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

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  71 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Faced with the task of redesigning the Taurus, America's best-selling car and the flagship of its fleet, Ford Motor Company assembled 700 designers, engineers, planners, and bean-counters under a tough manager who set out to retake engineering and manufacturing ground lost to the Japanese. On their shoulders rested the reputation and profits of Ford, not to mention an inve ...more
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by W. W. Norton & Company
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(showing 1-30)
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Rob Finfrock
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Auto enthusiasts
I knew going in that this would likely be a somewhat depressing read, as the 1996 "DN101" Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable are generally viewed as middling successes at best, expensive boondoggles at worst. That said, the last 40 pages (covering early and largely favorable press reviews, the initial marketing campaign, and subsequent lukewarm market reception) seem a bit rushed after 290 pages of extensive detail about the five-year development process behind the DN101.
Neil Pierson
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nln
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.
Mitzi
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Tom Olmsted
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trials of bringing the new Taurus to market. Good inside information on Ford product development in the 90s.
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