Hinrichs Hypes Ford’s Future

President says brand name, F-Series will carry company.

by on Nov.15, 2017

Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of global operations, told analysts the strength of the company's brand and its history with consumers will carry it in the future.

When former Ford CEO Alan Mulally made his big play to save the company nearly a decade ago, securing as much money as he could, he used the Blue Oval as collateral. The Ford brand and that blue oval are going to carry the company into the future too.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of global operations, told Goldman Sachs analysts Tuesday in Boston that the company’s name and history help secure its future as the company continues its forays into electrification, autonomous vehicles and new mobility ventures.

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He noted there’s value in the brand’s recognition, and that will help the company secure faith from future customers as it expands into new ventures and despite as-yet-explained measures by new CEO Jim Hackett to cut $14 billion in costs between now and 2022.

“Ford will be part of the solution of the future of transportation mobility challenges,” Hinrichs said when asked why someone should buy Ford stock, according to the Detroit News.

(Ford CEO Hackett says there are no “dumb cars” in the future. Find out more, Click Here.)

“We’re going to be part of that solution as we have been for 114 years. And we have capabilities and experiences that matter in this business. We’re going to be a successful part of that plan.”

Ford's F-Series truck was the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2016 – the 35th year in a row.

He’s not the only senior Ford executive to point to the company’s well-known name and logo and suggest that the goodwill that emanates from both will carry the day. Hackett said as much during a recent event in Detroit as has Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr., who issued a similar proclamation.

Having faith in the tough-to-quantify name is easier when you have products that help to drive customers to dealerships and money to the company’s bottom, such as the Ford F-Series. The company’s been ahead of the competition in its redesign process forcing the competition to perpetually play catch up.

(Click Here to steal an early look at the 2019 Ford Ranger.)

In theory this will combine with the positive results of Hackett’s plans to cut billions of waste from the company. Mulally’s cash hording worked during the latest recession, keeping Ford out of bankruptcy. The company is sitting on a wad of money that will allow to suffer through future difficulties the industry is likely to face.

It’s also going to need cash to continue its work on electrification and autonomous vehicles. At one time, the company was seen as the leader in both arenas, but has since been surpassed by others and will need to regain that leadership mantle.

“We’re very bullish on electrification,” Hinrichs said. “We want to time it where we think consumers and the technology are ready together so there’s a business model that can work.

(To see what’s behind the 63% rise in Ford profits in Q3, Click Here.)

“We’re very open to collaborations and partnerships in this area. (But) how that vehicle feels, how it performs, how it sounds are all pretty important parts of all this. We believe that we’ve learned a lot. The Ford brand matters. People trust the Blue Oval, and they trust that if we’re going to bring something to market and we’re going to launch it. … It’s going to work.”

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