Discussion in 'Stocks' started by dealmaker, May 22, 2017.

  1. dealmaker


    Explorer Redesign

    The Ford Explorer has gotten its first thorough redesign in eight years. The 2020 Explorer comes with Ford Co-Pilot360 driver assistance, greater towing capacity and better fuel efficiency. Prices start at $33,000 and the SUV goes on sale this summer. CNBC
    #31     Jan 10, 2019
  2. vanzandt


    Ford debuts 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500: 'Most powerful street-legal Mustang ever'
    By Dave Bartkowiak Jr., Ken Haddad
    Posted: 9:28 AM, January 14, 2019

    DETROIT - Ford debuted the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 at the 2019 Detroit auto show on Monday.

    The automaker called it the "most powerful street-legal Mustang ever."

    The new Shelby GT500 delivers more than 700 hp with a new engine. It has as much power as Ford's new Mustang race cars used by NASCAR, but this one is considered street-legal.

    #32     Jan 14, 2019
  3. dealmaker


    Ford Assurance

    Ford CEO Jim Hackett has reassured the automaker's U.S. workers that their jobs are secure, despite the company cutting back its European workforce. "I'm confirming that there's no blue collar cuts in the offing," Hackett said. "So the promise to the folks in the factory floor is that we keep the economy strong, because that's the issue that can threaten their employment… but the design of the business isn't threatening that at all." Fox Business
    #33     Jan 14, 2019
  4. dealmaker


    Ford Slump

    Ford lost money in every region except for North America last year, hitting its overall operating income by 27% compared with 2017. That piles more pressure on CEO Jim Hackett, whose global restructuring efforts aren't moving swiftly enough, nor with enough detail, for analysts' liking. Wall Street Journal
    #34     Jan 24, 2019
  5. dealmaker


    Ford Factory

    Ford is shuttering a factory in Brazil that it's operated for more than half a century. The closure of the Sao Bernardo do Campo plant, which involves the loss of 2,800 jobs, is part of a global restructuring effort that's also leading to thousands of job cuts elsewhere. The Brazilian plant makes heavy commercial trucks, and Ford will no longer be offering those in South America. BBC
    #35     Feb 20, 2019
  6. dealmaker


    #36     Jun 6, 2019
  7. dealmaker


    Ford Recall

    Ford has issued four recalls including one for 1.2 million Explorer SUVs. The company says it doesn't know of any injuries, but in theory a defect could fracture the rear suspension and cause steering issues. Another one of the recalls is an expansion of an earlier one for F-150 pickups that apparently have a transmission flaw. Fortune
    #37     Jun 13, 2019
  8. vanzandt


    VW-Ford isn't just an alliance, it's an automotive earthquake
    A seismic shift in the products they make and how they'll shape the industry

    Gary S. Vasilash
    Jul 13th 2019 at 12:00PM

    Although Ford CEO Jim Hackett has been criticized for being at times hyperbolic in his pronouncements, when he sat onstage in New York this morning, flanked on his right by Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and on his left by Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky, and said that the auto industry is in the midst of “the biggest shift in transportation” since the time of Henry Ford, there was absolutely no exaggeration.

    The announcement that Ford and Volkswagen AG are expanding their global alliance is one of the biggest events in the auto industry in modern times.

    What makes this fundamentally different from, say, the original Renault-Nissan alliance: That deal allowed the continued existence of the two companies, but there was no substantive change in what the companies brought to market — the same sorts of cars, crossovers and commercial vehicles they’d long been producing, just with a bit more cost sharing.

    The Renault-Nissan Alliance is not unlike the agreement that Ford and Volkswagen announced earlier this year regarding the collaboration on commercial vans and medium pickups for European and other markets.

    Today’s announcement, however, is truly transformative in that Ford will be using the Volkswagen-developed electric vehicle platform — the Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) — to produce some 600,000 vehicles in Europe over the next six years, a platform that Volkswagen intends to use for the production of some 15 million battery-electric vehicles on a global basis over the next 10 years.

    What this part of the announcement underscores is that these two global automotive giants — the two companies combined had sales of 16.7 million vehicles in 2018 — are now creating something of a standard for an electric vehicle architecture.

    As Diess explained, by opening up MEB to Ford, the companies can drive down production costs through scale economies. That leads to the ability to offer the vehicles to the consumer at a more attractive price. Which can conceivably increase demand, which, in turn, can further trim costs. And for the vehicle manufacturers, who are presently facing nothing but red ink regarding EVs, there can be, according to Diess, “sustainable and profitable growth.”

    One could argue that this is simply a case of Ford buying the MEB from Volkswagen, sort of a straight-up purchase that has no further implication than in terms of a supplier-customer relationship.

    But speaking of the development of the Ford electric vehicle for Europe that is to launch in 2023, Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Automotive, said that it is helpful that the company has an advanced research and development center in Aachen, Germany, whose engineers can work with those of Volkswagen. “A lot of work goes on in developing a vehicle,” he said with understatement.

    So here is a case where the two companies are going to be working together to develop and launch a product that is certainly non-traditional in the context of the vast majority of the aforementioned 16.7 million vehicles.

    Then there is Argo AI, the company that is developing an autonomous vehicle platform, a startup that Ford invested in two years ago. The finances are a bit tricky, but the bottom line here is that Ford and Volkswagen will have an equal stake in Argo AI, which will account for a “substantial majority” of the privately held company. Volkswagen is putting in $1 billion in funding and wrapping in its Munich-based Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) company; AID will become Argo AI’s European operation.

    Again, auto companies investing in autonomous vehicle companies is nothing new. In fact, Volkswagen had invested in Argo AI competitor Aurora until this past June; Aurora has investments by Hyundai-Kia and FCA.

    But the difference here is that Volkswagen and Ford are looking to achieve a self-driving platform that can be scaled comparatively quickly. Argo AI’s Salesky emphasized that their objectives are to (1) build for scale, (2) architect the software to be production quality, (3) have automotive grade sensors and computers, and, perhaps most important, (4) fully integrate their product with OEMs.

    Hackett said that one of the reasons Ford was initially interested in Argo AI was because of that company’s focus on working with a vehicle manufacturer to make its products appropriate for use.

    This, too, is a play of a platform that can be scaled. Not only is this somewhat analogous to the MEB in terms of the ability to reduce costs through volume, but there is the additional benefit that by having an Argo AI system on many more vehicles — both Volkswagen Group products and those of Ford — the system, by obtaining data through daily operation, can get smarter and better.

    If the future is electric and autonomous, the arrangement between Ford, Volkswagen and Argo AI will define that future and transform the industry.

    As Hackett pointed out: If you look at what has happened in the technology sector — think Microsoft and Apple, Facebook and Google — “there will only be a few winners.” By setting de facto standards, Volkswagen and Ford are likely to be among the few.
    #38     Jul 14, 2019
    dealmaker and viruscore1 like this.
  9. vanzandt



    Ford Is Getting a New Electric Vehicle from Michigan Startup Rivian

    Ford's $500 million investment is another check mark for the startup American electric-truck company.

    • Rivian and Ford will partner on a Ford-branded electric vehicle.
    • Ford's number-two executive will sit on Rivian's board of directors.
    • Rivian intends to begin production of both the R1S SUV and R1T pickup in 2020.
    Rivian now counts Ford as a willing partner to push its battery-electric pickup and SUV prototypes to the assembly line. Ford's $500 million investment has seeded Rivian with at least $1.1 billion in outside funding, so now Rivian must deliver on several fronts: Build a new EV for Ford, deliver packages for Amazon, and ship a boatload of trucks to Saudi Arabia.

    The Ford gamble in the Michigan-based EV startup —which has its headquarters just 20 miles west of Ford's in Dearborn—will place Joe Hinrichs, Ford's number-two man in charge of global automotive operations, on Rivian's as yet unannounced board of directors. Ford wants Rivian to build Ford an "all-new battery-electric vehicle" that is unrelated to the forthcoming Mustang-based crossover and electric F-150. You can bet all $500 million it won't be a car. Ford is particularly teased by Rivian's modular "skateboard" platform, which integrates the battery, motors, suspension, cooling, and brakes into one interchangeable frame that can be swapped from vehicle to vehicle. It also mounts these components as low in the vehicle as possible, another potential win for handling and off-road stability.

    The Dearborn money follows $700 million from Amazon in February. In May 2018, Rivian secured $200 million from a London bank to buy and retool the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois. Before that, Rivian had raised $450 million from other private investors and companies, including Abdul Latif Jameel, an investment firm that is also the Toyota distributor for Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. arm of Japan's Sumitomo Corporation, a conglomerate of businesses involving metals, aircraft leasing, and railroads.

    The R1T pickup and R1S SUV that debuted at Los Angeles in November had been under development for a decade when Robert Scaringe, who holds a doctorate in engineering from MIT, founded the company. The vehicles have attracted media attention for their unique style, independent electric motors at each axle, more than 400 miles of range—not to mention the swanky afterparty in L.A. where Rivian paid Rihanna to show up. Who will show up with the next half-billion is anyone's guess.
    #39     Jul 14, 2019
    dealmaker and viruscore1 like this.
  10. dealmaker


    Ford’s secret fight for a pickup truck emoji
    Starting next year, emoji pickup trucks will likely be available on cell phones near you (Google and Android). It makes sense: Pickups are the most popular vehicles in the country.

    But the process of how the pickup truck got pixelated is much dicier. Ford spent two years lobbying for the emoji, according to The Atlantic, and the design looks strangely similar to a Ford Ranger.

    The situation leads to a very 21st century question: How much influence should brands have on bringing emoji into the digital world?

    Meet the Unicode Consortium

    New emoji don’t just magically appear. They’re selected by the Unicode Consortium, a volunteer organization that oversees the appearance of every computerized text and emoji (either the lamest or the coolest way to spend free time, depending on your personality).

    Anybody can propose a new emoji. In the past, plenty of brands have done so unsuccessfully, including Kit Kat and Durex. Ford failed two years ago as well.

    But a Unicode Consortium volunteer said she didn’t know this recent pickup proposal was sponsored by Ford. A pickup presentation suggested an outside creative agency and didn’t include any logos or branding -- not even a subtle “this slide was built Ford tough.”

    Not that it would have mattered

    The volunteer said the proposal likely would have been accepted no matter what.

    “Companies and their agencies usually have terrible proposals, and I remember the (pickup truck’s) being very good,” she told The Atlantic.

    Ford has spent $50k on a campaign to promote this new emoji -- a steal. Twitter has charged $1m for branded emoji during the Super Bowl.

    The decision to accept the pickup emoji still needs to be finalized, but Ford is already celebrating with, uh, Bryan Cranston?
    #40     Jul 18, 2019