American Icon by Bryce G. Hoffman
Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company

49%

10 Critic Reviews

Some of the stories in the book have been told before, but the author delivers much new, excellent reporting collected in interviews with all the main people concerned.
-LA Times

Synopsis

THE INSIDE STORY OF THE EPIC TURNAROUND OF FORD MOTOR COMPANY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF CEO ALAN MULALLY.
 
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 bestselling tradition of Too Big to Fail and The Big Short, American Icon is narrative nonfiction at its vivid and colorful best.

 

About Bryce G. Hoffman

See more books from this Author
BRYCE G. HOFFMAN is an award-winning journalist who has covered the auto industry, both in the United States and around the world, since 1998. He began cov­ering Ford Motor Company for the Detroit News in 2005. That beat gave him a front-row seat for many of the events chronicled in American Icon. Hoffman has been honored by the Society of American Business Edi­tors and Writers, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, and others for his coverage of Ford and is one of the world's foremost authorities on the automaker. He lives in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
 
Published March 13, 2012 by Crown Business. 432 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, History, Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
Bookmark Counts:
1
Want to Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for American Icon
All: 10 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 6

Kirkus

Excellent
Mar 15 2012

With colorful anecdotes, sharp character sketches, telling details and a firm understanding of the industry, Hoffman fleshes out every aspect of this tale, reminding us of the hard work, tension and high-stakes drama that preceded the successful result.

Read Full Review of American Icon : Alan Mulally ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Nancy F. Koehn on Mar 31 2012

This page-turner ends in early 2011, when Ford posted a full-year profit of $6.6 billion for 2010.

Read Full Review of American Icon : Alan Mulally ... | See more reviews from NY Times

LA Times

Below average
Reviewed by John Reed on Apr 15 2012

Some of the stories in the book have been told before, but the author delivers much new, excellent reporting collected in interviews with all the main people concerned.

Read Full Review of American Icon : Alan Mulally ... | See more reviews from LA Times

Huffington Post

Below average
Reviewed by David Kiley on Mar 16 2012

It may prove to be too much in the weeds for the casual reader, but that doesn't take away from Hoffman's good work and scholarship.

Read Full Review of American Icon : Alan Mulally ...

CNN Money

Below average
Reviewed by Alex Taylor on Apr 12 2012

Hoffman has a good ear for dialogue and a thorough knowledge of the industry, though he sometimes resorts to clichés when dealing with less familiar topics.

Read Full Review of American Icon : Alan Mulally ...

Reuters

Below average
Reviewed by Bernard Vaughan on Apr 04 2012

To be sure, Hoffman doesn't include, or failed to dig up, all of the gruesome and embarrassing details behind Mulally's bloody and imperfect turnaround.

Read Full Review of American Icon : Alan Mulally ...

Speedreaders

Below average
Reviewed by Arthur Einstein

From time to time you may feel Hoffman is a bit breathless and ready to throw rose petals in the company’s path.

Read Full Review of American Icon : Alan Mulally ...

TVD

Good
Reviewed by Al Vinikour on Apr 13 2012

In the same way that a leader like Alan Mulally only happens once in a blue moon, so, too, does a book as well-written and captivating as American Icon.

Read Full Review of American Icon : Alan Mulally ...

Wards Auto

Above average
Reviewed by Dave Zoia on Mar 22 2012

The book does tilt in Ford’s favor a bit. There are suggestions not everyone inside the Glass House is fully onboard with Mulally’s game plan, at least early on. But with the possible exception of stumbling through some Congressional testimony during the government’s bailout hearings, “American Icon” doesn’t find much to criticize or question.

Read Full Review of American Icon : Alan Mulally ...

Autoblog

Good
Reviewed by Jeff Sabatini on Mar 02 2012

There are quite a few other interesting anecdotes in Hoffman's book, including a heated argument between Mark Fields, Ford's President of the Americas (now said to be in line to succeed CEO Alan Mulally), and Don Leclair, the company's then chief financial officer.

Read Full Review of American Icon : Alan Mulally ...

Reader Rating for American Icon
90%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 516 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

Claudia rodriguez

Claudia rodriguez 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

×