Everybody knows that manufacturing is tough. Certainly, Rich Gilligan knows it, since he spent more than 40 years making cars for Ford and Mitsubishi, from the factory floor to plant manager to president of Mitsubishi's North American manufacturing company.
But in 2004, the congenial, white-haired Gilligan was drafted to help save Mitsubishi Motors North America, the sales company that was being whipsawed by collapsing sales. As CEO, he was plunged headlong into the sales and marketing wars.
What's different about sales?
"I think manufacturing is a set of processes," said Gilligan, 62, as he talked about his retirement last week. "I think the difference is you've got more control in manufacturing. In sales and marketing, you've got franchises and dealers and a lot of other things.
"It's a little more complicated."