Car; A Drama of the American Workplace

Walton, Mary

Published by W. W. Norton & Co, 1999
ISBN 10: 0393318613 / ISBN 13: 9780393318616
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6"x9.25". 360pp. No dust jacket as issued. Book is in Fine condition, with minimal shelf wear. Good clean copy. Inscribed and signed by the author on the full title page. This biting, insightful account by a seasoned journalist follows the 1996 Ford Taurus from its conception as a clay model in Detroit to its birth in an Atlanta assembly plant to its public debut in a New Jersey dealership. Inscribed and signed by the author at the time of publication. One for the motorheads!* * * [Please note: additional postage fees may be required for oversized and/or international orders to be shipped.]. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis:

"An enlightening peek at the inner workings of a large corporation trying to reinvent itself. . . . It's rare to find an auto book that explains the process of creating a car with so much color and detail."?Business Week (a Best Business Book of 1997)

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 the profits of Ford, not to mention an investment of close to 3 billion dollars. This biting, insightful account by a seasoned journalist follows the 1996 Taurus from its conception as a clay model in Detroit to its birth in an Atlanta assembly plant to its public debut in a New Jersey dealership. Mary Walton, who was given unprecedented access to the Taurus team, chronicles brilliantly the clashes between designers and engineers, marketers and accountants, product guys and manufacturing guys to create a revealing portrait of the tension, the passions, and the pride that fuel the race to #1. "An engrossing drama . . . with fascinating insights into every aspect of the car's creation. . . . Walton does an admirable job of making the redesign of a car into a compelling human-interest story."? Publishers Weekly (starred review) "An engrossing, satisfying read."?Doron Levin, Philadelphia Inquirer (a Best Book of 1997) "Vivid and informative. . . . Consistently entertaining because it is engagingly written, this is the rare business book that is a page turner."?Keith Bradsher, New York Times Book Review 8 pages of plates, photographs

Review: A whole book dedicated to the manufacture of a single model of car--and not even a sexy model, such as a Lamborghini or a Rolls Royce, but a Ford Taurus! How interesting could that be? In the hands of talented Mary Walton, it is very interesting indeed. Walton spent more than two years inside the belly of the giant Ford Motor Company researching the manufacture of the 1996 Taurus, and her account makes for surprisingly entertaining reading. Walton, who has written extensively about management theory, brings a perceptive eye and a breezy style to her critique of the automobile industry. In addition to the redesign of Ford's popular model, Walton also examines the sometimes volatile relations between the company's engineering staff and its designers, criticizes Ford's hierarchical management structure, and questions the astounding number of upper-level executives recruited from the military and their resulting martial management style.

The private lives of Ford employees likewise do not escape Walton's critical eye. Twelve-hour days are common among Ford engineers, but the toll on their personal lives is high. So critical is Mary Walton of Ford's management practices that, upon seeing an early draft of Car, Ford revoked Walton's access to its top executives. For a book that provides both solid entertainment and an in-depth analysis of the auto industry, Car is the top of the line.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Car; A Drama of the American Workplace
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Trade paperback
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Paperback Edition.

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