Ford made 25-year company veteran Mark Fields CEO on July 1. Fields emerged as Alan Mulally’s likely successor when he was promoted to chief operating officer in December 2012 after leading the automaker’s North American business from deep losses to record profits. Field discussed his decision to change leadership at Ford of Europe, his priorities and his feelings about autonomous cars with reporters and editors from Automotive News Europe sister publication Automotive News.
What have been your priorities since starting as Ford CEO?
My priorities are fourfold: First is the continuity and acceleration of our One Ford plan. Second is product excellence delivered with passion. Third is innovation in every part of our business. Fourth is to continue to focus every day on operational execution. Our One Ford plan has been so fundamental to the success we have had over the last number of years, and it’s going to be fundamental going forward for us.
Does Ford need a new plan?
When you look at the elements of the One Ford plan, they are as relevant today as they were seven or eight years ago. I think that’s a real benefit to the organization because usually in our past when we’ve had a new CEO come in, it’s been fairly abrupt. You’re wondering for six months what the new strategy is going to be. Staying focused on our plan is going to pay dividends for us.