Archive for the ‘Ford’ Category

Ford, Volkswagen Nearing Second Agreement

Two automakers working on EVs and autonomous vehicles.

by on Jun.13, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and VW AG CEO Herbert Diess downplayed the immediate impact their new deal. The two companies are on the verge of their second deal.

Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG are finalizing a deal to work together on autonomous and electric vehicles, according the German automaker’s top executive.

Herbert Diess, VW’s CEO, told a group of employees that the two sides were negotiating the final parts of the deal, which would be the second since the two automakers agreed to start working together earlier this year.

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The first deal called for Ford to provide VW with assistance on developing a new pickup truck that it would sell in global markets, but not the United States. This new deal centers on Ford getting use of Volkswagen’s MEB EV platform. (more…)

Ford Begins Testing Autonomous Vehicles in Detroit

Automaker working with Argo AI on self-driving program.

by on Jun.13, 2019

The new Ford Fusion Hybrid is a third-generation test vehicle that Argo AI is now testing in Detroit.

Ford Motor Co. has begun testing autonomous vehicles around its new engineering campus in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood with its AV partner Pittsburgh-based Argo AI even as it launches a new research center in Israel with an eye on developing new technology.

Peter Rander, president of Argo AI, said the new vehicles being tested in Detroit are equipped with a significantly upgraded sensor suite, including new sets of radar and cameras with higher resolution and higher dynamic range.

News You Can Trust!

When trying to see an object that’s very far away, a lower resolution camera may only be able to represent it as a pixel or two. But with higher resolution, you may be able to get a dozen pixels out of the same far away object. In concert with upgraded software, this means our vehicles are getting better at seeing what’s farther ahead and classifying what it is, Rander said in a blog post on the Argo website. (more…)

Ford Recalling 1.2 Million Explorer SUVs

Steering control on utes may be affected.

by on Jun.12, 2019

Ford is recalling 1.2 million Explorers for a problem that could reduce steering control.

Ford Motor Co. is recalling 1.2 million of its popular Explorer sport-utility vehicles due to a defect that could reduce the driver’s ability to steer the vehicle.

The problem stems from an issue with the rear suspension toe link. The automaker noted that the affected vehicles are exposed to frequent full rear suspension articulation (jounce and rebound) may experience a fractured rear suspension toe link.

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A fracture of a rear toe link significantly diminishes steering control, increasing the risk of a crash. The second-largest U.S. automaker said the recall covers 2011-2017 model year Explorers.  (more…)

Ford Shuttering UK Engine Plant, Selling Russian Factories

Brexit driving automakers out of United Kingdom.

by on Jun.10, 2019

Ford is shutting down its Bridgend, South Wales, UK plant due to Brexit-related issues.

Ford Motor Co. is closing its engine factory in the United Kingdom as part of an overhaul of its unprofitable European operations while also selling off its factories in Russia.

The shutdown of the Bridgend, South Wales plant, which employs more than 1,500 workers and builds engines for several Ford models in Europe, including the Fiesta and B-Max, comes amid the turmoil spawned by Brexit.

Global News!

Automakers have said Brexit will make it more expensive and more difficult to import components from the European Union. (more…)

Automakers Push Back on Trump Plan to Relax Mileage Rules

Expected White House plan would trigger legal actions and “untenable” uncertainty, 17 OEs warn.

by on Jun.07, 2019

Pres. Donald Trump thought he would win industry support from industry leaders over CAFE cuts but has seen opposition, instead/

In an unusual move, 17 automakers, including giants General Motors, Ford and Toyota, have sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him not to move ahead on plans to roll back federal fuel economy standards – a move that puts the industry more in line with environmentalists than the anti-regulatory White House.

The Trump Administration has signaled since it was first inaugurated its intention to roll back Obama-era guidelines that would have seen the Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, standard rise to 54.5 mpg by 2025. The administration’s draft plans would freeze the numbers at 2021 model-year levels, or about 37 mpg.

The Last Word!

The proposal has already generated significant opposition from environmental and consumer groups, as well as the State of California which would effectively lose its current right to set standards higher than those established by the federal government. California has played lead in the various legal actions that have been filed to block any rollback even before the original outline of a plan the White House announced was formalized.

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Auto Stocks Taking a Beating as Industry Prepares for Mexican Tariffs

Domestic, import automakers alike hammered by Trump plan.

by on Jun.03, 2019

GM imports more vehicles from Mexico than any other automakers, including the Chevy Silverado.

It’s a bear market, at least when it comes to automotive stocks, with Pres. Donald Trump’s planned tariffs on Mexican imports set to go into effect a week from today.

Last Friday, the president tweeted that he was prepared to enact a new 5% tariff on Mexican goods in an effort to pressure that country to stem illegal immigration across the southern border. Barring any resolution, Trump said that would continue to climb to 25% by October 1.

Beyond the Headlines!

Nearly a dozen manufacturers would quickly be forced to either raise prices on vehicles imported from Mexico and risk weakening sales, or absorb the tariffs and take a hit to their bottom lines. But even vehicles produced in the U.S. would face tariffs on imported parts and components, such as engines, wiring harnesses and body and interior trim, according to industry analysts.

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15 Years Later, Caddy Ready to Reveal Two New Models

CT4-V and CT5-V to debut next week. Could electrification by the future of the V-Series?

by on May.24, 2019

The original Cadillac CTS-V was tested on a variety of different tracks, including Germany's Nurburgring, as well as Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.

Fifteen years after Cadillac introduced its first V-Series model, two more performance offerings are set to make their debut next week, the automaker has confirmed.

What’s unusual about the coming news is that Caddy will use a preview in Detroit to reveal the all-new CT4 sedan in V-Series trim first, with the base model set to follow later, reversing its normal approach. The event also will see the introduction of a V-version of Caddy’s mid-range sedan, the new CT5-V, that effectively replaces the old CTS-V that kicked off the performance program when it debuted in 2004.

The Last Word!

“From the very beginning, Cadillac’s V-Series represented the ultimate expression of our design, technology and performance,” said GM President Mark Reuss, ahead of the two introductions. “It introduced an entirely new breed of performance-minded customers to Cadillac showrooms and helped transform the brand’s traditional image into one with different facets for customers’ varying driving tastes.”

(more…)

Automakers Still Looking for Top Price on Full-Size Pickups

Trucks continue growing bottom line for automakers.

by on May.21, 2019

The Sierra HD 3500 makes an audacious debut pulling 225,000 pounds of yacht and trailer. It also gets an audacious price tag.

Truck sales are booming, which is good news for automakers since they result in big profits. Only adding to their bottom-line delight is that the fastest growing area are the highly profitable “luxury” trucks with price tags zipping past $60,000.

New full-size trucks in 2018 were 16% more expensive than those in 2015, and midsize trucks were 3% more expensive, according to CarGurus.com. In fact, the top end of the market has trucks passed the $80,000 mark, and the good news is that there is probably room for even more expensive pickups, according to one truck executive.

Product News!

“I think there’s still an opportunity (in vehicles) for traditional luxury items, like more materials, audio systems, things like that,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president, Global Buick and GMC, recently during a meeting with journalists. (more…)

Could Tesla’s High-Flying Ride on Wall Street be Ready to Come Crashing Down?

Shares head towards $200 for first time since 2016, as key analyst warns $10 is possible.

by on May.21, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has plenty to worry about as investors turn bearish on its stock.

After sliding to its lowest level since December 2016 on five days of losses, Tesla stock fell to its lowest level in nearly 30 months, at just above $200 — and one key analyst, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas, warns Tesla could see the stock plunge to just $10 a share.

Not much has gone right for the California automotive upstart in recent months, starting with word that first-quarter sales had fallen well short of expectations. Its unexpectedly deep, $702 million loss for the quarter didn’t help. And the situation only grew worse when CEO Elon Musk last week ordered a “hardcore” belt-tightening covering “literally every payment that leaves our bank account.” Then, the National Transportation Safety Board weighed in, blaming a fatal March 2018 crash on Tesla’s much-ballyhooed Autopilot system.

Breaking News!

Even where the automaker appeared to pull off a coup, topping substantially what it had expected to raise with last month’s combination of stock and debt offerings, Musk told employees in an e-mail, that the $2.7 billion Tesla brought in “actually only gives us about 10 months at the Q1 burn rate to achieve breakeven!”

(more…)

Ford Cutting 500 Salaried Jobs in US, 7,000 Globally

Reduction in force expected to save $600 million annually.

by on May.20, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett is implementing his plan to improve the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker's profitability.

Ford Motor Co. will today notify 500 white-collar workers in its North American operations that their jobs are being eliminated, the move part of a broader cutback that will see 7,000 salaried positions eliminated worldwide, including 1,500 former employees who voluntarily separated from the company in 2018.

While most of the focus is on Europe and other markets where Ford has been struggling, as many as 800 U.S. workers could lose their jobs before the end of this year. Coming to about 10% of the automaker’s white-collar workforce, the cutbacks are part of a broader, $11.5 billion global “Smart Redesign” that Ford CEO Jim Hackett announced last year.

Business News!

“Within that total, and consistent with our goal to reduce bureaucracy, we will have reduced management structure by close to 20%,” CEO Hackett said in a note sent to employees late Monday. “This will result in annual savings of about $600 million.” (more…)


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