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
 

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