We are all unfortunately aware of the difficulties and challenges faced by the American automobile industry. From a position of national and international leadership, our Big Three (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) of the American auto industry has lost its competitive edge to auto companies in Japan, Korea, and Germany. This did not happen overnight. Gradually our auto companies became very bureaucratic, staid in their approach to product development and quality, and these factors finally impacted their ability to compete with companies that stressed innovation, quality and service.
When the financial crisis of 2008 precipitated the recession, many American companies were looking to the U.S. Government for assistance. General Motors is now owned by the government and the American public (hopefully only on a temporary basis) and Chrysler is still struggling to survive. Ford is the exception as they did not ask for nor did they receive financial aid from the government. Some say they actually saw the trouble coming and refinanced well ahead and avoided the problems encountered by both General Motors and Chrysler.
Research the history and details that lead Ford to foresee the coming financial crisis. Analyze the management style and decisions as well as the leadership traits displayed by Ford management that allowed them to avoid the fate of General Motors and Chrysler. As you conduct your analysis, consider the following:
Look at the options available to Ford and the reasons behind the decisions they made based on the leadership guidance from management.
Analyze why they decided they did not need or did not want government assistance.
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