Ford Motor Company - Is the Corporate decline inevitable?

Confirmation, of an earlier post . . .

Published by: James Attwood, AUTOCAR magazine, on 28 March 2019.

Volkswagen and Ford to jointly develop Amarok successor.

First stage of 'global alliance' will see German and American manufacturers collaboration on mid-size pick-up truck.

Ford and Volkswagen have signed a contract to co-develop a replacement for the Amarok pick-up truck.
Ford's mid-size Ranger pick-up truck will likely form the basis of any future platform, and may help Volkswagen reduce the costs associated with designing a replacement for the Amarok. The partnership could see a production model on sale by 2022.

The agreement, as reported by Automotive News Europe, is the first to follow the German and American brands' announcement of a 'global alliance', which could eventually expand to include electric and autonomous cars.

The agreement is likely to involve Volkswagen developing a van based on Ford’s Transit platform, and the two have also signed a memorandum of understanding to “investigate collaboration” on electric and autonomous vehicles and mobility services. Both companies have said 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.

Ford and Volkswagen, alongside BMW and Daimler, are co-owners of the Ionity scheme, which is developing a network of ultra-fast charging stations across Europe.

The alliance is not the first of its kind; last year, Honda invested $2.75 billion in General Motors' self-driving division. The Japanese and American companies plan to challenge tech giants Apple and Google with a new range of driverless taxis.

Established car makers around the world are beginning to shift their focus entirely to researching and developing zero-emissions and self-driving vehicles as global legislation aims to reduce pollution.

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Volkswagen and Ford to jointly develop Amarok successor | Autocar
 
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Published by: Tim Daiss, OILPRICE.COM, on 09 April 2019.

Germany’s “Circle Of Five” Roiled In New Scandal.

Another pollution scandal is threatening to rock the European auto industry. On Friday, EU anti-trust regulators charged BMW, Volkswagen (Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche), and Daimler, the so-called “Big Five,” in a preliminary review with colluding to block the roll-out of clean emissions technology in what media has called the latest pollution scandal to hit the auto industry. The European Commission (EC) said it had sent statements of objections to the German automakers setting out the charges which come almost two years after carrying out dawn raids at their premises.

The EC said the collusion occurred between 2006 to 2014 and took place during technical meetings held by the “circle of five,” which included BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen Group’s VW, Audi and Porsche. “Daimler, VW, and BMW may have broken EU competition rules. As a result, European consumers may have been denied the opportunity to buy cars with the best available technology,” said European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement. She added that companies can cooperate in many ways to improve the quality of their products. However, EU competition rules do not allow them to collude on exactly the opposite.

European law enforcers first carried out inspections at the premises of BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and Audi in Germany in October 2017, as part of its initial inquiries into possible collusion between car manufacturers on the technological development of passenger cars. The Commission opened an in-depth investigation in September 2018.

Simply not good enough.

The auto manufacturers have been given 10 weeks to respond, with potential fines of up to 10 percent of global revenue possible. BMW said it will contest charges “with all legal means if necessary,” adding that it was probable the EC would issue a significant fine and it would set aside a provision of likely more than 1 billion euros ($1.125 billion), which would hurt its first-quarter earnings. VW has yet to make an official comment, confirming only that it has received notice from the antitrust regulator. Daimler, which tipped off the EC, says it does not believe it will be fined as a result of its information.

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Germany’s “Circle Of Five” Roiled In New Scandal | OilPrice.com

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THIS IS IMPORTANT . . . for reasons I may be able to explain later.

Published by: Lawrence Allan, AUTOCAR magazine, on 18 April 2019.

New Daimler boss could end Renault-Nissan partnership.

Report suggests platform, parts and factory sharing between two giants will end under Ola Kallenius' tenure, with big cost savings likely.

Daimler’s new CEO could end the car maker’s relationship with the Renault-Nissan alliance, according to a new report - while a massive cost saving strategy is on the cards.

German business publication Manager Magazin claims that Ola Kallenius, set to begin his tenure as CEO in May following the departure of Dieter Zetsche, could let the wide-reaching, multi-market partnership lapse by not renewing the joint projects.

Various projects have reportedly suffered since Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested on financial misconduct charges. Zetsche and Ghosn, known to have had a close relationship, have been the figureheads of the strategic partnership since its conception in 2009.

Today’s list of shared projects includes the Mercedes X-Class (below) and Nissan Navara pick-ups, which share a platform and a number of common parts. The Smart ForFour and Renault Twingo are also heavily related, while all three firms share several jointly developed petrol and diesel engines. Mercedes and Infiniti also share a large factory in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Kallenius plans wide-reaching cost savings.

The report also claims that Kallenius is seeking to save 6 billion euros by cutting costs and introducing efficiency boosting measures by 2021.

Though no sources are cited, it is also suggested that around 10,000 jobs will be cut globally. It follows Daimler’s February announcement that cost savings are planned as profits are being hit by a general market downturn, international trade wars and the development costs associated with its substantial electrification strategy.

Another factor yet to be official confirmed is said to be a huge production issue at Mercedes-Benz’s plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where up to 30,000 cars rolled off the line with faulty electronic systems. The problems required expensive fixes, leading to a reported revenue shortfall of around 2 billion euros.

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New Daimler boss could end Renault-Nissan partnership | Autocar

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I realise the thread has gone in different directions but I would be all over a RHD F150 if such a thing was made and I would have it with the biggest V8 possible, thank you very much.

Ford should definitely base their global strategy on me.
 
I realise the thread has gone in different directions but I would be all over a RHD F150 if such a thing was made and I would have it with the biggest V8 possible, thank you very much.

Ford should definitely base their global strategy on me.
That deserves a considered response. Give me a couple of days ;) .
 
I realise the thread has gone in different directions but I would be all over a RHD F150 if such a thing was made and I would have it with the biggest V8 possible, thank you very much.

Ford should definitely base their global strategy on me.
It is made in RHD (as are the F250’ 350 and 450 if an F150 isn’t quite big enough for you.

You can buy a Shelby F150 here for AUD250000. That would get you an Aston Martin...
 
Published by: Daniel Kozin, THE MOSCOW TIMES, on 23 April 2019.

As Ford Exits the Russian Car Market, Its Sacked Workers Fight for a Fair Pay-Off.

A trailblazing union is demanding its members get the same treatment as the U.S. automaker’s employees elsewhere.

VSEVOLOZHSK, Leningrad region — When Ivan first learned he would be losing his job at the Ford factory he was floored. For more than a decade, the 50-year-old welder has been producing the frames of Focus and Mondeo cars at the U.S. automaker’s plant in Vsevolozhsk, an industrial town 30 kilometers east of St. Petersburg.

“I’ve been working at this factory for the past 13 years, so I don’t have any experience with jumping from job to job,” Ivan said on a recent spring morning, as he and hundreds of his colleagues packed Vsevolozhsk’s town hall for a meeting with government officials about their future.

The cars made at the factory took the Russian market by storm when it first opened in 2002, as the country’s burgeoning middle class snapped up the American brand’s vehicles as a sign of its new affluence.

But Russia’s economic downturn since 2014, coupled with the effects of Western economic sanctions following the annexation of Crimea, have hit the automobile industry and Ford hard, cutting sales of cars in the country by more than half.

After years of losses, Ford announced late last month that it would cease production of all passenger cars in Russia, citing “inadequate returns on invested capital.”

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As Ford Exits the Russian Car Market, Its Sacked Workers Fight for a Fair Pay-Off
 
Published by: James Brodie, AUTOEXPRESS magazine, on 24 April 2019.

Ford and Rivian announce £380m deal to develop new electric Ford.

Significant Ford investment sees industry giant gain access to Rivian’s new all-electric platform.

Ford and all-electric start-up Rivian have announced a $500m (£380m) deal that will see the two companies work together to develop a new, next-generation electric vehicle for the Ford brand.

Ford’s substantial investment in Rivian, which is also based in the US state of Michigan, will see the Blue Oval gain access to the newer company’s freshly developed, modular ‘skateboard’ electric platform.

Rivian has already revealed two production vehicles using the architecture. The R1S is a chunky, large electric SUV, which made its introduction at the 2018 Los Angeles Motor Show with a claimed maximum range over 400 miles. When it arrives it’ll have a sister model in the form of the R1T pick-up truck.

Company founder Robert Scaringe has told Auto Express that the firm is also planning a smaller, hatchback sized vehicle but with ‘rally car’ like ground clearance, staying true to the brand’s rugged, off-road focus.

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Ford and Rivian announce £380m deal to develop new electric Ford
 
Ford took the 5 cylinder engines from Volvo, tuned it, added a new turbo, sold it back to Volvo and put it in the old Focus RS and Sti. Ford needed a stop gap to replace the ageing Zetec and Kent engine bought a major shareholding in Mazda as they were going bust, reworked Mazda's reliable 4 cylinder engines, sold it back to Mazda and Volvo. Mazda was skint and desperately need a diesel engine so Ford gave them the Duratorq with floor and suspension which saved both companies a lot of money.

All this engine swapping malarky gave Ford time to employ a German technology company to develop the 3 cylinder ecoboost series as they couldn't see small diesel engines had any future back in 2007, Peugeot and Renault thought similar. The Japs meanwhile went 'told you so' as they never really bought into the whole diesel fad and cracked on with petrol/electric hybrids.
The ecoboost 3 cylinder engine is ideally suited to hybrid technology, hence Ford is now the second biggest producer of hybrids behind Toyota which they share patents with. VAG are probably interested in Ford as they are way behind with hybrids.

The far east market doesn't 'get' poverty spec German cars, a VW Golf's Germanic build quality doesn't beat a cheap Hyundai or Kia with all the kit as standard. If they are going to spend extra they'll buy Japanese, once again it comes with all the kit, not an extras list. Ford rebadged (they're desperate) the old Focus and called it the Escort in 2015, they've sold 1 million of them to the Chinese. If anything the Germans are worried they're going to get picked off by the manufacturers in the emerging markets if they don't get a foothold.
That’s good to hear. Ford hybrids, including the Fusion and C-Max, are popular in the USA but simply not available in the UK.
 
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Didn’t the Sharon have a sister car named Tracy?
Further to the original post, with which the thread was started . . . .

Published by: Mark Tisshaw, AUTOCAR magazine, on 10 January 2019.

Opinion: is Ford finally taking action in Europe?

A move from MPVs to SUVs could reflect Ford's realisation that it can't survive in Europe on vans alone.

There were whispers among analysts and the business papers throughout last year floating the prospect of Ford following great rival General Motors out of the European car market completely.

However incredible that might seem, we can see why: Ford has made a dozen pre-tax losses in Europe in the past 20 years and it recently admitted that while it made money on vans, it lost cash on each car sold.

No wonder investment bank Morgan Stanley predicted that, at this rate, Ford would be Europe’s least profitable car maker by 2021.

Today, we have at last heard the first details of Ford’s huge global restructuring plan, which will include much focus on getting things right in Europe to help address this.

Ford has been too slow to react to too many market trends in Europe for a decade or more, persisting with MPVs and saloons and ignoring the rise of SUVs, while its interiors have also consistently lagged behind the class best.

To the former point, it's taking action by axing the C-Max and Grand C-Max MPVs, while launching more SUVs, including increasing more imported SUVs from the US and making its first dedicated electric car a crossover.

The all-new Ford Explorer, the US’s best-selling SUV in history, is a prime candidate for launch here above the Edge, while the lamentable Ecosport will at last give way in Ford’s range here to a new Fiesta-based SUV that should be far more competitive in the fast-growing segment.

Ford will also be looking to reap the benefits of a wider alliance with the Volkswagen Group. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. Ford’s commercial vehicle operation is huge in Europe, and Volkswagen is poised to tap into it. In the past few years, Volkswagen has also sorted out the profitability of its car operations, particularly small cars, which is the crux of Ford’s own problems. We should hear more on this in the coming weeks.

However Ford restructures its business and whatever models it launches, it's the quality and execution of those models for which buyers will ultimately judge Ford by voting with their feet.

The industry rewards firms that make relevant, innovative and interesting cars that are as good to own as they are to drive. Ford need only look to some of its incredible back catalogue for proof.

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. . . new Fiesta-based SUV that should be far more competitive in the fast-growing segment.

RCT(V) comment: Intended to replace "the lamentable Ecosport", the new Fiesta-based SUV (above), shares the low(er) roof design of SUV, favoured by the German manufacturers . . . rather than the upright stance of the Ecosport.

Opinion: is Ford finally taking action in Europe? | Autocar
Any news on Ford selling their hybrid cars (instead of just the Mondeo) in Europe?
 
Any news on Ford selling their hybrid cars (instead of just the Mondeo) in Europe?
What Ford hybrid cars . . . ?! ;) .

Nothing mentioned in my "news feeds", but I will post it, if/when I see it :).
 
What Ford hybrid cars . . . ?! ;) .

Nothing mentioned in my "news feeds", but I will post it, if/when I see it :).
I think you maybe sarcastic. They do sell a Mondeo Hybrid Electric here - but yes, you're right - I've never seen one in flesh in London. All other types of hybrids, electrics, etc., but not one Ford hybrid.
 
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To save, protect and preserve the “specialist”, sporting, “luxury”, and quality(?!) DNA, that is associated with both Alfa Romeo, and with Maserati, it is to be hoped that they will, individually, both be “de-merged”, and separated, from all the other names within FCA - which are generally regarded as “volume” manufacturers.

For similar reasons, this has already happened to Ferrari, which was spun-off from the FCA group in 2016. A controlling amount of Ferrari shares are held by Exor, which would be an appropriate, suitable, place to transfer a controlling amount of shares in both Alfa Romeo, and in Maserati.

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John Philip Jacob Elkann (born 1 April 1976) is an American-Italian industrialist. He was the chosen heir of his grandfather Gianni Agnelli, and chairs and controls the automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (which owns the Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Lancia, Maserati, Mopar and Ram brands), which has formerly represented 4.4% of Italy's GDP.

He is the chairman and CEO of Exor, the holding company controlled by the Agnelli family, which also owns Partner Re and holds a controlling stake in Ferrari, CNH Industrial and Juventus F.C.. In July 2018 he was appointed as chairman of Ferrari after Sergio Marchionne had to leave due to health issues.

Elkann was born in New York and holds both Italian and American citizenship.

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Fiat Chrysler and Renault merger would create "world leader" | Autocar

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To save, protect and preserve the “specialist”, sporting, “luxury”, and quality(?!) DNA, that is associated with both Alfa Romeo, and with Maserati, it is to be hoped that they will, individually, both be “de-merged”, and separated, from all the other names within FCA - which are generally regarded as “volume” manufacturers.

For similar reasons, this has already happened to Ferrari, which was spun off from the FCA group in 2016. A controlling amount of Ferrari shares are held by Exor, which would be an appropriate, suitable, place to transfer a controlling amount of shares in both Alfa Romeo, and Maserati.

View attachment 395534



Fiat Chrysler and Renault merger would create "world leader" | Autocar

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Not sure. I thought Maserati sat nicely when it was partnered with Ferrari in Fiat’s structure. They could have taken that further; Ferrari ever more sporting, Maserati more GT. Maserati could have benefited from the Ferrari halo.

But they switched it and paired Maserati with Alfa and tried to push Alfa upwards with the 8C. The new Giulia is a nice car but it’s no 3 series. Meanwhile they’ve squandered Lancia.

The Fiat brand is pretty dead too; the 500 is old and the retro thing dead. What else do they make? And the cross platforms for of Jeep and Fiat is IMHO damaging Jeep.

It’s a bit like watching British Leyland all over again.
 
Not sure. I thought Maserati sat nicely when it was partnered with Ferrari in Fiat’s structure. They could have taken that further; Ferrari ever more sporting, Maserati more GT. Maserati could have benefited from the Ferrari halo.

But they switched it and paired Maserati with Alfa and tried to push Alfa upwards with the 8C. The new Giulia is a nice car but it’s no 3 series. Meanwhile they’ve squandered Lancia.

The Fiat brand is pretty dead too; the 500 is old and the retro thing dead. What else do they make? And the cross platforms for of Jeep and Fiat is IMHO damaging Jeep.

It’s a bit like watching British Leyland all over again.
The only thing keeping alive FCA right now is Jeep and Dodge.

Edit: RAM trucks.
 
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Not sure. I thought Maserati sat nicely when it was partnered with Ferrari in Fiat’s structure. They could have taken that further; Ferrari ever more sporting, Maserati more GT. Maserati could have benefited from the Ferrari halo.

But they switched it and paired Maserati with Alfa and tried to push Alfa upwards with the 8C. The new Giulia is a nice car but it’s no 3 series. Meanwhile they’ve squandered Lancia.

The Fiat brand is pretty dead too; the 500 is old and the retro thing dead. What else do they make? And the cross platforms for of Jeep and Fiat is IMHO damaging Jeep.

It’s a bit like watching British Leyland all over again.
BL . . . :( !! Agreed!

Which is why I suggest separating off - NOW - Maserati, and also Alfa Romeo.

Under the umbrella that is EXOR (owned/controlled by the same Agnelli family interests), it need/would anyway, only be a "paper" transaction. Well, "only" involving accountants, and bloody lawyers!

Under that umbrella - with Ferrari - the three of them could co-operate, complement, compete, with each other . . . with the shared objective of out performing commercially/financially the (German Porsche, Audi), competition.

Just IMAGINE, if they (the Govt/BL), had similarly separated out/off Triumph, and also Rover/Land-Rover!! :) .

Austin-Morris (BMC), would have inevitably ended up as it did, but would NOT have dragged-down two remarkable English automotive manufacturers.

Jaguar, thankfully DID escape, from the morass.
 
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BL . . . :( !! Agreed!

Which is why I suggest separating off - NOW - Maserati, and also Alfa Romeo.
The thing is that Alfa Romeo really needs to sit between Maserati and FIAT, sharing parts and tech with both.
 

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