Edsel Ford II retired from Ford Motor Co. in 1998, but the prominent Ford family member remains on the company's board of directors. Edsel Ford also stays involved with dealers. He spoke with Staff Reporter Amy Wilson at the convention.
Q&A: Edsel Ford isn't fazed by company's slip to No. 3
If they go to term on their loan, it keeps a customer out of the marketplace for six or seven years, and clearly that's not good for any of the manufacturers. I think that's why we did the original 24-month Red Carpet Lease. It was a short-term lease, and we kept a customer in the car for only two years.
There are lots of challenges. And I think Bill (Ford) has probably outlined them much better than I could. This is not an easy industry to compete in, and I think it's going to get harder. As the domestic carmakers shrink their franchise count, the import carmakers are increasing their franchise count. And the question that I think will be on the table is: What effect will that have on U.S. automobile manufacturers? I don't have an answer for it.
If we worried about those kinds of things, we would take our eye off the ball. And I think Bill made a comment the other day about getting too involved in numbers and positions and things like that. We are a very strong automobile manufacturer. We've been in business 100 years.
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