PAG under review? - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars
Ford Forum Ford Forum

» Auto Insurance
» Featured Product
» Wheel & Tire Center

Go Back   Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Fordforums Community > The Pub
Register Home Forum Active Topics Photo Gallery Auto Loans Garage Mark Forums Read Auto Escrow

The Pub For General Discussion

FordForums.com is the premier Ford Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-17-2001, 03:32   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rocklyn
Posts: 7,750
PAG under review?

The traditional contradiction, "The King is dead! Long live the King," might apply very well to Ford Motor Company following its October 30 palace revolution. Hard-driving, visionary, abrasive Jac Nasser is out as president and chief executive officer. The King is dead.

Especially with an untimely ceremony November 9 dedicating the new California headquarters for Jac's favorite brain-child -- Ford's Premier Automotive Group -- the big question now among veteran auto industry observers is: will his royal proclamations and appointments live on?

There's a lot of precedence for an avalanche of rolling heads from the corporate guillotine. In 1978 when King Henry II of Ford dismissed the Grand Duke Lee, he followed up with a drunken 3 a.m. call firing PR executive Walt Murphy. A host of Lee's knights subsequently trekked across town to help him save -- at least for the time -- the fiefdom of Chrysler.

And even though new King William acknowledges his kingdom has long had a "cult of the personality" fixation, the culture of tossing out-of-favor royalty and their knaves into the moat is not limited to Dearborn. Just a year ago, when the German masters dethroned captive monarch Jim Holden of DaimlerChrysler, along with him went PR Veep Tony Cervone, who had held his crown appointment less than two months.

Last month, two of King Jac's dukes got the executioner's ax the same time he did, Human Resources VP David Murphy and Communications VP Jason Vines. Who knows when the next round will begin and where it will end.

PAG on the block?

Likely under the new crown's stare is the Premium Automotive Group (PAG). Looked at objectively, PAG has its pros and cons. The idea started more than a decade ago with Ford acquiring a very sick Jaguar for $2 billion in a bidding war with General Motors. At that time, GM was making a comeback in Europe and recovering leadership there over traditional foe Ford. Many sneered at the Jag deal and its prospects, but to the amazement of practically everyone, Ford eventually managed to turn the sow's ear into a silken purse.

Originally, GM was thought to have gained a valuable consolation prize with its buyout of Saab. But Saab has never had Jaguar's luxury image, and thus has not provided GM with the true upscale brand (read: Benz or Beemer) it wanted for both European and world markets. Jaguar, on the other hand, has undoubtedly brought Ford the world-wide luxury image it desired, regardless of whether it has made any, or much, money for the parent company.

More recently, under Nasser, Ford managed to acquire Volvo's car business in 1999 from the Swedes and Land Rover from an exasperated BMW in 2000. Together with reviving another old gold British brand, Aston Martin, Ford had the makings of what became its PAG, a global package of upscale brands, products, people and dealer organizations.

Along the way, also on Nasser's watch -- whether his idea or merely with his assent -- the company moved Lincoln-Mercury from Ford homeland Dearborn in Michigan to sunny California. The idea purportedly was to empower Ford's domestic upscale division people to "think outside the box." By being in California where Asian import brands were headquartered, the land where automotive trends began, Lincoln-Mercury would be on the cutting edge, rather than sitting around Michigan watching to see what Pontiac and Cadillac would do next.

The next step was to remove the hyphen from between Lincoln and Mercury, to set each on its own two feet, so to speak. Then, noisily, L & M were added to PAG. Lincoln would become a worldwide brand as "American Luxury." So far so good, at least in theory.

Luxury hitch

The hitch came when Nasser paid a whopping signing bonus to acquire Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle from BMW to run PAG and allowed him to establish the global PAG office in London, England. Operationally, that's a nightmare. London is six hours time distant from Dearborn -- which can be handled, albeit imperfectly, within the normal 8-hour business day of both London and Dearborn. But California? Whoa! That's another three hours difference, and not strictly within a normal business day. Even at 6 a.m. Pacific time, an ungodly hour for office staff to start, the boss in London is over the crest of his day. At nine on the coast, Dearborn has gone to lunch and London has packed its umbrella and headed in the limo for the club or home. Not exactly efficient and decidedly awkward.

Further, L/M (see Ma, no hyphen) execs now in California have had to travel all the way to London for staff meetings -- a huge amount of wasted time and money, even before the psychological barriers to air travel erected Sept. 11.

A London HQ might have been wise if there were a true, evenly distributed world market for PAG's brands. But the truth is, the North American market is the world's biggest, so it makes little sense to have L/M people in California, who handle profitable brands which are overwhelmingly North American, reporting to a boss in London when prior to moving west they only had to hop an elevator or at worst drive a few miles for such meetings.

When it comes to the established "world" brands of Jaguar, Volvo and Land Rover (Aston Martin is inconsequential in volume), they are primarily "East Coast" brands in North America, and accordingly had their import headquarters there. True, they have substantial sales in California, especially Jaguar, but it is NOT the center of their western hemisphere universe. Except in the eyes of an Australian, you might say.

Other problematic proclamations

That's just on the side of Jac's royal proclamations. When it comes to appointments of, well, dukedoms there are other problems. Nasser made a big thing out of seeking, hiring and promoting female executives and many would say, About Time. Likewise, Nasser aggressively sought executives from outside the auto industry. The result was a high proportion of new Ford executives who in too many cases had NO, or at best insufficient, automotive experience. The American mass market for cars and trucks is NOT like the refrigerator, tooth paste or niche European luxury car market.

There have been at least two consequences of this. One, internal morale has been crippled if not destroyed, resulting in all kinds of problems. Even Ford's home-grown supply of women managers who've been carefully working their ways up the corporate ladder had to be discouraged by importation of OUTSIDE women appointed to top spots. Two, incredible mistakes have been made by people who, because of applicable inexperience, did not know any better. Ford simply lost its institutional memory for how to engineer, develop and manufacture cars and trucks with minimal fuss. It's no wonder Ford's quality and productivity collapsed almost overnight during King Jac's reign.

So, what now? Are the phalanxes of Nasser dukes and duchesses looking over their shoulders as their king's noggin rolls into the basket? Is the hardly established PAG in danger? Is the so-called Motown West already at risk just as it puts down its roots?

If this doesn't sound like the script for a soap opera, it's certainly not far off.
HSE2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-17-2001, 03:40   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rocklyn
Posts: 7,750
And a further story


http://www.thecarconnection.com/inde...56,175&sid=175
HSE2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2001, 03:44   #3 (permalink)
FM
The SparkleHunter™
 
FM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Gettin' ready for MiniChucky!
Age: 38
Posts: 10,144
If Ford disband PAG then the board needs shooting. Restructure it if needs be but disband it? That's nuts..

Great article Ian.. :s5
__________________
Chucky's saying of the month- Finish your beer! There are sober kiddies in Ethiopia.."
Another BSR BigCall™
--------------------------------------
FordForums Polo Shirts & Caps are now on sale.. Get both for $50.00 + postage. Click here for details!
FM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2001, 03:56   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rocklyn
Posts: 7,750
Quote:
Originally posted by Ford Man
If Ford disband PAG then the board needs shooting. Restructure it if needs be but disband it? That's nuts..

Great article Ian.. :s5
One of the great things about Ford of the last 5 or so years has been the treatment of these brands. Being able to maintain the history of these marques, like JAG, but at the same time bring Ford type improvements to build quality.
HSE2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2001, 13:15   #5 (permalink)
Australian Probe Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Age: 51
Posts: 841
Its probalably too early to judge & I may be getting paranoid but is anyone else seeing a 'Detroitcentric' thread coming through since Jac's departure? IMHO Ford need PAG to broaden their view of the world, while the USA is very important, real growth for Ford will come from outside the US.
DRU842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-17-2001, 13:57   #6 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rocklyn
Posts: 7,750
Quote:
Originally posted by DRU842
Its probalably too early to judge & I may be getting paranoid but is anyone else seeing a 'Detroitcentric' thread coming through since Jac's departure? IMHO Ford need PAG to broaden their view of the world, while the USA is very important, real growth for Ford will come from outside the US.
I agree. to me detroit is too blindsided by the big profit SUV market. I know they have some strong environmental policies on the way, but the humble car seems to have suffered in the US. Putting it this way, the Australian product is a long way ahead of the US market in this area!
Putting a Detroitfeelic touch to JAG will kill it.
HSE2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Fordforums Community > The Pub



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Review Of V8 Supercars Judicial System Stealth00 Ford Racing Across the Globe 5 06-01-2003 05:54
GT Review V8RUMBLE FPV & Tickford Forum 29 02-06-2003 17:43
Ford board forms committee to review IPO issue Stacy94PGT Ford Worldwide News 2 12-15-2002 06:43
My XR6T review esky F6 Typhoon | XR6 Turbo 1 11-19-2002 15:02
GoAuto review of the Falcon XT Aussie Falcon Australian Falcons 3 11-06-2002 02:30

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:44.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.