Joe Hinrichs, formerly Ford’s president of automotive (and a leading candidate for CEO in the event that the company’s board grew tired of Jim Hackett), has found a new gig after his ouster from the automaker he worked at for 19 years.
On Monday, Massachusetts-based WaveSense announced Hinrichs as its newest board member, joining a former General Motors chief financial officer, Chuck Stevens III, and a Continental executive in the advisory body.
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.
Joe Hinrichs, a top Ford executive tasked with overseeing the company’s global businesses, manufacturing, and product development — and once seen as a potential successor to CEO Jim Hackett — is retiring from the automaker.
The news comes just days after a dismal fourth-quarter earnings report revealed a profit loss of nearly 99 percent in 2019 and a Q4 hit of more than $1.6 billion — with much of the financial damage stemming from the botched launch of the next-generation Explorer.
Ford Motor Company veteran Marcy Klevorn is set to retire come October, leaving her position as head of mobility in need of filling. No need for new blood in Ford’s C-suite, however, as there’s apparently room on Jim Farley’s plate.
Farley, Ford’s head of global markets, will add a new hat to his wardrobe even before Klevorn, 59, leaves the Glass House. Klevorn, whose tenure at Ford spans 36 years, will move to a (brief) new role after Farley dons the title of president of businesses, technology and strategy. There’s new responsibilities and a new title for global operations head Joe Hinrichs, too.
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.”
Ford Motor Co. is blaming Donald Trump’s commodity tariffs for elevating U.S. steel prices higher than any other market on the planet. Regardless of your opinion on the president’s policies (the economy is reportedly booming), it’s a little hard to rebuff Ford’s criticisms on this one. The automaker’s now going straight to the source in an attempt to remedy the situation.
Trump hasn’t gone easy on Ford. He spent a large portion of his presidential campaign coming down on the automaker over its plan to move small-car production to Mexico. However, the company’s about-face proved a short-lived victory — it ultimately decided to stop selling cars altogether. This was followed by Ford’s cull of the upcoming Focus Active in North America after Trump’s 25 percent levy on Chinese-built vehicle made the introduction impossible (and unprofitable).
There’s been no shortage of hot takes on former Ford CEO Mark Fields’ sudden departure from the big office in Dearborn, but a new report sheds light on the drama occurring at the Blue Oval shortly before Fields “elected to retire.”
Before his replacement by Jim Hackett, Fields reportedly attempted to fire Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, as a way of relieving growing scrutiny on his own performance. It didn’t go they way he had planned.
Ahead of a news conference at Ford’s Dearborn headquarters, the automaker has announced Jim Hackett as its new president and chief executive officer.
The news follows last night’s report of the ouster of former CEO Mark Fields by the company’s board of directors. In an official release, Ford refers to Hackett as a “transformational business leader” who will succeed the “retiring” Fields.
Before being named chairman of the newly created subsidiary Ford Smart Mobility LLC in March of 2016, Hackett, 62, served on the company’s board for three years and was a member of its Sustainability and Innovation committee. Prior to joining Ford, the executive gained accolades for his turnaround of American office furniture company Steelcase, where he spent 30 years. As interim director of athletics at the University of Michigan, Hackett lured Jim Harbaugh away from the San Francisco 49ers to serve as head football coach.
Hackett’s job won’t be an easy one. Besides guiding the company through a disruptive era of new technologies, the new CEO must reverse Ford’s flagging fortunes.
Ford Motor Company thinks it has the answers for the impending renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, believes the key to an updated NAFTA includes protections against currency manipulation and the standardization of product regulation between the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
Of course, Hinrichs is just one voice of many. Despite his initial threat of NAFTA’s abolishment failing to pan out, President Trump has maintained a hardline stance — stating he will negotiate a better deal for the U.S. (or pull out if he can’t). Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown has urged for transparency throughout the process while echoing some of Trump’s campaign promises to stick up for American jobs by not showing favoritism or allowing industries to play against each other.
By contrast, Hinrichs’ proposals are specifically focused on streamlining the auto industry and avoiding long-standing complications associated with financial witchcraft.
Just as Cadillac embraces an all-new set of alphanumeric naming schemes, Lincoln is deciding that proper names may be better after all.
In a speech given to an Economic Club of Chicago luncheon held in conjunction with the Chicago Auto Show media preview, Ford Motor Company’s president for the Americas Joe Hinrichs criticized Japan and Toyota in particular for benefiting from currency manipulation. Hinrichs said Ford would “urge Congress to oppose a TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership currently being negotiated.] if it does not include strong currency disciplines.”
Mike Jackson, the CEO of AutoNation, the largest retail dealer group in the United States, told CNBC that the domestic automakers are carrying inordinately large amounts of inventory. Telling Just-Auto that U.S. automakers have a “pretty bizarre” way of calculating inventories that end up justifying high inventory levels, Jackson said, “But if you cut through the bogus calculations and look at dealer inventory for the Detroit Three, it’s over a 100-day supply. And it simply doesn’t need to be there.”
For the first time, yesterday Ford started assembling the midsize Fusion sedan in the United States as production began at their Flat Rock, Michigan facility. That move will add about 100,000 units a year to Fusion production, which was formerly only done in Hermosillo, Mexico. Ford is looking at options for expanding American capacity even more, should demand grow, and a Ford executive says that the Flat Rock plant could produce yet another model in addition to the Mustangs and Fusions that are currently assembled there.
“We certainly have the flexibility for the future to do more,” Ford president of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs told Reuters. “We’re trying to get our capacity set up to meet demand. With the growing demand for our trucks, growing demand for Fusion, other product lines, that’s what we’re focused on.”
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- Michael In your research you may have found that after 2024 this model will no longer be part of MINI lineup. I wish you would have driven JCW version. Over an additional 100hp. With launch control it will go 0 to 60 in about 4.6 seconds. Outstanding car.
- RHD A hybrid small pickup is a no-brainer. Let's go, already! Price it reasonably and every one will fly off of the lot.
- RHD This is a $3,500 car (assuming you can get a good junkyard transmission and install it yourself) that, once back in usable condition, will be worth about $1,000. Hopefully the guy that spray-painted the wheels black didn't attempt to rebuild the engine himself. That would make it a $5,500 car that's worth $1,000.
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- Jpurcha Nice. I had bought one from my dad's friend for my first car. University/model airplane hauler.