Ford Motor Company - Is the Corporate decline inevitable?

Any idea how much money Jag chucked into developing their utterly hideous SUVs?
No I don't . . . but, they are - NOW - the company's best selling vehicles ;) .
 
Published by: Hugo Griffiths, AUTOEXPRESS magazine, on 15 January 2019.

Ford and VW confirm new alliance.

New VW Amarok and Ford Ranger pick-ups to be co-developed, while Ford could get access to VW’s MEB platform under new deal.

Ford and the Volkswagen Group have confirmed the first fruits under their new alliance will be new medium-sized pickup trucks and commercial vehicles for the global market. Further down the line, the two car giants will collaborate on electric vehicles, autonomous cars and mobility solutions.

Announced at the Detroit Motor Show the first products of the alliance will be the next generation Ford Ranger and VW Amarok, both of which will be built by Ford, due to go on sale in 2022. Herbet Diess, CEO of the VW Group said: “The successor of the Amarok will share a Ford platform. It will be marketed worldwide and especially in Europe, Latin America and possibly the US.”

The Ranger and Amarok will also share engines but Jim Hackett, CEO at Ford, stressed that both pick-ups would have their own ‘identity’ and ‘go-to-market strategy’.

Following the medium-sized pickup, Ford expects to design and build larger commercial vehicles for the two companies, while VW will engineer and manufacture a smaller, city-sized van.

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Ford and VW confirm new alliance
 
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Published by: James Attwood, AUTOCAR magzine, on 15 January 2019.

Volkswagen and Ford 'global alliance' confirmed at Detroit.

German and American manufacturers reveal expanded link-up, including collaboration on electric tech, at motor show.

Ford and Volkswagen have confirmed the first details of their broad ‘global alliance’, which will begin with the two pairing up to deliver commercial vehicles but could expand to include electric and autonomous cars.

The two companies will initially team up to develop vans and medium-size trucks for global markets, with the first products of the alliance likely to be mid-size pick-ups in 2022. The agreement is likely to involve Volkswagen developing a van based on Ford’s Transit platform and could involve joint development of the next-generation Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok pick-ups.

The two have also signed a memorandum of understanding to “investigate collaboration” on electric and autonomous vehicles and mobility services, plus they say they're open to considering “additional vehicle programmes” in the future.

Ford boss Jim Hackett said the alliance will “help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society” and “give us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility”.

Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess added that the alliance “will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness”.

The alliance will be governed by a joint committee headed by Hackett and Diess . . . and . . . does not involve any cross-ownership between the two firms.

The news follows an announcement in June that the companies were looking to collaborate on the development of future commercial vehicles, among other projects. Ford's president of global markets, Jim Farley, called this move an example of Ford’s commitment to “leveraging adaptive business models”.

Both Volkswagen and Ford are keen to introduce new electric vehicles to the European market, where strict regulations are being imposed on the development and sale of petrol and diesel vehicles. Volkswagen has previously stated its intention to produce 2-3 million electric cars by 2025.



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Attachments

Oh dear . . . !!

Published by: James Attwood, AUTOCAR magazine, on 24 January 2019.

Carlos Ghosn steps down as Renault chairman from prison.

Ghosn and fellow director Greg Kelly were reportedly due to be dismissed, while Ghosn fights allegations of financial misconduct.

Carlos Ghosn has formally resigned from his role as CEO and chairman of Renault, while he remains in prison awaiting trial.

The French government revealed that Ghosn made the decision last night after reports suggested he would be ousted from Renault this morning in an emergency board meeting.

The architect and former boss of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is still being detained in Japan, facing charges of serious financial misconduct. His resignation comes two months after his arrest and subsequent dismissal from Nissan.

It's not clear if the board will still meet to discuss the appointment of new directors, with reports previously suggesting Michelin CEO Jean-Dominique Senard could be nominated as chairman and Ghosn's deputy Thierry Bolloré as CEO. It's been suggested that the decision is an attempt to heal the rift between Nissan and Renault that has developed since the scandal.

Nissan and Mitsubishi claimed last week that Ghosn received £6.9 million in 'improper' payments without consulting the board, in a joint statement issued by both brands.

Ghosn has had several bail applications denied after being indicted on charges of serious financial misconduct, aggravated breach of trust and understating his income for three years. New allegations come directly from two of his former employers, claiming he failed to consult the board when receiving payments from Nissan-Mitsubishi BV (NMBV), a Netherlands-based joint venture set up to explore greater collaboration within the group.

Prosecutors laid further charges against Ghosn last week, days after he issued a public statement claiming that he has been "wrongly accused" of serious financial misconduct.

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Carlos Ghosn steps down as Renault chairman from prison | Autocar
 
Back "on-topic" . . . Ford . . .

Published by: AUTOCAR magazine, on 24 January 2019.

Analysis: what Ford and Volkswagen's tie-up means.

Last week, two of the biggest players in the car industry confirmed a growing partnership. We consider the broader implications.

Car companies will try multiple ways to save money in the least damaging way possible in the coming decade, and we got a taste of that last week when Volkswagen and Ford announced details of their future alliance.

The first concrete steps will be model swaps in the profitable world of vans but the two companies are also investigating ways to collaborate on electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and the whole complex world of mobility services. They’ve also said they’re open to working together on car models.

“You can’t do this alone,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said of the race to develop these new and costly technologies.

First, though, they’ve got to free up the cash to do that, and that’s where the commercial vehicle sharing comes in. Ford will build a pick-up to replace the VW Amarok and its existing Ranger, starting in 2022.

A year later, Ford will also build the next Transporter in its Turkish plant alongside an equivalent Transit Custom, while VW will build them both a Caddy/Transit Connect compact van in Poland.

The two companies reckon that, between them, they’ll save $1 billion (£773m) a year by spreading the cost of development and shifting work to low-cost countries.

The financial community thinks this a smart move: “It can only be seen as a step in the right direction,” said Arndt Ellinghorst, analyst at investment banking advisory firm Evercore.

This tie-up shouldn’t damage the brands. Vans and pick-ups have a long history of inter-brand collaboration and few van owners really care, although VW has to sell the idea of a Ford-built, Ford-powered Transporter to its loyal fan base of surfer types. (The Transporter is the direct descendent of the T1 hippy bus, remember, and the model has been built in VW’s Hanover plant in Germany since 1956).

(Next Ford Ranger and VW Amarok will be twins underneath).

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Analysis: what Ford and Volkswagen's tie-up means | Autocar
 
Published by: Tristan Shale-Hester, AUTOEXPRESS magazine, on 24 January 2019.

Ford could lose £613m this year as a result of hard Brexit.

The American giant predicts “$800 million headwind” if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Ford has predicted it could lose up to $800 million – equivalent to £613 million – as a result of a hard, no-deal Brexit.

Executives at the American manufacturer fear the combination of World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs and the weakening pound could severely damage profits in the first nine months following a no deal Brexit.

Ford has previously issued stark warnings about how its European operations could be affected by Brexit, and other manufacturers have echoed the same sentiment.

Jaguar Land Rover, which is also facing difficulties due to a downturn in sales of diesel cars, previously said a hard Brexit could cost it £1.2 billion a year.

Ford has around 13,000 employees in the UK, equating to about a quarter of its 54,000 European workers.

The business’ executives told analysts on Wednesday that the full extent of any job losses in the UK and the EU are unlikely to become clear until later in the year.

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Ford could lose £613m this year as a result of hard Brexit
 
Published by: Tristan Shale-Hester, AUTOEXPRESS magazine, on 24 January 2019.

Ford could lose £613m this year as a result of hard Brexit.

The American giant predicts “$800 million headwind” if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

Ford has predicted it could lose up to $800 million – equivalent to £613 million – as a result of a hard, no-deal Brexit.

Executives at the American manufacturer fear the combination of World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs and the weakening pound could severely damage profits in the first nine months following a no deal Brexit.

Ford has previously issued stark warnings about how its European operations could be affected by Brexit, and other manufacturers have echoed the same sentiment.

Jaguar Land Rover, which is also facing difficulties due to a downturn in sales of diesel cars, previously said a hard Brexit could cost it £1.2 billion a year.

Ford has around 13,000 employees in the UK, equating to about a quarter of its 54,000 European workers.

The business’ executives told analysts on Wednesday that the full extent of any job losses in the UK and the EU are unlikely to become clear until later in the year.

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Ford could lose £613m this year as a result of hard Brexit
We're all doomed ............. I wish all the anti Brexit press and doomsayers would just give up .
Nothing like talking yourself into a situation ......it's like the bloke from Dad's Army is in charge of the Media .
Ford just looking for a scape goat due to crap products and crap planning .
 
[DRIFT]

No, NO!! This is NOT how it is supposed to work! The factories are only in "Eastern" Europe, because the cost of labour is (was!) cheaper !!

Published by: Zoltan Simon, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE, on 26 January 2019.

Audi workers' strike over wages gap highlights salary strain in eastern Europe.

BUDAPEST -- Audi workers in Hungary began a week-long strike Thursday to protest what they consider an unfair wage gap with colleagues working for Volkswagen Group's other factories in eastern Europe. Their Czech colleagues also threatened to take action over pay.

The strike shut down engine and car production at Audi's factory in the western Hungarian city of Gyor, according to Audi Hungary labor union Vice President Gyorgy Csalogany.

Workers are demanding an 18 percent wage hike for this year while Audi is offering 10 percent in 2019 and the same for 2020, Audi spokeswoman Judit Mithay-Marko said.

The strike at Audi highlights intensifying wage pressures across the eastern wing of the European Union, once a magnet for foreign investment because of its cheap labor. A dire worker shortage fueled by an aging population, emigration and anti-immigration policies have triggered a wage explosion, potentially straining the bottom line of companies such as Volkswagen. Audi provides the largest share of Volkswagen Group's profit.

“We’re not thinking about wages in Hungary, where we’re close to the top of the salary scale, but in regional terms,” Csalogany said, citing company data that he said showed Volkswagen pay to be lowest in Hungary. “If that means that we will push wages higher across Hungary then we are fine with that.”

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Audi workers' strike over wages gap highlights salary strain in eastern Europe

[/DRIFT]
 
Follow LINK for interactive map . . .

Published by: AUTOMOTIVER NEWS EUROPE (Karin B. Holly contributed).

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS EUROPE ASSEMBLY PLANT MAP.

PSA-OPEL FUSION SHAKES UP EUROPEAN PRODUCTION FOOTPRINT.

PSA Group's takeover of General Motors’ Opel and Vauxhall brands was a game-changer for Europe’s vehicle assembly footprint.

The French-German automaker’s network includes 18 plants that stretch from Portugal in the west to Kaluga, Russia in the east. In the past, PSA had 12 factories and Opel/Vauxhall had six. With 18 plants PSA-Opel is now tied with Renault-Nissan for second place in the ranking.

Volkswagen Group has the biggest network with 24 plants in Europe and Russia that produce vehicles from the VW Up minicar to the Bentley Bentayga ultraluxury SUV.

How long PSA-Opel will remain tied for second place in the plant ranking is an open question. PSA plans to cut hundreds of jobs at one of the factories it inherited from GM, reducing production of the Opel/Vauxhall Astra to a single shift from two now in Ellesmere Port, England.

The cuts have led to fears for the factory's future after the UK quits the European Union, a move that will make the plant's cars more expensive to export to the EU and components more expensive to import from the bloc if there are tariffs between Britain and the EU.

Analysts believe that PSA could close up to three European plants by 2021-2022 to improve capacity utilization. Opel's factory in Eisenach, Germany, and PSA's factory in Villaverde, Spain, could be shut and their production moved to other PSA plants, experts says.

There have been no major plant closings in Europe in the last three years because of the strong rebound in the region’s sales. That is in big contrast to 2009 to 2014 when Ford, Fiat, General Motors and PSA all closed European factories.

This year’s map features the most current data available on nearly 150 plants, based on extensive research by Automotive News Europe. To find out about the vehicles made at these plants check out ANE’s interactive assembly plant map.

Sponsored by Brembo, the map is the go-to resource to help stay on top of all of the changes. The data is continually updated to reflect the changes taking place at some of the most powerful automakers in the world.

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Automotive News Europe assembly plant map
 
Ah! . . . Some "GOOD NEWS" from the "Blue Oval" . . . .

Published by: Ben Custard, Chris Haining, CARBUYER, on 25 January2019.

Electric Ford Mustang SUV will be revealed in 2019

Mustang-inspired electric crossover on sale in 2020 and could be called the Mach E.

Ford’s new electric SUV, inspired by the Mustang, may be revealed this year ahead of going on sale in 2020. Ford’s full-year earnings review implies that a ‘new all-electric utility’ vehicle will be launched before the end of the year.

Ford has previously said that its new SUV will need to have more than 300 miles of range to be competitive with the Tesla Model X and other electric SUVs. Ford is also looking to reduce the time it takes to recharge an electric car’s battery, as it believes that charging times are currently one of EVs’ biggest drawbacks. From this, we can infer that the electric Mustang SUV will offer fast and rapid charging options, so customers can conveniently charge in more locations.

A few months ago, Ford applied to trademark both ‘Mach E’ and ‘Mach-E’. While the company is remaining tight-lipped about potential uses, it’s likely that both formats are possible names for the new electric SUV. Initially, Ford was considering a return to the ‘Mach 1’ moniker used for special-edition Mustangs in the 1970s, but the idea wasn’t well received by Mustang enthusiasts.

An image tweeted by Ford of Europe's chairman and CEO Steven Armstrong was the first official glimpse we got of the car. In the tweet, Armstrong said: "Some very exciting news to share with you all today. Here’s a glimpse of our first global all-electric Mustang-inspired performance utility… It will be available in 2020".

The tweet came soon after an article was published by Darren Palmer, global product development director of Ford’s Team Edison – the task force charged with shaping the company's electric future.

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Electric Ford Mustang SUV will be revealed in 2019
 
Oh, Dear !!

Published by: Tatiana Jancarikova, EUROPE AUTONEWS, on 28 January 2019.

VW to cut staff in Slovakia for first time in a decade.

BRATISLAVA --Volkswagen plans to cut staff at is factory in Bratislava, Slovakia, this year for the first time since the 2009 global downturn as part of an efficiency drive.

The factory is the country's biggest car plant and largest private sector employer.

VW builds the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and VW Touareg large SUVs in Bratislava, along with the VW Up and its e-Up electric car, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo minicars, according to Automotive News Europe's Guide to European Assembly Plants.

The business will return some 500 workers it had borrowed from the Hungarian unit of Audi in 2016, reduce the number of contractors and will not extend expiring fixed-term contracts, VW said in a statement on Monday.

VW employs around 14,000 people in Slovakia and the automaker did not say what that figure would fall to.

The Slovak business will also reduce the number of production shifts.

There are no cuts in overall output projections, as reduced hours will be offset by an increase in the technical capacity of production lines, VW said.

Volkswagen said the move was part of a drive to increase efficiencies by 30 percent by 2025, as it strives to fund a costly shift to electric and self-driving vehicles following a 2015 scandal over rigged emissions tests of diesel engines.

In 2017, Volkswagen Slovakia saw its first-ever strike that ended after six days with a wage deal that gave workers the biggest pay rise among Slovakia's automakers, although they still earn less than VW's employees in Germany.

Overall production at Slovakia's four car factories - the bedrock of the export-dependent euro zone member country's economy - rose to 1.08 million vehicles in 2018 and is expected to reach a 1.15 million this year, cementing its position as the world's biggest per-capita car producer, the country's car association said this month.

But a focus on traditional gasoline and diesel cars and a low share of research and development activities could threaten Slovakia's business model in coming years, as the EU aims to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles.

Slovakia's smallest automaker, a unit of Kia, will also reduce staff this year, the first time since launching in the country in 2006. It will cut 27 staff as of February due to a 35-percent slump in demand for diesel engines made at its factory outside Zilina, northern Slovakia, versus 2017, it said on Monday. Its car production this year is expected to match last year's 333,000 vehicles.

The auto industry accounts for 13 percent of Slovakia's gross domestic product, which is expected to grow 4.3 percent this year before slowing, and for 35 percent of its exports.

PSA Group and Jaguar Land Rover see their output rising this year in Slovakia.

VW to cut staff in Slovakia for first time in a decade
 
An interesting perspective - from the other side of the Atlantic - on the prospects for success, of what Ford say they intend to do in Europe

Published by: John Rosevear, THE MOTLEY FOOL (TMFMarlowe), on 31 January 2019.

Why Ford Won't Follow GM and Exit Europe.

This is Ford's plan to make its Europe operation profitable.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) lost $398 million in Europe in 2018, a sharp drop from the $367 million profit it posted in 2017 -- and an enormous swing from its $1.2 billion profit in the region in 2016.

Clearly, things have been going in the wrong direction for Ford in the Old World. While old rival General Motors gave up on Europe in 2017, selling its German subsidiary to Peugeot, Ford isn't likely to follow GM out the door: The Blue Oval has been an important player in Europe for decades.

Among other things, Ford is the largest-selling auto brand in the United Kingdom -- a title it isn't interested in walking away from. But CEO Jim Hackett acknowledges that Ford needs to be able to generate a sustainable profit in Europe, something that it's clearly not doing now.

Investors have been waiting to hear how Ford plans to do that. Over the last few weeks, Ford's plan to revamp its European operation has begun to come into focus. Here's what we know.

Ford's plan for sustainable profits in Europe . . .

Ford gave an overview of its plan for Europe on Jan. 10, and added some details in its fourth-quarter earnings call last week. Here are the key points . . . .

Follow LINK below . . .

Why Ford Won't Follow GM and Exit Europe -- The Motley Fool

[How can Ford earn big profits in Europe, where small cars are the big sellers? Part of the answer: by making the small cars more luxurious, as it did with the all-new Fiesta launched in 2017. Image source: Ford Motor Company].

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