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, 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. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

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."

 

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal