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Ford's "Dimensioning"??

Posted by: David Kiley on August 29, 2008

I have heard alot of industry-speak, but I’m not sure what to make of this, as reported in Automotive News:

DENVER — Ford Motor Co. executives are telling lawmakers and other policymakers that suppliers as well as automakers are in critical need of low-interest federal loans soon.

Ford purchasing chief Tony Brown was part of the automaker’s pitch to policymakers here today at the Democratic National Convention.

But even Ford isn’t able to say what amount of federal money it needs.

“We’re still dimensioning,” Brown told Automotive News after chatting with Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. He was accompanied by Bruce Andrews, Ford vice president of government affairs and a former Democratic congressional staff member.

Stabenow led the effort to add a provision to last year’s energy law authorizing $25 billion in loans for factory retooling to produce vehicles with fuel-saving technology.

Reader Comments

Dearborn Observer

August 29, 2008 4:38 PM

I imagine that it's a favorite term of Alan Mulally's that inevitably caught on among the senior staff at Ford. That - and it's pretty common management consultant-speak.


August 30, 2008 3:47 PM

"Dimensioning". Sure. It's MBA-speak for "we don't know". You see, in Business 101, the first chapter is on how to CYA. Second chapter is on how to blame someone else for your problems. Third is on how to employ FUD.

There is no chapter in the textbook on how to say things straight, without using any brainiac-sounding multi-syllabic words as either a shield or camouflage.

John Cross

August 31, 2008 11:58 PM

Clearly, Ford just doesn't get it. How can they expect new federal loans to accomplish anything other than selling off their old inventories of cars they ignorantly produced in the first place. When those cheap and most likely illegitimate loans default and were stuck in another lending mess, Ford will already be six feet under and unable to negotiate these ridiculous policies.

Mary Schmidt

September 4, 2008 5:27 PM

I'd have to agree with James - and would add another possible definition:

"We're still sitting around the board room presenting politically correct Powerpoint Pontifications to each other."

What would be so hard about saying, "We're still thinking about it." Guess it doesn't sound sufficiently impressive...but wouldn't it be great if we thought senior execs did such things (versus crafting CYA art and CEO speak.)

(Full disclosure: I'm a consultant - but I'm one that likes to actually get things done and problems solved. I call them "doing things" and "solving problems." I also believe thinking is a good thing.;-)

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