On Wednesday, Ford CEO Jim Farley told attendees of the Wolfe Research Auto Conference that the United States needs to start building batteries for the industry’s planned deluge of electric vehicles now that semiconductor shortages have revealed the dangers of needing to source essential components from the other side of the planet.
Farley is likely correct in stating that America really should be able to supply itself, and not just in regard to semiconductor chips. Pandemic-related lockdowns crippled countless industries by upsetting the balance of supply lines. Halfway through 2020, farmers were dumping millions of gallons of milk per day and plowing up fields of eatable vegetables as restaurants were shutdown; factories were idled as part shortages became commonplace; cleaning supplies and disinfectants became impossible to find.
But it’s hard to translate that into sympathy for Ford because, while all of the above was happening, the automaker’s leadership was saying that there was no good reason to manufacture its own batteries.
A bombshell just landed from Ford, as the automaker announced the impending retirement of CEO Jim Hackett and his replacement by Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley, effective October 1st.
Ford said Tuesday that Hackett, 65, whose tenure has been the subject of much speculation and criticism as the company navigates wildly turbulent waters, “elected” to retire. He replaced the ousted Mark Fields in 2017. In his place rises Farley, who also joins the company’s board of directors.
Ford Motor Company COO Jim Farley has purchased $1 million of stock in the company he works for as a sign of faith that the Blue Oval can and will recover. You might recall Farley from his recent promotion, one resulting from a March management shakeup that forced Ford’s former head of automotive Joe Hinrichs out of the company. That situation ruffled a few feathers, but it’s ancient history now, considering what landed on Ford’s plate later in the month.
The automaker went into the coronavirus pandemic in the midst of a comprehensive and costly restructuring campaign. Government-mandated lockdowns soon stymied the economy, negatively influencing Ford’s share price. Plenty of automakers find themselves in similar situations, creating an impetus to further walk back mobility claims they were all betting on — or, more accurately, getting Wall Street to bet on.
A rocky past year hasn’t dislodged Jim Hackett from his lofty perch in the Glass House, nor does the CEO feel he’s destined for the door. This assertion comes after a dismal earnings report born of recalls, a botched product launch, and ongoing streamlining efforts, the latter of which hasn’t given Ford’s stock the bounce many had hoped for.
Why does Hackett feel so confident? Friendship.
Last Friday’s shakeup in the uppermost ranks of Ford Motor Company came as a surprise, with many employees and observers claiming that the automaker’s former president of automotive, Joe Hinrichs, took the fall for the company’s recent failings.
After announcing Hinrichs’ unexpected retirement and elevating Jim Farley, head of new businesses and autonomy, to chief operating officer (effective March 1st), CEO Jim Hackett responded to the decision in a media scrum. At the same time, Hinrichs was delivering a letter to Ford employees.
Ford CEO Jim Hackett reportedly confirmed that the new Mustang Mach-E we’ve been talking about all day may need to be manufactured in China. Since this is our third article on the vehicle, we’re immensely sorry and promise to keep this relatively short.
On Monday, Bloomberg quoted Hackett as saying the Mach-E will have to figure out a way around the trade war between the United States and China. “We need to determine whether the tariffs are settled. And it would be great [if they were],” Hackett said following the EV’s launch in Los Angeles. “We have a plan to build there if we have to.”
Analysts predicted a less-than-stellar quarter for Ford Motor Company, so it was not a shock to see turbulence in the company’s third-quarter financials. The company’s net income dropped 57 percent in Q3 2019, the result of currency changes and restructuring efforts. Revenue ($37 billion) was down on a global scale, shrinking 2 percent. Earnings per share shrunk from 25 cents to 11 cents.
While the automaker finds itself in the midst of ongoing cost-cutting and a reorganization of its regional businesses, the North American launch of a key product didn’t go as planned, forcing Ford CEO Jim Hackett to claim the company’s efforts fell below expectations.
Plagued by reports of manufacturing defects and post-production emergency surgery at Flat Rock Assembly, Ford’s Chicago-built 2020 Explorer and Lincoln Aviator platform mate are a weight placed on the shoulders (and career) of CEO Jim Hackett. It’s also weighing down the company’s stock, analysts claim.
While the automaker said earlier this month that Explorer supply was on the upswing, with new vehicles now shipping directly to dealers, it seems Bill Shatner hasn’t shot all of the gremlins off the wing of this flight.
This week, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Ford CEO Jim Hackett were among 181 corporate executives claiming their companies need to do more than just deliver value to shareholders. If you just blacked out, we’ll reiterate — chief executives around the country are suggesting businesses need to do more than pad their share price.
We’re wondering why the sudden change of heart.
The steep white-collar job cuts that simmered on Ford’s back burner for a year have come into clear focus. In a letter to employees on Monday, CEO Jim Hackett announced the elimination of 7,000 salaried positions — some 10 percent of the automaker’s global workforce.
The move, part of Ford’s $11 billion restructuring plan, also calls for a 20-percent reduction in the company’s upper tier management. In the U.S., much of the pain will start being felt this week.
We told you the other day about Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s latest attempt to placate employees who might hold reservations about the company’s streamlining plan and their leader’s vision for the future. Obviously, there’s little he could say to make the axe about to fall on legions of workers any less sharp.
One individual whose approval Hackett doesn’t have to worry about — in the short term, anyway — is his superior, Ford Chairman Bill Ford, Jr.
Yesterday, our man Steph Willems chronicled the details of a memo obtained by The Detroit News in which Ford brass promised 2019 will be a pivotal year for the company. Amongst the revelations, CEO Jim Hackett said a job cull is the price it must pay for adding so many new employees after the recession.
That was confirmed today, with news that some salaried workers in departments such as accounting and human resources will get their walking papers later this year.
Of all the Big Three domestic automakers, Ford’s direction seems the most ambitious and confusing. Since taking the helm less than two years ago, CEO Jim Hackett has tried to articulate his vision for both the company and the country’s future roads, sometimes with head-scratching results.
There’s no doubt that change is afoot. The company has already ceased production of all but one of its non-Mustang passenger cars and taken the first steps to getting its lagging overseas operations in order. But 2019 is the pivotal year, Hackett said in a memo to employees. For the sake of Hackett’s future, it had better be.
The chief money man at the Blue Oval plans to hang up his Excel spreadsheets by the end of this year, according to sources in the know. He’s expected to stay on until a new top beancounter is broken in.
Why should you care? Because the Glass House is in the throes of a major product overhaul and under constant scrutiny from Wall Street, that’s why. Any shakeup in the corner offices is bound to have an effect on both activities, especially when recent earnings have been disappointing.
Ford’s chief executive, Jim Hackett, told employees Thursday evening that 2019 cannot be a repeat of last year.
“2018 was mediocre by any standard,” Hackett said in an email to employees. “Yes, we made $7 billion last year. But think of it this way: this represents a 4.4 percent operating margin, about half what we believe is an appropriate margin. So we are aiming for much closer to $14 billion.”
Despite being at the helm of The Blue Oval for nearly two years. Hackett’s Ford continues to endure a slipping share price and a market cap of 34.5 billion — substantially less than General Motors’.
“I become mad for a short time. Likely mad at myself, but also because I know we are better than that,” the CEO said of Ford’s current situation. “I know that our competition hasn’t been better than us by magic.”
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- Bader Hi I want the driver side lights including the bazl and signal
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- El scotto Rumbling through my pantry and looking for the box of sheets of aluminum foil. More alt right comments than actual comments on international trade policy. Also a great deal of ignorance about the global oil industry. I'm a geophysicist and I pay attention such things. Best of all we got to watch Tassos go FULL BOT on us.