FLAT ROCK, Mich. - Before Special Vehicle Team’s (SVT) Shaun Day worked at Ford, he was a customer and a diehard Ford Mustang enthusiast.
When he and his mother both ordered a 2011 Mustang, he had no idea just how far the company would go for them.
Day, with the help of some inside connections at Ford, was tracking the production of his vehicle at AutoAlliance International (AAI) and was posting updates on the popular Mustang forum, www.themustangsource.com. Though his Mustang was ordered just three minutes after the order bank opened, his mother’s car made it to the dealership first.
“I got home from work around 4 a.m. and my dad told me that my mom’s car was in,”said Day a second-generation Ford employee. “I had him show me right then and there.” After snapping a picture of the vehicle, posting it on the Mustang forum and creating quite a stir among the Mustang community, he got a call from Allison Revier, the Mustang Marketing manager at the time.
She informed him that his mother’s vehicle was the first privately owned Mustang to be delivered. Upon finding out about Day’s Mustang order, she recognized just how enthusiastic the Day family was and invited them for a plant tour at AAI.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Day, Ralph Arning, engineer, AAI Customer Service, caught wind of the picture that Day posted that morning and recognized a problem. He knew that there was a stop ship due to a faulty fuel pump delivery module, but somehow the car made it to the dealership. Without hesitating, Arning drove directly to the dealership and changed the module himself.
After his mother took delivery of her pony, Day continued to track production of his GT which had been delayed due to the eruption of a volcano in Iceland where Mustang powertrain control modules were manufactured. He had his Ford friends watching the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) in the order bank and five days before the plant tour, they told him that they could not find his VIN.
“I knew the vehicle wasn’t scheduled to be built for another two or three weeks, but this was strange,” Day said.
Arning led the Day’s on their plant tour and after passing the Stamping department, he directed them through a door leading outside for a special surprise.
“I usually always have something to say,” Day said, “But I was at a complete loss for words.”
Dave Pericak, chief engineer, Mustang, sat on the front fender holding the keys to Day’s Grabber Blue 2011 Mustang GT. AAI had pushed production of his vehicle forward by almost three weeks and Pericak was there to take him for a ride on the test track.
“It was a dream day, the people at Ford really know how to make you feel special,” Day said. The company didn’t stop there.
A month after driving his Mustang home, the clutch would not disengage properly. Revier had engineers meet him at the dealership and Day got a chance to meet his future supervisor, Alex Przebienda, the 2011 Launch leader at the time.
Day stayed in close contact with Pericak and Przebienda and with his experience as the Marketing Manager for Rehagen Racing, they were able to find him a position with the SVT at
“I knew I wanted to work at Ford since I was five-years-old,” said Day, a second generation Ford employee.
After all that the company has done for Day and his family, he is dedicated to return the favor. He looks to Go Further for the company every day and said that he will never forget all the people at Ford that went further for him.