CHICAGO - The Ford Explorer, a Chicago-made vehicle, was one of the many hot Ford cars at the Chicago Auto Show this year which generated much buzz amongst attendees, thanks in part to Chicago Assembly Plant (CAP) employees Dan Lacy and Marco Rodriguez. Both Lacy and Rodriguez were selected to represent CAP all week at the auto show to help engage and excite potential customers about the vehicles that they help build.
Rodriguez, a Team Leader in the Chassis Department and member of the launch team, and Lacy, a Senior Process Coach in Final Assembly, were excited about their opportunity to interact with customers and answer questions on our products.
Both Lacy and Rodriguez noted that auto show attendees became very interested in talking to them once it became apparent that they weren’t salesmen, but actually the people who build the cars every day in Chicago. “It’s a great advantage for the company to bring in employees from different assembly plants to speak about the vehicles that we actually make,” said Lacy.
Rodriguez and Lacy have gone the extra mile with every potential customer that they’ve met at the auto show. “We have gotten a lot of questions that we don’t always have the answer to, but we’ll get the answer,” said Rodriguez. “We’ll take people with us to computers to look up specs, or we’ll walk them to a product specialist who can help answer questions on vehicles that we aren’t experts on.”
Lacy and Rodriguez have created some friendly competition amongst themselves at the auto show. “We have a drive event going on here this week and we’re also working to get customers to sign up to test drive cars in dealerships,” said Rodriguez. “We’re keeping a tally on how many registrations we’re each getting.”
They have gone above and beyond what has been expected of them. “We are escorting each individual right down to the drive event if they’re interested. This building is enormous. If we allow people to try to find the location themselves, they’ll likely divert their attention elsewhere. That’s a lost customer in our eyes. When we escort them ourselves, we’ve got an opportunity to have a great conversation about Ford while we’re walking and we’re 100 percent positive that they’re going to be getting into one of our vehicles,” said Rodriguez. “They have an Explorer Sport downstairs that many are test driving. I love when people come back up after their drive and seek me out to tell me how much they love it!”
“They really like the Explorer a lot,” echoed Lacy. “We’ve gotten nothing but positive comments on it and we’re very pleased.”
Lacy and Rodriguez have even gauged where they best serve the company while working the auto show. “We’ve noticed a lot of people don’t necessarily understand how our third row seats operate, so we are focusing on staying near the back of the vehicles to show everyone how easy the seats are to control. Once they understand the options and ease, they really love it,” said Lacy.
Overall, Lacy and Rodriguez have found their auto show experience to be very rewarding. “It’s great to hear the voice of the customer and see how our increase in quality has impacted their decision to shop for a Ford vehicle. Many people have said that although they currently drive another make/model, they have recently driven a friend or family member’s Ford vehicle and have become interested in purchasing one of their own,” Lacy added.
“Since we build these vehicles for the customer, it’s neat to be here to understand what they are really looking for. I’m a people person and I think I could do this every day. I’ve sold nine cars this week … with credit approvals, a dealer and everything. I’ve got 12 more years until I retire from Chicago Assembly Plant and I think I’ve found my calling,” said Rodriguez.