Future of Ford Cars Seen by Workers

Ford Motor Co. is taking nearly 25,000 employees and retirees to what is called “Showroom of the Future.” The latter will showcase concept cars and upgraded versions of Ford vehicles that will be rolled out by 2010. This is Ford’s way of convincing its employees that there is light at the end of the dark tunnel.

Showroom of the Future is scheduled to happen at Detroit’s Cobo Arena on the 27th and 28th day of this Month. Said event will present videos, images and actual vehicles of upcoming Ford models and technologies.

“Through our North America ‘Way Forward’ plan, we’ve spoken a lot about reducing our uncompetitive cost structure, but we have not yet fully explained our accelerated product plans,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas. “It’s time to change that — and to show our full team of employees and retirees how this transformation truly is product-led.”

The event is primarily aimed at boosting confidence in Ford’s product lineup. Sara Tatchio, Ford’s spokeswoman added, “The move is part of a broader effort to communicate with employees and keep them informed as the company pursues a painful restructuring of its North American automobile business.”

Tatchio says the message is straightforward. “It’s ‘keep the faith,’ but it’s also about helping them understand why they should have faith,” she said.

Cecil Crider, a retired designer of Ford received an invitation. Crider’s last design was for 1994 Ford Mustang parts accessories. “Years ago, Design Center used to be run by designers,” Crider said. “Then they put the bean-counters in charge and let them make the decisions. You need bean-counters because this is a business and you have to be profitable. But you need to have people who know how to design designing.”

Ford is expecting to host thousands of employees to thrust confidence in them. “We’ve spent a lot of time during the past year talking about our new customer-focus,” Susan Turner, Ford’s human resources communications manager said. “Now, employees and retirees will not only see how that results in the new sheet metal, but they should walk away with a better understanding of how the business plan, brand plan and product development plan all come together.”