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Why Ford and GM are Going Bankrupt

GM and Ford Bankrupt

Sure there’s the obvious issues like the fact that they have to spend more per car made. Sure there’s the issues with the unions and high salaries. Sure there’s the issues with the lower quality of their cars. Sure there’s the mismanagement issues. Sure there’s the issue that they’re focusing on government bailouts rather than solving their business issues. There’s a lot wrong, no doubt about it. But I believe it’s even more fundamental than that.

Let me ask you a few questions:

  • What’s the family sedan from Honda?
  • What’s the family sedan for Toyota?
  • What’s the family sedan for Ford?
  • What’s the family sedan for GM?

I bet you were immediately able to answer the first two questions (Honda Accord and Toyota Camry). I’ll also wager that you weren’t really able to answer the last two. What is the family sedan for Ford and GM? Why is that such a hard question to answer when that’s the most common car people buy?

It’s because they have no focus. They’re all over the place.  To succeed you need to be about something, something that people can care about and follow your lead. It doesn’t matter how good your idea is or how good your execution is, without a goal and focus it’s all for nothing. So let’s hope they can figure it out before it’s too late.

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  •     Jon
    · September 24th, 2009  · 9:10 am  · Permalink

    Spot on! Every month, I feel focus is more and more important for business success.

    – Jon

  •     Xilu
    · September 26th, 2009  · 8:11 am  · Permalink

    You have a very good point. I guess GM lost their focus as it grows bigger. What’s your thought about Nortel?

    As individual, we all need to focus on something, and try not to be carried away.

  •     Nerd
    · September 26th, 2009  · 1:09 pm  · Permalink

    How can you say Ford does not have focus. Have you not heard of the Ford Focus?
    – Pun intended

    Kidding aside, I think Ford is doing a lot better at re-focusing compare to her American peers, GM and Chrysler. They are down to 4 brands now (I think), Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volve.

    Personally, I can see them getting rid of the Mercury brand as well, as I fail to see what it really represent. At least, i see Ford representing the every day car brand and trucks; Lincoln, the luxury brand and Volve has a special branding around safety.

  •     Nerd
    · September 26th, 2009  · 1:11 pm  · Permalink

    To answer your question of Ford’s family sedan, it is the Taurus. Use to be a butt ugly car, but the recent 2010 face-left is refreshing.

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