Samantha Hoyt – Sam to everyone – is the consummate melding of an automotive marketing professional and passionate automotive enthusiast. The Fusion marketing manager has a car-centric perspective that goes well beyond buyer profiles and sales statistics.
A sports car buff, Sam appreciates a deftly executed heel-and-toe downshift as much as appealing automotive design.
When she isn’t consumed with vehicle horsepower, she relaxes by riding her cherished horse Duncan at a local hunter/jumper barn and at horse shows.
HerHighway’s Editor in Chief Christina Selter sat down with Samantha at the Detroit Auto Show for a one on one interview regarding how the automotive industry has opportunities for women and why it is so important for women to seek a career in automotive. The video is coming soon, but for now enjoy some of the Q&A below.
Who have you mentored who did someone mentor you in this industry to help you get started?
I was not mentored when I started. I started as a salesperson in a Chevrolet Dealership, but I had a great mentor once I got started at Ford. Joe King, my first regional manager, really helped shape my career. Mentoring is incredibly important in this industry and I like to help others as much as possible. Your network is very important. Ford is great because they give us lots of opportunity to learn different parts of the business and expand your knowledge and network.
As a woman what features are your favorites in a car?
I value performance and comfort. Quality and Fuel Economy are also hot buttons. Auto lamps and MyFordTouch are my favorite features.
Why does the auto industry seem like a difficult environment for females?
Because it’s been dominated by men for so long and women continue to be seen as “not as technical”. Good news is that the industry continues to change. Think about the whole industry—even our dealerships are dominated by men, so most important thing for me is to strive to be the best at what I do and to know my product better than anyone else. Confidence and knowledge give you great power.
Why did you want to work in the auto industry?
I love cars and trucks always have. My brother used to teach me about cars on my first VW Bug and we even found a way to make my little Honda Spree moped go faster with its 50 CC engine.
First automotive job?
I worked for Cal Worthington Chevrolet in Houston as a salesperson in 1988 and was hired by Ford just after graduation from Wake Forest in 1991—largely because I had retail sales experience.
Proudest professional achievement?
Being the Marketing Manager for the Ford Fusion. The car and the launch are so exciting that I’m really proud to be a part of it.
Current challenge at work?
Managing integration of the global nuances of the Fusion and Mondeo—keeping everyone apprised of what is going on.
General Marketing Manager for Ford.
What sports or activities did you enjoy in school or/and currently?
I played tennis throughout high school, but was on the equestrian team in college. I have a horse named Duncan, a hunter/jumper, who I am currently training.
What you do to relax?
I love to travel with David, my husband, and spend time with him rebuilding our Porsche 914. I also like to spend time with my friends and Duncan at the horse farm.