Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘Mark Fields’

Detroit’s Big Three Struggle to Adapt to Rapidly Changing Global Auto Market

Management shake-up at Ford not likely to be the last big announcement from the Motor City this year.

by on May.22, 2017

Ford CEO Fields won't be the last Detroit exec trying to figure out how to address changes coming.

The unexpected ouster of Ford Motor Co. CEO Mark Fields comes as one of the biggest shake-ups Detroit’s Big Three have experienced since they emerged from the Great Recession – and it highlights the challenges they face trying to adapt to a global transformation in what automakers build and how they market those products.

The appointment of Jim Hackett to replace Fields is, however, just the latest in a series of big announcements from Detroit that last week saw Ford announce plans to cut 1,400 salaried workers in North America and Europe, while General Motors said it would stop selling cars in the huge Indian market and sell off operations in South Africa.

Subscribe & Stay on Top!

“As the (Detroit) Big Three look out at the landscape, they see dramatic changes coming in the concept of mobility,” says Joe Phillippi, a veteran Wall Street auto analyst and now the lead at AutoTrends Consulting. “They are desperately trying to figure out the future business model and how they will fit in.”

(more…)

Ford Shaking Up Almost Entire Senior Management Team

Changes meant to "unleash innovation" and address "underperforming parts of the business."

by on May.22, 2017

Prior to joining Ford, Jim Hackett was Steelcase CEO and served as Interim U-Michigan Athletic Director.

Scrambling to turn around declining sales and earnings and to address broad shareholder concerns, Ford Motor Co. says it will replace CEO Mark Fields while reassigning a number of other senior managers.

The decision to oust the 56-year-old Fields, architect of a broad push into new mobility services, and replace him with former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett comes just a week after Ford announced plans to eliminate 1,400 salaried jobs in North America and Asia, part of a broader $3 billion cost cutting program.

Breaking News!

Ford Chairman Bill Ford Jr. downplayed any sense of management turmoil in a statement confirming the news reports that had begun to appear late Sunday night, declaring, “We’re moving from a position of strength to transform Ford for the future.” (more…)

Ford to Cut 1,400 Jobs as Part of Major Cost-Cutting Push

by on May.17, 2017

The new job cuts won't directly impact Ford's hourly workers - but they have been facing a series of temporary plant closures in recent months.

Ford Motor Co. has revealed plans to cut about 1,400 salaried jobs in North America and Asia as part of a cost-cutting plan, but the move is significantly smaller than had been suggested by some news reports earlier in the week.

The move comes as Ford struggles to boost sales and earnings after a sharp slump in recent months. The second-largest automaker has also been trying to boost its stock price, which has tumbled about 40% since Mark Fields became CEO nearly three years ago. But the initial response by investors is proving lackluster.

In the News!

“We remain focused on the three strategic priorities that will create value and drive profitable growth, which include fortifying the profit pillars in our core business, transforming traditionally underperforming areas of our core business and investing aggressively, but prudently, in emerging opportunities,” Ford said in a statement early Wednesday, updating comments the maker had released earlier in the week.

(more…)

Ford May Cut 10% of Global Workforce

Detroit maker responding to weak profits, stockholder pressure.

by on May.16, 2017

Ford CEO Mark Fields has come under increasing pressure to boost sales and earnings.

Under increasing pressure from stockholders as sales and profits decline, Ford Motor Co. is reportedly looking at cost cuts that could include the elimination of as much as 10% of its global workforce, sources tell TheDetroitBureau.com, confirming news reports that have been emerging overnight.

With a current workforce of around 200,000 employees worldwide, that means Ford could trim as many as 20,000 jobs, a large share of those apparently in the U.S. and Asia, though the final figure could be smaller. Other measures are designed to rein in spending and reverse the sharp, 35% drop in earnings Ford suffered during the first quarter of this year – triggering widespread criticism of the carmaker’s management by analysts and investors.

Breaking News!

In a statement, Ford declined to directly address the reported job cuts, but noted, “We remain focused on the three strategic priorities that will create value and drive profitable growth, which include fortifying the profit pillars in our core business, transforming traditionally underperforming areas of our core business and investing aggressively, but prudently, in emerging opportunities.”

(more…)

Ford’s Low Share Price Frustrates Shareholders and Execs

CEO Fields takes heat as stock, earnings, sales tumble.

by on May.12, 2017

CEO Mark Fields has tried to shift Ford's direction - but investors want quicker results.

Amidst signs of turmoil within the company, Ford’s top executives faced some sharp questions from shareholders during the first every “virtual annual” meeting.

“You both say that your main priority is to provide long-term shareholder value,” one shareholder asked. “Losing 40% of the value since Mark (Fields) took over as CEO doesn’t seem to be upholding that pledge.”

Beyond the Headlines!

In response, William Clay Ford Jr., Ford’s executive chairman and the great grandson of the company’s founder, said that the company’s stock price matters both to the Ford family and Ford’s top management. However, he added, Wall Street has historically undervalued automakers, even when they are earning substantial profits.

(more…)

Ford Profits Slide 35% on Recalls, Sluggish Sales

Number 2 Detroit maker also boosts investments in trucks.

by on Apr.27, 2017

The surge in SUV demand drove up prices but Ford still saw overall sales dip in the U.S. and China.

A flurry of headwinds put the drag on Ford Motor Co. earnings during the first quarter of 2017, the numbers dropping 35% to $1.6 billion.

It didn’t help that Ford’s latest numbers are being compared to the best quarterly earnings in company history, the $2.2 billion profit the Detroit maker delivered between January and March 2016. On the upside, Ford’s $0.40 earnings per share and $36.5 billion in total revenues did manage to beat Wall Street $0.35 earnings estimate, according to a poll of analysts by FactSet.

Subscribe Now!

Among the challenges Ford faced this time around: declining sales, increased recall costs, as well as rising prices for steel and other raw materials. There was also some hefty spending to retool operations like the Michigan Assembly Plant to produce more of the trucks Ford needs in today’s SUV and pickup-centric market, something the maker’s CEO Mark Fields declared “an investment in Ford’s future.”

(more…)

Lincoln Launches Chauffeur Service

“Quiet luxury” brand rolling series of pilot programs.

by on Apr.17, 2017

With the 2018 Lincoln Navigator, the big ute gets its first full makeover in a decade.

Hoping to create a distinctive identity for itself, Ford’s Lincoln Motor Co. is launching a series of pilot programs designed to emphasize the brand’s “quiet luxury” motto.

That includes both a new home sales and delivery process, as well as a chauffeur service that lets a Lincoln owner order up a driver via the marque’s smartphone app. Debuting in Miami, the new service provides a driver who can run errands or chauffeur owners who might otherwise have to call up a taxi or Uber ride.

Leave the Driving to Us!

The service “allows people to be picked up in their own Lincoln vehicle, rather than one they’re not familiar with,” said Andrew Frick, the brand’s director of sales and service. Owners also can request a specific driver if that person is available, he noted.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Ford Planning Long-Range EV to Challenge Tesla, GM

Goal is to be “in a leadership position,” says CEO Fields

by on Apr.29, 2016

Ford is upping the range of the current Focus Electric to more than 100 miles for 2017.

Ford Motor Co. plans to join the ranks of automakers offering a battery-car capable of at least 200 miles per charge, said CEO Mark Fields, helping eliminate the so-called “range anxiety” that has many potential customers shying away from electric vehicles.

That’s a shift in strategy for Ford which decided to hold the range of the updated 2017 Focus Electric to just 100 miles. But a growing list of manufacturers are pushing to 200 miles or more, including Tesla, General Motors, Volkswagen and Audi.

Plug In Now!

“We want to make sure that we’re either among the leaders or in a leadership position,” Fields said during a conference call with automotive analysts and reporters. “When you look at some of the competitors and what they’ve announced, clearly, that’s something we’re developing for.”

(more…)

Ford Wants to Go Green in China

US maker says 25% of Chinese vehicles will be battery-based by 2020.

by on Apr.27, 2016

Ford plans to launch the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid in China sometime in 2017.

One in four of the vehicles Ford Motor Co. hope to sell in China by the end of the decade will use some form of battery-based powertrain, company officials said during the Beijing Motor Show.

Ford has already announced plans to invest $4.5 billion in its electrification program, CEO Mark Fields saying the goal is to have 13 hybrids, plug-ins and pure battery-electric vehicles in the Blue Oval and Lincoln line-ups by 2020.

Your Auto Insider!

But China could become the maker’s largest market for these green vehicles, a shift that reflects government pressure at least as much as consumer demand in the world’s largest automotive market. Hoping to deal with endemic smog problems, Beijing regulators are using both carrot and stick – incentives and new mandates – to get the auto industry to ramp up production of battery-based vehicles.

(more…)