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Ford Motor Co at a Historical Crossroad of Opportunity
“Joe Six pack’s Opinion”
By Ndwariga


Once in a moment of insightful brilliance my favorite cost accounting professor Ms. Dennis said of Wal-Mart that a good business model is one everyone else is trying to Xerox into the dustbins of history by duplicating it. She went on to observe that any great business model will be duplicated, and sometimes, the inventor is outwitted at their own game. Ford unlike any other Industrial Conglomerate in Anglo history finds itself today a hundred years since its moment of brilliance invention that catapulted it into a legend in 1908 (the year of the car) xeroxed into a wall. All Industrial giants in United States including General Motors, General Electric, Boeing, owe their success to the Ford invention; the assembly line manufacturing, synonymous with the Model T.



Unfortunately for Ford, the affordability of Ford Model T has been its Achilles heel. Ford cultural mindset has always been doing things cheap. So cheap that the global Reputation Ford brand carries among non Ford fans is cheap- poor quality. This is now showing within its home base. The cheap mediocre perception of Ford has put the company into a downward spiral that almost seems unstoppable. With sales in a nose dive reminiscent of German Dive Bombers that Ford manufactured war machines helped defeat in WW II everywhere you look these days everyone is screaming doom and Gloom for the once great company. To make matters worse, lately Ford seemed to be behaving as if the end is near with much publicized way forwards that went nowhere.

In a moment of sober reflection William Clay Ford Jr.

lastSeptember realized that his name was taking the company nowhere, and brought in Allan Mulally as his replacement. Mulally who would rather drive a Lexus than a Ford’s XJR for obvious reasons had no love for Fords. You certainly have not seen him at the drag strip in his second hand Mustang lately.
But, he had one thing Ford Motors had competency at one time and that is manufacturing knowledge. That is what Made Ford Great, exactly 100 years earlier. Alan, like Bill is a Graduate of MIT’s Sloan. Mulally is exactly what Ford needs. Someone who has turn around experience, is conversant with the American manufacturing culture and has helped a once American Superpower back to its greatness. That company is Boeing.

Being an outsider, and observing these things one thing comes to mind. Ford Motor Company is at a Cross-Road. It’s in a place of great peril and has a guy on top (unlike Jacques Nasser a foreigner who had no understanding of American culture and put the company where it is today. We could go into shoulda, coulda, woulda but we won’t) to take it there, past Toyota.

The company has a lot of great things going for it. Its has brand new platforms across the board except for the small trucks. The company will soon have no brand overlap with the sale of Aston Martin leaving Jaguar to move up and create room for Lincoln. At this juncture, being more a GM Fan than a Ford Fan, I bet you a six pack that Ford is where GM was three years ago, at the crossroads of Greatness and an American come back. This prompted me to start this forum. To cheer Ford Motor Company on to greatness, and also give some of us a platform to air our frustrations with whatever is going wrong.

Mulally and Ford Jr. Have their work cut out for them. No more Tupperware interiors.





Stay Tuned.
 

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Very good article. I'm happy that this website was started, as it looks like a great place to get FoMoCo news.
 

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Very good article ndwariga. Ford still has the strength of its name, the most formidable name in automotive history and not much else, in the strength of that name the new company will be built much smaller but much much eficient. Kind of the way things were during most of the 1990s when Ford outearned GM (and everyone else) year, after year after year.



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Discussion Starter #7
Very good article. I'm happy that this website was started, as it looks like a great place to get FoMoCo news.
welcome to fomocconews.com BR. Love your Avatar by the way!!
 

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Thanks. Just a quick question: how do you put quotes on the bottom of every thread you post on (like some other members do)??
 

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Thanks. Just a quick question: how do you put quotes on the bottom of every thread you post on (like some other members do)??
I think you add a signiture under user CP
 

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so far Mullaly seems to be doing ok... other than that fat check...
new vehicles are selling well, and he stole the show at New York
 

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so far Mullaly seems to be doing ok... other than that fat check...
new vehicles are selling well, and he stole the show at New York
I agree, he has done good so far. I cant wait to see how the Flex and other new products come out and see how they do. He can and will turn Ford around.
 

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It seems like this is going to be a very slow road up. Asian companies are really agressive
 

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I finally had a chance to read the whole thing. Good work.
I especially liked the "no more tupperware" remark at the end.

I don't think Ford is behind GM by 3 years though. More like 6 months to a year.
I don't think that Ford is behind GM at all. If anything Ford is in a completely different road than GM . . . hopefully. This so called GM's recovery has a high component of hot air.
 

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I don't think that Ford is behind GM at all. If anything Ford is in a completely different road than GM . . . hopefully. This so called GM's recovery has a high component of hot air.
surely, you do not wish GM ill, do you?
 

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Alan Mullaly can't claim credit for anything Ford is doing now and won't be able to do so in terms of product for at least the next 2-3 years. He simply hasn't been there long enough.

Ford product development plans would have been past the point of no return for all the current models when he arrived.

What he may be able to claim credit for is reducing costs sufficiently for Ford to benefit from those new models and become profitable again. But that's still off in the distance. Meanwhile, he needs to refocus Ford on a mission that both employees and customers can embrace; one that doesn't stop at Ford corporate doorways but extends all the way out through the dealers to all of the various customer touchpoints that lead back to the Ford brand name.

Until he does that, he can't (and won't) save Ford.
 

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The re-Taurus name was smart though and AM was credited for that. I think if Ford kept the 500 name then they would see modest sales increases with a good product upgrade. But bringing back the Taurus name will give much more by way of product recognition and even excitement through traffic shoroom. That's all Ford really needed anyway, as the product really does sell itself on it's own merits.
 

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surely, you do not wish GM ill, do you?
Why would I? I guess I am still conditioned by the permanent Ford bashing elsewhere and I do still sound overly harsh towards GM, is just a conditioned reflex . . . ;) . I would certainly would love to see GM succeed to the expense of Toyota and Honda, but certainly not to Ford's expense.

I also think that GM so called recovery is just a lot of great PR with little substance. Surely there have been some hits like the CTS and the Aura, but even those have been very mild hits at a very high price.

This time, Detroit's turn around will be long and painful and one of the Detroit chillds will be left behind. My bet is on Chrysler.
 

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Alan Mullaly can't claim credit for anything Ford is doing now and won't be able to do so in terms of product for at least the next 2-3 years. He simply hasn't been there long enough.

Ford product development plans would have been past the point of no return for all the current models when he arrived.

What he may be able to claim credit for is reducing costs sufficiently for Ford to benefit from those new models and become profitable again. But that's still off in the distance. Meanwhile, he needs to refocus Ford on a mission that both employees and customers can embrace; one that doesn't stop at Ford corporate doorways but extends all the way out through the dealers to all of the various customer touchpoints that lead back to the Ford brand name.

Until he does that, he can't (and won't) save Ford.
Yankee, welcome,
You make a very good point.
You would however agree that Alan did bring a new tone, and hope to Ford
 
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