Tag Archive | "Ford"

Ford Expands Door Latch Recall to 156,000 More Vehicles

Ford Motor Co said it was expanding a recall to include 156,000 more vehicles to fix a potential door latch malfunction, reported Reuters.

The recalls include certain Ford Fiesta, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models.

The company recalled about 390,000 of the three vehicle models in North America last week to fix the same issue.

The driver’s door can potentially unlatch while the car is in motion, increasing the risk of injury, Ford said.

Ford has said it is aware of two incidents in which an unlatched door bounced back and struck the driver and one incident in which an unlatched door swung open and struck another vehicle.

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Ford Laying Off 700 Workers at Michigan Assembly Plant

DETROIT – Amid struggling hybrid and electric vehicle sales, Ford Motor Co. is laying off 700 workers at its Michigan Assembly Plant, according to the Detroit News, reported MLive.

The cuts include 673 hourly and 27 salaried employees, beginning June 22. Some of the hourly workers will be redeployed amid summer vacations, and some salaried employees will be transferred to other facilities, according to the News.

“While today’s announcement of a shift reduction at our Michigan Assembly Plant is unfortunate, it is not completely unexpected,” UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles said in an emailed statement. “We are reminded from time to time that our industry is cyclical and volatile to market conditions.”

Automakers have struggled to sell plug-in electric vehicles in the U.S. as of late. Lower fuel prices and heightened interest in light trucks – both SUVs and pickups alike – have played a role.

Ford makes its Focus sedan, ST and electric models and its C-Max hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne.

Earlier this month, General Motors announced it would be cutting the prices of its Chevrolet Spark EV and Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid electric cars.

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Ford CEO Fields Received $18.6 Million in 2014 Compensation

Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields made $18.6 million in salary and other compensation last year, below the $23.2 million that predecessor Alan Mulally received in 2013, the company said on Friday, reported Reuters.

Last year’s compensation for Fields, 54, was for half the year as CEO and half as chief operating officer. For 2013, he made $10.2 million as COO.

Mulally, who was replaced by Fields on July 1, made $22 million in salary and other compensation for 2014. Ford’s board decided he deserved a full year’s worth of stock awards because the company felt his impact for the full year, a spokesman said.

Earlier this month, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said its CEO, Sergio Marchionne, received 31.3 million euros (about $38 million at end-2014 exchange rates).

General Motors Co has said its CEO, Mary Barra, would make about $14.4 million for 2014. The company has not yet disclosed her specific 2014 compensation.

Fields, Marchionne and Barra will have their compensation compared with that of unionized assembly line workers ahead of and during this summer’s labor talks with the United Auto Workers.

The Center for Automotive Research last week estimated that Ford labor costs for each of its U.S. union workers averaged $57 per hour, including benefits. Hourly pay is between $15.78 and $28.50 for Ford line workers.

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford made $15.1 million in 2014, up from $12 million in 2013.

“We remain absolutely committed to aligning executive compensation with the company’s business performance and to tying a significant portion of executive compensation to long-term shareholder value,” the company said in a statement.

Ford executives are compensated in part on meeting performance targets. The company achieved 91 percent of the targets last year, compared with 112 percent in 2013. It surpassed targets for automotive cash flow, Ford Credit earnings and quality, but missed on automotive revenue and operating profit margin.

The company’s pretax profit in 2014 was $6.3 billion, down from $8.6 billion the previous year, while net income fell to $3.2 billion from $7.2 billion. North American pretax profit in 2014 was $6.9 billion.

Ford shares closed on Thursday at $16.01, compared with $15.25 a year ago.

Ford will hold its annual shareholders meeting in Delaware on May 14.

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Ford CEO: No Plans to Move Lincoln brand

NEW YORK — Ford CEO Mark Fields said the Dearborn automaker has no plans to move its Lincoln luxury brand to New York after its domestic rival made the move, reported The Detroit News.

He added that the company is committed to the revival of Lincoln.

General Motors Co. in September announced it was moving the headquarters of its luxury Cadillac brand to New York City. Cadillac will relocate June 1 to New York. GM CEO Mary Barra cited New York’s role in setting trends.

“We like Lincoln exactly where it is,” Fields told reporters Sunday night at an event here to show off the concept Lincoln Continental that will be displayed at the New York International Auto Show.

“We’re committed to Lincoln as a world-class luxury brand. That means we all have to own this, and we all do, and I think it’s very important for us. It works well when you have the marketing folks, the product planners, the engineers all working closely together because you don’t end up throwing things over a wall — you are all doing things together as a team.”

Cadillac announced its plans to establish a global brand headquarters in New York to help the 112-year-old brand re-establish itself as a dominant global luxury player in a competitive market. The idea, Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen explained in January, was to put distance between the rest of GM and Cadillac and do so in a city that is the epicenter of luxury and could help GM better understand target customers. Some Detroit community members and politicians were disappointed and criticized the move.

GM has redesigned the Cadillac business, which will operate as a separate business unit of GM. The automaker plans to invest $12 billion into Cadillac by the end of the decade, as it adds eight all-new vehicles, including SUVs. Cadillac’s U.S. sales fell 6.5 percent last year, but its global sales inched up 5 percent.

Ford moved its Lincoln brand to California in 1998 as part of its Premier Automotive Group and moved the brand back to Dearborn in 2002.

But Fields said that while California sets many trends, Fields thinks New York helps set trends in luxury vehicles and luxury items. That’s why Fields said Ford is showing off the Lincoln Continental concept at the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday, with plans to build a production version next year.

Fields said the automaker is positioning Lincoln as “quiet luxury” as part of the “whole ownership experience.” It’s about an elegant experience with the highest quality technology, styling and materials.

“We want the brand to represent the themes around this quiet luxury … call it serene and relaxing but almost really to kind of chill when you get into the vehicle. Life becomes a little less stressful,” Fields said.

Fields also said Ford last year opted not to bid for the next generation presidential limousine. For much of the 20th century, the presidential limousine was a Lincoln — and often a Continental. But since the early 1980s, the limousine has been a Cadillac.

“One of the reasons Lincoln is held in high regard is they remember the presidential limousine, they remember the actors and actresses that drove them,” Fields said.

But a company only has so many resources and has to make choices, Fields said. “Let’s not dilute ourselves,” Fields said, explaining the decision.

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BlackRock Reports 5.4% Stake in Ford

BlackRock Inc. on Monday reported a 5.4% stake in Ford Motor Co., less than two weeks after the No. 2 U.S. auto maker reported a sharp drop in fourth-quarter profit, reported The WSJ.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, said a year ago that it had a stake of 5.2%, which represents the total amount owned by the firm’s different funds.

The move comes as Ford has told investors it will have a major rebound in 2015 from a struggle in 2014. Ford reported last month a steep drop in profits as a result of removing Venezuela from its consolidated earnings, but also had a 4.5% decline in revenue related to launching its F-150 pickup in the U.S.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, didn’t disclose plans for the stake.

Ford has forecast that pretax profits, the operating measure that Ford uses with Wall Street, will be up as much as 50% in 2015 and that it will growth sales and market share on a global basis.

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GM Sales Jump 18.3%, Ford Up 15.3%, FCA Up 14% in January

Detroit’s automakers on Tuesday all posted strong sales increases in January compared to a year ago, led by General Motors Co.’s 18.3 percent gain — its best January in seven years, reported The Detroit News.

Buyers took advantage of low gas prices, easy access to credit and stable feelings about the economy to buy vehicles, particularly full-size trucks, crossovers and SUVs. Better weather than a year ago also seemed to aid sales, which analysts expect will come in more than 10 percent higher than January 2014.

Ford Motor Co. saw January sales jump 15.3 percent to 178,351, while FCA US LLC, formerly Chrysler Group LLC, also posted a 14 percent sales gain in January.

GM said its U.S. sales to retail customers and fleet customers increased by 14 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

GM saw big gains from its Chevrolet brand, up 20 percent; GMC was up 28.6 percent and Cadillac had a 2.6 percent sales gain. Sales for Buick fell by 5.5 percent.

The Detroit automaker was boosted by big increases in pickup sales — up 42 percent year-over-year — and sales of crossovers and SUVs jumped 36 percent from January 2014.

“Consumers feel very good because more people are working, the U.S. economy is expanding and fuel prices are low,” said Kurt McNeil, GM’s U.S. vice president of sales operations, in a statement. “Consumer and commercial demand for trucks and crossovers is really driving our business, and our move into the small crossover segment with the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore, and mid-size pickups with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, was well-timed.”

Ford said its retail sales increased by 13 percent — the best retail sales month for Ford since 2004. The Dearborn automaker said passenger car sales to retail customers rose by 6 percent, utilities were up 10 percent and truck sales rose 23 percent.

Ford sold 54,370 F-Series pickups last month, up 16.8 percent in January, marking the best January for F-Series since 2004. Lincoln brand sales also jumped 10.8 percent.

FCA posted its best January sales since 2007 with 145,007 vehicles sold last month.

“We kicked off 2015 with a 14 percent increase in sales and extended our year-over-year sales streak to 58 consecutive months,” said Reid Bigland, FCA’s head of U.S. sales, in a statement. “In spite of some tough 2015 comparisons, we remain confident in our ability to post year-over-year sales increases on the back of strong retail demand for our products.”

FCA said its Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram Truck and Fiat brands each posted year-over-year increases, led by Jeep’s 22.9 percent increase. The company said 10 vehicles set January sales records including four Jeep vehicles. Ram pickup sales also jumped 14 percent.

Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. said its sales jumped 15.6 percent in January, as light truck and Lexus brand sales set January sales records.

“This year is off to a strong start as the sales momentum we saw in 2014 continued into January,” Bill Fay, Toyota division group vice president and general manager, said in a statement.

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. said its total U.S. sales rose 15.1 percent in January, with its Nissan division setting a January record with 94,449 sales, up 15.9 percent.

American Honda Motor Co. Inc. said it had record U.S. sales in January of 102,184, up 11.5 percent from a year ago. Its Honda brand set a January record with 90,202 sales, up 11.6 percent, while Acura brand sales increased by 10.7 percent.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor America said its January sales rose 1.1 percent to 44,505 vehicles, setting a January record. Kia Motors America also had record January sales of 38,299, up 3.5 percent year-over-year. Volkswagen of America Inc. posted flat sales of 23,504 in January.

TrueCar Inc., a car-buying and -selling marketplace, said it predicts U.S. auto sales will reach nearly 1.15 million vehicles in January, up 13.2 percent from January 2014. January 2015 had one extra selling day than January 2014. Kelley Blue Book estimated a similar increase of 12.9 percent, though it noted some final selling days of the month may have been hampered by bad weather in the East.

“Full-size trucks continue to thrive in 2015 and Kelley Blue Book anticipates sales will improve more than 10 percent in January alone,” said Alec Gutierrez, Kelley Blue Book senior analyst, in a statement. “Expect a strong push from Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ram and F-Series, especially when taking into consideration the low cost of fuel and the appeal of these recently redesigned core products.”

Many industry forecasters are calling for U.S. auto sales to reach 17 million in 2015 after hitting 16.52 million last year, up by nearly 1 million sales from 2013.

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