Posts Tagged ‘ford motor company’

First look: Lincoln’s Baby Sedan, The MKZ, Goes Hybrid For 2011

MKZ gets styling makeover, as well.

by on Sep.08, 2010

The 2011 MKZ Hybrid will Lincoln's first hybrid and the first car for the luxury brand with a four-cylinder engine.

For 2011, the popular MKZ sedan, formerly known as the Lincoln Zephyr, gets a complete cosmetic makeover that makes it look like all the other Lincolns, with that toothy split-wing grille, but more importantly, it is Lincoln’s first-ever hybrid passenger car, and the first Lincoln ever powered by a 4-cylinder engine.

The entire second-generation Ford hybrid system has been picked up from the Ford Fusion and installed in the more luxurious and more expensive MKZ with which the Fusion shares platforms.  That means a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine coupled to an Aisin E-CVT transmission, an electric motor, a 275-volt Nickel metal hydride propulsion battery, and regenerative braking.

Your Key To The Auto Industry!

It also means that the very clever and easy-to-use digital display screens developed for the Ford hybrid have been carried over to the Lincoln, including the four-phase driver assist system and the virtual leaves that grow the more carefully you drive.  Like the Fusion, the MKZ will drive on pure electric power up to 47 miles per hour, when the engine comes on automatically to assist or accelerate.


Ford, Oregon Utility to Prepare for EVs

The automaker and Portland General Electric will share information, promote electric vehicles.

by on Aug.24, 2010

Ford's first electric vehicle will be a version of the Transit Connect utility van.

Ford is partnering up with Portland General Electric to prepare the Portland area and the rest of the Pacific Northwest for the arrival of electric vehicles.

Ford plans to roll out two electric vehicles during the next two years, as well as a plug-in hybrid vehicle.

Ford will supply PGE with information on charging needs so that the utility can ensure that the electrical grid can support the new range of electric vehicles. The automaker and utility will partner on consumer education outreach regarding EVs.

Electrified coverage!

Additionally, Ford will work with universities, including Portland State, on studies of urban mobility and integration of energy and sustainable design.  (more…)

Tata Motors Ekes Out Q2 Profit

Jaguar Land Rover Surprises Analysts with Black Ink.

by on Nov.30, 2009


Tata said the JLR business is witnessing “some stability” in key markets.

Tata Motors has reported a consolidated operating profit for the quarter ending September 30, 2009 of 218 million rupees ($4.7 million).

India’s largest auto company saw a revival in its home market and improvements at its Jaguar Land Rover subsidiary.

The turnaround, from a loss of 9.42 billion rupees in the same July-to-September period last year, was good news for the world’s fourth largest truck manufacturer, and the world’s second largest bus manufacturer.

Tata earnings had been hit hard after its takeover of JLR from Ford Motor Company in June of last year just before the ongoing global Great Recession took hold. Analysts had feared that the buy would hurt the company for years to come, a prospect that remains.

Tata said the highlight of the quarter was that the JLR business posted an operating profit of £41.29 million (Rs. 325.27 crores), supported by a 23% growth of wholesale volumes compared to the previous quarter, as well as aggressive cost reduction efforts.

Mumbai Musings!

Mumbai Musings!

Tata said the JLR business is witnessing “some stability” in the external environment with certain key markets showing signs of recovery. The new products launched by the business in the current year, the upgraded Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery 4, continue to receive “strong market reception.”


Ford Criticized for Its Continued Membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Lobbying and rhetoric heat up as Senate Committee passes contentious climate bill. Billions of your tax dollars are at stake.

by on Nov.05, 2009

Half of U.S. electricity generation comes from coal, which emits enormous quantities of greenhouse gases.

Burning coal emits large amounts of greenhouse gases as it makes half of the U.S.'s electricity.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is calling on its membership to put pressure on William Clay Ford Jr., chairman of the Ford Motor Company, to make a public break with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and “its stance of denying the science and need for action on climate change.”

The action from the pressure group comes as the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee passed over the objections of Republican members the “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act” this morning, setting the stage for the rest of the Senate to move forward with controversial climate change legislation.

The bill sets a short-term target of reducing green house gas emissions 20% below 2005 levels by 2020. Critics contend that to do so will wreck the economy. The act also establishes a “cap-and-trade” system to reduce U.S. greenhouse gases.

At stake are billion of dollars in credits — or taxpayer giveaways — to power and oil companies in voluntary greenhouse gas emissions trading markets or in mandatory emissions trading markets, if they are legislated.

Green News!

Green News!

Like the already passed House bill, the Senate bill requires periodic scientific assessments to ensure the program is operating effectively. Unlike the House measure, the bill would retain the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to require emission reductions from the oldest and dirtiest powerplants.


Ford Motor Third Quarter Net Income is $1 Billion

North America returns to black for the first time in more than four years.

by on Nov.02, 2009

Ford is slowly pulling out of a prolonged slump.

Ford is slowly pulling out of a prolonged slump.

Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] today reported net income of $997 million, or 29 cents per share, in the third quarter.

The Dearborn based automaker attributed the improvement to new products, structural cost reductions and improved results at Ford Credit.

This is a $1.2 billion improvement compared with the same period last year.

Excluding special items, Ford posted pre-tax operating profits totaling $1.1 billion, an improvement of $3.9 billion from a year ago. This marks the company’s first operating profit since the first quarter of 2008. On an after-tax basis, excluding special items, Ford posted an operating profit of $873 million in the third quarter, or 26 cents per share, compared with a loss of $3 billion, or $1.32 per share, a year ago.

Bottom Line - Free!

Bottom Line - Free!

Ford’s North American operations posted a pre-tax operating profit of $357 million, its first quarterly profit since the first quarter of 2005. Ford South America, Ford Europe and Ford Asia Pacific Africa also posted pre-tax operating profits in the third quarter.


Ford Confirms Geely as Bidder for Volvo Cars

Finally a confirmation of ongoing negotiations.

by on Oct.28, 2009

Chinese Volvos?

Chinese Hummers and now Chinese Volvos?

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced today that a consortium led by Zhejiang Geely Group Holding Co. Ltd. is its preferred bidder in the ongoing discussions concerning the possible sale of Volvo Car Corporation.

The confirmation comes after almost a year of press speculation that Chinese companies were interested in the loss making Swedish brand.

Ford said that while it will be engaging in more detailed and focused negotiations with Geely, no final decisions have been made.



“Ford’s objective in our discussions with Geely is to secure an agreement that is in the best interests of all the parties,” said Lewis Booth, Ford Motor Company executive vice president and chief financial officer.


The Bulgarian Glass Caper

Industrial espionage at Ford is not new news.

by on Oct.25, 2009

So it came about that the FBI was watching over the movements of employees...

So it came about that the FBI was watching over the movements of employees...

The recent reports of a Chinese industrial spy stealing data from Ford Motor Company for his homeland and a cabal of Koreans doing the same to General Motors for the Russians remind me of a funny story from several decades back — the first time I ever heard of serious international commercial spying.

Beginning in the 1920s, Ford manufactured much of its own glass for vehicle windows, starting with a glass plant in Dearborn’s Rouge, once identified as the world’s largest industrial complex.

In the post-World War II years, Ford expanded its glass operations by opening additional plants in Nashville, Tulsa and the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Further, Pilkington Glass of England licensed Ford to use its highly efficient (and secret) manufacturing process called Float Glass.

In those Cold War years, Eastern European countries behind the Iron Curtain were assumed to be taking their orders from Moscow for whatever transpired in international commerce.  The Western countries had diplomatic relations with the Soviet empire, but both sides kept close eyes on the other.

Chrystal Clear!

Crystal Clear!

So it came about that the FBI was watching over the movements of employees of the Washington embassies of Iron Curtain countries. A supposed commercial attaché from the Bulgarian Embassy traveled to Detroit where he met with an immigrant Turkish employee of Ford Motor Company.


Ford Wants 2010 Fusion Owners for Publicity Stunt

On Facebook and want to rally? The car could be paid off.

by on Oct.21, 2009

Fress gas for Facebook product plugs.

Free car and gas for Facebook product plugs.

Ford Motor Company is looking for 2010 Fusion and Fusion Hybrid owners to participate in a publicity stunt dubbed Fusion 41, which is an automotive relay race designed to build awareness around the all-new Fusion.

The Fusion owner of the winning team will have their vehicle paid off, and team members will win free gas for one year.

Eight Fusion owners from throughout the country will be selected to participate in the program. They will be chosen based on their “passion” for Fusion and their ability to share “compelling information” about the vehicle on the Internet. Applicants must have a current Facebook profile with a minimum of 100 friends and an active photo collection. (Apply at before November 6.)

Each of the eight Fusion owners will then choose four friends or family members to join their team, and each team will be given a 2010 Ford Fusion or Fusion Hybrid to drive in an automotive relay race. To complete the relay, each team member must fulfill an assigned task within 41 hours, tracking competitive variables such as miles driven, stops made or the number of passengers picked up.


Ford Recalls Another Four Million Trucks for Fires

In an ongoing problem, an unfused cruise control switch burns.

by on Oct.19, 2009

This could be the longest running recall ever. It is certainly the largest.

This could be the longest running safety recall in NHTSA history. It is certainly the largest.

Ford Motor Company is recalling model years 1995-2003 Windstar, 2000-2003 Excursion, 1993-1997 and 1999-2003 F-super duty, 1992-2003 Econoline, 1995-2002 Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer, 1995-1997 and 2001-2003 Ranger, and 1994 F53 vehicles equipped with a Texas Instruments speed control deactivation switch (SCDS).

The SCDS may leak internally and then overheat, smoke, or burn.

An additional 4,500,000 vehicles are affected in the latest safety campaign for the problem, which dates back more than a decade.

Critics maintain that Ford has been reluctant to deal with the issue due to the large number of vehicles involved. All told, Ford has now recalled more than 14,000,000 vehicles for the fire problem in the U.S. alone, a record for any single safety defect.

Ford Canada is also recalling about 500,000 vehicles for the same fire problem, making it the largest recall in Ford Canada’s history.


Ford Motor Slowly Recovering Share in Europe

With GM’s Opel in disarray, Ford is gaining ground.

by on Oct.13, 2009

With one of is principal competitors, Opel-Vauxhall, in the midst of a corporate transformation, Ford of Europe increased market share to 10.1% in September; its best share for any month since September 2001. It is now the number two automaker in Europe.

It remains unclear if the company, which posted record losses in 2008, is returning to profitable operations since Ford has not changed its guidance to analysts during its second quarter earning results press conference, which said it would continue to lose money this year.

Still, year-to-date Ford’s share in the so called Euro 19 markets is just over 9% — the best performance in a decade.

Volkswagen by far remains the dominate producer in Europe. VW Group was in the black during Q2 to the surprise of some analysts. This  positive result came from strong performances by the VW brand in Brazil (+7%) and China (+23 %), now VW’s largest market. Financial results were also good for the first half of 2009 as the Group made a €1.2 billion operating profit. VW’s global market share is now 12%, which makes it number two in a close race with Toyota.

Overall, Ford of Europe sold 152,600 new vehicles in its 19 main markets in September, a gain of 12.3% over the same month a year ago, and better than the industry increase of 2.9%. Ford has now reported year-over-year sales gains for four months in a row, and small market share increases for nine consecutive months.

The Euro 19 markets are: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Ford reports sales for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania through its Finnish National Sales Company, so sales data for the Baltic States is included within Euro 19.


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