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It’s a new world at the Ford Motor Company, or at least it should be.  The recession changed things.  The oil economy is changing things. BP has changed things. It’s time to let the Ford Explorer go. The move would be more than a symbolic gesture to the world that smaller, efficient cars are our future — it would give the company major cred as an agent of change.  I know the new redesigned 2011 Explorer will target 25 miles per gallon on the highway, but those are not exciting mainstream numbers anymore.  And touch screens aren’t a reason to buy a car.

The Ford Escape is your future in this class.  It has a nice design, momentum, and it’s in synch with your other newer smaller offerings, the Focus and Fiesta.

Make the 2011 Explorer your swan song.  A collectors piece for loyalists.  Then put your engineers on to designing the next forward looking new model… one that captures the imagination of the U.S. buying public.  The next Mustang. The next T-bird. A car that will lure back Toyota buyers. You have been playing offense and winning. Keeping the Explorer alive seems like defense. Peace!

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Come Back Baby.

One of the reasons U.S. Airways has had such a rocky time over the years is because of all its purchases and mergers.  In order to strengthen itself, U.S. Airways allied with various other carriers with different regional and national strengths, but those multiple mergers proved its downfall.  It was always hard to manage all of the different planes in the combined company.

 

When new airline carriers start from scratch they purchase one, maybe two types of plane. The parts work for all the planes, the maintenance for all planes is the same, engines come from one manufacturer, training for pilots is simplified, and there is less complexity in the day-to-day management. It is a very efficient way to run an airline.  U.S. Airways, on the other hand, was the maestro of a cacophony planes, maintenance operations, equipment, and people trained in the various aspects of this patched together airline.  Not efficient.

 

Ford Motor Company has made a decision to manufacture one of its car models — the Fiesta — the exact same way in every country around the world. That’s efficient.  For the most part this is how Toyota does it and Honda does it.  With efficiency as job one, I’m betting Ford and the Fiesta, in particular, will begin a comeback.

 

 

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