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Updated September 8, 2010

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"Any color you want, so long as it is black." Henry Ford knew how to build cars and make money.
But Ford Jr seems to have lost the Way Forward. Credit the man for doing a fantastic job of keeping the company together, and for making some Bold Moves by stepping aside for a more experienced crisis management person, Alan Mulally, to lead the troops on to victory.
Ford Has a Better Idea! Or at least it did, not too long ago. Quality Is Job One! is another benchmark that seems to have slipped away. Maybe there are just to many slogans and not enough results. I can fix that!

has an image problem. Lee Iaccoca once said "in the auto business you have got lead, follow, or get out of the way". Well, Ford has lost its leadership role, but it certainly doesn't have to get out of the way, quite yet anyway. That means its must learn to follow the leader (ie. Toyota), and emulate their successes while improving its own prospects.

1. Focusing on the basics is what made Ford great. Therefore dumping excess baggage like Aston Martin makes sense if Ford proposes to get quickly back to profitability. Hang onto Mazda though; the Japanese penetration and development expertise is worth its weight in gold. Replace Lincoln-Mercury, however, with Jaguar/Land Rover. Sell 49% of Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo; but retain controlling interest in the companies.

1. Reduce the number of dealerships in America into a SINGLE network of 3000 outlets rather than the current 4300. That works out to one dealership for every region of 100,000 citizens.

This much simplified manufacturing and distribution system would not only save billions for Ford, but bring in much needed new revenue for future product development. Ford would benefit greatly from a more lean and mean upscale public image. Plus if Ford would only adopt world class styling from Europe and Australia, then you might see better results in America.

1. Ford can manage its resources much more efficiently with just 8 assembly plants in America. If each plant produced 300,000-360,000 units per year that would equate to about 3 million units annually, or enough to supply 3000 dealers with 1000 units each year.

  • Ford Fiesta
  • Ford Focus
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Ford Fusion
  • Ford Taurus
  • Ford Mustang
  • Ford Escape
  • Ford Explorer
  • Ford Expedition
  • Ford Ranger
  • Ford Transit Connect
  • Ford F150
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