Charlie Hughes, ex-president of Mazda Motor and former CEO of Land Rover, has some radical alternatives to Ford Motor's "Way Forward" restructuring plan, which he's putting forward in a forthcoming book, Branding Iron, co-authored with Car and Driver editor William Jeanes.
Dubbed the "Dearborn Reborn" plan, the strategy centers around shedding all Ford brands except for Ford, Volvo and Jaguar. In an interview, Hughes pointedly asked, "They spend $300 million a year to flog Lincoln and Mercury, and what kind of return are they getting on that?"

Other provocative elements of the Hughes/Jeanes plan:
  • drastically cut the number of dealerships
  • move corporate HQ to Chicago and give the remaining brands more independence
  • position Jaguar against BMW and Mercedes-Benz, with Volvo as a near-luxury brand
  • Ford becomes the "best cars for the money, in any segment" company
Predictably, Ford dismissed Hughes' ideas. But I'll bet that every Ford exec reads the book...

Branding Iron, by Huges and Jeanes, will hit booksellers next month.

[Source: Brandweek]

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