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Ford profits fall on recall charges, higher costs

Automotive News  /  April 27, 2017

Ford Motor Co. reported first-quarter net income of $1.6 billion, down $900 million from a year earlier, as revenue rose and profit margins shrank.

Pretax earnings were $2.2 billion, down $1.6 billion, or 42 percent, from a year earlier, when Ford posted its best quarter in the company’s 114-year history.

The automaker’s revenue rose 1.4 billion, or 4 percent, to $39.1 billion thanks to a strong sales mix. But profits were pinched by charges for recalls, continued investment in new mobility services and higher parts costs for some of its 2016 launches.

Executives said the quarter will be the toughest in what’s expected to be a down year. The remainder of 2017 will be about even to, or even better than, its financial performance last year, where it made $10.4 billion pretax profit, second-best in the company’s history.

Ford shares closed down 1.1 percent to $11.47.

Ford’s profit margins during the quarter fell 4.4 percentage points to 5.4 percent. Ford reported earnings per share of 40 cents, down from the first quarter of last year but better than the 35 cents analysts had expected.

“It was a solid quarter,” Ford CFO Bob Shanks told reporters. “There were no surprises; it’s consistent with what we had expected.”

Ford took a $467 million warranty hit in the first quarter. That includes a $295 million charge for two recalls, one involving engines that could catch fire and the other involving door latches.

CEO Mark Fields said the recall costs that have plagued Ford’s bottom line in recent years -- it also took a $600 million charge in the third quarter of 2016 -- are due to building more vehicles with similar underpinnings.

“We were a little bit ahead of the industry in reducing our platforms and getting commonality of parts,” he said. “When we do have a recall, it tends to hit a bigger population. Whenever we see something, we’re going to act very proactively for the customer. That’s exactly what we’ll continue to do.”

North America

The automaker’s profits were driven by North America, where it made a $2 billion pre-tax profit, down $1.1 billion from a year earlier.

Profit margins there fell 4.6 percentage points to 8.3 percent, and Ford’s market share fell 0.5 percentage points to 14.1 percent due to lower fleet sales. Ford’s retail share rose two-tenths of a percentage point, thanks to sales of trucks, utilities and luxury vehicles.

Many of the factors affecting Ford’s overall business -- like part costs and investing in mobility -- are taking place in North America.

The company expects the U.S. sales market will continue to plateau, although it is being helped by strong truck and SUV sales -- two areas where Ford is investing and updating its products, like the recently redesigned Super Duty and refreshed Escape.

“We’re continuing our intense focus on costs,” Fields said. “We’re not only mindful of the current environment, but also preparing even more for a downturn scenario.”

Ford expects it can break even in North America if the selling rate falls to 11 million. 

Regional performances

Ford made a pre-tax profit of $176 million in Europe, down $258 million from last year, for its eighth-consecutive quarterly profit there. The automaker expects continued profits there as it offers more expensive trims on some of its popular sedans and utilities.

It also made $124 million in Asia Pacific, despite a “tough quarter” for China, Shanks said. That was $96 million less than it made there at the same time last year.

Ford lost $244 million in South America, although results improved by $12 million compared with last year.

It lost $80 million in the Middle East and Africa, $66 million more than it lost there a year ago. 

Outlook

Ford reaffirmed its full-year guidance. It expects to make a pre-tax profit of $9 billion, down from $10.4 billion in 2016 as it invests in “emerging opportunities” like autonomous and electric vehicles.

It's in the midst of spending $4.5 billion through 2021 on 13 new electrified vehicles. Fields said that the company believes that in 15 years, there will be more electrified vehicles on the market than vehicles with internal combustion engines.

It recently agreed to invest $1 billion in artificial intelligence startup Argo AI over five years. And, Ford is expanding Chariot, a Silicon Valley shuttle service it acquired last year.

“This quarter was an investment in Ford’s future,” Fields said in a statement.

Shanks said that the remainder of 2017 will be about even or better than Ford’s financial performance in 2016.

“This will be the toughest quarter,” he said, although he noted that Ford’s lowest profits of the year will come in the third quarter, because of seasonal timing.

Ford has forecast a profit for its Ford Credit arm of about $1.5 billion this year, down from $1.9 billion, because of lower auction values and a glut of off-lease cars. Ford Credit posted a pre-tax profit of $481 million for the first quarter, down $33 million from a year ago.

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Ford's Board Presses Fields On Future Strategy, But The Problem Is What's (Not) In Showrooms Today

Forbes  /  May 10, 2017

Ford right now is a one-trick pony: its highly profitable F-series pickup truck line is hauling a heavy load, while the rest of its lineup sags.

On the eve of Ford Motor’s annual shareholder meeting Thursday, Chief Executive Mark Fields is reportedly taking heat from the company’s board of directors over his strategy to become both a car company and a mobility provider amid stalled growth and a sinking share price.

But there’s nothing wrong with Fields’ plan to reach beyond Ford’s core business of building and selling cars. Its very survival depends on adapting to new market trends and to new players like Uber, Google and Tesla. So he’s absolutely right to invest in ride-sharing services, self-driving car technology and vehicle electrification.

The problem is that while he’s spending billions to prepare for tomorrow’s challenges, Ford’s current business is showing signs of weakness. The company is projecting $9 billion in pre-tax profit this year, down from $10.4 billion in 2016.

The trouble spots are hard to see behind the smashing success of Ford’s flagship line of F-series pickup trucks, whose sales are up 7.4 percent so far this year. Its newest truck, the Ford Super-Duty, is selling for an average $58,200 -- $8,400 more than a year ago – as buyers gravitate toward the highest trim levels. The regular F-150 is also selling at premium prices: an average $41,900, up $1,600 from a year ago. The Raptor, a high-performance sport version of the F-series, has also found a successful niche.

As we’ve seen in the past, though, success with high-margin trucks can mask a lot of problems.

Ford’s overall sales were down 7.1 percent in April, and are running 5.1 percent lower so far this year, worse than the industry average. When you exclude its important commercial fleet sales (about one-third of its business) Ford sold fewer vehicles at dealerships than even its smaller competitor, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, makers of Jeep, Ram and Dodge vehicles. In April, Ford’s retail market share shrank by 0.8 points, a substantial loss.

Sales of passenger cars, including the Ford Fusion, Focus and Mustang, have been especially hard hit. The market shift toward crossovers and SUVs has hurt sedan sales for every carmaker, but Ford’s cars are faring worse than others. Its passenger car sales are down 22.1 percent through April, twice the industry decline.

Ford’s light truck sales are lagging the industry, too. Despite the success of F-series, Ford trucks, SUVs and crossovers are up just 2 percent vs. an industry wide gain of

4.3 percent. The iconic Explorer is down 1.5 percent, while the rival Jeep Grand Cherokee is up 15.4 percent. Its best-selling crossover, the Ford Escape, is up 6.8 percent, but considering the red-hot crossover segment is up 10.1 percent, the Escape is losing ground.

The full-size Ford Expedition is up 35.3 percent, but it still commands just 20 percent of the large utility segment, which is dominated by General Motors’ Chevrolet and GMC brands with a combined 67 percent share. A new Expedition (aluminum-based, like the F-series trucks) is coming this fall, along with a new Lincoln Navigator, which will undoubtedly help Ford’s bottom line. Though the segment remains small, large SUVs command outsized profits around $20,000 per vehicle.

Ford’s overall market share stands at 15.1 percent so far this year, down from 15.6 percent a year ago. Part of this is deliberate: Ford says it’s not going to chase market share at the expense of profits so it’s resisting a price war with more aggressive rivals that are offering big discounts. But many of its products – other than the F-series line – are fairly dated, which also hurts sales.

Some of Ford’s problems can be fixed when fresh products arrive in dealer showrooms, but that can’t come soon enough. The Escape, Explorer and Fusion are all scheduled for overhaul in 2019, according to BofA Merrill Lynch’s annual Car Wars Report, which tracks automakers’ future products. Meanwhile, Ford is making do with minor improvements, like a facelift and new wifi hotspot on the 2018 Explorer.

But competition is only intensifying. GM has an onslaught of new crossovers coming, including the Chevrolet Traverse and Equinox, the GMC Acadia and Terrain and the Buick Enclave. Honda Motor, meanwhile, has a new CR-V crossover, plus a new Odyssey minivan, which competes somewhat with SUVs like the Explorer. Even the family sedan market, which is shrinking, is getting more competitive, with new versions of the top-selling Toyota Camry and Honda Accord debuting soon, which will put pressure on Ford’s Fusion.

Ford is adept at marketing so it can handle that pressure. Its bigger problem is the products it doesn’t have. As Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of marketing, sales and service, acknowledged last week in a phone call with analysts and media, you can’t sell products you don’t make.

“Two fast-growing parts of the market, mini-utilities and mid-size pickups, we're not participating in,” he said. “Participating with them would certainly help our year-over-year growth compared to the competition that has entries in those categories.”

Indeed, Ford has a few glaring holes in its lineup. It doesn’t have a little SUV to compete with the likes of the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade or Chevrolet Trax. Nor does it have a mid-sized pickup to go head-to-head with the popular Toyota Tacoma and the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. In fact, for a while, Ford insisted there was no market for smaller pickups. Now that it’s been proven wrong, it’s playing catch-up.

Solutions are coming. Starting early next year, Ford will offer the EcoSport, a small crossover built and sold elsewhere in the world. It will also bring back its once-popular Ford Ranger small pickup, but not until 2019. As an added bonus, it’s also bringing back the iconic Ford Bronco in 2020. Until then, it could be rough sledding for Ford – and for Fields who is trying to steer through the rough patches.

Today’s product gaps at Ford can be traced to decisions made in the past, including some that occurred even before Fields was CEO. In the wake of the Great Recession, after Ford barely escaped bankruptcy, Fields’ predecessor, Alan Mulally, put all of the company’s resources toward strengthening its core brand and simplifying its global engineering efforts.

With the Obama Administration pushing clean energy initiatives, Mulally also made the fateful decision to overhaul Ford’s flagship product, the F-series, with a new lightweight aluminum body structure, to make it both more fuel efficient and more capable. The shift to aluminum construction for the 2015 model year also required an expensive overhaul of Ford’s manufacturing processes. No one can argue with the F-series’ success, but the gargantuan effort limited the investment dollars available for other products.

Now Fields must deal with the hand he was dealt, while continuing to satisfy regulatory requirements and keep up with shifting market trends. Last year, for example, he committed $4.5 billion to develop 13 new electrified vehicles by 2020. And recently, Ford announced it is investing $1 billion during the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company, to develop a virtual driver system for an autonomous vehicle coming in 2021.

As he faces shareholders Thursday, Fields must convince them he has a firm hand on the wheel and importantly, that he knows where he’s going. As he’s fond of saying, “You have to have one foot in today, but also one foot in the future.”

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Ford of Canada recalls F-150s over brake issue after government pressure

Automotive News  /  May 12, 2017

OTTAWA -- Ford of Canada has agreed to recall 43,600 F-150 pickup trucks after initially resisting Transport Minister Marc Garneau's call for the automaker to repair faulty brake parts that can increase stopping distances.

Under the recall posted Thursday by Transport Canada, dealers will replace electric vacuum pumps and harnesses on 2012 and 2013 models of the pickup with 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines.

Transport investigators say moisture can cause the pump to fail, reducing available brake assist immediately after first start-up.

“Depending on the driver's reaction, (this) may result in extended stopping distance, which may increase the potential for a low-speed collision,” the agency said.

In a press release, Ford said “typical driver brake pedal pressure” will stop the vehicle, but conceded that a pump failure “could result in unexpected extended stopping distance on the first brake application after a cold start.”

The automaker said it is aware of 11 accidents associated with the issue. None involved injuries.

In November 2016, Transport Canada said Ford was contesting its finding that the problem with its top-selling pickup was a safety risk. The agency said it had received more than 100 reports of pump failures.

Feedback requested

Garneau said he would order Ford to notify F-150 owners of the defect if the government received more complaints.

“I am disappointed that Ford disagrees with our assessment, and that is why I’m inviting Canadians who have experienced these issues to provide feedback that will help me make my final decision,” Garneau said.

Under current Canadian safety laws, the government can order manufacturers to issue a notice of defect, but not to make repairs under a recall. That would change under amendments before Parliament that would give the minister broader powers to order recalls, impose fines of up to C$200,000 ($146,000) for companies that violate the act and grant wider enforcement powers to Transport Canada inspectors.

The bill was introduced in 2016 in the Senate, where it was modified to include compensation for dealers when vehicles on their lots are recalled. It passed first reading in the House of Commons in February.

Pump warranty extended

In resisting a recall of the EcoBoost F-150s earlier, Ford pointed to a finding by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the U.S. that “the vehicle remained controllable” if the pump stopped working.

Ford said an extended warranty has been put in place for all vehicles in the U.S. and Canada to cover the electric vacuum pump for 10 years or 240,000 kilometers (149,000 miles). 

On Thursday, Ford said the decision to issue the recall now was based on the latest data on pump failures.

“Our decisions are driven by the available data and we move quickly on behalf of our customers when we determine a safety recall is needed,” said spokeswoman Michelle Lee-Gracey.

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Ford plans to cut global work force by 10%

Automotive News  /  May 15, 2017

Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.

Ford Motor Co. is preparing major reductions to its worldwide work force amid CEO Mark Fields’ renewed efforts to hike profits and address the company’s falling share price, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported, citing people briefed on the move.

A source familiar with the plan told Reuters on Monday that Ford plans to shrink its salaried work force in North America and Asia by about 10 percent.

Reuters, citing a person briefed on the plan, said Ford will offer generous early retirement incentives to reduce its salaried ranks by Oct. 1, but the company does not plan cuts to its hourly work force or production levels.

In Germany, where Ford’s European operations are based, the company has made voluntary buyout offers to a limited number of staff members over the past few months, according to IG Metall union official Witich Rossmann, who added that he hasn’t been informed of a larger job-cut program.

Ford is targeting $3 billion in cost reductions this year to enhance earnings in 2018 as U.S. light-vehicle demand begins to slip after seven straight years of gains.

Ford shares closed Monday at $10.94, up 2 cents, just above their 52-week low of $10.90 a share and well off their 52-week high of $14.04 a share.

The company's stock price has suffered during the three years Fields has been CEO, succeeding Alan Mulally, and Ford’s market value has slipped behind those of Tesla Inc. and General Motors.

The job reductions, expected to be disclosed as early as this week, affect salaried employees and aim to cut Ford's global head count by about 10 percent, the Journal reported late Monday.

It is unclear if more employment cuts are planned, Reuters said.

“We remain focused on the three strategic priorities that will create value and drive profitable growth, which include fortifying the profit pillars in our core business, transforming traditionally underperforming areas of our core business and investing aggressively, but prudently, in emerging opportunities,” Ford said in a statement in response to the Journal and Reuters reports. “Reducing costs and becoming as lean and efficient as possible also remain part of that work. We have not announced any new people efficiency actions, nor do we comment on speculation."

Ford ended the first quarter with about 202,000 employees worldwide, with half of that head count in North America.

The automaker may face potential fallout from President Donald Trump, who has made boosting U.S. auto employment a top priority. The company plans to emphasize the voluntary nature of the staff reductions, Reuters said.

Ford said last month when it reported first-quarter earnings that it planned to cut $3 billion in costs.

The company's first-quarter profits fell by $900 million to $1.6 billion from a year earlier, as revenue rose and profit margins shrank.

Even with first-quarter revenue rising by $1.4 billion, or 4 percent, to $39.1 billion, reflecting a strong sales mix, profits were pinched by charges for recalls, continued investment in new mobility services and higher parts costs for some 2016 product launches.

Ford says the first quarter will be the toughest in what is expected to be a down year overall for the automaker. The rest of 2017 is expected to be about even with, or better than, its financial performance last year, when it earned $10.4 billion in pretax profits, the second-best in the company’s history.

Ford shareholders last week criticized company leaders over what one investor called the “pathetic” performance of the automaker’s shares and questioned how the board can continue to support Fields, who has been CEO since July 2014. The board convened ahead of last week’s annual meeting to press Fields on his plans for improving the company’s fortunes, a person familiar with the discussions said.

Fields faces sharp questioning of his strategy with Ford’s shares having fallen about 36 percent since he replaced Mulally, who steered the company through the global financial crisis without a government bailout.

Fields has been pouring billions into electric vehicles, self-driving cars and ride-sharing experiments as Ford’s conventional vehicle business has struggled more than rival GM amid a slowing U.S. market.

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Ford Sees 1,400 Salaried Workers Leaving by End of September

Bloomberg  /  May 17, 2017

Ford Motor Co. said it’s making an “accelerated attack on costs” by offering voluntary buyout packages to salaried workers in North America and Asia, as Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields faces pressure to improve profit and boost the carmaker’s stock price.

The automaker expects 1,400 salaried employees to leave by the end of September, according to an emailed statement. The early retirement offers won’t be extended to key employees engineering new models and developing technology such as self-driving cars.

. The staff cuts are part of a plan to lop $3 billion off the company’s costs this year. Fields was grilled by his board last week and impugned by investors eager for a turnaround in Ford’s declining earnings and shares. Ford is pouring billions into developing driverless cars, while sales of its conventional models are struggling to keep pace with rivals including General Motors Co. amid a slowing U.S. auto market.

Read more: Motown slowdown counters Trump touting American auto growth

Salaried personnel will shrink by 10 percent in Ford’s North American and Asia Pacific operations, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company told employees Wednesday. Buyout offers won’t be extended to workers in product development, plant manufacturing, information technology, global data and analytics and the Ford Credit financial-services unit.

The early retirement offers also won’t apply to Ford’s operations in Europe and South America, which already have retrenchment plans underway. In North America and Asia, targeted salaried employees will begin receiving buyout offers in early June, according to the company.

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Ford will invest $350 million to build new fwd transmissions

Automotive News  /  May 19, 2017

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. on Friday said it's investing $350 million in its Livonia Transmission plant as part of the commitment it made in its 2015 deal with the UAW.

The automaker said the investment will support a new transmission for front-wheel-drive vehicles. The move will create or retain 800 jobs.

"We remain committed to American manufacturing and investing in our people and facilities," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said in a statement. "Even as the industry's largest employer of hourly workers in the United States and biggest producer of American-made vehicles, we believe it is important to continue investing right here in our home market."

Ford did not say how many of the 800 jobs would be new, and a spokeswoman said Ford expects the majority to be filled by current Ford workers. It expects to begin adding jobs late this year, with the majority coming next year and in 2019.

Ford in its 2015 UAW deal vowed to invest $1.8 billion in the plant and add three new transmissions. Last year, it announced a $1.4 billion investment to make its new 10-speed transmission, which first rolled out on its F-150 and Raptor pickups.

Ford said this new transmission, which will increase fuel efficiency, will share some software and design elements with its 10-speed [jointly developed with General Motors].

The plant employs about 1,800 hourly workers.

Friday's news comes two days after Ford announced it would cut about 1,400 salaried positions in North America and Asia in a cost-cutting move.

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Fields to retire as Ford CEO in management shake-up; ex-Steelcase chief Jim Hackett named new CEO

Automotive News  /  May 22, 2017

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co., in a broad management shake-up, named Jim Hackett, former CEO of Steelcase, as its new CEO, replacing Mark Fields, who is stepping down amid pressure from shareholders over a slumping stock price.

Ford said Fields, 56, has elected to retire from Ford after 28 years with the company.

“We’re moving from a position of strength to transform Ford for the future,” Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement Monday. “Jim Hackett is the right CEO to lead Ford during this transformative period for the auto industry and the broader mobility space. He’s a true visionary who brings a unique, human-centered leadership approach to our culture, products and services that will unlock the potential of our people and our business.”

Hackett, 62, most recently served as chairman of Ford Smart Mobility. Ford created that subsidiary last year to handle its investments in autonomous vehicles and new mobility services. Fields has been pouring billions into self-driving cars and ride-sharing experiments as its traditional car business has struggled in a slowing U.S. market.

In addition to the CEO changes, Ford announced:

Jim Farley is appointed executive vice president and president, Global Markets. He previously served as president of Ford’s Europe, Middle East and Africa. Farley will be returning to Ford headquarters in the U.S., a spokesman said. 

Among his new duties, Farley will preside over the Lincoln luxury brand. Lincoln President Kumar Galhotra will report to Farley.

Joe Hinrichs, formerly president of the Americas, was appointed executive vice president and president, Global Operations.

Raj Nair will continue to serve as head of Ford product development, and will report to Hinrichs, a spokesman said. 

Marcy Klevorn is appointed executive vice president and president, Mobility.

Those three appointments are effective June 1. New leaders to succeed Hinrichs, Farley and Klevorn will be the subject of a future announcement, Ford said.

Paul Ballew was also appointed vice president and Chief Data and Analytics Officer.

Mark Truby also replaces Ray Day as head of communications. Day will stay on to “provide consulting services” through the end of the year. Truby will report to Bill Ford.

Forbes first reported the management changes Sunday night. 

Ford shares were up 1.75 percent to $11.06 in pre-market trading.

Stock down

Fields, 56, had been under pressure for the company’s lagging stock price and lower-than-expected profits so far this year. 

Board members had recently reportedly questioned Fields’ strategy for the future of the company, which relies on heavy investments in driverless and electric vehicle technology. Since Fields took over as CEO from Alan Mullally in July 2014, Ford’s stock price has fallen nearly 40 percent.

Last week, Ford announced it would slash 1,400 salaried workers in North America and Asia as a cost-cutting move as it continues to spend on what it calls “emerging opportunities.” That type of move, normally reserved for distressed business units and economic downturns, came amid a relative boom time for the industry.

Ford career

Before he was named CEO, Fields served in a number of positions, including COO and president of the Americas. During his time leading the Americas, Fields was the architect of Ford’s “Way Forward” plan to restructure the business as its profits disappeared during the last industry downturn. He also served as CEO of Mazda.

When he took over for Mulally in 2014, Fields inherited an automaker on the verge of posting record profits. He also oversaw the transformation of the profit-generating F-150 to include an aluminum body, as well as dozens of other product launches. Fields also appointed a separate president to head the Lincoln Motor Co. in an effort to revive the luxury brand.

Executives, including Chairman Bill Ford, praised Fields early on and said the transition between CEOs had been seamless.

But Fields came under fire in recent years as Wall Street remained unimpressed with Ford’s profits and plans for the future. At last year’s annual meeting, one shareholder even asked to bring back Mulally -- a popular figure who helped save the company during the financial crisis.

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Scary thing I read earlier associated with Fields departure was they might think of getting out of small cars.  Brilliant! until the Iranians sink a few VLCC's in  strait of Hormuz. But the idiot press will applaud for "prompt decisive action".... or some other similar bullsh*t.

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And this is why the quality of vehicles gets worse and worse. To make share holders happy. No company can say quality and value is their number one priority when they're publicly owned. 

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Ford is doing great at profitably building cars and trucks. But instead of solid sustainable profits, Wall Street wants sexy stuff like driver-less electric cars that no one is buying or even lining up to buy. Ford family and workers, it may be time to take advantage of the low stock price and take Ford private and/or into an ESOP again!

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6 hours ago, TeamsterGrrrl said:

Ford is doing great at profitably building cars and trucks. But instead of solid sustainable profits, Wall Street wants sexy stuff like driver-less electric cars that no one is buying or even lining up to buy. Ford family and workers, it may be time to take advantage of the low stock price and take Ford private and/or into an ESOP again!

 

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In Sweeping Leadership Change, Ford Replaces CEO Mark Fields With James Hackett

Forbes  /  May 22, 2017

Ford Motor’s board of directors was never fully sold on Mark Fields as chief executive, but they decided to give him a chance.

Now, after less than three years in the job, Fields is out as CEO, and James P. Hackett, a former CEO of the office furniture maker Steelcase, is in, a sign that Executive Chairman Bill Ford isn’t wasting time when it comes to transforming the company his great-grandfather founded.

While going out of his way to praise Fields for leaving Ford in a strong financial position, Bill Ford said: “The clock speed of our competitors requires us to make decisions at a faster pace. If we’re going to win in this new world, we need to break down the hierarchy, and we have to empower the team. We have to move fast, and we have to trust our people to move fast.”

No one was more surprised by the swift leadership change than Hackett, who learned on Friday that he was being asked to take the reins. For the past year, he’s been running Ford’s Smart Mobility subsidiary which is developing new strategies for personal transportation.

After a board meeting on Friday, Bill Ford met with Fields and the two men agreed it was time for him to retire. Ford then tapped Hackett, whom he has known for years and who he described as a “proven transformational leader” and “visionary thinker.”

“He and I think very much alike,” Bill Ford said of Hackett, who served on Ford’s board of directors for three years before taking command of the newly formed mobility unit in 2016. “We’ve always clicked when it comes to thinking about the future,” he said, adding that Hackett also has the strong operating experience needed to run Ford’s core business and that he is skillful at integrating the two missions.

Bill Ford laid out three priorities to get Ford back on track: sharpening execution of its day-to-day operations; modernize its business with the latest technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics and 3D manufacturing, and develop new businesses for the future.

“Any one of those is a big task,” said Ford. “We have to do all three, and we will under Jim’s leadership.”

Hackett compared the challenge of running a modern automaker to the complexity of solving a Rubic’s Cube. You can’t just solve one side of the puzzle.

“It’s not lost on me. The license you get to makes change comes from taking care of where all the earnings come from.”

And he acknowledged that it’s difficult for investors to measure Ford’s progress when it is inventing new businesses as the world is changing. “I understand that pressure, any time you are describing the future it’s ambiguous until you prove it. “

Fields, 56, had been with Ford for 28 years and was instrumental in helping turn the company around under his predecessor, Alan Mulally. In fact, it was Fields’ “Way Forward” restructuring plan for North America in the mid-2000s that Mulally adopted as the core of his global rescue plan that helped Ford avoid bankruptcy during the Great Recession.

Ford also promoted three other executives to key leadership roles on Hackett’s team. Jim Farley, a former Toyota Motor executive who runs Ford’s European business, will become president, Global Markets, and Joe Hinrichs, currently head of North America, will become president, Global Operations. In addition, Marcy Kelvorn, Ford’s chief information officer, will also become president, Mobility.

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How Silicon Valley Spurred Bill Ford Jr. to Replace His CEO

Car & Driver  /  May 22, 2017

Silicon Valley has played an outsize role in shaping Bill Ford Jr.’s thinking about the future of the auto industry. Although he didn’t know it at the time, two experiences in recent years left signature impressions that would ultimately lead to this weekend’s shakeup at the Ford Motor Company.

The first came toward the end of his tenure as a member of the eBay board of directors, which gave Ford a vantage point into a business culture dramatically different than the one he understood in Detroit. As he watched companies like Tesla Motors and Google gain a foothold on the future, he grasped the magnitude of the changes legacy automakers needed to make to survive, including working with traditional competitors.

“The whole ‘frenemy’ thing in Silicon Valley, that was something very foreign to us,” he told an audience at a Ford Trends conference in September 2016. “It was clear for us in the auto industry who your competitors were. Spending time in the Valley, it was a much more gray situation.”

Ford’s 10-year tenure with eBay so impressed him that he brought the Ford Motor Company’s own board of directors to Silicon Valley for a visit in February 2016. During meetings with leaders from Bay Area companies, he realized one of the automaker’s board members, Jim Hackett, was already familiar with the sweeping cultural shift Ford wanted to inject into his own company.

“Every one of them were walking right up to Jim, and they gave him a hug and said, ‘I didn’t know you were on this board,’ ” Ford recalled in a media conference Monday. “The leaders out there said, ‘My gosh, he’s one of the real original thinkers that we know, and you guys are really lucky to have him on your board.’ ”

One experience taught him that seismic changes were ahead. The other taught him that he had a potential answer for them nearby.

Within weeks of those meetings, Ford appointed Hackett to head Ford Smart Mobility, a new subsidiary within the company focusing on future-minded innovations. On Monday, Ford promoted Hackett to a more prominent role, announcing he would succeed the ousted Mark Fields as the Ford Motor Company’s new CEO.

In his new role, Hackett will be charged with boosting a stock price that has tumbled roughly 32 percent over the past three years amid Wall Street concerns that the company has lost market share and lagged competitors. Even as he seeks short-term solutions to boost a flagging stock price, Hackett is also charged with ensuring Ford’s preparations for a future based more on broad mobility solutions and less on personal car ownership stay on target.

There were concerns the company had fallen behind in some of those efforts as well, and Hackett and Ford Jr. twice sidestepped questions Monday on whether the company remains on pace to launch a Level 4 autonomous vehicle by 2021. But Ford Jr. broadly acknowledged the company needs to move faster.

“The clock speed at which the world is moving—and our competitors, not just other OEMs—really requires us to make decisions at a faster pace,” he said. “I don’t think we missed any opportunities per se, but if we’re going to win in this new world, we have to move fast and trust people to move fast.

“The execution against the vision has to be quicker.”

Ford has made several investments in that future vision, including a $1 billion investment in Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based company focused on building artificial intelligence and computer vision for self-driving vehicles, that was announced in February. Last August, the company announced investments in lidar maker Velodyne and Civil Maps, a California company that develops high-definition 3D maps for autonomous vehicles. At the same time, Ford acquired San Francisco–based Chariot, a ride-hailing shuttle service, and SAIPS, an Israeli computer vision and machine-learning company.

Ford has also ramped up staffing in its Smart Mobility subsidiary, growing it from 12 employees at the outset in March 2016 to nearly 600 today, according to Hackett. While the subsidiary will continue to exist on its own, Ford Jr. seemed to regret that such a distinction has been drawn between the main company and the future-focused one.

Going forward, “We won’t talk a lot about emerging versus core. This is one company,” he said Monday. “Ford Smart Mobility is not the place where new things happen and everything else goes on the way it’s been going on. We don’t want competing groups. We don’t want one group to feel like the cool group and the other to feel like the left-out group.”

A central part of Hackett’s job will be to better integrate the two and communicate to investors a single vision as the company marries ride-hailing products and autonomous vehicles with its bread-and-butter business of selling cars. In that respect, he said, the future is no fantasy. Nor is it one that favors Silicon Valley over legacy automotive businesses.

“The biggest challenge is to have everybody see the future and see their opportunity in that,” he said. “Secondly, it’s our right to win there. We don’t have to cede that to anybody. Tesla, anybody. It’s our right to win there.”

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So Bill Ford couldn't run the company right......so they hire a guy he says thinks alot like he does?!? 

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What I think is really scary is this self driving car thing is an invention of Silicon Valley and the hi tech world.   Who needs it?  Who wants it.  Crash avoidance technology is one thing.   a self driving car-or truck?  Something else.

Unfortunately Detroit seems to have swallowed this hook, line and sinker IMO

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Here is a great piece that was in Business Insider.

 

The Silicon Valley explanation is sexier but wrong. Since Tesla's ascent as a wildly volatile investment opportunity began in 2013, we've repeatedly been told the auto industry is about to be rapidly remade by technology.

Initially, the action was all about electric cars, but they have largely been a bust. Tesla occupies a market of one.

Uber and its $60 billion to $70 billion valuation lent credence to the oft-debated notion that younger people would swear off driving and car ownership. But young people are now getting older and buying more cars. Uber is also in a state of near-continual crisis, and it has wasted an enormous amount of cash trying to be that thing Silicon Valley prizes above all else: an uncontested monopoly. Lyft, unfortunately, hasn't cooperated.

The third narrative pivot involved self-driving cars. This has been the latest gold rush, but if Fields lost his job because Ford couldn't figure out how to effectively communicate its efforts in this space, then we should really take a closer look at Silicon Valley's almost total inability to create any kind of logical business case around autonomy.

Google's self-driving podmobiles have been racking up miles, but as promising as the tech looks, its no closer to being widely commercialized than it was before Alphabet renamed its car business Waymo. Apple has ditched its car plans and now appears to be developing some kind of in-vehicle, self-driving interface. If there's a go-to-market, it's years off.

A lot of people think there's a business with this stuff, but, thus far, there just hasn't been.

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New Ford CEO Hackett conjures up memories of Mulally

Automotive News  /  May 23, 2017

Déjà vu in Dearborn: Ford announces another outsider as 'transformational' CEO

DETROIT -- It was déjà vu Monday at Ford Motor Co.'s world headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., as Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. took the stage and introduced Jim Hackett as the automaker's new "transformational," turnaround-tested CEO to reshape the company's culture.

The last time Ford took the stage for such an announcement was three years ago this month. But instead of Hackett, he was accompanied by then-CEO Alan Mulally and his Ford-bred successor, Mark Fields, whom Hackett replaces.

The atmosphere of the two events was noticeably different given the unexpectedness of this week's announcement compared with the long-awaited appointment of Fields in 2014, but Monday's event should have sounded familiar to industry onlookers.

Ford’s comments, and the reasons he chose the industry outsider to lead the automaker, echoed those he made about former CEO Alan Mulallywhen announcing the aerospace veteran would succeed him as head of the automaker in September 2006.

Back then, Ford touted Mulally's experience leading a revival at airline manufacturer Boeing Co., which included cutting thousands of jobs, enduring a strike and championing a successful new aircraft. He also noted Mulally's "personality and team-building skills that will help guide our company in the right direction."

On Monday, Ford outlined Hackett's overhaul of Grand Rapids, Mich.-based furniture company Steelcase Inc., which he led for nearly two decades until early 2014. He is widely credited with transforming the corporate culture and cutting thousands of jobs to reshape the company's operations to focus on the "workspace of the future" while continuing the core business.

"This is a time of unprecedented change," Ford said. "And time of great change, in my mind, requires a transformational leader, and thankfully, we have that in Jim."

'The right man'

The Ford board's selection of Hackett to replace Mark Fields less than three years into his tenure comes a week after the automaker announced plans to cut 1,400 salaried jobs in North America and Asia, as it looks to impress Wall Street and reduce costs amid slowing sales and growing investments in new technology.

With Hackett's appointment, Ford (both the company and great-grandson of founder Henry Ford) appears to be attempting to recapture the lightning in the bottle it had under Mulally.

"I promised myself I wouldn't compare Jim to Alan this morning because it's not right," Ford said, citing they are "very different leaders for very different times" at the company. "I'll break my rule just this once. Alan really captured the hearts and minds of our employees and made them feel that not only could we win, but we were going to win and they were going to have fun on the journey. I think that's something very much you'll see from Jim."

Ford reneged again on that promise when speaking on CNBC after the meeting about Hackett being the right leader for Ford's current situation, as Mulally "was the right man for that time."

Uncanny similarities

The similarities between the two executives -- separated by nearly 11 years -- were uncanny to the point that Mulally, who led Ford from September 2006-July 2014, was mentioned Monday at the event and by analysts nearly as much as Fields.

“Hackett has gotten his feet wet with a unique opportunity to see Ford from the inside without drinking the Kool-aid,” said AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan. “Hackett brings that outside perspective that gave everyone a warm fuzzy feeling about Mulally.”

Mulally was 61 when he took the reins of Ford in 2006. Hackett is 62.

He was tasked with guiding the automaker through the greatest financial turmoil since the Great Depression, and successfully did so. He is credited with being one of the few outsiders to enter the auto industry and have a successful career as a CEO -- a steep reputation for Hackett to live up to.

"In many ways, Mr. Hackett’s job may be more challenging than Mr. Mulally’s,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note to investors on Monday.

Hackett starts leading the automaker as it faces plateauing industry sales and arguably unprecedented pressure from Wall Street for the automaker to outline a clear strategy as it moves into becoming a “mobility” company -- efforts Hackett, a former Ford board member of three years, has led for the automaker since March 2016.

"Given Ford’s poor share performance in recent months, it’s not very surprising that they should look for fresh leadership," said James Hodgson, of ABI Research. "What's really interesting is the fact that they should opt for the man who has spent over a year heading up their smart mobility efforts.”

One Ford

Under Mulally, Ford was viewed as having a clear and decisive plan, which led the company’s stock to rally to about 60 percent higher than it is today, despite reporting record profits and ambitious mobility efforts under Fields.

Both Ford and Hackett commended Fields for his leadership, however when it came to future strategy, Mulally’s “One Ford” plan was the one mentioned.

“It worked really well,” Hackett said. “In fact, we’re going to use parts of it in the way that we monitor our success.” He didn’t disclose what parts would be used, but added there would be changes, as the plan “doesn’t handle when there are lots of complex strategy questions.”

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Fields tried to fire Hinrichs before being ousted from Ford

Automotive News  /  May 31, 2017

DETROIT -- Days before his May 19 ouster as CEO of Ford Motor Co., Mark Fields was proposing to fire his top lieutenant, Joe Hinrichs, in an effort to relieve some of the pressure he was facing from a skeptical board of directors, Automotive News has learned.

Fields intended to get approval from the board for his decision to fire Hinrichs during the week of May 14, sources said.

Fields' plan backfired, however, when the board decided instead to part ways with him and communications chief Ray Day, following a Friday, May 19, meeting. Instead of a pink slip, Hinrichs was given a promotion to the newly created position of president of global operations, in charge of Ford's global product development; manufacturing and labor affairs, among other things.

Jim Hackett, the former head of furniture maker Steelcase and chairman of Ford Smart Mobility, was named Ford's new CEO as part of a wide-ranging management shakeup.

Hinrichs was conspicuously missing in a round of retention bonuses the company paid out to top executives on Wednesday, May 17, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

But Hinrichs was added to the list the following week, getting a $5 million stock bonus.

Fields faced increased scrutiny during meetings with Ford's board of directors ahead of the company's annual shareholders meeting on May 11. The board had grown impatient with Fields' strategy for the future and irritated with the automaker's sluggish stock price, which had fallen nearly 40 percent since he took over in July 2014.

Fields believed he could deflect pressure from himself and pacify the board by ousting Hinrichs, the sources said.

Fields did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Ford said in a statement, "Joe is a critical part of our leadership team for taking the company forward, as he knows Ford inside and out and has led many parts of our business. We do not comment on rumor or speculation."

Hinrichs, 50, had been president of the Americas since December 2012. Since he took over, the company earned about $38 billion in North America, which represented 92 percent of its total pretax profits during that period.

He also oversaw the successful redesign of Ford's best-selling vehicle, its profit-generating F-series pickup.

However, U.S. sales are down 5.1 percent through April, more than double the industry decline as the industry plateaus. The automaker has lost four-tenths of a percentage point of market share during that same stretch.

Part of that sales decline is due to a planned drop in fleet sales. Ford had front-loaded fleet sales at the beginning of last year, so this year's comparisons are much lower.

In April, Ford reported first-quarter net income of $1.6 billion, down $900 million from a year earlier.

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Ford F-150, Expedition gain power, lose weight

Automotive News  /  June 15, 2017

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has increased the power and cut the weight of two of its largest nameplates -- the F-150 pickup and Expedition SUV -- thanks, in part, to more efficient transmissions and lighter aluminum bodies.

The freshened F-150 will feature a new entry-level 3.3-liter V-6 with a six-speed transmission. It will get 290 hp at 6,500 rpm and 265 pounds-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm, the automaker said.

Ford is also updating its 2.7-liter EcoBoost, 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V-8 engines, and is pairing its 10-speed transmission with all three. Since its release late last year, the 10-speed has been available only with the 3.5-liter.

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost will get 325 hp at 5,000 rpm, the same amount of horsepower as the outgoing model. It will get 400 pounds-feet of torque at 2,750 rpm, which is 25 more pounds-feet than the 2017 model.

The 5.0-liter V-8 will get 395 hp at 5,750 rpm (10 more than the 2017 model) and 400 pounds-feet of torque at 3,850 rpm (13 more than the 2017 model).

There are no changes to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 or the 3.5-liter high-output EcoBoost, which is used in the Raptor.

The 2018 F-150 will also feature a 3.0-liter PowerStroke diesel engine option, although Ford did not provide power figures for it on Thursday. The diesel, a variant of the Lion diesel engine that Ford builds for use in Land Rover and Jaguar vehicles, will be produced in England and go on sale in the summer of 2018.

The non-diesel versions of the F-150 will go on sale this fall.

Improved Expedition power

The redesigned 2018 Expedition, which Ford unveiled this year, will continue to share the 3.5-liter V-6 with the F-150 and will now pair it with Ford's 10-speed transmission. It also adds an aluminum body that shed 300 pounds.

The weight savings and more efficient transmission allowed the company to improve its power numbers across the board.

The Expedition's XL, XLT and Limited trims get 375 hp at 5,000 rpm (10 more than the 2017 model) and 470 pounds-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm (50 more than the outgoing model).

The Platinum trim will get 400 hp (35 more than the outgoing model) and 480 pounds-feet of torque at 3,250 rpm (60 more than the outgoing model).

The Expedition will go on sale this fall and will be built at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant.

Off-road package

Ford on Thursday also said it will offer an off-road package on the XLT trim on the 2018 Expedition, called the FX4. Ford last offered an FX4 package for its largest SUV in 2003.

Brand manager Joe McCarty said roughly 20 percent of Expedition customers have asked for improved off-road capability.

"I think we're meeting an unmet need with this package," he said.

Craig Patterson, Ford's utility marketing manager, expects the FX4 will represent 5 to 10 percent of total sales. Pricing was not announced.

The FX4 package comes with a patented electronic limited-slip rear differential, off-road tuned shocks, all-terrain tires, skid plates, unique wheels, special badging and rubber floor liners.

The off-road package will get the same 375 hp and 470 pounds-feet of torque as the normal XLT trim.

.

image 1.jpg

image 2.JPG

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2018 Ford F-150 gains new efficient V6s, 10-speed, diesel

Green Car Congress  /  June 19, 2017

The 2018 Ford F-150 introduces an even smaller, more efficient 3.3-liter V6 that adds dual port and direct-injection technology to deliver more power and torque than the previous 3.5-liter V6, plus improved projected EPA-estimated gas mileage. Aiding in light-weighting, the standard 3.3-liter V6 in the 2018 F-150 is projected to offer a 5% power-to-weight ratio improvement versus the steel-bodied 2014 F-150 equipped with 3.7-liter V6—with better anticipated fuel efficiency and performance.

With advanced dual port and direct-injection technology, the new second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine delivers a 25 lb-ft increase in torque, and at lower engine speeds compared to a traditional V8. Like the second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost that debuted last model year, the 2.7-liter will be paired to a segment-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission for 2018.

The 5.0-liter V8 also is enhanced for 2018. This naturally aspirated engine brings

significant upgrades including advanced dual port and direct-injection technology for 10 more horsepower and 13 ft.-lb. of torque. In addition, the engine features spray-on bore liner technology featured in the high-performance Mustang GT350, all to squeeze out even more weight from the aluminum block.

For the first time, the V8 is paired with a Ford-built 10-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated fuel economy will be announced closer to market availability.

F-150 also adds an available all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 diesel—designed, engineered and tested in-house—paired with the 10-speed automatic. The first diesel engine offered for F-150 will be available next spring.

In addition to its segment-first 10-speed automatic, F-150 is the first full-size pickup to add Auto Start-Stop as standard equipment across all models and engines.

The 2018 Ford Expedition’s new 3.5-liter EcoBoost with standard Auto Start-Stop will offer customers two power ratings, depending on trim level, and up to a best-in-class 9,300 pounds of towing capability. Expedition features class-exclusive Pro Trailer Backup Assist.

Expedition’s all-new high-strength, aluminum-alloy body and redesigned high-strength steel frame are the foundation for its rugged off-road and strong towing capabilities. Using advanced materials saved up to 300 pounds.

.

2018 F-150

 

3.3L port-fuel DI V6

2.7L EcoBoost V6

5.0L
Ti-VCT V8

3.5L EcoBoost V6

3.5L
high-output EcoBoost

 

Horsepower

290 @ 6,500 rpm

325 @ 5,000 rpm

395 @ 5,750 rpm

375 @ 5,000 rpm

450 @ 5,000 rpm

 

Δ v. 2017

+8

No change

+10

No change

No change

 

Torque (lb-ft)

265 @ 4,000 rpm

400 @ 2,750 rpm

400 @ 3,850 rpm

470 @ 3,500 rpm

510 @ 3,500 rpm

 

Δ v. 2017

+12

+25

+13

No change

No change

 

 

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Ford to Save $1 Billion Building Focus in China Instead of Mexico

Bloomberg  /  June 20, 2017

Ford Motor Co. is canceling controversial plans to build the Focus small car in Mexico, saving $1 billion by ending North American production entirely and importing the model mostly from China after next year.

The U.S. automaker will start making the next-generation Focus in China from the second half of 2019, a year after output ends at one of its plants in Michigan. Ford’s savings will come from canceling plans to assemble the car at an existing factory in Mexico and a decision made in January to abort construction of a plant in Mexico.

With its latest move, Ford has fully abandoned its strategy of relocating small car production to Mexico that had been announced last year by then-Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields. Fields was replaced as CEO last month by Jim Hackett, former CEO of office-furniture maker Steelcase Inc. The company will be testing both consumer appetite for China-built cars and the tolerance of President Donald Trump, who has criticized automakers for importing vehicles from overseas.

“We’ve done a lot of research and consumers care a lot more about the quality and the value than they do about the sourcing location,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations, said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “iPhones are produced in China, for example, and people don’t really talk about it.”

Ford said it’s also investing $900 million at its truck factory in Kentucky to build Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sport utility vehicles, preserving 1,000 jobs.

After importing initial production of the new Focus cars from China, Ford will ship variants of the model later from Europe, the company said. The Michigan Assembly Plant now making the Focus will be retooled to produce the Ranger midsize pickup in late 2018 and the Bronco midsize SUV in 2020.

“China gets a lot of attention, we’ll see how this plays out,” Hinrichs said in response to a question about possible criticism of the move from Trump. “But we believe this is a much better plan for our business globally. And it frees up from the original plan about $1 billion of capital that we can reinvest in the business, including exciting things that we’re working on in autonomy and electrification and a lot of that work is done right here in the U.S.”

Video - https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2017-06-20/ford-s-china-move-for-focus-opens-u-s-to-suvs-video

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Ford to import U.S. Focus from China instead of Mexico

Automotive News  /  June 20, 2017

Ford Motor Co. plans to import its next-generation Focus sedan from China, abandoning plans to build the small car in Mexico.

Production will begin in the second half of 2019, Ford said Tuesday. Most of the initial models for North America will come from China, with additional variants coming from Europe.

Ford already builds the Focus for the Chinese market at its Changan Ford Assembly Plant 1 and 2 in Chongqing, China.

Ford currently makes the Focus at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., but production is scheduled to end there in 2018 as the automaker makes room for the Bronco SUV and Ranger midsize pickup. Ford originally planned to move Focus production to a new, $1.6 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, but the company canceled those plans in January, less than a year after announcing them. Ford then planned to build the cars at its existing plant in Hermosillo.

Ford said at the time the move would save $500 million, and it now says building the car in China will save an additional $500 million, for a total savings of $1 billion in production costs.

“We’ve done a lot of research and consumers care a lot more about the quality and the value than they do about the sourcing location,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of global operations, said in a conference call with some reporters Tuesday. “iPhones are produced in China, for example, and people don’t really talk about it.”

Others importing

General Motors last year became the first U.S. automaker to import a vehicle from China with the launch of the Buick Envision. It also makes the Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid there. Volvo, which is owned by China's Geely Automobile Holdings, also builds some cars in China for the U.S. market.

Although it is cheaper to build and ship cars to the U.S. from Mexico than China, "this was not a variable cost decision," Hinrichs said. "It allows us to free up a lot of capital" because Ford now has to retool only one plant -- the Chongqing plant -- rather than two to supply North America.

Given dwindling overall U.S. demand for small cars such as the Focus, "we thought this was the best balance of that cost/capital tradeoff," Hinrichs said. Focus sales have fallen 19.7 percent in the U.S. through the first five months of the year to 67,146, according to the Automotive News Data Center. 

Hinrichs said Ford planned to inform the White House this morning. There was no immediate comment from the White House. 

Asked if Ford was concerned about having to pay a border tax, as President Donald Trump has threatened on vehicle imports from Mexico, Hinrichs said "the capital saving outweighs the risk" of a potential tax on the Chinese-built Focus.

Kentucky plans

Ford also said Tuesday it will invest $900 million at its Kentucky Truck Plant for production of the new Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs. The move will preserve 1,000 jobs at the plant, Ford said.

The investment goes beyond Ford’s pledge to invest $600 million there through 2019 as part of its 2015 contract with the UAW. Ford in late 2015 invested $1.3 billion for production of its aluminum-bodied Super Duty, although that money was tied to its 2011 UAW deal.

“Large SUVs are attracting a new generation around the world -- and we’re finding new ways to deliver the capability, versatility and technology that customers around the world really want with our all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator,” Hinrichs said.

“At the same time, we also have looked at how we can be more successful in the small car segment and deliver even more choices for customers in a way that makes business sense.”

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"If you want to build cars in the world, then I wish you all the best. You can build cars for the United States, but for every car that comes to the USA, you will pay 35 percent tax."

Donald Trump  /  January 17, 2017

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“We want to have new plants built in Michigan, and new plants built in Ohio, and new plants in Pennsylvania and North Carolina and so many other locations.”

“We’re going to make thousands and thousands and thousands of additional cars. And we’re going to make them in the United States.”

“We want to be the car capital of the world again. We will be, and it won’t be long, believe me.”

President Donald Trump  /  March 15, 2017

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On 5/23/2017 at 0:02 PM, Red Horse said:

What I think is really scary is this self driving car thing is an invention of Silicon Valley and the hi tech world.   Who needs it?  Who wants it.  Crash avoidance technology is one thing.   a self driving car-or truck?  Something else.

Unfortunately Detroit seems to have swallowed this hook, line and sinker IMO

I agree.  That is exactly right.  Silicon Valley has a long history of introducing gee-whiz things for which there is no real demand, then hope upon hype that something will stick to the wall. Remember Google Glass?  I wonder how many of those initial hipsters that paid $1500. for those glasses are wearing them today?  Millions of dollars spent on development and now will likely be discontinued later this year. The headset originally received a great deal of criticism and legislative action due to privacy and safety concerns. On January 15, 2015, Google announced that it would stop producing the Google Glass prototype, to be continued in 2017 tentatively.[citation needed]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Glass

Edited by grayhair

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Trump is right. Ford needs to save money to spend it on green roofs for office buildings for driverless car development.

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