The Business Inspiration from the Business Successes of the Ford Motor Company

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Plato said. The appetites or the passions may gain control of him and refuse to obey the dictates of his highest part, reason, or mind. (Frost 131)

If this is so, what was Ford Motor Company so hungry for in the early 1970s to knowingly sell thousands of unsafe cars to its customers? Yes, we can all agree that the foreign automakers were taking a big chunk out of the American industry with their fuel-efficient compact cars. We can even understand the concept of Ford wanting to produce its own compact car to compete with its foreign competitors. Does this make it all right to take shortcuts if the end justifies the means?

Ford Motor Company did just that when it mass-produced and sold the Pinto. Customers expected a certain degree of respect, honesty, and quality with the purchase of their vehicle. In return for their loyalty to an American-built car, they got a death trap.

I don't know if there are any written professional codes of conduct for automakers, and even if there were, that doesn't mean Ford would have followed them in this case. I do know there were safety standards successfully lobbied against by Ford for almost a decade. The money spent lobbying for almost ten years could have been used to fix the problem in the first place. Two hundred thousand, seven hundred, and twenty-five dollars is the price Ford puts on human life. In actuality, Ford said human lives were not worth the $5 to $8 fix. The man who puts a monetary value on life looks at the world, but instead should stand in front of the mirror to truly gauge that value. Sure, the number of human lives lost in Pintos due to rear-end collisions is very small compared to the total number of Pintos sold. I don't think Lacocca would think so if it were his wife or child in those collisions.

Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public in the performance of their duties. This is the first fundamental canon of the Code of Ethics for Engineers. This simply means that even if Lacocca had no ethics, the engineers who designed the Pinto should have had some.

Aesop wrote that The injuries we do and those we suffer are seldom weighed on the same scales. (Boldt 51) Ford Motor Company didn't value human life highly enough then, and who is to say they value it even more today?

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The Business Inspiration from the Business Successes of the Ford Motor Company. (2023, Mar 09). Retrieved June 20, 2024 , from

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