Beyond Branding

Home page
The book
The authors
Contact us
Beyond Branding is written by members of The Medinge Group

The Beyond Branding blog

November 18, 2003

Dearborn can't af-Ford to lose—but might 

Ford's still in the poo even though it puts out a good product; meanwhile, Volkswagen is happily in the black. Toyota has just overtaken the blue oval as the world's second-biggest automaker. So much for the argument that people are going to premium brands, a convenient excuse for Ford's woes.
   None of this is much of a surprise when one considers how tough it is to change the American auto industry.
   Every time I go to the US, I notice the poor quality of American cars—more so when I have driven the equivalent European model.
   When contacting some of the suppliers in the United States, the culture seems very stuck in the postwar period. It mightn't be a huge surprise: Wacker and Mathews, in The Deviant's Advantage, wrote about their childhood in Detroit when there were riots and tanks going down the streets. Meanwhile, Motown executives in Grosse Point got into their gas guzzlers with free gasoline and drove to work (or were driven), unaware of the social upheaval going on in their own city.
   Following the MBA textbook, Ford has pinned its hopes on making money and cutting costs, which has meant downsizing. Yawn. How twentieth-century.
   Yet there are beyond-brand-related ways out of the mess. Toyota has positioned itself as a leader in hybrid and green technologies, tapping in to the social consciousness and the consumer's jadedness toward the old ways. Its Prius II is the first step—next there'll be electric–petrol SUVs.
   Volkswagen, meanwhile, has its workers' charter and has become a defender of rights internationally, while cleverly expanding in its third-world markets using this as one of its principles.
   I wasn't worried about the Japs beating everyone else in this industry in the 1980s, but by being environmentally responsible, they have a great chance in the 2000s. While it doesn't make total amends for their actions in the 1930s and 1940s as part of a certain military complex, I can't see Toyota's rise stalling unless someone does mention the war, or how the Toyota truck is the Taliban's vehicle of choice. And Volkswagen's rise has followed yet another one of my predictions.
   Mr Bill Ford: there are better ways—but don't blame branding for your real woes.
Comments: Post a Comment
Links to this post

Links to this post:

Create a Link


Authors’ and associates’ individual blogs

  • Johnnie Moore’s Weblog
  • Steal This Brand
  • Jack Yan: The Persuader Blog
  • Right Side up
  • Chris Lawer
  • Ton Zijlstra
  • Headshift
  • Partum Intelligendo
  • Goiaba Brazilian Music
  • Detective Marketing
  • Chris Macrae

  • + Add Beyond Branding to your Blogroll

    Add feeds

    Aggregated blogs


    Old Beyond Branding blog entries

    Add feed to Bloglines
    Add feed to Newsgator
    Add feed to My Yahoo!

    RSS feed from 2RSS

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    Get this blog via email

    Enter your email

    Powered by FeedBlitz


    Previous posts

  • A bias in the wal-mart story
  • The network effect of Wal-Mart
  • Organisations no longer able to do what they were ...
  • Naming children after brands
  • Grid blogging on Brand - December 1st
  • Half of all marketing budgets are wasted...
  • Extra questions
  • Interact, Interact with transparency!
  • Leading Futures Report Advocates Global Companies ...
  • Jeremy Williams makes many points and I'll just pi...
  • Beyond Branding bloggers

    Chris Lawer UK
    Chris Macrae UK/US
    Jack Yan New Zealand
    John Caswell UK
    Johnnie Moore UK
    Malcolm Allan UK
    Nicholas Ind Norway
    Simon Anholt UK
    Stanley Moss USA
    Thomas Gad Sweden
    Tim Kitchin UK


    Webfeed (RSS/ATOM/RDF) registered at

    Listed on BlogShares
    Top of the British Blogs
    Blog Flux Directory

    Business Blog Top Sites

    Feed Digest