With 750 ratings
By: Bryce G. Hoffman, Pete Larkin, et al.
Purchased At: $18.00
At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself. Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dysfunctional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses. It was an extraordinary risk, but it was the only way the Ford family - America's last great industrial dynasty - could hold on to their company.
Mulally and his team pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in business history. As the rest of Detroit collapsed, Ford went from the brink of bankruptcy to being the most profitable automaker in the world. American Icon is the compelling, behind-the-scenes account of that epic turnaround. On the verge of collapse, Ford went outside the auto industry and recruited Mulally - the man who had already saved Boeing from the deathblow of 9/11 - to lead a sweeping restructuring of a company that had been unable to overcome decades of mismanagement and denial.
Mulally applied the principles he developed at Boeing to streamline Ford's inefficient operations, force its fractious executives to work together as a team, and spark a product renaissance in Dearborn. He also convinced the United Auto Workers to join his fight for the soul of American manufacturing.
Bryce Hoffman reveals the untold story of the covert meetings with UAW leaders that led to a game-changing contract, Bill Ford's battle to hold the Ford family together when many were ready to cash in their stock and write off the company, and the secret alliance with Toyota and Honda that helped prop up the American automotive supply base. In one of the great management narratives of our time, Hoffman puts the reader inside the boardroom as Mulally uses his celebrated Business Plan Review meetings to drive change and force Ford to deal with the painful realities of the American auto industry.
Hoffman was granted unprecedented access to Ford's top executives and top-secret company documents. He spent countless hours with Alan Mulally, Bill Ford, the Ford family, former executives, labor leaders, and company directors. In the best-selling tradition of Too Big to Fail and The Big Short, American Icon is narrative nonfiction at its vivid and colorful best.
The author describes the changes Mulally made to Ford's corporate culture as well as the approach he took to changing the mentality and necessity to work together for the survival and future of the company. Hoffman narrates the risks the company had to take to be able to keep it running. I especially relished the narrative of the three auto industry CROw's appearance before the Congressional and Senate hearings on the fall of 2008, when General Motors and Chrysler were asking for a federal bailout to keep those two automakers alive.
Hoffman takes the reader into 2011 at a time when Ford was back in the black and on much stronger ground. He gives Mulally much of the credit for this amazing turnaround, but also praised Bill Ford and the other heirs of Henry Ford. Hoffman gives credit to many others within Ford for their courage and contributions to the comeback. This was the most interesting and enlightening books I've read about the American auto industry.
You are instantly endeared to Bill Ford as a man that can put aside his own ego for the good of the company he loves, and you root for Alan Mullaly throughout the book even though we already know Ford made it through to the other side. His belief in his system and his ability to completely change the corporate culture of a multi-national company are truly inspiring.
Outside the story itself, there are all sorts of interesting factoids to be found such as how the common stock was set up to ensure the Ford family maintained voting rights, and how neither Chrysler or General Motors would've survived if President Obama had stuck to President Bush's original requirements. The book delivers on so many different levels. I highly recommend to anyone with an interest in business or just an interest in a great story.
It tells the story of Alan Mullay (the man credited with saving plane maker boeing after 9/11) taking the regins of ford over when Bill Ford step aside knowing that he did not have the ability to deliver the nessarily changes at ford, dealing with entrenched coperate culture of detroit that was focused more on infighting and ego between excutives and the american auto unions and enitlement culture that prevailed at all levels in detriot. A failure to use anyaltical type managment and assocaited lack of accountability.
Allan Mullay intergrated ford which had been running regionally with almost completly different model ranges europe america and asia at times.
This book also tells the story of how ford being a family controlled company with voteing preferntuial voting shares can have a long term vison ande common cause that may be harder for other buiness.
this is not just another buiness tale this is also a great read that leaves a postive feeling when read and restore faith in a can do attitude that has been so lacking in many coperations of late.
The detail is as amazing as it is informative I definitely would recommend this book to any one who thinks they have responsibilities
If I have a problem with this book, then it's the fact that the story isn't over. Surely the time for this book is when Mulally retires, but he's likely to be in charge at Ford for some years to come and although their North American operation has a full range of cars and trucks that it can sell profitably, the current European situation is dire.
This book shows that it is possible to transform industrial companies on a global scale if you have, vision, courage and of course, the most import thing... A plan everyone can understand!
BUY THIS BOOK!