Ford's global marketing chief appears to be fed up with what he thinks are exaggerated fears about the Internet.
'Everyone is a little bit naive about the Net,' says Jim Schroer, director of global marketing for Ford Motor Co. 'The Internet is another form of media, not a distribution channel; the Internet is not going to replace the dealer.'
Schroer was responding to the many questions he gets regarding Ford's relationship with Yahoo! Inc., and the fact that Ford has set up a site with Yahoo!. Does this mean that Ford eventually wants to sell its vehicles directly to consumers on the Yahoo! site?
'We did that so that the 105 million people who come to the Yahoo! site will see our vehicles,' Schroer says. 'Nobody questions the long relationship we've had with NBC television, and we have no way of knowing how many people see our vehicles on television. People are confused about the Net. It's another media with millions of viewers.'