Archive for the ‘Ford’ Category

Ford Cutting Operations in Brazil, Closes Oldest Plant

Automaker not waiting on tie-up with VW to improve business.

by on Feb.19, 2019

São Bernardo do Campo is Ford's oldest plant in Brazil. It makes the Fiesta and will be closed later this year.

When Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG announced they were talking about potential partnerships in the near future, one area many believed they would discuss was their businesses in South America.

The South American market has been tough sledding for much of the last decade and the two sides had linked up before with AutoLatina, which ceased operations in 1995.

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However, Ford isn’t waiting on a tie-up with VW to make moves down there, saying today it plans to close its oldest plant in Brazil resulting in 2,700 layoffs as it exits the commercial truck business in South America. (more…)

Honda Shutting Down Lone UK Auto Plant

Maker says Brexit not the reason, but move highlights problems.

by on Feb.19, 2019

Honda announced plans to close its manufacturing plant in Swindon. It means the loss of 3,500 jobs.

Honda will close its only auto plant in Great Britain in 2021 becoming the latest automaker to say it was leaving and turning what was once a trickle into a torrent of closures due to Brexit. The facility makes the Civic.

The Swindon plant closure means the loss of 3,500 jobs and a tenth of all vehicles produced in Britain. However, despite early reports, Honda officials claim Brexit had little to do with the move. Honda officials said the company was focusing manufacturing in the areas where it has the largest sales, and Europe isn’t one of those.

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“We had to consider the rise of electrified vehicles, and the different speeds at which electric vehicles will be taken up in North America and Europe,” said Honda Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo. “This decision was not informed by Brexit.”  (more…)

Ford Hit by $151.8 Million Verdict by Alabama Jury

Verdict awarded in injury trial of Alabama man riding 1998 Explorer.

by on Feb.18, 2019

An Alabama man was award $151.8 million in damages after the 1998 Ford Explorer he was riding in rolled over twice, leaving him paralyzed.

A Selma, Alabama, man left paralyzed as a result of a 2015 rollover accident in a 1998 Ford Explorer was awarded $151.8 million in damages by an Alabama jury.

The jury awarded Travaris Smith $100 million in punitive damages and $51.8 million in compensatory damages after finding on Friday that the 1998 Ford Explorer did not meet Ford’s own safety guidelines and that Ford “acted wantonly” in designing the vehicle, according to a court document seen by Reuters and Smith’s lawyers.

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Smith was riding in the SUV when its driver swerved to avoid an animal and the vehicle rolled over twice, attorneys at law firms Beasley Allen and Gamble, Gamble, Calame and Jones said in a statement. He snapped his spine and is now paralyzed. (more…)

Ford CFO Shanks May Retire at End of This Year

He spent 34 years at the automaker.

by on Feb.15, 2019

Ford CFO Bob Shanks may be retiring at the end of the year, according to media reports. He's been with Ford 34 years.

Ford Motor Co. is working on thinning its employment numbers this year, apparently it will be able to add one C-Suite executive to those numbers: Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks.

According to a report on CNBC, Shanks, the automaker’s CFO since 2012, is planning to retire at the end of 2019. He was vice president and controller before taking over his current role. The company declined to comment on Shanks plans specifically.

The Last Word!

“As all boards of responsible companies do, our board of directors regularly reviews executive succession plans to ensure we have access to the best talent available and are prepared for orderly transitions to take place should the need arise,” a Ford spokesman said in a statement. (more…)

VW-Ford Continue to Run Into Problems With Alliance Plans

New report: sticking point centers around autonomous vehicle program.

by on Feb.14, 2019

Ford CEO Jim Hackett, left, and VW AG CEO Herbert Diess downplayed the immediate impact their new deal.

When Volkswagen and Ford announced a joint venture focused on light commercial vehicles last month, the two automakers also confirmed they were looking at a variety of other possible partnerships – including autonomous and electrified vehicles – but there are growing signs that the negotiations aren’t going as well as expected in several areas.

As TheDetroitBureau.com reported earlier this week, talks on aligning VW and Ford electric vehicle programs are faltering because of significant differences in strategy – and now, reports the Reuters news service, there may be serious challenges surfacing that could prevent them from teaming up on the development of autonomous vehicles, as well.

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The key issue, the news service says, is Ford’s demand that the German carmaker invest at least $500 million in its own autonomous vehicle program. That would be in line with the investment Honda recently made when it decided to partner up with General Motors on autonomous vehicle research. (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Ford Expedition

Revised SUV comes back strong in new iteration.

by on Feb.14, 2019

The new 2019 Ford Expedition is a dramatic improvement over the previous generation model.

When motorists a decade ago were faced with the one-two punch of rising gasoline prices and the recession, sales of big SUVs went in an eclipse.

Ford Motor Co., not surprisingly given the market signals that existed then, put the plans for updating its big SUV, the Ford Expedition, on hold where they stayed for a long time. But times change and the popularity of full-size SUVs has risen and Ford has responded with a complete update of the Expedition.

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The end result is a vehicle that’s more comfortable, easier to drive and maneuver and offers a smoother ride than its predecessors without compromising its capacity to carry people and gear or even tow large trailers. Ford’s also added in more technology, including driver assistance features into the package, bringing up to date. (more…)

Ford Warns Britain No-Deal Brexit Could Mean UK Departure

Automaker tells British PM it could pull up stakes if Brexit goes poorly.

by on Feb.14, 2019

Ford may pull operations from the UK if the Brexit goes poorly, the company warned.

New speculation about Ford Motor Co.’s post-Brexit plans for its operations in the United Kingdom have led to reports that the automaker is preparing to exit the British Isles once the UK leaves the European Union next month.

Ford executives told British Prime Minister Theresa May during a conference call this week that the automaker, which is facing $1 billion in extra costs, may have to move some production out of Britain because of Brexit, a source on the call told the BBC.

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Ford told May it might have to use alternatives sites outside Britain, the BBC’s source – who spoke on condition of anonymity – said.  “They were just making clear that they have other options. This isn’t the only one,” the source said. (more…)

Ford Recalling 1.48M F-150 Pickups Due to Transmission Issue

Sometimes the transmission will downshift to first gear unexpectedly.

by on Feb.13, 2019

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 trucks from model years 2011–13 due to a transmission downshift problem.

Ford Motor Co is recalling 1.48 million F-150 pickup trucks because of a transmission issue that could, in certain circumstances, lead to a crash.

The company said that select 2011–13 model year trucks with six-speed automatic transmissions could downshift into first gear without warning. This downshift could cause the axle to lock up, causing the truck to skid and the driver to lose control.

Breaking News!

As of now, there have been five accidents and one injury – whiplash – reported tied to the problem. The recall covers 1.26 million trucks in the U.S. The rest are in Canada. Affected 2011-13 F-150 vehicles were built at Dearborn Assembly Plant, April 28, 2010 to Oct. 28, 2013, and Kansas City Assembly Plant, May 18, 2010 to Nov. 18, 2013. (more…)

Ford Sued by Three MIT Profs about EcoBoost Technology

Trio claims their tech is responsible for new engines.

by on Feb.13, 2019

Ford's F-150 EcoBoost models are the subject of a lawsuit filed by three MIT professors.

According to a newly filed lawsuit against Ford, the automaker “boosted” the technology used in newer versions of its famed EcoBoost engines from a trio of professors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ford introduced EcoBoost to the world in 2009, suggesting the turbocharger-based system would allow smaller engines to provide big power while retaining their ability to use less gas. While the public initially played wait-and-see with the technology, it’s now spread across Ford’s engine offerings like ivy on a brick building.

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The automaker and university have a long history together, and the lawsuit suggests Ford may have taken advantage of that relationship. The MIT professors claim the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker is using its dual port- and direct-injection technology without permission for its EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V8 engines produced in recent years. (more…)

EV Truck Maker Rivian Reportedly in Talks with Amazon and GM

Deal could be announced this month, according to Reuters.

by on Feb.12, 2019

Rivian founder RJ Scaringe showed off the the R1T all-electric pickup at the LA Auto Show.

Battery truckmaker Rivian Automotive is reportedly in negotiations with both Amazon and General Motors on a deal that could be worth as much as $2 billion.

The deal would give the two companies a minority stake in Rivian, a start-up based in the Detroit suburb of Plymouth, according to a report on Reuters.

Breaking News!

The proposed deal could help GM, in particular, add a battery-electric pickup to its line-up, something archrival Ford Motor Co. has said that it is already working on. A senior executive at GM last month told TheDetroitBureau.com that the carmaker is “considering” an all-electric truck.

(more…)

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