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GM Expects Improved Second-Half Earnings

Company's positive news runs counter to that of Ford.

by on Sep.22, 2016

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra appears to be on track for another solid year as the company re-affirmed its financial guidance for the 2016.

General Motors Co. re-affirmed its earlier forecast, calling for the company to make up to $6 per share and said it expects to exceed its cost-savings target of $5.5 billion, which will be more than enough to offset increased spending on new technology and ride-sharing.

The optimistic outlook was in sharp contrast from its crosstown rival Ford Motor Co., which reduced its profit forecast for the second half. Ford expects slower sales as well as higher costs for incentives and the launch of new vehicles and other initiatives.

Financial News!

GM also released a new report aimed providing additional insights about the company for the investment community. (more…)

Ford Trounces Trump for Putting Politics Ahead of the Facts

Small car move to Mexico won’t eliminate U.S. jobs, counters Ford CEO.

by on Sep.16, 2016

Ford CEO Mark Fields criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his recent comments about the automaker.

The war of words between Ford Motor Co. and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is heating up, the New York businessman calling it a “disgrace” for Ford to move production of its small cars to Mexico, while the automaker’s CEO is countering that “it’s really unfortunate” that Trump put politics ahead of the facts.

The Republican nominee has been taking shots at Ford for months, ever since it was first revealed that at least some of Ford’s small car production would be moved from a plant in Dearborn, Michigan, to a new operation south of the border. Ford has repeatedly noted that the move was simply going to make room for expanded truck production at a time when SUV, crossover and pickup sales have surged to 60% of the American market at the expense of conventional passenger cars, especially smaller ones.

Auto News!

Trump’s critics have also questioned his decision to focus on Ford while virtually all major automakers, from Japan’s Nissan to Detroit’s General Motors, as well as European marques Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, are also expanding their operations in Mexico. They also note that while Trump has promised to penalize Ford if elected president in November, he has made no comments about returning to the U.S. production of his clothing lines now imported from places like Mexico and various parts of Asia. (more…)

Trump, Ford Motor Co. Tussle Over Move to Mexico

Ford denies claims, saying company is "never going to leave."

by on Sep.15, 2016

Republican nominee Donald Trump suggested Ford Motor Co. would eliminate all of its U.S. manufacturing jobs today.

Ford Motor Co.’s ongoing war of words with Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump continued today after the businessman-turned-politician suggested the automaker was looking to get rid of all of its U.S. manufacturing employees.

Trump who has repeatedly threated to slap a 35% tariff on any Ford products built and shipped from Mexico to the United States for sale, told a Detroit-area television station that the automaker was looking to get out of the U.S.

Product News!

“Basically when they make their car, and they think they’re going to get away with this, and they fire all of their employees in the United States; they move to Mexico,” Trump told Fox News Detroit. (more…)

Ford Moving All Small Car Production to Mexico

Move could expand trade debate during presidential race.

by on Sep.14, 2016

Ford's compact Focus is one of the small passenger car models moving to Mexico.

Ford Motor Co. will transfer all of its small car production from the U.S. to Mexico, a move that follows on earlier plans to shift production of several passenger car models currently produced at a suburban Detroit plant.

The move is likely to raise the ire of union workers, though investors appear to back the decision to trim production costs. The announcement also is likely to play into the ongoing presidential election, Ford already taking heat from GOP nominee Donald Trump for its earlier production decision.

Over the next three years, “We will have migrated all of our small-car production to Mexico and out of the United States,” Ford CEO Mark Fields told automotive analysts during a conference hosted by the carmaker at its headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.

(more…)

Uber Unleashes Driverless Test Fleet in Pittsburgh

Ride-sharing service ready for real-world testing.

by on Sep.14, 2016

Uber unleashed its fleet of autonomous Ford Fusions on the city today, hoping to gain valuable real-world data.

The Steel City is now home to what may be the most technologically advanced ride-sharing fleet in the U.S. courtesy of Uber.

The ride-sharing company began testing a small fleet of autonomous Ford Fusions today, picking up Uber users who opted into a test program. The cars are fully autonomous, although an Uber engineer sits in the driver’s seat to take control if something goes wrong.

News Now!

The competition among ride-sharing companies is heating up. NuTonomy beat Uber to the punch on a worldwide level last month in Singapore when it began picking up passengers in self-driving taxis. The company said Tuesday that its six taxis — with backup drivers — haven’t had any accidents since the service launched. (more…)

“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.

Insight!

“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.”

(more…)

Taking a Ride – Hands Free – in Ford’s Autonomous Fusion

Detroit maker prepping for a driverless future.

by on Sep.13, 2016

Ford's autonomous Fusions are on the roads near the company's product development center near Detroit.

On the sprawling Ford Motor Co. technical center in Dearborn, Michigan, the stuff of science fiction is quickly becoming an everyday reality – something TheDetroitBureau.com got the chance to experience firsthand this week with a drive in the maker’s latest autonomous vehicle prototypes.

The line of bright white Fusion sedans parked just outside the maker’s Product Development Center headquarters might initially go unnoticed, were it not for what, at first glance, looks like four whirling tin cans mounted to the roof of each vehicle. A closer inspection reveals them to be LIDAR devices, a special form of laser able to see the world around the vehicle in detailed 3D. Less obvious are the cameras and radar sensors also mounted on the vehicles.

Tech News!

The reason becomes obvious as software programmer Jakob Hoellenbauer slips into the driver’s seat, starts the sedan and hits a button on the steering wheel. Then, as the Fusion starts to pull away, he drops his arms to his side and joins in on the conversation. If this weren’t one of Ford’s latest autonomous vehicle prototypes, the discussion would likely get tense in a hurry. (more…)

Ford Will Offer Driverless Tech to Consumers by 2025

Fields believes costs will drop as scale increases.

by on Sep.12, 2016

Ford CEO Mark Fields detailed the company's plans for driverless vehicle technology.

Ford Motor Co. hopes to begin selling fully driverless vehicles to consumers by 2025, CEO Mark Fields says, about four years after the automaker begins marketing the technology to ride-sharing and delivery fleets.

Ford recently turned the auto industry’s conventional wisdom on its head by saying it plans to go beyond basic autonomous technology — which would require a trained “operator” ready to take control in the event of an emergency. Instead, Ford wants to take the driver out of the picture entirely.

News Now!

“We believe the next decade will be defined by the development of autonomous vehicles,” CEO Fields said during a conference Ford is sponsoring this week looking at future trends. (more…)

Ford Slashes 3Q Profit Outlook

Latest recall puts $600 million hit on profits.

by on Sep.12, 2016

Ford's recent recall of 2.4 million vehicles for a door-latch issue will cost the automaker $600 million in third-quarter profits.

Ford Motor Co. is the latest manufacturer to feel the financial impact of the industry’s crackdown on safety problems.

Ford has slashed by $600 million its projected pre-tax profits for this year, to $10.2 billion, as a result of an expanded recall covering vehicles whose doors could unexpectedly fly open while moving. The make last week added another 1.5 million vehicles to that recall, bringing the total number of models affected to 2.4 million.

Financial News!

The industry saw safety-related recalls reach record levels for the last two years in a row and appears on pace to near, if not exceed, the record again in 2016. That has hammered the bottom line for dozens of automakers, as well as key suppliers such as Takata. (more…)

Ford Recalls 1.5 Million Vehicles

Ongoing faulty door latch problem causes expansion of earlier action.

by on Sep.08, 2016

The Lincoln MKC is part of the automaker's latest recall for faulty door latches.

Ford announced plans to recall 1.5 million vehicles due to door latch problems that allow the doors to open while the vehicle is moving. The automaker has been dealing with door latch issues for the past 18 months.

Officials said one accident and three injuries have been reported. The effort is an expansion of an earlier recall of about 830,000 vehicles. The earlier effort included certain 2013-15 Ford C-Max and Ford Escape, 2012-15 Ford Focus, 2015 Ford Mustang and Lincoln MKC and 2014-16 Ford Transit Connect models.

A Luxury You Can Afford!

The same vehicles are part of the current action. The company said the latest recall now affects nearly 2.4 million cars in the U.S. and Mexico. Ford said that about 2 million of those vehicles are in the U.S. with another 233,000 in Canada and more than 61,300 more in Mexico. (more…)