How does Ford do it? Why have they been so successful for well over a hundred years? There are several answers, of course, and they all fit into the lexicon of today’s business majors and modern business owners. That is reason for such success for dealerships like Ames Ford, Iowa.
Efficiency in production, or the moving assembly line, is one of the most obvious answers for Ford’s early successes. Henry Ford was brilliant, no doubt, but he also had a reputation as a person who didn’t like to waste anything. That included time, money and material. One example of his astute application of thriftiness was when observed that there were several more drops of lubricant being used on a certain part of a car than were needed. He and his engineers calculated that by using a few less drops of oil could save not only the employee’s and the company’s time, but actually a great deal of money in the long run. He was right and that was just one of many practical observations of his that led to huge savings for the company.
Ford’s idea of producing a product that everyone wanted and that everyone could afford was another idea that succeeded beyond imagination. Ford’s Model T was mass-produced and mass-consumed and brought wealth and fame to Mr. Ford. That model car was built practically unchanged for almost twenty years. When he introduced the Model A in 1927, people couldn’t resist the good looks or the low price. It ranged from $385 for the roadster model, up to $1400 for the Town Car, which was the top of the line.
Product mix is a commonly used retail term today. It simply means that one is offering an assortment of products to the consumer. Ford got that one right, too. For each model he manufactured, he would offer a low-end, a mid-range and a top of the line style to the end buyer. In other words, he had something for everybody. Whether Mr. Ford invented that practice is not known, but he certainly used it to his advantage. Every car manufacturer in the world uses that device to market their cars. If you don’t like two doors, then four doors are available on the same basic model. Automatic transmission or standard? The nice thing for the auto manufacturers is that it’s always the customer who makes the decision. The carmakers are just letting you know it’s available.
Ford’s success also has a great deal to do with design and function. Let’s just face it: they make great cars and trucks.