Case Study: Ford Mondeo
In 1992, Ford Motor Company decided to produce a world car, that is, a car that would be produced and sold internationally with little variation in the vehicle between markets. This world car was named the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique for the North American market and the Ford Mondeo for the European Market. All of these models were built with a 90% similarity due to body design differences, local conditions and mandates.
Ford decided to expand internationally to increase sales, spread production sites, and to increase their research and development. The company believed that economies of scale and supplier flexibility would improve cost efficiency and supplier efficiency. Ford felt that these factors
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IT was to be used for structured calculations and design improvements. Some calculations involved were for the structure and body limitations of the vehicle, and the design involved relied on programs such as Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing. Ford had to setup a large and powerful computer to meet the demands of these calculations and design software, so the purchased a new Cray 4MP super-computer during the Mondeo. The Cray 4MP was kept at the headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. Project IT was also needed to support long distance communication and to integrate geographically remote areas of the Ford organization and its suppliers. In order to meet the demands of these important communicational tasks, Ford needed a system that could communicate in real-time, be in multiple sites, be capable of simultaneous engineering and information transfer as well as the implementation of a global e-mailing system. Ford implemented a transatlantic video link that was capable of video conferencing, and posted large amounts of investments to realize telecommunication and computer equipment to make these tasks possible. Without these means of communication through IT the world car would not have been a realistic project operationally and financially.
It is likely that Ford is struggling because of these