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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Ford's Shareholder Meeting Has Executives on the Defensive

      You can guess as to why

    Yesterday, Ford held its annual shareholder meeting and executives were once again defending the decision to cut most of their car lineup and focusing on trucks and utility vehicles. Automotive News reports that shareholders questioned CEO Jim Hackett and Executive Chairman Bill Ford about the move and the two said the changes are necessary due to the changing tastes of customers. Ford expects 90 percent of its North American mix to be made up of trucks and utility models by 2020. 

    "This doesn't mean we intend to lose those customers. We want to give them what they're telling us they really want. We're simply reinventing the American car," said Hackett.

    "We don't want anyone to think we're leaving anything. We're just moving to a modern version. This is an exciting new generation of vehicles coming from Ford."

    Bill Ford blamed the media coverage for the negative reaction to this move. The company officially made the announcement during their first-quarter earnings reports, but rumors of this move had been floating around for over a year.

    "I wish the coverage had been a little different. If you got beyond the headline, you'll see we're adding to our product lineup and by 2020 we'll have the freshest showroom in the industry. The headlines look like Ford's retreating. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth."

    We have to think a fair amount of this 'negative' media coverage comes from Ford comes from the lack of information concerning the future of Ford's entry-level lineup and Lincoln. Ford's entry-level crossover is the EcoSport which begins at $19,995 and only returns EPA figures of 27 City/29 Highway/28 Combined (23/25/29 for the AWD model), which will push some buyers away. We don't know if Ford is planning an update to the EcoSport to boost fuel economy figures or has another model in the cards to sit underneath the EcoSport.

    Lincoln's future is murkier. The only comment made about the brand was by Hackett, saying the Continental (only introduced two years ago) would continue "through its life cycle". This is leading a fair number of people to think the Continental's days are numbered.

    For now, Ford is focusing on their $25.5 billion cost-cutting goal by 2022 and getting those trucks and SUVs out the door. The hope is this will help Ford's stock price, which has been a major point of contention with shareholders for many years.

    "I share your frustration. The whole management team does. Look, we want to get the stock price moving. The business can get fitter, and it will get fitter," said Bill Ford.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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    For those that need cheap transportation with long enough rang as a daily driver, I can see FORD pushing the EV auto as the perfect solution (Which it is) for daily driving to and from work when you have an auto that has 238 plus miles of range in electric.

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    Yea, darn that 'negative' press.  They went and told everyone what you were doing, and after that, people reacted in a 'negative' way.  But it's the press that's the problem.  Riiiiiight.

    It's like Ford is returning to it's roots.  
    "You can have it in any color you want, as long as it's black" has become:
    "You can have any configuration of vehicle you want, as long as it's a truck or SUV."

    Pumpkin heads
     

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    After watching Cobra Kai (which is fantastic) I learned that the best defense is MORE OFFENSE.  I suggest Ford make 5 new 3-box design SUVs, 5 SUV convertibles, 5 SUV coupes.  Then a smaller than Ranger pickup, and a larger than Super duty pickup, perhaps the Ultra-Duty pickup with a 9 liter diesel engine that tows 45,000 lbs, plus a convertible F150 with a retractable hard top roof.  They need at least 25 SUV and tucks at Ford, never can have too many trucks.

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    2 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    After watching Cobra Kai (which is fantastic) I learned that the best defense is MORE OFFENSE.  I suggest Ford make 5 new 3-box design SUVs, 5 SUV convertibles, 5 SUV coupes.  Then a smaller than Ranger pickup, and a larger than Super duty pickup, perhaps the Ultra-Duty pickup with a 9 liter diesel engine that tows 45,000 lbs, plus a convertible F150 with a retractable hard top roof.  They need at least 25 SUV and tucks at Ford, never can have too many trucks.

    Some great ideas there. They also need an extended Expedition EXL with 4 rows, and a shorter 2dr Expedition w/ an all white OJ Edition.   And a 3 row version of the Ultra Duty pickup w/ 10 foot bed.  

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    1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Some great ideas there. They also need an extended Expedition EXL with 4 rows, and a shorter 2dr Expedition w/ an all white OJ Edition.   And a 3 row version of the Ultra Duty pickup w/ 10 foot bed.  

    Yep, really Ford should kill the Focus and Mustang too and bring out even more SUVs.   Starting at 160 inches long up to 230 inches long there should be another SUV every 5 inches in length.

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    2 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Yep, really Ford should kill the Focus and Mustang too and bring out even more SUVs.   Starting at 160 inches long up to 230 inches long there should be another SUV every 5 inches in length.

    Ford will NEVER kill the Mustang.  Then all the Mustang owners will buys Camaros instead.

    15 Ford SUVs may sound good, but with rising oil prices, that may not work out well for their sales.  It is already $2.799 a gallon in SWFL already (and usually we have below AAA average gas prices).

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    15 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    The media is to blame for fanning these fears... Ford is not telling us everything, and what they have told us is misinterpreted.

    If what was told was misinterpreted, shouldn't Ford issue a clarification about this?

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    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    If what was told was misinterpreted, shouldn't Ford issue a clarification about this?

    They won't release info about future product.....

    The only way to take the announcement is that all the sedans will be gone and their replacements will be various sizes of CrossTrek type CARS.

    This whole mess is the INDUSTRY's fault for misclassification of vehicles. 

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    I see little to no difference in 'talking about future product' and 'talking about the discontinuance of future product'.

    I've said it before, OEMs should NOT issue information or plans or 'intentions' more than 18 months into the future- too much can change plus it gives competiton advance info.

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