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Posts Tagged ‘Ford’

Three Chinese Automakers Expect to be Global Players

Industry official predicts exports to emerging markets.

by on Oct.16, 2014

The Geely Gleagle is one of the products that makes Chinese government officials believe three Chinese automakers will be globally influential.

China’s fast-growing automobile industry should be able to create at three strong globally competitive carmakers in the years to come, according to a Chinese government official this week.

Wang Xia, a senior official with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Automotive sub-council, acknowledged during a press conference prior to the opening of the Global Automotive Forum in Wuhan, China, that China’s homegrown auto industry has been rocked over the last several months by a steady loss of marketshare.

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Up until about two years ago, Chinese brands held about 46% of the domestic sales across China. Since then, the Chinese domestic brands have lost about 10 points of marketshare to foreign brands. The big winners have been European brands as well as General Motors and Ford. (more…)

Automakers Report Robust Results for July Sales

Despite impressive results, makers fall short of predictions.

by on Aug.01, 2014

Ford sales were led, once again, by the F-150, but supported by the Fusion and Escape. The maker reported a 10% increase in July.

U.S. automakers enjoyed a strong sales month in July, but fell short of lofty analyst expectations. Toyota and Ford were the only makers to surpass predictions with increases of 11.6% and 10% respectively.

New car sales got a lift during July thanks to an improving economy, ample financing and the appeal of new products. Several companies posted double-digit sales increases, including Chrysler (20%), Nissan (11.4%), Subaru (27%), Mazda (17.1%), Audi (11.9%), Porsche (12.6%), Mitsubishi (21.4%), Land Rover (15%) and last, but not least, Maserati, which was up 315%.

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“Incentive spending in July was above this year’s average, taking transaction prices down about one percent,” said John Krafcik, president of TrueCar. “Other than GM and Nissan, every full-line automaker increased incentive spending over last year. With growing discounts and low-interest financing readily available, it’s a great time to buy a car.” (more…)

Ford Dropping Weight – But Raising Price – of New F-150 Pickup

Prices will jump by as much as $3,615 for 2015 “aluminum-intensive” truck.

by on Jul.28, 2014

Ford is making the 2015 F-150 lighter everywhere, including the owner's bank account. The new model is going to be more expensive than its predecessor.

While Ford’s new “aluminum-intensive” 2015 F-150 pickup will be going on a diet, it’s going to be heavier on the wallet, the new truck’s sticker price jumping by as much as $3,615, depending on the specific model.

But the Detroit maker is hoping that potential buyers still see the 2015 Ford F-150 as a bargain because of the anticipated fuel savings that will come with shaving as much as 732 pounds off the big truck’s mass. On average, the new pickups will come in about 625 pounds under the weight of the steel-bodied 2014 F-150 line.

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Ford is also defending the increase by noting it is adding significantly more content to the 2015 remake of America’s best-selling vehicle. There are new LED accent lamps, larger video screens, and other new features on most of the models. And top-line versions, such as the F-150 Platinum and King Ranch edition, get a level of standard equipment more normally associated with luxury cars than work trucks. (more…)

FBI Raids Home of Former Ford Engineer

Agents seize listening devices, email accounts.

by on Jul.25, 2014

Ford is the latest automaker subject to industrial espionage. FBI agents raided the home of a former employee seizing listening equipment and her email accounts.

Until recently, the biggest concerns U.S. automakers had about industrial espionage came from China counterfeiting their vehicles; however, a recent spate of U.S.-based employees caught using a variety of means to secure information has automakers on high alert.

The most recent incident involves a former Ford engineer, who’s home was recently raided by the FBI as part of an ongoing investigation. The agents also seized her personal email account and removed secret listening devices she planted in various places in Ford’s World Headquarters, according to a Detroit News report.

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A search warrant filed Friday in federal court shows the FBI seized Sharon Leach’s Gmail account, including all emails, drafts, photos, phone numbers, contacts and bank accounts tied to the account. Google provided the information Wednesday, the News reported. (more…)

Ford, GM Take Hits Due to Unrest in Russia, South America

Political unrest causing markets to slow, pinching profitability.

by on Jul.25, 2014

Ford isn't moving as many vehicles in Russia due to economic sanctions levied against the country for its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

Political and economic uncertainty in Eastern Europe and South America hit the bottom lines of General Motors and Ford during the second quarter, acknowledged executives the Detroit-area automakers.

The second quarter results from Russia and South America were disappointing but neither company showed any signs of walking away from either market.

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Even Russia, which is embroiled in a conflict in the Ukraine that has led to the European Union and the United States impose economic sanctions that have slowed the Russian economy, neither company is prepared to walk away from their Russian partners or the substantial investments they have made in the Russian market. (more…)

Ford Using ‘Big Data’ to Make Design Decisions

Using social media feedback helps with process.

by on Jun.26, 2014

Ford's Don Butler noted that Ford’s designers and product planners are turning to social media and survey data as they wrestle with product design issues.

“Big Data” is already helping designers shape new vehicles and its influence will only grow in the years to come, according to a panel of experts assembled by Ford Motor Co. for its annual trends conference. Big data is the deployment of reams of data to meet a specific goal.

Don Butler, the former General Motors executive who is now Ford’s director of connected vehicles and service, noted that Ford’s designers and product planners turned to social media and survey data as they wrestled with whether the lift gate on the new 2013 Ford Escape should be one piece or two, which would allow drivers to open the rear window without raising the entire lift gate.

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“There were no clear indicators,” he said. (more…)

Ford Teams with Heinz to Use Tomatoes for Plastics

Maker using skins for wiring and storage bins.

by on Jun.11, 2014

Researchers at Ford and Heinz are investigating the use of tomato fibers in developing sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing.

Your next Ford might make you crave French fries, or at least make you think of them when you realize part of the car may be made from dried tomato skins from the H.J. Heinz Co.

Researchers at Ford and Heinz, perhaps best known for its ketchup, are exploring ways to use the skins in certain applications, specifically wiring brackets and storage bins for holding coins or other small objects.

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“We are exploring whether this food processing byproduct makes sense for an automotive application,” said Ellen Lee, plastics research technical specialist for Ford. “Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact.” (more…)

Ford Likely Only Maker to Gain Share in U.S.

Survey shows share likely to remain status quo.

by on Jun.09, 2014

Ford is the only automaker expected to increase its marketshare in the U.S. in the next few years.

Ford is the only automaker in the U.S. expected to gain marketshare in the next few years because their prolific rate of new vehicle introductions. The rest of the companies are unlikely to gain or lose large pieces of marketshare, according to a new study by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

John Murphy, the Merrill Lynch analyst who has assembled the annual “Car Wars” study or the past 15 years, told the Automotive Press Association, that the big shifts in marketshare in the U.S. have now passed based on an analysis of product introduction.

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General Motors was the major marketshare donor during the past three decades, but GM has now right-sized and its share should remain relatively stable, according to the “Car Wars” analysis. (more…)

Ford, GM Continue Torrid Sales Pace in China

Makers set May record; Ford expects to hit 1 million units in 2014.

by on Jun.09, 2014

With cars like the Focus selling well, Ford expects to surpass 1 million in sales in China this year.

General Motors and Ford continue to roll up big sales totals in China, setting sales records during May.

Ford China sales grew 32% in May with 93,323 and Ford now expects to sell more than 1 million vehicles in China for the first time ever during 2014. Year-to-date sales were up 39%, with 461,473 wholesales sold compared to 332,308 wholesales sold in the first five months of 2013, Ford said.

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“Our sales are a direct reflection of our continued commitment to bring the best of Ford to China with a great lineup of Ford cars and utilities that offer high quality, great fuel efficiency, world class safety and smart technologies,” said John Lawler, chairman and chief executive officer, Ford Motor China. (more…)

Ford Wants Drivers to Turn Less and Move More

Adaptive steering makes driving easier at all speeds.

by on May.30, 2014

Ford's new "adaptive steering" module, which was developed with Takata, will be available next year on certain models.

Ford is readying a new technology developed in concert with one of its suppliers designed to make vehicles easier to maneuver at low speeds and in tight spaces while making vehicles more agile at higher speeds.

Called “Adaptive Steering,” it changes the ratio between the number of times the driver turns the steering wheel and how much the front wheels turn. Normally, it’s a fixed ratio so regardless of how fast the car is moving, the driver is going to get the same result.

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Big turns require multiple spins of the wheel for tasks like parking or moving around objects in a parking lot, whereas at highways speeds, only slight movement of the wheel is required to adjust the turn. (more…)