Robert Rewey is group vice president of marketing, sales and service at Ford Motor Co. He was interviewed by Staff Reporter Mary Connelly about Tulsa. What follows is an edited transcript.
Is the Ford Retail Network co nsolidation strategy a global strategy?
Yes. We are already in the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, Australia and New Zealand. We've done some work in Taiwan. South America is under study.
What is driving this?
A big part of t he cost of putting a product in the consumer's hand is the distribution cost. Anywhere from 18 to 25 percentcq of the transaction price is in distribution costs, depending on where you are in the world. Others, like Republic Industries Inc., feel there is an opportunity to change the format for retailing automobiles.
What percentage of Ford's U.S. volume will be sold through Ford Retail Networks in the next three to five years?
We don't have any objective tha t says Ford Motor Co. wants to control 'x' percent of the retail business in this country.
What is your assessment of Tulsa?
We had to make accommodations. For example, we wanted to switch to a sales compensation plan that was bas ically salaried. We overestimated the number of people that could adjust.