Management Lessons from ‘Ford v Ferrari’
Syeda Maseeha Qumer
Critical management lessons sometimes come from the most unlikely of sources. And if happens to be a movie, nothing like it. One such film that has caught the attention of viewers worldwide is ‘Ford v. Ferrari’ a period car racing drama starring noted American actors Matt Damon and Christian Bale. The film recounts the rivalry between US based automaker Ford and Italian luxury sports car manufacturer Ferrari before the prestigious 24-hour Le Mans car race in 1966.

Ford’s sales were struggling during the 1960’s. Desperate for a change, Henry Ford II, the then chairman of Ford, hired a team of engineers, led by automotive legend Carroll Shelby and his British driver Ken Miles to design a Ford racing car capable of beating Ferrari in the world’ biggest race. The movie portrays how the team built a car to challenge Ferrari’s longtime dominance of the race. It was a move that changed Ford’s brand image and broke Ferrari’s stronghold on international racing arena. This fast-paced tale of innovation and grit is filled with key leadership lessons for budding entrepreneurs.

‘Ford v Ferrari’ topped the US box office as it grossed an estimated US$31 million over the opening weekend (November 15 - 17, 2019). A production of 20th Century Fox, the film gives the studio a much-needed box office win after its merger with Disney. Also, by having its name on the marquee, Ford will get an image boost.
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