:::renaissance chambara:::

Posts on quality, life, culture, the media, news & tech with a twist & a slice of Limey. I moved my blog to http://renaissancehambara.jp in December 2006, go there for the latest content.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

 

Big Brother for Business


The Ford Motor Company is in trouble. Ford in Europe has had issues for a long time, the last time it was cool to drive a Ford was when Bodie and Doyle were chasing bad guys in a Ford Capri on The Professionals.

The company has been consistently outclassed and outgunned by rivals.

It used to be said when my Dad was driving a Ford Anglia 105E around rural Ireland for the Irish Sugar Company, Bord na Mona and Massey Ferguson in the 1960s that the biggest benefit of buying a Ford was the amount of garages. If you ever broke down there was always somebody near by that could fix it.

However in the couple of decades since it hasn't been acceptable to repair your car as a hobby or have the sump pee oil on your drive Ford has started a long march into decline.

In Europe the company retreated from certain markets such as luxury saloons, instead purchasing brands like Land Rover, Jaguar and Volvo. It merged its commercial vehicle division with Iveco and strove to build world cars, rather than cars that people wanted to drive.

The picture in the US is more dramatic, the good ole boys no longer want Ford pick-ups and SUVs and like General Motors mistakes made years ago on workers benefits are coming home to roost.

The company is trying to pull itself out of the mire, and has a site where it is communicating what its doing to achieve this. The site continues a discussion with stakeholders. What I found most bizarre though was the voyeuristic feel that that the site had, like one of them TV shows on MTV where they try and reinvigorate the career or a faded celebrity like Taylor Dayne.

Some of the third-party content is a really good read, you can check out Ford Bold Moves here.

Kudos to Seth Stevenson at Slate.

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