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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Ford Hopes To Sooth Dealers This Week

      Now if they could only do the same for their employees

    Since becoming the CEO of Ford, Jim Hackett, and his management staff has had a difficult time of convincing folks about the ambitious restructuring plan that will see the lineup become more dependent on crossover and trucks, and job cuts. One group that has been quite worried about the plan are dealers.

    "There's been a lot less exposure to senior management. There's just not enough information flowing down to dealers about where the company's headed," said Jack Madden, owner of Jack Madden Ford to Automotive News.

    Ford is hoping to ease dealers later this week at the company's national dealer meeting in Las Vegas. Aside from seeing a number of new products, including the next-generation Escape and Explorer, Hackett and his team will be taking questions from dealers about the future direction of the company. 

    "It's the right medicine at the right time," Rhett Ricart, CEO of Ricart Automotive Group in Groveport, Ohio.

    "I think it will be a huge jolt for dealers' attitudes."

    Dealers aren't the only group who are wanting more information. Ford's 70,000 salaried workers around the world have been told that the $11 billion restructuring plan will include job cuts, but not providing any specifics on numbers or how or when the cuts will take place. The cuts were announced in a video message sent to employees.

    "In Ford's history, we have streamlined organizations but we rarely removed work, causing each team member to have to do more with less," Hackett said in the video, according to a transcript Ford provided to AN. Employees were told the upcoming changes would be made using "a cascading process that will involve many of you" and that they will work to eliminate "low-value" tasks. 

    "While redesigning the organization is important and it's necessary work, it's not going to be easy. But it is fundamental to us becoming the business we need to be," said Hackett.

    Ford say the message wasn't about job cuts and "said employees have appreciated the way it is handling the news." But AN reports that some employees became confused with the message being provided. Some experts say giving employees information about impending job cuts early on allows for more preparation and gives more time to look for another job. But some point out the way Ford announced the move could actually damage morale. 

    "In an absence of any information, it's stressful. People are going to be looking for more direction from the company," explained Carol Olsby, a human-resources consultant and author.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    Edited by William Maley



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    I have to agree with the stress it puts on people, Ford does not seem to have a clear plan to get out to their employees yet. Maybe if they are going to cover details at the dealership meeting, it would have also been the week to roll out a better message to the rank n file than just a vague video email.

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    8 minutes ago, dfelt said:

    I have to agree with the stress it puts on people, Ford does not seem to have a clear plan to get out to their employees yet. Maybe if they are going to cover details at the dealership meeting, it would have also been the week to roll out a better message to the rank n file than just a vague video email.

    It's always a bad idea when you have to ahve products from 50 years ago to park behind you when you are talking about your corporate image and ideas being relevant.

    Hopefully Chaos continues at Ford...but I really think they are going to pull it together.  I actually see a fairly bright future for Ford.  Focusing on their core business, their dominance in Trucks, the SUV lineup, the new Navigator and the Aviator, Transit...Mustang...they will be just fine.

    A bright future!

    Everywhere but my driveway that is...

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    When was the last time a Ford Fusion outsold a Malibu or a Camry or Accord?  When did the Taurus outsell an Avalon or an Impala?

    I think Hackett sees the writing on the wall and must change Ford or be buried alongside Mercury.

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    ^ If the business case for going forward with a model / line is ONLY being #1 in sales or 'gettng buried'... MAN is consumer choice going to tighten up!!

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    18 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    When was the last time a Ford Fusion outsold a Malibu or a Camry or Accord?  When did the Taurus outsell an Avalon or an Impala?

    I think by the time it hit its second generation the Fusion has always ans still outsells the Malibu.  They trail the usual Camry/Accord/Altima.

     

     

     

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    2 hours ago, frogger said:

    I think by the time it hit its second generation the Fusion has always ans still outsells the Malibu.  They trail the usual Camry/Accord/Altima.

     

     

     

    But they are not making much of a margin at the end of the day or they would still be selling it.

    Also...Toyota and Honda brought out fresh new designs while Ford let the fusion rot on the vine.

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    *Soothe

    Seems like things are pretty bad over there.  The misinterpreted announcement about cars going away really stirred the pot I guess.

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    3 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    *Soothe

    Seems like things are pretty bad over there.  The misinterpreted announcement about cars going away really stirred the pot I guess.

    Actually enjoying the Chaos myself. Still...I think the decision to stop building most of those cars in the United States is entirely sane and rational. 

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    10 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    But they are not making much of a margin at the end of the day or they would still be selling it.

    Also...Toyota and Honda brought out fresh new designs while Ford let the fusion rot on the vine.

    Yes, Toyota and Honda still know how to build competitive cars in the US, while Ford has it's collective head up it's arse with it's truck obsession.  When the truck and SUV market eventually comes crashing down, they are going to be f*cked. 

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    On the other hand, Ford still knows how to build SUVs, CUVs and trucks, and toyoyo/honda has their collective heads up their arses with their car obsessions. When the car market eventually comes crashing dow— whooops!!

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    5 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    On the other hand, Ford still knows how to build SUVs, CUVs and trucks, and toyoyo/honda has their collective heads up their arses with their car obsessions. When the car market eventually comes crashing dow— whooops!!

    I actually like the F series the Mustang...and really don't mind some of the SUV lineup. Ford is really winning some respect from me of all people for focusing on the core business and doing it right.

    I think Ford is poised to do well during the next financial downturn. People are NOT going to stop buying trucks for construction, farming, and personal use, the Mustang is an Icon...and lots of people will buy an SUV regardless of economics.

    Ford will look GOOD in about 3 years with this decision.

    Plus the F series has a hell of a lot higher margin than a Civic.  And more owner loyalty as well.

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    ^ Good points.
    Recently I saw segment numbers from the '09-ish oil spike and 'trucks' saw a 17% higher contraction than 'cars' (don't know where CUVs were slotted) - obviously considerable, but I would think far less than many people might have guessed. I read plenty of assurances that 'trucks are dead' back then.

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    13 hours ago, riviera74 said:

    When was the last time a Ford Fusion outsold a Malibu or a Camry or Accord?  When did the Taurus outsell an Avalon or an Impala?

    I think Hackett sees the writing on the wall and must change Ford or be buried alongside Mercury.

    The Fusion has outsold the Malibu for the entire current gen Fusion. I don't think it has ever touched the Accord or Camry though. It's been a solid 3rd place for awhile. 

    Small sample

    2015 Malibu: 194,854

    2015 Fusion: 300,170

    2016 Malibu: 227,881

    2016 Fusion: 265,840

    2017 Malibu: 185,857

    Through Sept. 2018

    2018 Malibu: 107,458

    2018 Fusion: 124,964

    Source: Goodcarbadcar.com

     

    11 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

    But they are not making much of a margin at the end of the day or they would still be selling it.

    I have a feeling it was always fairly tight margins and now that car sales have plummeted(see above comment) there just isn't much money to be had there with sales around and under 200k units compared to 300k units. 

    They also fixed their ridiculous cusomizable-ness that had to have costs through the roof compared to the Accord and Camry which only have a handful trims and not many options per trim. 

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    10 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

     have a feeling it was always fairly tight margins and now that car sales have plummeted(see above comment) there just isn't much money to be had there with sales around and under 200k units compared to 300k units. 

    They also fixed their ridiculous cusomizable-ness that had to have costs through the roof compared to the Accord and Camry which only have a handful trims and not many options per trim. 

    This is exactly why I say the business plan makes sense going forward.

     

    Edited by A Horse With No Name
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    where exactly do they see those 200,000 - 300,000 units getting picked up in the rest of their lineup?

    A lot of Fusion sales are stuff like Fusion "S" which of course sells because it is low price (and low profit).  But to even think they will replace all of that volume (or, all of that profit, even in lesser volume of higher priced models) seems a bit absurd since a lot of dealerships need the unit volume and transaction count as much as any cash flow.

    I mean now do you just sell more and more base level Edges?  Because if you take away the Fusion, not everyone is going want an Escape.  And they won't stomach the sometimes 10k jump from a sedan to a crossover that easily.

    I think a serious auto market bubble is arriving in the next couple years.  50,000 dollar MSRP Blazers  and 65,000 dollar Sierras and such can only mean bad things.  The market and credit won't support this continued escalation much longer.

    And really, at some point, people WILL lose interest in pony cars.  Between CAFE and culture, even the Mustang will get phased out of civility.

    Edited by regfootball

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    8 minutes ago, regfootball said:

    where exactly do they see those 200,000 - 300,000 units getting picked up in the rest of their lineup?

    Where are you getting that Ford is saying/expecting to shift their car customers to CUVs/SUVs?

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    12 minutes ago, regfootball said:

    where exactly do they see those 200,000 - 300,000 units getting picked up in the rest of their lineup?

    A lot of Fusion sales are stuff like Fusion "S" which of course sells because it is low price (and low profit).  But to even think they will replace all of that volume (or, all of that profit, even in lesser volume of higher priced models) seems a bit absurd since a lot of dealerships need the unit volume and transaction count as much as any cash flow.

    I mean now do you just sell more and more base level Edges?  Because if you take away the Fusion, not everyone is going want an Escape.  And they won't stomach the sometimes 10k jump from a sedan to a crossover that easily.

    I think a serious auto market bubble is arriving in the next couple years.  50,000 dollar MSRP Blazers  and 65,000 dollar Sierras and such can only mean bad things.  The market and credit won't support this continued escalation much longer.

    And really, at some point, people WILL lose interest in pony cars.  Between CAFE and culture, even the Mustang will get phased out of civility.

    They could be deciding to blow off the low end entry level buyer of an auto, aka car and focus on those that have money and will pay for high end trucks / suv / cuvs.

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    23 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Where are you getting that Ford is saying/expecting to shift their car customers to CUVs/SUVs?

    Ford is not saying that, but the dealer owners will want to know how Ford plans to shift that sales units and volume.

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    In a rising truck/SUV market: SELL MOAR TRUCKS!
    If Ford applies it's 'F-Series' template to the other truck lines, IE: more variants than any other line in the USDM, sales will naturally increase.

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    Well, they have the Bronco, new Explorer, mini-Bronco, and presumably the Ranger Raptor coming.  They could also add the existing Ranger-based Everest to have a truck-based midsize SUV.  

    Maybe they could also expand and create new body style variations like a extra-extra length 6dr Expedition and Navigator (with 4 row seating for big families), an integrated pickup version of the Expedition and Navigator (ala Avalanche),  a 6dr 3 row F150 SuperMaxCrew. 

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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    On 10/15/2018 at 3:22 PM, A Horse With No Name said:

    It's always a bad idea when you have to ahve products from 50 years ago to park behind you when you are talking about your corporate image and ideas being relevant.

    Hopefully Chaos continues at Ford...but I really think they are going to pull it together.  I actually see a fairly bright future for Ford.  Focusing on their core business, their dominance in Trucks, the SUV lineup, the new Navigator and the Aviator, Transit...Mustang...they will be just fine.

    A bright future!

    Everywhere but my driveway that is...

    I wish I could see it sad rosy as you....but then again I live under 20 miles to Ford headquarters....

    They are not in a good spot now....and already two of their good engineers are out the door just this week. Brain drain is going to be a major concern as good car people look for safer waters with another auto company..I have a few friends deep in the Ford system, I am almost sure one is leaving after 20 years with the company.

    I get the Feeling new products are not going to be as exciting just based on them watching nickels and dimes now...similar to a certain auto company a decade ago....

     

    I hope for the best for Ford, but I see some dark times ahead.....

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    5 hours ago, daves87rs said:

    I wish I could see it sad rosy as you....but then again I live under 20 miles to Ford headquarters....

    They are not in a good spot now....and already two of their good engineers are out the door just this week. Brain drain is going to be a major concern as good car people look for safer waters with another auto company..I have a few friends deep in the Ford system, I am almost sure one is leaving after 20 years with the company.

    I get the Feeling new products are not going to be as exciting just based on them watching nickels and dimes now...similar to a certain auto company a decade ago....

     

    I hope for the best for Ford, but I see some dark times ahead.....

    And I really don't mind seeing them face them...and even fail in the face of them.

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    14 hours ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    They could also add the existing Ranger-based Everest to have a truck-based midsize SUV

    Isn't that kind of already the Bronco...?

    15 hours ago, regfootball said:

    where exactly do they see those 200,000 - 300,000 units getting picked up in the rest of their lineup?

    They also don't need to if they're selling more trucks/suvs/cuvs at higher prices with better margins. 

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    • I didnt catch the humour. LOL.  Words on a screen. Words on a screen.....   Yeah... The Expos downfall...   Many reasons.... But NONE of them are because the fans let down the team and soured and let them die only for the Expos to leave town just because... MLB economics and politics failed The Expos.  Ownership...the original owners, the second owners, the third owners being Jeffrey Loria and his little puppet Samson and finally MLB ownership failed the fans of Montreal, the city of Montreal and the the team. The Quebec government and the city of Montreal also failed the fans and the team.  Although I could not expect public funds to help build a stadium....especially when the province of Quebec, the city of Montreal was in deep deep deep economical crisis with a a dilemma of separating from Canada being front and center.   The Expos drew more attendance than the Canadiens in the 1980s.   Not fair you say because the Olympic statdium sat 50 000 people as compared to 18 000 at the forum and the Expos played 80 home games versus 40 for hockey?  Yeah but hockey IS  religion in Montreal and when baseball season starts in the Spring is when hockey season really starts in Montreal...but in the 1980s...the Canadiens werent all that hot. They won the Cup in 1986...but the Expos WERE the team of the 1980s...and the team of the 1990s...    The Expos drew MORE attendance than the Yankees in those 1980s... https://exposnation.com/en/montreal-expos-attendance-per-year/ You will see in link above that the fans in Montreal...ARE baseball fans.    This video...from urinatingtree...sums up the truth with the Expos part.  Urinatingtree usually makes fun of sports teams, and usually stretches the truth...as all humour, sarcastic satirical medias do but with the Expos part...the truth is more sarcastic and funny than comedic satire itself...   The chronic underachieving of the Expos never really soured the fan base. We always had awesome diamonds in the rough players to root for.  Larry Walker being one of those players.  It was the constant fire sales and the two strikes/lock-outs and the spiraling payrolls that we couldnt afford that drove us away from MLB....   NOT from our Expos or baseball the sport.  But from MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL. The Expos left, but parents kept on enrolling their kids in baseball and the kids continued playing baseball. In fact. Baseball grass roots GREW over the time that the Expos left town...  
    • Oh I was just joking about going in in a Cardinals' uniform. I would expect him to go in in a Rockies uniform. That was when he had his best years. He had a pretty good send off here in STL being able to play in a World Series and making another playoff run the following year... he only had one playoff series prior to STL and he got 5 playoff series in STL. in 1.25 seasons.  It's a shame what the Expos organization turned into. I have very little personal history of them being in Montreal because of my age but before they moved nobody went there and they were always losing. It seems like they were once a great organization and there had to have been a change in ownership or management that turned them south(both literally and metaphorically). 
    • To be honest, he won more awards and stuff with the Rockies. He spent more years in Colorado. I want him in a s an Expo because his years as an Expo were great too. But maybe not as a Hall of Famer great. But rookie year and young and all. He did have 2 Gold Gloves with the Expos out of the 6 years he spent in Montreal...33%, but he did win 5 in Colorado. 5 out of the 10 years he spent there. 50% of the time he was there.  He also had 3 batting titles...in Colorado.   MVP of the league  while in Colorado. He was supposed to be a hockey goalie, but that never panned out. "Twas the Expos that scouted him...by chance. But the Expos organization always had the knack of finding such talent that no other in the League could ever do.    The Cards?   I always respected the Cards.  In baseball for me though, I HATE all other ball clubs.  Especially the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, the Blue Jays, The A's...   But I have the utmost respect for the Yankees and the Red Sox.      The Cards, The Cubs, The Pirates, The Phillies, The Reds, The Giants, the Dodgers ... Yeah...teams like these I may not like...hate might be tooo strong of a sentiment, but these are teams that are...dare I say...likeable?   The Dodgers and the Giants...I kinda like their New York origins.  I may not like their California destination... So...I could see the Rockies as a choice for Walker.  I cant see the Cards though.   PS:  I HATE the Nationals...  NO! Not because the Expos moved there. But because they NEVER acknowledged the Montreal tie-in.  NO!!!  They dont absolutely have to acknowledge Montreal...  Rightfully so Ill say!!! BUT!!! In NO WAY should they also acknowledge Raines, Dawson, Carter, Guerrero as part of their history if that is the case. Carter gets inducted...no acknowledgement.  Dawson and then Raines...nothing...  Finally Guerrero gets in and all of a sudden, the Washington owners and fans want to be tied in with Montreal?    Why?   Because that ballclub now has 4 inductees?  PHOQUE OFF is what I say to them!    Im happy for him for that too...  I do not know about Colorado...but that statement for Montreal is 100000000000000000000000000%  FALSE!!! People in Montreal LOVED him.   First of all...CANADIAN.... Second of all...we lOVED our Expos. Every single one of them.   Listen to the Lyrics. The refrain...of all the Expos that played in Montreal for close to 40 years..."Larry Walk"  is mentioned... Says a lot about how Montreal fans feel for him.  Keep in mind that this Montreal song artist made this song in 2010.  Waaaaaay before Gary makes the HOF.  Waaaaay before the Expos might be returning back to Montreal.  This song was made shortly after the Expos left town.  "This one’s for the Kid and the Cat and the Hawk And this one’s for Grip, Larry Walk and the Rock This one’s for El Presidente, Mo and O-Cab and this one’s for Spaceman, Crow and Vlad"  
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