Ford Motor Company Proposal

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A proposal about the communications, finances, and advertising at Ford Motor Company.

Transcript of Ford Motor Company Proposal

  • Proposal To: Ford Motor Company

    P.O. Box 6248 Dearborn, MI 48126

    Submitted By:

    Patricia Langenau Heather Mueller plangen1@ithaca.edu hmuelle1@ithaca.edu 845.242.1921 240.506.3733

    Scott Vollmin svollmi1@ithaca.edu

    201.739.8731

    Title: Vision Consulting: A Strategic Communication Plan For Ford Motor Company

    Date Submitted: March 23, 2009

    Principle Investigators: Patricia Langenau, Heather Mueller, Scott Vollmin

    Signed:

    Principle Investigators:

    __________________________

    Patricia Langenau Director of Public Relations

    ___________________________

    Heather Mueller Financial Manager

    ___________________________

    Scott Vollmin Director of Corporate Advertising

    ___________________________

    Patricia Langenau (Student)

    Authorizing Official: _________________________ Amy Becker-George Ithaca College 376 Roy H. Park School of Communications Ithaca, NY 14950 abecker@ithaca.edu

  • Vision Consulting: Ford Motor Company 2

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Executive Summary.........................................................................1 Vision Consulting ............................................................................1 Ford Motor Companys Current Situation ...................................2 Ford Motor Companys Organizational Structure ......................6 Ford Motor Companys Identity ....................................................7 What Ford Motor Company Is Doing Correctly ..........................8 Vision Consultings Strategic Plan For Ford Motor Company...10 Vision Consulting Team ..................................................................12 Budget Description...........................................................................14 Conclusion ........................................................................................14

  • Vision Consulting: Ford Motor Company 3

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Ford Motor Company began with Henry Ford in October, 1908 with the introduction of

    the Model T (Ford Motor Company, 2009). In 1913, the famous Ford assembly line began mass

    producing the popular vehicle. The Model T is still recognized today as having a major impact

    on human history because it changed the way people viewed transportation (Ford Motor

    Company, 2009). Today, Ford is the second-largest automobile company in the world,

    representing a $164 billion multinational business empire (Ford Motor Company, 2009). Known

    primarily as an automobile manufacturer, Ford also has Ford Credit, which generates more than

    $3 billion in income, as well as owning The Hertz Corporation, the largest automobile rental

    company in the world (Ford Motor Company, 2009). The company manufactures vehicles under

    the names Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover, and Aston Martin (Ford Motor

    Company, 2009). Although a major component of American history, Ford Motor Companys

    image is experiencing a downfall. The purpose of this proposal is to explain how working

    collaboratively with Vision Consulting to successfully adopt and implement our strategic plan,

    will result in Fords image being saved and rejuvenated.

    VISION CONSULTING

    Mission:

    Vision Consulting is an independent communications consulting company that provides

    expert communications consulting services to businesses worldwide. We provide our customers

    with leading, innovative, and revolutionary solutions, strategies and guidance to enhance their

    performance in marketing and advertising. To accomplish this, we have assembled a team of

    professionals to address clients issues accurately, responsively, and comprehensively.

  • Vision Consulting: Ford Motor Company 4

    Vision:

    To become the most successful and respected communication consulting company worldwide. Values:

    Above all, we value our customers. In order to serve them effectively, we uphold to the

    following values:

    Taking responsibility for ones own work

    Using appropriate business conduct

    Treating business partners and other stakeholders with respect

    By promoting a pleasant, challenging and open environment and calling upon the capabilities,

    creativity, drive and dedication of all involved, we hope to create a rewarding and productive

    synergetic eco-system from which all stakeholders can benefit. These values guide our decisions

    as we create strategic plans to help our clients reach their goals.

    FORD MOTOR COMPANYS CURRENT SITUATION

    Our research has illustrated that members of all of Fords constituencies are currently

    unhappy with Ford. Consequently, the Ford image has suffered. Image is how a company is

    viewed by its constituencies and it can vary between each (Argenti, 2007, p. 66) . These

    constituencies include:

    Investors

    Customers

    Employees

    Communities

  • Vision Consulting: Ford Motor Company 5

    There are many causes to Fords image problem. One cause is that Americans have

    communicated that they prefer foreign cars, in particular, cars made of Asian and German auto

    makers (Amend, 2008, p. 1). As stated by journalist James Amend, Rising gasoline Prices

    [have] sparked a market shift away from trucks and SUVs, to smaller, thriftier cars and

    cross/utility vehicles (Amend, 2008, p. 1). Although Ford has tried to communicate a

    commitment to the environment, this message is not effective when twelve of its eighteen

    vehicles are either trucks or SUVs. Overall, research has found that Americans actually, want

    Detroits car companies to suffer for the mistakes they made, ( Halliday, 2009, p. 2).

    Investors are also unhappy with Ford. Shares have fallen more than fifty percent since the

    start of 2005 illustrating that investors do not have confidence in the company (Richardson,

    2006). The company has been experiencing financial losses since 1999. In 2006 the company

    was worth half of what it was in 2001: $14 billion (Kiley & Welch, 2006, p. 1). Like employees,

    investors are not impressed with Fords constant management turnaround and are frustrated with

    its monstrous debt.

    Lastly, communities and employees are frustrated with Ford. As stated by one employee

    in 2006, Were four years unto fixing it already, and it be three more years til we see daylight.

    Who ever heard of a seven-year turnaround plan? (Kiley & Welch, 2006, p. 2). Employees feel

    that Ford continuously presents plans to fix its situation but never follows through. While these

    plans are in action, and things are supposed to be getting better, employees are being laid-off. As

    stated by Kiley and Welch, What outsiders cant detect is the depth of employee despair, much

    of which stems from internal problems such as managerial churn and constant strategy changes.

    (Kiley & Welch, 2006, p. 2). Having four different heads of North American operations in four

    years is evidence of this statement (Kiley & Welch, 2006, p. 2). Not only does the cycle of

  • Vision Consulting: Ford Motor Company 6

    executives convey a message of disvalue to employees, it has also cost the company money and

    slowed its turnaround. Employees are expressing extreme distaste for the Ford working

    environment. A 20-year employee was quoted stating, I like the atmosphere here better than I

    like work these days, in reference to a hamburger restaurant where he liked to eat (Kiley &

    Welch, 2006, p. 1).

    Overall, Fords constituencies have determined a negative image for the company and it

    is imperative that the image be repaired if the company is to recover from its current situation.

    FORD MOTOR COMPANYS ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

    Ford Motor Company has a formal organizational structure that is centralized since all

    the departments are under one senior officer at headquarters (Argenti, 2007, p. 44). The

    structure of the company directs all communication to the upper management, Chairman William

    Ford and President and CEO Alan Mulally. The functions within the company are media

    relations, marketing communications, internal communications, investor relations, government

    relations and corporate social responsibility (Appendix A). Some key functions are missing from

    the structure, or have been combined with other functions. The important functions that do not

    have a department are reputation management, corporate advertising and advocacy, and crisis

    management. These functions are key to clear and organized communication and Ford should

    create new departments for the missing functions. In addition, Ford should form direct

    connections between functions to allow for better internal communication.

    Fords current structure potentially allows for direct and consistent communication, however

    this is not the case since the structure is unorganized. Employees lower down on the organization

    never speak directly with Mr. Ford or Mr. Mulally, so they feel neglected and angry. There

    should be a direct line to William Ford and Alan Mulally to allow for open communication. Ford

  • Vision Consulting: Ford Motor Company 7

    should decentralize its structure because it would assure quality, consistency, and coordination