Blog: Dave LeggettHappy Birthday Ford

Dave Leggett | 16 June 2003

We've been hearing all about Ford's centenary celebration for some time it seems, but today's the actual 100 year anniversary of Ford's incorporation. Henry Ford and 11 investors signed the articles of incorporation to establish the Ford Motor Company on 16 June, 1903. If they could see the company now, there's no doubt that they would be favourably impressed.

Contemporary Ford watchers and analysts seem less so right now. I've read a few downbeat articles over the past few weeks but it all seems to boil down to this: the need to make good cars and trucks with the right facilities. Ford has been off the pace lately. On the first point, the F-150 had better be very good and win over the sceptics. Ford will be under a lot of pressure in the US market and quality worries need to be seen to have been addressed. On the second, Ford in Europe has shown how to raise capacity utilisation by creating truly flexible plants that can interchange on product according to market demand and model cycles. Can Ford do something like that in North America and really cut capacity? Despite its intention to close plants, will the UAW let it? That capacity issue in North America will be hurting the bottom line.


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