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So I've seen comment after comment indicate Fields cancelled this and that.....but I really never saw anything in Automotive News or WSJ and I'm wondering where you guys are getting this info? Every downturn is being blamed on Fields and I'm not sure I entirely buy into this.

 

The guy was no idiot and knows that fresh product sells better with less incentives so how did they get to where they are now?

 

With China being starved for products and the lack of investment in this market and others for new products is just crazy. And when they do roll something out, it is so damn hard to see any noticeable differences.

My issue is more around the fact that the board, including Bill Ford, would certainly be aware of all these decisions and maybe even sign off on some of this stuff.

 

I'm a Ford guy thru and thru but keep my eyes pretty wide open but this makes me ask....WTF happened?

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So I've seen comment after comment indicate Fields cancelled this and that.....but I really never saw anything in Automotive News or WSJ and I'm wondering where you guys are getting this info? Every downturn is being blamed on Fields and I'm not sure I entirely buy into this.

 

The guy was no idiot and knows that fresh product sells better with less incentives so how did they get to where they are now?

 

With China being starved for products and the lack of investment in this market and others for new products is just crazy. And when they do roll something out, it is so damn hard to see any noticeable differences.

My issue is more around the fact that the board, including Bill Ford, would certainly be aware of all these decisions and maybe even sign off on some of this stuff.

 

I'm a Ford guy thru and thru but keep my eyes pretty wide open but this makes me ask....WTF happened?

 

Alan Mulally set the standard. Afterwards, Mark Fields and company thought they knew better and went back to the old practice of protecting their own turf, etc. Unfortunately, Ford management never learns the lesson about continuous product development.

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So I've seen comment after comment indicate Fields cancelled this and that.....but I really never saw anything in Automotive News or WSJ and I'm wondering where you guys are getting this info? Every downturn is being blamed on Fields and I'm not sure I entirely buy into this.

 

The guy was no idiot and knows that fresh product sells better with less incentives so how did they get to where they are now?

 

With China being starved for products and the lack of investment in this market and others for new products is just crazy. And when they do roll something out, it is so damn hard to see any noticeable differences.

My issue is more around the fact that the board, including Bill Ford, would certainly be aware of all these decisions and maybe even sign off on some of this stuff.

 

I'm a Ford guy thru and thru but keep my eyes pretty wide open but this makes me ask....WTF happened?

Agreed. The Board is powerful and signs off on major decisions. Fields is the fall guy.

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So I've seen comment after comment indicate Fields cancelled this and that.....but I really never saw anything in Automotive News or WSJ and I'm wondering where you guys are getting this info? Every downturn is being blamed on Fields and I'm not sure I entirely buy into this.

 

The guy was no idiot and knows that fresh product sells better with less incentives so how did they get to where they are now?

 

With China being starved for products and the lack of investment in this market and others for new products is just crazy. And when they do roll something out, it is so damn hard to see any noticeable differences.

My issue is more around the fact that the board, including Bill Ford, would certainly be aware of all these decisions and maybe even sign off on some of this stuff.

 

I'm a Ford guy thru and thru but keep my eyes pretty wide open but this makes me ask....WTF happened?

There were inside confirmations of many new projects being cancelled, delayed or put on hold. Fields was cutting costs and hoarding cash because a major downturn in the market was forecast. Had the market actually tanked as projected Fields would have probably been congratulated, but that downturn never happened and Ford got caught with stale products and that affected sales and the stock price. He also did some things with partners that the board didn’t like.

 

The biggest clue was the CD6 program - the first thing Hackett did was restart those projects and accelerate them.

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There were inside confirmations of many new projects being cancelled, delayed or put on hold. Fields was cutting costs and hoarding cash because a major downturn in the market was forecast. Had the market actually tanked as projected Fields would have probably been congratulated, but that downturn never happened and Ford got caught with stale products and that affected sales and the stock price. He also did some things with partners that the board didn’t like.

 

The biggest clue was the CD6 program - the first thing Hackett did was restart those projects and accelerate them.

 

 

Well that may explain the US market---but what about China? I never saw any forecasts for a downturn in the market until 2017/18.

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No idea about China unless Fields was also cutting investments there.

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Well that may explain the US market---but what about China? I never saw any forecasts for a downturn in the market until 2017/18.

 

 

Good article on Ford's China problems here:

 

https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/2018/02/15/ford-china/341385002/

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There were inside confirmations of many new projects being cancelled, delayed or put on hold... ...cutting costs and hoarding cash because a major downturn in the market was forecast. Had the market actually tanked as projected Fields would have probably been congratulated, but that downturn never happened and Ford got caught with stale products and that affected sales and the stock price...

 

The biggest clue was the CD6 program - the first thing Hackett did was restart those projects and accelerate them.

I have no problem with the idea that DURING Field's tenure decisions were based on pessimism - whoEVER

'architected' that general path

but

I've seen NO indications that Hatchett has does ANYthing except confuse the public&fans...

...would greatly appreciate Links for him "re-starting" cD6, esp!

Edited by 2b2

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Well that may explain the US market---but what about China? I never saw any forecasts for a downturn in the market until 2017/18.

China has introduced a requirement that selling vehicles there has to include at least 10% as EVs,

hence the hurried JV with Zyote and development of 40 new EVs over the next few years, most of them

will be for Chinese domestic market so that Ford can keep selling ICEs there after 2019.

 

The issue with china is that Ford's products are now looking stale, past their use by dates but that

was also coupled with less selling days in February thanks to later Chinese new year holidays.

 

Ford's vehicles sizes now seem to be slightly out of line with the longer roomier vehicles form competitors,

I thnk this is making it harder for Ford to compete but should start improving by years end.

Edited by jpd80

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I have no problem with the idea that DURING Field's tenure decisions were based on pessimism - whoEVER

'architected' that general path

but

I've seen NO indications that Hatchett has does ANYthing except confuse the public&fans...

...would greatly appreciate Links for him "re-starting" cD6, esp!

No links and nothing public - just insider info that was posted a few months ago.

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Mr Hackett, the great communicator

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I don’t know why you guys are so hung up on what Hackett says or doesn’t say. It’s not going to sell more vehicles.

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I dont know why you guys are so hung up on what Hackett says or doesnt say. Its not going to sell more vehicles.

because everyone from employees to investors have wanted answers from the guy and hes given us nothing

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Mr Hackett, the great communicator

At least in his mind!

 

I don’t know why you guys are so hung up on what Hackett says or doesn’t say. It’s not going to sell more vehicles.

No argument that most consumers are not paying attention to what Hackett says-but doesn't all the press associated with his failure to convince the "street" ultimately trickle down to the public?? "Is Ford on a roll?" Don't think that is the perception.

 

because everyone from employees to investors have wanted answers from the guy and hes given us nothing

Amen. I get multiple Seeking Alpha posts everyday and usually he takes a hit for not taking a position-other than "Silicon speak"

Compare him to Mullaly's first year performance and how he was viewed by the press and I think the public in general.

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“The street” doesn’t buy cars and car buyers don’t care what “the street” says about a mfr.

 

I don’t remember Mulally saying anything about new products or platforms.

 

I understand he’s not impressing anyone but I honestly don’t see where that really matters much at this point in time. It would be different if Ford was on the verge of bankruptcy but they’re not - far from it in fact. What matters is he gets the new products and platforms rebooted and going full speed ahead.

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No one is expecting Hackett to bullet list every new product that's coming and you're right, Mulally didn't either...

Mulally took investors and the media on a journey and keep them spellbound by his charm and charisma,

he kept them fed on the basics,

- Right size the business to true market volume

- Eliminate what appear to be duplication of product

- Focus on best in class fuel economy

- Deliver affordable quality vehicles.

 

In contrast, Hackett began to tell Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley that his plan had six key points

but when pressed, he was not able to share those six key points and after nine months in the chair

we still know precious little about how Hackett is changing Ford....

 

And we also have little if any color on why 2018 will be a "bad year" as Hackett officially described it...

Edited by jpd80

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No one is expecting Hackett to bullet list every new product that's coming and you're right, Mulally didn't either...

Mulally took investors and the media on a journey and keep them spellbound by his charm and charisma,

he kept them fed on the basics,

- Right size the business to true market volume

- Eliminate what appear to be duplication of product

- Focus on best in class fuel economy

- Deliver affordable quality vehicles.

 

In contrast, Hackett began to tell Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley that his plan had six key points

but when pressed, he was not able to share those six key points and after nine months in the chair

we still know precious little about how Hackett is changing Ford....

 

And we also have little if any color on why 2018 will be a "bad year" as Hackett officially described it...

 

If you don't know why 2018 is going to be a bad year for Ford, then you haven't been paying attention.

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No one is expecting Hackett to bullet list every new product that's coming and you're right, Mulally didn't either...

Mulally took investors and the media on a journey and keep them spellbound by his charm and charisma,

he kept them fed on the basics,

- Right size the business to true market volume

- Eliminate what appear to be duplication of product

- Focus on best in class fuel economy

- Deliver affordable quality vehicles.

 

In contrast, Hackett began to tell Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley that his plan had six key points

but when pressed, he was not able to share those six key points and after nine months in the chair

we still know precious little about how Hackett is changing Ford....

 

And we also have little if any color on why 2018 will be a "bad year" as Hackett officially described it...

 

 

Well one of the points of his plan is "get in shape, lose some weight, run a 10k or some bullshit like that".....the guy has said nothing to reassure the market, the company or the public that he can turn things around quickly-IMO....and now every time you hear one of their executives talk they are using the same phrase about "getting in shape, or whatever it is."

 

This industry is about winners and losers and the cool thing is that your vunerabilities/strengths are shown in results.

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If you don't know why 2018 is going to be a bad year for Ford, then you haven't been paying attention.

 

And I'm not convinced it will be a "bad" year necessarily. They probably won't make as much profit as last year but if they still make $3B - 4B I'd consider that at least an OK year considering the current products.

Edited by akirby

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No one is expecting Hackett to bullet list every new product that's coming and you're right, Mulally didn't either...

Mulally took investors and the media on a journey and keep them spellbound by his charm and charisma,

he kept them fed on the basics,

- Right size the business to true market volume

- Eliminate what appear to be duplication of product

- Focus on best in class fuel economy

- Deliver affordable quality vehicles.

 

In contrast, Hackett began to tell Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley that his plan had six key points

but when pressed, he was not able to share those six key points and after nine months in the chair

we still know precious little about how Hackett is changing Ford....

 

And we also have little if any color on why 2018 will be a "bad year" as Hackett officially described it...

 

My point is it doesn't matter what he says or doesn't say, it matters whether he's fixing the internal product problems.

 

Fields said a lot of stuff that sounded good but he was completely screwing the company behind the scenes.

 

We already know the plans for hybrid and BEV vehicles, what they're doing with autonomous driving (focusing on commercial applications) and new C and CD platforms. There isn't much else to tell - just go execute.

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The street doesnt buy cars and car buyers dont care what the street says about a mfr.

 

I dont remember Mulally saying anything about new products or platforms.

 

I understand hes not impressing anyone but I honestly dont see where that really matters much at this point in time. It would be different if Ford was on the verge of bankruptcy but theyre not - far from it in fact. What matters is he gets the new products and platforms rebooted and going full speed ahead.

He didnt need to spell out new products and platforms. He had a plan and made it clear that he had a plan. Hackett hasnt done that and its starting to look more and more like he doesnt have a plan.

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Ford the company is not at the whim of wall street as some companies are, they are immune I believe to corporate raiders. Therefore they can act like a private company in some respects which means they don't have to share too much of their future plans. I can't comment if Hackett has a plan or not but I doubt he would be in the position he is in without one, even if it is a bad plan.

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No one is expecting Hackett to bullet list every new product that's coming and you're right, Mulally didn't either...

Mulally took investors and the media on a journey and keep them spellbound by his charm and charisma,

he kept them fed on the basics,

- Right size the business to true market volume

- Eliminate what appear to be duplication of product

- Focus on best in class fuel economy

- Deliver affordable quality vehicles.

 

In contrast, Hackett began to tell Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley that his plan had six key points

but when pressed, he was not able to share those six key points and after nine months in the chair

we still know precious little about how Hackett is changing Ford....

 

And we also have little if any color on why 2018 will be a "bad year" as Hackett officially described it...

 

While not overly specific in that he didn't discuss specific vehicles, plans, etc., Mulally's public version of his plan was simple, but clear, and gave everyone a general road map of what he wanted to do with the company. All we've heard Hackett talk about is the stupid mobility and changing the transportation future with their powerpoints and computer generated images of a utopian city with bike lanes and pedestrian walkways galore that nobody cares about.

 

In that vein, Hackett just needs to throw out a few points to give the dogs something to chew on, so to speak, while the plan is being implemented.

 

My opinion of what these points should be:

 

-Adjust/shuffle global assembly capacity: constructing new plants, shuffling plant production, optimizing production per region, etc.

-Revamp product lineup: replace the entire lineup top to bottom with new product - sounds obvious, but it needs to be said with the way it's aging globally

-Best in class, period. No matter what segment/market, the product should be class leading - capability, efficiency, quality, performance, weight etc.

-"Tighten the screws": using a Mulally phrase - "Laser focus" on quality. This saves both short and long term, in warranty costs and public perception

-Global efficiency, local optimization: All products around the world will ride on global platforms (C3, CD6, T6, etc.), creating economies of scale for all products. Regions will use global vehicles, but unlike One Ford, local entities will also be allowed to develop optimized products for their regions (ex. Escort in China, Figo in India, etc.) as needed.

-Targeted Niches: In addition to global products and optimized products for core markets, regions will also be able to target profitable niches. This would be your products like Bronco, Mustang, a potential "crossover coupe", etc. etc., assuming a business case can be made for the product.

-Electrify and ignite: Leverage new and existing powertrain options - optimize electrification where beneficial (could be electric assist, hybrids, full electrification) across the entire lineup, and continue enhancing internal combustion where appropriate in the lineup.

 

I think if he laid out a broad public plan like this, that would satisfy most of the critics, or at least move them on from "they have no plan" to "ok, so they have a plan, let's speculate what this plan includes".

 

----

 

If anyone at Ford is listening, you're welcome to use my plan, but it'll cost you my pick of a few vehicles in the lineup (and yes, the GT is at the top of that list haha)......or Hackett's same salary so I can buy the vehicles I want. ;)

Edited by rmc523

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Ford the company is not at the whim of wall street as some companies are, they are immune I believe to corporate raiders. Therefore they can act like a private company in some respects which means they don't have to share too much of their future plans. I can't comment if Hackett has a plan or not but I doubt he would be in the position he is in without one, even if it is a bad plan.

 

The board knows the plan and they're the only ones who count.

 

But we all know the plan - accelerate new products because that's essentially why Fields was fired.

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