Ford Motor Company

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It was once said, "Those who do not study the past are deemed to repeat it." On the brink of the new 21st century it is important for us at the Ford Motor Company to take a look at our past to see what has worked and what has not in order to set the standards for the automotive industry. It is also imperative to take a close look at what our competitors have done because we can also learn from their mistakes as well as improve on some of their ideas that have worked for them. It is important to realize that the world is ever changing and therefore what people want, and the market for automobiles is changing as well. Therefore we must first take a look into our competitors, and our pasts before we can then begin to look toward the future of the Ford Motor Company in the 21st century. It was a little over one hundred year ago that Henry Ford first came up with his dream to create an automobile that would change the world. Although it was Henry's dreams and drive for success that lead him to his achievements it was not without the three giants-steel, oil, and transportation, that were the building blocks for the Ford Motor Company. From the beginning he knew that in order to sell his product and make his company a success he would have to be able to appeal to the masses. At this time Ford was not the only man to be in the small but growing automobile industry. There were others such as David Buick, Ransom Olds, and Billy Durant, who were also trying their luck in this new market. At this time owning an automobile was almost impossible unless one was quite wealthy. Although Buick, Olds, and Durant were all producing autos they were all having trouble selling their products because their production costs were too high. These costs were reflected onto their selling price, which was very hard to afford for most of the working class. This is what caused their financial troubles and helped Ford move into the market. He understood that in order to make his company a success he would have to make his automobile one that could be afforded by the masses. While the other producers of autos were more concerned with who had the bigger, better, and faster car, Ford had a different focus. His philosophy was: "I will build a motor car for the great multitude…it will be so low in price that no man…will be unable to own one." It was for the next five years, a young Henry Ford directed an all-out development and production program that shifted in 1905 from the rented quarter on Mack Ave. in Detroit to a much larger building. During the next 15 months a total of 1,700 of Ford's Model A's came rolling out of the old wagon factory on the corner of Piquette and Beaubien streets. It was not unclear that the Model A was not the car that was going to get his company rolling. So being the intelligent man that he was he knew that a better-designed auto would sell. He and his engineers then proceeded to go through 19 more letters of the alphabet until finally reaching his gold mine. It was a simple design, rugged and practical and could be purchased in any color as long as it was black. It was the completion of the Model T that would be the defining moment in the automobile industry. It was produced at very low costs and could therefore be sold at a low price of $260.00 ($400.00 with all the extras) which could be afforded by the general population. It was then that Henry Ford learned possibly the two most important lessons of success in the automobile industry: 1) Make your product available to the largest market possible, otherwise you are losing potential customers, 2) Realize that as times change so will the demands of your market, and in order to succeed you must not be afraid to change, and if something is not working try something else. When trying to look into the past to see what moves were beneficial and which ones were not, we should look at several main areas of the company: design, marketing, production/management, and...
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