Case | HBS Case Collection | November 1989 (Revised February 1992)

Ford Motor Co.: Dealer Sales and Service

by Leonard A. Schlesinger

Abstract

Since Henry Ford founded Ford Motor Co., Ford vehicles have been sold and serviced the same way. By the late 1980s Ford began to consider making changes in its sales and service process. Two developments forced Ford to reconsider these processes. First, Ford found through various surveys that customers had very clear complaints about the way they were treated by car dealers. Second, with more rapid technology transfer among the automakers, product differentiation was declining. Therefore, the channels of distribution provided one of the final potential points of differentiation between automakers. This case gives the students all of the conclusions from the studies Ford had done and asks them to redesign the sales and service process to address customers' complaints and become a point of differentiation for Ford.

Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Change Management; Distribution Channels; Customer Focus and Relationships; Service Industry; Auto Industry; Retail Industry; United States;

Citation:

Schlesinger, Leonard A. "Ford Motor Co.: Dealer Sales and Service." Harvard Business School Case 690-030, November 1989. (Revised February 1992.)