Ford Motor Company is a well-known multinational corporation. However, with billions of income, this company still faces a number of challenges in the highly competitive environment. With regard to cultural and economic peculiarities as well as other factors, one can see that the barriers to increased revenues are different for various countries. Although Ford Motors is quite successful, it has lost its position in the list of the greatest world automakers, having sunk to fourth place in 2011 (Coutler, 2012). Therefore, the analysis of the evidence shows that the strategies of Ford Motors, such as One Ford, environment-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness, still need to be regionally adapted to become more successful in European and Asian markets.
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The global car industry is characterized by a challenging and fierce environment for all companies and even for their leaders. Once the largest car seller in the world, Ford gradually loses its positions on the auto market. The changing preferences of customers, technological innovations, declining demand for cars, manufacturing overcapacity, and many other trends influence the competition in this industry (Coutler, 2012). As a result, more aggressive competitors, such ase Toyota, General Motors, and Volkswagen, occupy leading positions in the global auto industry nowadays. Thus, competition, natural disasters, and other forces force a great number of transitions and changes for automakers, making some of them lose their positions and others – unite. Nowadays, Japanse automakers, specifically Toyota, struggle to keep their leading position in the industry (Coutler, 2012). A flexible manufacturing system with the possibility to built multiple models on the same line, labor cost, and efficiency are the major competitive advantages of Toyota and the example for other companies that struggle to improve their effectiveness.
Considering the paculiarities of global and domestic markets, Ford should adopt these strategies regionally. In order to achieve competitiveness and profitability, the company’s CEO Allan Mulally put significant efforts to transform the company from the separation of operations for different markets. In 2006, the Way Forward plan was implemented to make the best use of resources and increase profitability. One team, one plan, and one goal are the basic features of Ford’s domestic strategies (Coutler, 2008). At the same time, the company’s global strategy is marked by progressive thinking. Ford integrates suppliers and distributors. Overall, the company tends to achieve the standardization of all processes and services. Such purpose was associated with Ford’s decision to sell Volvo, Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Land Rover (Reed & Leahy, 2008). The fact that these brands did not fit into Ford’s standardization of processes was one of the important causes that had led to such a decision. However, the company still supports the brands by supplying some parts for them. Finally, such standardizations still need to consider the necessity of regional adaptation to the economic conditions and preferences of customers. Therefore, the company’s strategy switched to a more attentive analysis of regional market peculiarities.
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Ford Company focuses on the production of high-quality, safe, fuel-efficient, and properly designed cars, emphasizing the crucial role of employees in their manufacturing. The company aims to provide more features for lower cost (Coutler, 2012). With such an aim, Ford has initiated the Six Sigma concept as its consumer-driven methodology with the goal to improve the quality of its products. Such new technology as touchscreen control system as well as focus on redesign and safety ratings are important considerations for the company. The company’s cost structure competes with those that are viewed to be the best in the world. One of the crucial characteristics of Ford’s manufacturing processes is that the company is consumer-driven and it aims to ‘right-size’ its capacity instead of filling the plant (Coutler, 2012). Ford emphasizes that skilled and motivated people ensure its today and future success (Yang, 2014). Therefore, the development of a diverse and effectively motivated team, a safe respectful environment, and mutually beneficial hourly rates are the essential components of Ford’s strategy. In addition to the above-mentioned issues, organizational structure and the direct reporting to CEO regarding the most concerning issues contribute to the improvement of processes in the company. Its marketing strategies are under control of such experienced professionals as James Farley and Helena Ford who have developed the One Ford strategy, the Ford Challenge advertising company, and the Focus campaign tha thas democratized technologies (Coutler, 2012). With the changes in all spheres, the company’s corporate culture also had to undergo some changes. In particular, regular meetings flow and update of information, the value of human resources, and being environment-friendly were the main points in the company’s changed corporate culture.
While its current strategies of Ford are effective, the company still needs to increase its presence on the global automobile market. In order to do so, following the customer-oriented approach is important. The company should continue to consider regional trends and customers’ demand. At the same time, offering environment-friendly solutions for lower prices is encouraged. Finally, the possibility of agreements with big logistics companies can be analyzed. Another opportunity for Ford to increase its presence on the market is to offer test drives or rentals from its salons. In such a way, more customers will be attracted.
Overall, one can see that Ford’s plan and strategies are successful, but they are not effective enough to make the company a global leader. Therefore, the company’s management should analyze the possibilities that will allow not to lose existing achievements and optimize all processes even more. One Ford, environment-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness are major benefits that can help the company by global expansion.