Keith McCord Reporting...This year marks the 100th birthday for the Ford Motor Company. And when you hit the Centennial mark, you don't let it pass without a little hoopla.
In April, company executives began a 100-city tour, from coast-to-coast. It's a good chance to not just celebrate, but also meet with long-time dealers. And on top of that, preview to some models.
Lloyd Hansen, Corp. V-P, Ford Motor Company: "WE HAVE 30 DEALERSHIPS HERE. AND OUT OF THOSE 30, 9 OF THEM ARE THIRD-GENERATION DEALERS. THERE ARE PROBABLY ANOTHER 8 THAT ARE 2ND GENERATION DEALERS."
Long-time family relationships are an important part of Ford's history. Henry Ford started the company on June 16th, 1903. He's credited with implementing the first automobile assembly line. Four generations later, his great-grandson, Bill Ford, now runs the company.
Bill Ford, Chmn. Ford Motor Company: "BUT THE REAL VALUE OF OUR 100TH ANNIVERSARY IS THE OPPORTIUNITY TO STUDY THE LESSONS OF OUR PAST. AND TO APPLY THEM TO OUR FUTURE."
Ford's 100th Birthday road show came to the E-Center today. Vintage car collectors from Utah added to the decor by bringing in their classic Fords for the occasion.
But, the company has big plans ahead. In the next 5 years, Ford will launch 65 new models.
Lloyd Hansen, Corp. V-P, Ford Motor Company: "WE HAVE NEVER LAUNCHED THAT MANY NEW VEHICLES. THIS YEAR IS THE YEAR OF THE TRUCK. WE'RE GOING TO BE LAUNCHING A FABULOUS NEW F-150 PICK UP TRUCK."
Dealer owners got an up close look at the 2004 models today. There will be 5 different versions of this truck.
Lloyd Hansen, Corp. V-P, Ford Motor Company: "IT'LL BE IN EXCESS OF $100,000, BUT LESS THAN $200,000. AND I WILL TELL YOU THIS, THERE WILL BE LONG LINES OF PEOPLE WAITING TO BUY THE VEHICLE AT THAT PRICE."
By the way, Lloyd Hansen, a 31-year veteran of Ford Motor Company, grew up in Provo. Went to school there. And he specifically asked to handle the Utah leg of the centennial tour!