Wednesday PM May 27th, 2009

Ford motor's president of the Americas will discuss the embattled auto industry at a Houston Forum speech this week. Ed Mayberry reports.
image of Ford logo on car fender

Ford was the nation's only automaker to forego emergency taxpayer assistance.  Mark Fields will offer an automotive insider's perspective on the industry in his speech on Thursday.

"What I'll be doing is telling the Ford story, if you will, talking about how we've operated the business over the past couple of years.  We've been very disciplined in executing that plan.  We've found a way to finance it at the time at which credit markets were operating normally.  And we've focused on the customer and bringing out great products and working with a lot of our partners, whether they be the UAW, our suppliers and other constituencies, to make sure that Ford remains very focused on bringing products out that people will want to come into our showrooms and buy."

Fields says Houston is one of Ford's most important markets.  Ford announced that it will not match big dealer cuts made by General Motors and Chrysler.  Fields says Ford dealers are optimistic.

"But very importantly, they've seen six out of the last seven months, more customers come into their showroom, and that's been reflected in our higher retail market share, so they're very enthused about that.  And they're also very enthused about the products that we have coming.  Again, it's part of our overall strategy to make sure that we have very productive and collaborative working relationships with all of our partners, and the dealers, you know, they're very, very important to us.  We want to see them succeed because when a customer walks into that local dealership, they're also walking into Ford Motor Company."     

Fields says there is pent-up demand for car purchases, and Ford wants to be ready.  He speaks to the Houston Forum this Thursday at the Westin Galleria. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...