Ford CEO Mark Fields Says Strong Results Will Win Over Wall Street, High-Tech Newcomers To Auto Industry Are A Positive

Technology, safety and the changing customer discussed as auto industry's "Who's Who" convene in Detroit, January 12-13

Jan 13, 2016, 23:56 ET from Automotive News

DETROIT, Jan. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields said delivering strong results is the best way for the automaker to counter the skeptics on Wall Street.

"We are not going to get discouraged," Fields said at the Automotive News World Congress today. "We are going to focus on the things that drive value creation in our business. … We're going to focus on continuing to drive the business forward. At some point we're going to get recognized."

In a conversation with Automotive News Publisher and Editor Jason Stein, Fields discussed an array of topics involving Ford and the automotive industry:

  • Fields said he sees challenges from newcomers to the auto industry -- such as Google and Apple -- as good for customers and a "huge opportunity" for Ford. Detroit shouldn't view Silicon Valley as a "shirts vs. skins" battle. Many of the companies there can make good partners, he said, even if they also are acting increasingly like competitors in some ways.
  • Ford has "no regrets whatsoever" about selling its European luxury brands during the downturn. Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover both achieved record sales in 2015.
  • Ford will offer incentives that are "competitive and appropriate" in 2016 but won't blindly chase market share if rivals increase discounts. 
  • Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk "has done a very good job at putting electrified vehicles on the map," Fields said. "He tweets a lot, which is interesting."
  • The most important lesson Fields learned from his predecessor, Alan Mulally, was "the power of positive leadership." He said Ford has been most productive by "getting people to work together in a positive way, lot a negative way, and not with fear or power."

This week, the automotive industry's top-tier leadership from around the globe came together to deliver the state of the industry, discuss the trends and hot-button issues facing companies today, all while looking ahead to emerging technologies and the future of this fascinating business of transportation. This year's Automotive News World Congress, held at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center, marked the 40th anniversary of the global conference.

Since 1976, when Keith Crain and Henry Ford II delivered the first welcome address, the Automotive News World Congress has annually hosted nearly 1,000 of the most influential leaders of every segment of the automotive industry who have shaped one of the most fascinating industries in the world including the likes of Henry Ford II, John DeLorean, Lee Iacocca, Mary Barra, Sergio Marchionne and Elon Musk.

Among this year's speakers were Dan Ammann, president of General Motors; Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn; and Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

About Automotive News
Since 1925, Automotive News has been the primary source for news happening among automotive retailers, suppliers and manufacturers. Distinct from other publications in the field, Automotive News remains a fully subscriber-paid publication, a testament to the value it delivers to the reader. The award-winning weekly print edition, robust website, email newsletters and video broadcasts are backed by a global team of more than 65 editors and reporters. 

About Crain Communications Inc
Crain Communications Inc is a privately held media company producing trusted and relevant news publications, lead generation, research and data products, custom publishing and events with uncompromising integrity. Reaching more than 3.5 million business decision makers and consumers across the United States and in select markets in Europe and Asia, the company's portfolio includes many of the most influential media properties in the verticals they serve including Automotive News, Autoweek, Advertising Age, Modern Healthcare, Plastics News, Business Insurance and Pensions & Investments. Headquartered in Detroit, the company's more than 800 employees in 13 locations currently publish 34 news print and online publications and the multimedia content and product extensions related to each, contributing to the success of its readers and clients.

SOURCE Automotive News