The Continuing Saga of Ford

By: Correy Putton

The past years have seen the Ford Motor Company face its worst time in its entire existence; ever since Henry Ford started it back in the year 1903. The decrease in the demand for SUVs and trucks the company is very well known for is one of the causes of their woes. Adding to that was the ever increasing gas prices, the legacy healthcare costs, and the faltering economy and you now have a full scale crisis in your hands.

For the first time in its long illustrious history the company has used all their assets in North America to secure a loan of $23.4 billion. This sum is expected to get the company through debts until 2009 when the company expects to harvest what they have and will be sowing. Following its loss of $7 billion in just the first 9 months of last year and an expenditure allocation of $17 billion for the next 2 years, the company surely needs that whole lot of money.

To get the company back to its glory days, the men behind the blue oval logo devised ways to increase productivity in a lesser amount of time. This is very much like what Henry Ford did back in 1913 when he perfected the assembly line technique which then had put this company on top of all other competition. Today, computer-aided designs are being employed by the company to cut not only the time needed to produce vehicles but also the costs previously incurred by using clay models and building prototypes.

To also decrease the number of changes to the car, its engine and in essence, all , the designers of the company now do a lot of research on what exactly people, customers, and the market want before starting on a car. This is a positive step forward in terms of time and cost savings. Unlike before, the company first builds a car and asks costumers how they like each part of the car, from the headlights to the tailpipe.

But the one thing they have done which may have old Henry turning in his graves is the downsizing of white collared employees. Up to 36 per cent of the company's salaried workers are now either retired prematurely or have lost jobs during the buyouts. This has been done to save the company from further expenditures.



Though the company is now facing its greatest crisis yet, Chairman Bill Ford was quoted saying "bankruptcy is not an option". And by the way things are going especially the release of two promising pickups from the company, the F-250 and the F-450, and having the Ford Fusion as the base of all future cars to be manufactured, the company is for now surely making the best out of the crisis and is on the verge of winning this epic struggle.

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