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Ford Recalling 91,000 Vehicles

Fuel pump problems at the center of two of the actions.

by on Aug.24, 2016

Ford recalled 91,000 vehicles, including 2013-2015 Ford Flex models, for fuel pump problems.

Ford issued recalls for about 91,000 vehicles worldwide to replace faulty fuel-pump parts that could potentially cause a car to stall without warning.

The automaker will replace fuel-pump control modules in 88,151 vehicles, including certain of its 2013-15 model year Ford Taurus sedans, Ford Flex crossover utility vehicles, Lincoln MKS sedans, Lincoln MKT SUVs and Ford Police Interceptor sedans.

Your Auto Insider!

In the affected vehicles, the fuel pump control module could fail, which may cause an engine to not start or stall. In some cases, the engine could stall without warning while driving and without the ability to restart, increasing the risk of a crash. (more…)

Ford Extending New GT Production Run

Supercar could stay on market through 2020.

by on Aug.19, 2016

The move could mean perhaps 500 more Ford GTs will be built by 2020.

If you weren’t quick enough to place an order for the new Ford GT supercar, you may get another chance, the maker announced during a news conference ahead of the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Ford has already received more than 6,000 applications from prospective owners, a rare luxury in the car business, especially considering it was expecting to produce just 500 of the GTs for the 2017 and 2018 model-year. But the maker now plans to extend the production run, likely through at least 2020, and will re-open the order bank two years from now.

The Last Word!

“While we can’t build enough Ford GTs for everyone who has applied, we are going to produce additional vehicles in an effort to satisfy more of our most loyal Ford ambassadors,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “We want to keep Ford GT exclusive, but at the same time we know how vital this customer is to our brand.” (more…)

Ford Makes Le Mans Win Available to Virtually Anyone

Automaker debuts VR app for racing and product promotion.

by on Aug.18, 2016

Ford Motor Co. unveiled its new virtual reality app with a piece about the Ford GT's recent win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

There’s nothing like being there, but since most folks couldn’t make it to France to see the Ford GT’s triumphant return to Le Mans, the maker is providing the next best thing: virtually being there though its new VR app.

The automaker unveiled its new app, which can be downloaded by Apple and Android users alike, takes viewers through the company’s win at this year’s 24 Hour of Le Mans. The new app delivers a powerful storytelling platform for consumers and fans to experience Ford innovations like never before.

Subscribe for Free!

“We are very excited about this opportunity to provide truly immersive experiences that showcase the best of Ford Motor Co.,” says Lisa Schoder, Ford digital marketing manager. “Our virtual reality platform allows us to tell dramatic, impactful stories, to show a surprising side of Ford.” (more…)

Ford Planning to Launch 1st Driverless Car by 2021

Initial focus: ride-sharing services like Uber, and delivery companies.

by on Aug.17, 2016

Ford recently began testing autonomous vehicle prototypes on public roads in Silicon Valley.

It has become conventional wisdom within the transportation industry that the introduction of autonomous vehicles will be a step-by-step process, starting with so-called “driver assistance” systems and only eventually reaching the point where cars and trucks will be capable of driving entirely on their own.

Ford Motor Co. says it is heading in a very different direction, however, the Detroit automaker revealing plans to put its first completely driverless vehicle into production by 2021. The model it is working on, global product development chief Raj Nair tells TheDetroitBureau.com, won’t even have a steering wheel or pedals.

We'll Do the Driving!

“We don’t think the path to true autonomy is through a step-by-step, incremental process,” Nair said during a telephone interview. Having a driver sit behind the wheel, waiting to take over in an emergency is actually a dangerous solution, he explained because, over time, “You lose driver awareness. You lose the ability for a human to respond in a timely manner.”

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GM Reportedly Wants to Buy Lyft

Ride service tells automaker to take a hike.

by on Aug.15, 2016

GM CEO Dan Ammann (c), recently took a seat on the Lyft board of directors.

Ride-sharing service Lyft has rejected a takeover bid from General Motors, according to Silicon Valley news site The Information.

The move would have turned the country’s biggest automaker into an even bigger player in the fast-growing field of alternative mobility. GM already holds a 9% stake in Lyft and also owns San Francisco based competitor Sidecar. It has also dipped its toes into the world of car-sharing, as well.

Come Along for the Ride!

Neither GM nor Lyft will comment on the report by The Information and a second Silicon Valley news service. But sources reportedly include a “person briefed on the situation,” and comes a year after Lyft went looking for a possible buyer.

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Ford Lands $6 Mil Federal Fuel Cell Grant

Hydrogen power needs some critical breakthroughs – and soon.

by on Aug.12, 2016

A prototype Ford fuel-cell vehicle.

Ford Motor Co. will get a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to work on advanced fuel cell technology.

The suburban Detroit maker will share the grant with the Los Alamos National Laboratory as part of the latest push to bring hydrogen technology into the mainstream. Three Asian automakers are currently selling fuel-cell vehicles, or FCVs, in Southern California, but demand is limited due to the high cost of the technology and the lack of a broad refueling infrastructure.

Clear the Air!

“The grant will help further our research efforts to develop next-generation technologies for our vehicles,” Ford said in a statement.

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The Sky Isn’t Falling, Says GM President

Batey counters concerns raised by Ford CFO that auto sales have peaked.

by on Aug.02, 2016

GM North America Pres. Alan Batey introduces the 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback at the NAIAS.

It’s been a great ride for the U.S. auto industry. After crashing into the worst recession in decades, it rebounded to record sales of 17.5 million vehicles last year and, until recently, seemed poised to top that number again in 2016.

But there’s been a growing chorus of concern in recent weeks, industry insiders like Ford Motor Co. Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks warning that the ride is over, and that U.S. car sales are about to start the inevitable slide. Just don’t count General Motors North America President Alan Batey among those who says the downturn is about to begin.

Perspective!

“We think the industry will plateau at some time, but everything we see says that into the near future the industry will remain strong,” Batey told reporters.

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Despite Solid July Sales, Ford CFO Sees US Auto Recovery at an End

Sedan, coupes already signal a slowdown, but trucks holding momentum.

by on Jul.29, 2016

Ford may see a weakening of the U.S. market but its F-Series is still delivering solid numbers.

U.S. auto sales have been taking some uncertain detours in recent months, May numbers tumbling before the industry showed signs of rebounding in June. Preliminary estimates, meanwhile, suggest the market will look good for July, the industry back on track for another record year.

But senior Ford officials say that we may be at the end of the line for the current recovery, with sales likely to begin another cyclical slide in the near-term.

The Last Word!

“The growth is over,” Ford Chief Financial Officer Robert Shanks told the Reuters news service. The executive separately told analysts and reporters that, “We see the second half being softer than the first half. Looking into 2017, we think we will see further softness.”

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Ford Posts Lower Than Expected Q2 Profit

Despite missing analyst estimates, company sets new record.

by on Jul.28, 2016

Ford Motor Co.'s second-quarter profits fell short of analyst estimates at $2 billion.

Ford Motor Co. second-quarter profits came in below expectations, as the company’s operations in South America lost money and Ford Credit’s profits fell due to a decline in the value of off-lease used cars sold at auction during the quarter.

Overall, Ford reported net income $2 billion in the second quarter, which was down $190 million from a year ago. Additionally, total company adjusted pre-tax profit of $3 billion in the second quarter, typically the industry’s most profitable, was down $293 million while earnings per share were 49 cents per share – down 5 cents per share from a year ago.

Earnings News!

The results fell short of analyst consensus estimates of 60 cents per share; however, company revenue was up by $2.2 billion to $39.5 billion, exceeding analyst estimates of $36.1 billion. (more…)

Ford Fires New Salvo in Pickup Wars

Detroit maker boosts F-Series towing capacity to 21,000 pounds.

by on Jul.18, 2016

The 2017 Ford F-450 Super Duty boasts up to 27,500 pounds of towing capacity with a fifth wheel.

Pickup sales are hot right now, but competition is heating up even faster, and automakers are putting more emphasis than ever on the durability and capabilities of their trucks in a bid to win over buyers.

In recent months, fuel economy and cargo bed toughness have been spotlighted by various makers. Now, Ford Motor Co. is turning to towing capacity as it reveals specifications for the new, aluminum-bodied version of its big F-450 Super Duty model.

Ford says the heavy-duty version of the more familiar F-150 will be able to tow up to a 21,000-pound trailer, about 1,000 pounds more than competitive models. Add a fifth-wheel package and towing capacity jumps to 27,500 pounds, or more than a ton over the competition, according to Ford.

Keep on Truckin'!

“This is the best heavy-duty truck we’ve ever made,” says Doug Scott, Ford truck marketing manager.

After falling sharply during the Great Recession, pickup sales have posted a strong rebound over the last few years. But competition has also accelerated. Nissan recently launched the second of two new versions of its Titan truck. Toyota has been tinkering with its Tundra model, as well. And Detroit’s Big Three have been steadily trying to one-up each other, as well.

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