Q&A: Ford of Europe was respected
He became Ford Divisionís general sales manager soon after the Mustang was launched in 1964. Near the end of his career, he was general manager of Lincoln-Mercury. He also twice served as vice president of sales for Ford of Europe. He remembers the first stint, beginning in 1973, as one of the peaks of his career. MacKenzie, 81, spoke with David Versical.
What made Ford of Europe so special?
The United States respected our decisions. We brought out the first Fiesta in 1976. Mr. Ford (Henry Ford II) came over and said this is the first $1 billion product program in the history of Ford Motor Co.
In the midst of that, his mother passed away. He flew back to the funeral and then flew back to be with the dealers. He was quite a guy. We all enjoyed working for him.
He always did his homework. He never undercut anybody. He was a pleasure to be with. He never forgot to say thank you, and he never forgot to say please. He came over three times a year. We used to have two companies in Europe. He put them together and established Ford of Europe. He is the reason we did so well in Europe.
Tell me about the team.
Chairman Bill Bourke was a fantastic executive. Red Poling was obviously the best finance man that weíve ever known. He was more than a finance man; he was a manager. In all areas, he reflected outstanding judgment. Bill Hayden was v.p. of manufacturing. He was a finance man who turned into one of the best manufacturing men in the company.
Your years in Europe didnít start well.
1974 was a very, very difficult year because of the oil crisis.
The next year we made a billion and a half. That was fun.
We really went at the whole thing as a team, not as individuals. We didnít have any functional lines going back to America. We ran our own store. It was a wonderful time.