Of the three large US car makers, Ford has weathered the credit crisis better than rivals GM and Chrysler. In part this was due to Ford having a stable of assets that could be sold off to investors, these assets being car brands other companies wanted, so it was easy to sell off Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin, whilst there appears to be healthy interest in Volvo. GM was not in such a luxurious position with unloved brands such as Holden, Opel and Vauxhall.
At the close of Q3 2009 Ford Europe had 9.2 per cent of the car market share an increase of six tenths.
Efficiency improvements are being carried out on a global scale with the One Ford programme that has set out to restructure the entire manufacturer of cars and vans, accelerate the time it takes to develop new models, improve the balance sheet and increase global working. Ford cut $1 billion from its costs in the fourth quarter.
Ford is using technology to not only cut costs, but also to be able to react to market events. As a user of the Metastorm process modelling software Ford was able to react successfully last year to the scrappage scheme introduced by the Labour government to help the manufacturing sector.
Ford is also working with software providers Microsoft to integrate the Hohm application from Redmond into its forthcoming electric powered cars so that electric car owners can see what the best times are to recharge their vehicles.
Ford in the UK expanded an IT outsourcing deal with Logica with a new five year deal that will see Logical provide payroll, staff attendance recording services using Oracle systems. Ford also adopted cloud based supply chain software to track its cars moving from the manufacturing plant to its network of dealers.