Ford CEO Alan Mulally is always looking for a way to make a sale. He made a pitch directly to analysts and reporters during Ford's third-quarter earnings conference call last week.
Mulally wound up the call by saying, "I would also just ask you to consider: 'Have you driven a Ford lately?' " He talked up Ford vehicles and then signed off by saying, "And we hope to see you in a Ford product."
In a later interview, Mulally made clear that his echo of the old Ford advertising tag line was no accident. The "Have you driven a Ford lately?" slogan "is certainly back with me," Mulally said. And it's a line that Ford's marketing team is considering using again, he said.
Mulally's sales job and the tag line speak to what Mulally considers Ford's biggest challenge: Getting back on customers' consideration lists. But the CEO doesn't expect to take his message to the masses and appear in ads, as his predecessor, Bill Ford, did.
Said Mulally: "Oh, no. Don't start that rumor. No, I don't have that on my consideration list."