By on January 31, 2014

f150_l

Though a Ford Motor Co. executive told the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans that repair shops would need factory certification to work on the new aluminum bodied F-150 pickup truck, in a report by Karl Henkel at the Detroit News, Ford now says it will not require service center and repair shops to be certified if they they want to do body work on the new F-150.  However, Ford will have a voluntary training program, and those businesses that do participate will be certified and be able to use that certification in advertising.

(Read More…)

By on December 30, 2013
Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Valencia, Venezuela.

Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Valencia, Venezuela.

Ford Motor Company announced last week that instead of making money in Latin America this year, it will likely lose $350 million in the region because the government of Venezuela devalued its currency, the bolivar, by 44%. Ford is currently holding more than $700 million in bolivars that it cannot exchange or repatriate. The Venezuelan government is trying to conserve its hard currency reserves and it will not give Ford dollars for bolivars. FoMoCo, which has built vehicles in Venezuela since 1962 and currently operates an assembly plant in Valencia, really doesn’t have any options other than to write down the loss. The car company can’t very well try to exchange currency on the black market. Other international companies, including Toyota, face similar situations with their operations in Venezuela. (Read More…)

By on December 20, 2013
Aston Martin's current engines are assembled at a Ford facility near Cologne, Germany.

Aston Martin’s current engines are assembled at a Ford facility near Cologne, Germany.

In a non-cash deal, Daimler AG will supply Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. with technology and engine development in exchange for as much as a 5% non-voting stake in the British luxury sports car maker. The AMG performance division at Mercedes-Benz will jointly develop engines with Aston Martin for AM’s next generation models. Daimler also will get a non-voting observer on Aston Martin’s board of directors. Aston Martin currently buys engines from Ford Motor Company, an artifact of the time when Ford owned AM. The Aston Martin V12 is based on the Ford Duratec V6 and Aston’s V8 engine is based on the Jaguar V8, funded by Ford when it owned that luxury marque as well.

“This agreement is a real win-win for both sides,” Tobias Moers, head of Mercedes-AMG, said in a statement cited by Bloomberg. (Read More…)

By on November 23, 2013

IMG_0047

The Dodge brand’s centennial celebration began this week with the announcement of special 100th Anniversary Editions of the Dodge Challenger and Charger. After more than a year of preparation, John and Horace Dodge went for a ride in public in a car with their own brand for the first time on November 14, 1914. That was after eleven years of supplying Henry Ford and his car company with every major component of Ford cars except for bodies, wheels and tires. The critical role that the Dodge brothers had in the success of Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company is not widely known outside of serious Dodge and early Ford enthusiasts. It has been reliably estimated that from the founding of the Ford Motor Company in 1903 until 1914. when the Dodges ended their contracts with Ford, they supplied about 60% of the total value of the cars that Ford “built”. Without the Dodge brothers, Ford Motor Company would never have gotten off the ground.
(Read More…)

By on November 7, 2013

mays

Three of Ford’s most senior and veteran executives are retiring, global design chief J Mays, North American manufacturing head Jim Tetreault and Martin Mulloy, who is in charge of labor relations. Mays’ replacement will be Moray Callum, design director for Ford’s North American operations. All three men had important roles in turning Ford around. Mulloy negotiated contracts with the UAW that were critical in reducing costs, while Tetreault had a big hand in reshaping Ford’s manufacturing strategy towards efficient and flexible factories. Mays has  supervised the styling the cars and trucks that have helped turned Ford’s fortunes around, implementing Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s “One Ford” directive in a visual sense. He also had an important role the shape of the Jaguar XK and XF, developed while Ford owned that brand. (Read More…)

By on October 7, 2013

radiator

Regardless of what you may read elsewhere today, October 7, 1913 was not when the first automotive assembly line was started up. Yes, 100 years ago today, after some experimentation at the Piquette Ave. factory, and then tested with magneto assembly, Henry Ford’s lieutenants at his Highland Park factory for the first time started up a moving conveyor line for the assembly of complete Model T automobiles. Ford Motor Company, though, was not the first automobile manufacturer to use an assembly line process. (Read More…)

By on July 24, 2013
'Good job, Al", "Thanks Bill"

‘Good job, Al’, ‘Thanks Bill’

For the 16th consecutive quarter, Ford Motor Co. profits have risen, with the Dearborn automaker reporting a 2nd quarter 2013 profit of $1.23 billion, up 18.6% from 2012, working out to 45¢ per share, exceeding analysts’ projections of 37 cents a share. Pretax profit for the quarter was up 40% to $2.56 billion. The company said that it set records for pre-tax profits in both the 2nd quarter and 1st half of 2013, making $4.8 billion in the first six months of the year.

(Read More…)

By on July 18, 2013

All-New 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

When the Lincoln MKZ was introduced, Ford Motor Co. took the unusual step of pricing the MKZ Hybrid the same as the non-hybrid version of the car, $35,925. Assuming that would mean a good take rate for the Hybrid, Ford production planners for the 2013 model year set the mix at 20% for the gas-electric MKZ. The take rate turned out to be so good that for 2014, 40% of MKZs made will be hybrids. That’s what Raj Nair, Ford’s group vice president of global product development, said at the automaker’s Dearborn campus on Tuesday. Hybrid sales in the U.S. market overall are up 18.3% for the first six months of this year, compared to 2012, and Ford has been benefiting from that surge. Ford’s share of the hybrid and EV market is now close to 16%, a huge improvement of 12% over last year. The C-Max, Fusion and MKZ hybrids have given the company a strong presence in the hybrid market. Ford attributes part of it’s overall U.S. market share increase of almost 1% over 2012 to electrified vehicle growth. For the first six months of 2013, Lincoln sold 3,090 MKZ Hybrid models, an average of 515 cars a month, but now that production delays that hampered the revised MKZ’s launch have apparently been overcome, for the 2nd quarter sales exceeded 715 units each month, closely matching the current build rate at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant.

Source: The Detroit News

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