Archive for the 'Ford Corporate' Category


Why the Fusion defines the new Ford


Detroit. There are product launches in this business and then there are new product introductions that qualify as defining moments for a car company. Although we’ve long since past the point where fall new car introductions were the talk of small towns across America (and it’s a shame that era has passed), there’s no question that the introduction of the new Ford Fusion definitely qualifies as one of those defining moments.

The new Fusion is the culmination of everything that has gone into transforming Ford under the gifted leadership of Alan Mulally, and it’s exactly what Bill Ford Jr. had in mind when he began courting the Boeing leader to come to Dearborn and jump-start his family’s car company.

Despite everything you’ve read of late about Ford’s internal hand-wringing over Alan Mulally’s successor – Mark Fields – I can assure you that the company’s focus has never wavered from the job at hand, which, as Mulally has repeatedly defined it, means designing, engineering and building the best vehicles they can possibly muster.  Cars and trucks that are both efficient and fun to drive.

Continue reading ‘Why the Fusion defines the new Ford’


Ford Motor Co.’s marketing chief answers 3 questions on the US market, gas prices and rival GM

Source: AP


DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. marketing chief Jim Farley has a busy year ahead, with the launch of major products such as the Ford Escape and the revamp of the luxury Lincoln brand. And as the new Ford Fusion was debuting at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the new Ford EcoSport, a compact SUV for developing markets, was unveiled in New Delhi. Both will go on sale later this year.

The company is accelerating its plan to make global products instead of producing different cars for each market, Farley said Wednesday at the Automotive News World Congress, an industry conference held during the auto show in Detroit. Farley says 85 percent of Ford’s products will be built on just nine basic platforms by 2013. That’s a year earlier than its original plan. It’s also a major change from five years ago, when just 29 percent of Ford’s volume was built on shared platforms.

In North America, Farley is also tasked with reinventing the Lincoln brand, which was the top luxury brand in the U.S. 15 years ago but has fallen to last place after years of neglect. Ford debuted the new Lincoln MKZ midsize sedan at the auto show, and will try to create a new image for Lincoln with advertising and spruced-up dealerships. It’s a challenge Farley relishes.

“It will take all of our energy to get Lincoln back,” he said.

Continue reading ‘Ford Motor Co.’s marketing chief answers 3 questions on the US market, gas prices and rival GM’


Ford Moves in on Silicon Valley

Ford Motor Company is the latest automaker to open a research lab in Silicon Valley, where it hopes to scout out new technology and keep ahead of trends.

The company said Friday that it plans to open the lab near Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., in the first few months of this year. It will employ around 15 people, including some recruited locally and others who will rotate in from Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn.

Ford’s Chief Technical Officer Paul Mascarenas said the company decided about a year ago that it needed a bigger presence in Silicon Valley.

“This is a very natural extension into one of the most innovative communities in the world,” he said.

He said the lab will work on ways to better integrate phones and other personal devices into cars, as well as safety systems that alert drivers when they’re approaching another car.

The lab will also solicit and test applications from independent programmers. One app Ford is currently studying can find an open parking space and reserve it. Another would improve weather reporting by transmitting signals when a car’s rain-sensing wipers are triggered.

Mascarenas said the lab will also study larger issues, including population growth in developing countries like China and India, and how best to handle traffic in those countries.

The lab will work with Ford headquarters as well as its design studio in Southern California and its office at Microsoft Corp. in Washington. Microsoft and Ford jointly developed Ford’s Sync voice-activated entertainment system and My Ford Touch touch-screen dashboard.

But Mascarenas said it’s important that the lab be in Silicon Valley — not Dearborn — so employees feel free to experiment.

Ford joins several other automakers that have similar offices in Silicon Valley, including General Motors Co., BMW AG and the Renault-Nissan alliance.

K. Venkatesh Prasad, a senior technical leader at Ford who will commute between Dearborn and the new office, said Ford considered opening a Silicon Valley office in the past but the technology wasn’t ready. Now, he said, the Sync platform makes it easier and faster to reprogram the car and update it with new applications. Ford introduced Sync four years ago.

“The car is finally a platform,” Prasad said.


Ford earnings hit 20-year high in Q3


Ford Motor Company has issued the results of their 3rd quarter for 2010 and the good news continues for the Blue Oval crew. Through the months of July, August and September, Ford reported profits of $1.7 billion – an improvement of over 69% compared to Q3 of 2009 and Ford’s best third quarter since 1990.

This is the sixth straight quarterly profit for Ford, even though revenue fell from $30.3 billion to $29 billion – helping to highlight the efforts made by Ford Motor Company to lower costs across the board. While some may raise an eyebrow at the drop in revenue, keep in mind that in 2009, Ford also had the Volvo brand bringing in revenue whereas this year the Motor Company was relying on just Ford, Lincoln and Mercury.

Ford Automotive posted a $1.3 billion pre-tax operating profit, an improvement of over $950 million compared to 2009 and by the year’s end, Ford expects the cash on hand of the Automotive side of the company to equal its debt. Ford has originally planned for its cash on hand to equal its automotive debt sometime during 2011 and the announcement that FMC expects that to happen by the end of the year shows that Ford is doing better than even they expected.

Ford’s new products help them increase profits and market share

The continued profits over the last year and a half by Ford Motor Company are largely in part to cost-cutting efforts throughout the company’s operations, which included selling off the Volvo cars brand. However, with the steady increase in Ford’s US market share it is clear that the new models are helping FMC realize these gains. Since the beginning of 2009, Ford’s sales have grown by 21% with 1.4 million vehicles sold since January – an average that nearly doubles the average company growth in the industry.

This sales growth has helped Ford increase its market share from 15.2 to 16.7%, accounting for the largest growth of any brand and with the Toyota brand continued to bury itself in recalls and quality control questions, there is more market share to be had. Thanks to new models like the 2011 Ford Mustang, the 2011 Ford F-Series, the 2011 Ford Fiesta and the upcoming 2012 Ford Focus, sales of American brands like Ford are growing as the auto industry rebounds from the fading recession concerns.



Lincoln lineup to expand, create identity apart from Ford brand

by Automotive News

With the death of Mercury, Ford Motor Co. will funnel more dollars into Lincoln.

For example, planners are looking to add a compact, front-drive car or crossover. There also is talk that a car based on the next-generation Ford Mondeo could be added to the lineup.

For Lincoln to succeed, analysts say, it’s critical that product planners separate Lincoln’s design, power trains, and technology from those of the Ford brand. Lincoln will get features such as active noise cancellation and adaptive suspensions.

Here’s Lincoln’s outlook for the 2011-13 model years.

Compact vehicle: Ford product czar Derrick Kuzak promises a compact front-wheel-drive vehicle but is vague on whether it’s a compact car or crossover. Those familiar with Ford’s plans say it could be a crossover based on the next-generation Kuga crossover from Europe. The automaker is also exploring a compact car. Both the car and crossover would be based on the next-generation global Ford Focus platform.

In January 2009, Ford showed the Lincoln C concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The concept, based on a wide version of the next-generation Focus platform, shows the possible styling direction for a compact Lincoln.

The redesigned Focus is due in early 2011. A Lincoln version could come by the 2013 model year or sooner.

Continue reading ‘Lincoln lineup to expand, create identity apart from Ford brand’


Jim Cramer’s CEO Interview Video: Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)


Ford’s Mulally, UPS’s Davis named to President’s Export Council

Source: Business First

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally and United Parcel Service Inc. chairman and CEO Scott Davis were among U.S. business leaders named Wednesday to the President’s Export Council.

The council advises President Obama on ways to encourage companies to increase their exports and enter new markets, according to a news release from Ford.

“At Ford, we believe an export-driven strategy is critical to achieving our shared goals of economic growth, job creation and a sustainable future,” Mulally said in the release.

“For exports to grow, we must ensure that market access for manufactured goods remains at the center of U.S. trade policy,” he added. “Manufacturing matters to American jobs, investment and economic activity. It represents the future of green, high-tech jobs that will drive innovation, and it also happens to represent more than 60 percent of U.S. exports.”

Continue reading ‘Ford’s Mulally, UPS’s Davis named to President’s Export Council’

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