Innovation and its importance at Ford Motor Company

The Importance of Automobile Innovation at Ford Motor Company

Automobile Innovation at Ford Motor Company


Consumer Demand Drive's Ford's Innovative Vehicle Ideas


The automobile industry is largely competitive due to the demand of consumers and vehicle similarity. In the automotive industry a certain vehicle brand or company must be distinct and unique with similar features available in each vehicle. One company that incorporates design, creativity, and innovation into its product is Ford Motor Company. Ford Motor Company has achieved the goal of making its automobiles unique because of its heavy, strong trucks, efficient gas saving sedans, and unique structure and appearance. Due to constant brainstorming sessions on designs and creativity, Ford Motor Company has developed some of the top rated vehicles in the United States. Moreover, it will continue to strive to meet the needs of consumers with fresh designs, products, new ideas, and features to its automobiles.

Ford Motor Company's Use of New Technology
(Hybrid Technology)

Many new technologies provide opportunities for companies like Ford to develop automobile breakthroughs and innovative ideas. By using advances into hybrid technology, Ford has developed a sport hybrid utility vehicle. This advancement, using the previous ideas generated for small vehicles, allows the popular SUV to produce the same responsible resource saving results. “With this system, the vehicle can operate on the electric motor alone, the gasoline engine alone or both together” (Ford, 2009). Hybrid vehicles are part of the going green trend, and often qualify owners for a tax deduction and lower gas prices throughout the year. Ford has also used innovation to introduce the all-wheel drive technology “to sedans and crossovers, with the introduction of the AWD Ford Five Hundred and Freestyle and Mercury Montego.” (Ford, 2009). This all-wheel drive technology will help small cars maintain better control by reducing the risk of wheels slipping during unfavorable weather conditions like rain or snow, a technology only previously available on sport utility vehicles.

Design of New Ford Models

Ford Motor Company takes the design of each of its products seriously. The term "design" can be defined as the decision-making process by which information is transformed into an outcome, be it product or service. At ford, model vehicles like the 2009 Mustange Gt, Mustang Bullitt and the new ford Flex Design are about doing things with intent, and not just because they have always produced similar models. Ford has accomplished this by comparing alternatives to select the best possible parts and making consistent design modifications, as well as exploring new opportunities and experimenting with new technology. Ford has worked with new "blind spot mirrors" that help reduce the amount of space that is invisible via the side view mirrors when facing forward. Many of the new features included in the new Ford vehicles focus on safety, and create new solutions for recurring safety problems for all automobile manufacturers.

Ford Mustang GT - Ford Mustang Bullit - Ford Flex

Ford's Mustang GT, Ford's Mustang Bullit, and the New Ford Flex are examples of vehicles that combine power, safety, and style. Advanced side curtain airbag designs and other advanced safety features are modifications of past technologies, and help improve the overall automobile safety rating. In fact, Ford usually refers to its safety curtains as "Safety Canopies" to differentiate the quality in its side airbags from the side airbags its competitors offer. The Ford Taurus and Ford Ranger have also both made quality improvements for the upcoming year!

Ford's Global Design Team

The Ford Motor Company has a global design team that coordinates the company’s efforts across all its vehicles lines (Stamm, 2003). Moreover, it has exceptionally knowledgeable personnel in the design division including individuals who have the academic and practical experience to produce many innovative products. The strategic design branch is introducing 100% post-industrial material into vehicle interiors which are currently found in Ford’s luxury line of Lincoln automobiles. Ford Motor Company has formed a partnership with U-Haul to study the feasibility of using advanced chemical formulation of high-solids, solvent-borne paint with an innovative three-wet application process that requires a smaller, less expensive and cleaner paint shop than traditional automotive paint facilities.

Ford's Strategic Initiatives to Stimulate Company Growth

Strategically, Ford Motor Company has initiatives in place to stimulate future growth. The near terms see the company not flexible enough to seize current market opportunities in the auto industry. The introduction of 100% post-industrial material like in the 2008 Ford Escape is estimated to conserve 600,000 gallons of water during production. The introduction of the new painting process is also estimated to reduce CO2 emissions per vehicles by 10% and would reduce a factory footprint by 15%. EcoBoost technology combine dual turbo chargers and direct fuel injection in order give the driver the feeling of a V-8 in a V-6 engine. The new technology is on the horizon for 2009 and later vehicles. Furthermore, there is a redistribution of hybrid technology currently found in the Ford Escape to mid-size cars. These design initiatives could provide products consumers finds appealing and shift their consumer dollars to the Ford Motor Company (Ford, 2009).

New Creations at Ford Motor Company

In order to appeal to a broader range of consumers, Ford must continue to be creative in its ideas and strive to develop vehicles that are unique in both style and features. Being creative for Ford means producing quality vehicles that are fuel efficient, safe, and cost effective; these are some of the things a consumer tends to lean toward when making the decision to purchase a vehicle. Ford is committed to its customers and believes in listening to what the customers want and need. Ford is constantly utilizing the advancements in technology to improve quality. In its commitment to improve the manufacturing process, Ford uses virtual ergonomic technology to make jobs easier for its workers, which has helped to reduce injuries for the employees, while also improving vehicle quality and lowering production cost (Ford, 2008).

Ford trying to Meet Goals and Objectives - Appealing to Consumer Demands

To ensure Ford meets goals and objectives the company must stay ahead of its competitors in creating and implementing new ideas. Consumers know what they want which is the reason conforming to those needs is critical. Moreover, it will allow Ford to keep its current market and entice new customers by maintaining a creative advantage over its competition. Ford will need to continue strategically releasing new and creative ideas in order to make it a popular choice for the target market. Creativity will be the defining point in whether or not the company is successful, which is why creating and enhancing its vehicles to meet consumer desires is critical to gain a competitive advantage.

Automotive Industry in Market Share - New Ford Models Still Released


Several automobile companies, including Ford Motor Company and its main competitors General Motors and Chrysler, have recently experienced an extensive loss in market share. The recent events require Ford Motor Company and its competitors to change the existing business practices and product offerings in order to stay in business. In order to capitalize on new and innovative technologies, Ford executives must have a clear understanding of the main external and internal drivers that leverage innovative technologies and practices. Some of the most important external drivers pushing Ford and other American Auto Makers to take a new approach on innovation are the consumer, the declining global economy, and rising fuel costs. In 2009, the auto industry is experiencing record losses due to fewer consumers purchasing cars.

Big 3 American Automakers - Ford Manufacturing Cars With High Fuel Consumption

The automakers most affected by the difficult economic times are the Big Three American Automakers. Until 2008, Ford and its competitors focused on manufacturing cars with high fuel consumption. A recent study found that auto sales overall declined by 18% in 2008, with sport utility vehicle and truck sales falling 44% (Wall Street Journal, 2009). Rising fuel costs and the global recession are going to continually drive this trend well into 2009. Through an investment in innovative technologies, the company will continue providing groundbreaking products like the fuel efficient, dual-clutch power-shift transmission which will be used in its line of compact cars in 2010 (Ford, 2009).

External Drivers affecting Ford Motor Company

Another external driver affecting Ford is the Federal Government and its stance on emissions. As of 2009, the Big Three Automakers have failed to comply with the Kyoto protocol. The Kyoto Protocol was enacted to reduce GHG (Greenhouse Gas Emissions) produced by developing countries (Reese, 2007). While Ford and other American Automakers are producing cars with better fuel efficiency and lower emissions, they are not up to the standard mandated by the Kyoto Protocol. The Big Three continue to oppose the protocol because each views it as “too extreme” (Reese, 2007). One study found the United States alone contributes to 25% percent of the world greenhouse emissions, but only contains 5% percent of the world population (Reese, 2007). Since Ford and its two main competitors have hesitated to abide by the Kyoto Protocol, foreign automakers like Toyota and Honda are steadily acquiring more of the market share. Furthermore, the Obama administration is in the process of implementing higher emission regulations, forcing the American Automakers to comply. Ford can regain more of the market share and operate under the new emission regulations by investing in cutting edge technologies like fuel cell research, hydrogen power and ethanol fueled engines, and using them in new production models going forward.

Fuel Efficient Ford Models Essential - Hybrids Released

While external drivers such as the economy and fuel emissions impact Ford’s market share, the auto industries unionized labor force is an internal driver that has an equally negative effect on the American Auto Industry. According to Jeffrey Rothstein (2008), the American Automakers have provided blue collar assembly line workers with upper middle class wages. Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda have been able to gain market share by building and operating Non-Unionized Plants and practicing lean manufacturing (Rothstein, 2008). As of 2008, Ford’s competitor General Motors plans to lay off 16,000 workers and hire entry level workers as a replacement in order to save 4.5 billion dollars annually by the year 2010 (Rothstein, 2008). Ford can do the same by reorganizing its own workforce and investing in innovative lean manufacturing practices and technologies going forward.

Ford Vehicles that Make You Look Good and Green

In conclusion, Ford Motor Company developed several vehicles to accommodate consumer demands and desires. Consumers are constantly looking for the most current product with the latest features in order to be satisfied with their purchase. If Ford Motor Company can continue developing creative and innovative elements into its vehicles, it will retain the current customer as well as acquire new customers. Moreover, creativity, design, and innovation will give Ford a competitive advantage that will increase its market share. In the tough automotive industry, the advantage is to branch out and take risks to stand out with different designs or functions that will grab consumers’ interest.

Benefits and Drivers Proposal
This hub has been established as a proposal in which we analyze how Ford Motor Company will benefit from becoming more innovative and creative. It also addresses the following:
a. How innovation, design, design, and creativity support Ford's goals and objectives.
b. The internal and external drivers of innovation for Ford Motor Company.



References
Ford Motor Company (2009). “Design”. Retrieved January 26, 2009 from http://www.ford.com/innovation/auto-design.
Ford Motor Company (2009). “Innovation”. Retrieved January 29, 2009 from http://www.ford.com/innovation/innovation.
von Stamm, B. (2003). Managing Innovation, Design, and Creativity. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Ford Motor Company (2009). Retrieved January 27, 2009 from http://www.ford.com.

Hybrid Technology

Comments 10 comments

Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Very interesting hub, considering I'm a Ford guy and I love the stock as well. I think Ford is certainly poised here to become the bigger of the Big Three. Confidence is everything, and style and fuel economy is as well, and Ford seems to have a handle on all of those factors.


Phoenix Business profile image

Phoenix Business 6 years ago from Charlotte, NC Author

I agree, and I love to support a company like Ford. I always laugh and think about this hub as I watch the new technology and new advertising strategies on shows like American Idol. You know when they're spending the kind of money they are promoting on a show like American Idol that Ford isn't just Ford trucks anymore! I'm loving the Hybrids, and the new customization options they're offering. Thanks for your comment Springboard!


LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba

The problem I always found with Ford is reliability, they are not the best for avoiding small problems! Hence I guess the Acronym for Ford, Fix Or Repair Daily!

I think this comes from the difference in approach between Ford and some of its competitors towards their suppliers, Ford has always been a bit of a bully forcing companies to make cost cuts and so on, with examples like Toyota working more with the suppliers to make them more efficient.


onlinecashdigest profile image

onlinecashdigest 6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I have learned in a youtube video that Ford's Active Parking Assistant is already available. When would this be available in the Philippines?

I think this would be a hit because parking is always a challege with our narrow roads.


Kyle246 profile image

Kyle246 6 years ago from United States

ford is my favorite car company


Gary Yeomans Ford 5 years ago

great to be selling them now too...


engin ağaç 5 years ago

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Engin Agac and I am from Turkey. I learned that many companies have developed a device that prevents drunk driving. The devices look like significant but I still believe that this is not a final solution for the problem. I have prepared a project about this subject. I believe that the project that I prepared provides 100% solution.

The important points of my project are shown below:

THE DEVICE PREVENTING DRUNK DRIVING

1) The drunk driver can never start the car as he cannot pass the alcohol test.

2) The device can detect the difference when the non-drunk driver changes place with a drunk driver.

3) If the driver starts the car and begins drinking alcoholic beverages the device detects this.

4) The driver is kept under control automatically and during every stop and run.

5) The driver should take and pass the alcohol test every day.

6) If the driver should be changed then the new driver should pass the alcohol test.,

7) If any other person except the driver drinks alcoholic beverages, this will not stop the car or will not prevent the driver from starting the engine.

8) In case the driver "must" start the car even though he is drunk, he should define himself as "drunk" to the device. The device will not question if the driver is drunk or not in this situation. By this way the device sets a maximum speed limit and the flashers are turned on. If the driver tries to exceed the speed limit the car stops and the lights continue flashing.

Detailed Explanations for some articles above:

Article 2) If the non-drunk driver changes place with a drunk driver then the device will detect this. For example Robert is drunk and Matthias is sober. In this situation only Matthias can start the car and Robert cannot pass the test. If Robert wants to drive while the engine is running, the device will detect that it was Matthias who started the car and will not let Robert to drive. The device will recognize that Robert has changed place and came to the driver seat. In this situation it asks the test to be taken by the new driver. If he cannot pass the test, then the car will be stopped after the warnings.

Article 3) Example: Robert is not drunk until he starts the car but he starts drinking while driving. At this point the device will detect the smell and ask the driver to take the test again. If the driver is drunk, then the car will stop after the warnings.

Article 4) The driver who started the engine is always under control as he should take the test at every stop and run. The device checks the driver change at every stop and run, while the car is started. If one driver passes the test and start the car, and if he wants to change the seat to someone else after a while, the device checks if someone else has come to the driver seat. This control will be done at every stop and run. But if it is requested, this can be applied at certain time periods through the settings of the device.

Article 5) In this project the driver must take the alcohol test every day.

But if we develop the software we can achieve something like this:

1) If a driver never drinks alcohol and a driver change will never be done, the driver may take the test only once a year, once in ten years or he may not take the test during his whole lifetime. This driver needs to take the test only once. But this article makes it necessary for the driver to take the test if someone else but the driver drinks alcohol in the vehicle.

2) Let's think of a family consisting of father, mother, two sons and one daughter. One of the sons drink alcohol frequently but the other drinks only on new years. Father, mother and the daughter never drink alcohol and this family owns a car. How does the device works in this case? Should the alcohol test be taken every day? No, it is not. The device can recognize the members of the family. This means that the device cen keep in its memory who is a drinker and who is a non-drinker. The device can also detect that the person who did not drink alcohol for a long time is now drunk and it notifies the driver that the test should be taken. Thanks to the software that has been developed, father-mother and the daughter should take the test only once and they do not need to take the test again during their lifetime. While the father, mother or the daughter drives the car, someone else in the vehicle should not drink alcoholic beverages. Otherwise they need to take the alcohol test. This situation does not prevent the car from running or does not stop the running car.

Article 6) A driver change can only be done when the engine is stopped. The new driver should pass the test before starting the car. The driver change cannot be applied after the engine is started.

Article 7) Let's say there are 4 people in the car (One driver and three passengers). The driver is sober and did not drink any alcoholic beverages. Even though the passengers are drinking, the alcohol smell will not prevent the car from starting nor the engine will not be stopped.

- For the car to be stopped:

* As the alcohol smell is detected, the driver is asked to take the test.

** The driver must take this test. Otherwise the car speed will be decreased and it will be stopped after the warnings.

*** If the driver is drunk as he takes the test, the car speed will be decreased and it will be stopped after the warnings again.

**** The device always warns the driver before stopping the car. If the driver denies the warnings then the car will be stopped.

The software scheme of this device is already prepared. Alcoholmeter and smell sensors are the components of this device. But the important point is that a software to achieve these functions. As the scheme is already done, the software needs to be written by your company.

THE DEVICE PREVENTING TO DRIVE WITHOUT DRIVING LICENSE

To prevent driving without driving license can be achieved only if the driver licenses are renewed so that it can interact with the device that is to be installed in the car.

1) A person without the driving license can never start the car.

2) A person without the driving license can never drive a car in motion.

3) If the driver wants to change place with another driver without a license, this will be detected by the device and the car will be stopped if the warning is ignored.

4) The driver will be kept under control every second and he can never drive the car without the license.

5) The driver should take the driving license test once a day.

6) One driver can never use someone else's license.

7) If a driver change is needed, then the new driver should take the test.

8) At every getting on and off a control is not applied. The test is only applied in case of a driver change.

As you know I am not a mechanical technician or engineer and I cannot explain the details of my project by using scientific terms. But I can describe all details of my project.

Although alcoholmeter and smell sensors will be used in this project, not only these two devices will be functioning. The most important characteristic that differs my project from the others is that this device will be software assisted. I mean each article describing the features of the project will be assisted by a software.

My aim is to offer you the patent of this project to your company. If you are interested you can also contact me online, by phone or come to Istanbul and I can explain this project to you personally.

Detailed explanation and software schemes for both projects are available.

I will be expecting your soonest reply if you are interested in my projects.

Kind Regards,

Engin AGAC


engin ağaç 4 years ago

Secondly, my project has software plan but because of moneyless,I can not do it.That I take patent in the Turkey,don't protect my project outside of Turkey.Many respected firms work about the project in America and Europe.For instance Besides, some car firms work about the project,too.Their works are the same...In spite of the serious works,alcoholic driving can not handigap.If alcohol metre equipment determine driver that take alcohol, can handigap with different connection forms moving of car.

The Connection Forms of Alcohol Metre Equipment :

1- locking motor of car thanks to inmebilezer system.If driver has alcohol, alcohol metre equipment directly locks motor of car thanks to inmebilezer system.

2- locking short circuit of car.If driver has alcohol, alcohol metre equipment in connection with short circuit handigap moving of car.

3- locking from car's key.If driver has alcohol, alcohol metre equipment in connection with key handigap moving of car.

This works can nat completely handigap alcoholic driving.I believe that I did software plan will % 100 handigap alcoholic driving.Driver will be under control and according to the software plan; a driver is certainly under control during 7 day and 24 hours.On the other hand,that an other person enter alcohol test instead of driver, is certainly impossible.

In addition,I can handigap driving without driving license to use the same software plan and to add different term complementaries

Characteristics of the Software Plan :

1- If a driver want to move his car, he has to pass from alcohol test.That's to say, drink driver can not pass from alcohol test and he can not move his car.

2- If non-drink driver want to drive instead of drink driver, the equipment that I did,becomes aware of the difference.

3- If a driver passes from alcohol test and he drinks alcohol after he move his car, the equipment becomes aware of that and it stopped car within two seconds.

4- When car every moves and stops,driver always is controlled by the equipment.

5- That driver passes from alcohol test once a day, is enough at the project.

6- If driver changes, new driver has to pass prom alcohol test.

7- If other peoles take alcohol without driver take it, the equipment don't handigap moving of car or don't stop.

8- If driver is forced drive to alcohol,firstly, he has to introduce to the equipment that he took alcohol.

And then the equipment don't want alcohol test and it determines speed limit for driver. ( for instance : 30 km ).A drink driver certainly can not pass speed limit.If he passes speed limit, his car stops.

That firms have land, air and sea transportation, use kinds of the equipmentfor both their life-property and people's safety.Especially tourism and travel firms in Europe consider important their customer safety.And also some logistic firms that consider important their customer's property, want necessarily the equipment.

Consequently, car firms advise the equipment their customer's personel cars,too and using of the equipment go up every the other day.

?f you assists me about that I take international patent, drink driving will come to an end.We can talk on telephone.I don't speak English but I have the translator.If you have some question about the subject, you can ask me without software plan.

Thanks a lot.

Mr. Engin A?AÇ


Alex 4 years ago

Love this. I love the ford motor company and Henry ford himself. I am using some sentences as quotes in my research essay for School. Thank you for your knowledge and the help.


CarNoobz profile image

CarNoobz 3 years ago from USA

I've been impressed the past couple years with the new Fords. I had an F150 when I was younger, but other makes seemed better. Ford's been stepping up their game.

Voted up.

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