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Archive for the ‘Ford’ Category

Mustang Electrified?

Ford counter-programs debut of the Tesla Model Y and hints of a high-performance CUV to come.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.15, 2019

“Hold your horses,” or so said Ford Motor Co. in a tweet not-so-coincidentally timed to reach the social media world just as Tesla CEO Elon Musk was getting ready to debut his company’s new Model Y battery-electric SUV.

The Ford post featured that short blurb and a blue version of the Mustang logo against a black background, nothing more. But it does hint at several projects that Ford has already confirmed are in the works. That includes both a hybridized version of the pony car, as well as a Mustang-influenced all-electric SUV that Ford announced during the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Electrifying News!

An early player in the electrification field, Ford has fallen behind not just Tesla but conventional rivals like General Motors and Volkswagen, both investing heavily in long-range, battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs. Ford officials say they are going to make a push to catch up and have confirmed that the first entry into next-gen electric technology would be a performance-oriented crossover tentatively named Mach 1 and due to market about when the Tesla Model Y hits the street about a year from now.

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Over 70% of Americans “Afraid” to Ride in a Fully Autonomous Car

"The good, the bad and the ugly."

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.14, 2019

The fatal crash involving an Uber vehicle in Tempe, AZ has negatively shaped many peoples' view of autonomous vehicle technology, AAA found.

Almost exactly a year after an autonomous Uber prototype struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, a new AAA study finds more than seven in ten Americans “afraid” of riding in a fully autonomous vehicle.

That’s despite the fact that 100s of self-driving prototypes are plying U.S. roads on a daily basis, a number that could soon climb into the tens of thousands if Congress moves to approve proposed legislation designed to help make the technology a part of everyday life. Already, the first self-driving vehicle ride-sharing program has gone into operation, launched last December by Google spin-off Waymo.

Out of this World!

“Automated vehicle technology is evolving on a very public stage and, as a result, it is affecting how consumers feel about it,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering.

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Ford Officials Confirm Looming Salaried Employee Cuts

Numbers of white-collar jobs to be slashed not revealed.

by Michael Strong on Mar.13, 2019

Ford plans to cut thousands of salaried jobs as part of an $11 billion restructuring taking place between now and next year.

With General Motors caught square in the crosshairs by critics chastising the recent salaried job cuts and plant closures, Ford Motor Co. officials may be the next target, confirming today they plan to cut an unspecified number of salaried employees.

The job cuts were announced last year as part of an $11 billion global reorganization. However, no specifics were applied to how many or where they would occur. Ford officials even now won’t confirm how many.

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Said Deep, a Ford spokesman, declined to tell Reuters say how many jobs are being cut but said the company expects the process to be completed by the end of June. He said the restructuring “has resulted in some separations of salaried employees and the reassignment of others.”  (more…)

UAW Raising Strike Pay Ahead of Big Three Negotiations

Workers get $250 a week now, up $50 a week.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.11, 2019

UAW President Gary Jones said striking workers will get $50 more in their check effective immediately.

In a warning that it was preparing for a fight during contract talks with Detroit’s automakers this coming summer, the United Auto Workers raised the amount it will pay workers, who walk off the job from $767-million strike fund.

UAW President Gary Jones told opening day attendees of the union’s Special Convention on Collective Bargaining said the union’s executive board approved raising the weekly strike pay, effectively immediately to $250 per week from the current level of $200 per week.

Union News!

The strike pay will be raised to $275 per week effective Jan. 1, 2020, said Jones, adding the union’s strike benefits also include health insurance for union members and their families during the duration of any contract dispute that leads to a strike. (more…)

February Auto Sales in China Drop 13.8%

New energy vehicles, i.e. EVs, rose 53.6% last month.

by Michael Strong on Mar.11, 2019

New vehicle sales in China, like the Mazda CX-4, fell during the month of February 13.8%.

Automakers hoping that China might bail them out of sluggish sales in the U.S. are going to be disappointed as sales in the world’s largest market fell 13.8% in February.

The drop is eight consecutive month that China, only just two years ago posting double-digit increases, has seen buyers keep their money in their wallets. Sales fell 16% in January and 13% in December. Overall, 1.48 million new vehicles were sold in China last month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Business News!

“The trend experienced last year has continued into this year, and the economic situation has also been weak. This has dragged down consumption,” CAAM’s Deputy Secretary General Shi Jianhua told reporters at a news briefing in Beijing. (more…)

UAW Leaders Meet as Prelude to Bargaining With Automakers

Expect tough talks with auto companies.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.11, 2019

UAW President Gary Jones will be looking to get feedback from union locals across the country.

The United Auto Workers heads into its bargaining convention this week against tumultuous backdrop that includes suddent plant closing, a grinding federal investigation of the union’s handling of training funds and grumbling among union members, who have made it plain this winter the expect some gains  when the UAW goes to the bargaining table this summer with Detroit’s three automakers.

The resolutions adpted during the meeting will be broad so as not to encumber union bargainers in future negotiations but specific enough to shape the tenor of upcoming  talks not only in the auto industry but also other sectors where the union has members.

News You Can Trust!

“It is an ideal way to get members from a variety of workplaces and backgrounds together and discuss what is important to their fellow workers, their families and their communities,” UAW President Gary Joines said in a new issue of Solidarity, the union’s magazine. (more…)

Ford Cutting Jobs in China

China sales fell 2.8% in 2018.

by Joseph Szczesny on Feb.28, 2019

While Ford's Mustang is still selling well, the rest of its line-up is not, contributing to a double-digit decline.

Ford Motor Co. is moving to slash thousands of jobs in China.

Since last fall, Ford has been promising to put its house in order and analysts have speculated that the restructuring could result in the elimination of 15,000 jobs worldwide.

Business News!

Now it appears that a large piece of the restructuring will involve cuts to the company’s operations in China where Ford lost as much as $1 billion in 2018, according to the company’s financial statements. (more…)

Ford Investigates Potential Errant Fuel Economy, Emissions Testing

Automaker hires outside law firm to lead query.

by Michael Strong on Feb.22, 2019

Ford employees began questioning the results of fuel economy and emissions testing on the 2019 Ranger.

Ford Motor Co. may be suffering from déjà vu, the automaker announcing it is in the midst of self-imposed investigation of its fuel economy and testing procedures that may have produced incorrect mileage and emissions data.

The query has been going on since last fall and began when several employees voiced concerns about the process and the resulting data. The automaker is quick to point out that these potential problems do not involve cheat devices like those used by Volkswagen AG or other automakers.

News You Can Trust!

Kimberly Pittel, Ford’s group vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering, told Reuters the investigation began with the test results for the 2019 Ford Ranger. The company is evaluation alterations made to the testing process and calculations used to determine fuel economy and emissions results submitted to federal regulatory agencies. (more…)

Ford Making Switch to Green Power for Detroit-Area Facilities

Ford is first automaker to enlist in the program.

by Joseph Szczesny on Feb.22, 2019

Ford's electricity for its facilities stretching from Dearborn to Detroit will now come from green resources, like this wind turbine.

The smoke and grit from the Ford Motor Co.’s sprawling Rouge complex embodied in Charles Sheeler’s fabled pictures from the 1920s have long been part of the of the Motor City’s lore and heritage.

However, Ford and DTE Energy, a local energy provider, are vowing that key parts of the Rouge as well as other key Ford installations stretching from Dearborn to Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, including the Michigan Central Train Station that will become a part of the company’s research and engineering campus, will be powered by electricity generated by wind and solar power.

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Ford Motor Co.’s Dearborn Truck Plant, the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, as well as several new buildings on the Ford Research and Engineering Campus and will soon be powered by 100% locally sourced renewable energy, Ford announced this week.  (more…)

Ford Cutting Operations in Brazil, Closes Oldest Plant

Automaker not waiting on tie-up with VW to improve business.

by Michael Strong on Feb.19, 2019

São Bernardo do Campo is Ford's oldest plant in Brazil. It makes the Fiesta and will be closed later this year.

When Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG announced they were talking about potential partnerships in the near future, one area many believed they would discuss was their businesses in South America.

The South American market has been tough sledding for much of the last decade and the two sides had linked up before with AutoLatina, which ceased operations in 1995.

Global News!

However, Ford isn’t waiting on a tie-up with VW to make moves down there, saying today it plans to close its oldest plant in Brazil resulting in 2,700 layoffs as it exits the commercial truck business in South America. (more…)