In interviews at least, Ford CEO Alan Mulally does not come across as one of those F-bombing Detroit auto bosses of yesteryear, the tough-talking guys who used profanity early and often -- and quite creatively.
Nope, in our recent session with the Ford chief his go-to four-letter word was "neat" -- a touch of slang that was briefly fashionable in the early 1960s (we guess) before being overtaken by earthier expressions.
Here are some pretty neat examples from our discussion with Mulally:
- "The neat thing is that we have a team and an organization that deals with all of those [international markets] simultaneously."
- "Another neat thing ... we have learned about the cycle times for consumer electronics vs. the design of the automobile."
- About Lincoln, he said: "The neat thing is we're not starting from a degraded brand." And Lincoln is "neat and it's building on the Ford heritage."
- "One the neatest things I've participated in is recruiting Jim Farley."
- "It's been such a neat, neat journey to serve with Bill Ford."