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Ford Motor (F) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Ford Motor (Germany)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Ford Motor is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, technology disruption, increasing transportation and logistics costs, there is backlash against globalization, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, increasing commodity prices, talent flight as more people leaving formal jobs, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Ford Motor


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Ford Motor can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Ford Motor, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Ford Motor operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of Ford Motor can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Ford Motor
2. Improving business portfolio management of Ford Motor
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in Germany
4. Making a Auto & Truck Manufacturers sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Ford Motor




Strengths of Ford Motor | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Ford Motor are -

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Ford Motor in the Consumer Cyclical sector have low bargaining power. Ford Motor has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Ford Motor to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Organizational Resilience of Ford Motor

– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Ford Motor does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.

Successful track record of launching new products

– Ford Motor has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Ford Motor has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.

Diverse revenue streams

– Ford Motor is present in almost all the verticals within the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry. This has provided Ford Motor a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.

High brand equity

– Ford Motor has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Ford Motor to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

Innovation driven organization

– Ford Motor is one of the most innovative firm in Auto & Truck Manufacturers sector.

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry

– Ford Motor has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Ford Motor to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Ford Motor to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Ford Motor comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.

Highly skilled collaborators

– Ford Motor has highly efficient outsourcing and offshoring strategy. It has resulted in greater operational flexibility and bringing down the costs in highly price sensitive Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry. Secondly the value chain collaborators of Ford Motor have helped the firm to develop new products and bring them quickly to the marketplace.

Analytics focus

– Ford Motor is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry. The technology infrastructure of Germany is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.

Training and development

– Ford Motor has one of the best training and development program in Consumer Cyclical industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.

Ability to lead change in Auto & Truck Manufacturers

– Ford Motor is one of the leading players in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry in Germany. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry in Germany but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Ford Motor in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.






Weaknesses of Ford Motor | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Ford Motor are -

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Ford Motor has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry over the last five years. Ford Motor even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

– The organizational structure of Ford Motor is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry, but Ford Motor needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Ford Motor to focus more on services in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in Germany, Ford Motor is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry.

High dependence on Ford Motor ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of Ford Motor still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Ford Motor has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Ford Motor, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Ford Motor is one of the leading players in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry in last five years.

High dependence on existing supply chain

– The disruption in the global supply chains because of the Covid-19 pandemic and blockage of the Suez Canal illustrated the fragile nature of Ford Motor supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Ford Motor is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Ford Motor vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Ford Motor, in the dynamic environment of Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Ford Motor has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Ford Motor is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Ford Motor to provide better information regarding Auto & Truck Manufacturers products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Ford Motor is just above the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Ford Motor has high operating costs in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Ford Motor lucrative customers.




Ford Motor Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Ford Motor are -

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Ford Motor to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Ford Motor can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Ford Motor operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Auto & Truck Manufacturers sector.

Developing new processes and practices

– Ford Motor can develop new processes and procedures in Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry using technology such as automation using artificial intelligence, real time transportation and products tracking, 3D modeling for concept development and new products pilot testing etc.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Ford Motor can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Ford Motor to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for Ford Motor to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Ford Motor has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Auto & Truck Manufacturers sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Ford Motor to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Ford Motor to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Ford Motor is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Ford Motor can utilize new technology in the field of Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Ford Motor in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry. Now Ford Motor can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Buying journey improvements

– Ford Motor can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Ford Motor can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Ford Motor can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Ford Motor can still utilize the low interest rates to borrow money for capital investment. Secondly it can also use the increase of government spending in infrastructure projects to get new business.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Ford Motor can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry.




Threats Ford Motor External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Ford Motor are -

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Ford Motor can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate Ford Motor prominent markets.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Ford Motor high dependence on third party suppliers can disrupt its processes and delivery mechanism. For example -the current troubles of car makers because of chip shortage is because the chip companies started producing chips for electronic companies rather than car manufacturers.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Ford Motor is facing in Auto & Truck Manufacturers sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Ford Motor can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

Environmental challenges

– Ford Motor needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Ford Motor can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry.

Increasing wage structure of Ford Motor

– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of Ford Motor.

Backlash against dominant players

– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of Ford Motor business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Ford Motor may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Auto & Truck Manufacturers sector.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry are lowering. It can presents Ford Motor with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Auto & Truck Manufacturers sector.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Ford Motor demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Auto & Truck Manufacturers industry and other sectors.

Instability in the European markets

– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. Ford Motor will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Ford Motor Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Ford Motor needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Ford Motor is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Ford Motor is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Ford Motor to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Ford Motor needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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