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Ford News: Ford Hopes To Sooth Dealers This Week

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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)


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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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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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      F-Series Super Duty had the most market share in industries such as government with more than 60 percent share, petroleum with 50 percent share and utility services with more than 45 percent share, according to Ford analysis of IHS Markit TIPet U.S. registration data, January 2017 through November 2018. Assembled in the United States, Ford’s F-Series Super Duty is built with pride at both Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville and Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake.
      New F-Series Super Duty improvements include new gas and diesel engines, an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission, chassis upgrades, exterior and interior design updates, and smart advanced technology that raises the bar again in towing, payload and connectivity.
      All-new powertrains for improved performance and capability
      An all-new Ford-designed and Ford-built 7.3-liter V8 joins the standard 6.2-liter V8 in Super Duty’s gas engine stable. The Ford-designed and Ford-built third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® diesel V8 is upgraded to deliver more power and torque. An all-new Ford-designed and Ford-built 10-speed heavy-duty TorqShift® automatic transmission is paired with the 7.3-liter V8 and third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® diesel V8. Ford is the only manufacturer to design and build all of its heavy-duty engine and transmission combinations – ensuring the powertrain works seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations.
      “With the addition of the 7.3-liter V8, upgrades to our 6.7-liter and the debut of an all-new 10-speed transmission, we are delivering the strongest, most capable Super Duty powertrain offerings yet,” said Mike Pruitt, Ford Super Duty chief engineer.
      The 7.3-liter gas V8 engine delivers high performance in a compact package. Based on decades of commercial engine experience, this 7.3-liter is expected to be the most powerful gas V8 in its class – providing durability, ease of maintenance, and the towing and payload capability customers want. It uses an all-new cam-in-block, overhead valve architecture with cast iron block and forged steel crankshaft for maximum durability. Port injection with variable-valve timing optimizes the intake and exhaust to match performance with workloads. Oil jets cool the pistons under heavy loads.
      Super Duty’s third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke includes a new 36,000-psi fuel injection system with all-new injectors that precisely meter and spray up to eight times per stroke to control noise levels and optimize combustion. This innovative inboard exhaust diesel V8 features a redesigned electronic-actuated variable-geometry turbocharger that provides improved pumping efficiency and throttle response. Structural enhancements increase the strength of the cylinder head, block, connecting rods and bearings to handle higher cylinder pressure and increased output. New steel pistons provide higher firing pressure capability and less friction – meaning improved performance and more horsepower and torque than ever.
      The truck’s standard 6.2-liter gas V8 rounds out the three engine choices for Super Duty customers. This workhorse offers heavy-duty truck customers proven capability at an affordable price.
      Ford is making its all-new 10-speed TorqShift automatic transmission available across all three Super Duty engine offerings for the new 2020 model. This TorqShift features a wider gear ratio span than the 6-speed and is designed for the harshest towing conditions. The heavy-duty transmission continues to offer class-exclusive live-drive power takeoff, which allows the operator to engage industrial equipment and accessories, such as snowplows, with the truck in motion.
      This electronically controlled transmission has selectable drive modes that include normal, tow/haul, eco, slippery, and deep sand and snow. The entire unit is so cleverly engineered that – even with four extra gears – it fits in the same space as the 6-speed and weighs only 3.5 pounds more.
      Technology that assists and improves productivity
      For 2020, class-exclusive new Pro Trailer Backup Assist makes negotiating even the largest trailers into the tightest of spaces easier than ever before. With hands off the steering wheel, drivers use the Pro Trailer Backup Assist knob to easily steer the trailer via the reverse camera. The truck’s Trailer Reverse Guidance system shows trailer angle and direction, and provides steering suggestions to most efficiently direct a trailer backward. Both systems are built to accommodate all trailer styles, including fifth-wheel and gooseneck trailers.
      Because today’s work is a 24/7 proposition, staying connected is essential. Every new 2020 Super Duty includes FordPass Connect™ embedded 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi access for up to 10 devices, keeping crews in communication no matter where the job might take them.
      Available lane-keeping alert helps you stay between the lines on the road, while the Blind Spot Information System with trailer coverage monitors for vehicles in your blind spots – even when towing. Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection aids in avoiding or mitigating collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians. These features are standard on XLT and above Super Duty models. Modern touches include the addition of wireless charging and USB-C ports to power your devices.
      Powerful upgrades inside and out
      Across the range, an enhanced front-end design allows for optimized cooling and lighting performance under heavy loads. For the first time, all dual-rear-wheel Super Duty trucks are fitted with a uniquely designed high-airflow grille optimized for maximum powertrain cooling.
      Super Duty’s LED headlamps have a new look with improved performance, while high series trucks feature continuous signature lighting. An improved front bumper and air dam optimize cooling and make using utility hooks easier. A freshened tailgate design, revised taillamps and new rear bumper convey bolder Built Ford Tough style.
      Decorative appliqués on the doors and media bin door have been updated on Lariat, while on Platinum edition trucks, these pieces have been updated to Onyx Argento wood. The interior of the Limited model is completely refreshed, with colors updated to Ebony and Highland Tan to provide a refined, modern feel. Limited features authentic materials like genuine leather, a coarse ash wood in black and modern brushed aluminum trim. Crafted details include decorative stitching on the leather-wrapped instrument panel topper, wrapped door armrests, seating and center console lid, and an embroidered Super Duty logo added to the floor mats. A soft headliner in Miko® suede is intended to give the cabin an expansive feel.
      Tested to Built Ford Tough standards
      The new F-Series Super Duty debuts as the most tested pickup in the company’s history. It endured more than 12 million miles of testing for the 2017 model year, which was increased by an additional 7 million miles for 2020 to ensure the new Super Duty can stand up to the rigors the most exacting truck customers demand of it. This torture includes running the truck around the clock under the most extreme loads and through all kinds of environmental conditions using dynos, test tracks and public roads. Because the testing surfaces and durability test tracks are so punishing, many of the miles are run using robot drivers that can handle the abuse better than humans to ensure every F-Series truck is Built Ford Tough.
      Ford’s new 2020 F-Series Super Duty will start shipping to dealers this fall.
    • By William Maley
      That rumor about Ford introducing a smaller truck below the Ranger from last summer? It seems we have gotten some confirmation on that.
      Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets confirmed the plans during the Deutsche Bank Global Auto Industry Conference in Detroit - the same place where he dropped the F-150 electric bombshell.
      Ford is "investing in more affordable versions of our truck business" and that "you can expect new nameplates below where we compete today," Farley said at the conference. No timeframe was given. Interestingly, a Ford spokesman said “we’ll have more details to share about new nameplates in the future.” Usually, they go with the boilerplate answer of 'no comment."
      Last July, Automobile magazine reported Ford was working on a replacement for the Brazilian market Courier subcompact pickup truck. The new model would switch from the Fiesta to the Focus platform. Apparently, this project has caught the eye of Ford's U.S. office and there is talk about bringing here by 2022.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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