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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.

Drive On!

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.

Product News!

“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.

Product News!

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.

News Now!

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…)

Ford Joins Increasing Chorus Condemning Trump Immigration Order

“We do not support this policy.”

by on Jan.30, 2017

Ford Chairman Bill Ford is one of the latest to criticize Trump's immigration plan.

With protests continuing around the country in response to Pres. Donald Trump’s Executive Order on immigration and travel, the U.S. business community is being drawn into the fray, Ford Motor Co. among the latest companies to take a stand.

The second-largest domestic automaker issued a statement Monday morning cosigned by Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Mark Fields declaring, “Respect for all people is a core value of Ford Motor Company, and we are proud of the rich diversity of our company here at home and around the world. That is why we do not support this policy or any other that goes against our values as a company.”

Breaking News!

Demonstrations were underway at more than 30 U.S. airports over the weekend to protest restrictions placed largely on Mideasterners of the Islamic faith. But while it is typically rare for the business community to be brought into such political turmoil, the latest fracas touched off by the inauguration of Trump has left fewer and fewer on the sidelines.

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Automakers Look for Options, Weigh Costs Under Trump

Carmakers, car buyers, car workers might all feel the impact.

by on Jan.27, 2017

Pres. Donald Trump signing an Executive Order. He plans to enact a 20% Mexican tariff.

The increasingly contentious battle between the Trump Administration and Mexico could lead to some significant collateral damage, notably including both carmakers and car buyers.

With the Mexican government rejecting a White House demand to pay for a border wall, President Donald Trump now wants to not only negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement but impose a 20% tariff on good imported from south of the border. After making extensive use of NAFTA to set up a network of manufacturing operations in Mexico, automakers could be among the hardest hit.

Beyond the Headlines!

But there is, for now, widespread disagreement about how to respond to the Trump plan. Japanese automakers Nissan and Toyota say they are looking for ways to increase U.S. production. Ford’s CEO, after meeting with the new president this week, is rejecting the idea of building any new U.S. factories. Meanwhile, Fiat Chrysler’s chief executive says it may be time to rethink the possibility of a merger with domestic giant General Motors.

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Ford Teaming With Start Up for Mobile Financing

Ford follows in Daimler's mobile footsteps.

by on Jan.26, 2017

Pretty soon, Ford will allow anyone to buy and finance a new vehicle using a mobile device.

Ford Motor Co. is teaming up with a San Francisco start up to offer customers a way to purchase or finance a new Ford vehicle in minutes from anywhere, on any device through a new platform from Ford Motor Credit Co. and its new partner AutoFi.

The move by Ford follows similar moves recently by Daimler and Volkswagen AG into the mobile payments sector. Daimler and Volkswagen said they are initially targeting mobile apps for parking and car sharing, but the basic target of making it easier for youthful consumers to purchase vehicle-oriented services is essentially the same.

Tech News!

“By combining our fast and efficient credit-decision process with AutoFi’s online capability, we are making the customer experience faster, smoother and simpler,” said Lee Jelenic, Ford Credit director of mobility. (more…)

Ford Earnings Dip 38% — to No Surprise

Numbers hit by change in pension accounting.

by on Jan.26, 2017

Ford's first quarter earnings fell 38%. The slide was not a surprise as it came largely from accounting changes for pensions.

Good news or bad, how Ford Motor Co. fared last year depends on how you read the numbers. The nation’s second-largest domestic automaker reported net income of $4.6 billion for all of 2016, a 38% year-over-year decline.

But Ford’s decline in net income largely resulted from accounting changes regarding pensions. The automaker actually saw adjusted, pre-tax earnings hit $10.4 billion for 2016. That was $200 million higher than expected, and marked the maker’s second-best number since 2000.

News Now!

Ford had previously signaled the revisions to its pension and retirement plans would hit its pre-tax numbers to the tune of around $3 billion. Nonetheless, CEO Mark Fields called the carmaker’s overall performance, “solid,” declaring in a statement that, after factoring in the one-time hit, Ford built on the all-time record earnings reported in 2016. (more…)

Trump to Meet with Detroit CEOs on Tuesday

Plenty of room for deal-making.

by on Jan.24, 2017

Will Trump use the carrot, the stick, or both, during his meeting with Detroit's Big 3 CEOs.

With an assortment of global leaders set to visit the White House in the coming weeks, President Donald Trump will first take time to meet with the CEOs of the Detroit Three automakers in the Oval Office this morning, and it’s expected there will be plenty on the agenda.

Trump has put a lot of emphasis on the auto industry since launching his campaign in 2015, notably taking shots at the largest of the two domestic makers for importing cars from Mexico. He has threatened to enact a “big border tax,” according to a tweet fired at General Motors earlier this month, scuttled the Trans-Pacific trade pact and advised both Mexico and Canada of his plan to renegotiate the NAFTA deal.

Breaking News!

While industry officials worry about the impact of new trade barriers, they’re also hoping to get a sympathetic ear from the new president on a variety of their own concerns, including corporate taxes and government regulations like the tough Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, mandate the EPA reaffirmed in the final hours of the Obama Administration.

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Big Changes Coming for 2018 Ford Mustang

More power, more tech, revised appearance.

by on Jan.17, 2017

Ford is giving the Mustang a midcycle refresh for the 2018 model, including engine upgrades and performance improvements.

Less than three years after the all-new, 50thanniversary Ford Mustang rolled into showrooms, the pony car is set to get some major updates.

That includes new front and rear-end design changes meant to improve aerodynamics and give the Mustang a “more athletic look,” Ford says. There will be engine upgrades delivering more power, with a 10-speed gearbox also boosting mileage, a new MagneRide suspension, and a number of new safety and infotainment technologies.

Product News!

The 2018 Ford Mustang “refresh” is more extensive than the typical midcycle makeover, reflecting both increased competition and the growing market shift from passenger cars to SUVs. The goal is to keep Mustang the world’s best-selling sports coupe, Ford officials said. (more…)