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ENGINEERS MUST MESH CUSTOMER, SOCIETAL GOALS

 /ADVANCE/DETROIT, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- A total commitment to serving customers as well as to meeting societal goals requires an enthusiastic embracing of change by the world's automotive engineers if the industry is to survive and prosper, Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Harold A. Poling said today.
 In remarks prepared for delivery this evening to the annual gathering of the Society of Automotive Engineers here, Mr. Poling said that engineers and others in the industry must work hard to serve the overall needs of society, while at the same time responding to the customer's individual requirements.
 "If we are to preserve the energy and vitality of our industry, if we are to have a strong and prosperous global economy, if we are to satisfy the increasing demands of our customers, we'll need the visionary drive and inspiration and commitment of the world's automotive engineers to continue to push forward the frontiers of knowledge and engineering excellence," Mr. Poling said.
 "The relentless drive for efficiency, which accelerated during this recent recession, will continue even after the world economy improves," he added.
 "For all of us, and particularly for engineers, being more efficient means working inside our own companies to improve the entire process of designing, developing and manufacturing a vehicle," Mr. Poling stressed. "It also means working externally, leveraging our global resources with our suppliers, and through joint ventures, product-sharing arrangements and consortia," he said.
 "While becoming more efficient and managing change, we must meet the needs and desires of our customers, which will continue to expand," Mr. Poling said.
 "No longer blindly loyal to particular companies or brands, customers are inquisitive, demanding, discriminating. Customers want the right product, at the right place, at the right price, at the right time, with greater reliability, greater convenience and greater variety. And the product must offer more safety features, higher content, better serviceability and less pollution, but higher mpg," he added.
 Engineers understand better than anyone the rate and scope of change this will force on the automobile business and the way it is conducted, Mr. Poling stated. Collocation, simultaneous engineering and project teams that link diverse specialties from a concept through production are becoming the norm, as is an increasing need to cooperate with government.
 "If we are to successfully meet the challenges ahead, we must maintain a continuing dialogue not only with the U.S. government, but with governments around the world.
 "The design of auto regulations worldwide should be harmonized, at least, as cars and trucks become more global," urged Mr. Poling. "If we can build on that understanding, avoid using our engineering resources to chase arbitrary standards that have more political than scientific merit, and start working on responsible solutions, we can look forward to a very productive future for our industry."
 The Ford chairman acknowledged that quality levels nearly impossible not too many years ago are seen today as merely the price of admission into the marketplace. He also noted that today's vehicles are more fuel efficient, cleaner, safer and more durable, while advanced features such as air bags, anti-lock brakes, traction assist and intelligent suspensions are becoming commonplace.
 "The fact that we could make so many dramatic improvements to our cars and trucks, even during a worldwide recession -- while at the same time increasing value to the customer, and meeting the long list of government requirements around the world -- is a tribute to the genius and productivity of the people in this room, and their colleagues in plants and offices everywhere," he said.
 -0- 3/4/93/1800
 /CONTACT: Terry Bresnihan of Ford, 313-322-9600/
 (F)


CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

ML -- DE036 -- 3113 03/04/93 15:54 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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