Ford-Firestone, a Chicago company is sued by the U.S. Government over mis-sold brake fluids in air bags. The two companies made a joint claim that could not be separated. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sued Ford, claiming the company knew about the defective parts for years but did nothing to warn consumers of the problem. The United States’ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) alleged the same thing.
HBR Case Solutions is responsible for the HBR Case Study. The case involved a combination of three major aspects of this case study. As you read the Case Study, you will see how the three major aspects of the case were intertwined to produce a well-written case study.
Let’s begin with the first part of the case. The case pertains to brake fluid, which is a hot commodity that has been subject to a great deal of controversy in recent years. Each year, there are new versions of newer auto parts hitting the market, which make it more difficult for car owners to know when they need to replace their brake fluid, or if their current brake fluid can be used again.
HBR Case Solutions utilizes several things to explain this case. For one thing, HBR Case Solutions uses the social learning model. This is where you take a human being (the reader) through a case study, and in this case, through a customer relationship. Here, the reader is a car owner, and you are a Ford engineer.
At the end of the case, you will ask your reader to put your name and email address into a database. When you get ready to mail the case study, you will request the reader to fill out a short survey and give you information on how they learned about the case. You will also give them the opportunity to follow your brand guidelines.
The second part of the case study was all about the services. Since we’ve seen at least one car manufacturer issues a recall, it is hard to think about an event in which you can not get a free replacement on your brakes. HBR Case Solutions gives you the option of acquiring service plans for your car, like FlexiStop (a service plan that includes three visits to the dealership, which could be much cheaper than a professional auto repair).
HBR Case Solutions also tells the story of a consumer who found out about this free service before the public knew anything. They showed their case study to many car owners, and a third of them took advantage of the free service. The Ford engineer in charge of the product told the author of the case study that the only way the case would not have happened is if people never knew about the free service.
The third part of the case study happens on the end of the case, where you are asked to fill out a short survey. The survey is simple, it asks questions about things like their gender, age, profession, education, background, etc. It is a research question that I personally would not recommend using, because it takes out a lot of the real focus of the case study.
There are several reasons why you might consider doing this survey as part of the case study. Some people just want to know more about you, or what is important to you when looking at products, like weather or physical characteristics.
The main purpose of the case study is to offer someone to sell you a service plan, and the services that will come with it. Although this case study will help you sell the services, you will not receive any sales from this case study.