Report: Ford Vows Better Dealer Engagement, NADA Attendees Vexed

Last week, Ford CEO Jim Farley asked a group of dealers for some open and honest feedback while promising to spend the next few weeks visiting showrooms. The point was to create a conversation between the automaker and dealerships that have grown annoyed with some of the changes Ford has been asking them to make. However, the latest from the North American Dealers Association (NADA) meeting makes it sound like the relationship may still be dicey.

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Investigation Faults Ford Battery Supply Over National Security Issues

Following fears that Ford’s electric vehicle supply chain may represent a national security issue, concerned legislators are doubling down by outlining the path battery components are required to take in order to get here. On Monday, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) accused the automaker of having plans that required contracting technology and software firms with close ties to both the Chinese and North Korean governments. 

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No Hybrid Ford Explorer or Lincoln Aviator for the 2024 Model Year

It looks like the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator are dumping their hybrid trims for the 2024 model year. The Explorer SUV was previously offered with a hybridized 3.3-liter V6, whereas the Aviator Grand Touring came with a hybridized twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6. These powertrains won’t be available on the retail market anymore. However, there’s a chance PHEV variants of both models will return in 2025.

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Ford Executive Chair Bill Ford Asks UAW to End Strike

Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford has asked union members to come together and end the UAW strike before it hampers the business’ ability to invest in future products and facilities.

While it’s relatively uncommon to see top-ranking automotive executives discuss contract negotiations in the midst of a strike, the UAW has taken a decidedly more aggressive approach this time around and General Motors CEO Mary Barra has also made some public comments on the matter. Ford’s tactic seems to be split between hoping to evoke some public sympathy and having leadership issue veiled threats about future employment opportunities.

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2020-2022 Ford Explorer Being Recalled Over Rollaway Risk

Ford is recalling 238,364 Explorer SUVs over a defect that could result in a loss of motive power or possible rollaway risk. The issue stems from an issue with the subframe bushing and a rear axle bolt. Based on documents filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Ford is worried that the rear axle horizontal mounting bolt may fracture under heavy torque loads.

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UAW Launches Surprise Strike Against Ford Kentucky Truck Plant

The United Auto Workers (UAW) launched an unexpected strike against Ford Motor Company, targeting its extremely important truck works in Kentucky. While the plan was always to gradually turn up the volume on the industry, hoping to extend the union strike budget while inflicting the maximum desired effect on automakers during contract negotiations, this decision represents a major blow against Ford.

Those pickups are incredibly important to Blue Oval’s bottom line and the UAW knows it better than anyone. In fact, Ford has already released a list of 13 plants that will be impacted by the latest action taken by the union. Layoffs and potential work stoppages are anticipated in the days to come.

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NHTSA Expanding Investigation Into Ford EcoBoost Engines

On Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it would be expanding its investigation into late-model Fords equipped with EcoBoost engines. What initially started as a probe into 2021 model-year Broncos equipped with 2.7-liter turbocharged engines has evolved into a much broader look into several other models and the larger 3.0-liter EcoBoost motor.

Last summer, the NHTSA was prompted to launch an investigation into 2021 Ford Broncos after nearly 30 complaints were issued about the 2.7-liter motor cutting out at highway speeds. This was accompanied by a few petitions demanding the agency take action, prompting the NHTSA to launch a formal investigation. At the time, regulators were fretting over the possibility of “catastrophic engine failure” due to a presumed defect with the intake valves.

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Report: Ford Allegedly Planning More Layoffs

Ford has been restructuring for years and is reportedly planning additional layoffs. Staff from multiple business units, including its combustion-focused Ford Blue division and the Model e electric vehicle unit, are supposed to be getting bad news in the coming weeks. But the number of people getting laid off isn’t supposed to match what we’ve seen before. 

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Ford Decides Against Dumping AM Radio

Ford CEO Jim Farley took to social media on Tuesday to announce that the automaker is reversing a decision to remove AM radio from its vehicles. The alleged concern was that all-electric vehicles would interfere with the signal and that listening trends were moving away from the relevant bandwidth. However, opponents noted that localized emergency broadcasts frequently end up on AM radio and that the airwaves likewise tend to be home to political talk shows or religious broadcasts.

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Ford to Pull Back On Future Chinese Investments

Ford will be scaling down future investments in China, as the company’s chief executive has suggested that there will be “no guarantee” Western automakers can compete with local electric-vehicle rivals. This should have been obvious to American manufacturers who have historically been required to engage in partnerships with Chinese corporations just to sell within the region. But it also speaks to hardships Ford has endured while trying to break into the market.

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2024 Ford Mustang Comes With ‘Remote Rev’ System

If you’re the kind of person that wants to make a strong impression on the neighborhood and are less than concerned whether it’s good or bad, Ford is offering 2024 model year Mustangs with a key fob that lets the holder remotely rev up the engine. While a pointless gimmick, it would be a lie to say that it doesn’t sound like fun.

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QOTD: Do You Actually Care About Chinese Imports?

Following our coverage of the Lincoln Nautilus Hybrid, reader feedback seemed overwhelmingly focused on the vehicle being manufactured in China. This was interesting because the article dealt exclusively with updates to the vehicle, which is technically still a product of North America.

But Ford Motor Co. has confirmed that the next-generation Nautilus will indeed be imported from China so that the Canadian facility currently responsible for U.S. volume can be transitioned into an electric-vehicle plant.

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Ford Celebrates EV Still Being Eligible for Tax Credits

On Wednesday, Ford Motor Co. celebrated the fact that its entire electric-vehicle lineup would still be eligible for consumer incentives under the so-called Inflation Reduction Act federal tax credit scheme. But it downplayed that some of those models won’t be eligible for the maximum amount due to stricter EV sourcing requirements pertaining to battery components and critical minerals.

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Report: Ford Patents Powered Roof Rack System

While it’s fairly common to hear people argue about the true usefulness of modern automotive features, there are some inclusions nobody seems to mind. Automakers cannot seem to add enough places for people to plug in electrical devices. Parents want USB ports for the entire family, pickup truck owners want outlets tucked into the bed, and people doing vehicle modifications want a simple way to power the accessories they probably didn’t need but decided to buy anyway.

To that effect, Ford has patented a powered roof rail system that seems custom-made for proprietary accessories requiring electricity and it doesn’t even sound like it’ll be all that hard to install.

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Ford Vows to Boost Production Through Rest of 2023

Following an extended production pause of the all-electric Lightning pickup, Ford has signaled its intention to boost production through the rest of 2023 – especially when it comes to its most in-demand models. While it’s undoubtedly wise for Blue Oval to ensure it can build enough vehicles to satisfy demand, the automaker is also trying to turn around any perceptions that it might be falling behind with EVs. Meanwhile, Ford is providing itself with an opportunity to preemptively dunk on General Motors after news broke that the rival automaker would walk back full-size pickup production to “ maintain optimal inventory levels.”

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  • Mgh57 I like the complete silence of an electric.
  • Kcflyer This is a joke right? Kevin James invented this in a movie years ago. As I recall queen latifa loved it. The movie was called "The Dilemma". It was even a dodge. Life imitates art indeed.
  • RHD This is the modern equivalent of the Horsey Horseless. (If you don't know what that was, look it up!)
  • Loser What’s next, simulation of the “Hemi tick”?
  • Ajla There's a melancholy to me about an EV with external speaker-generated "engine" noise and fake transmissions. It feels like an admission from the manufacturer that you're giving something up and they are trying to give back some facsimile of it. Like giving a cupcake scented candle to someone on a diet. If I was shopping for an EV I'd rather go to a company enthusiastic about it rather than apologetic.