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  1. https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2018/10/16/ford-volkswagen-partnership/1655475002/ Seems Ford and VW are talking about cooperation in building auto's that are the cornerstone of each company for each other to expand global sales. Seems Trucks / SUVs from Ford to VW and Cars from VW to Ford. Analysts say there is more than just building auto's for each other that a buy out of one by the other or a merge could take VW from #1 in the world to #1 plus alotta space from #2. Analysts are dumbfounded as to why Ford is not moving forward faster as they all see a big turn down coming in the auto industry. To quote the story: “Ford can screw around with management layer reductions in North America and partnership in the other three regions instead of being acquired, in a desperate attempt to remain independent, but concurrently, the next auto downturn is coming," said Gabrielsen, an Ann Arbor native who is based in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. He travels frequently to Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta to meet with clients, primarily U.S.-based global companies. "It is just a question of how soon. But, at the pace they are moving, the downturn will hit before they are done restructuring," he said. "A VW-Ford combination would be the undisputed largest automaker in the world, leaving the (now) near-tie with Toyota in the dust." To quote the news story above: The Ford-VW numbers are compelling, analysts said again and again. Gabrielsen noted that in 2017: Ford had 13.9 percent of the market share versus 4.5 percent for VW in North America. VW had 10.6 percent of the market share versus 8.9 percent for Ford in South America VW had 10 percent of the market share versus 3.4 percent for Ford in Asia Pacific. VW had 17 percent of the market share versus 7.5 percent for Ford in Europe.
  2. 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) View full article
  3. When Ford introduced the GT, they made it very clear it would be a limited run affair. 500 models would be built over the course of two years. Then the company expanded the amount to 1,000 vehicles that would be built over four years. Now, Ford has expanded the pool of GTs again. An additional 350 GTs will be built, bringing the grand total to 1,350. This also means a longer production run. Previously, Ford was going to wrap up production in 2020, but has pushed it back to 2022. If you were one of the many people who applied for a GT and didn't get one, Ford will be opening the application process one more time beginning on November 8th and have it running for 30 days. Prospective owners will find out if they got the approval early next year. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. Somehow, we doubt many Ford GT owners will have the same view. Source: Ford Ford Increasing GT Production To Make Ownership Dreams A Reality For 350 More Supercar Fans Due to the popularity of Ford GT, Ford is raising the number of supercars it will build to 1,350 – up from 1,000; Ford GT production will run for a total of approximately six years Ford is re-opening the final owner application process for select global markets on Nov. 8; prospective owners can submit their applications at FordGT.com for 30 days Previous applicants need to confirm or modify their original application to be considered in this final application window to own a Ford GT Dearborn, Mich., Oct. 18, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is increasing Ford GT production to 1,350 vehicles after more than 6,500 applicants raced to sign up for the original 1,000 cars allotted in 2016 – even before the car recaptured LeMans glory later that year. “The response to our Ford GT has been unprecedented, with initial demand outstripping supply by more than six-to-one,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers.” Ford is re-opening the application window to customers hoping to join the exclusive group of Ford GT owners starting Nov. 8 for select global markets. Prospective owners will be able to submit their applications for 30 days at FordGT.com. Successful applicants will work with the Ford GT Concierge Service for a personalized purchase experience of cars produced in the 2020 to 2022 calendar years. Production of the Ford GT – powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and featuring a carbon fiber architecture, active aerodynamics and 216 mph top speed – began in December 2016. View full article
  4. William Maley

    Ford Expands Production of the GT (Again)

    When Ford introduced the GT, they made it very clear it would be a limited run affair. 500 models would be built over the course of two years. Then the company expanded the amount to 1,000 vehicles that would be built over four years. Now, Ford has expanded the pool of GTs again. An additional 350 GTs will be built, bringing the grand total to 1,350. This also means a longer production run. Previously, Ford was going to wrap up production in 2020, but has pushed it back to 2022. If you were one of the many people who applied for a GT and didn't get one, Ford will be opening the application process one more time beginning on November 8th and have it running for 30 days. Prospective owners will find out if they got the approval early next year. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. Somehow, we doubt many Ford GT owners will have the same view. Source: Ford Ford Increasing GT Production To Make Ownership Dreams A Reality For 350 More Supercar Fans Due to the popularity of Ford GT, Ford is raising the number of supercars it will build to 1,350 – up from 1,000; Ford GT production will run for a total of approximately six years Ford is re-opening the final owner application process for select global markets on Nov. 8; prospective owners can submit their applications at FordGT.com for 30 days Previous applicants need to confirm or modify their original application to be considered in this final application window to own a Ford GT Dearborn, Mich., Oct. 18, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is increasing Ford GT production to 1,350 vehicles after more than 6,500 applicants raced to sign up for the original 1,000 cars allotted in 2016 – even before the car recaptured LeMans glory later that year. “The response to our Ford GT has been unprecedented, with initial demand outstripping supply by more than six-to-one,” said Hermann Salenbauch, Ford Performance director. “By extending the Ford GT production run for a limited period, we’re able to maintain the exclusivity of the ultra-desirable supercar while offering the ownership experience to a greater number of customers.” Ford is re-opening the application window to customers hoping to join the exclusive group of Ford GT owners starting Nov. 8 for select global markets. Prospective owners will be able to submit their applications for 30 days at FordGT.com. Successful applicants will work with the Ford GT Concierge Service for a personalized purchase experience of cars produced in the 2020 to 2022 calendar years. Production of the Ford GT – powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine and featuring a carbon fiber architecture, active aerodynamics and 216 mph top speed – began in December 2016.
  5. William Maley

    Ford Hopes To Sooth Dealers This Week

    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)
  6. Ford's slow drip of Ranger information continues as the blue oval announced some key details of the 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder. The 2.3L engine isn't as potent as the ones found in the Mustang and Focus RS, but it does provide a healthy 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It does trail the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma's V6 engines in horsepower, but outperforms all in terms of torque. Ford Ranger: 2.3L Turbo-Four - 270 hp, 310 lb-ft Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon: 3.6L V6 - 308 hp, 275 lb-ft Toyota Tacoma: 3.5L V6 - 278 hp, 265 lb-ft Nissan Frontier: 4.0L V6 - 261 hp, 281 lb-ft Ford can also claim best-in-class when it comes to max payload and towing with the Ranger when compared to other V6 competitors. Ford Ranger: 1,860 lbs (Payload), 7,500 lbs (Towing) Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon: 1,556 lbs(Colorado), 1,650 lbs (Canyon) (Payload), 7,000 lbs (Towing) Toyota Tacoma: 1,620 lbs (Payload), 6,800 lbs (Towing) Nissan Frontier: 1,460 lbs (Payload), 6,710 lbs (Towing) Production kicks off later this year. Source: Ford All-New Ford Ranger Is Adventure-Ready With Best-In-Class Payload, Gas Engine Torque And Towing Capability With best-in-class 1,860 pounds of maximum payload, the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger can carry serious gear Ranger’s proven 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine beats the V6 gasoline engines from midsize truck competitors to deliver best-in-class 310 lb.-ft. of torque while towing and climbing trails Best-in-class gasoline engine towing capability of 7,500 pounds with available tow package beats V6-powered competitors to make the all-new Ford Ranger the champ for getting campers to their sites and boats to the slip DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 5, 2018 – It’s almost here. As the 2019 Built Ford Tough Ranger nears production, Ford announces its all-new midsize pickup for North America will deliver best-in-class payload, gas torque and towing capability. “Think of Ranger as the biggest and most capable backpack for your gear,” says Rick Bolt, Ford Ranger chief engineer. “With 1,860 pounds of maximum payload, Ranger can haul nearly a ton of gear to enable your next adventure.” The 2019 Ford Ranger’s standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost® produces 270 horsepower and, more importantly, 310 lb.-ft. of torque – the most engine-turning power of any gas engine in the midsize pickup segment, including V6 engines from competitors. Paired with a class-exclusive 10-speed transmission, Ranger features a unique combination of power and capability that only comes from a truck that’s Built Ford Tough. Anchored by a high-strength steel frame and robust solid rear axle with Hotchkiss suspension, Ranger can conventionally tow more than any gas engine truck in its class – 7,500 pounds when equipped with the tow package and a trailer brake controller. Production begins later this year at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. View full article
  7. According to the press release by Ford Motor Company, on September 27th 2018 Bill Ford Executive Chairman of Ford addressed everyone at the Rouge Plant talking about the rich history, his great-grandfather's vision, the changes from auto production to WWI and WWII production in support of the US. The dream of a living wage for it's workers and the modernization to being one of the greenest manufacturing plants in the world with a living roof, recycling that allows it to recycle enough aluminum to create an additional 400,000 F150 pickup trucks to the most modernized assembly lines that builds an F150 pickup truck that roles off the assembly line every 53 seconds. Bill Ford went onto talk about the dynamic nature of the auto industry and the rapid change that is changing the business from how they design, market and build an auto. He went on to say that we the people of Ford invented it, Rouge perfected it and together we will take it even further into the future. To quote Bill Ford: That’s why I am excited to confirm that the revolutionary 2020 Ford F-150 Hybrid will be built right here. It’s going to be a truck that takes you farther without sacrificing power and a truck that helps you do more when you get there, with electricity for everything from your tools to your camping gear. And then we’ll keep innovating. When it comes to building the best trucks in the world, we never rest. Whether they’re gas, diesel, hybrid – or when the time comes, fully electric – we will ensure they power the world in a sustainable way and remain Built Ford Tough. Whatever future our employees dream up and design, one thing will remain a constant: we’ll build it at the Rouge. He closes that they just finished an incredible 100 years and here is to the next 100 years at Rouge! Ford Media Announcement
  8. Lebanon Ford is at again. Back in 2016, we introduced you to this Ohio dealership that was offering a 727 horsepower Mustang GT for $39,995. They have now upped the ante with a 2019 Mustang GT offering 800 horsepower. According to Motor Authority, this particular Mustang GT is known as the LFP Hellion - the second part of the name refers to the Hellion Power Systems turbocharger upgrade fitted to the engine. It is a twin-turbo setup that features dual bypass valves and a high-flow intercooler. Lebanon Ford makes some other upgrades upgraded fuel injectors and revised engine programming. When all is said and done, the LFP Hellion produces 800 horsepower at the crank. Those wanting even more power can swap the five-pound wastegate spring for a seven-pound spring that increases boost - thus increasing horsepower to 1,000. The price? $39,995. We would recommend setting aside some cash for some other upgrades like the brakes. Source: Motor Authority View full article
  9. Ford's slow drip of Ranger information continues as the blue oval announced some key details of the 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder. The 2.3L engine isn't as potent as the ones found in the Mustang and Focus RS, but it does provide a healthy 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It does trail the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon and Toyota Tacoma's V6 engines in horsepower, but outperforms all in terms of torque. Ford Ranger: 2.3L Turbo-Four - 270 hp, 310 lb-ft Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon: 3.6L V6 - 308 hp, 275 lb-ft Toyota Tacoma: 3.5L V6 - 278 hp, 265 lb-ft Nissan Frontier: 4.0L V6 - 261 hp, 281 lb-ft Ford can also claim best-in-class when it comes to max payload and towing with the Ranger when compared to other V6 competitors. Ford Ranger: 1,860 lbs (Payload), 7,500 lbs (Towing) Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon: 1,556 lbs(Colorado), 1,650 lbs (Canyon) (Payload), 7,000 lbs (Towing) Toyota Tacoma: 1,620 lbs (Payload), 6,800 lbs (Towing) Nissan Frontier: 1,460 lbs (Payload), 6,710 lbs (Towing) Production kicks off later this year. Source: Ford All-New Ford Ranger Is Adventure-Ready With Best-In-Class Payload, Gas Engine Torque And Towing Capability With best-in-class 1,860 pounds of maximum payload, the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger can carry serious gear Ranger’s proven 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine beats the V6 gasoline engines from midsize truck competitors to deliver best-in-class 310 lb.-ft. of torque while towing and climbing trails Best-in-class gasoline engine towing capability of 7,500 pounds with available tow package beats V6-powered competitors to make the all-new Ford Ranger the champ for getting campers to their sites and boats to the slip DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 5, 2018 – It’s almost here. As the 2019 Built Ford Tough Ranger nears production, Ford announces its all-new midsize pickup for North America will deliver best-in-class payload, gas torque and towing capability. “Think of Ranger as the biggest and most capable backpack for your gear,” says Rick Bolt, Ford Ranger chief engineer. “With 1,860 pounds of maximum payload, Ranger can haul nearly a ton of gear to enable your next adventure.” The 2019 Ford Ranger’s standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost® produces 270 horsepower and, more importantly, 310 lb.-ft. of torque – the most engine-turning power of any gas engine in the midsize pickup segment, including V6 engines from competitors. Paired with a class-exclusive 10-speed transmission, Ranger features a unique combination of power and capability that only comes from a truck that’s Built Ford Tough. Anchored by a high-strength steel frame and robust solid rear axle with Hotchkiss suspension, Ranger can conventionally tow more than any gas engine truck in its class – 7,500 pounds when equipped with the tow package and a trailer brake controller. Production begins later this year at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.
  10. Lebanon Ford is at again. Back in 2016, we introduced you to this Ohio dealership that was offering a 727 horsepower Mustang GT for $39,995. They have now upped the ante with a 2019 Mustang GT offering 800 horsepower. According to Motor Authority, this particular Mustang GT is known as the LFP Hellion - the second part of the name refers to the Hellion Power Systems turbocharger upgrade fitted to the engine. It is a twin-turbo setup that features dual bypass valves and a high-flow intercooler. Lebanon Ford makes some other upgrades upgraded fuel injectors and revised engine programming. When all is said and done, the LFP Hellion produces 800 horsepower at the crank. Those wanting even more power can swap the five-pound wastegate spring for a seven-pound spring that increases boost - thus increasing horsepower to 1,000. The price? $39,995. We would recommend setting aside some cash for some other upgrades like the brakes. Source: Motor Authority
  11. Yesterday, Ford released the first teaser shot of their upcoming electric crossover with a Mustang-inspired design. The picture shows a dark silhouette of the vehicle with the iconic three-bar taillights of the Mustang. It appears that the roofline is sharply raked, something akin to a BMW X4/X6. Ford is promising a 300 mile range when the model is introduced in 2020. As we reported last month, the crossover will not be wearing the Mach 1 nameplate. One interesting tidbit about the upcoming electric crossover. Forbes reports that the original version of the electric crossover was scrapped after CEO Jim Hackett thought it looked to generic. The Mustang-inspired design took about six weeks to finish. Source: Ford, Forbes View full article
  12. William Maley

    Ford Drops Mustang-Inspired EV Crossover Teaser

    Yesterday, Ford released the first teaser shot of their upcoming electric crossover with a Mustang-inspired design. The picture shows a dark silhouette of the vehicle with the iconic three-bar taillights of the Mustang. It appears that the roofline is sharply raked, something akin to a BMW X4/X6. Ford is promising a 300 mile range when the model is introduced in 2020. As we reported last month, the crossover will not be wearing the Mach 1 nameplate. One interesting tidbit about the upcoming electric crossover. Forbes reports that the original version of the electric crossover was scrapped after CEO Jim Hackett thought it looked to generic. The Mustang-inspired design took about six weeks to finish. Source: Ford, Forbes
  13. With Ford planning on dropping most of its cars except for one, the automaker is making changes to its advertising strategy, Automotive News is reporting that Ford has ended nationwide marking for the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus. The company is also dialing back spending in certain regions. Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service tells AN that the money will be used on the Mustang, EcoSport, and new models coming in the pipeline. "It allows us to focus our resources. If we can take that money from sedans, where we have a middle-of-the-road position, to be the leading brand in SUVs, that'd be a really good position," said LaNeve. According to executives, deciding to end sales of most their car lineup was the right move, sighting August sales numbers as an example. Sales of Ford cars dropped 21 percent last month. Meanwhile, pickup and van sales rose 5.9 percent, and utilities increased 20 percent. Ford has already stopped production of the North American Focus, and will end Fiesta and Taurus production by the middle of next year. The Fusion will have a slow death as executives say the model will stick around for a couple more years. The lack of national ads will likely hurt sales, LaNeve said the company would support dealers by offering various incentives on the model. "Obviously, we can't let the dealers just sit on the inventory. We'll keep them competitive on incentives, but we're certainly not spending money there in a way where we'd be driving the market. We're accepting the share we've got." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  14. Before the start of this year's Detroit Auto Show, Ford held a press conference revealing new models such as the new Bullitt Mustang and Ranger. But they also teased a new electric crossover wearing an iconic name - Mach 1. The only details provided by Ford is that it would provide a range of 300 miles and launch in 2020. A new report from Autocar has some possible new details on the vehicle. The Mach 1 crossover currently has the codename of CX430 and will likely have some design cues inspired by the Mustang. Underpinning the model will be Ford's C2 platform. Currently, this platform is being used for the next-generation Focus and Escape crossover. The Mach 1 is part of Ford's plan to launch 16 electric vehicles by 2022. Source: Autocar View full article
  15. With Ford planning on dropping most of its cars except for one, the automaker is making changes to its advertising strategy, Automotive News is reporting that Ford has ended nationwide marking for the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus. The company is also dialing back spending in certain regions. Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president of U.S. marketing, sales, and service tells AN that the money will be used on the Mustang, EcoSport, and new models coming in the pipeline. "It allows us to focus our resources. If we can take that money from sedans, where we have a middle-of-the-road position, to be the leading brand in SUVs, that'd be a really good position," said LaNeve. According to executives, deciding to end sales of most their car lineup was the right move, sighting August sales numbers as an example. Sales of Ford cars dropped 21 percent last month. Meanwhile, pickup and van sales rose 5.9 percent, and utilities increased 20 percent. Ford has already stopped production of the North American Focus, and will end Fiesta and Taurus production by the middle of next year. The Fusion will have a slow death as executives say the model will stick around for a couple more years. The lack of national ads will likely hurt sales, LaNeve said the company would support dealers by offering various incentives on the model. "Obviously, we can't let the dealers just sit on the inventory. We'll keep them competitive on incentives, but we're certainly not spending money there in a way where we'd be driving the market. We're accepting the share we've got." Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  16. Ford had planned on selling two cars by 2019 in the U.S. - the Mustang and Focus Active. The latter took elements of a crossover with a higher ride height, body cladding, and new bumpers, and put them onto a Focus hatchback. But plans to bring this model to the U.S. have been canned. Ford announced today that it has canceled the Focus Active as tariffs on Chinese-made goods would eat into profits. The company announced last year that it would import the next-generation Focus from China. "Given the negative financial impact of the new tariffs, we've decided not to import this vehicle from China. The significant thing that moved was the tariffs going up substantially higher. We're choosing to deploy resources elsewhere," said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of North America. Unlike General Motors which had applied for an exemption on the Chinese-built Buick Envision, Ford did not apply for one as it would have not worked out due to production timing and a small number of sales - the company projected to sell fewer than 50,000 Focus Actives in the U.S. Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research tells The Detroit News that this could be the first of many announcements. The combination of Chinese tariffs, along with the threat of a 25 percent tariff on imported cars and parts may push a lot of products out of the U.S. “Many models will be withdrawn from the U.S. market, and many won’t be built in the U.S. at all. There are a whole lot of implications for the automotive industry and for consumers in terms of choice and prices,” she explained. The decision also puts Ford in a tough spot. The Focus Active was going to be one of the models that would fill in the space left by sedans that are going to be cut. "It didn't make sense for us to continue to invest in this program. We're looking at the entire landscape, and we're thinking through what other products we can offer customers," said Galhotra. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News View full article
  17. Ford had planned on selling two cars by 2019 in the U.S. - the Mustang and Focus Active. The latter took elements of a crossover with a higher ride height, body cladding, and new bumpers, and put them onto a Focus hatchback. But plans to bring this model to the U.S. have been canned. Ford announced today that it has canceled the Focus Active as tariffs on Chinese-made goods would eat into profits. The company announced last year that it would import the next-generation Focus from China. "Given the negative financial impact of the new tariffs, we've decided not to import this vehicle from China. The significant thing that moved was the tariffs going up substantially higher. We're choosing to deploy resources elsewhere," said Kumar Galhotra, Ford president of North America. Unlike General Motors which had applied for an exemption on the Chinese-built Buick Envision, Ford did not apply for one as it would have not worked out due to production timing and a small number of sales - the company projected to sell fewer than 50,000 Focus Actives in the U.S. Kristin Dziczek, vice president of the Center for Automotive Research tells The Detroit News that this could be the first of many announcements. The combination of Chinese tariffs, along with the threat of a 25 percent tariff on imported cars and parts may push a lot of products out of the U.S. “Many models will be withdrawn from the U.S. market, and many won’t be built in the U.S. at all. There are a whole lot of implications for the automotive industry and for consumers in terms of choice and prices,” she explained. The decision also puts Ford in a tough spot. The Focus Active was going to be one of the models that would fill in the space left by sedans that are going to be cut. "It didn't make sense for us to continue to invest in this program. We're looking at the entire landscape, and we're thinking through what other products we can offer customers," said Galhotra. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), The Detroit News
  18. Yesterday, Moody's Investment Services dropped some bad news on Ford as they have downgraded their credit rating to Baa3 - one rung above speculative grade. Analysis by the investment service said the downgrade "reflects the erosion in the company's global business position and the challenges it will face implementing its Fitness Redesign program." The erosion that Moody's is referring to includes, Profit margins in North America beginning to soften due to higher costs Continuing losses in Europe and concerns of it getting worse due to Brexit Strains in the Chinese and South American markets Moody's said that downgrading Ford's credit rating further isn't out of the question. "The ratings could be downgraded absent clear progress in pursuing the fitness initiatives by early to mid-2019, with evidence the company is on a strong trajectory for recovery." Downgrading Ford's credit rating will make it harder for the automaker to get money from investors. “There are many investors who currently purchase Ford’s debt that would be unable to do so. That means many investors would have to sell their bonds. It means that there are investors that Ford can currently go to to get money and might not be able to do that in the future,” explained Bruce Clark, senior vice president at Moody’s to the Detroit Free Press. In a statment, Ford spokesman Bradley Carroll said the company has been delivering solid financial results "year after year" and believes the market will come around to see their progress. “Since coming through the Great Recession, Ford Motor Company has delivered year after year of solid financial results and operating cash flows. The company has a strong balance sheet, which provides financial flexibility. We know we can capitalize on our strengths, bolster underperforming products and regions and disposition where we cannot make an appropriate return. We’re confident that as we do, the market will recognize our progress,” said Carroll. Ford's Fitness Redesign program will see the company assessing their portfolio "with the goal of restructuring, contracting or exiting businesses that will not be able to generate adequate returns. Restructuring initiatives could entail $11 billion in charges with $7 billion in related cash expenditures over the next three to five years," Moody's wrote. We've already seen some of this as Ford announced they would be dropping most of their carline up to focus on trucks and utility vehicles back in April. "The company's decision to wind down its car business in North America, which we viewed as credit positive, reflects its willingness to make aggressively disciplined capital allocation decisions," said Moody's. But there is one major concern Moody's says in their report Ford still needs to address. Ford hasn't been fully clear with proving more details about the program. "At the same time, I think Ford needs to be even more transparent. Where’s their five-year plan? Fiat Chrysler has done an amazing job communicating their plan. General Motors has done a good job communicating their strategy. I can’t say I have that same clear vision from Ford,” said Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. "The alarm bells should have been going off awhile in Dearborn. Had Ford really had a bullish outlook with China, they might have kept Aston Martin, Volvo or Jaguar Land Rover" — brands it sold, said Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for AutoPacific Inc. "Ford is trying to add more crossovers, but they are late to market by years. FCA and others got in while the market was hot. I think the opinion from many on Wall Street is that Ford is a one-trick pony and that pony's name is F-Series." Source: Detroit Free Press View full article
  19. William Maley

    Moody's Downgrades Ford's Credit Rating

    Yesterday, Moody's Investment Services dropped some bad news on Ford as they have downgraded their credit rating to Baa3 - one rung above speculative grade. Analysis by the investment service said the downgrade "reflects the erosion in the company's global business position and the challenges it will face implementing its Fitness Redesign program." The erosion that Moody's is referring to includes, Profit margins in North America beginning to soften due to higher costs Continuing losses in Europe and concerns of it getting worse due to Brexit Strains in the Chinese and South American markets Moody's said that downgrading Ford's credit rating further isn't out of the question. "The ratings could be downgraded absent clear progress in pursuing the fitness initiatives by early to mid-2019, with evidence the company is on a strong trajectory for recovery." Downgrading Ford's credit rating will make it harder for the automaker to get money from investors. “There are many investors who currently purchase Ford’s debt that would be unable to do so. That means many investors would have to sell their bonds. It means that there are investors that Ford can currently go to to get money and might not be able to do that in the future,” explained Bruce Clark, senior vice president at Moody’s to the Detroit Free Press. In a statment, Ford spokesman Bradley Carroll said the company has been delivering solid financial results "year after year" and believes the market will come around to see their progress. “Since coming through the Great Recession, Ford Motor Company has delivered year after year of solid financial results and operating cash flows. The company has a strong balance sheet, which provides financial flexibility. We know we can capitalize on our strengths, bolster underperforming products and regions and disposition where we cannot make an appropriate return. We’re confident that as we do, the market will recognize our progress,” said Carroll. Ford's Fitness Redesign program will see the company assessing their portfolio "with the goal of restructuring, contracting or exiting businesses that will not be able to generate adequate returns. Restructuring initiatives could entail $11 billion in charges with $7 billion in related cash expenditures over the next three to five years," Moody's wrote. We've already seen some of this as Ford announced they would be dropping most of their carline up to focus on trucks and utility vehicles back in April. "The company's decision to wind down its car business in North America, which we viewed as credit positive, reflects its willingness to make aggressively disciplined capital allocation decisions," said Moody's. But there is one major concern Moody's says in their report Ford still needs to address. Ford hasn't been fully clear with proving more details about the program. "At the same time, I think Ford needs to be even more transparent. Where’s their five-year plan? Fiat Chrysler has done an amazing job communicating their plan. General Motors has done a good job communicating their strategy. I can’t say I have that same clear vision from Ford,” said Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book. "The alarm bells should have been going off awhile in Dearborn. Had Ford really had a bullish outlook with China, they might have kept Aston Martin, Volvo or Jaguar Land Rover" — brands it sold, said Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for AutoPacific Inc. "Ford is trying to add more crossovers, but they are late to market by years. FCA and others got in while the market was hot. I think the opinion from many on Wall Street is that Ford is a one-trick pony and that pony's name is F-Series." Source: Detroit Free Press
  20. The Ford Mustang will being playing a vital role in the company's future. Compared to its other products, the Mustang has "bold, emotional designs that elicit passion among its customers." According to Automotive News, Ford is hoping to expand this idea to their upcoming lineup that will be mostly comprised of trucks and utility vehicles. "Mustang has a soul. It's a balance of performance and design. If you can capitalize on the cachet and let that rub off on the rest of the portfolio, it's a good thing," said Darrell Behmer, chief designer for the Mustang. A prime example is the upcoming Mach 1 EV crossover announced back in January. The model is expected to borrow a number of cues from the Mustang in the exterior design, and will possibly use the C2 platform - what underpins the next-generation Focus. What will not be appearing is the Mach 1 name for this new model. "We put that out there to evaluate it. There are pros and cons. I don't want to handicap it at this point, but we got a very strong reaction from people," Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets. 'Strong' is a nice way to describe the overall reaction as most people hated the possible name. Next-Generation Mustang Plans Automotive News also reports that the next-generation Mustang has been pushed back by a year - reportedly done by CEO Jim Hackett. The new model is expected to arrive in 2021 and move to one of the five new modular platforms announced by Ford. Automotive News expects it to be the RWD/AWD unibody that is expected to underpin the next-generation Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. Members of the Mustang team were mum on details for the next-generation model (not surprising), but did reveal that moving to a modular architecture wouldn't "hurt their design creativity." "Mustang is still going to be a strong, well proportioned vehicle. The modular architectures will still give us flexibility; it's not going to bastardize Mustang," said Behmer. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  21. The Ford Mustang will being playing a vital role in the company's future. Compared to its other products, the Mustang has "bold, emotional designs that elicit passion among its customers." According to Automotive News, Ford is hoping to expand this idea to their upcoming lineup that will be mostly comprised of trucks and utility vehicles. "Mustang has a soul. It's a balance of performance and design. If you can capitalize on the cachet and let that rub off on the rest of the portfolio, it's a good thing," said Darrell Behmer, chief designer for the Mustang. A prime example is the upcoming Mach 1 EV crossover announced back in January. The model is expected to borrow a number of cues from the Mustang in the exterior design, and will possibly use the C2 platform - what underpins the next-generation Focus. What will not be appearing is the Mach 1 name for this new model. "We put that out there to evaluate it. There are pros and cons. I don't want to handicap it at this point, but we got a very strong reaction from people," Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets. 'Strong' is a nice way to describe the overall reaction as most people hated the possible name. Next-Generation Mustang Plans Automotive News also reports that the next-generation Mustang has been pushed back by a year - reportedly done by CEO Jim Hackett. The new model is expected to arrive in 2021 and move to one of the five new modular platforms announced by Ford. Automotive News expects it to be the RWD/AWD unibody that is expected to underpin the next-generation Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. Members of the Mustang team were mum on details for the next-generation model (not surprising), but did reveal that moving to a modular architecture wouldn't "hurt their design creativity." "Mustang is still going to be a strong, well proportioned vehicle. The modular architectures will still give us flexibility; it's not going to bastardize Mustang," said Behmer. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  22. Ford isn't being too discrete with the upcoming Police Interceptor Utility as these new set of spy shots reveal. It confirms some of the key details we reported on a couple months back such as the evolutionary design, rear-wheel drive proportions, and a tapered roofline. The picture also brings out some new details such as a new front end with a trapezoidal grille, slightly more squared rear end, and new taillights. We still don't know any concrete details on the hybrid system that will be used on the Police Interceptor Utility aside from it returning a combined figure of 24 mpg. Expect the Police Interceptor Utility and its sister model, the Explorer to debut sometime later this year. Source: Autoblog, Motor1 View full article
  23. Ford has launched the configurator for the 2019 Ranger today and we got our first look at pricing. It will begin at $25,395 for the XL extended-cab model with 2WD - price includes $1,095 destination charge. Pricing for the rest of the lineup is as followed, $27,615 - XL SuperCrew 2WD $29,035 - XLT SuperCab 2WD $29,555 - XL SuperCab 4WD $31,210 - XLT SuperCrew 2WD $31,775 - XL SuperCrew 4WD $33,035 - XLT SuperCab 4WD $33,305 - Lariat SuperCab 2WD $35,210 - XLT SuperCrew 4WD $35,480 - Lariat SuperCrew 2WD $37,305 - Lariat SuperCab 4WD $39,480 - Lariat SuperCrew 4WD There are a number of options on offer such as appearance packages, spray-in bed liner, and 8-inch touchscreen with Sync3. Go crazy on the options, and you can have a Ranger that will cost you over $45,000. All Rangers come with a 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder paired up with a ten-speed automatic. Compared to other models in the class, the Ranger has the highest base price. The Nissan Frontier is the cheapest at $19,965, followed by the Chevrolet Colorado ($21,590), GMC Canyon ($22,095), and Toyota Tacoma ($24,740). It still will be awhile before you can drive a Ranger off the dealer's lot as it will launch early next year. Source: Ford View full article
  24. Ford isn't being too discrete with the upcoming Police Interceptor Utility as these new set of spy shots reveal. It confirms some of the key details we reported on a couple months back such as the evolutionary design, rear-wheel drive proportions, and a tapered roofline. The picture also brings out some new details such as a new front end with a trapezoidal grille, slightly more squared rear end, and new taillights. We still don't know any concrete details on the hybrid system that will be used on the Police Interceptor Utility aside from it returning a combined figure of 24 mpg. Expect the Police Interceptor Utility and its sister model, the Explorer to debut sometime later this year. Source: Autoblog, Motor1
  25. The One Ford plan brought in by former CEO Alan Mulally helped the automaker weather through some very tough times. A key part of this plan was cutting back on the number of architectures used around the world - from 30 to nine. But Ford is planning to go further with reducing them. Last week, Ford's head of product development and purchasing, Hau Thai-Tang revealed the company will be reducing the number of platforms to just five. "This is not saying One Ford was wrong. This is building on the strategy of One Ford and evolving from it," said Thai-Tang at the 2018 J.P. Morgan Auto Conference in New York. The move to five platforms will help save costs: According to Thai-Tang, 70 percent of a vehicle's value can be managed through modular platforms. It will also improve the efficiency of Ford's suppliers. The five platforms are as followed: RWD/AWD Body-on-Frame FWD/AWD Unibody RWD/AWD Unibody Commercial Van Unibody Electric Vehicle Unibody Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article

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