Ford financed its overhaul -- and avoided needing government aid to survive the financial crisis in 2009 the way
A new companywide accountability process has helped identify problem areas sooner than was the case in the past, Mulally said. "Every week, we meet with the entire team worldwide, and we review the status against the plan."
Highlights of the chat with Mulally, edited for space and clarity.
Q: What was it like going from
A: At kind of the highest level, (the two industries) probably have more similarities than they're different. Most of them are very, very sophisticated vehicles. We design (planes) for the traveling public so you go point to point non-stop. Same with automobiles. I remember, when we walked out on stage in
I kind of rubbed my chin, trying to buy myself some time to think of an answer, and I said, "Well, I really agree with you that automobiles are very, very sophisticated. As a matter of fact, the average automobile has around 10,000 parts. They're very, very sophisticated. I might point out that the 777 has 4 million moving parts, and it stays in the air."
A: Because of the Internet of things, we're all going to be connected. Instead of inventing the technology, we're using all of the (current) smartphone devices. … When you bring your smartphone into the car, then we allow you to use that smartphone. You provide the voice activations so you can keep your hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road and yet use your smartphone through voice, and you can operate not only your connection with the Internet, but you can also manage your apps.
The next step is that we're going to end up with embedded modems in the car, and now the car will really be another instrument on the Internet. That philosophy, keeping the driver as the center of the attention, is probably the most important thing we can do to remove distracted driving and making drivers better drivers.
I think you'll have a relationship with your Ford store like your Apple store, where you'll be able to flash (upgrade) the car every couple of months, (and) it will have all of the latest applications, latest upgrades.
Q: Talk about the importance of EcoBoost technology and the risks involved with that strategy.
A: It was probably one of the most significant breakthroughs in engine and propulsion technology. What EcoBoost is is an internal-combustion engine but also using direct fuel injection and (a turbocharger). You run at higher temperatures at higher burner pressure rates, but it allows you to burn more in a clean way and improve fuel efficiency by over 25%. You can reduce the CO2 by nearly 15%. Another neat thing is, you increase the torque at the lower (engine revolutions). When you're driving, you just have this wonderful driving experience, plus you get all of the benefits of fuel efficiency.
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