Just the Facts:
- Late-night TV talk show host David Letterman hailed Ford’s Alan Mulally as a “hero.”
- Letterman drove the 2012 Ford Focus Electric - on stage.
- Mulally told Letterman, “We haven’t set the price yet…but it will be very competitive.”
NEW YORK — Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally added further to his folk-hero status, both in and outside of Detroit, appearing Wednesday night on CBS-TV’s Late Show with David Letterman with his co-star — a 2012 Ford Focus Electric.
Letterman slid behind the wheel of the light-blue Focus five-door prototype, with Mulally in the passenger seat, and drove it across the sound stage, to wild applause from the audience.
Mulally also drew a thunderous response earlier in the program when he told Letterman of Ford’s plans to offer both electric and plug-in hybrid derivatives of the new Focus that will be “made right here” in the United States.
The 2012 Focus Electric will be assembled in Michigan and is slated to go on sale later this year.
Asked by Letterman about the sticker on the Focus Electric, Mulally said, “We haven’t set the price yet…but it will be very competitive.”
The 2012 Nissan Leaf, the only other pure electric vehicle on the market, is priced from $36,050, including shipping, while the 2012 Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in hybrid, will be priced from $39,995, including shipping.
The segment with the Ford CEO aired just after midnight on August 4 — Mulally’s 66th birthday.
Letterman introduced Mulally as “a hero…responsible for rescuing Ford from the brink of bankruptcy.”
Mulally, who joined Ford six years ago as CEO after being passed over by Boeing for the top job, told Letterman that he had no plans to leave the aerospace giant after a 37-year career that spanned virtually every aircraft from the 707 to the 777.
“But I got a call from Bill Ford (who) explained they were in trouble and they needed help,” said Mulally. “I was being asked to serve a second American icon. And that’s why I left Boeing.”
Ford spokeswoman Karen Hampton, responding to a query from Inside Line, said Ford did not pay for Mulally’s appearance on the Letterman show. She said: “Our team has been talking with the Letterman team for a couple years, tossing ideas back and forth…. Given David Letterman’s longtime interest in electric vehicles, now was the time for Alan Mulally to visit, tell our story and show off our upcoming electric vehicles.”
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