By on October 23, 2018

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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

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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…)

By on September 11, 2018

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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. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2018

President Donald Trump jumped on Twitter Sunday morning to rattle off a series of musings I couldn’t have cared less about. However, mixed in with the rest of them, was a reference to last month’s news that Ford abandoned its plans to import the Chinese-built Focus Active into the United States.

“‘Ford has abruptly killed a plan to sell a Chinese-made small vehicle in the U.S. because of the prospect of higher U.S. Tariffs,'” Trump said in reference to a CNBC article from August. “This is just the beginning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE U.S.A. and Ford will pay no tariffs!”

Whether or not you support the president, he has made a genuine effort to convince automakers to do their manufacturing within the United States. However, his comments on the matter make it seem as if he’s a tad confused on how things actually work. Perhaps we can attribute his statement to an unbridled optimism or a tongue-in-cheek jab at Ford. Otherwise, the only explanation is that he doesn’t have the best understanding of what’s happening with the industry — which would be mildly alarming.  (Read More…)

By on September 6, 2018

With Ford Motor Company dropping all but one car from its lineup to focus on utility vehicles and crossovers, there’s little reason to run ad campaigns for both. You don’t see Coca-Cola running spots for both Diet Coke and Coke BlāK, as the latter of the two beverages disappeared from store shelves roughly a decade ago. Companies don’t bother pushing products they don’t have, and pretty soon Ford won’t have cars.

Thus, the automaker has ended all nationwide marketing for the Fiesta, Focus, Taurus, and Fusion. Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said the automaker intends to use the freed advertising dollars on the company’s current and forthcoming utility models — setting aside a portion for the Mustang. But the Fusion, which is slated to stick around for another two years, will have to go without. (Read More…)

By on August 6, 2018

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Prakash Patel, Ford’s global director of program management and former lead planner for the sixth-generation Mustang, has left the company. Ford Motor Company confirmed Patel’s departure to Automotive News, but declined to discuss the circumstances surrounding his termination.

This makes Patel the second high-ranking exec to leave Ford under a dark cloud this year. In February, former Ford North America president Raj Nair departed the company after an internal investigation turned up instances of “inappropriate behavior” that was “inconsistent with the company’s code of conduct.” (Read More…)

By on July 10, 2018

The women of Saudi Arabia have been under a strict no-driving ban for the last 61 years but, thanks to a decree by King Salman, they’re back behind the wheel. Getting to that point was not easy, however. Leading up to the ban’s repeal, female activists spent years driving against the law in protest and speaking out for their right to do so. Among them was prominent women’s rights activist and retired professor Sahar Hasan Nasif, who was arrested in 2013 after posting a video of herself driving.

Ford, which has taken an interest in the cause, promised her a new Mustang after it was announced Salman would give women the right to drive and apply for a license without a male guardian. The new laws came into effect on June 24th, and Ford shipped the vehicle to a dealership in Jeddah.

Nasif tweeted previously that the Mustang was her favorite vehicle and that she was excited to purchase a yellow example when the time came, prompting Ford to give her one on the house.  (Read More…)

By on June 26, 2018

2017 Ford Fusion Sport Interior, Image: © 2017 Steph Willems/The Truth About Cars

Apparently, the increasingly complex array of buttons on the side of a modern driver’s seat has become too much for humans to process. There’s just too many ways to adjust our seating position (though not in this writer’s car).

What if, instead of pressing buttons and switches, we could bark orders or use a touchpad? That’s the future Ford envisions. (Read More…)

By on June 19, 2018

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All eyes were on the now Ford-owned Michigan Central Station in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood on Tuesday morning, as the automaker formally announced its plan for the derelict building and surrounding neighborhood.

Ford Motor Company recently took the century-old structure, abandoned since 1988, off the hands of its longtime owners, the Moroun family. There’s still no dollar figure attached to that deal, but that’s not what Tuesday was about. Ford’s plan, ambitious and big on vision, breaks down as this: there’ll be 2,500 Ford workers employed in the Corktown neighborhood, tasked with developing autonomous vehicles and related tech. The towering train depot, once restored, will serve as the nerve center.

Joining those employees in Ford-owned buildings scattered around the site will be an equal number of employees working for partners and suppliers, or so Ford hopes. The automaker’s aiming for a miniaturized version of Silicon Valley clustered around Michigan Avenue. (Read More…)

By on June 11, 2018

If recent statements from Ford Motor Company were any indication, you’d think we were living in some futuristic society where our grandparents drove Nucleons and the need for a personal vehicle was almost nil. Yes, too much “mobility” talk gets under the skin.

That said, it’s Ford’s domestic rivals who are actually building and fielding production vehicles that drive themselves — and setting up businesses and partnerships that could make the automakers a bundle on the side. By next year, both General Motors and Fiat Chrysler could have self-driving vehicles roaming America, earning their companies money.

Be our guest, Ford claims. There’s bigger things to worry about. (Read More…)

By on June 11, 2018

Image: Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The long-abandoned — and recently reglazed — Michigan Central Station building will host a Ford sign and many Ford employees in the near future, the building’s longtime former owner claims.

Matthew Moroun, son of Detroit businessman Manuel “Matty” Moroun, told Crain’s Detroit Business on Monday that the family has sold the hulking, derelict building to Ford Motor Company as part of the automaker’s wide-ranging plan to take over much of the Corktown district. (Read More…)

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