“Volatility,” says Mark Fields, is the new norm. And that is making it downright difficult to predict where the U.S. auto market is going, despite the sudden upturn in demand triggered by the federal Cash for Clunkers program. Nonetheless, Ford believes things are moving in the right direction and will continue to improve once the federal cash incentives run out in the next month or so.
Fields is in Pebble Beach, this weekend, for the annual Concours d’Elegance, one of the world’s most lavish classic car shows in the world. He set aside a little time to meet with TheDetroitBureau.com’s Paul A. Eisenstein.
TDB: The Cash-for-Clunkers program seems to be working, though to the large degree, aren’t the Japanese gaining more sales than Detroit?
FIELDS: Well, from our standpoint, it’s doing well for Ford. We’re getting 16% of the people coming in for those deals and we have two vehicles in the Top 10, with Focus going back and forth with the (Toyota) Corolla for the number one purchase. Our year-to-date market share is about 13%, so this bodes well for customer recognizing our products.