Friday, July 14, 2006 on why Ford needs a global partner..

Doron Levin of says Ford needs a global partner as much or more than GM. He's also taking a couple of blows at the Ford family and Bill Ford Jr for their control of the company and their B class stock. Now I'm sure Mr Levin is a smart guy, but I think he's dead wrong and not well informed. For one he mentions the "Whiz Kids" hired by Henry Ford II, but insinuates that it was during the 70-80's, when they were hired after WWII and most of them had departed long before Henry II's departing FoMoCo.
He makes it seem as if Bill Ford jr rested control from compitent management and ran the company into the ground. But that's not exactly true is it. He reluctantly took over at Ford Headquarters after another famous figure took FoMoCo to the brink. Most of Bill Ford Jr's problems were the legacy of...
Jacques Nasser, milionaire playboy and entreprenuer, well at leat in his own mind. It was Nasser that took FoMoCo cash reserves and bought luxury brands such as Jaguar and Aston Martin, more out of ego than good business practice. It was Nasser's dreams of diversification and forays into Internet companies that cost Ford much of those investment dollars. Maybe Mr Levin should crack a book?
And as I posted on the other day, Ford could be just two or three sucessful model launches from recovery. And with their substantial lead over DCX and GM in Hybrid/Alternative Fuel Technologies, they're in a better position if legislation and trends force the industry toward greener vehicles. No turn around is quick unfortunately, and if all you're concerned about is stock price and dividends you may be short sighted.
Ford has the ability to design and build great vehicles, such as have been introduced in Europe. But American consumers have been resistant to some of these designs. Enthusiasts see the European mini vans and it appeals to them, but the average consumer still has the bad taste of past failures.
Maybe now with the higher cost of fuel we may see some of Ford's European influence, in new smaller models like the Fiesta.
Ford has some great new ideas and some of them will take time to come down the pipeline, maybe Mr Levin needs to look beyond the recent headlines and the latest stock prices to see this.

What do you think? Can Ford turn it around? What overseas models or concepts do you think could provide FoMoCo the boost in sales it needs? New today that Ford is going to extend warranties on new models is a promissing sign to me, that Ford can and will make some Bold Moves, but more are needed.


Anonymous said...

never underestimate the power and resilience of a family owned company.

all ford has to do is turn ONE division around, and i think they have the moxie, as well as the program, to do EXACTLY that.

remember they are profitable EVERYWHERE ELSE, so its only a matter of time.

Jenny McLane said...

I'd like to see the Reflex Concept go into production. Now that would be truly bold.