Job One for Ford This Week: Placate Antsy Dealers

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

A major product shift and looming job cuts have some Ford dealers nervous about the future. Many would like to know what to expect under their showroom lights in the coming years, and this week brings an opportunity for the automaker to ease those worries.

Under Hackett’s leadership, communication often seems to take a backseat to vision, so the annual Ford dealer meet-up in Las Vegas brings with it high expectations of a great game of show and tell.

“There’s been a lot less exposure to senior management,” said Jack Madden, owner of Jack Madden Ford in Norwood, Massachusetts, in an interview with Automotive News. “There’s just not enough information flowing down to dealers about where the company’s headed.”

There’s not a lot of info flowing to company employees, either, and that has nerves on edge after Ford announced impending layoffs to its white-collar workforce. The automaker didn’t state a number, leaving many wondering just how large of a haircut might come from the $11 billion restructuring. Last year, media reports stated the number could be as high as 10 percent of Ford’s global workforce. The automaker employs roughly 70,000 salaried workers.

Obviously, dealers are far more concerned about product, and they’ll hear about the sales strategy for upcoming new or revamped models during the Vegas gathering. Those products include the critically important 2020 Explorer and looming 2019 Ranger. The 2020 Bronco and its smaller, unibody stablemate should receive a mention, too. It’s a roadmap dealers want, a blueprint for the future, and Hackett and Co. need to deliver.

According to Automotive News, a new ad campaign titled “Ford Proud” will also see airplay during the meeting, ahead of its public release. What’s hoped for by those on our side of things is that Ford brass has more than existing pipeline products to show its dealers.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
2 of 22 comments
  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 17, 2018

    @DeadWeight--Many offices today no longer use filing cabinets (more offices going to e-records and reducing office space) so maybe that is why Ford got Hackett so easy especially since he could no longer hackett in the office furniture business. Agree I think Ford will increase the incentives for the F-150s especially since Ram and GM have new pickups. Ford might see a lot of interest in the Ranger and Bronco but otherwise nothing new.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Oct 17, 2018

    Before Hackett retires he could introduce a new line of vans called the Credenza. More cargo space than competing vans and a great delivery van for office supply stores.

  • Craiger I love the people who call Musk an imbecile. As if they could even get an interview for a job at one of his companies.
  • Lou_BC I'm waiting for Tesla to make a pickup!
  • Lou_BC Autograph? Turn Up the Radio?
  • Oberkanone Were these available with diesel?At $3700 this Volvo presents nicer than other vehicles I see at this asking price.
  • V16 Lobbyists, not a Senator from Missouri are the real power brokers in Washington.Money, the mother's milk of politics dictate every outcome.