Graphic: Shifting Gears at Ford

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 01-14-2003

Dash Portals

  • Old e-strategy: To give new cars Web access, satellite phone services and e-mail capabilities, and collect millions in Net services fees.
  • Fate: Projects halted, Wingcast telematics effort scrapped, buyers turned off by glitchy technology and pricey markups.
  • New strategy: Telematics being used by Ford's delivery fleet only, to monitor fuel costs.
  • Payoff: Fleet maintenance costs are decreasing.


  • Old e-strategy: To create BuyerConnection Web site with Microsoft to let Ford buyers bypass dealer markups and order cars factory-direct.
  • Fate: Ford dissolved Microsoft partnership.
  • New e-strategy: FordDirect site, run by dealers, is now used to boost sales.
  • Payoff: In the past year, Ford sold 100,000 cars from leads that wouldn't have been generated otherwise, for extra revenues of $1.6 billion.


  • Old e-strategy: To create OwnerConnection Web site to improve service and collect customer data by letting owners manage their own warranty service.
  • Fate: Worries over privacy leaks doomed the effort.
  • New e-strategy: Net-enabled factory systems to cut service costs, track defects and fix them—before cars leave the plant.
  • Payoff: Quality improved 13 percent in 2002; recall alerts now based on eight problem reports vs. 60 before.


  • Old e-strategy: To save $750 billion industrywide and earn $3 billion annually in exchange fees by co-launching the Covisint B2B to reap better price and parts deals from 30,000 vendors.
  • Fate: Squabbling among GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Renault and Nissan over security leaks and other issues limited use and savings.
  • New strategy: Covisint's new computer messaging service will let OEMs and suppliers communicate more easily, securely and effectively.
  • Payoff: Pending


  • Old e-strategy: To team with Yahoo! CarPoint, iVillage and to monitor the car-buying patterns of Web-surfers.
  • Fate: ConsumerConnect effort was downsized and absorbed into Ford's traditional marketing group; OwnerConnect effort refocused on data- collection.
  • New goal: Develop a Ford-only customer data center from 50 million customer records and let all Ford businesses use it.
  • Payoff: Pending

    Wired Workers

  • Old e-strategy: To offer all 350,000 employees a computer, printer and Net access for $5 a month to allow factory-floor adoption of new Net strategy.
  • Fate: Ford offered 158,000 employees the service but postponed further rollout, then scrapped the program to cut costs.
  • New goal: None
  • Payoff: Halting the program saves millions of dollars in hardware costs and service fees.