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By Samuel R. Avro on Feb 5, 2009 with no responses

Ford CEO Personally Thanks Buyer Who Chose Ford Hybrid Over Toyota Prius


Ford's Chief Executive Officer, Alan Mulally, called a customer to thank him for choosing a Ford hybrid over a Toyota.

“Hi Mike, it’s Alan Mulally from Ford.”

That’s what Michael Snapper, a lawyer from Grand Rapids, Michigan, heard when he listened to his voicemail. Alan Mulally, the CEO of the world’s fourth-largest automaker, Ford Motor Co., was calling to wish a personal thank-you to Mr. Snapper for choosing the Ford Fusion Hybrid instead of the best-selling Toyota Prius.

“I just want to call you and tell you congratulations and thank you, and like you, I think it might be one of the finest cars we ever produced,” Mulally told Snapper.

The story began last year when Snapper decided he wanted an environmentally friendly car, and he ordered the Prius. But a number of things caused him to change his mind, he told a local television station.

“First there was the bad news, the recession, and then all the public trouble with the car companies. But then we started to pay attention to the kind of products the American manufacturers were making, and we just zeroed in on the Ford Fusion Hybrid. And my wife and I, it’s really our decision together, and we gave it some thought, studied the car and looked at some of the reviews. We decided to change our mind and we did,” said Mr Snapper.

That’s precisely what led to the CEO making the personal thank-you phone call.

“I loved the story, especially when you can choose anything you want and you choose what you think is the very best,” Mulally said.

This isn’t the first time that the CEO has done the unusual and entered the trenches to take an active role in the minor details of the company. He once even changed hats and became a salesman for a few days on the floor of a Ford dealership in Dearborn, Michigan. He was actually quite successful at the task and even managed to make a number of sales.

Mulally seems to have the necessary charm to win over customers during a time that the automakers are scrambling to stay afloat during the economic recession.

For one thing, he definitely impressed Mr. Snapper with that phone call. “It seems to me to reflect a new attitude and a real commitment to making their turnaround work,” he said.