• Sep 3, 2006
In an effort to assuage the fear of his employees over the current direction of Ford Motor Company, Bill Ford sent out a company-wide memo on Friday that details a three-point strategy for ushering the Blue Oval out of hard times. The Detroit News describes the strategy in a nutshell as 1) fixing Ford's North American business, 2) leveraging the company's global assets, and 3) bolstering its leadership team from within and outside the company. Easier said than done, right?
In the memo Ford admits the business strategy that fueled Ford for decades has stopped working (i.e. a myopic reliance on trucks and truck-based SUVs). In order to achieve profitability again in North America, Ford has charged Mark Fields and his team with developing products that drive revenue and rapidly reducing costs, as any CEO should we think. Mazda and Volvo will also apparently contribute more to Ford's North American turnaround than they have in the past. Ford's last point about leadership development is already in practice, as the aforementioned Mark Fields, president of the Americas for Ford, has Bill Ford's new progressive policies to thank for his title.

Bill Ford's memo contains nothing that hasn't been suggested before, but its purpose wasn't to unveil Ford's revised "Way Forward" plan, which is due in detail later this month. The note to employees is rather an effort, we believe, to make workers at the company feel more like they're in the loop while Ford wrestles with changing his company's course.

[Source: The Detroit News]


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  • 39 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      American cars have improved but so have import brands, and Ford and GM cars just aren't as good.
      Fortunately, GM seems to have some good cars near introduction (Saturn Aura, for example) but Ford is a mess except for its Mazda derivatives and it's better to just buy the Mazda.

      And why is a Ford made in Mexico more American than a Honda made in Ohio?
      Please--no crap about taking profits back to Japan because profits earned by growing companies doing business in the U.S. are invested here in new factories.

      And you can own stock in Honda, Toyota, etc. so some of those profits come to you in dividends that you can spend in the U.S. American brands really aren't as meaningful as they were.

      All else equal, I'd rather buy a car made by non-union workers because union people think they work for the UAW instead of the companies that pay them. The glory days of manufacturing unions in the U.S. are over despite the dream world some of these people are living in (public service unions are another matter and the sooner they're weakened, the better, too).

      American-branded cars can't be competitive until the UAW is further constrained.
      • 8 Years Ago
      To #13

      I agree with your comment. Ford should shut down mercury and lincoln. It should get rid of jaguar and land rover.

      Ford, Volvo and Mazda. That should be the future of Ford.
      • 8 Years Ago
      While Billy sends out emails with 5 year old "news" and "revelations" the competition has eaten Ford alive. Ford = dead $#$( walking.
      • 8 Years Ago
      To #10.

      Maybe. But then jaguar must be shut down and Ford should wait till someone willing will buy the brand or whats left of it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The problem with the company in the first place is Bill Ford, I'm sure Henry ford rolls over in his grave the way his great grandson runs the company. He is a poor leader, that thinks the company will go back to the way it was, he is so worried about building bigger and bigger suvs instead of worrying about the focus and even building a smaller car to compete with the japenesse. Also the companies is very half assed and lazy. When you first made the five-hundred, fusion, freesytle, and whatever else uses the 3.0 v6 from the ford taurus, why would you use a engine that was in the tautus, and know a couple years later add the 3.5 v6.
      • 8 Years Ago
      GhostDoggy - "Lemme see if I get this right. He crutched his way along on fleet sales of the Explorer and Taurus with decades-old design and lack of revision, he's getting rid of the minivan (trunks are good for children, I suppose, and they are thinking of laying off tens of thousands to re-hire in Mexico."

      Yes, Bill Ford of all people did those things. He's been CEO since late 2001. He hasn't made things noticably better, but many of the things you're describing happened 5 years before he took over.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dear LM dealer. How many Milans were sold to car rental companies. How many were sold with rebates, or cut price leases or cheap financing. When you have to offer rebates on a brand new model something is wrong. All Mercury is doing is stealing sales from Ford, you are not competing with anyone (except maybe Buick). The next time you see a Lincoln or Mercury on the road look at the senior citizen driving it. Their next car is going to come from the Scooter Store. Your customer base is dying off. Who do you plan on selling to in 10 years? Meanwhile, that Fit buyer of today will probably be driving an Accord or Acura in 10 years. That is the true "moving up" customer Detroit used to cater to. Keep those white shoes polished and good luck pal. Your truly, the idiot.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #36

      You are unfit for globalization. You will be quickly expunged by evolutionary surge. Embrace the world and win!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Killing the UAW is not the answer but the Cure.All of the Detroit 3 have to get together and re negociate a better labour deal for both employer and worker.If they Don't all 3 will be in deep shit in a couple of years.After a new lower overhead is reached, then you can start underbiding Honda , Toyota,and Hyundai.I think it's possible,a few no nonsece econoboxes at 10K,,better warenties,beter customer dealeship relations,and even Ford can survive.Continue with fuel efficient trucks,good fleet cars for the Cops like the Charger,and all 3 can stay in Buisness.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mal Fuller, "Ford will survive and eventually become as strong as ever. Bill Ford's no dummy and he can spell too, unlike some of his (nearby) critics!"

      Oh, so he had been driving the company (into the ground) while drunk? What other excuse could there be? I find it hard to consider him smart and running the company smartly and wind up in this position.

      Currently, Ford is looking to invest Billions in assembly plants in Mexico, begging and blasting the Feds to pay for their shops' retooling, and then presenting a 'way forward' as a means to solving previously illustrated 'smart' decision-making that led to the conditions at hand?

      Lemme see if I get this right. He crutched his way along on fleet sales of the Explorer and Taurus with decades-old design and lack of revision, he's getting rid of the minivan (trunks are good for children, I suppose, and they are thinking of laying off tens of thousands to re-hire in Mexico.

      Bill is illustrating a wealth of automotive business intelligence there.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Thanks Gerry.For your link to WWW.boycottford.com .Seems Ford has plenty of resources available to undermine american family values.
      • 8 Years Ago
      New business model, how about new marketing team and new designers. How much time and money did
      Ford spend introducing the Lincoln Zepher? Then they change the name to something like MK something and those interested in the Zepher wonder what the MK something is. And the Ford 500 with a Focus looking front and Mercury "500" something. Ford needs more than a new business model it needs some car people and common sense!
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