DEARBORN/CHICAGO - Last month, Dearborn Truck Plant’s (DTP) New Model Launch Manager Don Pijor attended the Chicago Auto Show. His agenda for the show was to represent the plant, sell the brand and vehicles as well as put faces to the trucks.
“I went to educate people on the fact that there are people behind the trucks and vehicles on display at the show. That they are not just pieces of metal,” said Pijor. “I was excited to share the passion with people who are just as passionate about the trucks as I am.”
The main thing Pijor took from the show was the ability to interface directly with the customer.
“Working on the plant side of things, it is not often we have direct connection with Ford customers. It was great to have unfiltered and direct response from current and future customers, to understand what they like and don’t like about the products.”
Pijor said some customers were apprehensive at first to talk to him because they thought he might be trying to sell them something. But, once they found out he was from the plant, they opened up.
“They wanted to discuss the process behind building trucks. Customers love to hear how their truck was made.”
The one vehicle on display at the show in Pijor’s opinion that received the most buzz was the Ford Atlas Concept.
“The Atlas Concept stole the show. We were right across from the all-new Dodge Ram (2013 Motor Trend Truck of the Year) and the Ford booth had more traffic. There was always a crowd around the Atlas.”
Also on display were many different Ford F-150 models. The most positive response Pijor heard about the F-150 was that customers loved the tailgate step.
“Even though we advertise about it, customers still didn’t know it existed,” he said. “It was nice they had a chance to actually try it out.”
The best part of the show, in Pijor’s opinion, was when Ford truck owners shared their stories of how they use their F-150s in their daily lives.
“There was this older gentleman, a farmer, who told me about how he uses his F-350 truck to tow his grain wagons. He said he tows about 57,000 lbs no problem! WAY over the rating for the truck,” he explained.