Saturday, January 09, 2010

Ford to Usher in the Era of the Lowest Common Denominator?

The New York Times exalts a global Ford. I'm not so sure.

In that regard, the Focus is Ford’s first big bet that it can effectively sell a single, largely uniform car — with variations to come later — in several global markets.

It is very idealistic of Mr. Mulally to think that, at their core, all humans want the same things. And to a certain extent, that is true. But his Boeing experience of one world airplane ignores something. The world of automotive travel is not standardized in the same ways that air travel is. Different regions of the world have evolved different automotive needs. While Ford (and all of the "Big Three") needed to capitalize on their global economies of scale, Ford is at risk of producing vehicles that are mearly considered okay in all markets, hardly a formula for success.