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Car: A Drama of the American Workplace
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Car: A Drama of the American Workplace

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  4 reviews
An insightful account of the redesigning of the Ford Taurus, chronicling firsthand the clashes between departments at Ford as the new machine takes shape on the assembly line.
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by W W Norton & Co Inc
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Neil Pierson
I always thought that car companies were miserable places to work. Turns out I was right.

But it's interesting to read about--if you like cars. This is the story of the redesign and introduction of the new (1996) Ford Taurus and shows us what a difficult, complicated process it is.

Car design and engineering is a zero-sum game. A budget is set for the overall cost of the car, of course. If I add a crash sensor and a bracket to hold it, and that adds $9.75 to the cost of the car, you have to cut $9...more
Marty Greenwell
Wow! This was a great book. If you want to appreciate your car, read this. I never thought what was sitting under me as I went down the road was simple, but I never envisioned the complexity of designing a car: the change in the body shapes the headlights which impacts the way the front end is designed which impacts how much can be "packaged" into the front. I thought there would be competition and there is. How almost twenty years ago multiple car makers would be in Death Valley to test their A...more
A surprisingly interesting read. It truly is the biography of a car (Ford Taurus) and like any good biography gives a glimpse of its parents and the countervailing forces (design, engineering, finance, individual features, the car as a whole) that shaped it. A good read for product development people in general -- this was a bet-the-farm model -- and for those in the auto and advertising industries.
Industrial drama at its best. I really enjoyed reading about all the thoughfulness that went into the making of the first Ford Taurus and about how seemingly small details (e.g. purple seat fabric, oval rear window) doomed the first year's model.

Good for people interested in inventing, innovation, marketing,and the American consumer's psyche.
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