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Ford Tough

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Ford Tough

Bill Ford and the Battle to Rebuild America's Automaker


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Ford Motor Company's future prospects are uncertain. Will Bill Ford be the last man standing if the Big Three downsize?

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Editorial Rating



  • Background


Good biographies should be fair and objective, and not intimidated by their subject. Unfortunately, this interesting story about Bill Ford Jr., great-grandson of Henry Ford, treads lightly on the company’s problems, its non-U.S. competitors, its many recalls and its infamous tire problems. Interviews about Mr. Ford’s emerging leadership and wisdom are mostly favorable, despite the prediction by many auto industry experts that either GM or Ford will not be in the auto business by the end of this decade. Author David Magee packs in a lot of chronological information, but the reader may wish that he had gone into more depth about the U.S. auto industry’s strategic triumphs and mistakes against non-U.S. competitors. getAbstract suggests this book to those who seek background about automotive history and to fans of the Ford Motor Company and its CEO. The cars may be "Ford Tough," but this flattering biography is "Ford soft."


An American Original Flounders

Pioneering industrialist Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903 in Dearborn, Michigan. Since that time, the company has been the subject of intense public scrutiny. The epitome of the Industrial Revolution, the company inadvertently promoted social change through its cars and literally put the world on wheels, creating unparalleled personal mobility. Three generations of Ford descendents managed the firm through such achievements as production of the revolutionary Model T (1908), the first moving assembly line (1918), mass military truck production in World War II, the release of the popular Thunderbird (1954) and the debut of the unpopular Edsel (1959). The Mustang (1964) personified a generation, but the Pinto (1970) marred Ford’s reputation, as did a quality debacle involving Firestone tires and Ford’s SUV’s. Ford now sells the most popular truck in the U.S., the F-series pickup.

Today, the founder’s great-grandson, William Clay "Bill" Ford Jr., leads Ford Motor Company. He is the first direct family member to be chief executive since Henry Ford II left in 1979. The father of four and an environmentalist, Bill ascended to...

About the Author

David Magee is the author of Turnaround: How Carlos Ghosn Rescued Nissan and The John Deere Way. He is the founder and owner of Jefferson Press in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.

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