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Ford CEO Jim Hackett received $17.75 million in 2018

Michael Martinez, Automotive News  /  March 15, 2019

DETROIT — Jim Hackett received $17.75million in total compensation during his first full calendar year as CEO of Ford Motor Co., the automaker said Friday.

Compensation for two other top executives dropped by more than half last year as the company fell short of some performance targets and paid lower incentive-based bonuses. Ford hit 100 percent of its 2017 performance targets but only 72 percent last year.

Hackett's compensation, disclosed in a regulatory filing, included a base salary of $1.8 million, stock awards of $12.7 million and $2.6 million in bonuses and incentives. It's an increase from $16.7 million Hackett earned in 2017.

Ford CFO Bob Shanks was the only other executive among the five highest-paid employees to receive an increase in 2018. He earned $8.42 million, up from $6.7 million in 2017.

Compensation for Executive Chairman Bill Ford fell to $13.84 million from $15.6 million in 2017.

Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets, received $5.86 million, down from $13.47 million the year before. Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global operations, made $5.82 million, down from $12.1 million.

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Ford targets 5,000 job cuts in Germany

Reuters  /  March 15, 2019

HAMBURG -- Ford Motor Co. plans to cut more than 5,000 jobs in Germany and will reduce its workforce in Britain as well as it seeks to return to profit in Europe, the company said on Friday.

Ford has offered voluntary redundancy programs for employees in Germany and Britain, it said in a statement.

The offers are part of a turnaround plan announced in January that would involve thousands of job cuts, looking at plant closures and discontinuing unprofitable vehicle lines.

"Through these programs and other initiatives, Ford of Germany expects to reduce its headcount in excess of 5,000 jobs, including temporary staff," the company said.

The total number of positions affected in Britain is still to be determined, it added.

Ford also announced it would streamline its lineup by "improving or exiting less profitable vehicle lines".

Ford Europe has been losing money for years and pressure to restructure its operations has increased since General Motors raised profits by selling its European Opel and Vauxhall brands to France's Peugeot.

Ford's turnaround plan is aimed at achieving a 6 percent operating margin in Europe.

Ford said in January that it would consult with unions on changes to create a sustainable, profitable business in Europe.

Ford builds a large proportion of its light vehicles for Europe in high-wage Germany at plants in Cologne and Saarlouis. The automaker is expected to end production of the C-Max compact minivan in Saarlouis as it focuses on profitable crossovers and commercial vehicles.

Ford is struggling with an aging model lineup and a contracting market in the U.K., its biggest in Europe, which is in store for further disruption from Brexit.

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Ford to build some EVs in Michigan, next Transit Connect in Mexico

Michael Martinez, Automotive News  /  March 20, 2019

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has changed its North American production plans for autonomous and electric vehicles, again.

The automaker on Wednesday said its Flat Rock Assembly Plant near Detroit eventually will become a second location for production of battery-electric vehicles, in addition to a plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico. It is scrapping plans for an autonomous vehicle center at the Flat Rock site and instead will build those vehicles at another location in southeast Michigan.

The $900 million Ford had planned to spend on AV production in Flat Rock through 2023 will instead be largely dedicated to EVs and the next-generation Mustang, officials said. The plant, which is scheduled to lose its second production shift this spring, eventually will get the shift back, along with 900 new jobs. Ford did not say when the jobs, which it had previously announced, would be added.

As part of the moves, Ford said production of the next-generation Transit Connect van would shift to Mexico from Spain. Ford had been expected to start North American production of the Transit Connect, with Flat Rock among the locations believed to be under consideration.

"It's a better plan for how we allocate capital in a more efficient way," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global operations, told Automotive News.

The automaker did not disclose a location, investment figure or jobs estimate for its autonomous vehicle center. In a statement, Ford said the site will upfit purpose-built, commercial-grade hybrid vehicles with self-driving technology and unique interiors. Production is slated to begin in 2021, with the vehicles being used commercially rather than sold to consumers.

"As we ramp up AV production, this plan allows us to adjust our investment spending to accommodate the pace of growth of this exciting new technology," Hinrichs said. "This new plan combines our core strength in mass manufacturing with the agility and leanness we've shown with our modification centers for specialty manufacturing."

Ford has shifted its EV and AV assembly plans several times since January 2017, when it canceled a $1.6 billion small-car plant under construction in Mexico shortly before President Donald Trump took office. At the time, Ford said it would make a big investment in Flat Rock to build autonomous vehicles and a long-range battery electric crossover. Later that year, it reversed the decision, saying it would focus on AVs in Flat Rock and move production of the battery-electric crossover to Mexico.

The long-range battery electric crossover, which Ford says is inspired by the Mustang and due in 2020, will still be built in Mexico. Flat Rock will be dedicated to Ford's future EVs, which will sit on a new, dedicated battery-electric architecture.

Ford's decision to build its next-generation Transit Connect in Mexico, after years of importing it from Spain and Turkey before that, allows the company to source more parts for the van from North American locations to meet requirements for the pending USMCA trade agreement. Ford is involved in a court battle with the government over allegations that it was unfairly skirting the so-called chicken tax -- a 25 percent tariff the U.S. has levied on light-truck imports since 1964 -- by bringing over Transit Connects that were built as passenger vehicles and then converting them to cargo vans stateside.

The third-generation Transit Connect, which analysts expect to go on sale in 2021, will be made in Hermosillo, Mexico, where production of the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ is slated to end at an undisclosed time.

"It wasn't so much about avoiding tariffs," Hinrichs said, "it was about improving the business."

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"It wasn't so much about avoiding tariffs," Hinrichs said, "it was about improving the business."

These guys regularly lie through their teeth Bob.

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F-150, Ram, Titan top IIHS passenger-side crash tests; GM pickups, Tundra among the worst

Michael Martinez, Automotive News  /  March 21, 2018

The Ford F-150 is the only pickup to earn top ratings in passenger-side crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The IIHS on Thursday said all four of General Motors' pickup nameplates earned only "marginal" ratings [pictured below], while the Toyota Tundra [pictured below] was the only one of 11 crew-cab pickups tested to get a "poor" rating.

GM's pickups and the Tundra received "poor" ratings for how the vehicle's structure held up in the passenger-side small overlap test, which IIHS initiated in 2017. All 11 pickups tested earned "good" ratings for head, neck and chest injuries. The Tundra was the only one not to receive a "good" rating for hip and thigh injuries.

The Ram 1500 and Nissan Titan joined the F-150 in receiving "good" ratings overall for passenger-side safety, though they landed one notch below the F-150 for structural integrity.

The results contrast with top ratings for nine of the 11 pickups on driver-side testing conducted previously.

The Honda Ridgeline, despite trailing the top performers with an "acceptable" overall passenger-side rating, is the only pickup to qualify for a 2019 Top Safety Pick award. That's because the Ridgeline is the only one to also get the required ratings of "good" for headlights and "superior" for front crash prevention.

"We commend Ford, Nissan and Ram for providing state-of-the-art crash protection for both drivers and front passengers of their large pickup models," David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer, said in a statement. "As a group, however, the pickup class still has a lot of work to do."

Small-overlap crashes account for about 25 percent of the serious driver injuries and deaths that occur in frontal impacts, IIHS says. The test, introduced in 2012, involves 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver side striking a 5-foot-tall barrier at 40 mph. IIHS added a passenger-side small-overlap crash test in 2017.

Vehicles are given "good," "acceptable," "marginal" or "poor" ratings.

Many automakers initially struggled with the driver-side tests but have increasingly added features to improve their performance. Ford in 2015, for example, added steel horns -- known by most engineers as wheel blockers -- onto the frame of some F-150 versions to redirect the energy of the collision away from the passenger cabin. The automaker later spread the wheel blockers across all F-150s.

For the redesigned 2019 Ram 1500, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles incorporated what it calls a "splayed" frame, spreading the leading elements of the frame outward on each side of the pickup -- and protecting the wheel in the process.

IIHS said the Tundra's dummy received the most damage during testing, indicating a right lower leg injury would be likely in the event of a real-world crash. Right hip injuries also would be possible. Maximum intrusion into the Tundra's structure was 15 inches, vs. only 5 inches for the F-150.

The dummy in the F-150, by comparison, showed no signs of potential injuries.

The Tundra, along with the Nissan Frontier, are the only pickups to not earn a "good" rating in either driver-side or passenger-side tests. IIHS noted that they are the oldest in the group, with the Tundra's basic structure dating to the 2007 model year and the Frontier's to the 2005 model year.

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Tampa, Florida based Brandon Ford was recently named the world's largest volume Ford truck dealer for 2018.

Los Angeles-based Galpin Ford remains Ford's largest overall volume sales dealer.

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Ford hires Amazon vet to succeed Shanks as CFO

Michael Martinez, Automotive News  /  March 21, 2019

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. said Bob Shanks, its CFO since 2012, will retire at year end and be replaced by Tim Stone, a 20-year veteran at Amazon and former CFO of Snap Inc., the parent company of popular phone app Snapchat.

The move is part of series of global changes announced Thursday that include new presidents of Ford's European operations and international markets group.

Stone, 52, will join Ford next month as a company officer and will become CFO on June 1. He will report directly to CEO Jim Hackett.

Shanks, 66, joined Ford in 1977 and was previously CFO at Mazda Motor Corp. He'll stay on through year end to assist on special projects, Ford said. His departure had been expected.

"Bob will leave a remarkable 42-year legacy at Ford," Hackett said in a statement. "As a CFO, he's been relentless in driving for results and pushing the company to greater heights. He's also been a wonderful colleague who leads with integrity, warmth and humor. Bob's leadership was integral to Ford's comeback during the Great Recession, and he has been an invaluable partner as we transform Ford to succeed in the next era."

Stone has a background in the tech sector, which could suit Ford well as it tries to redefine itself as an auto and a mobility company. Stone said he's familiar with Ford because his family drove Explorers and Ford vans, and his father used Ford vehicles in his work as a general contractor and plumber.

"He was a key player in the incredible success at Amazon and he understands the principles of fitness and growth as complementary virtues for Ford's future," Hackett said.

The automaker also announced other changes to its leadership team:

  • Peter Fleet, president of international markets group, will retire. The international markets group is a new business unit that Ford will begin reporting financial results for on Jan. 1. It covers about 100 markets, including operations in Africa, ASEAN, Australia, India, Mexico, Middle East, New Zealand and South Korea.

Fleet, 51, has held roles in Ford marketing, sales and service, and global business operations. Most recently, he was Ford's president of Asia Pacific.

He'll be replaced April 1 by Mark Ovenden, president Ford Middle East & Africa. He'll report to Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets.

  • Stuart Rowley, 51, COO for Ford North America, will replace Steven Armstrong as president of Ford of Europe. Armstrong will become chairman of Ford of Europe.

In his new role, Armstrong, 54, will oversee key transformation projects and joint venture partner interactions for the region, as well as lead Ford's engagement with European governments on key industry legislation and issues, the automaker said.

Both men will report to Farley, and the moves are effective April 1, Ford said.

  • Birgit Behrendt, 59, vice president, joint ventures, alliances and commercial affairs in Europe, will retire at the end of March. In her role, she helped establish Ford's global alliance with Volkswagen. She'll continue to be a member of the Ford Werke Supervisory Board. Ford did not name a successor.

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On 3/20/2019 at 4:12 PM, kscarbel2 said:

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has changed its North American production plans for autonomous and electric vehicles, again.

Well Kevin I guess we should give them the benefit of the doubt?  When you screw up and it is obvious, do you have the stones to admit it? Note Hinrichs said they can adjust the pace of expansion as AV market changes-or words to that effect.  

Maybe adjust pace as the public wants no part of AV's at least to degree the planners thought would take place.  that means "Car and Driver" is NOT changing its name to "Car and Sofa"!

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