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Posts Tagged ‘ford news’

Mercedes New Russian Plant: Start of Change?

Most automakers cut ties to market, although Ford pondering expansion.

by on Jun.20, 2017

Daimler and Russian officials show off the model for the new Mercedes-Benz plant just outside Moscow.

As many automakers have been running away from the Russian auto market, a few others are moving into to expand their foothold in their absence. Daimler AG began construction of a new Mercedes-Benz plant near Moscow: the first new investment by a major foreign automaker in years.

The German maker is investing nearly $280 million into the new factory to build new Mercedes E-Class sedans starting in 2019 with the luxury brand’s GL class sport utility vehicles following afterward.

News You Can Trust!

“Establishing a passenger car production in Russia is a strategic investment in an important sales market for Mercedes-Benz. We are extending our local footprint and, at the same time, strengthening our global competitiveness,” said Markus Schäfer, member of the Divisonal Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain, during the groundbreaking ceremony. (more…)

Ford Moving Focus to China

Scrapping plans for Mexican production entirely saves another $500M.

by on Jun.20, 2017

Ford had planned to shift production of the Focus to Hermosillo, Mexico, but instead will produce it in China.

In a surprise move, Ford Motor Co. says it won’t move production of its Focus model to Mexico., but rather Ford plans to move it to China.

That would make the Ford Focus the first mainstream model to be imported from China, a move that could also raise the ire of President Donald Trump, who has been pressing the auto industry to bring more production – and jobs – back to the U.S.

News Now!

But with sales of the compact vehicle line sliding sharply, Joe Hinrichs, Ford President of Global Operations, said the move will save the carmaker about $500 million. Ford had already said it would save at least $500 million by scrubbing plans to build an entirely new Mexican plant for the Focus and other small car lines. (more…)

Ford Goes Off-Road With New Expedition FX4

A ute for all occasions.

by on Jun.19, 2017

Buyers have already been taking the Expedition off road; Ford adds features to make that easier.

If you’ve thought about the big Ford Expedition as nothing more than a minivan alternative, you might need to think again with the debut of the new FX4 edition.

All versions of the 2018 Ford Expedition migrate to an aluminum-intensive body, sharing the same engineering approach as the full-size F-150 pickup. The people-mover also gets a new powertrain package and updated safety and infotainment technologies.

Product News!

But Ford is taking another tip from the F-150 line-up, where the FX4 package is a perennial buyer favorite. The off-road trim level will now be offered for Expedition buyers, as well.

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Automakers Want Free Hand to Test Autonomous Vehicles – But GOP Might Cut Out Federal, State Safety Regulators

Industry insists a freer hand will bring self-driving technology to market more quickly.

by on Jun.16, 2017

Waymo recently launched a pilot ride-sharing program in Phoenix using autonomous Chrysler minivans.

As they move closer to bringing autonomous and fully driverless vehicles to market, automakers and tech firms such as General Motors, Ford, Waymo and Tesla are pressing the federal government to loosen up regulations limiting the way they can test their prototypes on public roads.

Even before the Obama Administration concluded its second term, the feds were working up new autonomous guidelines. But now, under the Trump Administration, it appears Congress could give the auto industry even more freedom to move forward while limiting the power of both individual states and even federal safety regulators.

Tech News!

Congress wants to “continue working with all parties in a bipartisan manner as we refine language and move forward towards a consensus package,” said U.S. Representative Bob Latta, chairman of a panel that oversees automotive regulations.

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Slowing Auto Industry Threatening to Drag Down U.S. Economy

Automakers continue to cut production as sales slow.

by on Jun.15, 2017

GM is extending the summer shutdown at some plants, including this one in Fairfax, KS.

The U.S. auto industry was the little engine that could during the country’s recovery from the Great Recession, but it now may be turning into the anchor on an economy once again starting to sputter.

U.S. factory output slipped by 0.4% last month, a sharp turnaround from the 1.1% increase in April, the Federal Reserve reported on Thursday morning. While some industries continue to show strength, the weak figures for May coincide with growing production cuts by the U.S. auto industry.

Manufacturing News!

And the auto industry is facing still more jobs cuts in the months to come, industry analysts warn, especially if car sales don’t level out. GM, for one, has announced that it will extend its normal, two-week summer shutdown to as much as five weeks at some plants in the Midwest.

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Ford Offers Buyouts to 15,000 Employees

Maker looking to trim 1,400 salaried workers from its ranks.

by on Jun.09, 2017

Ford is offering buyouts to 15,000 employees as it looks to trim 1,400 salaried workers from its ranks.

Ford Motor Co. is offering some 15,000 employees “voluntary separation” packages as it moves ahead with global restructuring triggered by falling earnings and by a weak share price.

A Ford spokesman confirmed the offers.  “We expect 1,400 salaried positions to be affected,” the spokesman wrote in an email to TheDetroitBureau.com.

News You Can Trust!

The voluntary reduction program uses early retirement and special separation packages aimed at employees interested in changing careers or exploring new opportunities. (more…)

Ford Raising Production Levels of Small Utes

Management looking to meet buyer demand.

by on Jun.08, 2017

Ford is increasing production of its hot-selling Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC by cutting shutdown down to one week this summer.

Ford Motor Co. plans to add a week of production at a plant in Louisville, Kentucky, that makes the Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC by shortening the planned summer vacation.

Ford’s North American plants normally have a two-week shutdown in July, but the Louisville Assembly Plant will take only one week, Ford officials said, clearing the way for the automaker to build more than 8,500 vehicles to meet consumer demand.

News Now!

The production change is relatively modest, but it reflects the desire of the new management team led by Jim Hackett to show that it is paying closer attention to the company’s core business in North America. (more…)

GM Adds to Growing List of US Auto Jobs Cuts

Weakening car sales could boost total.

by on Jun.01, 2017

As many as half of the workers at GM's Warren, MI transmission plant could be idled.

General Motors said Thursday that it will eliminate one of two shifts at a transmission plant in Warren, Michigan. The announcement is expected to put about 300 workers on indefinite layoff, or roughly half the plant’s total hourly workforce.

The move comes at a time when U.S. new vehicle sales are faltering after three record years – GM also on Thursday reporting its May numbers were off about 1% compared to year-earlier sales. The decline has been especially severe on the passenger car side of the ledger, as millions of Americans shift from sedans, coupes and sports cars to SUV, crossovers and pickups.

Jobs News!

GM already has been responding by trimming production of slower-selling vehicles, such as the Chevrolet Malibu, so “Recent actions to reduce passenger car production have caused us to adjust transmission production,” the maker said in a statement.

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Fields Tried to Fire Hinrichs Before He Was Booted From Ford

Infighting marked final days for CEO, says report.

by on Jun.01, 2017

Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs.

In a final bid to satisfy Ford shareholders – and Chairman Bill Ford – CEO Mark Fields tried to shift blame for the company’s weakening performance stock price to his top lieutenant, according to a new report. But the effort to fire Ford’s President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs was blocked and Fields himself was given his walking papers on May 19th.

In turn, the popular Hinrichs wound up with a significant promotion as part of the shake-up that saw Fields replaced by former Steelcase chief executive Jim Hackett, notes a report in Automotive News. The 50-year-old Hinrichs will now serve in the newly created post of president of global operations.

The Inside Story!

Last month’s shake-up at Ford came as the automaker scrambled to address declining U.S. sales and market share, a 38% plunge in first-quarter earnings, and a stock price that had dipped 40% since Fields was named CEO in July 2014. It hit a new 52-week low around the time Fields agreed to officially “retire” under pressure from the Ford board of directors and Bill Ford himself.

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Ousted Ford CEO Mark Fields May Get Nearly $60m Parting Gift

Payout likely to dwarf initial paycheck for new CEO Jim Hackett.

by on May.26, 2017

Former Ford CEO Mark Fields.

He may have lost one of the top spots in the auto industry, but Mark Fields won’t go away empty-handed.

Ousted Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields will receive a parting gift of as much as $57.5 million, according to a report by the Bloomberg news service, including pay, stock awards, retirement benefits and bonuses. That figure is expected to dwarf what his successor, Jim Hackett will make, at least during his first year at the helm of the second-largest U.S. automaker.

Officially, Fields resigned last Friday, though it was made clear to him that Ford Chairman – and the grandson of founder Henry Ford – Bill Ford Jr. was intent on replacing the 56-year-old company veteran with the 62-year-old Hackett, a former chief executive at Steelcase, the Michigan-based office furniture manufacturer.

Stay in the Loop!

Elevated to CEO in July 2014, Fields saw Ford’s profits hit an all-time record last year. But the maker’s sales and market share have been sliding, and earnings tumbled 38% during the first quarter of 2017, to $1.6 billion. What may have sealed his fate was the sharp decline in the carmaker’s stock price. It dropped 40% since Fields replaced his mentor Alan Mulally nearly three years ago.

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