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Ford Taking 50% Hit to Q1 Earnings

Falling sales, big mobility investment cuts into profits.

by on Mar.23, 2017

Ford expects first quarter profits to fall 50% due to sliding sales, the company told investors.

Sliding vehicle sales and the ongoing in investment in mobility enterprises are going to cut Ford Motor Co. profits by 50% and reduce full-year profits by nearly $1.5 billion.

The assertions were made by Ford executives during investor conference calls and in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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The company noted it expects first quarter 2017 earnings per share between 30 cents and 35 cents, which equates to just under $1.9 billion and lower than the first quarter of 2016. Last year, the automaker earned 68 cents per share for the first quarter and had a record quarterly pre-tax profit of $3.8 billion: One of its best quarters ever. (more…)

Order Up! Ford, Amazon and Starbucks Team Up, Give Hint of Connected Car’s Future

New service a prelude to array of in-car services to come.

by on Mar.22, 2017

Gerri Martin-Flickinger, Starbucks executive vice president and chief technology officer, announced the new partnership between Ford, Amazon and Starbucks.

For many Americans, the day doesn’t begin without a cup of coffee to go for the morning commute, and a new alliance between Ford, Amazon and Starbucks should make it a little faster and easier to order and pay for that cop of java.

At its annual shareholders meeting in Seattle on Wednesday, Amazon officials confirmed Ford vehicles equipped with the maker’s latest Sync3 infotainment system will be able to order and pay for their coffee by connecting to the Amazon Alexa voice assistant. It’s just the first step in what could come, over the next few years, as automakers expand the capabilities of their increasingly connected cars.

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“It only takes a little imagination to think about where conversation ordering will show up next,” said Gerri Martin-Flickinger, Starbucks chief technology officer, as she showed off the new technology. (more…)

Lincoln Plans to Build All-New SUV in China

New model set to debut by late 2019; would sidestep import tariffs.

by on Mar.13, 2017

Lincoln won't say what product it plans to build in China, but it is expected to be smaller than the Navigator Concept shown in NY last year.

Lincoln plans to develop and launch an all-new SUV model in China by late 2019, the automaker has confirmed, a move that is seen as critical to maintain the rapid growth of Ford Motor Co.’s luxury brand in the booming Asian nation.

The automaker isn’t offering specific details about the planned vehicle, but sources tell TheDetroitBureau.com they expect it will be targeted at the midsize segment and offer three rows of seating. It is likely to become the primary seller in Lincoln’s Chinese line-up, in part by eliminating the 25% tariff on imported automobiles.

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“The move to local production is a key next step in Lincoln’s evolution in China and will complement continued imports from North America,” the automaker said in a statement announcing the new SUV project.

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GM, Ford Squeeze Out Small February Sales Gains in China

Small gains welcome after difficult January.

by on Mar.10, 2017

Matt Tsien, who heads up GM China, said the steady stream of new product will help the automaker increase sales this year.

With both companies benefiting from the growing interest of Chinese buyers in sport-utility vehicles, General Motors and its joint ventures eked out a small sales increase of 0.4% on an annual basis, while Ford Motor Co. posted a 2% sales jump.

GM said its sales increase was led by the XT5 SUV, Cadillac kept up its momentum with double-digit growth for the twelfth consecutive month. Sales of the Baojun 510 SUV exceeded 6,000 units following its launch on Feb. 20, and contributed to the Baojun brand’s record deliveries. Cadillac and Baojun set February delivery records as GM and its partners delivered 246,730 vehicles last month.

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“The expanding SUV portfolio has helped us maintain our growth momentum,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. “The upcoming launch of the Chevrolet Equinox will further enhance our competitiveness in the fast-growing midsize SUV segment.” (more…)

Ford Funnels $200 Million into New Wind Tunnel

Maker plans to "super-size" facility to accommodate large trucks.

by on Feb.16, 2017

Ford plans to spend $200 million on a new vehicle testing facility that includes and advanced wind tunnel.

The Ford Motor Co. plans to spend $200 million for new wind tunnel at its principal engineering center in Dearborn, Michigan.

“This investment in new world-class test facilities underpins Ford’s ongoing commitment to advance our capabilities to continue to provide our customers with high-quality vehicles,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president, global product development and chief technical officer.

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The new wind tunnel complex will sit on 13 acres next to Ford’s Driveability Test Facility in Allen Park, Michigan. The complex will house new technology that delivers state-of-the-art real-world driving simulations to advance improvements in fuel economy. Construction is scheduled to begin later this year. (more…)

Ford Investing $1b for Self-Driving Company Argo AI

Start-up aims to ensure Ford’s driverless vehicles reach market by 2021.

by on Feb.10, 2017

Ford CEO Mark Fields showing off a LIDAR sensor like the ones on its autonomous prototypes.

Ford Motor Co. will invest $1 billion over the next five years to take a controlling stake in an artificial intelligence start-up in its bid to bring driverless vehicles to market by 2021.

Pittsburgh-based Argo AI was launched only last November by two autonomous vehicle veterans from Google and Uber. Argo will now take over the software side of Ford’s driverless vehicle research program, though the automaker will continue to control the hardware side of that project.

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“As Ford expands to be an auto and a mobility company, we believe that investing in Argo AI will create significant value for our shareholders by strengthening Ford’s leadership in bringing self-driving vehicles to market in the near term and by creating technology that could be licensed to others in the future,” said Ford CEO Mark Fields during a conference call with analysts and reporters.

(more…)

GM, Ford January Sales Slump in China

Celebrations closed businesses all over the country.

by on Feb.10, 2017

Ford sales dropped 32% year-over-year in January due to the Chinese New Year celebrations.

The timing of the Chinese New Year and a tax hike took a heavy toll on new vehicle sales in China during January.

Both General Motors and Ford Motor Co., which finished 2016 with a jump in sales, saw their sales decline as the New Year celebration shut down businesses of all kinds across China.

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General Motors and its joint ventures sales declined 24% due to the earlier Spring Festival holiday and reduction in the vehicle purchase tax incentive, GM said in a statement. (more…)

Ford Back in Big SUV Game with 2018 Expedition

Automaker gives full-size ute a complete redo.

by on Feb.07, 2017

The 2018 Ford Expedition is new from the ground up, using an aluminum body and lightweight steel to shed 300 pounds.

Ford Motor Co. is bolstering its broad line-up of sport-utility vehicles with the introduction of a new, updated version of the full-size Ford Expedition, which weighs 300 pounds less than its predecessor and comes with an aluminum body and a new frame made of lightweight steel.

When it goes on sale next fall, the new version of the Expedition, which was unveiled in Dallas Texas, with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost Engine as well as a 10-speed transmission and a full array of new technology for keeping the vehicle’s passengers connected, Ford executives said.

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“When Expedition was introduced 20 years ago, it set the standard for active families who simply needed a big and strong SUV to take them places,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. (more…)

Made in Detroit: Ford Shipping F-150 Raptors to China

Automaker selling U.S.-built vehicles in China for first time.

by on Feb.03, 2017

Pickups are now the rage in China, and Ford is taking advantage of that demand by shipping Detroit-made F-150 Raptors to the country.

Amid the growing controversy over the United States trade agreements with other countries around the world, Ford Motor Co. has begun shipping pickups built the company’s storied Rouge manufacturing complex just outside Detroit to China.

However, these aren’t just any trucks.

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Ford is shipping its all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor – a high-performance off-road pickup truck – to customers in China, who have said they wanted the vehicle. It marks the first time any U.S.-built F-Series truck, Ford’s best-selling vehicle and the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for the past 40 years, has been officially exported to China in the modern era. (more…)

Ford Unveils Super Bowl Ad, Long-Term Commitment to Mobility

New FordHub reflects maker's efforts to broaden transportation.

by on Jan.31, 2017

Ford putting down a pretty penny to promote the "mobility" side of the company.

Ford is earnestly trying to reshape its image as an automotive AND a mobility company and it’s taking to arguably the world’s biggest stage to keep up the image makeover momentum: the Super Bowl LI.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker is using its part of its 90-second commercial during the match up between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots to hype its mobility products.

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Considering that 30-second spots go for more than $5 million, it’s hefty price to pay for something that still in the larval stage. It’s the company’s first Super Bowl ad since 2014 features a string of humorous footage of people getting stuck in life circumstances. (more…)