Ford announced some HR news today, saying that Trevor Worthington has been appointed vice president, Global Product Development Operations & Vehicle Programs. Worthington has served as veep of Product Development for Asia Pacific since 2013. You may recognize that part of the Ford empire as the area which just got the Ranger Raptor.
Also today, Ford product guru and prolific tweeter Mike Levine promised “Some cool Ford Truck news coming later this week.”
Coincidence? We think not!
Ford Europe announced it had shuffled its leadership on Friday as part of a larger restructuring plan, appointing executives in Germany and the United Kingdom to oversee “ Sprint to 6 Reset and Redesign.” The strategy seeks to achieve a 6 percent EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) margin, investing only in products and services that it believes best support long-term, sustainably and profitable business.
“Ford is implementing key leadership and organizational changes to improve the fitness and agility of its European operations as it undergoes a fundamental reset and redesign of its business,” the company said in an announcement that emphasized creating operational agility.
While the full scope of the plan has yet to be announced, layoffs and factory closings seem highly probable. Ford said announcements concerning the details of the restructuring are expected between now and the beginning of 2020. Europe is expected to be the primary focus during the initial months, however. Ford Europe lost nearly $250 million in the third quarter of 2018, significantly worse than it managed in 2017. The company now expects to see a net loss for the region this year.
Earlier this year, the Blue Oval raised the ire of die-hard fans when it was rumoured the company would use the Mach 1 name on an upcoming electrified vehicle. Ford might be making some odd decisions lately, like refusing to bring the Ranger Raptor to America, but they’re not completely tone deaf.
Which helps explain a patent filing uncovered earlier this week. In it, Ford seeks to trademark the name “ Mach E.”
Months of speculation fueled by the increasingly chummy relationship between Ford and Volkswagen has given way to new possibilities. The two partners, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding earlier this year, might leap further into bed than initially thought.
To hear VW CEO Herbert Diess tell it, the two automakers might soon share American assembly space. And can Tennessee expect a new plant? It’s on the table.
Not to be outdone by Toyota’s announcement of an all-wheel drive Prius at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford issued a teaser promoting the most capable variant of one of its own iconic models — the Mustang Shelby GT500.
However, the car isn’t coming to LA. According to Ford’s social media accounts and a new display in California, the vehicle won’t be on display until January 14th of 2019. As you might have guessed, that’s in the midst of the North American International Auto Show.
Have you heard about that other American automaker — the one that doesn’t callously ruin lives? This question, no doubt percolating inside the craniums of U.S. lawmakers and pundits, doesn’t need to be spoken to be heard.
What would normally be a simple announcement of a production increase at one plant and a decrease at two others took on a symbolic nature this week. Ford wants to build more large SUVs but requires fewer cars. Thanks to a quirk of geography, no layoffs are planned — something that can’t be said of GM’s scorched earth plan, right?
One of the advantages when getting rid of (or leaving) something is the propensity to use up supplies on your way out the door. Moving out tomorrow? Better drink all that beer in the fridge. Trading the car in this afternoon? Let’s drive around to burn off the remaining fuel we put in the tank last week.
It would seem the Blue Oval subscribes to this theory as well. With all of its cars headed to the glue factory, some base models have actually gained features while keeping their sticker price steady.
Case in point? The Fiesta S, now with air conditioning.
Imagine you’re an American auto executive in the 1980s, looking on in desperation as all the youthful and wealthy customers head almost solely to BMW showrooms for their sports-oriented sedans and coupes.
Now imagine you work at Ford, and you’ve decided to do something about it. By the way, you’re Bob Lutz right now.
It’s Merkur time.
It’s no surprise to anyone reading this site that the suits on Wall Street are unimpressed with Ford’s attempts to haul itself out of the proverbial financial basement. With a recent downgrade by Moody’s to near-junk status, the Blue Oval needed to reassure the money mavens that the company is on track for success.
That’s not what happened at a recent presentation made by Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive VP and head of global operations, at Barclays Global Automotive Conference in New York earlier this week. Despite a 25-minute talk supported by a 21-slide PowerPoint deck, investors were left wanting more information.
In the words of one economist who listened to the speech: “Rarely have I heard so many tired old buzz words that told us so little.”
These days, every automaker is in the midst of a metamorphosis, eager to emerge from their chrysalis as a “mobility company.” Even brands that don’t seem bent on completely revolutionizing their business model now use the term in reference to themselves.
Ford, which has positioned itself as a mobility company ever since Mark Fields was steering the ship, is among those pushing the narrative the strongest. Fields may have been fired for having a lofty, tech-focused vision that couldn’t charm investors, but much of it carried over to Jim Hackett’s tenure as CEO. Ford desperately wants to be seen as a cutting-edge nameplate.
However, the assumption among industry experts is that it’s lagging behind General Motors in terms of autonomous driving, electrification, and the ability to tap into alternative revenue streams. We sometimes wonder how accurate those assumptions are.
Volkswagen’s supervisory board meets Friday to discuss how to handle the next decade of vehicle development, with CEO Herbert Diess expected to present a strategy that includes Ford as a key partner. The two automakers already have a Memorandum of Understanding with an eye on commercial vehicles, but VW could take the relationship further. Much further.
Ford’s Jim Hackett admits the talks are going well, but the CEO isn’t about to leap into bed without taking precautions.
We’ve told you already that the upcoming Ford Ranger, which hits dealer lots in January, stands to become an endlessly customizable midsize pickup. Reports of options galore cropped up well ahead of the truck’s release.
Now, there’s more news on that front. While the usual factory add-ons will be part of any would-be Ranger owner’s buying decision, Ford doesn’t want those customers to look at another catalogue or website once the vehicle’s sitting in their driveway. The automaker wants buyers to get all of their outdoorsy aftermarket fittings from the dealer.
It’s possible the 2020 Ford Bronco just had an unlikely reveal after photos of last month’s Las Vegas dealer convention found their way online. On a Ford website, no less.
Slated for production alongside the 2019 Ranger in Wayne, Michigan, the Bronco is returning to satisfy the burning itch felt by longtime fans of the rugged, body-on-frame SUV. But is this that vehicle?
We were wrong. There will be a new Ford-offered vehicle slotted below the EcoSport for the low-income/urban greenie crowd. It’s not very aerodynamic or powerful, but that won’t matter, as you’ll never own it.
Yes, it’s a scooter. A Spin scooter, to be clear, and it’s poised to mingle with Birds and Limes on a congested roadway or sidewalk near you. Ford Motor Company has agreed to buy the San Francisco-based startup for a healthy sum, all part of its efforts to break into the “micromobility” arena. A massive roll-out starts today.
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s probe into reports of exhaust gasses leaking into the cabin of certain Ford Explorers continues, the company doesn’t have to worry about the brakes on its law enforcement variants anymore.
After launching an investigation into front brake hose failures — at the request of the Sacramento Police Department — in 2015, the NHTSA returned the verdict this week. Nothing inherently wrong with those front stoppers, it said. It seems the Sacramento PD really, really pushes its vehicles in pursuit training.
After weeks and months of rumors, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has confirmed that a badge-engineered version of the Ranger pickup is one of the possible product tie-ups between his company and Ford.
In a sit-down with Automotive News, Diess said that, while VW’s partnership with Ford is mainly focused on commercial vehicles for the European market, a range of mutually beneficial opportunities exist between the two automakers. With its overseas-market Amarok pickup growing long in the tooth, VW can easily see a Ford in its future. American buyers could see a Volkswagenized Ranger, too.
According to sources who spoke to Reuters, Volkswagen Group has more interest in pursuing technological relationships with new partners, especially Ford, than continuing on with Audi as its main development hub. At least for a while.
VW CEO Herbert Diess will reportedly unveil a 10-year plan to his company’s board later this month, part of an efficiency initiative born of diesel fines and the need to stay ahead of rivals. While the move would lessen Audi’s importance in the group, VW would stand to save big on R&D costs. Meanwhile, Ford might get access to VW’s electric vehicle architecture.
Wages may have stagnated, but companies know they can still curry the public’s favor by other means. Because corporations aren’t people, despite the government saying otherwise, they can’t really be good or evil. This frequently results in meaningless pandering, perplexing business decisions, or disingenuous marketing that pushes an empty moral narrative in an attempt to bend to rampant social pressures. Still, it occasionally leads to those in charge making a decision to do the right thing and getting some deserved praise.
Ford Motor Co. is significantly expanding the amount of paid time off available to new parents among its salaried workforce in the United States.
Pretty much everything is on the table at this point. At least, that’s the way it looks to industry observers. The partnership announced between Ford and Volkswagen back in June has the potential to birth any number of outcomes — from jointly developed commercial vehicles (the initial aim), to badge-swapped overseas small cars, autonomous vehicle hardware, and perhaps even borrowed electric vehicle architecture.
As it prepares the launch of its MEB-platform electric vehicles, Volkswagen’s not saying “no” to letting Ford have a piece of the action.
Oh boy — what to make of this one? A poster at Mustang6g.com forum claims two sources who attended this month’s Ford dealer meetup in Las Vegas say the Blue Oval has something interesting up its sleeve.
No, it’s not the Mustang-inspired electric crossover Ford expects to launch for 2020 (possibly, but no longer probably carrying the Mach 1 name). Rather, it’s either a four-door Mustang or a Mustang-inspired four-door GT car with premium intentions and an eye for upsized engines.
Okay, let’s pick this apart.
Ford Performance hooked up with drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his RTR Vehicles team to produce a rather curious offspring. Their love child, the Series 1 Mustang RTR, pays homage to the track car that inspired it while attempting to remain grounded in the world of daily driving.
The limited-edition model (package, really) can spawn from any Mustang GT or EcoBoost equipped with Performance Pack 1 and is said to be trackworthy, but it seems like it’s not sacrificing many of the sport coupe’s streetable characteristics to get there. An interesting choice, considering we’ve seen loads of amateur drift cars that don’t even have bumpers or carpeting.
Ford Motor Company is engaged in hurried discussions with Volkswagen, with the German automaker seen as a sure-fire way to reverse falling fortunes in overseas markets. Ford needs help in Europe and Latin America, especially — a situation made clear in Thursday’s quarterly earnings report.
Since signing a Memorandum of Understanding with VW in June, the scope of Ford’s partnership has expanded from its initial focus on commercial vehicles. There was already room in the MOU’s wording for the two companies to go further. Now, it looks almost certain that passenger vehicles will become part of the plan.
China, Europe, and South America all conspired to sink Ford’s profits in the third quarter of 2018, with the automaker posting a 37 percent net income drop compared to the same quarter a year ago.
The earnings report came the same day Ford announced the creation of a standalone Chinese business unit, Ford China. Dismal overseas performance didn’t come as a shock, however, as these headwinds were also felt in previous quarters, albeit not as strongly. That hasn’t stopped a barrage of questions directed at CEO Jim Hackett over how he plans to build a successful operation outside of America’s borders.
While Ford unceremoniously ended Focus production in the U.S. earlier this year, the model is trying its best to stay in the public eye. The automaker has announced a recall of nearly 1.5 million Focus vehicles in North America to prevent a stuck purge valve from vacuuming up the 2.0-liter engine’s performance.
As owners await notification, Ford implores them to head to their local gas station and fill’er up.
Just ahead of the launch of a new Ford Ranger, production of which began earlier this month, midsize trucks’ share of the overall U.S. pickup truck market is up to a respectable nine-year high.
Thanks to significant year-over-year improvements from the two top sellers in the segment plus meaningful increases from the third and fourth-ranked midsize pickups, category-wide volume has grown by more than 60,000 units during the first nine months of 2018. Compared with the same period in 2017, volume in the much larger full-size pickup truck segment hasn’t even grown by half that much.
If you’re a pickup truck buyer, you remain far more likely to acquire a full-size F-150, Silverado, Ram, Sierra, Tundra, or Titan than a Tacoma, Colorado, Frontier, Canyon, or Ridgeline. But the slice of the pie afforded to the five-strong midsize sector is above 18 percent for the first time since 2009.
Could the new Ford Ranger push midsize trucks over the one-fifth mark for the first time since 2006?
Ford isn’t about to kiss off the barely tapped potential of the Chinese new vehicle market, so it’s throwing more effort into strengthening its efforts in that “developing” country. To better mine a market in which its sales sank 43 percent last month, the automaker has announced the creation of a standalone business unit: Ford China.
Overseeing the unit is a CEO poached from a Chinese automaker — a man who once spent 17 years working under the Blue Oval banner.
While I certainly don’t question their dedication to preserving freedom, one wonders what the Allied soldiers crossing the Channel in 1944 would have thought about the United Kingdom of 2018.
Let’s just say that British law is somewhat strict — especially in minor, unlikely areas of life. Going by the select media reports that make their way stateside as online outrage food, it would seem that, according to British lawmakers, danger lurks everywhere in a land where people once treated nightly bombing raids as a mundane form of weather.
Thanks to this new culture of safety and tolerance, a culture where the police encourages people to report when they’ve been offended on Twitter, car commercials can be pulled from airwaves after generating the wrong kind of feelings in certain viewers.
Good news: the Ford F-150 will not be discontinued as a result of the runaway popularity of the 2019 Ford Ranger. Phew.
As the Blue Oval readies its midsize pickup for a winter launch, Joe Hinrichs, head of global operations, claimed Monday that the automaker doesn’t expect much cross shopping among would-be Ford pickup buyers. Frankly, this would have only been a concern if buyers focused on a truck’s tow rating and nothing else. Still, Hinrichs felt it needed to be said.
Ranger folks are not F-150 folks.
News this morning of Ford deciding not to bring the Raptor Ranger to American shores (via Autoblog) whipped your normally placid author into frothy indignation, prompting him to print off a Blue Oval and emphatically throw his entire collection of competition-grade Elkadart Razor steel-tipped darts at it.
Okay, maybe the situation is not that dire here in the office. But given some strange product decisions, Wall Street frustrations, and a mystifying new ad campaign, we’re left with one inescapable question:
What in the name of Henry Ford is going on at The Glass House?
Ford Motor Company dropped its first Bryan Cranston-filled “Built Ford Proud” commercial today, offering the Breaking Bad alumnus an opportunity to cast aspersions at the company’s rivals, including industry startups. It’s filled with Ted Talk-bashing, futurespeak-trashing bravado linked together with a thread of get ‘er done, implying that talk is cheap, and real progress takes hard work.
You can count on Ford to build the future — that’s the message here.
Halfway through the ad, a 1960s Mustang blasting through a desert landscape morphs into a contemporary model, then morphs again into something else. But what is it?
The plan may as well carry the heading “Operation Don’t Leave Us.” As Ford dealers meet in Las Vegas, the automaker has shifted its focus from luring buyers from other brands to keeping Ford owners in the family.
Helping firm up that relationship are a series of “Built Ford Proud” ads poised to hit the airwaves this weekend, with Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston serving as the brand’s spokesman. For dealers, product assurances top the most-wanted list. Apparently, they got them.
Ford Motor Co. announced Thursday that it will extend production of the GT due to popular demand. While it might not move like the F-Series, which saw more than 450,000 deliveries over the first half of the year, we suppose it has done alright for a domestic supercar that costs half a million dollars. More than 6,500 applicants signed up for a chance to own a piece of the initial allotment in 2016. But Ford notes that was before the car took overall victory at Le Mans 24 Hours later that same year.
The GT’s run will now include 1,350 examples, 350 more than Ford originally planned, and stretch out an additional two years.
In early August, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recalled 1.1 million Ram pickups after owners reported losing their loads, the fault of a tailgate that wouldn’t stay latched. Ford now seems to have a similar problem, only in this instance the tailgates carefully lower themselves under electric power.
A ghost in the machine? More like an electrical issue that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to get to the bottom of. This week, the safety agency announced the launch of an investigation into consumer complaints related to the wonky gates, possibly heralding a recall of 2017 F-Series trucks.
Back in June, we brought you news that Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG seemed to be working on a relationship — potentially yielding jointly developed products aimed at the commercial sector. At the time, both companies issued a joint memorandum of understanding about potential product alliances.
With the Blue Oval’s stock price in the dumpster, Jim Hackett constantly nattering about “fitness,” and VW’s desire to increase its market share in America, it wouldn’t be the oddest of marriages if these two companies joined forces in more than just the commercial market.
Stranger things have happened … like DaimlerChrysler. Wait, that’s probably a bad example.
The 2019 Ford Ranger isn’t on sale yet, but the automaker’s already busy gearing up — literally— to ensure it squeezes every possible dime from it. It’s a practice Ford is especially skilled at. Don’t forget that this is the company that can spruce up a $35,000 F-150 SuperCrew and sell it as a luxury model costing more than twice as much to completely satisfied customers — and that’s before anyone taps into the pickup’s comprehensive accessories list.
While its midsize offering was obviously destined to be less expensive than its F-Series stablemates, Ford also hasn’t been quite as aggressive with its pricing between trims. The Ranger Lariat isn’t anywhere near twice the price of the base LT. But once you start configuring (Ford’s been letting customers do this online for a couple months now), you’ll notice that the Ranger is subject to a sizable number of desirable equipment packages. And they’re only the tip of the iceberg, if this new accessories leak is to be believed.
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.
Reading Matt Posky’s review of the new Edge ST got me thinking about CUVs of the expensive variety. Though Ford argues that the Edge ST is in a “white space” of its own because of the serious performance it achieves, I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure that outright performance makes that much of a difference in this segment.
Let’s put it to the people and find out if I’m wrong.
It wouldn’t be a supercar without some risk of getting burnt. Those performance limits are far beyond the capabilities of most owners, after all.
This time, however, the threat of conflagration is real.
According to Ford, certain copies of the GT run the risk of dribbling hydraulic fluid from the lines feeding its adjustable rear spoiler. Since the car’s centrally-mounted exhaust tips are located in close proximity, this problem could set the whole works ablaze.
When GM released EPA-estimated fuel economy for its 2.7L Turbo full-size pickup engine today, many of us were taken aback. For a four-cylinder (yes, it is a four-cylinder, and the omission of this info from GM materials is glaring), we expected a higher MPG figure. Perhaps not significantly higher, but enough to create a greater gap between it and its cylinder-heavy contemporaries.
A combined rating of 21 mpg is what buyers can expect from the 2.7-liter unit, which sends its 310 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic. (The 4WD model is not yet rated). That torque figure beats the naturally aspirated V6 found in both the GM and Ford camps, and comes close to Ram’s Pentastar motor. If gas mileage is top of mind, however, it’s a much closer race.
Friend of TTAC, Bozi Tatarevic, had some GREAT NEWS about the upcoming Bronco this morning. In a post published by Jalopnik, he detailed what seems to be an airtight theory that the Ford We’ve All Been Waiting For will be available with a seven-speed manual transmission.
“Say what?” you ask, doing a double take and spraying your glass of whiskey all over the keyboard (I had a similar reaction). Yes, boys and girls, it may actually come to pass that the new Bronco will be a close-enough Wrangler competitor.
Streamlining rarely comes without a reduction in personnel, and it appears Ford’s $11 billion restructuring plan will indeed bring about a loss of employees in North America. While the automaker previously hinted at steep job losses in its troubled European operation, a recent report shows employees need to be worried on several continents.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Ford’s plan will leave many unemployed white-collar, salaried workers in its wake.
As I shuffled, exhausted, into the airport bathroom, a whistle-shaped fan was attempting to dry its freshly mopped floors — picking up the scent of the urine-soaked tiles and wafting it directly into my nostrils. It was not shaping up to be a good week and I had another 2,000 miles to go before I arrived in Utah to sample the 2019 Ford Edge ST and Edge Titanium.
Ford’s Edge has been a guilty pleasure of mine ever since I used one to follow the PGA tour almost four years ago. That experience ended with me feeling worse about golf but much better about a vehicle I had previously written off as uninteresting. The Edge Titanium I basically lived out of during that period didn’t become more exciting. But every time I had to park it and traverse eighteen holes of nearly consistent boredom under the hot summer sun, I’d look back at its fresh red paint and whisper “take me away from all of this.” And that’s exactly what it did when my time with the tour ended.
I loaded up the massive rear compartment, shuttled a few locals home, and drove it back to New York City under budget on fuel, where I found that it was actually small enough to park on the street. I was damned pleased with it, but thrilling performance wasn’t part of the overall appeal. That’s why I was legitimately excited to try Ford’s new Edge ST — a model that replaces the Sport trim for the 2019 model year and was dubbed by its creators as the quickest ST ever made.
As the 2019 Ranger creeps closer to dealer lots, Ford has pulled back the curtain on the one remaining mystery surrounding the reborn midsize pickup: what to expect from its turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder.
It’s the only engine available to Ranger buyers, and it’s mated solely to a 10-speed automatic. That’s five more speeds than one could get in the departing 2012 Ranger. Using the previous-gen model as a comparison, the four-cylinder 2019 Ranger makes nearly double the horsepower from the same displacement, and more than doubles the torque rating of its predecessor.
Much has been made of the impact of two hurricanes, Harvey and Florence, and the two storms’ impact on September vehicles sales in the United States. Harvey swamped the Houston-Galveston area in August 2017, leading to an uptick in vehicles sales the following month, while Florence menaced a broad area of the U.S. Southeast for days in September 2018.
For Ford especially, these storms are the stated reason for the vaunted F-Series line of pickups suffering its first year-over-year sales drop in 16 months. If you can forgive April 2017, when the F-Series failed to clear the previous year’s bar by 117 units, that winning stretch can be lengthened to 23 months. Was Mother Nature truly to blame?
Analysts and investors are quick to point out a key similarity between Ford Motor Company’s stock and the terrain between the Appalachians and Outer Banks, viewed from west to east. Unlike Tesla’s recent share price plunge(s), Ford’s decline has been gradual, remaining stubbornly unaffected by the automaker’s attempts to turn it all around.
While he’s faced questions about his performance before, Ford CEO Jim Hackett is growing frustrated with the idea that, under his leadership, the company is focused too much on the future, with not enough going on in the present.
We told you about the bargain performance coming out of Ohio’s Lebanon Ford back in 2016. At the time, the dealer offered a base Mustang GT manual fitted with a Roush supercharger, good for a (then) Challenger Hellcat-beating 727 horsepower. Drive it away for $39,995, Ford and Roush warranty in hand, the dealer said. And many did.
The fun hasn’t stopped at Lebanon Ford in the ensuing years. There’s still an available Roush package owners can drop into their existing GTs, and buyers can still tell the dealer to hand over a Roush-ified ‘Stang at new car time. Power now stands at 700 hp. If that’s not enough grunt, a recent addition to the LFP (Lebanon Ford Performance) family is the Hellion — a Mustang GT that eschews the supercharged lifestyle in favor of a twin-turbo setup capable of generating 800 hp at the crank.
Should owners feel like swapping out the wastegate spring, power levels in the four-figure range become possible. Price? Again, starting at $39,995.
Ford confirmed the assembly locale of its F-150 Hybrid this week, saying the electrified pickup would not stray from its aluminum-bodied brethren. The hybridized F-Series will, unsurprisingly, go into production at the Rouge’s Dearborn Truck Plant in 2020, with additional (non-hybrid) production handled by Ford’s Kansas City Assembly.
The automaker made the announcement as part of its 100th anniversary celebration of the River Rouge Complex. While that left the F-150 proclamation a little light on details, Ford previously said the model would probably not be a plug-in hybrid, but would boast outlets for electrically powered tools/devices — functioning as a mobile generator. However, the announcement itself focused primarily on celebrating the Rouge’s centennial.
Ford’s decision to construct the current-generation F-150’s body purely of aluminum paid off in terms of lightweighting, fuel economy, and sales, but rising commodity costs over the past couple of years eroded some of the financial benefit. There’s far greater headaches facing Ford these days, as the industry grapples with tariffs on not just imported aluminum and steel, but vehicles as well.
A second income-sucking tariff hit in July, when the U.S. applied an import duty of 25 percent on a slew of Chinese goods, prompting China to up its own tariffs on American goods, including automobiles. Ford isn’t having it. Having already lost $1 billion in profit, CEO Jim Hackett has a message for President Trump.
Ford Motor Company is currently on track to sell 939,809 F-Series pickup truck sales in the United States in calendar year 2018.
That number is hugely significant. Not only does it represent far greater volume than any other vehicle line can manage (the F-Series was outselling the combined efforts of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra by 15 percent at the halfway mark), it would also mark the first occasion since 2005 in which any vehicle line topped the 900K mark.
The F-Series accounts for 36 percent of U.S. Ford Motor Company sales, outsells Ford/Lincoln cars by nearly two to one, and outsells all Ford/Lincoln SUVs/crossovers by roughly 2,000 units per month. Use Volkswagen, a global powerhouse, for further comparison: the German brand isn’t likely to sell 400,000 vehicles in America this year. With one-third of the year remaining, Ford has already sold 603,926 F-Series trucks.
But the track towards 939,809 is important for another reason. It’s also 298 sales greater than Ford’s all-time best number. What does Ford need to do during the final four months of the year to break its record?
I’m a very bad person. At least, I’m a bad neighbor. Shortly after we moved into this mature subdivision, I raised the ire of several mature neighbors by foolishly attempting to part out old cars in my garage — and occasionally my driveway, after the projects overflowed. Code enforcement was involved twice.
My car hobbies have evolved, and those neighbors have moved on in one way or another. But I’m still a child around fun cars.
I think the new, younger residents of the house next door have forgiven me for the 2018 Ford Mustang GT PP2 that graced my driveway for a week. I never switched the active exhaust to “Quiet” mode. Rather, I always switched to “Race” mode for a Parnelli Jones-inspired soundtrack with my morning coffee.
Well, it’s not ending up on a sedan, that’s for sure. A Canadian trademark filing shows Ford Motor Company wants to emblazon the word Adrenaline on an upcoming model, and the automaker’s insistence that traditional passenger cars aren’t worth bothering with points to a future use on something rugged in nature.
Either the name’s bound for the rear liftgate of the so-called Baby Bronco, or Ford caved to the wishes of hard-core purists who don’t want the Mach 1 name anywhere near an electric crossover.
As former treasurer of Ford Motor Company, Schloss probably doesn’t look at that dark period a decade ago with much fondness. It was a rough time, as he, Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth, and CEO Alan Mulally (among others) attempted to guide their ship through a swirling financial storm.
It’s far calmer waters now, and the 36-year Ford veteran now finds himself serving as CFO of the automaker’s mobility arm. And it will stay that way until the end of December, at which point the 59-year-old Schloss hands over his hat and starts the cushy life of a retired executive.
Once upon a time, a kid who’d been handed the keys to the family car only stopped accelerating when a stop sign or red light approached, the vehicle ran out of gas, a speed trap appeared in the distance, or they hit the governor.
Today, technology allows parents to pry into their kids’ lives like never before. Moms and dads can harass their offspring remotely with phone calls and text messages, keep tabs on their behavior via social media posts, and even follow their minute-by-minute travels via phone tracker apps. Childhood is dead and parents are the new KGB. With its MyKey system, Ford seized on the modern parent’s growing paranoia and offered these human helicopters the opportunity to lock their crossover into “sedate” mode before tossing junior the keys. Well, fob.
But how many people actually use the feature? As it turns out, plenty. But to use it, they first need to know it exists.
A 24-year-old male employee was found dead overnight at Ford’s Sterling Axle Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, according to police reports. The man was discovered in a restroom stall shortly after midnight on Thursday morning. While no cause of death has been determined, the body has been transported to the medical examiners office for further investigation.
Sterling Heights police said the individual had told co-workers he wasn’t feeling well shortly before entering the bathroom. This is the second notable death at a Ford facility since December, when 41-year-old Ivan Bridgewater of Seymour, Indiana was killed at the Kentucky Truck Plant from blunt-force trauma. That incident was later ruled accidental. At the time, Ford was fined $37,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for violations of established workplace safety rules. The automaker contested the fine.
For Ford, returning to the city of Detroit means first checking off a long list of tax abatements — breaks it says it needs in order to pull off its planned Corktown campus. That would mean $103 million in lost future tax revenue for the city itself, though total incentive package Ford wants amounts to $238.6 million.
Depending on which direction you’re coming from, it’s either agregious or just the cost of doing business.
A lengthy Medium post penned by Darren Palmer, director of product development for Ford’s Team Edison, went live yesterday, no doubt at the request of Ford PR types and company brass. (It was shared on Ford’s media page.)
In it, the Ford product veteran goes on about the challenges facing his team of electric vehicle developers, mentioning, “The stakes are high.” Are they ever. With 16 fully electric vehicles on the way by 2022, joined by 24 electrified vehicles, that’s a heavy plate to carry. Despite having nearly 20 years of hybrid vehicle exposure under its belt, large swaths of the buying public remain confused by electrified powertrains (“Will my PHEV leave me stranded with an empty battery?”) and anxious about EV range. It takes time — a lot of time, apparently — to change hearts and minds. The U.S. EV take rate is less than 1 percent of new vehicle sales.
However, what created a splash on Thursday was not the revelation that building and selling EVs to the American public is hard, but the image accompanying the post.