Ford Motor Company is the third-ranked automaker in the US, after General Motors and Toyota (Fortune500, 2007). However, Ford has an opportunity to become the market leader. Ford can achieve this by being the first to market affordable, hydrogen powered vehicles. But since the hydrogen technology will not be a “cure-all”, Ford will have to decide whether to offer only hydrogen powered, or offer both hydrogen powered and internal combustion engines. 2. Issues
Currently, other companies such as General Motors, and BMW have already developed fuel cells, with both companies already testing their programs. This poses a real threat to Ford, since whoever is able to market this technology first becomes the market leader. 3. Alternatives Fortunately, Ford has already set a land speed record of 207 mph with a hydrogen powered Tempo The company has also developed alternative fuel and high efficiency vehicles, such as the Escape Hybrid (InvoiceDealers, 2005).
As an alternative to the hydrogen fuel cell technology, Ford can focus on the plug-in hybrid technology. The company is currently working with Southern California Edison (SCE) to examine the future of plug-in hybrids in terms of how home and vehicle energy systems will work with the electrical grid. As part of this project, Ford will convert a demo fleet of Escape Hybrids to plug-in hybrids (Ford Motor Company, 2007). 4. Decision/Recommendations
Ford Motor can focus its efforts on the plug-in hybrid technology instead, as its means to become the industry leader. The hybrid plug-in technology is a niche which other automakers have not explored yet. There is just too many competition to be the first to market the hydrogen powered passenger vehicles. 5. Implementation/Plan of Action Ford has already collaborated Southern California Edison for further research and development on the plug-in hybrid technology.
The next course of action will be to ascertain the consumers’ response to this new type of vehicles. Hopefully, this will get positive feedback, as a premium alternative to internal combustion engines, in light of the rising oil prices. The next step is to effectively market this new type of vehicle, focusing on its innovative features, as well as its eco-friendly ones. The final step is to efficiently produce this vehicle, and further improve this technology. There should be a continuous process improvement.
References Ford Motor Company (2007).Ford Motor Company and Southern California Edison Join Forces To Advance a New Transportation and Energy Vision. Retrieved April 28, 2008, from http://media. ford. com/newsroom/release_display. cfm? release=26326 Fortune 500 (2007). The Top 50, #7. Ford Motor. Retrieved April 28, 2008, from http://money. cnn. com/galleries/2007/fortune/0704/gallery. 500top50. fortune/7. html InvoiceDealers (2005). 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid. Retrieved April 28, 2008, from http://www. invoicedealers. com/cars/reviews/Default. asp? model=2366