Case Study Discussion & Executive Summary Ford Pinto

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Amy Bruney
Marketing Ethics

I. Introduction

II. Literature Review

III. Recommendations & Implications for Marketing Managers

IV. Conclusion

V. Sources

INTRODUCTION
“For seven years the Ford Motor Company sold cars in which it knew hundreds of people would needlessly burn to death.” Mark Dowie, Author of Pinto Madness (8)

One of the biggest automotive news stories in the latter part of the 1970’s dealt with tales of exploding Ford Pintos and the considerable awards civil court juries were presenting to victims of accidents involving the cars. Ford produced the Pinto automobile from 1971 to 1980. Initially the car sold well, but a defect in the early models made Pintos prone to leaking…show more content…

The Pinto sold well, but it had safety issues, specifically the fact that its gas tank easily ruptured and caught on fire in rear-end collisions. Although Ford had access to a new design which would decrease the possibility of the Ford Pinto from exploding, the company chose not to implement the design, which would have cost approximately $11 per car, even though it had done an analysis showing that the new design would result in 189 less deaths. The company defended itself on the grounds that it used the accepted risk/benefit analysis to determine if the monetary costs of making the change were greater than the societal benefit. Based on the numbers Ford used, the cost would have been $137 million versus the $49.5 million price tag put on the deaths, injuries, and car damages. Ford felt justified not implementing the design change. (1) The main controversy surrounding the Ford Pinto case was The Ford Motor Company’s choices made during the development to compromise safety for efficiency and profit maximization. More specifically, it was Ford’s decision to use the cost/benefit analysis to make production decisions that translated into lost lives. During the initial production and testing phase, Ford set “limits for 2000” for the Pinto. That meant the car was not to exceed $2000 in cost or 2000 pounds in weight. This set tough limitations on the production team. After the basic design was complete, crash testing

Ethics Ford Pinto Case Study Discussion and Executive Summary This paper explores “The Ford Pinto Case” managing of business ethics. Numerous factors suggest within this research that Ford Motor Company was negligent and violated its code of ethics. To understand how relationships are affected a closer look at Ford Motor Company missions and values will align Team B’s personal values with Ford Motor Company. In this paper the study to examine are the role of people, products, and profits in the decisions made regarding the Ford Pinto. Key factors surrounding the Ford Pinto Case The death of Lynn Marie Ulrich, Dana Ulrich and Lynn’s sister, and Judy Ann along with many others was what brought the controversy of the Ford Pinto’s faulty gas tank placement to a climax. After so many unnecessary deaths the release of the Ford Pinto was the responsibility of Ford’s CEO Henry Ford II and Ford’s new president Lee Iacocca. Iacocca reduced the average production of a car from three and a half years to a little over two years. Iacocca was aware that during crash testing the Pinto’s gas tank exploded upon collision but was desperate to expedite the vehicle’s release on his deadline. After the discovery of the Pinto’s faulty gas tank, Ford’s president decided it would be costly to make changes in the Pinto’s gas tank location and its size. The Ford Pinto cost $2000 and making changes would increase its price thus possibly making it less desirable by small car buyers. Ford’s mission, values, and guiding principles If Ford had its current mission, values, and principles during the Pinto production, they would be in complete contrast with the organizational culture at the time. The organizational culture was more concerned with entering the competitive market for small cars than it was with the safety of the people driving the cars. The company decided that consumers were

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