. I'm just helping out here today,'" Mulally recalled in an interview with Automotive News. "I got so close to one family."
That would be Nancy Miner from Liverpool, N.Y., who ended up buying a Fusion. After a bad dealership service experience in New York, she decided to search for a new vehicle in Michigan while visiting her son, Kevin Miner. He used to work at Ford's Woodhaven, Mich., forging plant and now works at the Severstal North America steel plant at Ford's Rouge complex in Dearborn.
"She was down pretty much to a Camry and the Fusion. So I told her all about the Camry because I've had every Camry, I've had Lexus cars, I know all about Japan," Mulally said. "I told her about the (Fusion), asked what her needs were. The Fusion was really for her."
Miner bought the Fusion and drove it home to New York. Village Ford dealer principal Jim Seavitt also credited Mulally with the sale of another Fusion and a Ford Escape. A third Fusion sale is pending, if the customer can get his trade-in deal worked out, Seavitt said.
Mulally wrapped up his sales session by having lunch with Seavitt and Irma Elder, another Detroit-area Ford dealer, at Miller's, a popular burger joint in Dearborn.
Said Seavitt: "He really engages people. I tell you, he's not your father's CEO. I like his energy and enthusiasm."
Mulally will get another chance to log some Ford sales when he follows through on a pledge to work an entire day or two at a dealership. Mulally told dealers during February's NADA convention that he would take a turn in their shoes.
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That's really amazing. Ford's sales per dealer in '06 were about 1.8 per day. Let's say there's a 6-hour peak period during the day in which most sales happen. At Mullally's rate, that's something like (3.5*(240/40)) sales per day or about 28 cars per day. Or 14 times last year's rate.
I guess Mullaly really has turned Ford around. In fact, at 28 cars per day, I see a severe shortage of Ford cars in dealerships from this point on. You'll have to get on a waiting list for even the humble Focus and test drives will be out of the question. When yours comes in, no matter the color, you have 4 hours to buy it (bring cash) or it goes to the next customer on the list and you go back to the bottom.
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