What's motivating him is this: He's 36 years old and is intent on becoming only the second driver, after Briton Graham Hill, to win motorsport's Triple Crown. That entails winning the Formula One title (or just the Monaco Grand Prix according to one interpretation) as well as Indianapolis and Le Mans.
The group sent a telegram to Ford requesting a meeting about “a matter of management importance” and were quickly invited to Dearborn by Henry Ford II.
Just as Ford execs were tugging at their Gordon Gekko braces and supping the Bollinger of success, Vauxhall unveiled the Cavalier Mk3 in 1988. Boom – with its sleek, swoopy lines, boy, it cut a dash – and promptly pooped on Ford's party.
"It was unbelievable," Miller recalled of his first months at Ford in the 2003 interview with Automotive News. "During World War II they lost money on cost-plus contracts. Now that takes some skill, to lose money on a cost-plus contract."
GREEN CARS Electric Saab 9-3 to become the national car of Turkey
"Henry Ford II's personal dominance of the company gave it a different character, certainly different from other publicly owned companies in the automobile game," Miller said in 2003. "GM and Chrysler were not that way. You knew who the boss was. There were no palace politics with anyone trying to take over."
Still, he had joined a famous fraternity -- the long list of men such as Ernie Breech, Dykstra, Knudsen and later, Iacocca -- who rose to the president's post at Ford only to be pushed aside by a mercurial Henry Ford II.
Miller and the other Whiz Kids stewarded Ford back to profitability after the war, reorganizing the company along some 15 profit centers, each with professional and semiautonomous management. The operating structure, with a focus on cost controls, forecasting and planning, eventually allowed Ford to become a publicly held company for the first time, on Jan. 17, 1956.
Alan Gilmour, retired vice chairman and CFO at Ford, who was mentored by the Whiz Kids early in his career, credits Miller as well as fellow Whiz Kid Ed Lundy for placing a priority on personnel management at the company.