PHOENIX — Alan Mulally believes good routines make for good decisions. The man who, as CEO of Ford Motor Co., instituted weekly executive reviews of all operations said consistent analysis is the best way for leaders to assess disruptive technologies.
"In today's world, with autonomous vehicles, and electric vehicles that don't make any sense, and a lot of things that do kind of make sense, and the competitors — the most important thing is you know what's going on and you look at your plan," Mulally, 73, said at the National Auto Auction Association's annual convention here, where he was the keynote speaker. "If you're looking at this every week and every month and every quarter, you get a really good feeling for these winds of change. And so you're not going to be caught off guard. You're consciously dealing with it."
Mulally, who retired in 2014 after using weekly business plan reviews to turn Ford around a decade ago, said the adoption of EVs and autonomous vehicles and transportation as a service are going to happen one way or another.
But he spoke critically at the auction conference about the economics of battery-powered autos.
"Electric vehicles are fun, and you can get great electric vehicles from Ford, but they make no sense," Mulally said. "And they're not going to make any sense until we get another chemistry besides lithium ion. There are companies that sell you a $120,000 car, and it rides along on a $70,000 battery. So it makes no sense."