Ford vs. GM: The Evolution of Mass Production (A) Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

This case investigates the very diverse routes taken by the Ford Motor Company besides the General Motors Corporation in the initial three decades of the twentieth century. Henry Ford's Model T was a car for the masses. Subsequent to considerable experimentation, a mass production system that converted the great bulk of work in the factory into routine tasks was perfected by Ford Motor. It pioneered the moving assembly line, plus measures that became mechanized and integrated were pursued by it. While it's single minded spotlight on cost minimization resulted in spectacular marketplace success for a time, the resulting inflexibility made it difficult for the business to react to market transformation.This created an opportunity for General Motors and others, especially in the face of industrial modification to shut-metal stamping technology and body designs, as well as the promotion-led idea of the annual model change.

The case offers exploration versus exploitation: a setting to analyze several frameworks, the emergence of dominant designs, and vertical integration versus transaction costs and provider hold-up. The A case closes with the question of what GM should do about provider Fisher Body. The B case summarizes the shift to all- engine manufacturing and steel body stamping as the central technologies for auto production, and how these changes made it difficult for Ford to keep its first-mover advantage.

PUBLICATION DATE: August 15, 2013 PRODUCT #: 614010-PDF-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about TECHNOLOGY & OPERATIONS

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