Acting on a curious whim, Coca-Cola Co. "improved" its formula in 1985 and ignited a consumer rebellion that nearly crushed the celebrated company. So, to quell the insurrection and save an American institution, Coke rededicated itself to making the original recipe. Today, a similar set of circumstances faces Ford Motor Co. Its Fox platform turned gray years ago, requiring that the iconic Mustang be redesigned. J Mays, vice president-design, acknowledges the stakes: "When you’re ...

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