DETROIT -- Cisco Codina, Ford Motor Co.'s new U.S. sales chief, has one prominent trait that endears him to dealers.
"I try to say yes if I can," Codina, 54, said in an interview with Automotive News after his Jan. 24 appointment as group vice president of marketing, sales and service. "My approach is, if I can find a way to do what a dealer is asking me to do, I will try my best."
That is music to the ears of Ford dealers, who have been plagued in recent years by falling sales, market share and profits.
Codina, the fourth executive to hold the group vice president job in 15 months, admits he can't say yes to everything. But his 2½-year tenure as president of Ford's customer service division has convinced many dealers that Codina is the real deal.
Dealers echoed that praise as they talked about Codina, a Cuba-born executive who joined Ford 29 years ago and came up through the ranks from the trenches of its customer service division.
"He's the best person for the job they could have possibly appointed," said Jim Hayden, owner of Cass County Ford-Lincoln-Mercury in Logansport, Ind. Ford "needs to stay away from the retail end. All they've ever done is screwed it up. And Cisco understands that."
Hayden's only criticism? "He's a terrible golfer," he said, laughing. "But so am I."