Mulallys Day as Ford Salesman

By: Lauren Woods

How would you feel when you have Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co.'s CEO, take care of your auto purchase? For Danny Herrington, an F-350 Super Duty pickup truck purchaser at Galpin Ford in Los Angeles, the experience was not a total surprise. He expected that Ford's chief executive would be waiting on him this morning when he went to buy a new pickup truck. But he said it was flattering nonetheless.

"I'm feeling pretty special right now," Herrington said after buying the F-350 Super Duty from the Ford CEO and longtime General Sales Manager Terry Miller. Herrington, of suburban Lancaster, California, who has bought 15 or so vehicles from Galpin over the years, said that he was warned in advance that the Ford CEO might be there to deliver on a promise made at a dealer convention to spend a day on the sales floor.

Mulally, dressed in a suit and tie, asked several questions as Herrington haggled over the final numbers with the general sales manager of Galpin, the world's top-selling Ford dealership. Herrington said, "Much of the sale already had been worked out, but a couple of small items went his way because of Mulally."

Mulally, an American engineer and businessman, was previously the executive vice president of Boeing and the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA). He began his career at Boeing in 1969. In the mid-2000's, he was commended with BCA's resurgence against Airbus. In 2006, his performance at Boeing, Aviation Week & Space Technology named him as their person of the year. He became President and CEO of Ford on September 5, 2006. Mulally's performance can be likened to an , which is known for significantly increasing the airflow of the vehicle. In regard Mulally, he is said to be increasing the company's wealth flow.

According to Herrington, "The CEO and Miller did not give him enough money to trade in his 2000 F-250." Still Herrington, a general contractor, was able to get the payment to his target of $600 per month for six years. "There were a couple of things that were in question as to be part of the deal," said Herrington, 46. "I think because of him it went my way."

At the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention in Las Vegas last month, a dealer asked Mulally to spend a day selling cars on a showroom floor. Mulally accepted the challenge, and made good on his promise at Galpin. Mulally did not allow reporters into the dealership but Ford agreed to make customers available for interviews after the Ford CEO joined in waiting on them.

Herrington said that he would have bought the truck Friday without Mulally's presence, but having the CEO wait on him made the experience special. "He was very interested in the process. I was actually real surprised that he showed the interest in all of it that he did. He really wants to be a part of it," Herrington said while waiting for his truck this afternoon.

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