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Ford CEO vows to get hands-on sales experience

February 05, 2007|From Bloomberg News

Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Alan Mulally vowed Sunday to travel to a U.S. dealership this year and spend a couple days selling cars.

Mulally, who left aircraft maker Boeing Co. to run the No. 2 U.S. automaker in September, accepted the offer during a closed-door meeting of the National Automobile Dealers Assn. in Las Vegas. Ford officials are now working on selecting a date and location.

Mulally, whose appearance at the dealers' meeting was his first as CEO, is trying to improve dealer relations after Ford had a $12.75-billion loss in 2006.

It was the worst loss in the company's 103-year history and the 11th consecutive year that Ford has lost market share.

"It was cool," Mulally said of the offer during an interview following the meeting. "They know I like to spend a lot of time with the customer."

Ford's shares fell 6 cents Friday to $8.23.

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