Ford Motor Company - Is the Corporate decline inevitable?

#1
Ford Motor Company - Is the Corporate decline inevitable?

"Rumours of a VW and Ford tie-in have been circulating since the start of the month, with speculation that the brands will also develop electric vehicles together. Diess today confirmed the joint development of commercial vehicles is "core to the alliance", and went on to say that bosses had "identified other potential cooperation with Ford outside of commercial vehicles".

After this further dismemberment, divestiture, what will be left of the Ford Company, with which many of us are familiar?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +​

From 1986, Iveco S.p.A. held a 52% stake in Iveco Ford Truck Ltd, a joint venture (and effectively a merger) with Ford of Europe’s truck division.


Iveco - Wikipedia

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +​

The original New Holland Machine Company, was founded in 1895 . . . It was acquired by Ford Motor Company in 1986, and then by FiatAgri in 1991.


New Holland Agriculture - Wikipedia

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +​

Ford recently announced (2018 ), that it is to discontinue production of (conventional) saloons and estate cars (wagons), and that it will simply concentrate on the production of SUVs and “Utility” (pick-up) vehicles, in the future.



+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +​

And now this announcement of a “merger” with VW of their “Panel Van” production!

VW confirms joint development with Ford, denies merger | Autocar
 
Last edited:
#2
Lot's of companies collaborate - even rivals. Ford and GM collaborating on new 9 and 10 speed transmissions is a good example.

And Ford has historically worked together with Mazda as well.

GM (Opel)-PSA have been working on commercial vehicles for ages now, before the PSA takeover of Opel.

Doesn't necessarily mean VW will take over Ford..but never say never.

Henry Ford won't mind, if it happens, he was a big fan of the fatherland.
 
#3
Diess today confirmed the joint development of commercial vehicles is "core to the alliance" . . .
The reference to “commercial vehicles”, can only refer to “Panel Vans”.

Although VW does own MAN, and Scania, . . . Ford no longer has a direct interest in trucks . . . those having been lost to IVECO.

Ford having declared a disinterest in, and (eventual) discontinuation of, their production of conventional saloons and estate cars . . . must also mean the associated, inevitable, disinterest in, and (eventual) discontinuation of, their production Car Derived Vans (CDV).

By deduction the ONLY “commercial vehicles” that Ford seems to be (able to) commit to in the future is the range of Transit vans, now produced in Turkey.



photo ford transit plant turkey - Google Search:
 
#4
Agree with everything you say @redshift.

But, just as GM, with the loss of its European operations, has withdrawn to North America; and as Chrysler has effectively now done the same as dictated by the late Sergio Marchionne (R.I.P.); can we now expect the “Blue Oval” to also disappear from our roads and high streets?!

Sergio Marchionne - Wikipedia
 
#5
Ford lost the plot several years ago as did GM when they continued turning out "basic" vehicles in the face of cheap Japanese and Korean alternatives rather than going upmarket. Ford also royally screwed up the Aston Martin purchase.

It hurt both brands even more when the reliability of the far Eastern newcomers was noticeably better than the Ford/GM items.

Example, Ford Probe / Mazda MX6. The Maz had about 70% fewer warranty claims than the Ford, so Ford decided to do a nut and bolt comparison. The only difference they found was that Mazda manufacturing tolerances were tighter in all key areas, especially engine, transmission and suspension components.

There was also a less tangible aspect that Mazda employees were better incentivised to do quality work than their Ford equivalents. One of my acquaintances was on the team that stripped the Mazda and I had a very brief look at the report which ran to two thick ring binders.

I also saw a report about 10-12 years ago that said development of new vehicles was becoming so expensive that there would ultimately only be 5 - 6 major vehicle manufacturers in the world which whould market via various "brands" which would be differentiated only by the styling but would use identical mechanical and chassis components.

This is coming to pass as

VW/Audi/Skoda/Porsche/Bentley/Lambo
Mercedes / Renault (engines)
BMW / RR (Peugeot Citroen engines)
Kia/Hyundai
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles owns Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati
General Motors owns Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC
Zhejiang Geely -- Lotus, Polestar, and Volvo

etc

Mazda, Toyota and Honda are largely autonomous
 
#6
Ford lost the plot several years ago as did GM when they continued turning out "basic" vehicles in the face of cheap Japanese and Korean alternatives rather than going upmarket. Ford also royally screwed up the Aston Martin purchase.

It hurt both brands even more when the reliability of the far Eastern newcomers was noticeably better than the Ford/GM items.

Example, Ford Probe / Mazda MX6. The Maz had about 70% fewer warranty claims than the Ford, so Ford decided to do a nut and bolt comparison. The only difference they found was that Mazda manufacturing tolerances were tighter in all key areas, especially engine, transmission and suspension components.

There was also a less tangible aspect that Mazda employees were better incentivised to do quality work than their Ford equivalents. One of my acquaintances was on the team that stripped the Mazda and I had a very brief look at the report which ran to two thick ring binders.

I also saw a report about 10-12 years ago that said development of new vehicles was becoming so expensive that there would ultimately only be 5 - 6 major vehicle manufacturers in the world which whould market via various "brands" which would be differentiated only by the styling but would use identical mechanical and chassis components.

This is coming to pass as

VW/Audi/Skoda/Porsche/Bentley/Lambo
Mercedes / Renault (engines)
BMW / RR (Peugeot Citroen engines)
Kia/Hyundai
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles owns Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati
General Motors owns Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC
Zhejiang Geely -- Lotus, Polestar, and Volvo

etc

Mazda, Toyota and Honda are largely autonomous
Oh, Ford tried to go upmarket alright! In a big way too! They owned, through the Premier Automotive Group (PAG) - Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Lincoln.

But they couldn't make it work.

The current crop of Ford vehicles are not bad, pretty decent interiors and *fantastic* driving dynamics - I recon, one of the best, if not the best, dynamics wise.
 
#7
Agree with everything you say @redshift.

But, just as GM, with the loss of its European operations, has withdrawn to North America; and as Chrysler has effectively now done the same as dictated by the late Sergio Marchionne (R.I.P.); can we now expect the “Blue Oval” to also disappear from our roads and high streets?!

Sergio Marchionne - Wikipedia
The Blue Oval as a brand won't disappear, has far too much brand value, even in Europe. Even if VW does take it over (which I doubt), it will keep the brand.
 
#9
Oh, Ford tried to go upmarket alright! In a big way too! They owned, through the Premier Automotive Group (PAG) - Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Lincoln.

But they couldn't make it work.

The current crop of Ford vehicles are not bad, pretty decent interiors and *fantastic* driving dynamics - I recon, one of the best, if not the best, dynamics wise.
True indeed, unfortunately, they did some seriously stupid stuff like building the Jag X type on a Mondeo chassis. That went down like a lead brick with most people and simply cheapened the Jaguar brand.

Ditto Volvo, forced to use Ford engines which were less reliable and various other corporate Ford bits.

That and stealing the Aston Martin grille design and putting it on a Fiesta. Clever (not).

Ford has been governed by corporate bean counters for decades, people who understand the price of everything and the value of nothing.

I have driven the latest Fiesta in sporty trim and it's OK, except for the nasty Amstrad interior and that you can't see out of the rear. The Mondeo I drove went well enough and had loads of space, but it had a nil "wow" factor and I stepped out of the car very much not wanting to own one.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
I bought my last Ford nearly ten years ago now.
I wouldn’t buy another one unless things changed drastically.
Growing up and when old enough to drive I loved Fords, the old Zephyre and Capri, Cortina mk1 right through to when they stopped we’re great looking cars. The last good upmarket car Ford made was their flagship Granada 2.8i in Ghia trim, (Uncle had one)I’m not talking of that heap of crap the Scorpion but the proper saloon. It went like poo off a shiny shovel and was extremely comfortable.
The best Ford I had was the mk1 mondeo 2ltr Ghia petrol manual. Feck that was quick and comfortable and handled like a dream. I was going to get the mk 2 but reading about it put me off, the handling which made it such a great car had gone all squashy, a shame and the current model is just a big heap of poo, big but that’s about it.
It’s a shame how ford have lost the plot over the years and what with their sales declining at the rate of an Olympic skier going downhill I can see them been taken over but the badge remaining, mainly because certain customers will still buy Ford but I think they are growing old and there won’t be many around in twenty years or so.
 
#11
Lot's of companies collaborate - even rivals. Ford and GM collaborating on new 9 and 10 speed transmissions is a good example.

And Ford has historically worked together with Mazda as well.

GM (Opel)-PSA have been working on commercial vehicles for ages now, before the PSA takeover of Opel.

Doesn't necessarily mean VW will take over Ford..but never say never.

Henry Ford won't mind, if it happens, he was a big fan of the fatherland.
I cannot remember exactly but, Ford used to own around 40% of Mazda. There was lots of sharing of design and test facilities.

Furd sponsored my PhD, and I spent a fair whack of my masters doing Furd related marketing project work too. It was highly rumoured at the time when Ford bought Jag and Land Rover that they were only doing it to buy the knowledge and designs so that they could knock out better SUV's and luxury sporting vehicles. Roll the clock forward to after the sold the companies off and you see many Land Rover/Range Rover like styling features in the newer SUV's. Look at the ford explorer and the Range Rover sport side by side and squint, hard to tell the difference.

Then once they had what they wanted the sold them off.

Why wouldn't they want a partnership with VW? The Germans are already well ahead with whizzyfig electric technology development and the V8 gas guzzling producer Ford needs to play catch up quickly.
 
Last edited:
#12
. . . I also saw a report about 10-12 years ago that said development of new vehicles was becoming so expensive that there would ultimately only be 5 - 6 major vehicle manufacturers in the world which would market via various "brands" which would be differentiated only by the styling but would use identical mechanical and chassis components.

This is coming to pass as . . .

VW/Audi/Skoda/Porsche/Bentley/Lambo
Mercedes / Renault (engines)
BMW / RR (Peugeot Citroen engines)
Kia/Hyundai
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles owns Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Maserati
General Motors owns Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC
Zhejiang Geely -- Lotus, Polestar, and Volvo.

etc

Mazda, Toyota and Honda are largely autonomous
@Dark_Nit . . . I too, was aware of the pessimistic forecast in that report, and found the prediction very depressing :( .

Fortunately - it seems - the “5-6 vehicle manufacturers” can also be interpreted as/include “groups of (independent) firms agreeing to co-operate”, which still maintains a good deal of variety and differentiation, in how the jointly developed “oily bits” are utilised, employed, and presented to the public :) .


For completeness, can I add to your list some amendments that I am aware of? . . . largely as a displacement activity as there are other things I SHOULD be doing ;) .


(1). Toyota includes Lexus, and also Daihatsu (which until recently was an at-arms-length separate company, but which has now been absorbed into Toyota). Toyota also has an involvement with Subaru (GT86). And, the most recent and significant association is with BMW (Supra, and future electronics/electric power train research). And, through BMW, there is Rolls Royce, MINI, and BMW motorbikes.

Over the years, BMW and Toyota have supplied each other with diesel engines.

The directors of each company, know where are the best hotels in the Cities in which they are each based. Their Travel Departments will have the appropriate airlines on “speed dial” . . . “Little things mean a lot”.

Only recently has Toyota announced that Toyota and Isuzu are to dissolve their (joint) “capital ties”. Isuzu and Toyota to Dissolve Capital Ties | CORPORATE | TOYOTA Global Newsroom


(2). VW, Audi - which directly owns Ducati motorbikes, Skoda, SEAT, Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Bugatti. Also MAN, and separately Scania.


(3). Mercedes, co-operates with the Ranault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance", which includes Infiniti (now producing virtually re-badged Mercedes!), Samsung Motors in Korea, Dacia, and the Russian Lada.


(4). Kia/Hyundai (Curses be upon George Turnbull, former Managing Director of Austin Morris at British Leyland).


(5). EXOR, owned and controlled by the young John P J Elkann, the chosen heir of his grandfather Gianni Agnelli. EXOR owns Ferrari, and through CNH Industrial EXOR includes IVECO, Case, and New Holland, and also all that is (still) included within FCA. That is, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, the one model still representing Lancia, Abarth, Chrysler, Dodge, RAM, and Jeep.

The sooner-the-better that Alfa Romeo, and Maserati, and even Jeep, can be released to operate independently within EXOR, from the “dead-hand” of Fiat corporate governance. Which would then allow the undoubted talent and skills that are within FIAT to concentrate of the deserving Fiat, and also Chrysler and Dodge.


(6). General Motors, owns Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC in the USA, and the Korean Daewoo cars. It has abandoned Oldsmobile and the “upstart” Saturn, and of course withdrawn from manufacturing in Europe and Australia.


There are - of course - others . . . .

Peugeot S.A. a.k.a. PSA, which includes Peugeot, Citroen, the new DS, and the recently acquired from GM Opel, and the British Vauxhall. Although it is reported that Vauxhall's two UK factories, in Ellesmere Port and Luton could be closed after Brexit, according to a report by Automotive News Europe. Also the remaining 49% of Peugeot motorcycles (largely scooters - regarded as “small”, 250cc and under).

PSA could close UK factories after Brexit

It is suggested that this is NOTHING to do with BREXIT . . . It is just PSA looking for an excuse!!


Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, which owns Lotus, Lynx & Co, Polestar, and Volvo. Also Proton, and the “London EV Company” (formerly the London Taxi Corporation - taxis and to be panel vans).


Mazda remains largely autonomous. The MX-5/124 agreement with FIAT can only be short lived?!


Honda includes Acura, and remains largely autonomous. Honda is probably the world’s largest manufacturer of motorbikes (particularly those regarded as “large”, 600cc and above),

A distinction that is shared with . . . .

Suzuki (having escaped and earlier association with VW), also remains largely autonomous, with its (smaller) cars, is also, recognised as probably one of the world’s largest manufacturer of motorbikes (particularly those regarded as “large”, 600cc and above).


Mahindra-Mahindra, now includes SsangYong, TATA trucks, and surprisingly owns 51% of Peugeot motorcycles (largely scooters - regarded as “small”, 250cc and under).


Ford - see original post.
 
Last edited:
#13
I cannot remember exactly but, Ford used to own around 40% of Mazda. There was lots of sharing of design and test facilities.

Furd sponsored my PhD, and I spent a fair whack of my masters doing Furd related marketing project work too. It was highly rumoured at the time when Ford bought Jag and Land Rover that they were only doing it to buy the knowledge and designs so that they could knock out better SUV's and luxury sporting vehicles. Roll the clock forward to after the sold the companies off and you see many Land Rover/Range Rover like styling features in the newer SUV's. Look at the ford explorer and the Range Rover sport side by side and squint, hard to tell the difference.

Then once they had what they wanted the sold them off.

Why wouldn't they want a partnership with VW? The Germans are already well ahead with whizzyfig electric technology development and the V8 gas guzzling producer Ford needs to play catch up quickly.
Actually, Ford really really didn't want to sell Land Rover, they were making tons of money from that brand. They only sold it because they had to get rid of Jaguar and no one would touch Jag with a barge pole without Land Rover thrown in. And Ford needed every single penny it could get hold of to survive in 07/08. Remember, they pawned the blue oval brand and logo itself to get a line of credit. Yes, it was that bad.

And partnering with VW does make sense, especially since EVs are expensive to develop and deploy. That said, Ford has been ahead of VW in terms of hybrid electric game (and Fuel Cells) and also in some other areas. Both companies can bring their strengths to the table to partner and collaborate.
 
#14
Mahindra-Mahindra, now includes SsangYong, TATA trucks, and surprisingly owns 51% of Peugeot motorcycles (largely scooters - regarded as “small”, 250cc and under).


Ford - see original post.
Didn't know that Mahindra owns Peugeot motocycles. And I think Tata trucks is still under Tata.
 
#15
Ford sales in the UK fell 9.7% from 2016 to 2017
Not helped by the fact that you can't get a Mondeo or Focus anymore with a naturally-aspirated petrol engine. Buyers are shying away from diesel, and the problems with the EcoBOOM! put people off, even though Ford have largely sorted those out.

My old man fancied a new Focus, but the above has put him right off.
 
#17
Not helped by the fact that you can't get a Mondeo or Focus anymore with a naturally-aspirated petrol engine. Buyers are shying away from diesel, and the problems with the EcoBOOM! put people off, even though Ford have largely sorted those out.

My old man fancied a new Focus, but the above has put him right off.
I don't think a lot of companies, Ford or otherwise, do non turbo NA petrol engines anymore - not many options there.
 
#18
Actually, Ford really really didn't want to sell Land Rover, they were making tons of money from that brand. They only sold it because they had to get rid of Jaguar and no one would touch Jag with a barge pole without Land Rover thrown in. And Ford needed every single penny it could get hold of to survive in 07/08. Remember, they pawned the blue oval brand and logo itself to get a line of credit. Yes, it was that bad.

And partnering with VW does make sense, especially since EVs are expensive to develop and deploy. That said, Ford has been ahead of VW in terms of hybrid electric game (and Fuel Cells) and also in some other areas. Both companies can bring their strengths to the table to partner and collaborate.
Depends who you talk to. They were working very hard at stripping out the tech and designs for Ford branding.

Jag was immensely overvalued when it was privatised. They used to buy in components to assemble as Jaguar cars. Many of the major components came from other factories in the British Motor Holdings empire. Components were delivered in some form of measurable, billable quantity - call it pallets, or stackable bins. In the originating factories they were instructed to overload the pallets, ie. if they ordinarily placed 20 left hand front wings on a pallet they were to squeeze on as many more as possible, often double the amount. When the pallet left the supplying factory it was billed to Jaguar as one pallet of 20. These were all collected at 'The Jag', as the place was called, and eventually audited with the actual number received being taken onto the books. So they were not paying for a vast amount of their components making them look much more profitable than they actually were. True story, my FiL was a foreman for 3 lines making Jag panels at Pressed Steel.
 
#19
I don't think a lot of companies, Ford or otherwise, do non turbo NA petrol engines anymore - not many options there.
Yep, you're right. Hopefully, we can get a giffer-owned, low-mileage model from 2015, which seems to be the last year for the 123BHP 1.6 Ti-VCT engine.
 
#20
Didn't know that Mahindra owns Peugeot motocycles. And I think Tata trucks is still under Tata.
Saw some Mahindras at a dealer in Denton, Tx. on saturday. I do not think they were road approved though and only useable as offroad toys.
 

Similar threads


Latest Threads

Top