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Ford Reports Lower Profit

The Wall Street Journal  /  October 27, 2016

Ford Motor Co.’s third-quarter earnings fell 56% compared with the same period in 2015, hurt by hefty recall expenses, weaker U.S. shipments and product-launch costs in its core North American operation.

The No. 2 U.S. auto maker on Thursday reported nearly $1 billion in profit for the period ended Sept. 30, down from $2.2 billion in the same period a year earlier. The prior-year’s performance benefited from high prices Ford was commanding for the then-newly redesigned F-150 pickup truck.

The Dearborn, Mich., auto maker said operating profit was 26 cents a share, topping analysts’ expectations for 20 cents a share as recall expenses and marketing costs were lower than investors’ anticipated. Still, results were hit by $600 million in costs tied to faulty door latches.

Revenue declined 6% to $35.9 billion as weaker sales in the U.S. contributed to a global shipment drop. The company said it had $2 billion in cash outflows in the third quarter, and expects to return to positive cash flow in the fourth quarter.

While Ford remains profitable, third-quarter sales jitters underscore concerns about Detroit’s ability to continue increasing margins or sales amid a U.S. market plateau. While results at smaller U.S. auto makers Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Tesla Motors Inc. recently showed their potential for future earnings or revenue growth, General Motors Co. and Ford posted deteriorating North American margins during the quarter even as U.S. demand for trucks and SUVs surged.

Ford reaffirmed 2016 guidance of $10.2 billion adjusted pretax profit and reiterated its full-year North American margins will be below that of 2015. The auto maker plans to further trim production in the fourth quarter to reflect softer U.S. volumes.

“What’s happening in the company is really what’s happening in North America,” said Ford finance chief Bob Shanks. North American margins exceeded 12% of sales in the third quarter of 2015, but fell to 5.8% in the most recent quarter, or 8.4% excluding recall costs.

Coming off 2015’s record pre-tax profit, Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields is combating weak conditions in South America and a weaker outlook in the U.K. resulting from the country’s vote in June to exit from the European Union.

Rising sales and profitability in China and an uptick in European profits helped counter the quarter’s 57% drop in North American profit, which accounts for more than 90% of Ford’s earnings. Its operating income in North America last quarter was $1.3 billion, compared with $2.9 billion in the same period last year.

Earlier, the auto maker issued a weaker outlook in the U.S. for its second half and said it expects industry sales to continue falling through 2017, putting pressure on executives to lift earnings in overseas operations.

In Europe, Ford posted an operating profit of $138 million compared with $9 million in the same year-ago period, sidestepping currency declines and softer sales in the U.K. tied to the Brexit impact.

Ford took steps to counter industry weakness in the U.K, including raising new-car prices 2.5% in September and reducing dealer stock. The company expects Brexit to lead to $140 million in negative earnings impact in the second half of 2016 and to shave another $600 million from earnings in 2017.

In Asia Pacific, Ford recorded a $131 million operating profit, up from $22 million a year ago, as its sales in China surged during the quarter. Margins rose in China in the third-quarter to 13.4% versus 12.7% a year ago, but Ford sells a fraction of the volume in China compared with what it sells in the U.S.

Ford’s operating losses in South America deepened to $295 million, from $163 million in the third quarter a year ago, but Mr. Shanks said the market there is showing signs of bottoming out and the company expects a turnaround next year.

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Well for sure Fields followed a tough act.  I guess he earned his stripes while he was Ford's guy at Mazda, but I sure don't think his career path could match what Mulally went through during his time a Boeing.

And if one thing Mulally  was acclaimed as being  good at, it was to get rid of the old culture that existed at Ford.

Think Fields remembers that???  He is a Ford groupie.  

Also, I think he is jumping into this self driving thing with a little too much emphasis.  In time- and I can agree you can't afford to be late to any party today- but it seems he is drinking too much of the electric/self driving kool aid.

Oh Teamstergrrl- 10-4 on your thoughts-and add..."if you want to be a player in medium trucks-in particular class 7, you need another diesel option (like 6cylinders!) as wellas a bigger gas/gaseous motor."  


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GM up, Ford down. Why?

Automotive News  /  October 30, 2016

Profit gap widens as U.S. market plateaus

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. both posted single-digit U.S. sales declines in the third quarter. But financially, Detroit's two largest automakers appear headed in opposite directions, with GM achieving a record third-quarter profit at the same time that Ford had its weakest quarter in nearly two years.

GM is increasing North American production in the fourth quarter, according to analysts, whereas Ford has taken or scheduled downtime at six of its 11 North American assembly plants to reduce inventories.

Time will tell whether Ford is getting ahead of a coming downturn in the market, as it did in 2006 by mortgaging major assets before credit markets dried up, or is acting too conservatively at a time when U.S. sales remain near record levels.

"I would call our approach realism. Not optimism, not pessimism; it's realism," Ford CEO Mark Fields said on a conference call with analysts last week. "We don't see a recession on the horizon, but we do see a marketplace that, from a cycle standpoint, it's matured." 

GM's third-quarter results, including record revenue for any quarter since its 2009 bankruptcy and net income that more than doubled from a year ago, are validation of the company's retail-focused strategy in the U.S., where essentially all of its profits were generated. GM's retail sales were flat from July through September, while fleet deliveries dropped 15 percent. In contrast, the bulk of Ford's 6 percent decline in third-quarter sales volume was at retail. 

"We're running a different play, and it's generating different results," GM CFO Chuck Stevens told analysts on the company's earnings call. "We're very focused on retail in a very disciplined way. Our retail market share is up; we're less reliant on less profitable daily rental, and that's showing up in our results." 

Stevens said GM is confident that, even as U.S. sales flatten out after six consecutive years of steady growth, "we can continue to sustain strong margins in North America like we have done over the past couple of years." 

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles also is on an upward trajectory. It posted a 29 percent gain in third-quarter net income and raised its full-year operating profit forecast to at least $6.3 billion. 

Meanwhile, Ford's outlook has taken on a more negative tone since midyear. Its third-quarter net income fell 56 percent, a drop that executives attributed to a costly recall, ramping up production of the redesigned Super Duty pickup and the plateau in U.S. sales. Ford also cited "normalization" of F-150 sales compared with a year ago, when early buyers of the redesigned model were loading them up with expensive options. 

Ford's full-year guidance implies a 23 percent drop in its fourth-quarter adjusted pretax profit, while GM's forecast suggests a decline of at least 16 percent in the quarter.

Industry results mixed

Results from dealership groups, suppliers and lenders have been mixed as consumer demand levels off and growth becomes harder to achieve. Both Lear and Gentex said their third-quarter net income rose 18 percent, but BorgWarner reported a 47 percent decline, and Ally Financial posted a 22 percent drop amid increasing delinquencies and fewer loan originations. AutoNation, Group 1 Automotive and Asbury Automotive Group reported lower earnings, while Penske Automotive managed a slight gain.

Ford generated about $500 more revenue per vehicle sold in the last quarter in North America than GM, but GM's profit per vehicle was more than double that of Ford's. Even when excluding a $600 million charge that Ford took in the quarter for recalling faulty door latches, GM earned 40 percent more from each sale.

The disparity correlates to the higher transaction prices generated from retail sales, which accounted for 85 percent of GM's third-quarter volume and 77 percent of Ford's.

"That all translates right through to the bottom line," David Kudla, CEO of Mainstay Capital. "A car sold at retail versus a car sold at fleet, that's a big deal when you take that down to the net profit per car. It matters."

GM earned 5.9 percent more in North America during the first nine months of 2016, even though its U.S. market share fell to just 16.9 percent, a drop of 0.7 points. Ford's share was unchanged through September at 15.1 percent, and its North American pretax profits were down 3.7 percent.

GM's stronger results come at a time when Ford is at a low point in its product-launch schedule. The 2015 "Car Wars" report from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, which asserts that fresh showrooms lead to higher profitability, listed GM's replacement rate in the 2016 and 2017 model years as above average for the industry, while Ford ranked last among the major automakers.

GM is overhauling its crossover lineup next year, while Ford doesn't have major redesigns planned for many important vehicles until 2018 and 2019.

Strong full-year profits

GM raised its full-year guidance last week, affirming that it's on track for one of its best annual profits ever -- but so is Ford, despite the weaker third quarter.

Beyond that, about the only similarity between the two companies right now is the level of apathy toward their results on Wall Street, particularly in comparison to the far-less-profitable Tesla. GM shares dropped more than 4 percent last Tuesday after beating analyst expectations by almost 20 percent. Ford shares tumbled after its own announcement on Thursday.

"We imagine this is quite disheartening. There doesn't seem to be much they can say that will alter investor concerns" about U.S. auto sales peaking, Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson wrote of GM. "We hope that somewhere in the executive suites of the RenCen, "Shake it Off' is being played on repeat, with management saying "haters gonna hate.'"

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North America and Europe are mature markets that aren't growing. Developing markets could theoretically yield continuing volume growth, but as Chinese, East Indian, etc. folks move from the country to the cities, even if they can now afford cars there's no place to park them.  That's the new normal, throw in the fact that less consumers can afford cars and auto production may have leveled off. Trucks are different- Even in congested metro areas they're a necessity and users will find somewhere to park them. A Transit will fill that niche 'til the business outgrows it, which is why Ford needs a cabover in it's medium truck offerings...

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I agree that North America (excluding Mexico) are mature markets that are no longer growing. Asia is still booming. China and india are completely different from each other. India is 20 years behind China, with different metrics. Great place to invest though. Car sales in China are booming (world's largest new car market). Aside from the tier one cities, driving (and parking) a car is no problem.

Ford does need a medium-duty COE. I'd certainly like to see one. Perhaps, with the launch of the MY2018 Cargo (H62X Global Cargo Modular Cab - GCMC), we'll see a new medium-duty Cargo for the US market.

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Ford sees lower 2017 profits with most of the hit in Q1

Automotive News/Reuters  /  March 23, 2017

Citing front-loaded product launch costs and engineering expenses, Ford Motor Co. said that much of the year-over-year decline it expects from its 2017 financial performance will occur in the first quarter.

Ford said Thursday it expects a full-year pretax profit of $9 billion, down from $10.4 billion it made in 2016 as it invests in autonomous cars and new mobility services. The automaker expects earnings per share of between 30 cents to 35 cents in the first quarter, down from the same period last year and lower than analyst expectations.

“The first quarter is where the year-over-year declines come,” CFO Bob Shanks told analysts in a Thursday morning event. The company initially filed its disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shanks said Ford will be dealing with increased commodity costs and a warranty expense that he declined to give details about. He also said the automaker will be affected by vehicle volumes as demand for new cars and light trucks cools.

He said the company’s U.S. vehicle stocks (79 days supply in February) are in good shape, but “don’t be surprised” if Ford temporarily shuts down lines at U.S. assembly plants in the near future to cut back production.

Much of the product-launch costs Shanks described are related to the Ford Super Duty and Lincoln Continental, which debuted near the end of last year.

Ford maintained its pretax profit forecast it originally issued in January for its Ford Credit arm of about $1.5 billion thanks to lower U.S. auction values. Ford Credit posted a $1.9 billion pretax profit in 2016, down $207 million from 2015.

Ford shares were down less than 1 percent to $11.69 a share as of early Thursday afternoon.

2018 improvement

Ford still expects that its 2018 financials will rise, and be higher than the $10.4 billion it earned in 2016. It expects that rise will come thanks to increases in its core business, Shanks said.

"We think we can do more with trucks, we think we can do more with utility vehicles, we can do more with performance and we've got plans in place to do that," he said.

In a Thursday client note, Buckingham Research Group analyst Joseph Amaturo said “we believe Ford's announcement today is the initial confirmation of our investment thesis that pricing is deteriorating in North America and in select international markets, particularly China.” 

Mobility investments

The 2017 profit dip comes as the automaker invests heavily in what it calls “emerging opportunities” as it develops autonomous vehicles and expands into mobility services such as ride sharing and bicycle sharing. Last month, Ford announced it would invest $1 billion over the next five years in artificial intelligence startup Argo AI to help build the brains of its robot cars. 

Ford last year also purchased Silicon Valley-based shuttle service Chariot. Ford recently said Chariot would expand to eight cities by the end of 2017, including a city outside the U.S.

Last March, the automaker created a Smart Mobility subsidiary to invest in emerging mobility opportunities as it targets more services outside traditional car and truck ownership.

Executives have said they expect profit margins of up to 20 percent on the new services. 

'Nobody knows anything'

Shanks on Thursday said Ford is well-positioned on some of President Donald Trump’s pending policy decisions, although “in terms of policy, nobody knows anything.”

He said the automaker would be closely watching the vote on the GOP’s proposed healthcare bill, since the outcome could have an impact on what issues the president tackles next.

Shanks said that any import tariff on Mexico-built vehicles would be a “drag on our business,” but noted that Ford is in better shape than some of its competitors, since its profit-generating trucks and SUVs are all built in the U.S.

Shanks praised Trump’s decision last week to re-open a midterm review of vehicle emissions standards, but noted that Ford isn’t asking for a rollback.

“Whatever happens, we still have to improve,” Shanks said, citing global emissions mandates. “We’ll still be investing in electrified propulsion, better and better internal combustion engines and light-weighting. That’s the reality of the business.” 

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Ford's health plan: Slim down inventory

Automotive News  /  March 27, 2017

Cuts in production are expected, even if it means revenue will take a hit

Ford Motor Co. is determined to avoid a glut of unsold cars and trucks piling up on dealer lots by trimming production -- even if U.S. vehicle volumes are relatively healthy compared with the rest of the industry.

Ford had a 78 days supply of vehicles at the end of February, down 17 days compared with a month earlier. At the start of March, all but four of the company's nameplates had seen month-over-month declines in days supply, according to the Automotive News Data Center. Ford's sales were down 2.5 percent through February.

Still, CFO Bob Shanks warned analysts and investors, "don't be surprised" if Ford cuts production or temporarily idles assembly lines across North America in the coming months. It's a strategy meant to avoid bloated inventory, but will also eat into revenue. 

"Closing a plant down for a week or reducing a shift reduces the amount of vehicles made and therefore reduces revenue," Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis at forecasting firm AutoPacific, told Automotive News. "That's what makes it dangerous; when you know your revenue is what you push out the door. If there is no demand, you can continue to push, and that's when bad things happen."

The likeliest candidates to see added downtime will be some of Ford's car plants, including Michigan Assembly in Wayne and Cuautitlan Assembly in Mexico. 

Ford's overall car inventory was at 73 days supply, down from 98 the month before. That's partly because of high incentives on many car models and recent added downtime. 

Late in 2016, Ford temporarily shuttered five factories in North America, including its Flat Rock Assembly Plant to cut down on Mustang stock. During the first week of 2017, Ford idled its Kansas City Assembly Plant as it tried to pare down its F-150 pickup and Transit van inventory. 

Sullivan suggested Kansas City could be due for more cuts, although F-series inventory fell from 108 days supply at the beginning of February to 97 days supply at the start of March, and Transit inventory dropped from 97 days to 77 days supply during that same stretch. 

The production-cut warning came as Shanks predicted Ford's first quarter will be especially impacted because of launch costs and other expenses. 

Ford said last week it expects a full-year pretax profit of $9 billion, down from $10.4 billion in 2016, as it invests in autonomous cars and new mobility services. 

The automaker expects earnings per share of 30 cents to 35 cents in the first quarter, down from the same period last year. 

The automaker still expects that its 2018 financials will rise, and be higher than the $10.4 billion it earned in 2016.

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Ford plans to invest an additional $350 million in Michigan plants

Automotive News  /  March 28, 2017

Ford Motor Co. will add $350 million in new investments at two Michigan assembly plants on top of previously pledged spending.

The automaker said Tuesday it will invest $200 million in its Flat Rock Assembly Plant for an advanced data center. It will also spend $150 million at its Michigan Assembly Plant in addition to what was pledged two years ago as part of the automaker’s contract with the UAW.

The latest planned outlay at Flat Rock follows a $700 million spending plan announced by CEO Mark Fields in January. Both of this year’s announcements at Flat Rock -- which builds the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental -- are separate from a $400 million pledge for the factory that was part of the 2015 UAW deal.

That UAW accord also included a Ford promise to invest $700 million in Michigan Assembly to re-tool the plant to build the Ranger and Bronco later this decade. On Tuesday, Ford said that changeover would require more spending.

“Back in 2015, we hadn’t done a full-blown plan on how to convert the plant,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, said in an interview. “Now that we’re in the implementation phase, it’s been a little more than we originally thought.”

He called the initial $700 million for Michigan Assembly estimate “a little conservative” and said the added cost was not a surprise.

The automaker also reaffirmed a $150 million investment in its Romeo Engine plant. That spending was also pledged in 2015 when Ford signed a four-year pact with the union. Ford’s investment will result in 130 created or retained jobs at Romeo Engine. Hinrichs said the number of new jobs will be “incremental.”

In total, Tuesday's announcement brings spending across the three plants to $1.2 billion. 

Ford shares closed Tuesday up 1.7 percent to $11.65 a share. 

Hinrichs said Ford’s government affairs team informed the White House of its plans early today.

In response, President Donald Trump tweeted at 6:36 a.m.: “Big announcement by Ford today. Major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!”

Hinrichs said today’s news wasn’t related to the “very, very big, very important” auto industry announcement Trump teased on his March 15 visit to the American Center for Mobility in suburban Detroit.

“We had not had any discussions with the administration or given them a heads-up,” Hinrichs said. “We don’t believe this is what he was talking about.”

State support

In a related action, the Michigan Strategic Fund on Tuesday approved a $10 million performance-based grant and a state essential services assessment exemption worth $10.4 million over 15 years for the Flat Rock investment. The MSF said the Flat Rock investment will result in 650 qualified new jobs with the potential for 700 new jobs.

The MSF also approved money for the Michigan Assembly and Romeo Engine projects, including a $2 million performance based grant; an alternative state essential services assessment exemption of $1.3 million over 15 years in Romeo; and an assessment exemption of $7.25 million over 15 years for Michigan Assembly.

On Twitter, the Michigan Economic Development Corp.said all three Ford projects would generate more than $2 billion in total capital investment, create 800 new jobs and retain 3,600 jobs. 

‘Good day’

Ford will begin re-tooling its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne in May 2018. The small car plant currently makes the Focus and C-Max. Hinrichs declined to say when production of those two products would stop to make way for the Ranger and Bronco.

Ford said the changeover will take four weeks.

“It’s similar to Dearborn,” Hinrichs said, referencing Ford’s 2014 transformation of its Dearborn Truck Plant to install the equipment to build the redesigned aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup.

The Romeo Engine investment will allow the plant to build components for several vehicles, including the Ranger and Bronco, Ford said. The facility currently builds engines for the Super Duty, E-Series, Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang and Shelby GT350R Mustang. It makes engine components for F-Series, Mustang, Explorer and Edge.

“UAW-Ford is proud of the total investments in three of our Southeast Michigan assembly and engine plants, which will lead to stronger job security for our members and continued support for the surrounding communities,” UAW-Ford Vice President Jimmy Settles said in a statement.

Ford says it has invested $12 billion in its U.S. plants and created nearly 28,000 U.S. jobs over the past five years.

“Any time we have major investment news for Michigan and the U.S., it’s a big deal for the economy,” Hinrichs said. “It’s a good day for Romeo, Wayne and Flat Rock. We’re excited to continue investing in the U.S.”

Negative reaction

Trump in his Tuesday morning tweet did not take credit for Ford’s news, but nevertheless drew scorn from Democrats and others. 

Steven Rattner, who served as head of former President Barack Obama’s automotive task force during the industry’s meltdown in 2008-09, said the president’s tweet was misleading.

“The big news ended up being only 130 jobs in MI that were announced back in 2015,” Rattner tweeted.

The Michigan Democratic Party also criticized Trump’s tweet.

"Donald Trump taking credit for Ford's latest investment in Michigan is like a kid telling his friends he made dinner when his dad picked up a Hot-N-Ready from Little Caesars," Brandon Dillon, chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, said in a statement. "These investments are the result of collective bargaining between UAW and Ford in 2015, made possible by President Barack Obama's faith in America's auto workers."

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., whose 12th district includes Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, said in a statement that Ford’s announcement was a cause to celebrate U.S. manufacturing.

“Today’s announcement is further proof of Ford’s commitment to producing in Michigan and the United States," she wrote. "Ford’s roots run deep in Michigan’s 12th District, and these investments bolster the company’s dedication to building its highest-tech vehicles here in the U.S. and strengthen its commitment to American workers, who are the best in the world."

Ford Press Release - https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2017/03/28/ford-investing-one-point-two-billion-in-three-michigan-facilities.html

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Ford will record $295 million Q1 hit from two North American recalls

Automotive News  /  March 29, 2017

Ford Motor Co. said it will take a $295 million hit to its first-quarter earnings from two recalls in North America announced Wednesday, one involving engines that could catch fire and the other involving a persistent door latch problem.

Ford CFO Bob Shanks last week alluded to a higher-than-expected warranty cost that will impact Ford’s first quarter earnings. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ford said the $295 million charge would be absorbed mainly by its North America and Europe business units and would be included in first-quarter results.

Ford is calling back 230,000 2014 model year Escapes, 2014-15 Fiesta STs, 2013-14 Fusions and 2013-15 Transit Connects equipped with 1.6-liter GTDI engines. Ford said a lack of coolant circulation can cause the engines to overheat, cracking the cylinder head. That could result in an oil leak that could ignite a fire.

Ford said it’s aware of 29 reports of fires in the U.S. and Canada; no injuries have been reported.

Ford currently doesn’t have service kits available and told customers to continue to drive their vehicles. The company advised customers to seek a dealer if their vehicle leaks coolant. It will mail customers instructions on how to check and refill coolant.

About 208,584 of the affected vehicles are in the U.S. and federalized territories, 21,854 are in Canada and 318 are in Mexico.

The affected vehicles:

• 2014 Escapes built at Louisville [U.S.] Assembly from Feb. 12, 2013 to Sept. 2, 2014

• 2014-15 Fiesta ST built at Cuautitlan [Mexico] Assembly from Jan. 22, 2013 to May 27, 2014

• 2013-14 Fusion built at Hermosillo [Mexico] Assembly from Feb. 15, 2012 to June 6, 2014

• 2013-15 Transit Connects built at Valencia [Spain] Assembly from June 13, 2013 to Dec. 14, 2014

Ford on Wednesday also expanded a door latch recall to nearly 211,000 vehicles including 2014 Fiestas, 2013-14 Fusions and 2013-14 Lincoln MKZs.

Last September, Ford recalled an additional 1.5 million vehicles for the same issue. Since 2014, the total number of vehicles Ford has recalled for various door-latch problems has topped 4 million.

Separately, the automaker Wednesday issued two other recalls covering another 659 vehicles.

Ford is recalling 548 2017 model year F-450 and F-550 trucks with faulty driveshafts. Ford said continued operation of those vehicles could result in fractured tranmissions or driveline components, which could cause power loss while driving or unintended moving while parked.

Finally, Ford is recalling 111 2017 model year Edges for missing windshield header welds.

Ford isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries in the three other recalls.


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Ford to announce Ontario engine program in boost to Canada automaking

Reuters  /  March 29, 2017

Ford Motor Co. plans to announce production of a new engine in Windsor, Ontario, two sources familiar with the matter said, in an investment that would boost Canada's auto industry after years of job losses to Mexico and the U.S.  

The sources told Reuters the 7X engine, for large pickup trucks, is to be announced with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Ford Essex Engine Plant in Windsor on Thursday morning.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, and Mark Buzzell, CEO of Ford of Canada, also will be on hand, the automaker said in a notice. No details were provided.

During 2016 contract negotiations with Canadian union Unifor, Ford pledged to spend $700 million on its Ontario manufacturing operations. The lion’s share of the money was earmarked for a “major engine program” at the Essex Engine Plant. The promised new engine program fulfilled a key goal for the union, which had sought investments from each of the Detroit 3 automakers last fall.

Spokesmen for Ford and Trudeau declined to comment.

In addition to Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will be on site, according to a spokeswoman from Edelman, a public relations firm working for the province of Ontario.

They will also be part of an announcement “related to autonomous vehicles,” an advisory from Edelman said, without providing details.

More torque

Brian Maxim, a vice president at AutoForecast Solutions, said in a telephone interview that the 7.0-liter, V8 engine would have more torque and be more fuel efficient than the 6.8-liter V10 engine now built in Windsor and used in Ford's super-duty trucks, such as its F-250s.

Maxim said he expected Ford to produce about 125,000 units of the new engine per year, starting in 2019.

New investment in engine production in Canada was seen as vital because the large V8 and V10 motors now built by Ford in Windsor were expected to end production in four years.

Between 2001 and 2013, some 14,300 jobs were lost in vehicle manufacturing in Canada, according to Hamilton's Automotive Policy Research Center.

Unifor Local 200 President Chris Taylor, who spent much of Wednesday in meetings with Ford management, would only tell Automotive News Canada that the Ford announcement “is good news for our site.”

About 800 employees at the Essex factory currently build 5.0-liter V-8 engines. Next door, at the Windsor Engine Plant, about 600 workers build the 6.8-liter V-10 engines.

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Ford CEO Fields' compensation rose 19% last year

Automotive News  /  March 31, 2017

Percentage of quality goals reached dropped to 52% from 118%

Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields’ total compensation jumped 19 percent last year, a regulatory filing by the automaker showed.

His total compensation was $22.1 million, up from the $18.6 million he made in 2015, according to the company's annual shareholder proxy statement, released Friday.

That includes a $1,787,500 base salary, a $2,736,000 million cash bonus and $14,298,356 worth of long-term stock and performance-based equity awards, making the value of the compensation awarded to Fields during the year -- excluding changes in pension value and other costs -- $18.8 million, up 8.4 percent from the prior year.

Part of the raise included a leap in pension values from $858,157 last year to $2.8 million this year. Pension values vary year to year and change based on factors Ford does not control.

Ford last year also spent $288,965 on Fields’ use of a private airplane.

Bill Ford

Executive Chairman Bill Ford’s total compensation rose 7.8 percent to $13.9 million last year, from $12.9 million in 2015. That included a $1,625,000 base salary, $760,000 in bonuses and $8.7 million in long-term stock options. The automaker spent $189,489 on Ford’s use of a personal aircraft and $898,066 on security for him.

Joe Hinrichs, president of the Americas, made $6.7 million in total compensation, up slightly from the $6.4 million he earned in 2015. His awarded compensation, including a base salary of $1,053,500, came to $5.8 million, down 4.7 percent from $6.1 million a year earlier.

Jim Farley, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, received total compensation of $6.6 million, up 14 percent from $5.8 million in 2015. That included a $918,750 base salary, $949,050 in bonuses and $3,597,900 in long-term stock awards.

CFO Bob Shanks’ total compensation rose 13 percent to $6.3 million from $5.6 million a year earlier. That included a base salary of $858,000, $656,640 in bonuses and $3,793,207 in long-term stock options.

Missed targets

Last year, Ford Motor hit on 76 percent of its targets for executive bonuses, compared to 113 percent in 2015, the company said.

Much of that drop is due to a decrease in its quality targets. Ford hit 52 percent of its quality goals in 2016, down from 118 percent in 2015.

Ford measures quality in three phases: things gone wrong at three months of ownership; customer satisfaction at three months of ownership; and warranty spending per business unit. Ford would not break down each segment’s performance, but said its North American performance on things gone wrong was similar in 2015 and 2016, but the company had set more stringent targets for itself last year.

Shareholders’ meeting

Ford’s annual shareholder’s meeting will be May 11, but this year it will be virtual. Normally the meeting has been held in Delaware, where the automaker is incorporated.

“We take very seriously the trust that our shareholders place in our leadership team,” Bill Ford said in a statement. “The annual meeting is an important opportunity for us to hear directly from our shareholders, and the virtual nature of this year’s meeting will enable us to increase shareholder accessibility, while improving efficiency and reducing costs.”

Shareholders will be able to listen, vote and submit questions from their homes or any remote location with internet connectivity.

On the agenda again is a shareholder proposal to end Ford’s two-tier class stock system, which allows family members to maintain control of the company.

Ford earned a $10.4 billion pretax profit last year. It expects to make about $9 billion this year.

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Ford said a lack of coolant circulation can cause the engines to overheat, cracking the cylinder head. That could result in an oil leak that could ignite a fire.

Ford said it’s aware of 29 reports of fires in the U.S. and Canada; no injuries have been reported.

Ford currently doesn’t have service kits available and told customers to continue to drive their vehicles. The company advised customers to seek a dealer if their vehicle leaks coolant. It will mail customers instructions on how to check and refill coolant.

This sounds like stuff that'd happen in the 80's, not now. 

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Quality takes toll on Ford exec bonuses

Automotive News  /  April 2, 2017

Ford Motor Co. fell short of its internal quality targets in 2016, meaning executives lost out on hundreds of thousands of bonus dollars.

The automaker's top brass achieved 52 percent of the quality goals its board of directors set in 2016, down from 118 percent in 2015, according to its annual shareholder proxy statement released last week.

Ford measures quality in three ways: things gone wrong at three months of ownership, customer satisfaction at three months of ownership, and warranty spending per business unit. Each of those three metrics is recorded for Ford's five business regions: North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific.

Ford hit 41 percent of its goals for things gone wrong, 27 percent of its customer satisfaction goals, and 88 percent of its warranty goals.

Ford declined to break down each segment performance across the company's individual business units. It did say that its North American performance on things gone wrong was similar in 2015 and 2016, but the company set more stringent targets for itself last year.

Door-latch recall

Part of the miss stems from a $640 million warranty hit Ford took in the third quarter for a recall of 1.5 million vehicles with faulty door latches.

The Ford brand ranked 15th out of 29 brands in Consumer Reports' annual owner satisfaction study.In that study, 72 percent of owners said they'd buy a Ford again. Lincoln ranked 12th, with 73 percent of owners saying they would buy the brand again. The survey focused on the 2014-17 model years.

The quality shortfall drove down Ford's overall performance measurements -- used as the basis for executive bonuses -- to 76 percent in 2016, down from 113 percent in 2015.

Management achieved 8 percent of their targets for automotive segment revenue and 82 percent of Ford Credit pretax profit goals. They exceeded expectations for automotive operating margin and operating cash flow.

Bonus cuts

The missed expectations were costly. CEO Mark Fields, for example, made a $2.7 million incentive bonus from hitting 76 percent of Ford's total goals. He could have earned $864,000 more if the company reached 100 percent.

Fields' total compensation was $22.1 million, which included a $2.5 million equity incentive grant for the progress he's made expanding the company's alternative mobility services. (For details, see chart).

Joe Hinrichs, president of the Americas, would have made an additional $255,120; Executive Chairman Bill Ford would have made an additional $240,000; President of Europe, Middle East and Africa Jim Farley could have made an additional $222,000; and CFO Bob Shanks could have earned an additional $207,360.

The compensation committee of Ford's board of directors has set 2017 targets, which will be disclosed in next year's proxy.

Ford's annual shareholders meeting will be May 11, but this year it will be virtual. Normally the meeting has been held in Delaware, where the automaker is incorporated.

Bill Ford said in a statement that the virtual meeting "will enable us to increase shareholder accessibility, while improving efficiency and reducing costs." Shareholders will be able to listen, vote and submit questions from any location with Internet connectivity.

On the agenda again is a shareholder proposal to end Ford's two-tier class stock system, which allows family members to maintain control of the company.

Compensation for Ford executives
  Base salary Bonuses Stock awards Total*
Mark Fields $1.8 million $2.7 milllion $14.3 million $22.1 million
Bill Ford $1.6 million $760,000 $8.7 million $13.9 million
Joe Hinrichs $1.1 million $807,880 $3.9 million $6.7 million
Jim Farley $918,750 $703,000 $3.6 million $6.6 million
Bob Shanks $858,000 $656,640 $3.8 million $6.3 million
*Includes changes in pension value and deferred compensation earnings, and other compensation including perquisites such as private use of company aircraft.
Source: Proxy statement
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On 4/1/2017 at 6:27 PM, TS7 said:

I wonder if Mark Fields is working on fix when Ford is flying him around? Bill Ford is working on Ford's return to class 8 trucks in the US.

I think they are busy planning what kind of grass to plant on the various factory roofs and the mowing schedule for same. Gotta keep the "greens" happy.


Edited by grayhair
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford Returns to Family’s Ancestral Home Town to Mark Centenary of Ford in Ireland

  • William Clay Ford Jr, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, celebrates 100 years of Ford in Ireland by unveiling plaque in Ford family’s ancestral home town of Ballinascarthy
  • Great-grandson of Ford Motor Company founder, Henry Ford, to participate in civic reception hosted by the Lord Mayor of CorkCity, attended by 300 current and former Ford employees
  • Ford factory founded in Cork, Ireland, was established in April 1917 – the first purpose-built Ford Motor Company factory outside of North America

CORK, Ireland, Apr. 20, 2017 – William Clay Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company and great-grandson of the company’s founder, Henry Ford, today unveiled a plaque and bench in Ballinascarthy, Ireland, to commemorate 100 years of Ford in the country.

The unveiling took place in the centre of Ballinascarthy, a small village 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Cork city, Ireland, from where Henry Ford’s father, William Ford, and his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1847. The family settled in Michigan, where Henry Ford was born in 1863.

“I am excited and honoured to be coming home to Cork to celebrate 100 years of Ford in Ireland,” said Bill Ford. “Ford has deep roots in Cork, not only through my family’s historical connection, but also through the impact that the Ford factory has had as an engine for prosperity for the area over many decades.”

During his visit Bill Ford will also participate in a civic reception at CorkCity Hall, hosted by the Lord Mayor of CorkCity, at which the contribution of employees of Henry Ford & Son Limited during the past 100 years will be recognised. The event will be attended by 300 current and former employees.

Henry Ford remained conscious of his family’s heritage throughout his lifetime, choosing his ancestral home city of Cork as the site for the first purpose-built Ford Motor Company factory outside of North America. The Ford factory in Cork was established in April 1917.

As Henry Ford said in his own words: “My ancestors came from Cork, and that city, with its wonderful harbour, had an abundance of fine industrial sites. There was, it is true, some sentiment in it (the decision to establish the factory in Cork).”

The company that Henry Ford legally established in 1917 was entitled Henry Ford & Son Ltd., and that continues to be the legal name of Ford in Ireland to this day – the only Ford entity in the world to include the full name of the company’s founder in its title.

The Fordson tractor was initially the main product of the Cork plant, which by 1929 had become the largest tractor factory in the world. The factory also produced passenger cars including the iconic Model T. The last Model T ever produced by Ford anywhere in the world rolled off the Cork factory production line in December 1928. 

The Model A, Model BF, Model Y, Prefect, Anglia, Escort, Cortina and Sierra models also were manufactured in Cork until the plant’s closure in 1984.

Ford today has the widest network of dealers of any automotive manufacturer in Ireland, with 52 dealerships providing direct and indirect employment to 1,000 people across the country. 


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