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Published by:
IBS Center for Management Research (2019)
16 pages
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This case looks at some key challenges before James P. Hackett (Hackett), CEO of one of the largest automakers in the world, Ford Motor Company (Ford), as he tries to re-establish the auto maker as a market leader, compete with disruptive market changes, and make it more profitable. Hackett along with some senior executives came up with a new strategy for Ford called 'Designing Smart Vehicles in a Smart World' to narrow down the challenges and make the automaker more competitive. As part of the new strategy, Hackett streamlined production, cut costs, shifted the product portfolio from passenger cars to SUVs, invested in Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), and planned to launch more pure electric vehicles (EVs). However, Hackett still had several challenges to overcome before he could transform Ford into a successful mobility company. One of the biggest challenges was transforming Ford from a traditional auto manufacturer to a mobility services provider without destroying the core business in the process. Other challenges included slowing new-car demand, an older product line, growing competition, its collapsing business in China, falling shares, and slimmer margins. As Hackett is preparing Ford to wage an all-out battle against high-tech, innovative disruption, analysts wondered: Could Hackett keep the iconic carmaker relevant in a fast changing automotive landscape? Could Ford be successful in its fight against high-tech, innovative disruption in the auto industry? What could the company do to maintain its short-term profitability while investing in future EVs and self-driving cars?

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for postgraduate courses.


Disruptive innovation; Competition; 'Smart vehicles in a smart world'; Disruptive technology; Automotive disruption; Global automobile industry


The events covered by this item took place in 2014-2018.

Geographical setting

United States

Featured company

Company name:
Ford Motor
Public company

Featured protagonist

  • James P Hackett (male), CEO of Ford Motor Company

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