Since the announcement that CEO of Ford, Alan Mulally, will step down, there has been much speculation as to what the changes new CEO Mark Fields will make and the challenges he will face.
The announcement was made ceremoniously at Ford World Headquarters Thursday. Paul W. Smith of the Detroit News described the scene. “The architect, Bill Ford, sat in the middle; on his left, the always smiling, upbeat Alan Mulally; on his right, the always smiling, upbeat Mark Fields,” Smith wrote, “If you weren’t from around here, no one could blame you for thinking you were looking at three brothers with boyish good looks, ready to talk excitedly about the three beautiful brand new vehicles behind them, three “kids” in the family car business.”
Mark Fields will officially take over as CEO on July 1st, when Alan Mulally is set to retire. Mulally first took over the company back in 2006 when it was nearly bankrupt. “In the past when we’ve had new CEOs, you have a new strategy and a new card with new behaviors on it,” Fields said according to Bloomberg News, “We’re not going to slip back into old ways.”
One of the first challenges Feilds will face as CEO is a flat lining of car sales. This April, the Motley Fool reported car sales for the company went down 0.7%. Erich Merkle attributed the drop to lack of rental car sales and a shift away from cars towards crossovers and SUVs.
Where's your Escape for the weekend? pic.twitter.com/DckOzNwjdn
— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) April 23, 2014
The company sent out a press release that the Ford’s F-Series has had its best sales in the month of April since 2006, while the Explorer had its best U.S. April sales since 2005. The Ford Explorer made number 19 on USA Today’s list of top selling cars for April, while the Ford F-Series pickup made number one. This news comes in despite of the 435,000 Car And SUV recall Ford made in April, due to a lack of steering control.
How will Fields take on these challenges? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Image via WXYZ-TV Detroit / Channel 7, YouTube