October 25, 2005
There’s been a lot written about the problems at General Motors in recent months. Indeed, the automaker seemed to almost encourage the reporting of bad news as part of its strategy in negotiating concessions from the United Auto Workers union. Now, with that deal in place, media coverage is shifting cross-town, the spotlight suddenly falling on Ford Motor Co. And with good reason. The number two automaker arguably has even more serious problems than GM to address. There are those troubled overseas operations. But the most serious issues face Ford at home. Like GM, the automaker is suffering from declining sales and market share, even as its healthcare and so-called legacy costs are rising. Ford has been wracked with turmoil, though that’s not entirely bad. Mark Fields, the new man in charge of American operations, needs the chance to put his own team in place. But a lot of good talent is leaving with the bad. Ford has to move fast to stabilize the situation even before it announces a formal turnaround plan, in January.
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