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Ford Shares Plunge on Bad News About Recalls, Europe

But maker insists it is “well-positioned for long-term.”

by on Sep.30, 2014

Ford CEO Mark Fields, shown with the 2015 Edge, insists the maker's long-term prospects are solid.

Investors took a dim view after being given an inside look at Ford Motor Co, the maker acknowledging that its European turnaround will be delayed, while it expects to run up big losses in South America, as well – with earnings taking taking another $500 million hit due to recent recalls.

Ford shares closed Monday at $15.11, down about 7.5% on nearly three times the normal volume on the New York Stock Exchange, investors having to balance the maker’s short-term problems against the more upbeat, long-term potential outlined by new Ford CEO mark Fields and his top management team.

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“Our long-term plan underscores the commitment we have to our One Ford plan, while accelerating our pace of progress, delivering product excellence and driving innovation in all areas of our business,” Fields said during a presentation to automotive analysts dubbed Ford 2020. “We remain completely focused on offering customers the freshest lineup of world-class vehicles to meet their needs.”

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Ford “On Track” for European Turnaround

Maker betting on product blitz, cost cuts to be in black by 2015.

by on Jul.09, 2014

Ford's European chief Stephen Odell.

With the European automotive market showing signs of an upturn after its worst slump in a quarter century, Ford Motor Co. is growing increasingly confident in the aggressive turnaround plan it launched during the depths of the downturn.

The maker’s sales have been outpacing the overall industry recovery, and while some automotive analysts believe Ford of Europe might actually break even for 2014 the maker is, for now, sticking with guidance promising to “improve” its financial situation this year, while projecting “profitability” in 2015. Ford lost $1.4 billion in Europe last year.

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The plan is “on track,” said Ford of Europe president Stephen Odell, during a media roundtable on Thursday. “We are very, very pleased with where we are in our European transformation plan.”

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European Market Showing Signs of Life, Ford Plans Big Model Blitz

Maker promises to roll out 25 new vehicles in five-year frenzy.

by on Sep.10, 2013

Ford of Europe Stephen Odell is seeing some light at the end of Europe's long tunnel.

While it’s far too early to predict that the struggling European car market is finally back in gear, there are growing signs that the worst is over, suggests Stephen Odell, the CEO of Ford European operations.  With the maker now confident it will be back in the black by 2015, that’s encouraging Ford to prepare for the inevitable revival with a blitz of new products.

Ford had previously announced plans to roll out 15 all-new or completely redesigned models during a five-year period starting in mid-2012.  But over a dinner prior to the start of the Frankfurt Motor Show, Odell says Ford has upped that to 25 new products during the same timeframe.

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“We are at the bottom,” the executive says. And while he cautions, “There are no major signs of uptick,” he insists, “it does feel like we’re running along the bottom.”

Ordinarily, that might not seem like a very positive assessment, but consider that European sales have been tumbling by at least 500,000 annually in recent years, the numbers from the first part of 2013 dipping to two-decade lows. That forced Ford to take a number of critical steps, including the planned closure of its big assembly plant in Genk, Belgium and two smaller facilities in the U.K.

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