Updated: Tuesday, 03 Feb 2009, 11:19 AM EST
Published : Monday, 02 Feb 2009, 10:01 PM EST
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Michael Snapper was ready to buy a Toyota Prius. But he changed his mind and bought a Ford Fusion. Ford CEO Alan Mulally then personally left a voicemail on Snapper's phone, thanking him for the purchase.
That's right, Alan Mulally, the president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company called Michael Snapper, a Grand Rapids attorney, and left a voicemail message on his cell phone.
"I just want to call you and tell you congratulations and thank you, and like you, I think it might be one of the finest cars we ever produced," Mulally told Snapper.
What brought this all about?
"Last year, we decided we wanted to buy an environmentally responsible car, so we ordered a Toyota Prius," Snapper told 24 Hour News 8.
But then he had second thoughts.
"First there was the bad news, the recession, and then all the public trouble with the car companies. But then we started to pay attention to the kind of products the American manufacturers were making, and we just zeroed in on the Ford Fusion Hybrid. And my wife and I, it's really our decision together, and we gave it some thought, studied the car and looked at some of the reviews. We decided to change our mind and we did."
That's what really impressed Ford's Mulally and led him to make the call.
"Very pleased for you and I loved the story, especially when you can choose anything you want and you choose what you think is the very best."
So what was it that closed the deal for Snapper?
"We just decided, hey, let's buy an American car. Ford's doing its part and we can do ours too," he said.
What really impressed Snapper about that call is "it seems to me to reflect a new attitude and a real commitment to making their turnaround work."
But he doesn't know when he's getting his new car. "I wish I knew. I hope because I'm saying some nice things about them they put me up early on the order list."
There is no promise of that but Snapper said because he ordered before March 31 the dealership told him he will get a $3,400 tax credit.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid will be on display, along with scores of other vehicles, Feb. 5-8 at the Michigan International Auto Show at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.