Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Way backward....

Through Ford's well-received (by Wall Street) "Way Forward Plan," CEO Bill Ford has received praise and accolades, such as the most recent Automotive Industry Executive of the Year Award.

Funny, I think if my performance at my job resulted in: massive $$$ losses, reduced market share, a sinking stock price, and layoffs of close to 50% of the company's assembly workforce (in a 5-year span no less), I think I'd get fired.

Edmunds.com is reporting that among the losers in Ford's way forward is the entire staff in anyway related to the SVT division. That means: marketing people, PR people, and the engineers. Somehow this is supposed to help Ford make more money. This is on top of their decision to axe the very awesome Ford GT car.

If you don't know what the SVT division is, they're a group working in Ford, who modify existing Ford cars. These cars are then sold at select SVT dealers throughout the country. They've created vehicles such as the F-150 Lightning and the SVT Cobra. Until recently, the word was SVT was safe from the price cutting measures. That's changed now, and the division's last vehicle is going to be the SVT Shelby Cobra.

If Ford wants a "way forward," I've got some ideas for them. First off, FIRE BILL FORD. He hasn't made a whole lot in the way of good decisions, and while I understand it's nice to have a CEO with the same name as the company, that doesn't make the company or the CEO any better. The main reason Ford won the CEO award was merely because he made "tough decisions" in deciding to axe so many Ford workers. If he hadn't made so many poor decisions before that, he wouldn't have had the "tough decision" to make! Of course, there wasn't a lot of competition for the award either.

Want more? I've got more!

How about Ford STOP MAKING STUPID, UGLY CARS. Escape hybrid? Why not a Contour Hybrid? That makes more sense, and would probably be better received. Fairlane? Galaxy? S-Max?! I can't believe people would buy these things. Or how about making better cars? Everyone remembers the panic from Ford/Firestone's problems from a few years ago. Consumer Reports new Top 2006 picks are all Japanese. While that shouldn't surprise anyone (does anyone really think that the domestic automakers make good cars anymore?), it should be a motivator for companies like Ford; companies that want to regain market share and try to get themselves away from bankruptcy protection (you can only cut so many workers and outsource so much production).

The upcoming SVT Shelby Cobra (I've seen it called Shelby Cobra and Shelby GT500) was a car that was getting a lot of positive press and a lot of people were genuinely interested in. A car that costs under $40k, that has got 475 hp; who wouldn't want to buy that?! Why not continue to make cars like that? That doesn't make sense to me.

That's Ford's way forward?

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