BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : OCTOBER 11, 1999 ISSUE
COVER STORY

Nasser's Game Plan


NEW BLOOD
In a bid to juice up Ford's stodgy executive suite, Nasser has hired a slew of highly regarded managers from auto makers around the globe. He has also tapped top consumer-goods makers for marketing and sales talent. His all-star team is now considered among the industry's best.

CUSTOMER FOCUS
Nasser is pushing everyone from engineers to marketing staffers to get closer to customers rather than rely on second-hand market research. He's also backing innovative new ventures, such as Ford's recent stake in MSN's CarPoint Web site. Nasser's goal: to mine the site's data from online purchases to understand buyers better.

MORE AUTONOMY
Ford 2000, the five-year-old plan that centralized global decision-making, brought big cost savings but has hurt regional managers' ability to react to local markets. With problems brewing in Ford's international units, Nasser will launch a structural shakeup next year aimed at giving regional executives more power over car brands and marketing.

GOING FOR GROWTH
Nasser wants to boost Ford stock's price-earnings ratio from 9 to the 30 range enjoyed by consumer companies. So he's moving into higher-margin service businesses, such as quick-repair stations.



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CHART: Ford's Stock Leads the Pack and Profits Are Booming...

CHART: ...But Most Are Coming from Trucks and Overseas Units Are Struggling

Why the Unions Are Stirred Up

Europe: Where Ford Needs to Step on the Gas

CHART: Ford Fades Out

ONLINE ORIGINAL: Chairman Bill Ford Talks about Jac Nasser

ONLINE ORIGINAL: Jac Nasser: 'In the Past, We Tried to Do Too Much'

ONLINE ORIGINAL: Can Nasser Get Ford's Stock onto a Smoother Road?



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