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 March 14, 2019

Image: Ford

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. (Read More…)

By on March 13, 2019

Image: © 2017 Matthew Guy/TTAC

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.

(Read More…)

By on March 12, 2019

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. (Read More…)

By on February 15, 2019

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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.

(Read More…)

By on January 25, 2019

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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.”  (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2019

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Remember Mark Fields, the former Ford CEO who was forced to retire due to an inability to manifest his vision of the company’s future in a timely manner? Well, it’s starting to look like Wall Street needs another sacrificial lamb. Ford’s current chief executive, Jim Hackett, appears rather appetizing.

Despite promises from company chairman Bill Ford that the automaker would see swifter decision making under Hackett, it hasn’t felt all that differing from the company’s Fieldsian days. There’s still a strong emphasis placed on transforming Ford into a mobility company with no obvious path on how to get there. While it might be a little unfair of us to slam Fields or Hackett for their inability to accurately map out the future like some mythical sage, investors expect exactly that. As a result, Ford’s stock price has continued to tumble.  (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 December 5, 2018

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Earlier this week we mentioned that Ford’s restructuring plan might closely mimic General Motors’ strategy — resulting in widespread job losses. That theory was backed by an analysis from Morgan Stanley, which presumed the Dearborn-based automaker is likely to surpass GM in terms of layoffs, based on how much each intends to free up. Back in July, Ford said it would spend roughly three to five years on its $11 billion restructuring. All told, the financial services company believes the Blue Oval might shed at least 25,000 positions.

In the report’s wake, Ford CEO Jim Hackett is urging everyone not to panic. On Tuesday, he said Ford never provided numbers to Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas, who estimated the significant employee reduction just one day earlier.  (Read More…)

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 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 26, 2018

Ford’s decision to construct the current-generation F-150’s body purely of aluminum paid off in terms of lightweighting, fuel economy, and sales, but rising commodity costs over the past couple of years eroded some of the financial benefit. There’s far greater headaches facing Ford these days, as the industry grapples with tariffs on not just imported aluminum and steel, but vehicles as well.

A second income-sucking tariff hit in July, when the U.S. applied an import duty of 25 percent on a slew of Chinese goods, prompting China to up its own tariffs on American goods, including automobiles. Ford isn’t having it. Having already lost $1 billion in profit, CEO Jim Hackett has a message for President Trump. (Read More…)

By on September 20, 2018

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You might as well call this post “QOTD: Devil’s Advocate Edition.” I was prepared to feel furious by the time Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s Thursday appearance at the Midwestern Governors Conference wrapped up, and there was good reason why. The subject of the conference involved that dreaded word: mobility.

How will automated technologies change the way we live? That’s what participants wanted to talk about, and you can bet that Hackett was front and center, gabbing about his favorite topic. How will technology alter the way we travel, the way we drive? The hashtag #MGASmartland filtered through my Twitter feed. Certainly, the talk had all the makings of something I’d find depressing. Time to find that red Barchetta and a barn to hide it in.

It didn’t help that the first Hackett quote I saw emerge from the conference was a tired trope urbanists (read: car haters) trot out on a regular basis. (Read More…)

By on September 5, 2018

When the current-generation Fusion appeared for 2013, its Aston Martin styling was a cold glass of water in the face of milquetoast midsized family sedans. Part of Alan Mulally’s “One Ford” plan, the stylish car added zest to a bland segment.

Now, with recently minted CEO Jim Hackett having decreed the Mustang to be Ford’s only car worth keeping, the Fusion has been left to weather crushing competition from competitors that have undergone significant renewals – twice, in some cases.

(Read More…)

By on July 26, 2018

2018 Ford F-150 , Image: Ford

It’s generally agreed that former Ford CEO Mark Fields was shown the door after failing to turn around the company’s steadily declining stock, but his successor hasn’t had any success on that front, either.

Jim Hackett took over in May of 2017 and, despite an ongoing cost-cutting program and numerous new model (and technology) promises, Ford’s share price shows no lift. Wednesday’s earnings call was easily the worst of Hackett’s tenure. (Read More…)

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