Ford Motor Company: Implementing the 'One Ford' Strategy

Ford Motor Company: Implementing the 'One Ford' Strategy
Case Code: BSTR423
Case Length: 18 Pages
Period: 2006-2012
Pub Date: 2013
Teaching Note: Not Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization: Ford Motor Company
Industry: Automotive
Countries: US; Global
Themes: Implementation, Restructuring, Globalization
Ford Motor Company: Implementing the 'One Ford' Strategy
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts

About the Company

Ford's origins date back to the early part of the 20th century. On June 16, 1903, Henry Ford Sr., together with 11 investors, incorporated the Ford Motor Company in Michigan. A few weeks later - in July 1903 - the first unit of the Model A, the earliest vehicle model launched by Ford, was sold to Ernst Pfennig, a Chicago dentist, for $850.3 It was the first vehicle to be mass-produced by the company. Soon after, the company received several orders for the model and within a month, cars worth $20,000 had been sold. Ford was able to mass-produce cars by employing the moving assembly line, a revolutionary innovation at the time. The new system involved workers remaining at one place and executing the same task over and over on several vehicles that passed by them.

This system boosted efficiency enormously and helped the company increase production levels even while bringing down production costs and making its vehicles more affordable. In 1922, Ford acquired the bankrupt Lincoln Motor Company for $8 million.

While the Great Depression wiped out many auto companies, Ford managed to survive even though it incurred annual losses of around $68 million in this period.5 What saved Ford was the success of the Model A, which sold around 4.5 million units between 1927 and 1931.

During the Second World War (1942-1945), the company completely shut down civilian vehicle production and devoted all its production capacity to the Allied war efforts. After the War, the company returned to manufacturing automobiles. Henry Ford II enlisted the services of outside styling consultant George Walker to come up with the '49 Ford. The car, appreciated for its sleek and modern design, was a runaway hit mainly because it could be modified to fit personal styles. This model played a vital role in moving the company along the road to post-War prosperity....

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