I read the book shortly after it was published and thoroughly enjoyed it!
finished "American Icon" last night,
remarkably "easy read" considering how another author could've made its complexities dry & confusing imho.
so far...repeat: SO FAR,
imho some of the OneFord plan that Mr. M. is developing seems a bit "simplistic"...
...OR the way it's reported sounds simplistic?
tho it seems like Mr. M. definitely wanted only One Brand to deal with;
where I'm at in the story, it's too early to judge if Merc could only come back after Mr. M. is gone...
I'm still undecided about ^this^
have the impression that Mr. M. (like Oh so Many in the carbiz imho) does-or-DID not understand what a Brand is (½ sales channel, ½ Opportunity, ½ customers' Fiction+heartthrob).
Would LOVE to have a book specifically about "product" (hate that term) and the planning...tying it together into a narrative with plot, themes, "sub-arcs" - what the different 'visions' were and how "schools of design" (NewEdge, Bold, Kinetic, Son-of-Kinetic) were engendered & by whom and how one cross-pollenated another (if that's been the case) + the zeit-geist aspect of an idea whose time has come...
...with the rather strictly BUSINESS focus of "A.I." and the concentration on Mr. M.; the above is lacking
the whole thing (Book or even Ford's/modern business practices) seem rather "ad hoc" to me; dealing with short(er) term objectives -- a few years, NOT quarter-by-quarter, but still -- I just didn't see any "Planning for Future DECADES".
A good part of that COULD be from the Emergency-Era that the book covers, basically 2006 thru 2010.
Even tho the HOW was explained, I was just left with No sense of WHERE the company is heading - esp tho not specifically re: Merc.
*IF* the world's economy ever improves - esp. with a SECURE middle class with cosmopolitan tastes that could provide customers for the Mercury-of-my-understanding,
the feeling I've got is that Mulally's NewFord will have to come up
with something Then** rather than work towards and, in a societal context, contribute to that economic situation happening.
** a major impression from "A.I." was when (accord to the Author), Mr. M., in reference to Bold vs
Kinetic, said, "Pick one"
which sounds imho VERY in-keeping with Fomoco's jump
ing on the new horizontal ribcage grille for Lincoln,
instead of meticulously charting
a design course/path/progression/trajectory!