Ford Motor Company President and CEO Jim Hackett is expected to outline his future vision for the automaker on October 3rd when he briefs Wall Street analysts and investors, Automotive News reports. The 62-year-old successor to Mark Fields was appointed in May, when Fields was ousted after years of slow-but-sure share value decline.
According to AN, in the four months since his appointment, Mr. Hackett has met with line workers at several assembly plants, made visits to Ford’s offices in Silicon Valley, and traveled to speak with Ford’s joint-venture partners in Turkey and Russia. He’s also been behind some key decisions of late, like the call to produce the North American-market Focus compact car in China instead of Mexico, and the reconfiguration of Ford’s global leadership team.
Hackett’s vision for the future of Ford Motor Company will necessarily include the automaker’s dealings in autonomous vehicle technology and electrification – two hot topics in the industry today. But even more simply than that, Wall Street wants to see that Ford is on solid ground with regard to its traditional business of building and selling cars, trucks, and SUVs. Ford’s cancellation of the mid-size Ranger pickup in North America just when demand in that segment was starting to pick up, and its slowness to bring the subcompact EcoSport crossover to the US at a time when SUV sales are surging, have been viewed by many as failures.
“There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit. [Ford needs] to be able to react faster to consumer demand,” says AutoPacific Manager of Product Analysis Dave Sullivan. “Ford missed the market and didn’t realize where consumers were going. A decision to bring [those vehicles] here should have happened a long time ago.”