How Ford CEO Mark Fields is Channeling Henry Ford to Solve Society’s Mobility Problems
The following is an excerpt from Joann Muller | October 14, 2015 | Forbes.com |
An elegant blue sedan parked in a Ford Motor Co. design studio gradually awakens when it senses Chief Executive Mark Fields approaching. Like a child slowly waking to his mother’s voice, the car’s LED headlamps blink on, then a lamp illuminates the ground beneath the driver’s door and soft lights slowly warm the interior, as if the car were stretching to begin a new day. Grinning at the thinly disguised prototype for a new Lincoln Continental coming in 2016, Fields says, “See how it greets you in a very human way?” And it’s not because he’s the boss. The car would greet anyone this warmly, as long as he or she had the key fob.
“That’s the new face of Lincoln,” he says, pointing to the polished chrome-mesh grille. He spends a few minutes showing off the car’s clever styling tricks, like the discreetly hidden door handles and the translucent chrome taillights sweeping across the back end. But he can’t wait for me to climb inside and sample the serene future of Lincoln, an iconic brand that has all but disappeared from the luxury landscape.
I slip into the rear passenger seat, where I am swathed in supple Scottish leather upholstery, my toes sinking into the shearling wool carpet and my hands gliding along the silky fabric overhead. Fields pushes a button, and the rear seat begins reclining until I am fully prone, like a first-class passenger on a flight to Paris. Another touch of a button and the expansive sunroof automatically dims for privacy. Every detail is designed to make driving this modern-day land yacht more pleasurable.
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