Ditto for Ford: Product focus

Ford has similar problem as GM. A core brand, Mercury, seems unimportant. Mercury cars are just fancy Fords, sitting in the same dealerships next to Lincolns, which are truly distinct from their down-market cousins.

Are people stepping up from Ford to Mercury to Lincoln, like Toyota expects with Scion to Toyota to Lexus? Those brands make loads of sense because they are significantly different. Honda has Acura, and Nissan has Infinity. No confusion about what these brands mean.

Did I forget to mention that GM and Ford cars tend to NOT rank highest in auto-industry lists out there? The last I checked, neither had a single vehicle in the Consumer Reports list of most-reliable used cars.

Also, regarding operating efficiency and profits, neither GM nor Ford has the opportunity to gain scale across its value chain for design, production and marketing. I bet the incremental revenue is minimal for keeping their extra brands and models distinct, instead of rebadging some models into the core brands. Ford could just kill Mercury because each Mercury vehicle is a Ford with dressed-up interiors. GM could put rename some Pontiacs as Chevys, and maybe some Buicks as Caddys. Bye-bye, GMC.

With more focus at GM and Ford on how wide and deep to run their businesses, management could more effectively deploy resources against goals.


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