Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Ford is Awesome.

I have never owned a Ford. But the next time that I am in the market for a car, I will be definitely looking to support them.

Why Ford's Winning By Not Taking Government Money


Would I ever buy a GM or Chrysler? Hell no. Why not? I'll sum it up this way:

If GM and Chrysler weren't competitive enough to stay in business in an up market, how are they going to do well in a down one? And this is down! They had to go hat in hand before. And they didn't learn from it. Oh wait, I take that back. They did learn from that. They learned the lesson that our government has been consistently been teaching for the better part of the last 2 decades. Here's where we are now, for the most part due to this sort of crap. This is kind of how I see what's going on.

Government Policy Makers: "We will punish success & reward mediocrity. So do your most mediocre and fiscally irresponsible-est and we'll be there to hand you the bucks that have been taken from the achievers. "

American People: "NO!"

Government Policy Makers: "And you'll like it because we say so, you stupid peon astroturf cornpone simple simpletons in the middle of the country."

American People: "WTF! No, listen to us! We are burning up your phone lines, faxes, emails and mailboxes saying no no no no. Listen to us!"

Government Policy Makers: "Go grow us some corn and wheat and cows. Meanwhile, we're going to continue with more bailouts, cap and trade, and more stuff that you can't even imagine all tucked into multi-thousand page bills that we haven't read."

American People: "Really. See you at the ballot box in 2010. We're comin' for ya. Meanwhile, we're buying Fords. "

But I digress... back to the meat of this post.
This tactic is not new for Ford. They did this back in the Great Depression. They stood up to Uncle Sam and almost folded. But they didn't. And they survived.

Ford Learned from this lesson and have never forgotten the loyalty of their customer, the American People.

Here's what happened, in a nutshell:


In order to stop deflation during the GD, FDR put price controls into place through the National Recovery Administration, which essentially set price floors for businesses who were participating in the N.R.A. (Not to be confused with the National Rifle Association.)

N.R.A. logo so it sticks in your mind:

"Businesses that supported the NRA put the symbol in their shop windows and on their packages. Though membership to the NRA was voluntary, businesses that did not display the eagle were very often boycotted, making it seem to many mandatory for survival."


(source: Wiki: National Recovery Administration)



So: FDR announced as part of some government spending programs, that he was going to purchase a whole fleet of automobiles for the government. Ford was on top of the industry at that time, being the guy who came up with the auto assembly line. So Ford bid on the job. FDR went back to Ford and said, yes, you can have the business if you raise your prices to be in line with the N.R.A. guidelines. Ford said, no. We don't participate in the N.R.A. and we belive in discounting our product to make it affordable to the customer. We're not going to hike the price on the taxpayer dollars right now in the middle of a Depression when people are out of work! No. We will NOT lower our price.

"I do not think that this country is ready to be treated like Russia for a while. There is a lot of the pioneer spirit here yet.”
~Henry Ford

So what happened? Well, a piece out of today, actually~ FDR said, no deal. President Roosevelt retaliated with executive order requiring that Ford either comply with NRA or be barred from governmnet contracts. Ford refused to yield. At the end of 1934, the pressure from the public was too great and government agencies returned to Ford for purchases.

"Although Henry Ford was heavily criticized for his attitude toward the NRA during August and September 1933, the tide of public opinion, as the stalemate continued, began to run heavily in his favor. "The cheering and marching for NRA," said Business Week in October 1933, "seems to have generated little if any public resentment against Mr. Ford." The magazine added that a newsreel's fleeting shot of Henry Ford, which followed several hundred feet of film on General Johnson [NRA administrator] and NRA activities, elicited applause in the theatres when it was shown."
[source: "The Public Image of Henry Ford: An American Fold Hero and his Company." by David L. Lewis. (July 1987) Wayne State University Press.]

So I say to Ford: Cheers. Hip Hip Hooray. You GO! The American People are behind you. They see. They read. They pay attention. They talk. They notice. They've got your back.


2 comments:

pelicanmarsh68 said...

Spot-on! I own a Ford Ranger myself, and ever since the whole Auto Bailout Debacle with GM and Chrysler begging for money, I have a new-found pride in my truck.

Ford, back in the day and I don't recall which Ford it was, told FDR that he didn't want or need his money during the New Deal takeover of America. Gotta love that.

I feel bad, (if I can use the word "feel" without sounding like a sissy), for GM employees who aren't unionized. Their leadership was spineless and sold out their dignity for a loan that still left them going bankrupt due to their inability to handle money. Now these GM employess, non-unionized, have to bear that daily.

Nothing against GM, as they are still an American auto manufacturer, but it will be a cold day in Hell before I regard them as anything short of being incompetent businessmen. They should have gone bankrupt and filed for protection instead of prostituting themselves to Obama.

HeartlanderMom said...

@Pelican:
And Congress, not just Obama. Don't forget how they were so quick to grovel before the Senate. Nauseating.

Keep drivin' that Ford & keep the torch lit, brother.

BTW- it was Henry Ford. *the* Henry Ford. Just rather recently, Ford the company put a Ford family member back at the helm. Best move ever.

Cheers to you and yours.
~HLM