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American Icon Audiobook

American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company

At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself. Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dys­functional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses.
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Publisher's Summary

At the end of 2008, Ford Motor Company was just months away from running out of cash. With the auto industry careening toward ruin, Congress offered all three Detroit automakers a bailout. General Motors and Chrysler grabbed the taxpayer lifeline, but Ford decided to save itself. Under the leadership of charismatic CEO Alan Mulally, Ford had already put together a bold plan to unify its divided global operations, transform its lackluster product lineup, and overcome a dys­functional culture of infighting, backstabbing, and excuses. It was an extraordinary risk, but it was the only way the Ford family - America's last great industrial dynasty - could hold on to their company.

Mulally and his team pulled off one of the great­est comebacks in business history. As the rest of Detroit collapsed, Ford went from the brink of bankruptcy to being the most profitable automaker in the world. American Icon is the compelling, behind-the-scenes account of that epic turnaround. On the verge of collapse, Ford went outside the auto industry and recruited Mulally - the man who had already saved Boeing from the deathblow of 9/11 - to lead a sweeping restructuring of a company that had been unable to overcome decades of mismanagement and denial.

Mulally applied the principles he developed at Boeing to streamline Ford's inefficient operations, force its fractious executives to work together as a team, and spark a product renaissance in Dearborn. He also convinced the United Auto Workers to join his fight for the soul of American manufacturing.

Bryce Hoffman reveals the untold story of the covert meetings with UAW leaders that led to a game-changing contract, Bill Ford's battle to hold the Ford family together when many were ready to cash in their stock and write off the company, and the secret alliance with Toyota and Honda that helped prop up the Amer­ican automotive supply base. In one of the great management narratives of our time, Hoffman puts the reader inside the boardroom as Mulally uses his celebrated Business Plan Review meet­ings to drive change and force Ford to deal with the painful realities of the American auto industry.

Hoffman was granted unprecedented access to Ford's top executives and top-secret company documents. He spent countless hours with Alan Mulally, Bill Ford, the Ford family, former executives, labor leaders, and company directors. In the best-selling tradition of Too Big to Fail and The Big Short, American Icon is narrative nonfiction at its vivid and colorful best.

©2012 Bryce G. Hoffman (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"For those interested in the recent political interventions and maneuvers in the auto industry, this book provides a fly-on-the-wall view of the meetings and behind-the-scenes deal making necessary to revive an ailing giant." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Newmarket, ON, Canada 10-07-12
    Michael Newmarket, ON, Canada 10-07-12 Member Since 2009
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    "The best business book I ever read"

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though I am not a car guy and, as a result, am totally bored by discussion of car brands and part details.

    Two reasons why this book is so great:
    1.It is not a book about another business or industry failure -> It details how to run and save a business, in pretty granular terms.
    2.You find yourself rooting for the major players to succeed…I found the insights in the main players fascinating

    Bryce Hoffman – you did an outstanding job…this is a work of art you should be extremely proud of.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RB Player 03-25-13
    RB Player 03-25-13
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    "Great read!"

    True leadership! Able to do without the aid of government funds … will try to by a Ford next time!

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S MA 11-18-14
    John S MA 11-18-14 Member Since 2014

    Avid audible listener for over 10 years.

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    "Why I own a Ford, Actually 2 of them"

    I thought I wold listen to this book since business books is not my favorite genre. This book does a great job of explaining how Alan Mulally did a great job in saving Ford motor company. The basic lessons in the book are that

    -Eventually every big organization will be complacent

    -Board of directors are mostly in it for the money and prestige and are mostly clueless

    -An organization that does not tolerate failure will eventually fail

    -When you surround yourself with "yes men" you are disengaged from reality

    -Sometimes smaller is better, Being big for the sake of being big is foolish.

    The basic problem with Ford at the time of arrival of Mulally is that the company was out of touch with the market. Most of the top managers did not own or drive a classic "Ford" preferring the luxury brands of Jaguar and Range Rover which the Mulalay dumped as Ford divisions. He makes them drives Fords and even competing brands. When they do, they realize that at the time Fords kind of sucked. Ugly, poor quality, and no fun to drive. Most of America had come to that realization years earlier. No one was ever held accountable for failure at Ford because no one ever failed. He implements a management tracking system that makes it difficult to hide problems such as delays in car launches, quality issues, and cost problems. At one point he asks how many models of cars the company sells. Nobody knows so he goes to all the company web sites and prints out a picture of every model and shows it to the board. There were over 400 different models.

    Its a good listen if you like cars and business. It does get tedious at times but you can just skip forward

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter United States 09-27-13
    Peter United States 09-27-13 Member Since 2012

    Professional who loves a good book. Prefer non fiction-but will take on good fiction.

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    "Inspiring Leader"
    If you could sum up American Icon in three words, what would they be?

    I love Alan


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The joys of leadership


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The company was always on the brink and leadership saved the day


    Any additional comments?

    no man is perfect but it seem the authors feel the subject is-I dont want the dirt just the man

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate M. 08-21-15
    Kate M. 08-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    "The best story you don't know about"
    Would you listen to American Icon again? Why?

    No I don't listen to books more than once because I have so many to listen ton.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The story of Ford's turnaround, steered by the genius Not (and hard work) of one man, was amazing. I had no idea of what had happened and how, and was mesmerized by the story and its telling.


    Have you listened to any of Pete Larkin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    He narrated "The Everything Story" about Amazon. This performance was just as excellent as the Amazon book. His voice has character which adds to my appreciation of the story.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not sure.


    Any additional comments?

    I was not that interested in Ford or the auto industry, but I enjoy books about the "behind the scenes" looks and individuals and power, and this book has it all. I see Ford much differently than I did before.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Chicago, IL 07-17-15
    Michael Chicago, IL 07-17-15

    A lover of thrillers and enthralling stories told by dramatic and well read narrators.

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    "Good Story, but grating Narrator"

    This book does give an interesting overview of the state of the US auto industry at the beginning of the financial crisis, and the ways that Alan Mullaly pulled it out of the doldrums, but the narrator sounded so much like a used car salesman that it made the book sound like a pitch for hiring Mullaly, and it became grating as I came to to the conclusion of the book. You might want to opt for the print version of this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David S. Monteiro Harrison, NJ USA 06-19-15
    David S. Monteiro Harrison, NJ USA 06-19-15 Member Since 2015

    Fluxdidea

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    "Inspiring"

    A combination of an inspiring story, well written, and read. It almost made me stop by a Ford dealership to trade in my Honda.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Hamm Rapid City, SD 06-14-15
    Chris Hamm Rapid City, SD 06-14-15 Member Since 2015

    cj11

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    "Great story well read"

    Great book outlining Fords journey through change and the financial crisis. Inspirational turnaround story and example of great leadership. Highly recommend this read for business people and non business people alike.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Nolan Snyder 04-15-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great story about an awesome company"

    Detailed account of how Ford Motor Company survived and thrived. Great story about a great leader.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Robert Morales 03-26-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great content!"

    This was an inspiring account of how capitalism can work, when intelligent and transparent leaders are at the helm.

    The narrator in this book seems to have bouts of multiple personality disorder, as he reads 3/4 of the book in a certain style, quotes people in that same style, then suddenly starts speaking with a British and other accents. Strangely inconsistent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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