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Jim Farley Seeks Input From All Levels Of Ford To Make It Better

Ford COO Jim Farley
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Executives are often accused of ignoring those beneath them, especially employees at the customer-facing levels of the business. But so far, it seems like incoming Ford CEO Jim Farley is quite interested in what those folks think. In fact, according to Bloomberg, Farley is essentially asking everyone he comes into contact with how they would fix the problems that currently ail the automaker.

That includes two field sales representatives Farley ran into at a dealership recently, who he asked, “What’s the one thing at Ford Motor Company you’d like to change?” He’s also asked that very same question of workers at the Ford Dearborn Assembly Plant and middle management at the automaker’s Dearborn headquarters.

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And while most professionals seek mentors above them on the organizational chart or more experienced at least, Jim Farley has actually found himself a “reverse mentor” that works six levels below him. “We need to invert the company,” Farley, explained. “We need the decisions and the authority and autonomy to come from all of us to unleash Ford.”

So far, Farley has revealed very little about his plans to reinvigorate Ford. However, earlier this month, he did make it a point to say that once he takes over the position of CEO on October 1st, his plan doesn’t just include selling more vehicles, but also generating post-sale revenue from connected vehicles.

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“I’ve tried to learn as much as I can from other leaders who have had their base be a physical product and then go out and have to create a business on top of that,” Farley said. “Our growth as a company will come from not the four walls of the product. It will come from services.”

Ultimately, however, Farley is also acutely aware that it’ll take a total team effort to turn things around. “Everyone at Ford knows the situation we’re in,” Farley said back in February. “I can see it on the faces of my colleagues.”

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We’ll have more on Ford’s new CEO and his strategy very soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford business news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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14 Comments

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  1. He can start by keeping the MKZ aka Zephyr sedans at Lincoln then add a Flagship Sedan and Coupe Continental. Something Amazing in style

  2. Roy, agreed. He and his team also need to spend where it’s needed to make these products world class. Most folks would be willing to spend a few more dollars if it’ll make a significant difference.

    • He can start keeping at least one sedan in Ford and one in Lincoln. Not everyone likes SUV’s or Crossovers or is willing to buy one. Even if SUV’s or Crossovers sell like hot cakes today, the market is cyclic and that won’t last forever. Letting a segment of buyers go, has the huge risk that they will not return when the trends change again. Ford competition knows this and keeps at least one sedan in their lineup. I don’t see why Ford can’t. In my case after 25 years buying Ford sedans (and a couple of Mustangs), I will migrate to other brand, but there’s no human power that’s going make me buy an SUV or Crossover for the simple reason that I don’t like them.

  3. The electric charging network needs to grow more and fill in large “holes” in the USA as in the Dakota’s, Wisconsin, the UP of Michigan. Selective placement of DCFC-fast car chargers-at certain dealerships in these holes would significantly help with the evolution to electrification.

  4. I have owned Fords since 1972, over $1,000,000 MSRP. The last place you go for advice is inside Ford.

    You need to be out talking to your ONLY source of revenue, your customers. I have been a customer for 48 years. I have never been invited to a Ford event to talk about products. I now have two late model Flexes and will never sell them. It is the best car Ford ever built and Ford doesn’t even know it.

    Mark your calendar for Americarna 2020 the Saturday after thanksgiving in Davidson NC and the show at the Richard Petty museum show in December. Come and get some customer interaction.

  5. Let the people who designed the Bronco be the ones to design the next Mustang.

    The next Mustang should get NO styling cues from the Mach-E. It needs to forget trying to look like sports car, and go back to the old pony/muscle car look.

  6. Throw a Town Car body on a car tuned truck platform and call it a nostalgic nod to the past before things go electric. Maybe it’s a low risk way to gauge a possible turn back to certain sedans.

  7. I am a sedan buyer who has nowhere to go at Ford. All of my friend who were driving Fusions have traded them in for Honda Accords. They both said that the Fusions were the best cars they ever owned. I have a MKZ right now and do not know where to go next. Help us Jim!

  8. Ford needs to set up a line of low volume sporty/personal luxury cars. All 2 door cars. Start with a really cool Thunderbird that harkens back to the glory days of Thunderbird. The same line could also make a Continental. Then maybe a 2 door luxury car, like a Galaxie. These could all be built on the same chassis…maybe a stretch Mustang chassis. Ford already has plenty of powerful v-8 engines. Make walking into a Ford dealership exciting again!!!

  9. When you create boutique products like Shelby GT350 / 500 with limited production force your dealers to hold MSRP pricing. If you can’t do that then auction these at the highest possible price that Ford is looking for and forget the MSRP pricing and the dealers. Visiting a dealer to buy these products is like going to an eBay auction anyway. The friends of the dealer always get the first shot before the customer that enters the showroom.

  10. Ford needs to keep and redesign the Fusion and MKZ (Zephyr) on the new Explorer Chassis offering rear wheel and Awd options. Looking at the older designed Charger. You can purchase a regular base sedan or a performance Hemi powered model. Ford has basically handed FCA/Honda and other auto Manufacturers the sedan business. I’ve been a Ford fan for years currently owning a purchased new Edge Sport. I decided to purchase a new luxury/performance sedan while keeping my Edge that my wife drives. I visited my Ford dealership looking for a Taurus SHO or a Fusion Sport. I knew both were discountinued but unfortunately. Both were sold out except one 3-year old 2017 6000 mile demo Fusion Sport that was overpriced. I decided to stop by the local Chrysler/Dodge dealership. I test drove a Charger RT. Fun on performance but lacking luxury. I noticed A 6000 mile black/mocha leather interior 2018 Chrysler 300C Hemi Demo. After some negotiations. I was given the car for a weekend test drive before making my purchase decision. I ended up purchasing the car thousands below the window sticker. Ford lost a customer and I am extremely happy with my new Chrysler 300C. The 300 is an old design, but I found the design special unlike most of today’s sedans plus it fit what I was looking for in both luxury and performance. The problem is Ford had decided that the sedan is history. It’s not if they provide what the customer wants at a price they can afford. I’m still a Ford fan, and love the Mustangs. Unfortunately a coupe wasn’t the type of car I needed. Having just retired. I don’t contemplate purchasing another new vehicle. That might change with the upcoming Mach E. But I still think dropping all the sedans in the US was a bad decision. Looking at Ford’s sales numbers in countries like Russia. Maybe Ford needs to remember where their success started and maybe reduce their global footprint.

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