Ford: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
Stability and Predictability: Ford was founded in 1903 and has been producing cars for over 100 years. Ford will be still be a very strong and popular in the next few decades.
Brand Recognition and Loyalty: The iconic Ford logo is known by nearly every person in the world, and many potential car buyers will choose Ford because of their long track record of producing quality cars.
Strong position in US market: Ford is the second largest automaker in US, the second largest vehicle market in the world. Ford has great reputation in its home market and strong commercial vehicle sales that are the most profitable Ford’s vehicles.
Global Presence: Ford sells vehicles in 180 countries around the world, and also Ford had set up several plants in China, which is now the largest vehicle market in the world. According to data Ford announced in this month, in 2013, Ford sold out 935813 cars in China, which increased by 49% from 626616 in 2012 . The huge success in China and Asian-Pacific region gave Ford a strong finical support.
Poor environmental record: Ford has been criticized for poor efforts to decrease environment pollution. Not only the huge volume of vehicles like Mustang but also Ford’s manufacturing plants is rated as a huge air polluter. The US Environmental Protection Agency also linked Ford to 42 toxic waste sites.
High cost structure: Although ‘One Ford’ initiative led to substantial cost reduction and sold most pre-owned brands in recent years, Ford still has a high cost structure, compared to other automobiles manufacturers. Ford’s costs are driven by its generous employee compensation and pension plans. But Ford may benefit from this kind of policy in a long term.
Loss money in Europe: In 2012, Ford lost $1.75 billion in Europe，and expects a $1.8 billion annual loss in Europe 2013，although the official data hasn’t came out. Because of the rise of German cars, Ford will be still struggle in Europe in the next few years.
Positive attitude towards “green” vehicles: Cars that are fuel inefficient and emit large quantities of CO2 heavily pollute air and negatively affect the environment. The new “Eco-boost” series engine are providing a better brand image for Ford. The new vehicles with new engine inside are emitting much less CO2 and are more fuel-efficient. At the same time, Ford is developing a variety of electric and hybrid cars, which is good news for the future.
Strategic partnerships: Ford has great experience in creating strategic alliances and partnerships with other automotive companies. Now Ford is developing a new 9/10 speed gearbox with GM, new engines with Mazda, new hybrid cars with Toyota. That’s the great chance Ford could do something with those.
Intense Competition: The automobile industry is one of the most competitive industries in the world, and this fierce battling to provide the best product for the lowest price can lead to margin contraction. In recent years German brands are leading the industry in the technology field. And also they are having more profits than Ford and other US or Japanese brands.
Debt: The company still has $13.1 billion left on their balance sheets from loans taken out during the great recession in 2008. This could be the most terrible finical problem Ford has ever met in the history.