#Business Strategy of Ford Motors
Ford is among the leading automobile brands of the world. It has achieved consistent profitable growth based on smart leadership and management. Ford now aims to become the world’s most trusted mobility company. The brand has acquired some major strengths, like strong brand image and higher consumer trust. Ford is planning for a smarter future and this will require consistent focus on operational efficiency. The vehicle industry is facing unique challenges and apart from increased prices of raw materials or currency fluctuations, regulatory environment is also causing persistent trouble. The entire industry is going through a period of transition that will require most brands to focus upon making changes to business and operations strategy. Autonomous driving and electrical vehicles are now a leading focus of vehicle giants. Ford is the second largest brand of automobiles in US. However, the level of legal scrutiny has grown and it is posing somewhat tough challenges before vehicle businesses. Ford is planning to invest more in electrical vehicles and advancing its technological capabilities.
# What does the future of mobility look like?
The automobile industry is undergoing a transition and fast approaching a future ruled by technology. Autonomous driving is engaging the imagination of vehicle makers and all brands are in a race to be the earliest entrants. Apart from it, ride sharing and electric vehicles are also growing more important for automakers. The future of the vehicle industry is far from pollution and fuel consumption. Safety is another major concern where the focus of the vehicle industry will remain in the coming years. Overall, the era of smarter mobility is approaching. Technology will play a central role in making cars smarter. AI and Machine learning will have a major role in making cars safer and delivering a more personalised driving experience. Big Data and AI will further shape the driving experience by providing automatic notifications regarding vehicle maintenance. Another important area is IoT. Vehicle makers are also working to make these cars more connected. However, this does not mean the future will be without challenges. Regulatory challenges as well as cost management issues apart from competition will be important challenges facing the vehicle brands.
#What are the main focus areas at Ford Motors?
In the words of William Clifford Jr, Ford’s mission is to become the world’s most trusted mobility company. Two of the most important focus areas for Ford are autonomous driving and electrical vehicles. However, its focus will not be just on technology but also on making people’s lives safer and richer. Mobility has a major impact on people’s lives and Ford’s focus will be on enriching people’s lives. It plans to start the production of autonomous vehicles for commercial use by 2021. To optimise the customer experience these vehicles offer, Ford is working with Lyft, Domino’s Pizza and Postmates. Ford is also working on providing a range of mobility options including micro-transit systems and traffic management software to help ease congestion in cities and provide access to mobility for more people. More emphasis will remain on production of electrified vehicles. The brand has several critical strengths to leverage including its major technological capabilities.
#How does Ford Motors plan to achieve its objectives?
Ford is aggressive about its future. It is reducing costs aggressively and reallocating capital to the products and markets with the highest potential for growth. The brand is working on improving its operational efficiency. To be a leader in the production of electric vehicles, it has taken some special steps. For the design and development of battery electrical vehicles, Ford created a special team called Team Edison. This team brings together technology, product development and advanced manufacturing capabilities. Its focus is to create leading edge electric vehicles for customers. The brand has entered into a joint venture with Jotye, which is a pioneer in the Chinese all electrical vehicle segment. Ford plans to develop and manufacture all-electric vehicles as well as create a new sales and service network through this joint venture. By 2022, Ford aims to expand its fleet of electric vehicles to 40 of which 16 would be all electric vehicles. It also plans to have invested $11 Billion into its electrified vehicles project by then. The role of environmental factors has grown highly important. It is why Ford’s focus will remain on reducing its impact on the environment. The role of suppliers in the making of its future is also important and aligning the supply chain network with its objectives is equally important. Ford is working to better train its suppliers to fulfil its CSR and environmental objectives. It has started a special partnership program related to environmental responsibility for suppliers and included more than 40 suppliers from over 40 countries in it by now.
#What are the most critical strengths Ford Motors has?
The central strength of Ford Motors is its brand image. It has been able to build high level trust over years. Apart from being known as an innovative brand, it is one that consumers trust. However, technological capabilities including IT and strong manufacturing capabilities are also some critical strengths that have helped it ride waves of change. Ford has retained strong focus on technological innovation because without that it cannot enter next era of mobility. Technology has proved itself most critical to being competitive in this era. Human resources is another major strength of the vehicle brand that it can leverage for faster and more consistent growth. The focus of Ford has remained on equipping its employees with best in class learning. Its financial performance has also remained consistent over previous eight years. Strong finances allow it extra leverage in terms of innovation and investment into new areas of technology. The brand enjoys strong popularity and customer loyalty in several markets including US where it is a leading brand. According to Stats published by Statista, it is the highest selling brand in US followed by Toyota and Chevrolet. So, Ford has some critical strengths that will help it follow its growth plan in the recent future.
#How is Ford aligning its ‘people’ strategy with business strategy?
Jim Hackett is said to be a wonderful leader who has an eye for both great technology and great people. He takes a human centred leadership approach to unlock the potential of Ford’s human resources. The role of skilled professionals in the vehicle industry is growing more central then ever to business. Jim Hackett’s vision of turning Ford into the mobility leader of the century requires a lot of support form the employees. It is why his focus is on training employees to acquire advanced skills. The technological landscape in the vehicle industry is changing fast and employees need to be readied for the future through advanced training programs. Ford has created a culture of learning and cooperation that provide opportunities of career growth and learning new skills.
Ford is readying itself for a future that will be highly connected. It is also trying to grow into an environmentally responsible brand. Demand in the vehicle industry has shifted towards SUVs, hybrids and fully electrical vehicles. Ford’s objective is to grow the level of trust between it and its consumers. To achieve the objectives it has set for itself, it is focusing on operational efficiency and edge in HR. Apart from that supply chain management is also a critical part of its business strategy. To achieve higher operational efficiency the brand will need to form string partnership with its suppliers. They will continue to play a critical role as a central pillar in the overall scenario.