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American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company [Kindle Edition]

Bryce G. Hoffman
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.61
You Save: $6.39 (40%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

THE INSIDE STORY OF THE EPIC TURNAROUND OF FORD MOTOR COMPANY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF CEO ALAN MULALLY.
 
At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself. Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dys­functional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses. It was an extraordinary risk, but it was the only way the Ford family—America’s last great industrial dynasty—could hold on to their company.
 
Mulally and his team pulled off one of the great­est comebacks in business history. As the rest of Detroit collapsed, Ford went from the brink of bankruptcy to being the most profitable automaker in the world.
 
American Icon is the compelling, behind-the-scenes account of that epic turnaround. On the verge of collapse, Ford went outside the auto industry and recruited Mulally—the man who had already saved Boeing from the deathblow of 9/11—to lead a sweeping restructuring of a company that had been unable to overcome decades of mismanage­ment and denial. Mulally applied the principles he developed at Boeing to streamline Ford’s inefficient operations, force its fractious executives to work together as a team, and spark a product renaissance in Dearborn. He also convinced the United Auto Workers to join his fight for the soul of American manufacturing.
 
Bryce Hoffman reveals the untold story of the covert meetings with UAW leaders that led to a game-changing contract, Bill Ford’s battle to hold the Ford family together when many were ready to cash in their stock and write off the company, and the secret alliance with Toyota and Honda that helped prop up the Amer­ican automotive supply base.
 
In one of the great management narratives of our time, Hoffman puts the reader inside the boardroom as Mulally uses his celebrated Business Plan Review meet­ings to drive change and force Ford to deal with the painful realities of the American auto industry.
 
Hoffman was granted unprecedented access to Ford’s top executives and top-secret company documents. He spent countless hours with Alan Mulally, Bill Ford, the Ford family, former executives, labor leaders, and company directors. In the bestselling tradition of Too Big to Fail and The Big Short, American Icon is narrative nonfiction at its vivid and colorful best.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"For those interested in the recent political interventions and maneuvers in the auto industry, this book provides a fly-on-the-wall view of the meetings and behind-the-scenes deal making necessary to revive an ailing giant." ---Library Journal

About the Author

Bryce G. Hoffman is an award-winning journalist who has covered the auto industry, both in the United States and around the world, since 1998. He began covering Ford Motor Company for the Detroit News in 2005. He has been honored by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, and others for his coverage of Ford and is one of the world's foremost authorities on the automaker. Bryce lives in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Pete Larkin, an AudioFile Earphones Award winner, has wide voice-over and on-camera experience and has worked in virtually all media. He was the public address announcer for the New York Mets from 1988 to 1993. He has worked as a disc jockey in Baltimore, Washington, and New York, including as host of WNEW-FM's highly rated "Saturday Morning Sixties" program. An award-winning on-camera host, Pete has worked on many industrial films for many of the country's top companies, corporations, and governmental agencies and has done hundreds of commercials, promos, and narrations. His theater experience includes a variety of dramatic, comedic, and musical roles.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1847 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (March 13, 2012)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005723KGW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,773 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I highly recommend that you read this book and fully agree with what the other positive reviewers are saying about it. This book itself was not just a good read about a stalwart man, and an incredible company, it is an epic tail of a Great American Manufacturing Dynasty brought back from the brink of extinction. Reading it really inspired me to learn even more about Mulally, The Ford Motor Company, and their products. After reading the book, or while you wait for it to arrive, check out some of the videos and movies about Alan Mulally on the internet. His appearances at local universities, on late night talk shows, and in a documentary done about his work at Boeing all make for really interesting supplements to this book.

This book is different from, but every bit as well done as Walter Isaacson's book on Steve Jobs. Both of the biographies are appealing in many of the same ways. You get a history lesson, a solid business book, a solid overview of the automotive industry, a human interest story, and a biography not just of Mulally but also of other key people in the industry. You also get a really fully developed business case study that demonstrates the lessons of teamwork, core competency, strategic management, benchmarking, business ethics, the importance of liquidity among many other concepts. Although Steve Jobs and Alan Mulally are as different as two men can be, I see similarities in their importance, vision, and impact on the World. Their biographers and their biographies are also very different, but again similar in quality and importance.

The factual accuracy of this book seems to be very good. Bryce Hoffman has a lot of credibility in this part of the country and it doesn't seem that he has any agenda except to tell the story and write a good book.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, page-turning, idea-inspiring! March 1, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Simply put, this book is a page-turner. And that's not what you'd normally expect from a business book. But there's a great story here, well told, that excites the mind.

There hasn't really been a bigger story in the last half-decade than the economy, and along with the banking and housing sectors, America's "big three" automotive manufacturers have been key players in that story. But amid an economy in decline and two cross-town rivals falling toward default, Ford managed to plot a different course. This book is the story of that startling rebirth. It briefly chronicles the history of Ford, appraising its ups and downs and the resulting corporate culture its history had created. And it looks at the trouble it was facing (along with the rest of the auto industry) in the mid 2000s. But things took a decisive change for Ford when Bill Ford Jr. volunteered to step aside as CEO and bring in outside help. And the person he tapped for that responsibility was Alan Mullaly, a top executive who had just led a resurgence at Boeing.

American Icon is really three books in one: It is an interesting piece of modern American history, chronicling the inside workings of a key economic player in the midst of historic economic troubles throughout the country and the world. It is also a business book, with thoughtful and inspiring ideas for rethinking corporate culture, business workflows, and entrenched mindsets with cross-functional teams, openness, responsibility, and a carefully focused but always updating plan. And third, it is an interesting biography of both Bill Ford Jr. and Alan Mullaly, giving insight into their personalities and approaches to business.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visionary March 6, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Simply put, Ford is now exciting. Bryce Hoffman explains why and how. Alan Mullally was brought in to save a legend from itself, and he did just that. The Mulally model will probably be studied and taught for decades. Ford's culture was poisonous at so many levels. Bad products, bad policies, and a toxic culture of backstabbing and oneupmanship had culminated in what would be an inevitable end. Executives bugged each other's offices, phones were tapped, vehicles were overproduced and later sold at discounts; and that culture was decades old. Henry Ford started it all when a bunch of guys went behind his back, made some improvements to the Model T, and delivered a prototype. Ford destroyed it with a sledgehammer.
Bryce Hoffman was given unprecedented access and provides direct quotes from many of the defining moments and situations that occurred over the last decade, including talks with the Chrysler and GM CEOs, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson, candidate Obama, the Ford heirs, and so on. There have been complaints that the book is overly optimistic bordering on worshipful. Well, all you need to do is look at the product. I walked around a dealership. Ford's new vehicles look great, and the company now has the highest quality rating for a non-luxury brand. In the book you read about the current advertising campaign that was conceived several years ago. Ford started off with 'One Ford' or something, and as quality improved, Mulally wanted to move to interviews with customers impressed with the new product; in other words using actual customers to sell great vehicles. And that is exactly what is happening today.
Mr. Hoffman has been an auto industry reporter for a number of years and knows what stories are relevant, where the bodies are buried, and where the shovels are at.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected
I was surprised how quickly this book pulls you in with amazing facts and eye opening information. Great read for any business person, but especially a car/business person. Read more
Published 20 hours ago by RS
3.0 out of 5 stars Great read for a student of business
Although I knew the outcome of this story, I enjoyed the narrative Mr. Hoffman weaved out of the many facts in this account. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story and great lessons for not only business but life...
Hoffman's book and story of Alan Mulally and the Ford Motor Company is a great story of someone who operates based on principle, charts a course and rallies a global team to a... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars American Icon: Alan Mulally and the fight to save Ford Motor Company
Great book about an American company surviving a tough time in the auto industry without government assistance! If you love Ford or love American business you will like this book.
Published 8 days ago by Kevin Dartt
4.0 out of 5 stars Good/easy read
For a book about a company's management, and written by a news guy, this book was an easy read...and definitely makes me reconsider Ford when it's time for my next car purchase.
Published 14 days ago by Kathryn McKenzie
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern day fable
Incredibly detailed - the book narrates the Ford turn-around story without pulling any punches. While Alan Mullaly is the key protagonist - it thankfully isn't his biography !
Published 16 days ago by hi
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read with great insights!
Great read with great insights. I began working at Ford as a product development engineer in 2001 and this book tells the great story of our turnaround.
Published 17 days ago by Matthew Todd
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Another great business profile/story that reads quick and is woven together nicely. Really enjoyed and learned a few things for my team.

Good stuff!
Published 19 days ago by Neill P Moynihan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Narrative
Started slow for me, then the story kicked in, after the setup it becomes very compelling like a well drawn novel but true - written as you might expect from a reporter who, I... Read more
Published 19 days ago by S Burr
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and instructive for those who interested in manufacturing...
A balanced account of the mess Ford was in and the wisdom of recruiting - and then backing - a new approach. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David G Lamb
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More About the Author

BRYCE G. HOFFMAN is an award-winning journalist who has covered the auto industry, both in the United States and around the world, since 1998. He began cov­ering Ford Motor Company for the Detroit News in 2005. That beat gave him a front-row seat for many of the events chronicled in his upcoming book, American Icon, which will be released on March 13, 2012. Hoffman has been honored by the Society of American Business Edi­tors and Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, and others for his coverage of Ford and is one of the world's foremost authorities on Ford. He lives in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

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