PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

San Francisco February 1, 2003; The incentive level is here to stay in some form as long as we have overcapacity," said keynote speaker William Clay Ford, Ford Motor Co. CEO, in a press conference after Saturday’s opening session."Incentives are good for customers and good for Ford."

Ford was treated like automotive royalty before his speech, starting with a video celebrating the 100th anniversary of the company founded by his great-grandfather and ending with fireworks, and a giant birthday cake.

With observations such as that retailers have been "vital members of our company since the time it started," Ford’s speech drew frequent applause from dealers. When he became chairman four years ago, Ford vowed to get back to the basics, "and having a strong dealer body was at the top of that list."

On a subject near to his heart—environmental issues—Ford called for tax credits to encourage consumers to buy fuel-cell vehicles, He also supports letting companies trade emissions credits as a way to encourage development of cleaner technology.

Ford chief operating officer Allan Gilmour told reporters after the speech, "The dealer body thought in recent years that Ford was untrustworthy." But now "it’s important that we keep our word," and with the December Blue Oval announcement, "we did."

And Jim O’Connor, group vice-president, North America Marketing, Sales, and Service, said Ford is watching for a possible anti-SUV backlash. "There is some noise in the marketplace, but consumers want to have some choice."

Story Courtesy NADA

Home | Buyers Guides For Every Auto Make | New Car Buyers Guide | Used Car Super Search | Total New Car Costs | 2016-1993 Car Reviews Truck Reviews
1996-2016 Automotive News | TACH-TV | Media Library | Discount Auto Parts

Copyright © 1996-2016 The Auto Channel. Contact Information, Credits, and Terms of Use. These following titles and media identification are Trademarks owned by The Auto Channel, LLC and have been in continuous use since 1987 : The Auto Channel, Auto Channel and TACH all have been in continuous use world wide since 1987, in Print, TV, Radio, Home Video, Newsletters, On-line, and other interactive media; all rights are reserved and infringement will be acted upon with force.

Privacy Statement | Size Does Matter | Media Kit | XML SITE MAP | Affiliates

Send your questions, comments, and suggestions to

Submit Company releases or Product News stories to
Place copy in body of email, NO attachments please.

To report errors and other problems with this page, please use this form.

Link to this page: