What are your thoughts on the government intervention in the auto industry? Michael Sturm, ASHLAND, KY.
I can understand why the U.S. government is concerned about the auto industry. Clearly, in Ford's case, we did not ask for government money, but it was very important for us to go with the other members of the industry to make sure our leaders know the importance of the industry to the economy.
Do you want to see GM and Chrysler survive and succeed? Anthony Kuntz, MINNEAPOLIS
We want to see the automobile industry be very vibrant going forward. Eighty percent of the value of a car is with the suppliers, and our suppliers throughout the United States also service GM and Chrysler. So it's very important, since we're so interdependent, that all of us move forward together.
Do you believe that the auto industry or the government will have a greater role in the innovation of fuel-efficient vehicles? Ryan Pile, HONOLULU
I think it's going to continue to be very much a partnership. During negotiations for the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, we all agreed on the enabling technology that would move us to energy independence, energy security and sustainability. We're committed to creating vehicles that people really want and that are sustainable.
Will advances in battery technology make the internal-combustion engine obsolete? Omar Morales, NEW ORLEANS
[Advancing battery technology is] the most important thing we can do to move toward more electrification. But it is just one piece of a solution. Clearly, the solution that is appealing is one based on electric vehicles.
What wisdom do you bring from your decades in the aviation industry to your job at Ford? Frederick Q. Do RIVERSIDE, CALIF.
The similarities between commercial airplanes and automobiles are striking. It's all about safe and efficient transportation, using the latest technology and the best fuel efficiency. So it feels very comfortable coming to Ford.
You recently renegotiated an agreement with the United Auto Workers. How much is that going to save Ford? Catherine Desoe NEW YORK CITY
It's a very important part of our transformation plan, and when we're through, we'll be competitive with the best companies in the world that operate here in the U.S. What we have done together is going to secure the future of many opportunities to be in the [American] auto industry.
Why should I buy American if your company continues to outsource jobs to other countries? Susan Kisielewski LIVONIA, MICH.
The vast majority of our operations are right here in the United States. With the agreements we have made with our unions, we can make vehicles of all sizes in the U.S. and do it profitably.
One of the first things you did at Ford was bring back the Taurus. Can it reclaim some of its past glory? Mike McDonald, VANCOUVER
I think the new Taurus rocks. It's a very personal thing to me. When I was still at Boeing, Don Petersen, a former Ford chairman, asked me if I wanted to meet the Taurus team. So when I arrived at Ford, the first thing I wanted to see was, How's it going with the Taurus?
If you could build a supercar, what features would it have? Soyeun Yang, SUPERIOR, COLO.
It would not fly. It would have not only fuel efficiency and safety and quality but connectivity. With Sync technology, we're seamlessly connected to the Internet, hands-free, and able to focus on the road but also able to handle guidance and navigation and play your music.
Many people think foreign cars are better cars. How do you overcome that perception? Joe Longworth SPOKANE, WASH.
In the past, we have not always had consistency in quality because we focused on larger vehicles. But now we are focusing on a full product line, and every one of our vehicles is equal to or better than our competition.