By on August 21, 2019

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.  (Read More…)

By on August 19, 2019

Ford may be phasing out the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans in the near future, that doesn’t mean you won’t see some the next time you’re visiting the dealership. Last week, the company announced a recall of 103,374 vehicles in the United States, 4,002 in Canada and 1,023 in Mexico due to bunk seatbelt anchor pretensioners.

According to the notice, increased temperatures generated during deployment of the driver or front-passenger pretensioner could degrade the tensile strength of the cable below the level needed to effectively restrain an occupant. (Read More…)

By on May 20, 2019

Image: Ford

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. (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2019

Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based firm Ford pumped $1 billion into and handed responsibility for educating its self-driving vehicles, just received a go-ahead for testing in the State of California. The company gained a testing permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday, making its autonomous trials perfectly legal on public roads.

Ford’s current trajectory has its autonomous vehicles entering the commercial market by 2021. That’s two years after General Motors promised to do the same. However, recent events cast doubt over whether GM will be able to meet its self-imposed deadlines (some of which dictate future investments from its partners) and start mass production of computer-controlled cars by the end of this year. It’s not just GM that’s having trouble, either. A critical look into autonomous development shows many companies are struggling with advancing the technology to a point that would make it commercially viable.

The Blue Oval might be better positioned in the autonomous race than initially presumed.

(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2019

Ford Chariot Shuttle

Chariot, Ford’s app-based shuttle service, has announced it will throw in the towel due to the rapidly changing “mobility landscape” of major cities. When the company launched in 2014 with Jim Hackett at the helm, it joined a bundle of “microtransit” firms hoping to undercut brands like Uber while providing a viable alternative to public transportation.

Ford acquired the company in March of 2016 for a reported $65 million, proving that not every mobility firm can be a golden goose. It snagged Hackett and made him Ford CEO roughly a year later, where he continued to oversee Chariot as chairman of the automaker’s Smart Mobility subsidiary. Unfortunately, the service is no longer deemed sustainable.

On the upside of things, this ought to put a few coins in the jar labeled “Restructuring Program” at Ford’s Dearborn headquarters.  (Read More…)

By on January 3, 2019

Are there fits of childlike, fists-clenched glee occurring in the Glass House right now? Quite possibly, and not just because someone brought a scooter into the building.

Don’t say we didn’t predict it. Ford, following in the footsteps of rival General Motors, says it plans to switch to quarterly sales reporting in 2019. While this move would even out the monthly spikes and troughs caused by fleet timing, it ends up meaning less data available to journos and the public. (Read More…)

By on November 29, 2018

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. (Read More…)

By on November 28, 2018

2017 Ford Escape Assembly Factory Production, Image: Ford Motor Company

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? (Read More…)

By on October 25, 2018

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. (Read More…)

By on October 23, 2018

Ford badge emblem logo

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).  (Read More…)

By on October 19, 2018

2018 Ford F150 assembly line -Image: Ford

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. (Read More…)

By on October 15, 2018

2018 ford expedition fx4, Image: Ford Motor Co.

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. (Read More…)

By on October 1, 2018

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. (Read More…)

By on September 21, 2018

Image: Ford

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. (Read More…)

By on September 20, 2018

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. (Read More…)

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