Jim Hackett held his first earnings call with analysts and investors as CEO of Ford Motor Company, where he plainly laid out his strategy for keeping Ford fit enough to weather an industry-wide slowdown in sales, and relevant through a period of radical change within the automotive industry. On the call, he reiterated some of the things he previously said he would prioritize during his first 100 days.
Hackett said that he is considering where the automaker can afford to cut costs, like with its buyout offers given to some 15k employees. The deadline to accept the offer passed earlier this week, although the automaker doesn’t yet have a tally on how many salaried employees have accepted; the automaker needs 1,400 to accept in order to avoid a round of layoffs.
At the same time, the Ford CEO is considering when and where the company can invest capital, and says that he’ll be quicker to act on opportunities than his predecessor, Mark Fields, who was asked to step down last May. Some of that investment will naturally be in new tech like vehicle autonomy and mobility, but as those pursuits tend to require less capital than Ford’s core business, much of its investment will go toward cars, trucks, and SUVs; according to Ford CFO Bob Shanks, capital expenditures will rise from $7 billion today, to $8 billion over the next five years.
Finally, Jim Hackett is taking steps to improve Ford’s company culture, squashing infighting and leveling the corporate hierarchy to an extent that allows for more innovation and risk-taking.
Ford’s net income for the second quarter stood at $2 billion, propelled by $2.2 billion in pretax profits in the North American market.
(Source: Motor Trend)