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Ford's E-Business Strategy

19 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2008  

Brandt R. Allen

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Edward W. Davis

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business


This case is designed to facilitate a discussion and analysis of Ford Motor Company's e-commerce strategy in 1999-2000. It presents an independent analysis of costs and savings along the automobile-industry supply chain as well as recent information regarding auto dealers' reactions to Ford's e-commerce initiatives.



Ford's E-Business Strategy

In the fall of 1999, Jacques Nasser, Ford Motor Company's president and chief executive officer, announced a grand new vision for the firm: to become the “world's leading consumer company providing automotive products and services.” Key to that dream was the transformation of the business using Web technologies. The company that taught the world how to mass-produce cars for the consumer market was going to become the leading e-business firm. Brian P. Kelly, Ford's e-business vice president, described Ford's plan to rebuild itself as a move to “consumercentric” from “dealercentric” and stated that Ford would transform itself from being a “manufacturer to dealers” into a “marketer to consumers.”

Our consumer-connect business has a totally integrated strategy to reach the consumer in conjunction with our dealers at every touch point. . . . Ford continues to be at the forefront, integrating our global e-commerce activity from the consumer back through the entire supply chain, including linking our Customer Assistance Centers and in-vehicle communications.

New Web sites were launched for buyers and owners. In-car computer and communications services were announced that would bring travel, security, entertainment, and Web access to the motorist and an electronic connection between consumers and the Ford Motor Company. In February, the company announced it was purchasing Internet PCs for all employees, “to reach its vision of being on the leading edge of technology and connect more closely with its customers.” In March 2000, the company announced the creation of a business-to-business integrated supplier exchange through a single global portal – a joint venture with GM and DaimlerChrysler to create the world's largest virtual marketplace. It seemed as if Ford had adopted the Dell model:

· Sell direct

. . .

Keywords: strategy formulation, e-business, supply-chain

Suggested Citation

Allen, Brandt R. and Davis, Edward W., Ford's E-Business Strategy. Darden Case No. UVA-BC-0145. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=907747

Brandt Allen (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924 -4842 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/allen.htm

Edward Davis

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States
434-924 -4819 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/faculty/davis.htm

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