Times are tough for car makers, so Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally is going the extra mile by delivering cars to customers himself.
“This is awesome!” Ballmer declared, before climbing into the car for a quick seminar on how it works. He didn’t seem too interested in the fuel consumption figures, but said his wife insisted on a hybrid.
The car was the millionth with Ford’s SYNC system — powered by Microsoft technology — which allows you to control a phone and play music with voice commands. So people in the back seat can embarrass you by shouting “Play Abba”.
The high-octane double-act of Ballmer and Mulally — CEO pitch-men par excellence — seals an interesting alliance between Seattle and Detroit. Ford’s Mulally lived in the Seattle area in his 30-plus years at Boeing’s nearby commercial plane operations, while Ballmer’s father — who raised his family in and around Detroit — was a long-time Ford employee, starting in the company’s financing unit in 1950.