Ford CEO Alan Mulally Taunts the UAW; Lincoln Kuga?
By last Friday, it was clear that the United Auto Workers rank and file found their new, no-strike contract rank, and filed their objections during voting. In other words, the union’s members rejected the deal. Which left Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s rep seriously dinged. After all, Big Al’s been talking-up Ford’s return to profitability ever since he banked that first $25 million paycheck. The union vote against the strike was a vote for Big Al’s plan. If he’d kept his mouth shut or, better yet, constantly warned against looming collapse, the UAW might have made the ultimate concession. But then investors wouldn’t have dumped more money into Ford and the Ford family members signing Mulally’s big ass paychecks would have been seriously spooked. Big Al can’t win from losing, as the Brits would say.
Ford of Europe CEO John Fleming told reporters last week that if demand warrants, Fiestas could be shipped from Mexico to Europe.
“The one virtue we’ve got with our One Ford strategy is — apart from anything which legally needs to be different — the products are the same,” Fleming said.
“So in any case, from anywhere, you could import and export products.”
Too subtle? In any case, the UAW wasn’t about to sell their soul for a few good jobs. Now what’s this about a Lincoln Kuga? For one thing, shouldn’t it be a Mercury Kuga?
Fleming noted that volatile currency exchange rates make it difficult to make long-term plans for exporting.
Indeed, when the value of the euro rose sharply in early 2007, Ford scrapped a plan to make a Lincoln-badged version of the Kuga in Germany and export it for sale in the U.S. market beginning in 2008.
Big Al decided to build the Lincoln MKT instead of that? Even so, what does THAT have to do with American luxury? Lincoln: saved by exchange rates only to fall into badge engineering hell.
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