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Of Mustangs And Lending A Helping Hand: Ford’s COO Pitches In To Assist Metro Detroiters

By Carol Cain (CBS 62 staff)
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(Courtesy: CBS 62)

(Courtesy: CBS 62)

(credit: WWJ-TV) Carol Cain
An Emmy Award winning journalist, Carol Cain is also the se...
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Ford Motor Co.’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields talked about the unique roll out of the new 2015 Mustang — the sixth generation of the iconic 50-year-old pony car  which took place in Dearborn and other continents — and also of helping Metro Detroiters in a far flung conversation during taping of “Michigan Matters.”

Fields, who is also chairman of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan’s Community Giving Campaign, appeared with Michael Brennan, president and CEO of United Way for Southeastern Michigan, to update the annual drive which hopes to raise $40 million by March.

Earlier Thursday, Fields emceed the unveiling of the Mustang at Ford’s headquarters while Ford CEO Alan Mullaly did the same in New York, Executive Chairman Bill Ford did the honors in Barcelona and other Ford execs tapped to do the same in Shanghai and Sydney.

The new version of the Mustang goes on sale next fall in North America and in Europe and Asia the following year.

“Mustang cuts to the heart and soul of our company and represents our company at its best,” Fields said.

Fields and Brennan also discussed  the annual United Way fundraising drive — which kicked off in September.

“This year’s campaign theme is   “Invest in Our Kids” and celebrates iconic Detroiters who have contributed positively to greater Detroit by bringing hope, solutions and accomplishments to the community,” Brennan said.

The duo explained that the campaign is also showing donors and volunteers how efforts around basic needs, financial stability and education contribute to help make the region a better place.

“We want to make Detroit a top-five city to live and work by 2030,” Brennan said.,

With the city of Detroit receiving the green light this week to proceed with its bankruptcy, and knowing city retirees’ pensions were vulnerable, Brennan expressed concern.

“We have seen well over 300,000 people calling our 2-2-2- help number from Detroit and the rest of the region,” he said.

He added that United Way — which also assists people with food, utility bills and more — is watching the situation in Detroit very closely.

Also on the show — Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, business woman Denise Ilitch and political pundit Cliff Russell discussed the bankruptcy and road ahead for Detroit.

Russell and Patterson traded strong words on the need for the bankruptcy and Gov. Rick Snyder’s role in it.

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Watch “Michigan Matters” 11:30 am Sunday on CBS 62.

(Carol Cain is the Emmy-winning Senior Producer and Host of “Michigan Matters.” She writes about business and politics in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. She can be reached at clcain@cbs.com).

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