This Time Ford Really Has a Better Idea
Industry underwent a sea change last week, and somehow, it slipped by in the guise of a typical marketing story: Ford is asking its customers how to design cars.
The US auto industry? The guys who insisted that Americans didn’t want small cars until the Volkswagen ambushed them? Who thought Americans would buy anything they sold, handing Japan a mandate to take over the category of “reliable family car?” The arrogant institution that refused to believe we wanted higher mileage cars? Yes, this is a big story.
It was quite amazing to see this most hidebound of American industries embrace the power of community-based value networks to drive innovation. The upshot: ideas that were on the edge of management thinking 15 years ago are now entering the mainstream. I hope other car companies are taking notes.
And I look forward to seeing the kind of cars they start building, now that they are finally – finally! – listening.