Support Marketplace

Ford executive on marketing to today's youth

Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company's president of the Americas, sits for an interview while at an event that celebrates the opening of the new U.S. production line where the 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan will be made at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant September 10, 2012 in Flat Rock, Mich.

Mark Fields showing off the new Ford Fusion to Kai Ryssdal at Marketplace HQ.

It's been a big week for the Ford Motor Company.

On Monday, Canadian auto workers reached a tentative new four-year contract.  

Rumors have been flying about who will succeed the highly-successful CEO Alan Mulally.  And Ford's launched a brand new hybrid that boasts 47 miles per gallon. 

Mark Fields is the president of the Americas division of Ford and he swung by the Marketplace world headquarters to go for a spin. Fields drove. Kai navigated. 

Fields says freedom and escape for young people used to mean getting the keys to the family car. "This generation, they're online. They don't need a car [to escape]." 

Fields explained that understanding those young consumers -- even wiring today's cars for high-tech gadgetry -- has been a priority for Ford. "How do we bring them to a vehicle that not only takes them from Point A to Point B, but connects with their smartphone while they're driving?" That's a question Fields says Ford is tackling.

But even with a more high-tech car, Field says you should focus on driving, "Not texting! Connected, but with their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road."

 

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

Mark Fields showing off the new Ford Fusion to Kai Ryssdal at Marketplace HQ.

Comments

I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...