Perspectives from ISB

The Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker that was founded by Henry Ford in 1903. It is still controlled by the Ford family, although they have minority ownership. Jose Cuervo is the world’s biggest tequila maker with a 35% worldwide market share. It was started by Don Jose María Guadalupe de Cuervo in 1795. Jose Cuervo has always been family-owned and is run today by the Beckmann family of Mexico.

These two famous family companies Ford Motor Co. and tequila maker Jose Cuervo are forming a partnership to test a bioplastic made from byproducts of agave plants. The bioplastic will be used in Ford vehicles for components such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins. The new bioplastic is likely to make the cars lighter and more fuel efficient. The initial tests conducted by Ford seem to be promising. Automakers currently use plastic made from petroleum and natural gas, making the fibers left over from the distillation process a greener and cheaper alternative.

This is an example of how family businesses are able to forge partnerships among themselves using their social capital. Ford will be able to use the left over byproduct from Jose Cuervo operations to reduce its own raw material costs. It is a win-win situation for both firms.


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