Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2001, Page A4, "Promotion Marks Ford Motor's Attempt To Revitalize U.S. Vehicle Development"
This article is about how Chris Theodore, Ford Motor Company's new head of their North American product engineering is going to revitalize their vehicle product line following Ford's ratification of their once separate car and truck engineering organizations. In doing this he is bringing together both organizations by working on building vehicles for the future he calls "utility hybrids" a kind of tall Taurus sports wagon sometime in 2004. This article was also written to outline some of the challenges that Mr. Theodore is faced with in the coming years, such as, his significant leadership task in merging two large groups of engineers that had previously worked independently. He must also between these two groups deliver both a cost savings and a significant quality improvement to help and repair Ford's tarnished product quality.
I believe this article relates to strategic management in that Mr. Theodore must develop a comprehensive strategy for the future in meshing these two once totally separate organizations of Ford's engineering department while at the same time bring in a new product line of "utility hybrids". He must take feedback from these two groups and implement it into his whole strategic plan to also increase Ford's product quality so that it does not see another cut of 10% of it's workforce as they announced they had done last month.
I am in agreement with Mr. Theodore's decision, I believe that a "utility hybrid" vehicle line is an excellent way to smoothly mesh both Ford's car and truck-engineering organizations. By strategically getting them to work together and develop an automobile line as one while effectively sharing each of their ideas and knowledge to create a line of quality vehicles that will turn around Ford's slumping profits and quality image is a good strategy on their end. Mr. Theodore now must continue to work with both organizations as if they are a single department to further develop quality vehicles and ensure that their time in engineering is being used to develop the very best quality vehicle at a cost savings.