Lee Iacocca: Rise To The Top Through Merit

Lee became the vice-president of the corporate car and truck group in January of 1965, making him responsible for planning, production and marketing of all cars and trucks for the Lincoln-Mercury and Ford Divisions. However, there was a big problem, the Lincoln-Mercury division was not retaining the Ford customers who were growing wealthier after having owned cheaper Ford models. The purpose of Lincoln-Mercury is to provide premium, upscale, high-priced cars that the customer would graduate into. Instead, these customers did not stay with Ford’s luxury line.

Unfortunately, customers were shifting to General Motor’s Cadillac division. For Iacocca, this Ford-abandonment was because their cars were not exciting or distinctive. The Lincoln-Mercury division also needed new sales managers. Lee spearheaded the Mercury Cougar as a luxury sports car and the Mercury Marquis . Both were full-sized cars designed to compete with the Buick and Oldsmobile. In order to demonstrate the car’s smoothness on the road, various ads were placed to emphasize that you could play a vinyl record and not have it slide while travelling on the road. In addition, Iacocca developed the Mark III in order to directly compete with the Cadillac. For Iacocca, in the United States, you can always count on the rich getting richer during a depression. Luxury vehicles are always in demand.

This is a synopsis & analysis based on Iacocca: An Autobiography and other miscellaneous research sources. Enjoy.

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