Recently, the Ford Motor Company has been running television advertisements featuring Lincoln cars as an example of “when craft was King.” Edsel Ford is called out as an innovator in the original luxury auto market. In the ad, Edsel Ford is quoted as saying, “My father makes the most popular cars in the world, but I want to make the best cars in the world.”
Interesting, given that the name Edsel is nearly synonymous with product failure! Almost as much as the New Coke debacle, the Edsel has long been held out by marketing academics as a new product development process gone horribly wrong. Ford conducted a record-setting amount of marketing research in the design of the Edsel, only to have it be ignominiously retired within three years (1958 – 1960) at a loss of $350 million dollars (or $2.8 billion in 2015 dollars.)
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