ANALYSIS OF A FIRM Essay

This essay has a total of 4770 words and 25 pages.

ANALYSIS OF A FIRM



INTRODUCTION

The Twentieth Century was profoundly affected by the innovations of Henry Ford. The
invention of the automobile gave opportunities to multitudes of people. These
opportunities were not just in transportation, but in occupation as well.

Today, no matter where a Ford is produced, the consumer knows that they are receiving a
high quality product. The reason for this is that the majority of Ford vehicle parts are
designed by Ford engineers, manufactured in Ford plants and assembled in Ford product
lines. When you purchase a Ford product, you are truly purchasing Ford quality.

Ford is the number two manufacturer of automobiles, second only to the General Motors
Corporation. This paper will analyze how the marketing strategies of this corporation
have propelled it to its current number two spot in its market.

There are many aspects of marketing strategies that will be discussed in this paper, such
as, product strategies, promotion strategies, pricing strategies as well as internet
marketing and other forms of product distribution. Each one of these strategies plays a
key role in the success of the number two motor company in the automotive industry.

Many people tend not to realize just how important the marketing of a new product can be.
It plays a huge role in the success or failure of the new product. For example, many
people may remember many years ago when Ford came out with a new vehicle called the Edsel.
The Edsel became known as one of Ford Motor Company's biggest flops, if not the biggest.
The Edsel "looked like some kind of giant fish sucking a lemon" (www.Gmarketing.com,
Gallagher). Although the thought of such an odd looking car does not sound appealing, it
is said that the look is not what caused its down fall. Surprising as it may sound, the
demise of this vehicle was due to poor marketing strategies.

Ford's biggest mistake in marketing the Edsel was their failure to decide on their target
market. They tried to market their product to everyone, and with such a large span of
people this was next to impossible for becoming a success.




MISSION
The mission of the Ford Motor Company is very basic. Ford sees their customers as one of
the most important things; they know customer satisfaction also plays a gigantic role in
their success. “[their] mission is to improve continually [their] products and services
to meet [their] consumer's needs, allowing [them] to prosper as a business and to provide
a reasonable return for [their] stockholders, the owners of the business. “ (Haschak 155)

Their mission shows their devotion to constantly improve and while improving, accommodate
their customer's needs. Ford's five main principals include, 1) Quality: they put the
quality of their products first and foremost. Without a quality product, people will have
no desire to waste their money or jeopardize their safety. 2) Customer Care: "If you don't
take care of the Customer, someone else will." (Unknown quote) 3) Constant Improvement: If
the Ford Motor Company allowed themselves to remain stagnant in their environment, their
competition would eventually have a huge advantage over them, because they would have
newer and better product lines to offer.

4) Employee Involvement: Ford wants each and every employee to be involved in their
company. The happier the employee, the better the worker. It is all about feeling that
they are part of the Ford Team. They also want their employees to think like consumers and
not like employees of a car company. Once they start thinking like a consumer, they can
cater more to the needs of their actual consumers because they will know what the
consumers want. 5) They consider dealers and suppliers to be their partners: without the
dealers and suppliers Ford would not be able to manufacture the things they need alone and
therefore would not be able to produce as many vehicles as there would be a demand for or
even be able to distribute them all to people.




BACKGROUND

In 1903, in a small wagon shop in Dearborn Michigan, a man by the name of Henry Ford
started what is today the Ford Motor Company. It started it in 1896 when Henry Ford built
his first car. It was only experimental at the time, but less than ten years later in 1908
he introduced a more updated version to the public. This became known as the Ford Model T.
Once people realized what a wonderful novelty this was and how it would greatly
facilitate their lives, there became a huge demand for them. In order for the company to
be able to satisfy this heavy demand, Ford introduced the world's first assembly line for
cars. It revolutionized the industry. By 1923 more than half of America's vehicles were
made by Ford.

Today, the Ford Motor Company is the number two company in its industry as well as the
number two industrial corporation in the world. When the average person thinks of the
Ford Motor Company, they think of just Ford. This thinking, however, is incorrect. Ford
is divided into four major components, automotive, Ford credit, Visteon and Hertz. Ford
also produces vehicles under the names of Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Lincoln and Mercury
and Volvo brands.


Recently, Ford profits have increased significantly,
"For the nine months ended 9/30/00, total revenues increased 9% to
127.48 billion dollars. Net income from continuing operations decreased 10% to $4.32
billion dollars. Results reflect increased vehicle sales offset by higher warranty and
costs related to the Firestone recall" (www.marketguide.com).


GRAPH MISSING
Last year's total sales went up 13%to become 163 billion dollars and profits also rose 10%
to become $7.2 billion dollars. As per as long as Ford Motor Company can remember, this is
more than any other car company ever (Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine).

Ford's main automotive competitors are General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Honda,
Nissan and Volkswagen. The following graph, taken from The Market Share Reporter, 2001
demonstrates the leaders in the automotive market.

One of the ways that Ford has established its spot as the number two company in the
automotive market is its focus on customer satisfaction. Ford Motor Company admits that
its greatest asset is the trust and confidence earned from its consumers. When people see
a Ford trademark Ford wants them to associate that with a trust mark of certitude,
quality, reliability of performance and value (www.Ford.com). Ford strives to connect
with their customers as well as reach them. They try to use relationship marketing,
because it is cheaper to keep an old customer rather than attract new ones.

William Clay Ford, Chairman of the Board for Ford Motor Company says that satisfying
customers goes beyond great products and services. People want to do business with
companies who care about them and their environment. He realizes that the best cars are
socially and environmentally responsible (www.ford.com).

Chief Executive Officer, Jacques A. Nasser states, "We will be a leader in corporate
citizenship if we are a well trusted company that people believe contributes positively to
a society and uses its resources to create a more sustainable world."

Jim Vannier, manager of Ford's advertising and marketing programs admits "if You listen to
your customer, if you provide the right product at the right time, you'll get the numbers.
(www.Ford.com)

The above quotes make it quite obvious that the top executives of the company all concur
that customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance in succeeding. If they keep the
customer happy, the customer will tell others they are satisfied, and more and more people
will be willing to consume their products.




ENVIRONMENT
COMPETETIVE ENVIRONMENT
Being that the automotive industry is so broad, Ford has many competitors. Since Ford is
ranked the number two company, its main competitor is quite obviously the number one
company, General Motors Corporation. General Motors, also and American company holds 29. 4
% of the automotive market share while following close behind them the Ford Motor
Corporation holds 25.1% (Lazich, 230). As per the graph below, Ford's five main
competitors and are listed. Of the top 5 best selling cars in 1999, Ford Taurus appears as
number three and Ford Escort appears as number five. The automotive industry has fierce
rivalry among its competitors. In the past year the following mergers have occurred,
Daimler Benz acquired Chrysler and Ford bought Volvo. Ford bought Volvo in order to be
able to properly compete with General Motors, this way Ford is not allowing General Motors
to become too much larger than they are. If General Motors develops a new feature or
automobile, Ford must be right behind them with their most innovative invention, and vice
versa. .


GOVERNMENT REGULATION

A car, if not properly assembled, maintained, and operated can become a deadly weapon. The
United States government regulates many aspects of the automotive industry. Among these
regulations are seatbelts, airbags and shatter proof windshields. The government has also
made inspection and maintenance programs more expanded, in order to include more areas and
allow for more stringent tests.

In 1990 the government amended the Clean Air Act. The main focus of the act was to cut
down on all the urban smog, carbon monoxide and particulate emissions from Diesel engines
and to help decrease acid rain and toxins that motor vehicles contribute to.

The amended act demands that polluted cities must sell improved gasoline that helps to
reduce ozone forming Hydrocarbons and Carbon Monoxide (www.epa.gov).

Once inside an automobile, the operator of the vehicle is responsible for obeying many
regulations as well. It has become extremely important, for instance, to wear your seat
belt. Primary enforcement seat belt laws allow police to stop and ticket a driver for not
wearing a seat belt, just like any other routine traffic violation. Seventeen states and
the District of Columbia have enacted these laws. The remaining 32 states have secondary
laws that allow law enforcement to ticket a driver for not belting up only after the
person has been stopped, or ticketed, for another violation, and one state does not have
any seat belt law.

Obviously, safety belt laws work, and the public overwhelmingly supports them. Three out
of four Americans support safety belt laws, according to a recent public opinion survey.
Stronger safety belt and child passenger safety laws, and stepped up enforcement of those
laws, are the most effective steps we can take to save lives.


ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT
Ford's economic environment is doing quite well. As shown in previous graphs Ford has
25.1% of the market share ( Detriot News, 9A). This is quite impressive considering that
the number one automotive company, General Motors, also an American company has 29.4%.
This means that the top two companies hold more than 50% of the market share. This is
quite extra ordinary. The Total market value of the Ford Motor Company is approximately
$56 Billion dollars and their profits are well over $7 billion. In 1999 Ford sales raised
up to $163 billion dollars. This was a thirteen- percent increase from the previous year.


SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT
Ford Motor Company sponsors many programs to better the community and their safety. For
example in the Detroit area Ford organized a weekend clinic in which the automotive safety
office educated fifty-five people and their children on proper use and installation of
child safety seats. They demonstrated this in the consumer's actual vehicles.
(www.Ford.com)

Ford also is committed to environmental cleanliness. They sponsor programs to educate our
children on environmental cleanliness and responsibility. They also sponsor company wide
recycling, cleaner operating vehicles, recyclable components, cleaner manufacturing, and
employee involvement in environmental activities (www.Ford.Com). Ford does not do these
thing because they have to, they do it because "it is the right thing to do"
(www.Ford.com).

The Ford Motor Company not only is socially active, but culturally as well. Ford provides
financial support at many historically black colleges such as the Tuskegee University in
Alabama, this is where the famous black inventor George Washington Carver performed many
of his experiments (Black Enterprise).

Ford Motor Company, as of 1999 has 23.2 percent of its employees as minorities. This is up
1% from 1998 (Black Enterprise). "Diversity makes the business world go round……and no one
knows this better than the Ford Motor Company" (Black Enterprise).



NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
The Ford Motor Company values heir Product Analysts. "[Their analysts
Develop product cycle plans that help forecasters determine [their] approach to different
markets" (www.Ford.com). The people who start the product cycle are called the Research,
Design Packaging and Financial Analysts. The researchers find out what types of things
that Consumers would like their vehicles to be equipped with. The Design Packagers are the
people who decide the most appealing way to package the final product. The financial
analysts put the numbers together to figure out exactly how much money all of the above
will cost. Next, designers and engineers along with testers actually create the vehicles.
They create vehicles according to the specifications of the Research, Design Packaging and
Financial Analysts. This way they are producing what the market wants. The Research and
Advanced Technology Teams then decide which technologies should be used in the new
products.

Ford is constantly trying to improve their product development and expand their
innovations. Currently, Ford is working on a new line of intelligent vehicles. These
vehicles will enable the driver, through voice activation, to connect to the internet. The
voice activation will also be implemented into the navigation system, heating and
air-conditioning, cell phones, audio systems, and other electronic things inside the
automobile. Ford is adapting to each change in order to be able to bring their customers
the most innovative and convenient products possible. As soon as new technology becomes
available, Ford Motor Company is among the first few to try to implement it into their
vehicles.



PRODUCT POSITIONING

Ford Motor Company has different types of cars, which are each targeted towards many
different markets of people. As the company learned the hard way with the Edsel, the
importance of a target market is extremely high. "Loss of a targeted marketing focus
usually means a loss in sales" (Gallagher).

Ford has a different car targeted towards different age groups, personalities, genders and
economic standing and more. The Ford Mustang, for example, is targeted mainly at the
middle aged. This is exhibited by its slogan of "it is what it was and more" This implies
that the targeted consumer would be old enough to remember what the mustang was when it
first came out in the 1960's. Another example is Ford Trucks. Their slogan is “built Ford
Tough” The toughness implies a target towards rugged men. Because of the fact that the
word “tough” is used, it seems that it would be very unlikely that the Ford Motor Company
would be using that to attract women. When the word “tough” is thought of, women are
generally not the first thing that comes to mind.

The third and final example is the Ford Taurus. Its slogan is “Ford makes it smart to buy
American.” The target market for a Ford Taurus is a family. The Taurus station wagon for
instance is a great family car with tons of room, yet it handles like a sports car. (Taub,
234)

The above three examples are only a small sampling of what Ford offers. Ford Motor
Continues for 13 more pages >>




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