Sunday, April 23, 2006

For Candice's research, hope this helps;

Today I checked my email and was surprised to see one from a college student who is working on a project involving Ford Motor Company, specifically their Brazilian operations and alternative energy projects. What really surprised me was her request for input from little old me;
my group and I are doing a project on Ford and emerging markets. Since you are an avid Ford fan, we thought to seek your expert opinion. My group and I decided to do Brazil and leverage Ford's tetra-fuel's technology, what do you think? What do you think Ford should be doing to enhance its competitiveness overseas? Your opinion is greatly appreciated.

So I sent a rambling e-mail to Candice, trying to give her some input and my opinion. Then as I rambled on incoherently, I realized most of my thoughts on the issue are available in my blog already. Not that I'm not willing to give further input, but this gave me an opportunity to collect relevant posts and put links here for Candice's easier access.

So, into the archives I went.
I've tried to link to relevant posts from the last 12 months here, in order to organize what little input I may have;

South American Enthusiast site










neil-winton-of-detroit-news-drives Ford Euro Diesel

















And now that I've linked to all of these articles, I realize that I'm nuts. Who the heck would want my opinion on Ford? But since they were nice enough to ask, here goes a short summary;

Candice, Ford was one of the first and most sucessful companies to produce a "World Car" and I'm not talking about the Escort or Fiesta, I'm talking about the Model T. What we call emerging markets today, were markets for Ford years ago. And while the history of Ford in some of these markets has been a little rocky, with being forced out of China by the communist, having the plants nationalized by the Soviets and Nazis, there has also been governmental interference in places like Brazil and Argentina. Some of the books I've mentioned since Christmas are great sources for information. Also Ford's work with Alternative Energy, especially Renewable Bio Fuels such as Ethanol go back to the earliest days of FoMoCo. Henry Ford was no genius, but he was a forward thinking man, and saw the possible use of Ethanol and Soy based Plastics to replace petrolium products.

Now I've linked above to articles discussing Brazil, Argentina, Alternative Energy Technologies from Ford and some history of the company and man.

Ford's positioned very well in overseas markets on every continent, in my humble opinion, it's only the North American continent where they need to redouble their efforts.

But I will say again, I'm just a guy, what do I know?


Joel A said...

I agree with you abot Ford and overseas. However, a lot of the NA issue revolves around the marketplace here: well-established, BIG, LOTS of competitors, customers who change their mind on a dime, HISTORY.

Hmmm. I'll have to post my views on my blog.

Big Ford Fan said...

Joel, you're right when you say that history has a big part to do with the US market. But not as much as you would think. Obviously, it's only in the last 30 years that domestics have lost major ground to imports. If you recall, Toyota came to the US market in 1957, but it wasn't until 20 years later that they were a real threat. Honda didn't really burst onto the US market until 1973 or so, same thing, they grew slowly, and now these two companies are the biggest threat to domestic manufacturers.

I look forward to checking your blog. I have to link to it here.