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Ford Replacing CFO Shanks with Amazon Veteran

Numerous other changes announced by Detroit automaker.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.21, 2019

A 42-year Ford veteran, CFO Bob Shanks had previously signaled his plan to retire.

Ford veteran Bob Shanks is stepping down, with his replacement as chief financial officer coming in from the online community.

The well-regarded Shanks, who spent 42 years at the Detroit automaker, will hand over the ledger to Tim Stone who has been serving as CFO of social media venture Snap. The 52-year-old Stone previously spent two decades at Amazon.

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“Bob will leave a remarkable 42-year legacy at Ford,” the automaker’s CEO Jim Hackett said. “As a CFO, he’s been relentless in driving for results and pushing the company to greater heights. Bob’s leadership was integral to Ford’s comeback during the great recession, and he has been an invaluable partner as we transform Ford to succeed in the next era.”

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Ford Investing $900M in Second EV Plant, AV Facility in Michigan

New operation set to open in 2023, add 900 workers.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.20, 2019

Ford is planning to use its underutilized plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, to build electric vehicles starting in 2023.

Ford Motor Co. will invest $900 million in two Detroit-area facilities meant to focus on the cars of the future.

The bulk of the investment, about $850 million, will go to Ford’s now under-utilized Flat Rock facility that will become the automaker’s second source for pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs, in the process creating 900 new jobs. The rest will fund what the automaker is describing as an “Autonomous Vehicle center,” where conventional vehicles will be modified to operate hands-free and even entirely without a driver.

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Ford was one of the earliest of the automakers to focus on battery-based powertrain technology, though it won’t bring out its first long-range all-electric model until next year, a “Mustang-inspired” SUV expected to take aim at the new Tesla Model Y. It will be produced at Ford’s first battery-electric vehicle plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico. (more…)

Ford Increasing Large Sport-Utility Production

Automaker adding 550 jobs to handle increased output.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.20, 2019

Ford is increasing the production output at its two sport-utility plants in Kentucky to meet demand for the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator.

Ford Motor Co. is planning to increase production of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator as both vehicles continue see sales rise in the large SUV segment.

Boosting the production of the Expedition and Navigator after the annual summer shutdown in July will raise the output at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. as much as 20% as it puts more pressure on archrival General Motors, which has dominated the full-size SUV segment for nearly 15 years.

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Raising production requires more people to build the two popular vehicles so Ford is adding 550 jobs at the Kentucky Truck Plant and moving approximately that same number of employees from the Louisville Assembly Plant, Ford’s other assembly plant in the state of Kentucky where it builds the new Ford Escape and Lincoln Aviator. (more…)

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.

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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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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…)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…)

Ford Hit by $151.8 Million Verdict by Alabama Jury

Verdict awarded in injury trial of Alabama man riding 1998 Explorer.

by Michael Strong on Feb.18, 2019

An Alabama man was award $151.8 million in damages after the 1998 Ford Explorer he was riding in rolled over twice, leaving him paralyzed.

A Selma, Alabama, man left paralyzed as a result of a 2015 rollover accident in a 1998 Ford Explorer was awarded $151.8 million in damages by an Alabama jury.

The jury awarded Travaris Smith $100 million in punitive damages and $51.8 million in compensatory damages after finding on Friday that the 1998 Ford Explorer did not meet Ford’s own safety guidelines and that Ford “acted wantonly” in designing the vehicle, according to a court document seen by Reuters and Smith’s lawyers.

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Smith was riding in the SUV when its driver swerved to avoid an animal and the vehicle rolled over twice, attorneys at law firms Beasley Allen and Gamble, Gamble, Calame and Jones said in a statement. He snapped his spine and is now paralyzed. (more…)