Some automakers have struggled to set up shop in Silicon Valley, with its ultra-competitive job market and a distinctive culture where intangibles -- working someplace cool, having a chance to change the world -- are considered more important than a retirement plan. Fields, who has visited Silicon Valley for a couple of days every quarter to get a feel for the area, wants to avoid that situation.
“We asked ourselves this question as we were going to expand here,” Fields told reporters. “Can we attract the talent that we want, knowing that this is pretty fertile ground for folks to have lots of different opportunities?”
Fields said Ford will offer competitive salaries to recruit the best workers. But beyond that, he said, the company will aspire to make the world a better place by helping to find answers for big global challenges such as congestion and air pollution.
“If that isn’t meaningful work that you can have,” he said, “I don’t know what is.”