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Abstract

Henry Ford, with ''low pricing'' as the key marketing strategy ruled the automobile industry for about two decades in the early 20th century. Ford Motors, which enjoyed a huge 50% US market share during the mid-1920s lost to Sloanism and never regained the status it enjoyed. With Sloanism outsmarting Fordism, marketing strategies shifted to offering differentiated products with style, speed and ''muscle'' vehicles. For most of the 20th century, mass marketers enjoyed a huge market share in the US, as the automobile industry was consolidated into the ''Big Three''. During the second half of the 20th century, Ford along with GM and Chrysler suffered quality, reliability and safety problems, which led to the loss of consumer faith in the US auto brands. This opportunity was rightly utilised by foreign automakers, in particular the Japanese, with their quality and fuel-efficient automobiles. With gasoline prices soaring high, consumers preferred buying smaller and fuel-efficient vehicles in the 21st century, in which the Japanese mastered in manufacturing. Ford, with a 105-year automobile history, witnessed historic bumps in market share and struggled to improve sales and brand perception with innovative marketing strategies. Unable to convert all mass-production units into compact-car manufacturing units, Ford intends to promote ''Americanness'' of the US brands (Flex SUV) with new marketing strategies. Can marketing alone create a market for automobiles? This case can be used to: (1) analyse and debate on the role of marketing in Ford (1920-1980); (2) analyse the organisational alignment in the light of impending changes; (3) debate on the new marketing initiatives of Ford; and (4) understand how the vision of top managers get obscured in identifying the core business activities of companies over a period of time.
Location:
Other setting(s):
2009

About

Abstract

Henry Ford, with ''low pricing'' as the key marketing strategy ruled the automobile industry for about two decades in the early 20th century. Ford Motors, which enjoyed a huge 50% US market share during the mid-1920s lost to Sloanism and never regained the status it enjoyed. With Sloanism outsmarting Fordism, marketing strategies shifted to offering differentiated products with style, speed and ''muscle'' vehicles. For most of the 20th century, mass marketers enjoyed a huge market share in the US, as the automobile industry was consolidated into the ''Big Three''. During the second half of the 20th century, Ford along with GM and Chrysler suffered quality, reliability and safety problems, which led to the loss of consumer faith in the US auto brands. This opportunity was rightly utilised by foreign automakers, in particular the Japanese, with their quality and fuel-efficient automobiles. With gasoline prices soaring high, consumers preferred buying smaller and fuel-efficient vehicles in the 21st century, in which the Japanese mastered in manufacturing. Ford, with a 105-year automobile history, witnessed historic bumps in market share and struggled to improve sales and brand perception with innovative marketing strategies. Unable to convert all mass-production units into compact-car manufacturing units, Ford intends to promote ''Americanness'' of the US brands (Flex SUV) with new marketing strategies. Can marketing alone create a market for automobiles? This case can be used to: (1) analyse and debate on the role of marketing in Ford (1920-1980); (2) analyse the organisational alignment in the light of impending changes; (3) debate on the new marketing initiatives of Ford; and (4) understand how the vision of top managers get obscured in identifying the core business activities of companies over a period of time.

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Location:
Other setting(s):
2009

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