福特输在六个关键字——给比尔·福特的一封信

原标题:福特输在六个关键字——给比尔·福特的一封信

小威廉·克雷·福特先生台鉴:

去岁年末,福特在华2025战略发布会上曾聆君麈论,而今不睹芝仪,瞬又半载。

从2008年美国车企集体陷入危机,到2018年福特在华低迷决意整改,两个波谷间距恰巧十年;2025战略对比“1515规划”,两个节点间距又是十年。自1903年令曾祖亨利·福特缔造福特汽车公司至今,历时115年,其实也就是十余个十年组成。从2015到2025,能否从成功走向另一个转败为胜,其意义便也不言而喻。

您曾经反驳“福特衰退说”,坚称到2020年福特无论产品线还是展厅均将更光彩夺目,但我们知道那是面向投资人的演说。过去的十年里,福特的确创下过新的成绩,譬如曾在Navigant Research自动驾驶排行榜高居前列,然而,和另一组消息相比便黯然失色:从福特中国乃至全球人事地震,到在华销量陷入低迷、全球利润跌落19%,以及退出日本市场、北美轿车市场,在澳洲关闭了工厂……

事实面前无须讳疾忌医。我仿佛看见阁下在棋盘前逡巡良久,砰然落子之后微颤的手隐隐透出焦虑和期盼。

福特,这个拥有百年历史、拉开汽车产业技术革命先河的伟大品牌,到底怎么了?汽车媒体纷纷打算向您提出这个问题,但我知道您也一定想问行业观察人士这个问题究竟该给出什么答案。在此,总结出三对关键词,愿以浅见一二见笑于大方之家。

第一对:冷与热

您一定还记得,四五年前“在华销量增速最高外资车企”这顶热度逼人的桂冠曾属于福特。2013年到2016年,19%到49%的辉煌增幅,让福特的名字在中国熠熠生辉。然而自2016年经销商冲突事件以来,福特在华销量急转直下,每一年都在缩水。2018年过了5个月,福特在华销量也跌了5个月,降幅在11%到30%不等。这重严寒,在投资者大会上封冻了您五年前春风得意的笑容。

这种180度大转弯并不奇怪,市场就是这样,当你对它热心耕耘,才有希望收获金灿灿暖洋洋的果实;而当你对它冷落搁置,那么势必被还以冷清清凄惨惨的结局。当您任由福特在华路线从深耕转为攫取时,却不曾预料会在市场趋于饱和成熟之后销量遇冷。

福特过去三年和今年以来在华销量

如果您要寻觅福特在中国失去温度的答案,请回想一下过去几年给中国的“冷待遇”:媒体曾看着变化无几的2016款翼虎大摇其头,“1515规划”之后中国长时间里未能迎来重磅新车,这是在新车安排上的冷落;当小型SUV、大七座SUV、精品紧凑轿车成为紧凑SUV之后新一轮潮流时,我们看到福特在中国长期几无作为,这是在市场趋势把握上的冷淡;尽管经销商“起义”存在双向利益争夺,以及第三方撩拨的作用,但福特那些年肆意压库以换取一时佳绩,这是对经销商生态和网络渠道的冷漠……

曾经,一位时任长安汽车副总裁的高管对本刊记者抱怨称:“对福特来说,美国市场最重要,中国嘛,要等等看!”那句话,刺骨的程度胜过了2011年的朔风。我们原本以为“1515”能让福特在中国彻底走入春天,孰知接下来便是“冰河时代”。

是,福特正在针对软肋进行修正和填补。FSDD新经销店改造了服务消费者的标准,何骏杰先生也强调了同经销商的关系;2025规划新车数量惊人,覆盖范围广大……

然而仅仅在第一步构建框架并不够,宏伟目标需要通过无数细节落地踏踏实实搭建起来,譬如50款新车中,能重新定义福特品牌的车型、能冲量的车型、充数的车型,分别有多少款?定价策略几何?上市时机怎样把握?如果蒙迪欧Energi这种眼下还不能走量或提升品牌的车型为主,您觉得“新车阵容”含金量又有多少呢?同经销商关系趋于缓和之后,他们先前的疲累与伤痛又如何去消解?能否确保整个销售渠道恢复健康和备战状态?

要在中国这个最重要市场扭转寒潮,还需要福特抱以百分百的热情,贯穿到每一个角落,每一寸细节。

第二对:快与慢

身为中国人,我却可以理解为何福特一度选择在事实上对华“降温”,严格意义上说,这是福特在全球对燃油车业务收缩的一部分,和放弃日本市场、澳洲工厂以及北美轿车业务如出一辙。因为,汽车行业处于转型大潮之中,所有人都知道新能源和智能汽车是方向,但如何迈步却众说纷纭。焦虑和迷惘蔓延到的范围,远不止福特一家车企。

福特,想做那个跑得最快的选手。于是,现有的燃油车业务开始收缩,大量资金用于收购各种移动出行初创企业,从投资Velodyne/Argo Al、收购SAIPS/Chariot,到将迪尔伯恩大楼改造成硅谷式园区,前任CEO马克·菲尔兹的大刀阔斧一定曾令您倍感欣慰,于是能在他受到质疑时站出来力挺。然而当2017年利润预期下跌至90亿美元时,您对他的支持再也撑不住了。

难道您忘却了2001年的那一幕?当您解雇时任CEO的杰奎斯·纳赛尔时,是否与16年后的心情相同?纳赛尔和菲尔兹管理下的福特,失算之处都不是走得太慢,而是走得太快,差别之处在于纳赛尔的目标是电商,而菲尔兹的目标是自动驾驶,两位都对前瞻方向心生向往,但都为了未来而放弃了当下。

比尔·福特与马克·菲尔兹

菲尔兹在接受CNBC电视台采访时曾风发飞扬:“汽车的自动化将定义下一个十年,我们预测自动驾驶汽车将为社会带来积极影响,就如同100多年前福特汽车发明的流水线那样”。他对趋势的判断并没有错,只是当前的燃油车业务依然是根本,未来固然美好,却无法同现在之间形成割裂的断层。您与菲尔兹都是电商潮流挫败的见证者,因此吸取纳赛尔教训的义务恐怕不仅仅归于他一个人所有。

中国有句老话叫“欲速则不达”。福特是有雄心的车企,却忘了慢的哲学——宏观把控必须学会稳健和踏实,屡屡因冒进而受挫。

如果将目光再度聚焦到中国市场,2016年之前的压库举措何尝不也是“先激进迈步,再重跌痛哭”的典型?在您的公司,不止一位员工告诉我们,中国业务增长方面“福特走得太快了”。

作为汽车世家的掌门人,您自然知晓空气阻力的公式:F=(1/2)C*ρ*S*V2,速度越高则受阻越大。长安福特在2016年是最接近100万辆销量大关的一次,很遗憾地告诉您,随着市场接近饱和点,往后再想迈过这个门槛的概率已经极低了;福特在华总销量的最高点,或许也会定格在那一年的127万辆,能够让福特回味的大概也就是当时最快的跨越速度了吧。

最快,却未必是最远。

第三对:旧与新

时代变迁的速度堪称日新月异,这也难怪车企都急匆匆地踏上了转型的赛道。只是,有些公司身体跑在转型的道路上,心却还在旧时代,毕竟企业文化内核和管理架构的革新,比技术创新难度更大。

汽车行业保留着诸多家族式车企的痕迹,有些只是留下了一个不朽的名字,有些却是迄今家族仍然掌控了管理之舵。在家族参与管理的车企中,包括:大众、戴姆勒、宝马、丰田、福特……

在旧的家族式、集权式管理框架下,不少车企已经吃过苦头。譬如集团管理层全权掌控导致了多重领导、臃肿机构和庞杂业务,因而大众“排放门”和丰田“踏板门”过程中,问题其实早已暴露但却因为官僚主义和传达流程冗长,迟迟未能作出应对。因而这样的企业,虽强大有力,却不善应变,上下疏于沟通,许多问题被隐藏得不到解决。

必须承认,福特在管理模式和企业文化上,可以算比较勇于革新。从令曾祖父亨利·福特先生笃信泰勒高效而不近人情的“科学管理”,到您的父亲福特二世在晚年引入外部职业经理人替代家族管理,已经发生了重大转变。但是,福特家族通过双层股权体系依旧牢牢抓住了大部分表决权,这仍然意味着没有对职业经理人充分放权。即便管理层人士可以获得股权激励,也多半停留在分红层面。因此有分析人士指出,这造成福特的职业经理人侧重短期业绩,而忽视长远未来。

同时,官僚主义、集权主义和山头主义依然存在于福特的架构中。福特性能部的总设计工程师Jamal Hameedi和菲尔兹都曾透露过官僚主义的阻拦,菲尔兹甚至直指妨碍未来业务发展:“我们的应对方式就是首先要打破自己,不能用福特的官僚主义作风影响智能移动的发展。”

很可惜,在这种架构下,管理者容易分化为两个极端,要么是疏懒迟钝的官僚,要么是冒进激越的冒险者。

而至于集权和山头,那么关于马瑞麟先生执掌长安福特时期为什么会爆发“断轴门”,为何会选用南方天合劣质羊角?以及为何罗冠宏担任福特中国CEO不到半年便匆匆挂印离去,这里面福特亚太管理层扮演了怎样的角色?我想您可能比我更清楚。

您给福特亚太、福特中国、长安福特分别安排了怎样的定位和角色?非但我这个外部观察者觉察到了一丝诡异的气息,而且内部人士的腹诽已经不是一天两天。较之福特亚太区的大权在握、长安福特的实际业务操作,福特中国能够针对我们这个市场把控的环节少之又少,研发、制造、质量、市场、售后……几乎都是空白。

同样是美国车企,通用汽车2013年将通用中国从通用国际运营部独立出来,反观福特中国一直受困亚太区,本地化进程无法充分放手。诚然,更高程度的本地化将导致部分就业岗位流失转移,但却能更好地应对中国市场特化的需求。否则福特在中国将继续被全球制度和流程所牵绊,产品、传播等层面无法达成针对性和快速反应的效果。区域架构能否优化,中国市场的管理权限能否放开,这是一项容易看清楚却难以下决心的选择。

而福特亚太和福特中国的派遣员工,占据了太多关键职位,您确保其中多少人能扎扎实实为一个区域或者一个市场奉献自己的职业生涯,而不是匆忙“镀金”几年便离去?福特在华不力局面,您扪心自问,是否和自己的用人机制密不可分?

大象转身,从来殊为不易。家族式车企巨头,多半在思变。丰田章男的掌权模式脱离了家族管理的味道,戴姆勒打算拆分为乘用车、商用车和金融三家独立法人公司,并引入吉利作为最大单一股东制衡守旧力量。那么您会对福特作出怎样的调整呢?

福特,曾引领全球进入流水线工业制造时代,而在这个工业4.0时代却施展受限,众目都聚焦在您和韩恺特先生身上。英雄史诗在世界大背景的光耀之下,究竟是相映还是失色?写就福特这一段历史的笔,就掌握在您的手中。

此致

石劼

《汽车公社》

2018年6月26日

Six Key Words for Ford’s Loss in China - A Letter for Mr. Bill Ford

Author/Shi Jie

Dear Mr. William Clay Ford Jr.,

It’s almost half an year since I saw you last time on “China Expansion Strategy 2025” Event in Dec, 2017.

Rather a coincidence. From 2008 crisis in the USA to Ford’s restart in China in 2018, as well as the time gap between the two growth plans in China, each is a step of one decade. For Ford, the 115 years history is composed of one dozen decades, so this decade is a key period for ford, of course.

Once you denied that ford declined in the name of more attractive portfolio and show rooms in 2020. Besides those words for investors, we know that ford did meet trouble these years, from sales volume downfall in China to your retreat in North American sedan market and Japan, even dimming your glory such as top position on Navigant Research self-driving rankings.

So what happened to Ford? We want to ask you. But I think you also want to get the answer from us. Hereby, I offer three pairs of key words for your reference.

No.1 Cold and Warm

Four or five years ago, ford owned the crown of the fastest growing foreign car manufacturer in China, enjoying a warm growth rate between 19% and 49%. Since 2016, however, the sales volume fell year by year while all the monthly deliveries numbers declined yoy in 2018, at the rate of 11% to 30%. So you could feel the chill from the newest numbers.

Market needs your cultivation with enthusiasm and warmth. If you do so, then you could get warm fruits. Conversely, you will have to confront a chilly wasteland if you play it cool. As ford grasp profit from China with a cold-blooded style, in stead of pleading heart and soul, the growth turned into downfall in a much saturated market compared with several years ago.

Ford brought cold wind to China firstly, then was rewarded with hailstones. First, the cold wind is in portfolio since there were few new models of importance launched in China after “15·15 Plan” completed. Take MY 2016 Kuga for example, it’s almost the same as the old model. Second, Ford acted slowly within the new trend of small crossover, 7 seat crossover and compact sedan after the popularity of compact crossover. The only explanation for the torpid reaction might be Ford ‘s freeze in the chilliness. At last, Ford once coerced dealers to pile up stock in a cold-blooded way, aiming to get better sales volume result. You treated the distribution channel as cold as ice, so you would get a frozen sales volume.

Once an executive from Chang’an Auto complained to us, “For Ford, the USA is the most important market, while China can wait for a chance.” That sentence is colder than the winter wind. We did wish to see “15·15 Plan” bring Ford to a brand new spring, however, an “Ice Age” was following.

I agree that Ford is improving, for example, it will launch over 50 new models in China before 2025, and found better relationship with dealers.

But the plan is just the basic architecture and the first step, you must implement it perfectly. The new portfolio should be made up of volume cars, profit cow cars, and models for lifting brand image and so on. Details such as price strategy and launch date also count. If most of the 50 new models are products as Mondeo Energi which could not enjoy hight volume in China, Ford will be lacking new model, still.

Due to your desire for success in China, you must devote your warm hear, wholeheartedly, from every corner and every detail.

No.2 Fast and Slow

In fact, the chilliness from Ford is not only for China, but also for the whole internal-combustion engine vehicle business as the whole industry is entering a transitional period towards green and intellectual mobility. Every car manufacturer knows that tomorrow belongs to alternative energy cars and connected cars, but how can we get there?

Ford always wishes to be the fastest runner. So we saw Ford put huge investment into new start-ups at the price of ICE vehicle business shrinking, under the management of Mr. Mark Fields. From investing Velodyne/A rgo Al to purchasing SAIPS/Chariot, as well as shifting Dearborn building into silicon valley styled park, you must appreciated Fields’ harvest in the field of new mobility. So you supported him when he met the first shock of criticism. When you receive a degraded profit forecast of 9 billion dollars, nevertheless, Fields lost your umbrella.

A Déjà vu for 2001 when you dismissed Mr. Jacques Nasser? Then common problem under the management of Nasser and that of Fields, is running to fast, but not to slowly. The difference between the two depended on their goal, i.e., Nasser for E-commerce while Fields for new mobility. Both of the two were longing for the future, but sacrificed today. Fields should undertake the responsibility of radicalness, however, you should also afford the price.

China, is also another example for the much-too-high speed of Ford. As Ford wished to get a better sales volume, overstock became the poisonous water to quench the thirst. Before 2016, Ford neglected the need of dealers ecology. Chang’an Ford almost get 1 million sales in 2016, when Ford seld 1.27 million new cars in China that year. But as the car market is turning more and more saturated, you could hardly break the records above.

There is an old China saying "More haste, less speed“. The faster you run, the more drag you have to afford. And higher speed temporarily never equals a farther destination.

No.3 New and Old

Enterprises must evolve their corporate culture while the world is heading into a new period. New shell with old core never works. There are many car manufacturers keeping familial people -run character, such as Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG, BMW Group, Toyota Motor Corporation, and, Ford Motor Company.

I know that Ford had changed a lot in the aspect of corporate culture and management mode, from Taylorism or say scientific management theory appreciated by your great grandfather, to professional manager system founded by your father, and to your attention back to the core business. Dual-class share structure, however, strips the owner sense from many professional managers. That’s part of the reason why sometimes Ford executives are eager to get more beautiful sales volume instead of a better development method. Under that circumstance, executives might go to two extremes, one for laggard bureaucrats, the other for radical adventurers.

From the aspect of centralization and "mountain strongholds”, why were there lots of “axle crack” case happened from Focus to Fuga when Marin Burela took over Chang’an Ford? Why did they choose inferior steering knuckle supplied by CTCS? Why did Jason Luo quit his job as Ford China CEO after only several months? Ford Asia Pacific business was barrier for Ford China’s development, indeed. Do you know?

China is a special market, in the need of a specific department to control the business. Under Ford Asia Pacific, the localization can not be implemented thoroughly due to the global standard and procedure. For Ford China, it lacks power to control segments from R&D, manufacturing, QC, marketing to after sales and so on. GM China had come off GMIO since 2013, to improve the efficient by treat China as a special market, while Ford China always under control of Ford Asia Pacific.

I heard that many executives sent to Ford China from the USA never bore the ambition to improve the business but treat the position as a chance of gilding. So bureaucracy accumulated and the problems were rooted in the soil.

Ford, once guiding the whole world into the assembly line revolution, met bottleneck in the era of industry 4.0. Can Ford break the barrier and be great again? Now all the eyesight concentrates on you and Mr. Hackett. What will the history of Ford be like after many years? Now the pen writing down the history, is controlled in your hand.

Best wishes.

Yours,

Martin Shi

iAuto Shanghai

June, 26th, 2018返回搜狐,查看更多

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