It seems that Ford employees at the Dearborn plant are forced to eat their own dog food. According to CNNMoney.com, Ford’s management has decided to ban competitors’ vehicles from their lots. Unfortunately unlike Google employees, a majority of the production workers at Ford have little influence on the conceptual development of their products. People who work closely on a company’s product have an enhanced ability to evaluate the product and compare it against those of competitors, and if these people determine superior quality of a competitor’s product at a comparable price, then it is natural for those people to decide on a competitor’s product.
Witnessing Ford, an American automotive company, establish a totalitarian policy is very disturbing. The policy acts against free market forces: competition. It seems that Ford’s management would rather create corporate rules to establish a facade of company dedication among its workers than create an environment that encourages the company to be a more competitive force in the automotive industry.
Ford’s new policy would be more effective if it was adopted secretly by the company’s upper management. It must somehow be known to their laborers that their cars are not provided by the company as this should be an expected misconception. This will create a united front among upper management that supports their brand. Knowing that individuals who have the ability to purchase expensive luxury imports prefer a Ford will make the purchase of a Ford easier among Ford’s workers. Having the households of upper management use Ford automobiles exclusively would boost this effect.
Improving the way that Ford automobiles are perceived will further encourage its adoption among Ford’s workforce. Ford seems to have been successful in converting a portion of the market segment for individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 with their Mustang and Focus models. The Mustang has been accepted at many recent import car shows. It should not be difficult for Ford workers to be converted to Ford automobile owners, unless practices within the company discourage workers from making a Ford purchase. If workers are under the impression that the company is interested in merely shipping it without care for quality, for example, then their purchase of competitors’ products is understandable. Pride that is felt by their workers on the products that they produce should not only be something created by their marketing team. It should be heartfelt, and it shall be evidenced through their free choice to purchase a Ford vehicle and showcase it in their plants’ parking lots.
Ford’s reputation has somehow come to mean “Fix or Repair Daily” among automotive technicians. They need to drastically change its image of being unreliable or distinguish its brand from those of General Motors at the very least. How they manage their recent layoffs and how the company can portray concern about its workers will affect the opinions of many people regarding Ford Motor Company. The layoffs are another opportunity for Ford to enhance the automaker’s image.