TRAVERSE CITY, MICH.-- Many in the audience yesterday said they were impressed to hear Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm speak at the Management Briefing Seminars. Granholm said the state is committed to bolstering the manufacturing base. But perhaps more impressive was the fact that Granholm appeared at all. Her predecessor, Republican Gov. John Engler, was invited every year of his tenure, but never appeared at the event.
FORD DEFINED – Ford President Nick Scheele was asked to define what a Ford is today. Scheele said company marketers have distilled the Ford product identity into a description that goes by the shorthand D2ADE. It stands for: desirable, dependable, affordable driving enjoyment. A Mercury, he said, is that plus a little bit. A Lincoln, he added, is that plus a lot.
AVIATOR REROUTED -- Scheele is a little miffed over a report quoting suppliers saying that Ford will cancel the Lincoln Aviator SUV. Scheele blew a little steam yesterday as reporters kept asking him about it. Two unnamed suppliers say were dropping the Aviator, and it becomes gospel, he fumed. We just launched the Aviator. Ive got one up here, actually. I think its a great vehicle. July was the second best month weve had. Weve planned to sell about 30,000 Aviators a year, were pretty much on track to do that. But, asked another reporter, is he saying the report is incorrect? No, he said. What I said was the report came from two unnamed suppliers. We havent announced anything and were not going to.