Ford Pinto Case Study
March 9, 2011
In May of 1968, Ford Motor Company decided to introduce a subcompact car based upon a recommendation by vice-president Lee Iacocca. The decision to produce a subcompact car called the Pinto was an effort for Ford to battle foreign competition in the small car market. To accomplish their goal and have the new automobile in showrooms by the 1971 model introductions, the Pinto was designed and developed on an accelerated schedule (Legett, 1999). During the first few years sales of the Pinto were excellent, what ensues over the next decade will prove catastrophic for the auto giant.
Fundamentally, the issues surrounding the Ford Pinto case were that various workers advanced through the company’s management very quickly because they shared similar views with top-level decision makers of the time. It seemed that this management team did not care about the customers’ wellbeing. The effect that this vehicle had on the public was not very good, especially because the public did not discover the problems with this vehicle until after the media uncovered various issues with the Pinto. Publicizing the possibility that the Ford Pinto could explode upon rear impact alarmed consumers and stakeholders alike.
At the time, Ford tried feverishly to keep up with foreign auto makers that were marketing cars at a cheaper price and better fuel mileage. Ford Motor Company was attempting to make a car that would keep them in the market for the people who could not afford the larger vehicles. Given the competitive nature of the industry and the rush to produce, Ford never released vital information that included information like that eight out of the ten Pinto models exploded after being impacted from the rear.
Ford Vice-President, Lee Iacocca determined that it was too costly to do the safety modifications that were needed to properly fix these issues. Ford tried to take care of...