This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," June 22, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: On a day of a big sell-off, trying to go back to the past for a big hero. And he is arguably one of America's greatest CEOs, and, among U.S. automakers, its most legendary, the man who turned around a company and whose good car sense turned around a country and wowed a world, a man so lionized for running that company that many wanted him running this country. So, they pushed him to run for president, but Lee Iacocca said no.
Then they pushed for him for vice president. But Lee Iacocca said no. Begged for him to head up scores of companies, and Iacocca said no. Wanted him to speak out on his old industry, and Lee Iacocca again said no.
And then we called to talk about something 45 years in the making. And, this time, for this broadcast, and only on this broadcast, and for this 45th special anniversary, Lee Iacocca said yes.
Welcome, everybody. I'm Neil Cavuto.
And he is the man on whom all comebacks are judged and all corporate turnarounds are scored, because no one faced what Lee Iacocca faced at Chrysler or had to lift a nation's spirits like this guy did back in 1980.
But, today, we are not here to talk about Chrysler or history. We are here about maybe remaking history — and not at Chrysler, but Ford, where Lee first made his mark at 45 years ago, an American icon. It was the 1964 World's Fair in New York. And an up-and-coming much-talked-about auto executive was showcasing something called the Ford Mustang. The world was smitten. And a corporate star was born.
And, now, 45 years later, both are back. What's that they say? For a limited time only. And, right now, only here, Lee Iacocca on the phone from Los Angeles.
Lee, very good to have you.
LEE IACOCCA, FORMER CHAIRMAN & CEO, CHRYSLER CORPORATION: Hello, Neil. How are you?
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CAVUTO: I'm good. Now the Mustang, and Mr. Chrysler is Mr. Ford. I — I am shaking my head.
IACOCCA: Well, that's — remember, I spent 32 years at Ford...
CAVUTO: You did, indeed.
IACOCCA: ... and only 16 at Chrysler.
CAVUTO: Absolutely. Absolutely.
It is a little startling, because you are going to be the namesake behind what will be a very limited-edition Mustang. Could you explain that?
IACOCCA: Yes, just — it's 40 — it's the 45th anniversary of the Mustang. So, we want to celebrate it, and we came up with a new product built on the wonderful present Mustang, which we used as our base car, the 2009 Mustang.
And what we tried to bring to it is the new style. We added a Fastback edition. That's what this is. It was a styling exercise that turned out a very stunning product.
And we decided to share that with 50, 45 — 45 cars. That is all we're going to build for the 45th anniversary.
CAVUTO: So, there are only 45 of these, and they're all going to be silver; is that it?
IACOCCA: Yes, all silver, Silver Edition.
CAVUTO: All right. So, no red ones?
IACOCCA: No red ones.
I would like a candy apple red one my myself, but I think I will pass for a while.
CAVUTO: You know, this raised eyebrows across the globe today, Lee, A. Because it is where you got your roots. And it is where you spent so much of your career, but it is Ford. And this is the Mustang, perhaps the last, most celebrated car in American history.
What do you make of that?
IACOCCA: Well, tremendous success, greatest — in my 50 years in the auto business, that was the — the peak of it. And it was a great car. It's become a cult vehicle, really.
CAVUTO: It did. It did.
CAVUTO: Did you think it would be that big?
CAVUTO: Because many have argued, even to today, that we need cars like that to get people dreaming that Americans can do this sort of stuff.
IACOCCA: That's what we hope the new version will do, have people dreaming, not talking about the doom and gloom of the auto business, and getting back to some great cars. And we're starting with a great platform. The present-day Mustang 2009 is a fantastic car.
All we will do is restyle it a little bit, and put in some touches. And I didn't do this alone out here, by the way. It's two years in the making.
IACOCCA: I happened to run into old friends. The leading dealer in the world for Ford is Galpin Volvo in Van Nuys, a neighbor here. They have taken over the sales and marketing of this new product. Even though there are only 45, it should be a big a big introduction.