Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ford’s New 2013 C-Max Hybrid And Its Massive Turnaround As A Roadmap For The United States

Speaking of the Toyota Production System, back in 2006 and 2007 I put up a few posts where I wrote that Ford, Chrysler and GM would rise from the ashes to become successful companies again.   A few of my posts about lean methods and a coming turn around for Ford (well before the auto collapse that I said was likely to happen as well) were written up by one of the top lean methods manufacturing consultancy firms in the world.   In other words, I live in the real world.  I’m not a bullshitter here to feed you opinions based on pandering, demagogy and lies like politicians and banksters. 

Ford has delivered the 2013 C-Max Hybrid.  A car that bests the Prius V by 3 miles per gallon highway and 7 miles per gallon city in its fuel efficiency ratings.  Were I in the market for a new car, this would definitely be near the top of my list to test drive.  Well, even though the dual drive train of hybrids actually has a larger carbon footprint than a single drivetrain gasoline-powered car.   I would test drive it because of the economics it affords owners.

While I am not a big fan of the bailouts for the auto industry while American citizens rot, Ford has made a massive turnaround.  (Ford did not receive a bailout but benefitted due to the shared supply chain.  And, as I noted, I supported the bailouts even though they were unfair in a perfect world.)  And, while Ford is substantially exposed to its global supply chain and global economic dynamics that could prove lethal, this is probably the best-managed car company on earth today.  Five years ago they weren’t even close. 

In an update I posted back in 2011, I remarked how Ford’s turnaround is a roadmap for the United States economy.  Back in 2007, what did I highlight as the largest issue in any potential auto industry turnaround?  Amongst other issues I laid out, the largest one I noted was “a culture rife with no accountability or personal responsibility”.  Sound familiar?  It should.  It is the United States of Korporations where neither toady politicians nor their corporate masters are responsible to democracy for their actions or their promises.  Failure, looting, exploitation, violence against society, massive incompetence and criminal behavior are literally rewarded.

A hat tip to Ford CEO Alan Mulally, an engineer running an engineering company.  A leader who took the reins of an engineering company that was completely turned upside down by financial idiots.  And, he did it by embracing the timeless virtues of leadership; empowerment and its flip side of the same coin, responsibility:

 "A leader is best when people barely know he exits. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, 'We did it ourselves.'." - Lao Tzu

Everything you need to know about management was written thousands of years ago.  Everything Barack Obama should have done is contained in that timeless truth of Lao Tzu.  MBA case studies and endless self-help books on leadership are nothing more than gimmicks to make money off of someone else.  Lao Tzu got it right.  Simple and timeless.  It’s all about leadership having an intent of discovery or truth (encouraging human achievement and expression) versus the intent to control. (motivated by selfishness and ego by subverting human expression and achievement.  By subverting free will and democracy.)

The 2013 C-Max here.

posted by TimingLogic at 6:26 PM