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“Like a Kid in a Candy Store;” Bill Ford Embraces the Culture of Risk

But investors remain wary.

by on Sep.14, 2016

Ford has to decide where to place its bets in a world where this is a "panoply" of options.

When the economy began to melt down in 2008, Ford Motor Co. learned the hard way that the only constant is change. And it’s a lesson Bill Ford, the great-grandson of founder Henry Ford and the carmaker’s current chairman, isn’t about to forget.

It helped to spend 11 years on the board of e-commerce giant eBay, the executive noted during a technology conference at Ford corporate headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan on Tuesday. The event was intended to  show how a company long viewed as a ponderous, Rust Belt relic was, in many ways, moving as fast as the oft-heralded start-ups of Silicon Valley.


“Many of the things we’re doing are far afield from a traditional car company,” Ford stressed. We’re disrupting ourselves. But rather than looking at it as scary, it’s a tremendous business opportunity.”


Ford Sales, Earnings Fall Short for First Quarter

Detroit maker hurt by problems in Europe, slow U.S. rollout of F-150.

by on Apr.28, 2015

Ford CEO Mark Fields remains optimistic about the maker's expectations for all of 2015.

(This story has been updated with additional details on Ford’s Q1 earnings and full-year forecast.)

Hurt by weak sales in Europe, the slow ramp-up of its new F-150 pickup at home, as well as the strong dollars, Ford Motor Co. delivered a weaker-than-expected showing for the first quarter of 2015, earnings off 6.5%, to $924 million.

That worked out to just 23 cents a share, the Detroit maker reported, down from 25 cents a year ago. The consensus estimate on Wall Street was 26 cents per share, according to both Fact Set and Thomson Reuters. Revenues also fell short, at $31.8 billion, down from $33.9 billion a year ago.

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Nonetheless, CEO Mark Fields declared that 2015 will be a “breakthrough year,” adding in a statement that the first quarter, a good start to a year in which our results will grow progressively stronger as the new products we have been launching start to pay off.”


Takata Runs Full-Page Ad Claiming It Will Do More

Supplier declines to join Ford to expand recall nationally.

by on Dec.18, 2014

Ford is the latest automaker to expand its recall of Takata airbags from a regional action to a national one.

Beleaguered auto supplier Takata took out full-page ads in several newspapers today saying more must be done to resolve the problem with its airbags, but a national recall of the faulty devices was not the answer.

And then Ford expanded its recall of the airbags to a national action.

A Real Performer!

The ad, which was an open letter from Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada, was published in The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times and three German papers. In the letter, Takada, who is the grandson of the company’s founder, outlined what the company was doing to try and rectify the situation, such as increasing the number of replacement parts being manufactured from 300,000 a month to 450,000, asking other airbag suppliers to produce parts and tripling the amount of testing it’s conducting on airbags. (more…)

Ford Stock Drilled for Second Straight Day

Lower profit expectations drive drop in share price.

by on Oct.01, 2014

After Ford CEO Mark Fields revealed the maker would miss its 2014 profit target, the stock fell sharply.

After executives told Ford Motor Co. shareholders Monday the company would miss its profit target for 2014 as the growing expense of recall and losses from the company’s operations in Europe and South America, Ford stock fell dramatically throughout the day and it continued falling for a second straight day yesterday.

Ford stock fell by more than 2% or 32 cents per share to close at $14.79 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday after tumbling 7.5% on Monday.

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Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks told analysts and reports that 2014 pretax profit was now expected to be $6 billion to $7 billion, compared with an earlier projection of $7 billion to $8 billion. It attributed the change to recall-related expenses in North America and larger than expected losses in South America and Russia. (more…)

Ford Posts $1.3 Billion Profit in 2Q

Strong North American sales bolsters quarterly results.

by on Jul.24, 2014

Ford reported net income of $1.3 billion for the second quarter this year. Much of that came from strong results in North America.

Ford Motor Co. posted net income of $1.3 billion in the second quarter due in large measure to strong results in North America. Additionally, the company turned a profit in Europe for the first time in three year and Asia Pacific sales remained strong.

However, South America continues to be a drag on the company’s results. Ford Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields said the company had a very good second quarter and the company was looking forward to a series of major launches not only in North America but also in Europe.

News You Can Trust!

“To put in perspective, we are in a growth mode,” Fields said during a conference call with reporters and analysts. (more…)

GM, Ford Vehicle Sales Blazing in China

Makers posted record results for first six months.

by on Jul.08, 2014

With cars like the Focus selling well, Ford set a sales record for the first six months in China this year.

General Motors, Ford and their joint venture partners posted record sales in China for the first half of the 2014, capping off the period with a strong showing in June.

GM’s sales in China in the first six months increased 10.5% from last year’s previous record for the period to 1.73 million units. In June, GM’s sales increased 9.1%. Ford China reported a 35% increase for the first six months of 2014, selling 549,256 vehicles. Ford China’s June sales increased 17%, the automaker reported.

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“GM has experienced growth in demand for our products across China this year, especially at the higher end of our lineup and in the SUV/MPV segment,” said Matt Tsien, GM executive vice president and president of GM China. “We anticipate sales remaining strong through the end of 2014, as more people – particularly outside China’s major cities – become first-time vehicle buyers.” (more…)

Ford Recalling More Vehicles for Rust Problems

Maker bringing in nearly 400,000 Escapes.

by on Apr.07, 2014

Ford is recalling nearly 400,000 2001-2004 Escapes to deal with rust issues.

Ford joined the ranks of automakers battling a persistent issue through a series of recalls as the automaker is recalling more than 434,000 vehicles due to rust issues.

The vehicles are part of two separate actions. Ford recalled 385,750 model-year 2001-2004 Escape SUVs because a subframe could fail because of rust and impact the ability to steer. About 349,000 of those Escapes were sold in the U.S.

Breaking News!

Like General Motors, Toyota and Chrysler, Ford’s been battling an issue it cannot seem to resolve easily, in this case, rust on several of its older model vehicles. (more…)

Ford Gives Mulally a 10-Percent Raise in 2013

Most of company’s top executives also get increases.

by on Mar.28, 2014

Based on his 2013 compensation, Ford CEO Alan Mulally could buy a few 2015 Mustangs.

Ford Motor Co. boosted the compensation of chief executive officer Alan Mulally by approximately 10% in last year to $23,204,534 from the $20,955,806 he earned during 2012, according to the company annual proxy statement, which was filed with Securities Exchange Commission.

Mark Fields, Ford chief operating officer, got a 20% bump in salary to $10.370,578, while executive chairman William Clay Ford Jr., took a pay cut as his salary dropped to $11,955,829 from $14,836,013. The drop was followed a $3.2 million drop in Ford’s deferred compensation, which fell to zero in 2013.

The Last Word!

Robert Shanks, Ford’s chief financial officer, saw his 2013 compensation also dropped by 20% to $4,089,621 as the deferred compensation fell to zero last year from $1.9 million in 2012. (more…)

Last of a Generation: William Clay Ford Passes at 88

Interests ranged from automobiles to the NFL.

by on Mar.10, 2014

William Clay Ford Sr. with the then-new Continental Mark II that is considered his most successful car.

To most of those who knew him, he was simply “Mr. Ford,” the dignified yet surprisingly modest man who had a long and surprisingly varied career that ranged from the automotive design studio to the football field – as well as a wide range of community activities.

William Clay Ford Sr. passed away on Sunday at his Michigan home after suffering from pneumonia, six days before his 89th birthday.  The father of current Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford Jr., he was also the last surviving grandchild of the company’s founder, Henry Ford, and a bridge between two very different generations.

Automotive Insight!

“My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community,” son William Clay Ford Jr., said in a statement. “He also was a wonderful family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.”


William Clay Ford, Ford Director Emeritus, Dies at 88

Owner of Detroit Lions was the last surviving grandchild of Henry Ford.

by on Mar.09, 2014

William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandson of Henry Ford, died today at age 88.

William Clay Ford, the last surviving grandchild of Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford, died this morning. Ford, who was Director Emeritus of the company, was 88 years old.

“My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community,” said William Clay Ford, Jr., executive chairman, Ford Motor Co. “He also was a wonderful family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, yet he will continue to inspire us all.”

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Ford served in a variety of capacities during his 57-year career at the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker. He was named to the company’s board in 1948 and began working at the automaker after graduating from Yale in 1949. (more…)