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Found 333 results

  1. If you were hoping that Chevrolet would bring the house down next month with the debut of the mid-engine Corvette at the Detroit Auto Show, we have some bad news for you. GM Authority has learned from GM that Chevrolet isn't planning to show anything car or crossover related at the show. Motor Authority was able to confirm this report by speaking to sources who know GM's plans for future vehicles. It is expected that the Cadillac XT6 crossover will debut at the show. Rumor has it that GM could debut the mid-engine Corvette at the New York Auto Show - the original 1953 Corvette debuted at the Motorama event that year in New York - or hold its own event to have the media focus on the new model and nothing else. The latter option seems the most likely to us. We'll keep you posted if anything changes. Source: GM Authority, Motor Authority View full article
  2. Next year will see Volkswagen unveil the next-generation Golf GTI. It was reported that the model would utilize a mild-hybrid setup to boost fuel economy and improve low-end response. This decision was made under the leadership of former Volkswagen chairman Matthias Müller and would have become the flagship model for a new range of mild-hybrid models badged as IQ. But a new report from Autocar says the new chairman, Herbert Diess has canned the powertrain. No reason was given as to why this decision was reversed. Volkswagen is still planning to do mild-hybrid versions of the standard Golf that will utilize a 48-Volt electrical system. Autocar says the next-generation GTI will use an updated version of the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing either 252 or 286 horsepower. The current model in the U.S. punches out 227 horsepower. A six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch will be the available transmissions. Source: Autocar View full article
  3. Next year will see Volkswagen unveil the next-generation Golf GTI. It was reported that the model would utilize a mild-hybrid setup to boost fuel economy and improve low-end response. This decision was made under the leadership of former Volkswagen chairman Matthias Müller and would have become the flagship model for a new range of mild-hybrid models badged as IQ. But a new report from Autocar says the new chairman, Herbert Diess has canned the powertrain. No reason was given as to why this decision was reversed. Volkswagen is still planning to do mild-hybrid versions of the standard Golf that will utilize a 48-Volt electrical system. Autocar says the next-generation GTI will use an updated version of the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing either 252 or 286 horsepower. The current model in the U.S. punches out 227 horsepower. A six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch will be the available transmissions. Source: Autocar
  4. 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)
  5. 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) View full article
  6. Lexus has some has some big plans in store for the F performance sub-brand. Motor1 is reporting that the luxury brand is planning to keep the Track Edition nameplate for some time. “The plan right now is to build 60 [RC F] Track Editions...and it’s going to be 40 of the white and 20 of the matte gray [cars for 2020]. It’s [our] intention to have a version of the Track Edition in subsequent [model] years,” said Cooper Ericksen, vice president for product planning and strategy at Lexus. It is unclear what Lexus has planned for the future of Track Edition. Ericksen said everything is up in the air ranging from improving the performance to possibly applying the treatment to other models (LC Track Edition anyone?). “We’re having fun with the engineers to figure out what [Track Edition] can look like in the future." Another item being talked about for F is building a crossover or SUV. Ericken said that a key topic of discussion is whether or not they should focus on doing an on-road version or buck the trend and do an off-road one. “[What] we're currently trying to figure out is [if] the on-road performance aspect [is] more important [for Lexus] to invest in than the off-road performance.” Source: Motor1, 2 View full article
  7. Lexus has some has some big plans in store for the F performance sub-brand. Motor1 is reporting that the luxury brand is planning to keep the Track Edition nameplate for some time. “The plan right now is to build 60 [RC F] Track Editions...and it’s going to be 40 of the white and 20 of the matte gray [cars for 2020]. It’s [our] intention to have a version of the Track Edition in subsequent [model] years,” said Cooper Ericksen, vice president for product planning and strategy at Lexus. It is unclear what Lexus has planned for the future of Track Edition. Ericksen said everything is up in the air ranging from improving the performance to possibly applying the treatment to other models (LC Track Edition anyone?). “We’re having fun with the engineers to figure out what [Track Edition] can look like in the future." Another item being talked about for F is building a crossover or SUV. Ericken said that a key topic of discussion is whether or not they should focus on doing an on-road version or buck the trend and do an off-road one. “[What] we're currently trying to figure out is [if] the on-road performance aspect [is] more important [for Lexus] to invest in than the off-road performance.” Source: Motor1, 2
  8. The Dodge Challenger has been enjoying a resurgence for the past couple of years, due in part to the supercharged variants known as the Hellcat and Demon. But Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley tells the Detroit News, the next-generation Challenger will be quite different. "The reality is those platforms and that technology we used does need to move on. They can’t exist as you get into the middle-2020s. New technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of the powertrains in a different way. And we can use electrification to really supplement those vehicles," said Manley. "I think that electrification will certainly be part of the formula that says what is American muscle in the future. What it isn’t going to be is a V-8, supercharged, 700-horsepower engine." It is unclear what is in store for the next-generation Challenger. We previously reported that the model would move to the Giorgio platform - what underpins the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio. But last year, a story came out that next-generation Challenger and Charger would use a heavily re-worked version of the current LX platform - one that can trace its roots back to Mercedes-Benz models from the 1990s. As for possible engines, we wouldn't be surprised if the 2.0L turbo-four found in the Jeep Wrangler becomes available in the next-generation Challenger. There is also the rumor of a new inline-six taking the place of the current Pentastar V6, which we would assume could get some form of electrification. But Kelly Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer is skeptical about muscle cars and electrification co-existing. "There's a long-standing rule about what constitutes American muscle, but electrification is not part of it. I need something that gets my blood pumping," said Brauer. "The Challenger is now challenging the Mustang for sales primacy with a V-8. Who would have thought that? In terms of sales, the supercharged V-8s have worked well." We're guessing that FCA will be keeping some sort of V8 option, possibly one with some sort of electric boost. Source: The Detroit News
  9. It came as no surprise that Toyota decided to drop the Yaris Liftback for 2019 - they only sold 1,940 models last year. In our original report, Toyota spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell dropped an interesting bit of information by revealing they would have news on the 2020 Yaris at New York. Car and Driver has a possible guess as to what it could be - a rebadged Mazda2 hatchback. Some quick background: The current Toyota Yaris sedan is just a rebadged version of the Mazda2 sedan sold elsewhere in the world. It was introduced back in 2016 as the Scion iA and then became the Yaris iA a year later. Car and Driver is expecting the hatchback version to get the same front end as the Yaris sedan, while the rest of the body is unchanged. Power will remain the 1.5L inline-four teamed with either a six-speed manual or automatic. Source: Car and Driver View full article
  10. It came as no surprise that Toyota decided to drop the Yaris Liftback for 2019 - they only sold 1,940 models last year. In our original report, Toyota spokeswoman Nancy Hubbell dropped an interesting bit of information by revealing they would have news on the 2020 Yaris at New York. Car and Driver has a possible guess as to what it could be - a rebadged Mazda2 hatchback. Some quick background: The current Toyota Yaris sedan is just a rebadged version of the Mazda2 sedan sold elsewhere in the world. It was introduced back in 2016 as the Scion iA and then became the Yaris iA a year later. Car and Driver is expecting the hatchback version to get the same front end as the Yaris sedan, while the rest of the body is unchanged. Power will remain the 1.5L inline-four teamed with either a six-speed manual or automatic. Source: Car and Driver
  11. There is a growing number of automakers who are announcing plans to electrify their lineup, while others are considering it. GMC is the latter category according to a new report from CNBC. “Certainly, it’s something we’re considering," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC when asked if there was the possibility of an electric Sierra. Aldred wouldn't say much more than that except mentioning that General Motors CEO Mary Barra has already made comments about "an all-electric future." It wouldn't be surprising if an all-electric Sierra sparks an all-electric Chevrolet Silverado since they are basically the same truck, allowing GM to take advantage of economies of scale and spreading the cost of development. But the cost of batteries is still a big drawback. Researchers at Boston Consulting Group say each individual battery cell generally cost $150 to $200. Aldred said that battery tech is still expensive "that makes it difficult to target mainstream segments, unless a carmaker like GM is willing to accept lower margins." But that's where GMC could take the lead as it is currently positioned as something more premium than its Silverado brethren, with such features as the Multi-Pro tailgate. Ford has already announced plans for an F-150 EV, and there is start-up automaker Rivian with the R1T that is expected to go into production in late 2020. Source: CNBC
  12. There is a growing number of automakers who are announcing plans to electrify their lineup, while others are considering it. GMC is the latter category according to a new report from CNBC. “Certainly, it’s something we’re considering," said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC when asked if there was the possibility of an electric Sierra. Aldred wouldn't say much more than that except mentioning that General Motors CEO Mary Barra has already made comments about "an all-electric future." It wouldn't be surprising if an all-electric Sierra sparks an all-electric Chevrolet Silverado since they are basically the same truck, allowing GM to take advantage of economies of scale and spreading the cost of development. But the cost of batteries is still a big drawback. Researchers at Boston Consulting Group say each individual battery cell generally cost $150 to $200. Aldred said that battery tech is still expensive "that makes it difficult to target mainstream segments, unless a carmaker like GM is willing to accept lower margins." But that's where GMC could take the lead as it is currently positioned as something more premium than its Silverado brethren, with such features as the Multi-Pro tailgate. Ford has already announced plans for an F-150 EV, and there is start-up automaker Rivian with the R1T that is expected to go into production in late 2020. Source: CNBC View full article
  13. Back in November, General Motors announced that it would end production of six models in North America. One of the models listed was the Cadillac CT6 sedan. This surprised a number of people considering that the brand had only refreshed model, and announced some key improvements such as adding Super Cruise and a new twin-turbo V8 engine known as Blackwing. But GM President Mark Reuss and Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said they are looking into various options to keep the CT6 on sale in the U.S. The two explained that model was never meant to be on the chopping with other models such as the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Impala. But officials at the time did not mention those plans in the original announcement in November. "From the very beginning, we never said that CT6 was going away, because we're very keen on launching Blackwing and Super Cruise and all those sort of things," said Carlisle on the floor of the Detroit Auto Show. "We're working hard to find other alternatives to that. We have some time." What are the alternatives being considered? Automotive News reports that GM may move production to another plant (ultimately depending on the negotiations with the UAW to take place later this year), or import the model from China - an idea Carlisle said "would be the least-preferred option." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  14. Back in November, General Motors announced that it would end production of six models in North America. One of the models listed was the Cadillac CT6 sedan. This surprised a number of people considering that the brand had only refreshed model, and announced some key improvements such as adding Super Cruise and a new twin-turbo V8 engine known as Blackwing. But GM President Mark Reuss and Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said they are looking into various options to keep the CT6 on sale in the U.S. The two explained that model was never meant to be on the chopping with other models such as the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Impala. But officials at the time did not mention those plans in the original announcement in November. "From the very beginning, we never said that CT6 was going away, because we're very keen on launching Blackwing and Super Cruise and all those sort of things," said Carlisle on the floor of the Detroit Auto Show. "We're working hard to find other alternatives to that. We have some time." What are the alternatives being considered? Automotive News reports that GM may move production to another plant (ultimately depending on the negotiations with the UAW to take place later this year), or import the model from China - an idea Carlisle said "would be the least-preferred option." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  15. Genesis has been building itself up as a competitor to the likes of the German luxury brands, for much lower prices. But it is still missing a few items, like having some sort of crossover or SUV - something that will be launching in the coming year or so. The brand is lacking a performance variant to take on the likes of BMW's M and Mercedes' AMG. However, a comment made by Hyundai product planner Mike O’Brien hints they're looking into it. "A big effort with the G70 was thermal management, to make sure that this car will hold u. We're building for the future. I'll just say that," said O'Brien to Road & Track. Proper thermal management is something essential for new vehicles, but you don't normally hear an automaker talk about it except when it comes to high-performance models. This becomes more intriguing when you take into account that Albert Biermann, now the head of Hyundai's r&d division, worked previously at BMW's M division. More from Road & Track: The comment about possibly badging it as a N model is also interesting. We have reported previously that Genesis has no plans on doing a N, so it hints that Genesis may come up with its own branding for a performance model. Source: Road & Track View full article
  16. Genesis has been building itself up as a competitor to the likes of the German luxury brands, for much lower prices. But it is still missing a few items, like having some sort of crossover or SUV - something that will be launching in the coming year or so. The brand is lacking a performance variant to take on the likes of BMW's M and Mercedes' AMG. However, a comment made by Hyundai product planner Mike O’Brien hints they're looking into it. "A big effort with the G70 was thermal management, to make sure that this car will hold u. We're building for the future. I'll just say that," said O'Brien to Road & Track. Proper thermal management is something essential for new vehicles, but you don't normally hear an automaker talk about it except when it comes to high-performance models. This becomes more intriguing when you take into account that Albert Biermann, now the head of Hyundai's r&d division, worked previously at BMW's M division. More from Road & Track: The comment about possibly badging it as a N model is also interesting. We have reported previously that Genesis has no plans on doing a N, so it hints that Genesis may come up with its own branding for a performance model. Source: Road & Track
  17. For almost two decades, Cadillac has been undergoing a transformation of sorts to become a threat to likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The various models and changes have been met with mixed reactions. But the latest move to make Cadillac the lead brand in General Motors' electric car offensive marks a big change. According to an executive, this is the brand's last chance at success. “We don’t have any chances left with taking Cadillac to a really new place. This is pretty much it,” said GM President Mark Reuss to Reuters. “So we really have to hit the ball here. It’s my job to make sure we do.” Cadillac previewed their first EV on Sunday night during the press preview of the XT6 crossover. No name was given, but the model appears to be a small or midsize crossover. It will be the first vehicle to use GM's dedicated BEV3 platform that has been designed to underpin various types of vehicles and drivetrain layouts. When asked how long it would take for Cadillac to transition to an all-electric lineup, Reuss said it is too early to tell. He expects a combination of electrified and combustion engine models “for quite a few years” in the lineup. Reuss did not elaborate what would happen if the transition to electric faltered. “All I’m focused on is what we’re doing right now…” Reuss said, “and getting momentum back in Cadillac.” Source: Reuters View full article
  18. For almost two decades, Cadillac has been undergoing a transformation of sorts to become a threat to likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The various models and changes have been met with mixed reactions. But the latest move to make Cadillac the lead brand in General Motors' electric car offensive marks a big change. According to an executive, this is the brand's last chance at success. “We don’t have any chances left with taking Cadillac to a really new place. This is pretty much it,” said GM President Mark Reuss to Reuters. “So we really have to hit the ball here. It’s my job to make sure we do.” Cadillac previewed their first EV on Sunday night during the press preview of the XT6 crossover. No name was given, but the model appears to be a small or midsize crossover. It will be the first vehicle to use GM's dedicated BEV3 platform that has been designed to underpin various types of vehicles and drivetrain layouts. When asked how long it would take for Cadillac to transition to an all-electric lineup, Reuss said it is too early to tell. He expects a combination of electrified and combustion engine models “for quite a few years” in the lineup. Reuss did not elaborate what would happen if the transition to electric faltered. “All I’m focused on is what we’re doing right now…” Reuss said, “and getting momentum back in Cadillac.” Source: Reuters
  19. Christian Meunier, who became the president of Infiniti last week, was very blunt about the QX30 crossover. "(The QX30 is) not a very successful product. We’ll keep selling it for now...but this is not a product that has a future beyond its current life," he said to Motor Authority this week at the Detroit Auto Show. The QX30/Q30 is a result of a partnership between Nissan and Daimler that began back in 2010, with the promise of sharing powertrains and working on various projects. The QX30 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class was the first product to come out of this alliance back in 2017. But as we have reported, the partnership seems to be faltering. Last July, a report came out that the joint development of a luxury compact car project was halted between the two. That doesn't mean Infiniti is pulling the completely on the QX30. Meunier revealed that a next-generation model is in the cards that will use an "all-Infiniti platform". He also hinted that the next-generation may have variable-compression engine technology - first used in the QX50 crossover. Source: Motor Authority View full article
  20. Christian Meunier, who became the president of Infiniti last week, was very blunt about the QX30 crossover. "(The QX30 is) not a very successful product. We’ll keep selling it for now...but this is not a product that has a future beyond its current life," he said to Motor Authority this week at the Detroit Auto Show. The QX30/Q30 is a result of a partnership between Nissan and Daimler that began back in 2010, with the promise of sharing powertrains and working on various projects. The QX30 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class was the first product to come out of this alliance back in 2017. But as we have reported, the partnership seems to be faltering. Last July, a report came out that the joint development of a luxury compact car project was halted between the two. That doesn't mean Infiniti is pulling the completely on the QX30. Meunier revealed that a next-generation model is in the cards that will use an "all-Infiniti platform". He also hinted that the next-generation may have variable-compression engine technology - first used in the QX50 crossover. Source: Motor Authority
  21. The recently announced alliance between Ford and Volkswagen will not bring any benefits to North America at the beginning. Both companies said that the partnership will focus on Africa, Europe, and South America beginning with commercial vans and the next-generation Ranger/Amarok pickup. Down the road, both Ford and Volkswagen said there could be a potential product for the U.S. While Ford is keeping quiet on what that product could be, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said that a commercial vehicle being jointly developed by the two could come over. "Some of those, yes, but it's not yet decided which vehicle comes to America," said Diess. Volkswagen's commercial vehicle lineup is extensive with vans ranging in size from the compact Caddy (Transit Connect-sized) to the large Crafter (about Transit-sized). We would guess something like the Caddy and possibly the Transporter coming to the U.S. in the next few years. Of course, there is talk about a pickup truck - something dealers have been asking for some time. While there is a very slim chance of the Amarok coming, the Atlas Tanoak concept shown at New York last year seems to have a better chance. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2 View full article
  22. The recently announced alliance between Ford and Volkswagen will not bring any benefits to North America at the beginning. Both companies said that the partnership will focus on Africa, Europe, and South America beginning with commercial vans and the next-generation Ranger/Amarok pickup. Down the road, both Ford and Volkswagen said there could be a potential product for the U.S. While Ford is keeping quiet on what that product could be, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said that a commercial vehicle being jointly developed by the two could come over. "Some of those, yes, but it's not yet decided which vehicle comes to America," said Diess. Volkswagen's commercial vehicle lineup is extensive with vans ranging in size from the compact Caddy (Transit Connect-sized) to the large Crafter (about Transit-sized). We would guess something like the Caddy and possibly the Transporter coming to the U.S. in the next few years. Of course, there is talk about a pickup truck - something dealers have been asking for some time. While there is a very slim chance of the Amarok coming, the Atlas Tanoak concept shown at New York last year seems to have a better chance. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), 2
  23. This morning in Europe, Ford announced a broad restructuring plan for its European unit that will include job cuts and the possibility of closing down plants. This is part of the automaker's global restructuring plan Ford has been struggling to make a profit in Europe for some time - losing close to a billion dollars in the last five years. “Ford of Europe has never really been sustainably profitable,” said Steve Armstrong, group vice president and president of Ford Europe, Middle East and Africa. “As we look to the future of the business globally, (CEO) Jim Hackett and (CFO) Bob Shanks have been very clear: We can only afford to allocate capital to places where we can get a return on that invested capital.” Here is what Ford is planning to do with their European operations, Introduce a number of measures to cut costs in key areas such as purchasing and engineering Cut a number of jobs throughout the region Bloomberg is reporting that thousands could be cut. Armstrong declined to give a number of cuts. Also in the cards is possible plant closures. Review its operations in Russia Grow their lineup of crossovers and SUVs in the region, along with bringing more niche models like the Mustang Double-down on their commercial vehicle lineup Offer electrified powertrains on all models Leverage relationships, "including a potential alliance with Volkswagen AG, to support commercial vehicle growth." “We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers,” said Armstrong. Source: Ford, Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg, Detroit Free Press Ford To Strengthen European Competitive Position And Profitability; Sets Vision For The Future New strategy targets near-term profitability and a more competitive business for the future Near-term actions underway to improve profitability and reduce structural costs, with parallel redesign to include a more targeted vehicle line up within three customer-focused business groups – Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Vehicles and Imports New all-electric vehicles and electrified options to be offered for all models Leveraging relationships, including a potential alliance with Volkswagen AG, to support commercial vehicle growth Ford to improve or exit less profitable vehicle lines and address underperforming markets; also undertaking a strategic review of Ford Sollers, the company’s joint venture in Russia COLOGNE, Germany, Jan. 10, 2019 – Ford is starting consultations with its union partners and other key stakeholders to implement a comprehensive transformation strategy aimed at strengthening the Ford brand and creating a sustainably profitable business in Europe. The strategy – which is part of the company’s broader global vision of providing smart vehicles for a smart world – will offer differentiated vehicles designed to create a deeper connection with Ford customers. Near term, Ford is accelerating key fitness actions and reducing structural costs. In parallel, the fundamental redesign will include changes to Ford’s vehicle portfolio, expanding offerings and volumes in its most profitable growth vehicle segments, while improving or exiting less profitable vehicle lines and addressing underperforming markets. “We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe,” said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers.” Ford is entering into formal consultation with its Works Council and trade union partners, and is committed to working together with all key stakeholders to enable the new strategy. Near-term profitability and cost improvements – reset for 2019 and 2020 To improve near-term financial performance, Ford will drive improvement in profitability across its product portfolio. This improvement will be driven by reducing the complexity of existing Ford products, optimizing the most profitable vehicle configurations, and increasing volumes of profitable vehicle lines. Structural cost improvements will be supported by reduction of surplus labor across all functions – salaried and hourly. An improvement in management structure, announced in December, already is underway through Ford’s redesign of its global salaried workforce, that will improve the agility of the organization. Ford aims to achieve the labor cost reductions, as far as possible, through voluntary employee separations in Europe and will be working closely with social partners and other stakeholders to achieve this objective. Future business redesign Ford is establishing three customer-focused business groups in Europe – Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Vehicles, and Imports – each with clearly defined aspirations and dedicated organizations. The new operating model will better enable the businesses to make fast decisions centered on customer needs. Ford of Europe is targeting a 6 percent EBIT margin longer term, with returns in excess of the cost of capital for each business group. Commercial Vehicles: Ford will continue to enhance its commercial vehicle leadership in Europe with a tightly integrated offering of smart vehicles, services and partnerships that deliver lifetime value for commercial customers. Already highly profitable, Ford is Europe’s No. 1 commercial vehicle brand in terms of sales volume, and more than one in four Ford vehicles sold today in Europe is a commercial vehicle. In line with Ford’s global fitness approach to build, partner or buy, Ford of Europe will leverage relationships – such as the successful Ford Otosan joint venture and the potential alliance with Volkswagen AG – to support its commercial vehicle growth. Passenger Vehicles: Ford will establish a more targeted portfolio of European-built passenger vehicles focused on the quality, technology-rich and fun-to-drive DNA of the Ford brand, with the goal of building emotional connections with customers through sporty and progressive designs. Every Ford nameplate from the all-new Ford Focus onwards will include an electrified option. This includes new nameplates and new versions of existing vehicles. From Fiesta to Transit, either a mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full battery electric option will be offered, delivering one of the most encompassing line-ups of electrified options for European customers. Ford also will build on its success in the growing utility segment in Europe. Ford SUV sales – comprising EcoSport, Kuga and Edge – hit a record high in 2018, surpassing a quarter million vehicles sold for the first time. Imported Vehicles: A niche portfolio of imported iconic nameplates for Europe that builds on the heritage of the Ford brand will include Mustang, Edge, and another SUV to be revealed in April, along with an all-new Mustang-inspired full-electric performance utility in 2020. Additional efficiency actions Ford’s new strategy will result in a more efficient and focused business. Key actions already underway include: Production at the Ford Aquitaine Industries plant in Bordeaux, France, which manufactures small automatic transmissions, will end in August 2019. Formal discussions have begun between Ford and its Works Council to end production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX at the Saarlouis Body and Assembly Plant in Germany as the compact MPV segment shrinks in Europe. Ford is undertaking a strategic review of Ford Sollers, its joint venture in Russia. Several significant restructuring options for Ford Sollers are being considered by Ford and its partner, Sollers PJSC. A decision is expected in the second quarter. Ford plans to consolidate its UK headquarters and Ford Credit Europe’s headquarters at the Ford Dunton Technical Center in South East Essex to improve business fitness and create a customer-centric technical hub. The action is subject to union consultation and local approvals. “Working collectively with all stakeholders, our new strategy will enable us to deliver a more focused line up of European-built passenger vehicles, while growing our import and commercial vehicle businesses – for a healthier and more profitable business,” added Armstrong. Ford will provide specific details of its strategy in the coming months, once appropriate formal consultation with its Works Council and trade union partners has concluded. View full article
  24. This morning in Europe, Ford announced a broad restructuring plan for its European unit that will include job cuts and the possibility of closing down plants. This is part of the automaker's global restructuring plan Ford has been struggling to make a profit in Europe for some time - losing close to a billion dollars in the last five years. “Ford of Europe has never really been sustainably profitable,” said Steve Armstrong, group vice president and president of Ford Europe, Middle East and Africa. “As we look to the future of the business globally, (CEO) Jim Hackett and (CFO) Bob Shanks have been very clear: We can only afford to allocate capital to places where we can get a return on that invested capital.” Here is what Ford is planning to do with their European operations, Introduce a number of measures to cut costs in key areas such as purchasing and engineering Cut a number of jobs throughout the region Bloomberg is reporting that thousands could be cut. Armstrong declined to give a number of cuts. Also in the cards is possible plant closures. Review its operations in Russia Grow their lineup of crossovers and SUVs in the region, along with bringing more niche models like the Mustang Double-down on their commercial vehicle lineup Offer electrified powertrains on all models Leverage relationships, "including a potential alliance with Volkswagen AG, to support commercial vehicle growth." “We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers,” said Armstrong. Source: Ford, Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg, Detroit Free Press Ford To Strengthen European Competitive Position And Profitability; Sets Vision For The Future New strategy targets near-term profitability and a more competitive business for the future Near-term actions underway to improve profitability and reduce structural costs, with parallel redesign to include a more targeted vehicle line up within three customer-focused business groups – Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Vehicles and Imports New all-electric vehicles and electrified options to be offered for all models Leveraging relationships, including a potential alliance with Volkswagen AG, to support commercial vehicle growth Ford to improve or exit less profitable vehicle lines and address underperforming markets; also undertaking a strategic review of Ford Sollers, the company’s joint venture in Russia COLOGNE, Germany, Jan. 10, 2019 – Ford is starting consultations with its union partners and other key stakeholders to implement a comprehensive transformation strategy aimed at strengthening the Ford brand and creating a sustainably profitable business in Europe. The strategy – which is part of the company’s broader global vision of providing smart vehicles for a smart world – will offer differentiated vehicles designed to create a deeper connection with Ford customers. Near term, Ford is accelerating key fitness actions and reducing structural costs. In parallel, the fundamental redesign will include changes to Ford’s vehicle portfolio, expanding offerings and volumes in its most profitable growth vehicle segments, while improving or exiting less profitable vehicle lines and addressing underperforming markets. “We are taking decisive action to transform the Ford business in Europe,” said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We will invest in the vehicles, services, segments and markets that best support a long-term sustainably profitable business, creating value for all our stakeholders and delivering emotive vehicles to our customers.” Ford is entering into formal consultation with its Works Council and trade union partners, and is committed to working together with all key stakeholders to enable the new strategy. Near-term profitability and cost improvements – reset for 2019 and 2020 To improve near-term financial performance, Ford will drive improvement in profitability across its product portfolio. This improvement will be driven by reducing the complexity of existing Ford products, optimizing the most profitable vehicle configurations, and increasing volumes of profitable vehicle lines. Structural cost improvements will be supported by reduction of surplus labor across all functions – salaried and hourly. An improvement in management structure, announced in December, already is underway through Ford’s redesign of its global salaried workforce, that will improve the agility of the organization. Ford aims to achieve the labor cost reductions, as far as possible, through voluntary employee separations in Europe and will be working closely with social partners and other stakeholders to achieve this objective. Future business redesign Ford is establishing three customer-focused business groups in Europe – Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Vehicles, and Imports – each with clearly defined aspirations and dedicated organizations. The new operating model will better enable the businesses to make fast decisions centered on customer needs. Ford of Europe is targeting a 6 percent EBIT margin longer term, with returns in excess of the cost of capital for each business group. Commercial Vehicles: Ford will continue to enhance its commercial vehicle leadership in Europe with a tightly integrated offering of smart vehicles, services and partnerships that deliver lifetime value for commercial customers. Already highly profitable, Ford is Europe’s No. 1 commercial vehicle brand in terms of sales volume, and more than one in four Ford vehicles sold today in Europe is a commercial vehicle. In line with Ford’s global fitness approach to build, partner or buy, Ford of Europe will leverage relationships – such as the successful Ford Otosan joint venture and the potential alliance with Volkswagen AG – to support its commercial vehicle growth. Passenger Vehicles: Ford will establish a more targeted portfolio of European-built passenger vehicles focused on the quality, technology-rich and fun-to-drive DNA of the Ford brand, with the goal of building emotional connections with customers through sporty and progressive designs. Every Ford nameplate from the all-new Ford Focus onwards will include an electrified option. This includes new nameplates and new versions of existing vehicles. From Fiesta to Transit, either a mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full battery electric option will be offered, delivering one of the most encompassing line-ups of electrified options for European customers. Ford also will build on its success in the growing utility segment in Europe. Ford SUV sales – comprising EcoSport, Kuga and Edge – hit a record high in 2018, surpassing a quarter million vehicles sold for the first time. Imported Vehicles: A niche portfolio of imported iconic nameplates for Europe that builds on the heritage of the Ford brand will include Mustang, Edge, and another SUV to be revealed in April, along with an all-new Mustang-inspired full-electric performance utility in 2020. Additional efficiency actions Ford’s new strategy will result in a more efficient and focused business. Key actions already underway include: Production at the Ford Aquitaine Industries plant in Bordeaux, France, which manufactures small automatic transmissions, will end in August 2019. Formal discussions have begun between Ford and its Works Council to end production of the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX at the Saarlouis Body and Assembly Plant in Germany as the compact MPV segment shrinks in Europe. Ford is undertaking a strategic review of Ford Sollers, its joint venture in Russia. Several significant restructuring options for Ford Sollers are being considered by Ford and its partner, Sollers PJSC. A decision is expected in the second quarter. Ford plans to consolidate its UK headquarters and Ford Credit Europe’s headquarters at the Ford Dunton Technical Center in South East Essex to improve business fitness and create a customer-centric technical hub. The action is subject to union consultation and local approvals. “Working collectively with all stakeholders, our new strategy will enable us to deliver a more focused line up of European-built passenger vehicles, while growing our import and commercial vehicle businesses – for a healthier and more profitable business,” added Armstrong. Ford will provide specific details of its strategy in the coming months, once appropriate formal consultation with its Works Council and trade union partners has concluded.
  25. Off-Road.com has obtained a product timeline that reveals Ford's launches for the upcoming year and the big news is that a new F-150 appears to be around the corner. The timeline reveals that the next-generation Ford Explorer will be launched first, most likely at Detroit. We have reported that the new model would be using a new modular rear-wheel drive platform. Next up is the new F-150. We don't know what Ford has in store aside from a hybrid powertrain. But considering both General Motors and Ram introducing redesigned trucks this year, we're expecting Ford to fight back hard. Last, but not least is the Bronco. Off-Road speculates this model will appear in 2020 as a 2021 model year vehicle. Source: Off-Road.com

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