Ford's Drive To Be a global Car Company

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Ford's Drive To Be A Global Car Company

Since it started in 1903, the Ford Motor Company has grown to employ more than 338,000 workers and market its products in over 200 countries. Ford has more than 10,500 dealers worldwide and holds a 13% market share of the world car market. It became clear that one of the world's oldest automakers also planned to become the largest when Alex Trotman became Chairman and CEO of Ford in 1993. Trotman initiated Ford 2000, a program that consolidated the North American and European operations and created a global management team that would eliminate duplication, initiate the best practices, and use common components and designs. The results have been astounding as Ford solidified its position as the second largest automaker in the world with revenues of $128 billion.

A product of Ford 2000 was the first genuine global car, the CDW27. The car was a result of a need in Europe for a mid-sized family car. However, the market potential for such a car was only 250,000 units a year. The CDW27 was designed to sell an additional 100,000 units around the world so the cost of its development and production could be spread over more units. In Europe the car was called Mondeo, and it was called the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique in the U.S. The car cost $6 billion to develop and is being sold in 59 countries.
Ford's Web page (, connects the browser to Showroom Boulevard, a history of Ford, financial and investment services, Ford news briefs, the global home page, Electric Vehicle, and a dealer locator. The Vintage Vehicles section gives a short history of some of Ford's classic cars, including the Model T, Model A, Mustang, Thunderbird and Edsel. One of the most interesting features is a link that allows customers to fill out a questionnaire and to register as an "on-call" team member. The questionnaire contains questions related to frequency of driving, how a vehicle was acquired and a number of demographic questions. A member of the Ford World Wide Web Customer Focus Team receives information from Ford via e-mail about incentive programs and announcements of new products and services.
1. How does Ford need to do to make sure it is sensitive to changes in the cultural environment of a country?

2. Do you think Ford will be successful in its drive to be a global car company? Why or why not?

Sources:; "Ka's Costly Economy Drive," The European , November, 7, 1996, p. 34; Tony Walker, "Ford Braced to Enter Chinese Truck Market with $40 million Stake," The Financial Times , August 23, 1995, p. 15; Wade Hoyt, "Chevrolet Lumina and Ford Contour: Going Head-to-Head Against Popular Japan Sedans," Medical Economics , February 27, 1995, p. 44.

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