All posts in Business
The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) and Folsom Technologies are looking for a solution to the fuel economy numbers found in pickup trucks, and they may have found it. (more…)
Do you find it rather ironic that the two American automakers talking up their return to glory had to file for bankruptcy? If so, you’re not alone — as demonstrated by this spec ad. Should Ford use it to respond to Chrysler’s latest Detroit pride?
The Ford Mustang GT350 was a car that spoke the language of performance during the late sixties. With its modified engines, suspensions, brakes, and body work, these were cars that drivers knew meant business.
Production of these special Mustangs would only run from 1965 till 1970. But in 2010, Shelby showed off a new take on GT350 using the 2011 Mustang GT and the new 5.0 V8 as its base. Now, Shelby is expanding the GT350 lineup with the introduction of 2012 Shelby GT350 Convertible. (more…)
Ford is continuing to cut its debt, having announced the redemption of its Trust Preferred Securities. The move net our favorite automaker $3 billion. At the end of 2010, Ford reported a 43 percent decrease in debt worth $14.5 billion.
“We remain focused on reducing our automotive debt as the core automotive business continues to strengthen,” said Lewis Booth, Ford Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. We are pleased with the progress we have made, and we are committed to continuing to improve our balance sheet to lay a solid foundation for a strong and profitably growing business in years to come.”
Continue reading for the presser.
Speaking at the Chicago Auto Show, Ford Vice President of Global Marketing Jim Farley stated that Ford doesn’t think of itself as only an auto company, but rather a “technology company”.
Two points hold a candle to Farley’s statement. First is Ford’s decision to use Facebook to introduce the new Explorer and start a conversation with consumers about the vehicle. One of the topics brought up by Ford was how the Explorer should be marketed. Farley said the response from people was to focus more on “unscripted” style and not on fuel economy or storage space.
The former Toyota executive also points to Ford’s commitment to integrate technology into the driving experience with SYNC as well as using internet connectivity to provide information, navigation, and entertainment.
Taking the technology company identity further, Farley mentioned that if customers have a question about their car, a model similar to Apple’s Genius Bar or Best Buy’s Geek Squad could be used to help answer questions and concerns. Interesting stuff, huh? We’d call it innovation at its finest — even though there’s not much “ground breaking” material on the surface.
Could the legendary Ford GT make another comeback? Automobile magazine believes so. Speaking with Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s head of global product development, the question of whether Ford was interested in building a successor the GT was brought up. Kuzak paused for a moment and dropped the following bombshell: (more…)
Some Lincoln dealers are having quite the strained relationship with Ford — and this news only makes it worse. At the upcoming National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA) convention, Ford said it will update its dealers on the business plan for its luxury brand but will not shed any light on upcoming products. The move only widens the rift between Ford and Lincoln dealers — a falling-out that started back in October, when Ford requested dealers to spend upwards of two million dollars to upgrade their facilities. If dealers refused to upgrade their dealerships, Ford would cut all sorts of incentives. Understandably, dealers wanted to see some upcoming products before spending any money on upgrades.
“They told us there would be no new products for about 24 months. I don’t know how the stand-alone Lincoln dealers are going to make it, especially those dealers who have to spend $2 million on their upgrades,” said Larry Taylor, owner of Beau Townsend Ford-Lincoln Mercury back in October to Automotive News.
It may be news to you that — after announcing a profitable Q4 and stellar 2010 financial results — the price of Ford’s shares experienced a significant drop. Here’s a quick breakdown of the results Ford reported:
- U.S. vehicle sales increased 19.5 percent in 2010
- Revenue of $32.5 billion in the fourth quarter and $120.9 billion for the full year — an increase of $17 billion from full year 2009 (excluding Volvo from 2009)
- Full-year net income of $6.6 billion — a number that’s occasionally referred to as “Toyota money”
- Fourth-quarter income was $190 million — a decrease of $696 million from a year ago
- Debt dropped by $14.5 billion – or 43 percent — from 2009 levels to $19.1 billion
Marking its best performance in a decade, Ford Motor Company reported a $6.6 billion profit in 2010 in the face of a slowdown in the last three months of the year.
The Blue Oval managed to grow U.S. vehicle sales by 19.5 percent in 2010, marking the second consecutive year of profitability after three years of losses. Sales of the highly-profitable F-Series pick-up trucks grew 27.7 percent. The results are music to the ears of investors, auto enthusiasts, and Ford fans alike — since Ford’s turnaround is one of the most successful in automotive history. Just a few short years ago, Ford was the last of the Detroit Three in its turnaround, appearing the most vulnerable compared to cross-town rivals GM and Chrysler.
The successful performance of yesteryear is responsible for an average bonus of $5,000 for Ford’s 40,600 hourly workers, marking the biggest bonus since 2001. (more…)
Well here’s some interesting news for fans and owners of Ford’s Falcon sedan: the RWD vehicle could be heading for the great parking lot in the sky.
“I wouldn’t be holding my breath for a rear-wheel drive Falcon. I think the chances are we will be all-wheel-drive,” said Ford global design chief J Mays. “… we are pretty confident we can find the right answers. It’s the same things that appeal on a rear-wheel-drive car in Australia that appeal for a rear-wheel-drive car here in the USA.” Continue reading for the coveted Ford Authority Take.