Opinion: Top 5 Things Ford Has Going For It

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you already know that The Blue Oval is kicking ass and taking names: not only is the automaker on a steady track to a very healthy balance sheet, but it’s also making the best cars, trucks, and technology on the market. To accomplish these two feats, Ford needed to do earnest work and craft a significant turnaround strategy. Here are the top five things contributing to The Blue Oval’s newfound revival:

1. Global product portfolio

With the exception of Lincoln and full-sized trucks and SUVs, Ford has made it a point to globalize its lineup. Whereas the company’s various regional teams developed models for sale around the world independently of one another, Alan Mulally’s One Ford plan consolidated design, engineering, development, and research, resulting in better cars that are brought to market faster and more efficiently. Our question: why the heck is Lincoln not global?

2. Rapid pace of innovation

When one thinks of today’s latest automotive technology, Ford is most likely top of mind. From infotainment to power and from convenience to efficiency, The Blue Oval is no longer just a mass-market manufacturer. Instead, Ford is a technology company that’s responsible for a significant amount of research, development, and innovation not just for cars, but for technology as a whole. And the fact that the technology can be applied pretty much across Ford’s entire global lineup (see Global production portfolio above), helps just as much.

3. Unique design language

From Fiesta and Focus to Fusion and Taurus, Ford designers have been hitting it out of the park. The design is youthful yet not overly aggressive, stunning yet convenient, and head-turning yet tasteful. And let’s not forget the fact that the F-Series Super Duty looks like a big, bold sculpture that will take the lesser trucks’ lunch from them.

4. Strong social media presence

We don’t need to toot the social media horn, as it speaks for itself… but Ford has been doing great things in communicating to the masses via new avenues and technology. From Facebook and Twitter to mobile applications (such as that to launch the new Fusion), The Blue Oval is crushing it in social. End of story.

5. No bailout

Politics aside, there are those who want to buy American but won’t purchase a GM or Chrysler product entirely due to certain ideologies. Who’s the beneficiary? Why, The Blue Oval — of course. And if you’re GM, you better not pick on The Blue Oval because having not taken any TARP funds, it’s become the underdog of automakers. If you do, you risk a serious backlash.

The Result?

At the end of the day, these five seemingly disparate factors work in conjunction to deliver the story of the New Ford. Call it a synergistic effect, if you will.

So unless you’re one of those old-schoolers who dwell on the past while mumbling “They don’t make ’em like they used to anymore” as you look upon the outdated E-Series (that’s about to be replaced by the much-better Transit), you have no reason not to love Ford.

Did we leave anything out? Talk to us in the comments.

Motrolix Founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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