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Trump Considering Former Ford Boss Mulally for Sectary of State Post

Former CEO meets with President-elect about cabinet post.

by on Dec.09, 2016

Former Ford CEO Alan Mulally is a candidate for Secretary of State, in part, because of his experience with foreign governments.

Word is circulating that President-elect Donald Trump is considering former Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally to be the next Secretary of State.

Politico and other news sites report Mulally, who visited Trump Tower in New York, could emerge as a possibility, if not unusual, pick.

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Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway confirmed in an interview on Fox News this morning that Mulally met with Trump in New York on Thursday. She confirmed also that Trump is expanding his search and also met with Exxon Mobil chairman, president and CEO Rex Tillerson. (more…)

Buyers in China Pushing Ford, GM to Record Sales

Automakers surpassing record sales from 2015.

by on Dec.08, 2016

Ford eclipsed its record sales total from last year in China as buyer continue to support American brands.

General Motors and Ford set new sales record in China during November as Chinese customers continue to show a preference for American brands.

Ford sales hit an all-time November high of 124,113 vehicles, up 17% compared with November 2015. In addition, its joint ventures in China have sold more than 1 million vehicles in 2016, reaching the milestone one month faster than in 2015

Global Auto News!

“Ford is gaining more momentum in China each month and we are on pace for a record year in China,” said Peter Fleet, vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service, Asia Pacific. “We are seeing increasing demand across our line-up, particularly our full family of SUVs.” (more…)

Ford Looking to Add $2B in New Debt

Automaker looks to bolster its efforts in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility.

by on Dec.05, 2016

Ford's Joe Hinrichs says the automaker is taking advantage of favorable market conditions to raise $2 billion in new debt.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

Ford Motor Co. is looking to take advantage of favorable market conditions by raising $2.8 billion in new debt. It marks the first time in four years the automaker has issued new debt.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, told Reuters the funds would be used for investment in new technology including electric vehicles, self-driving vehicles, as well as mobility efforts such as ride-sharing and ride-hailing.

Financial News!

“It’s an opportunistic time,” Hinrichs told Reuters in an interview. “It’s a supportive marketplace for long-term debt given where rates are, and we want to make sure that throughout the cycle of the industry we have the flexibility to do what we need to do and want to do, especially in the emerging part of the business.” (more…)

Pickup Trucks Are Suddenly Hot in China

Rapturous for the Ford F-150 Raptor.

by on Dec.05, 2016

Ford's soon plans to start shipping the newly updated to F-150 Raptor to China.

They’re banned in Beijing, as well as Shanghai and a number of other cities, but pickup trucks are still expected to be the hot ticket when the Guangzhou Motor Show opens up to the public later this month.

In fact, import trucks like the Ford F-150, as well as little domestic models, are one of the hottest segments of the Chinese auto industry right now, with IHS Automotive expecting a 14% increase in sales for all of 2016, about double the pace of the overall market’s growth.

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And despite hefty import incentives, that’s enough to encourage Detroit-based makers to expand pickup export plans, Ford, for one, planning to start shipping its F-150 Raptor model to China starting in 2017.

(more…)

Barra Accepts Post on Trump Economic Advisory Panel

GM boss only top executive from an automaker in the group.

by on Dec.02, 2016

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra accepted a spot on President-elect Donald Trump's newly formed economy and trade forum.

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra’s success has apparently made her very popular in Washington D.C. these days.

President-elect Donald Trump asked Barra to be part of his Strategic and Policy Forum that will advise him on economic and trade issues.

The Last Word!

Trump included Barra in the group composed of “some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders” that “is designed to provide direct input to the president from many of the best and brightest in the business world in a frank, non-bureaucratic and non-partisan manner,” according to Trump officials. (more…)

Major Automakers Team Up on Ultra-Fast EV Charging Project

System could deliver 300+ miles range in 10 minutes.

by on Dec.01, 2016

A Level 4 charger could give a long-range vehicle a "fill-up" in 10 minutes or less.

Another barrier to electrification is about to fall, thanks to a new coalition pairing BMW, Daimler, Ford and the various Volkswagen AG brands.

The automakers have signed a preliminary agreement that would begin rolling out a network of ultra-fast electric vehicle charging stations across Europe – setting the stage for the adoption of similar Level 4 technology in the U.S., as well. The chargers will deliver 350 kilowatts of direct current, or roughly 2.5 times the jolt of the Superchargers Tesla is deploying across much of North America.

We Keep You Plugged In!

The new system would leapfrog other Level 3 chargers just beginning to come online in many parts of the world. More importantly, they would allow a vehicle like the new, 200-mile Chevrolet Bolt (or the European version sold through Opel) to get a full charge in 10 minutes or less.

(more…)

Ford Looking to Crossover With New Fiesta

New, ute-like version could shore up appeal amidst global market shift.

by on Nov.30, 2016

Ford unveiled its next-gem Fiesta in Germany, including a new version call the Fiesta Active. It's unknown if the Active will hit U.S. shores.

It may be one of the smallest models in the Ford Motor Co. line-up, but the Detroit-based automaker has some big plans for the all-new Fiesta subcompact it unveiled during a splashy event at its Cologne, Germany, assembly plant.

Among other things, Ford hopes to take the Fiesta up-market, adding a higher-priced – and significantly higher-profit – Vignale version. There will also be a new crossover-like version of the Ford Fiesta, dubbed Fiesta Active, a move that could help rebuild momentum in a number of key markets, such as the U.S., where buyers by the millions are shifting from passenger cars to utility vehicles.

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“We don’t want to build commodities anymore,” declared Jim Farley, Ford Europe CEO, during an event that brought together 2,500 Ford dealers and staff and members of the news media. (more…)

Ford Set to Reveal All-New Version of Fiesta

Critical makeover could help reverse declining sales.

by on Nov.28, 2016

Ford is looking to change the sales momentum on its smallest car with the debut of the 2017 Ford Fiesta.

With small car sales taking a nosedive, tomorrow’s unveiling of an all-new, seventh-generation Fiesta model could be precisely what Ford Motor Co. needs to reverse the familiar subcompact’s momentum.

Long one of the most popular models in the maker’s global line-up, Fiesta has been hard hit by the impact of cheap gas and the concurrent shift away from conventional passenger cars to crossover and sport-utility vehicles. Ford recently announced it will shift production of all its small car models, including the slightly bigger Focus, from the U.S. to Mexico, replacing them with higher-demand trucks.

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“The new Fiesta will be our best expression of Ford – lovable fun, sporty to drive and with an unmatched personality true to the spirit of the iconic small car that has delighted generations of customers for the past 40 years,” Jim Farley, president of Ford’s European operations, said in a statement. (more…)

Chevrolet Bolt Lauded as Motor Trend Car of the Year

Ford Super Duty, Mercedes GLC take Truck, SUV honors.

by on Nov.15, 2016

Pam Fletcher, GM's electric vehicle chief, and North American President Alan Batey hold the Motor Trend Car of the Year trophy.

It hasn’t even reached showrooms yet, but the Chevrolet Bolt has landed a big victory, the new battery-electric vehicle being named the Motor Trend Car of the Year.

The widely followed award could give General Motors’ first mainstream, long-range BEV a leg up on competitors – including Tesla – at a time when plug-based vehicles are only beginning to show signs of momentum in a market largely motivated by cheap gasoline.

What a Winner!

Separately, the enthusiast publication also named the new Mercedes-Benz GLC its SUV of the Year, while the newly redesigned Ford Super Duty picked up a trophy as Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year during a ceremony marking the start of the annual Los Angeles Motor Show.

(more…)

Ford Scales Down with New EcoSport SUV

“Go small, live big,” with global crossover.

by on Nov.15, 2016

Ford announced it will be adding the new EcoSport small crossover its line-up. The maker will import the car from India.

Better late than never, or so Ford is telling potential customers looking for its downsized EcoSport SUV. Already a popular option in most other global markets, it will go up against a growing list of pint-sized crossovers, including the Nissan Juke, as well as the Toyota C-HR that is also making its debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Such models seemed an unlikely fit in the American market only a few years ago, which is why Ford hesitated at bringing the EcoSport over, but the subcompact crossover niche has become one of the country’s fastest-growing segments.

Global Auto News!

“More people are choosing to spend their time sharing experiences with friends and family rather than buying more stuff,” suggests Chantel Lenard, Ford’s executive director of U.S. marketing. “EcoSport,” she adds, “fits perfectly into this growing lifestyle.” (more…)