Here is a true mystery for our readers:

 • Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can’t make money paying American wages.

 • TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter’s results: TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses. Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses. GM is essentially bankrupt.

Chrysler is dead in the water.


Simplify, Einstein counseled. 

What is the simplest of all explanations – which, according to the scientist’s principle known as Occam’s Razor (eliminate everything but the bare essentials from a theory), is generally the most powerful and accurate?

Success in making and selling cars rests mainly on making beautiful, appealing, sexy, lovely, and hard-to-resist cars. This is done by managers who love CARS, and the car business, not accountants who love bottom lines. The true bottom line is: Do you truly love cars? Do you have a passion for them? And do you know how to find people who share your passion and know how to design incredibly beautiful ones? 

Remember Chrysler? When bankruptcy loomed, along came Lee Iacocca, a true car man, who loved beautiful cars (he led development of the Ford Mustang, one of history’s most beautiful cars), and revived Chrysler, not with outsourcing and bean-counting but with design.

Toyota makes beautiful innovative cars that work, tailored to the needs and dreams and wishes of those who buy them. Low end, medium end, high end. Lexus trumps Mercedes. Corolla trumps Focus. 

Ford makes ugly cars tailored to the needs and dreams (as its managers perceive) of bottom-line quarterly-statement-focused shareholders.

Which company would you bet on, in the long run?   

And why does Ford simply not get it?