Ford Must Innovate Before It's Too Late

OpEd by Bloomberg columnist Doron Levin argues that some American consumers have defected for good and now drive Hondas, Toyotas and other non-Detroit vehicles.

Published: 22-Jan-2006

Jan. 18  -- Ford Motor Co. is discovering just how far it has fallen from the pinnacle of automaking and the self-reliance and inventiveness that once made it great.

We know this because Ford executives otherwise wouldn't be talking so urgently, suddenly or in such patriotic terms about the need to "innovate."

Promising that "innovation is the compass by which Ford will set its future direction," Bill Ford Jr., chief executive officer, has been rallying employees to get behind new products and find ways to do things better or -- a bit darkly -- go elsewhere. The message appears in company speeches and as part of a $90 million advertising campaign.


Third quarter losses and fierce competition for American car and truck buyers, prompted the automaker to launch a corporate-wide campaign last month to reposition Ford Motor as a leader in innovation and cutting-edge energy policies.

While Ford is having trouble getting hybrids to American buyers, in the UK, Ford cars average 20-40 mpg more than their US counterparts.

Ford's next hybrid will be the Fusion slated to be introduced in 2008, along with the Mercury Milan Hybrid.


blog comments powered by Disqus