By on May 22, 2017

Mark Fields, Image: Ford Motor Co.

Mark Fields has reportedly been fired from his position as CEO of Ford Motor Company, to be replaced by a man he appointed as head of the automaker’s mobility subsidiary.

According to Forbes, the company will announce the appointment of Jim Hackett as CEO this morning, part of a broader shakeup of the company’s upper ranks. Hackett, former CEO of Steelcase, served on the automaker’s board for three years before being named head of Ford Smart Mobility LLC in March, 2016.

Fields, a 28-year Ford veteran who replaced Alan Mulally in mid-2014, was reportedly booted by the company’s board amid a continued decline in share values. Two weeks ago, the CEO was grilled by board members and shareholders alike over the direction he has taken the company.

Sources told Forbes Executive Chairman Bill Ford and the rest of the board had lost confidence in Fields’ ability to run the company. Since taking the helm, Ford’s share prices have dropped by 40 percent. Compared to rival GM’s aggressive streamlining and healthier balance sheet, Ford recently saw its first-quarter profits sink 35 percent.

Many question whether Field’s aggressive push for Ford’s entry into the realm of mobility services has harmed the company’s financial footing.

The report suggests new roles are on the way for other executives within the company. Those individuals include James Farley, president of Ford’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division, and Joseph Hinrichs, head of Ford North America. Ray Day, group vice president of communications, will reportedly be replaced by Mark Trudy, vice president of communications for the company’s Asia-Pacific division.

Before being named CEO on July 1, 2014, Fields served as Ford’s chief operating officer. Ford has announced a news conference at its world headquarters in Dearborn at 9:45 this morning.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

 

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92 Comments on “Ford to Announce Firing of CEO Mark Fields This Morning: Report...”


  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Ford Death Watch anyone. I cannot see any of the prospective leaders having much of an affect on the general downward direction of Ford. GM is not much better. GM seems to be building a more profitable company by rapid downsizing

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I am confused as to why GM has been added to the deathwatch comments, from yours and previous posts by others on various threads.

      GM is making money. Has a competitive product line up; perhaps not your favorites but they are competitive within their segments. Is working to shed perennially unprofitable segments: Opel/Europe, Africa, Venezuela.
      These activities are positive steps to ensure the next slow down in sales, which is upon us IMHO, they can weather the storm.

      • 0 avatar
        zoomzoomfan

        They also have the answer to the hottest market segment right now with the redesigned Equinox/Terrain and the Encore/Trax.

        Around here, even the current outdated Equinox sells VERY well.

      • 0 avatar

        GM is just as bad. In February they almost fell behind Nissan in international sales. Without their European operations it is only a matter of time until GM slips to fourth place. I never in my lifetime thought I would see the day that GM would slip to fourth place. Just twenty years ago they had double the market share and were in first place. There is no medal for fourth place. The Bara concept of cut and run makes her a failed visionary comparable to Roger Smith.

        I wonder how the press will react when GM slips to fourth.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      GM is fine. It’s also very premature to start a Ford deathwatch. Just because Fields gets canned doesn’t mean the ship is sinking. It means that his efforts didn’t increase in share price while he didn’t deliver on other priorities.

      Jim Hackett is a good choice for this transition period. He turned around Steelcase and some how got all the University of Michigan’s factions on the same page after Dave Brandon was fired.

      • 0 avatar

        Lets be honest Ford and GM are on their way out. Chrysler is not even worth mentioning.

        Field was doing a good job, but in this age when only stock holder value only matters anyone can be fired. In Japan and Germany there simply is not this obsession with share holder value. In those countries it is the product that matters over everything. This is the main reason Japan, German, and Korea, are the world’s automotive superpowers.

        The worlds top car making nations.

        1.Japan
        2.Germany
        3.South Korea

        Honorable mentions
        4.United States
        5.France
        6.England/Sweden

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Ford Death Watch: no.

      Lincoln Death Watch: yes.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Well, whatever the board’s problems were, I’d say the shift to a “mobility” strategy wasn’t one of them, since the new honcho is the head of that division.

    Really, I don’t know if Ford has chosen the exact correct path, but with viable self-driving vehicles on the horizon, it WILL cause titanic changes in the auto industry, and Ford can either try to make the adjustment (and maybe miss), or stick their heads in the sand and act all shocked when SOMEBODY (whether it be another auto company, Google, Uber, whoever) completely destroys them.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    I guess you are never really “safe” in these jobs are you?
    So IMO what will happen is that since Fields was playing the long game that the new guy will do what he can to appease the board in the short term and in the process Ford will probably lose out anyway.
    I for one no nothing really about business (only what I read) so this could turn out different however it seems to me that they were going in the right direction. I will admit that the Focus and Festiva needed some work to make them competitive again.

    The strength of their lineup continues to be as follows.
    F series, Mustang, Transit/Connect, and all of their CUV’s except Flex. The Fusion is decent but will need more of an overall in the future.

    The Festiva, Focus and the lack of a sub compact CUV seem to come up short and they dont seem to have an answer for them.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “The Festiva, Focus and the lack of a sub compact CUV seem to come up short and they dont seem to have an answer for them.”

      we’ve already seen FCA cut and run from the C- and C/D-segment. and they can’t give away their B-segment cars. are you really arguing that one of Ford’s problems is lack of investment in cratering market segments?

      • 0 avatar
        Chocolatedeath

        Yes. I am. Honda and others seem to be doing just fine in those segments.

        I equate it to developing, and selling a hybrid when gas is at less than 2 bucks per gallon. Its better to be prepared than to be caught light in product and unprepared.

        • 0 avatar
          Adam Tonge

          Ford is doing fine in those segments globally. They sell many Fiestas and Foci worldwide. The also have been selling a subcompact CUV in world markets for a few years.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Adam Tounge
            They are not doing fine. Many segments Ford is very deficient in. I very much doubt this new CEO will have any impact on the downward trend. Firsta and other light cars are pretty light on from the point of profits

    • 0 avatar

      The small car segment is pretty dead in the US… always has been. Fiesta and Focus gets pretty good reviews in places where folks like small cars (and remember how to drive manual transmissions).

      Escape on the other hand is in the best selling segment, and it’s running on a 2013 platform with a new grill. No major innovations to make the Escape better. It’s a great machine, but if you want to focus on volume, you need to make great small crossovers. Profit wise, we sell lots of Titanium (profitable) Escapes, very few Focus and Fiesta’s come through in high trim levels.

      Commercial market, Ford continues to do pretty well. They took several big risks and all have pretty well played out. I’m surprised how many people want to talk about the GM commercials, but most are just looking for justification for what the already feel about them.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “The small car segment is pretty dead in the US… always has been.”

        Five of the top 20 best selling cars in the U.S., and around 443,000 YTD sales, were from this “dead segment.”

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          “Five of the top 20 best selling cars”

          last word there is the key.

          “Cars.”

          everyone’s* buying CUVs now.

          (*no, not literally everyone, you know what I mean.)

          443,000 units in a market of 15-17 million per year is peanuts. especially when divided up between 5 nameplates. and it’s even worse if those units aren’t profitable. You can’t “make it up on volume” if those volumes are declining.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            That’s 443,000 units from those nameplates alone (I was just listing the best-selling ones) out of about 5.5 million total YTD sales, Jim.

            Yes, sales of compacts are down, but the segment is far from “dead,” which is what the guy I was responding to was saying. That argument is nonsense.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          I literally said “what” out loud when I read that.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    He deserves to be fired. I look at areas that Ford should do better,
    1. Ford Focus compact, hasn’t had a meaningful update (performance versions mean nothing in larger scheme of sales) with bad automatic transmission that should have been replaced 4 years ago.
    2. Smaller than Escape CUV not yet available in a sizzling segment
    3. No smaller truck available than F-150 is inexcusable
    4. Investment on small segment sales for Ford GT, Focus RS, Fiesta ST, Focus ST, boss Mustang all without automatics
    5. No real competitor to Prius or Volt, inexcusable

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      Well I am not here to defend Ford (see my post above) but I have always had a conspiracy theory about Ford/Toyota and hybrids. I have always believed that they had an agreement that they would not directly complete in the CUV/hybrid and pure hybrid markets and we dont know about.

    • 0 avatar
      John R

      “4. Investment on small segment sales for Ford GT, Focus RS, Fiesta ST, Focus ST, boss Mustang all without automatics”

      All these points are fair. A minor, quibble, but the new GT is a dual-clutch.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “No smaller truck available than F-150 is inexcusable”

      Shhhh, you’ll wake them.

  • avatar
    schadenfred

    Guess the mullet wasn’t bulletproof after all.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    In the “new” economies of the west, and in particular, the U.S., stock share price is the holy grail, so far above all else as to dwarf anything other mission of modern publicly traded companies.

    This is why the former “middle class,” as well as now many in the professional class (accountants, attorneys, engineers and even physicians) will see their living standards continuously squeezed as financialization favors those firms that do more with fewer human employees, and even switch from being producers of tangible things to gamers of tax code and other regs (see IBM, General Electric and even John Deere, as just some examples of firms with effective negative tax rates, that make way more from finance than selling things).

    The future favors companies such as Amazon, Google-Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, etc., most of whom have extremely few human employees relative to their outsized market caps, and whom have pay structures that are so massively tilted in favor of the oligarchs who populated their senior exec ranks versus their hourly ranks, that the gap is mind-blowing; compare Amazon’s compensation between hourly warehouse employees and execs in the boardroom, or Apple’s pay to assembly workers in China to the execs in Cupertino).

    Automation, AI and algorithms will act in concert to spread these disparities even more deeply.

    Welcome to the new rentier canonicalization world where employee benefits and production goals are a re a distant second to the importance of transferring incremental company gains/wealth to shareholders, and human employee head count and, often, production of real things is an impediment of that process. Strap in.

    For some excellent reading regarding your new feudalism, here’s a sampler plate:

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      DW: the attachment was not present.

      From your posting, starting early investing in Index funds is the way to go then. If the sole goal is stock price inflation/manipulation for the leaders then the investor wins by default.

      I somewhat agree with you, I am waiting with a bowl of popcorn at the ready for the fun and games to start if congress actually changes tax law and allows some of these corps (Apple is the biggie) to repatriate the absurd amount of cash they have abroad. The stock buy backs will be massive, thus inflating the price. Good returns for the rest of us.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      2nd from last paragraph should have financialization, not canonicalization, and here is sampler reading plate to see how decreasing human workforce, producing fewer tangible things (while gaming tax and other regs, and buying shares back with government/central bank-subsidized cheap money), delving heavily in to automation, AI, algorithms and non-human capital, and essentially converting entities into financial entities, whether they produce tractors or jet engines or “likes” (that attract ad revenue) and cull personal user data, and increasingly efficient methods to transfer wealth that once flowed to employees and suppliers’ employees to shareholders are winning strategies for the very select few at the expense of what was once a social contract that led to rise of the middle class (that lifted all boats):

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/05/new-normal-demand-secular-stagnation-vanishing-middle-class.html

      thezman.com/wordpress/?p=10351

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/05/impact-marketization-financialization-science-engineering-grads.html#comment-2815201

      http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/05/notes-from-an-emergency.html (start with section titled “Feudal Internet”)

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        First post should also read:

        “… (see IBM, General Electric and even John Deere, as just some examples of firms with effective negative tax rates, that make way more from finance than PRODUCING TANGIBLE things)…’

        instead of

        ” (see IBM, General Electric and even John Deere, as just some examples of firms with effective negative tax rates, that make way more from finance than selling things).”

        • 0 avatar
          TomHend

          DW, Everything you say is true,and has been going on for decades, but we may have reached “Peak Financialization” as soon as the next financial crisis hits.

          “Wall Street” may recede and “Main Street” ascend.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      Nothing like a hearty dose of truth from DW to make my morning more void and bitter than usual.

      I’m going back to my cocoon of obliviousness to continue my day of archaic, out of date employment so I can go home tonight, paint some walls and f*ck the sh1t out of my gf.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Have any to add? The Tresmonos brand of truth makes a nice chaser to DW’s.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          Not really. He hits the nail on the head. It’s scary to be a cog in an old industrial when you’re held witness to the shift from old ways of doing business to the ‘new way.’ My profession is inherently old. I refined a skill set from the time of economic dinosaurs.

          As for my brand of truth, I’m too sedated today. The medicine is working. Everything is even keeled and my factory life goes forward in the manner unto which off brand pharmaceuticals and my therapist propels it.

          When the inner discontent or conflict arises, I’ll make sure to stop by and light this place up.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “…firms with effective negative tax rates, that make way more from finance than selling things…”

      Yes, but is that anything new? I mean, good Lord, Lee Iacocca wrote 30 years ago that Chrysler could make more money on money than it could on cars.

      Finance has always been where the REALLY big money is. No news there. The problem, as DW says, is that the big money isn’t trickling down to the rest of us.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “the big money isn’t trickling down to the rest of us”

        This is new?

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “the big money isn’t trickling down to the rest of us”

          Never has.

          “You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
          Another day older and deeper in debt
          Saint Peter, don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go
          I owe my soul to the company store”

          Just replace “company store” with banks or credit cards.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Of course not, but what’s changed is a) the amount trickling down, b) how it trickles, and c) what the tricked-down wealth actually buys today, versus 50 years ago.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Fields is such a dummy. When he ruffled Trump’s feathers over Ford Mexican plants, I thought he would be fired within 24 hours. Talk about stupid. He angered a lot of loyal Trump supporters who purchase Ford products. Mark, great marketing.

    Then, there is the other problem. The reliability problem. Still, Ford products are not competitive in long term reliability. Consumer Reports continues to rank the brand much worse than average in long term reliability. So many people I know, as well as myself, will not purchase a car unless the brand ranks in the top of the reliability pack. Furthermore, many are willing to pay a premium for Toyota because of the superior reliability. Instead of fixing that, he spends all his money on technology bling and mobility. More stupid.

    Hopefully, the next CEO gets it.
    1) Don’t fight with Trump
    2) Invest heavily in fixing the reliability issue.
    3) Keep an eye on self driving vehicles, but 1) and 2) are more immediate problems.
    4) Don’t overspend on technology bling.

    That is the path forward.

    • 0 avatar
      zoomzoomfan

      I have to admit, reliability woes (or the potential for them, at least) is what kept me from considering an Escape for my wife or a Fusion for myself. Too many recalls, for one thing. And too many recalls for fire risks, specifically.

      The 2013 Escape is up to 14 recalls now.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m a utilitarian (2015 with Manual transmission and crank windows for DD), but technology sells. Folks hold off on their next purchase because of updates to SYNC. These are the folks who buy a new high profit vehicle every few years. Ford makes the base stuff for fleets and advertising, but they really don’t care too much if my Fiesta doesn’t last 15 years, or even if I bought a Toyota instead. There isn’t a business model for cheap reliable utility when the folks who buy high profit cars do so at a turn around quicker than reliability comes into play.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Ford has increased their market share in the full sized truck segment in the last year. Apparently US truck buyers don’t care if Fields was sparring with Trump.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        “Apparently US truck buyers don’t care if Fields was sparring with Trump.”

        Apparently, you’re right but some people need to inject their politics into everything. The original Trump comment was easily one of the most idiotic things I’ve seen posted on TTAC in a long time. The measure of a CEO is how profitable/successful the company is. Fields could have been a communist and if the stock was trading at $200 a share he would still be CEO today.

        • 0 avatar
          jimmyy

          Idiotic? No it is not. In fact, it is right on the money. When you are CEO, you need to not get into a public fight with any politician. End of story. The Trump dispute alienated portions of the customer base. The CEO job is to move the company forward by expanding the customer base. Getting into a public shootout with a major politician puts your political needs ahead of your CEO responsibility. This is basic marketing 101. They must have taught that at Harvard. Clearly, Fields had sleepless nights after the Trump screw up. He had to know that was the beginning of the end.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “The Trump dispute alienated portions of the customer base.”

            I don’t see much evidence of that. Nor do I see any evidence that Trump’s political base cares much about where its’ stuff is made. If that were the case, would Ram sales be up so solidly this year?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            How much is the truck market up and how much is Ram proportionally speaking?

          • 0 avatar
            Maxb49

            “Idiotic? No it is not. In fact, it is right on the money. When you are CEO, you need to not get into a public fight with any politician. End of story. ”

            Yeah. Your comment is idiotic beyond words. When you are CEO, you need to keep the company’s profit up. Nobody GAS about what you do outside of that. Because Field’s remarks about Trump had nothing to do with the company’s bottom line, your remark is laughably idiotic. Put your tinfoil hat back on.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Does it really matter, 28?

            Let’s assume that a disproportionate number of Trump supporters are truck buyers (a safe assumption, I’d think, and not one I’m making a value judgment about).

            Now, given that the president is an America-first / Mexico last kind of guy, wouldn’t you expect sales of the American made nameplates to go up, and sales of the Mexican made ones to go down? I would. You’d expect sales of the F-150, which is ONLY assembled in the U.S., by the company that (supposedly) gave in to Trump’s demand to start making more stuff in the U.S., to be up by quite a bit, wouldn’t you?

            That’s not happening, though.

          • 0 avatar
            jimmyy

            Max, let me make this simpler for you to understand. CEO gets in fight with Trump. Some number of Ford customers are Trump supporters, and they are not happy, so less of them buy another Ford. Ford sales drop. Ford makes less money. What is so hard to understand about that? Do you think getting into a public fight with Trump was good for Ford? Tell me how. Can you imagine the sleepless nights Fields when Trump won the election?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            If Trump supporters were really willing to vote with their pocketbooks vis a vis Ford, then I’d say their sales should be up, and I’d offer two reasons:

            1) F150 is assembled exclusively in ‘Murica.
            2) Ford famously “gave in” to Trump a few months ago.

            Sounds like Trump supporters might well have voted with their pocketbooks and bought more Fords.

            But that’s not what’s happening, is it? Ford sales, and F150 sales, are both down for the year so far.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Well, it does matter in relation to your point. If all truck sales were up 20%, but Ram sales were only up 3%, FCA truck sales may be up YoY but not a significant percentage of overall segment growth which negates your point.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I think you’re both making the error of thinking ‘any Trump Voter’ = ‘Trump Sycophant’.

            People can have a wide variety of reasons for voting for a candidate and have differing levels of support for various expected policies.

            With ever truck owner I know, Ford, GM, and Mopar loyalty runs *way* deeper than political platforms.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I don’t necessarily equate the two, ajla.

            But Trump does have a large, vocal base of supporters, and frankly, if his “buy American” and “Ford gave in to me so we could buy American” messages really resonated with car buyers, you’d see a different sales picture.

            In the end, people vote in the marketplace with their pocketbooks, not with their political convictions. This is just another example.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I seriously doubt Ford’s misfortunes are due to a spat with the comb-over-in-chief. If political affiliation affected vehicle purchase habits to a great degree, sales of the Prius should have collapsed to zero post election.

            There are some that are “buy American” but for the most part, most don’t look beyond the location where the flag of head office sits.

            Here is the American content of current popular pickups:
            2016 Kogod index is as follows:
            #2 F150 – 85%
            #6 Colorado/Canyon – 80.5%
            #13 Ram 2500 – 74.5%
            #14 Tundra – 73.5%
            #16 Silverado/Sierra – 72.5%
            #18 Tacoma – 71%
            #32 Ram 1500 – 59.5%

            If the loyal fans of the comb-over-in-chief are all pickup buyers and cared about “buy American”, Ram 1500 sales would suck and Colorado/Canyon would be outselling the Tacoma.

    • 0 avatar
      Maxb49

      “Hopefully, the next CEO gets it.
      1) Don’t fight with Trump”

      WTF is this, some kind of fascist dictatorship?

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Also, Ford’s Government Relations Exec will report to Bill Ford now. Hackett won’t fight with Trump. He’ll let Bill Ford worry about anything with the White House.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Did Fields ruffle Trump’s feathers, or was it the other way around?

      Either way, consider this about “loyal Trump supporters,” a large percentage of whom probably buy pickup trucks: the made-in-America F150 is down so far this year. The made-in-Mexico Ram pickup is up. Trump hasn’t said much about where the latter pickup is made. Make of that what you will.

      • 0 avatar
        Maxb49

        What anyone *should* make of that is that in a free market where transaction costs are low, consumers will select the product that satisfies that wants at a price they are willing to pay. Economic analysis should be value free – that is the conservative position.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          That’s actually the “consumerist” position, but either way, when push comes to shove, people don’t always put their money where their mouths are.

          • 0 avatar
            Maxb49

            “That’s actually the “consumerist” position, but either way, when push comes to shove, people don’t always put their money where their mouths are.”

            True enough. Otherwise, we’d be driving Yugos.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            God forbid.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I just don’t think people read their window stickers thoroughly.

        I’d be surprised if more than 30% of Ram buyers know if their trucks are built in Mexico or if Envision buyers know their CUVs are 88% Chinese content.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          what should a Ram buyer/owner do when his/her truck’s VIN begins with a “1”? Because I look at a local dealer’s inventory and their Rams are pretty evenly split between “1C6” (Warren Truck) and “3C6” (Saltillo.)

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’d say that if the Ram buyer was a true Trump believer who bought into his trade policies, he’d refuse to buy the Saltillo made Ram, and raise a ruckus about them being made there in the first place. I don’t see much of that happening. Nor do I see Trump raising much ruckus with FCA or GM about making so many pickups in Mexico.

        • 0 avatar
          Maxb49

          “I just don’t think people read their window stickers thoroughly.

          I’d be surprised if more than 30% of Ram buyers know their trucks are built in Mexico or if Envision buyers know their CUVs are 88% Chinese content.”

          I’m sure you’re right but it probably wouldn’t make a difference. Most of these muscle car builders are probably unaware that the new 350 Chevy blocks are made in Mexico. That still wouldn’t (and shouldn’t) prevent them from buying the engine.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            GM powertrain offers a little guide on where their new vehicle installed engines and transmissions are assembled. Again though, how many people are going to go through the trouble of reading this? I also don’t know if such a list exists for their crate engines.

            gmpowertrain.com/assets/docs/2017-US-Product-Information-Guide.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      whitworth

      I absolutely think Ford’s announcement that they were basically moving all small car production into Mexico was a big reason the traditionally blue Rust Belt went for Trump.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        What that means, then, is that the Traditionally Blue Rust Belt isn’t terribly well informed. If they were, then they’d have known that this move wouldn’t have done much in the way of net job gains or losses, as the Wayne plant was going to be retooled for truck production. The jobs weren’t simply “going away.”

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    Let’s not feel too bad for Mr. Fields. Looking at a quick link from google, it appears he got total compensation of > $20M for 2-3 years.. Wish I could “fail” like that..

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Follow the money, because increasingly, all businesses, including Ford are just money games. A tangible product is just there to validate the stock price.

    Sad, really sad, and down the rabbit hole we go! Hang on, this ride is going to get a lot rougher.

    Just because I’m retired doesn’t really protect me from anything, either, so I’m not a bit smug about what I say, let alone secure.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      I get what you are saying. Hopefully we dont go back to where we were 9 years ago with the car OEMs. GM was famously stated as saying and I paraphrase here
      “We are in the business of making money not cars”

      Ok..looked it up: “General Motors is not in the business of making cars. It is in the business of making money.”

      We are in the era of if a company doesn’t make what it made last year then its a failure. Even if it is still way over what it needs to stay open.

  • avatar
    mikey

    @.Zackman..Me to….You pretty well summed up my thoughts, and views…Retired ?..Yes. …Secure ? I’d like to think so, but life experience has taught me better.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I’ve never been a Mark Fields fan. Living in Florida and being paid to commute to Dearborn always seemed off. He ran Ford’s ill fated “premier auto group” years ago, the piece of which have now all been sold off. He is a classic modern Harvard MBA type … heavy on numbers, low on real wisdom. Mark Fields failed up for over 20 years at Ford, and now he is out.

  • avatar
    deanst

    Lots of Monday morning quarterbacking here. Ford is doing fine, but could be better. The F150 was a huge risk that worked out very well. Lincoln is dong well for the minimal investment involved – particularly versus the huge sums misspent at Cadillac. Ford’s biggest problems are reliability and fuel efficiency. The vehicles have sub par reliability, and the efficiency on their turbo cars – especially the real world results – are terrible. Hard to justify great new investments in small cars, but if the focus and fiesta were reliable and fuel efficient they would,be respectable contenders in their classes.

    Ford also has moved to break even in Europe, while GM had to give up and abandon that market.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      For whatever reason, I have always thought of Ford as a global company and GM more uniquely American in the sense that the GM product (sans China/Buick) really does not appeal seemingly to those outside of the Americas (Mexico, US, Canada). With that in mind, I find it to be reassuring that the top brass as GM has finally recognized that something that is uniquely American will not have appeal in Europe and other markets around the world and to taking permanent steps to stop the cash burn in pursuit of the delusion.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @deanst – I do agree. Ford needs to improve reliability first and foremost. The current drop in fuel prices means Ford has some time to improve mpg and mpg isn’t much of a concern for buyers. If one looks at Ford F150. Most pickups sell with the EB3.5. If I go on line and search, the vast majority of left over 2016’s are 5.0’s.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “…if the focus and fiesta were reliable and fuel efficient they would,be respectable contenders in their classes.”

      I shopped the Focus fall. I’d say it’s plenty good to drive, even if it’s a bit old.

      But I was leasing no matter what, and since the Focus has abysmal resale value, it wasn’t worth anything more than a test drive. And that relates back to the quality/reliability issues mentioned.

      A Focus is a great deal as a used car if you can put up with the transmission (which is a lot less of a problem than it used to be). No way I’d buy one new, though, unless I was planning on driving it into the ground over 10 years (and folks who want to do that buy Corollas anyway).

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Well said, Deadweight! I commend you. Succinct too!

    I would add this: That is generally the way it has been for a while. During the eras from 1900 to 1930, and again 1945-1973, the interests of big money coincided with the interests of “middle” and “working” America.

    That is, the path to even bigger riches for big money was to invest and to PAY the masses well.

    Since 1973 in America, and 1990 in the West in general, this has ceased to be the case.

    This is why we (the ‘average’ American) is running–on a treadmill, and going backwards.

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