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Inside this issue
Mulally to End Ride at Ford; Fields to Take the Wheel
Mulally's Legacy: Setting Ford on a Stronger Course
U.S. Dealers Grapple with Recall Pain -- Missing Parts, Overtime, Lost Sales
North American Light Vehicle Production Up 7.9% in March
Ohio Man's Collection of '36 Fords Going to Auction
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Top Stories
Mulally to End Ride at Ford; Fields to Take the Wheel

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally, the man credited with saving America's most iconic auto company, plans to hand over the keys to the Blue Oval this year. Mark Fields, 53, a 25-year Ford employee and its chief operating officer, will replace the 68-year-old Mulally, according to a source familiar with the plans. The change will mark the second time in a year that an American automaker will lose a leader brought in from outside the company, and promote from within: Life-long General Motors employee Mary Barra became GM CEO in January, succeeding Dan Akerson, who came to GM from a private equity firm. Mulally, a former Boeing Co. executive who joined Ford in the fall of 2006, transformed the automaker's historically divisive corporate culture into a model of teamwork, mortgaged everything to pay for a sweeping transformation of its vehicle lineup and avoided taking a government bailout even as bankruptcy seemed inevitable.
Source: The Detroit News

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Mulally's Legacy: Setting Ford on a Stronger Course

As CEO prepares to retire, car maker is profitable and its vehicles are selling well

Alan Mulally arrived at Ford Motor Co. in 2006 with no experience in the auto industry. After eight years at the helm, the 68 year old Kansan is preparing to retire with a reputation as one of the best chief executives the industry has seen in a generation. Ford is making more money than ever in its history—$42 billion in the past five years. Its market value is more than $63 billion, an increase of $48 billion since he arrived. The company's cars and trucks sell well around the world and Mr. Mulally's management style is widely studied and copied. Jeff Carlson, owner and president of Glenwood Springs Ford in Colorado, said he met Mr. Mulally shortly after the executive took over as CEO. At the time, Mr. Carlson was on a dealer group industry-relations committee. "He had a plan and laid it out for the five us at the meeting," Mr. Carlson said. "He came with one plan and stayed with one plan, and that continuity of leadership allowed him to manage the company out of dire straits."
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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U.S. Dealers Grapple with Recall Pain -- Missing Parts, Overtime, Lost Sales

Todd Caputo, dealer principal of Sun Chevrolet in Chittenango, N.Y., says he can't recall a time he had to deal with so many recalls. So many that in the last month he lost floorplan financing money on dozens of used GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave crossovers, Chevy HHRs, and Chevy Express vans that he couldn't sell because he didn't have parts to fix them. So many that it is putting a strain on his service department's ability to fix both customers' vehicles and used and new vehicles on his lot. And so many that he lost sales -- and potential finance and insurance revenue from those sales -- when customers grew tired of waiting for a vehicle they wanted to purchase. Missing parts, service technicians who have to work overtime and lost sales are all part of the recall routine at many dealerships.
Source: Automotive News

Editor's note: For more information on the GM recall, go to www.gmignitionupdate.com or www.safercar.gov.
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North American Light Vehicle Production Up 7.9% in March

North American auto manufacturers built 1,482,823 light vehicles in March, resulting in a 7.9% gain from same-month 2013. The total includes 627,779 cars and 855,044 light trucks. Car production was up 2.4%, marking the first year-over-year increase since September 2013. Light-truck production climbed 12.3%, the 12th consecutive year-over-year gain for that vehicle type. WardsAuto estimates Detroit Three LV production grew 6.2% from year-ago to 795,555, boosted mainly by General Motors' 13% growth. Several automakers recorded best-ever March results.
Source: WardsAuto
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Ohio Man's Collection of '36 Fords Going to Auction

As a young man, Emery Ward Jr. fell in love in 1936 -- with a Ford. He never got over the attraction. In fact, the older he got, the more it intensified. After Ward died in 2007, the objects of his affection -- a collection of nearly two dozen 1936 Fords of every shape and stripe -- remained locked away in a barn in Sandusky, Ohio, near the shores of Lake Erie. Until now, that is. On May 16 and 17, Ward's impressive collection of 1936 Fords and accompanying spare parts will be auctioned off at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Sandusky. Information about the auction, as well as videos of each of the vehicles is available via www.bakerbonningson.com, a local auction service.
Source: Automotive News
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Quotable

"[Ford CEO Alan] Mulally is going to be known as one of the great leaders of the American automobile industry. He lifted spirits during a time of distress. There are very few turnaround types like him."

   
-- Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, associate dean of the Yale University School of Management, commenting on speculation that Mulally will soon step-down, Bloomberg, April 22

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