Bloomberg News reports: Mulally's Late Hire by Ford Better Than Not at All. OK, Mr. Mulally didn't come right out and say that, but it's what he means.
I'm [columnist Dorin Levin] heartened, though, by the fact that Mulally drives a Lexus because, to paraphrase him, he studied the matter and concluded it's the best car in the world. He probably hasn't driven many Fords lately, so he will undoubtedly be struck by the deficiencies in his new employer's products.As soon as Mr. Mulally turns the key in the Town Car he'll be all like "Ah. This is weak. What have I done?"
Near the top of Mulally's to-do list will be to find out for himself how Lexus -- and its parent, Japan's Toyota Motor Corp. - - seized the lead from one-time powerhouses such as Ford, General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG in terms of quality and prestige.
(Meanwhile, in a Crown Victoria)
Alan Mulally: What is that sound?
Bill Ford: Those are my maracas.
Mulally: No, that sound. And that vibration.
Ford: Look man, I'm sooo out of this gig. I think it's the car making that noise.
(Ford accidently knocks self in head with maraca)
Mulally: Of course it's the car! How did this get past quality control?
Ford: Oh, man, this is gonna bruise. And I told her I'd stop goofin' with the things. I might need to tell my wife you punched me after starting the car.
Mulally: I just might.
Actually, we are glad, too, that Mulally is driving a Lexus. As we wrote in GM Hides From Honda, Mr. Mulally should order up a batch of cars (from Honda, Toyota) for each division and get a written explanation of why these cars are better and how Ford's engineers plan on besting them. In fact, here's the list to make it easier:
Ford: the following Hondas: Civic, Accord, Odyssey, Pilot
Lincoln: Lexus ES 350, LS 460
Mercury: Toyota Avalon, Acura RL