|08-29-2006, 12:37 AM||#1|
Financial Problems for Ford???
Okay, let me start by saying that so far this is RUMOR ONLY. I went into work today and overheard a couple of my co-workers saying that Ford might be "going belly up soon". Now, I find this extremely hard to believe. However, I was informed that Ford cancelled it's order from Alcoa (don't know who it is or if it's even spelled correctly) for some sort of automotive parts (something like 15 million, but I could be waaaaay off). The reason, I was told, was that Ford was having financial difficulties. I was told that Ford had a big meeting yesterday to discuss these financial problems.
Guys, I have no clue if this info is true or not. I never in my life heard of Ford having financial problems. I couldn't believe it when I heard it, but I know the guy telling me this info doesn't just make up stuff for no reason. Does anyone have any info on this? Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open! What could this mean for GM???
|08-29-2006, 07:52 AM||#2|
Drives: '99 Camaro SS #1392
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Newtown, Pa.
I too have heard that FORD is having some financial difficulties. My guess is, they'll make some cost cutting moves, and try and "pull out" of it.
As for it going "belly up", although I've always been and will be a Chevy guy, I for one wouldn't want to see that happen.
I enjoy the FORD v. Chevy rivalry.
|08-29-2006, 01:56 PM||#3|
Ford UAW plant leaders meeting with Gettelfinger, King
August 29, 2006
By SARAH A. WEBSTER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
UAW leaders for the Ford Motor Co. plants in the United States gathered in downtown Detroit Tuesday afternoon, to hear from UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and Bob King, the union's newly named vice president for negotiating with Ford.
Gettelfinger would not disclose the agenda for the meeting in a conversation with the Detroit Free Press on the steps of the UAW-Ford National Programs Center.
“I'm just down here introducing myself to these people,” he said.
But many UAW leaders walking into the meeting said they expected the topic to be serious, and possibly to include details of job buyouts.
“I hope so,” said Danny Sparks, chairman of UAW Local 882, which represents workers at the Ford plant in Hapeville, Ga., near Atlanta. That plant is already slated to close later this year under Ford's restructuring plan.
The Dearborn-based Ford is updating its Way Forward restructuring plan, which already called for cutting 34,000 jobs and closing 14 plants, after posting a $1.4 billion half-year loss. And many of the options it is considering could impact hourly workers represented by the UAW.
Ford is weighing a plan that could slash as much as 25% of its 140,000-strong workforce in North America, the Free Press previously reported. That includes about 82,000 workers represented by the UAW, and many workers are hoping that they will be offered a job buyout.
Nationwide, however, many workers have been hoping that Ford will extend job buyout programs to their plants. Ford has been offering buyouts on a selective basis at plants, most of which are slated to close.
Consequently, just 7% of Ford's U.S. hourly workforce -- about 5,600 Ford-UAW members -- have agreed to leave, according to Ford's most recent figures. That's a sharp contrast to the 35,000 that have agreed to leave General Motors Corp. under that company's sweeping buyout program.
While Sparks hoped buyouts would be discussed, UAW Local 882 President Samuel Stephens emphasized that they weren't certain that it would be discussed.
“We don't know what the agenda is,” he said.
The meeting is expected to last through 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Contact SARAH A. WEBSTER at 313-222-5394 or email@example.com
|08-29-2006, 02:04 PM||#4|
Privatizing Ford? Idea gathers steam
August 25, 2006
BY SARAH A. WEBSTER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
When Bill Ford said in July that "everything" would be on the table as he revised the strategy to turn around ailing Ford Motor Co., the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford really meant it.
He brought in a special adviser to explore strategic options, which presumably included selling off parts of the company. Bill Ford also has stated that Ford Motor is open to forming an alliance with other automakers.
And now Ford insiders are floating the possibility that the company might even go private -- a move that, while intriguing, would not do much to help the company solve its problems, analysts say.
The options, which board members are expected to finalize at a Sept. 14 meeting, could eventually leave Ford with dramatically fewer employees, plants and brands -- and possibly different leaders and owners.
Ford spokesman Oscar Suris said Thursday he would not comment on "speculation" about the company's plans.
The question of whether Ford would return to private ownership has been a perennial one, and the idea has one apparent benefit: The family could run the business as it sees fit, without bowing to investors' short-term demands that may not be in the company's best long-term interests.
While the notion usually has been dismissed nearly as fast as it surfaces, it has gained steam in some circles now as Ford has struggled to turn itself around over the past four years.
Eyebrows also were raised Aug. 2 after Bill Ford hired personal adviser Kenneth Leet, a mergers and acquisitions specialist who's a veteran of Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. Many saw his hiring as a sign that the company was looking to sell off assets, such as the Jaguar luxury brand or half of Ford Credit.
But others see Leet as the kind of expert who could rally private investors and financial support to buy the company's $14.6 billion in outstanding shares.
Bill Ford repeatedly has been asked about the family's desire to take the company private. And although he hasn't publicly given much credence to that option, even in recent weeks, he also has emphasized that the Ford family will do whatever is necessary to correct the company's course.
"Whether it is private, whether it is public, whether there is some other combination that makes sense," Ford said during a July 20 interview on CNBC, "we have to fix our North American business."
In an interview with Business Week published Wednesday, he added that "whatever is required for the recovery, the family will not stand in the way. All our net worths are tied up in this. The family will not be a limiting factor to any plan that moves us forward."
Some experts back the option of taking Ford private, most notably Gerald Meyers, a professor of management at the University of Michigan and former chairman and chief executive of American Motors.
Others, however, question how a change in ownership would ultimately improve the company's lot.
B. Craig Hutson, an automotive analyst with Gimme Credit, an independent research service on corporate bonds, said taking Ford private wouldn't solve the company's problems. What's more, he said it could leave Ford with even more headaches and debt in the end.
"Every time it comes up, I kind of chuckle," he said. "To buy all of the public shares, you're looking at a lot of additional financing. ... It's pretty far-fetched."
Ford Motor said it is revising its Way Forward restructuring plan, unveiled in January, after the company suffered a bigger-than-expected loss in July and watched sales of the profitable F-Series pickup fall.
The initial plan called for cutting 34,000 jobs and closing 14 plants, among other actions, but the company now says it needs a deeper, faster plan.
The company is considering cutting its 140,000-strong workforce in North America by thousands more, possibly including buyouts to all UAW-represented hourly workers across the United States.
And if Ford Motor is open to selling a brand, such as Jaguar, it may find a buyer. A British construction machinery group, JCB, publicly revealed Thursday that it is interested in buying the British luxury brand.
Contact SARAH A. WEBSTER at 313-222-5394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|08-29-2006, 08:00 PM||#5|
Drives: VRSCF, 2011 SS vert
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: kenly, nc
alco deals with like sheet metal and aluminum. . .etc.
|08-30-2006, 09:47 PM||#6|
Man, I wouldn't want to see Ford bite it either. I wouldn't ever buy one, but it's that whole rivalry thing. Ford does have some pretty good vehicles (TRUCKS)...hehe...and I think they'll be around for a while.
|08-31-2006, 01:49 PM||#7|
Ford considers selling Aston Martin
August 31, 2006
Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it has begun the process of exploring a possible sale of all or part of its Aston Martin luxury brand as the company works to speed up its North American turnaround.
“As part of our ongoing strategic review, we have determined that Aston Martin may be an attractive opportunity to raise capital and generate value,” Bill Ford, the automaker’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
He said the Aston Martin’s dealer network, design and size are different from other Ford brands and the most logical choice for possible sale. He said no decisions have been made about its other Premier Automotive Group brands.
“We continue to be encouraged by Jaguar’s progress and by the strength and consumer appeal of the Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo product lineups” he said.
In July, Ford pledged to speed up and possibly deepen its North American turnaround plan.
Dearborn-based Ford’s “Way Forward” plan, launched in January, calls for shedding 25,000 to 30,000 jobs and closing 14 plants by 2012 to help return Ford’s North American automotive operations to profitability.
|09-06-2006, 02:21 PM||#10|
He did not step down. Read...
PRESS RELASE: Ford Names Boeing's Alan Mulally President & CEO; Bill Ford Is Executive Chairman
Automotive News / September 5, 2006 - 5:52 pm
Mulally led turnaround of the commercial airplane division of The Boeing Company. He has a record of success in customer satisfaction, manufacturing, product development, labor relations and supplier management.
Bill Ford, as executive chairman, will concentrate efforts on strategic repositioning of Ford Motor Company.
DEARBORN, Mich. -- Ford Motor Company announced today that it has elected Alan Mulally as president and chief executive officer. He has also been elected to the Board of Directors.
Bill Ford will continue his duties as executive chairman of the company.
"One of the three strategic priorities that I've focused on this year is company leadership. While I knew that we were fortunate to have outstanding leaders driving our operations around the world, I also determined that our turnaround effort required the additional skills of an executive who has led a major manufacturing enterprise through such challenges before," Bill Ford wrote in an email to Ford employees today.
"That's why I'm very pleased to announce that Alan Mulally, who turned around the Commercial Airplanes division of The Boeing Company, will become our president and CEO, effective immediately. Alan has deep experience in customer satisfaction, manufacturing, supplier relations and labor relations, all of which have applications to the challenges of Ford. He also has the personality and team-building skills that will help guide our Company in the right direction."
Bill Ford, who said he would remain "extremely active" in the business, praised Mulally as "an outstanding leader and a man of great character." He noted that Mulally had applied many of the lessons from Ford's success in developing the Taurus to Boeing's creation of the revolutionary Boeing 777 airliner. That experience, chronicled in the book, "Working Together," by James P. Lewis, tells how the leadership principles Mulally learned from Ford and developed at Boeing may be applied to other businesses.
"Clearly, the challenges Boeing faced in recent years have many parallels to our own," Bill Ford said.
Mulally, 61, has spent 37 years at The Boeing Company, most recently as executive vice president. In addition, he has also been president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes since 2001. In that position he was responsible for all of the company's commercial airplane programs and related services, which in 2005 generated record orders for new business and sales of more than $22.6 billion. Mulally was named president of Commercial Airplanes in September 1998. The responsibility of chief executive officer for the business unit was added in March 2001.
"I think the opportunity to work with Bill Ford and Ford Motor Company is the only thing that could have attracted me to a job other than Boeing, where I have so many great friends and memories," Mulally said. "I'm looking forward to working closely with Bill in the ongoing turnaround of this great Company. I'm also eager to begin engagement with the leadership team. I believe strongly in teamwork and I fully expect that our efforts will be a productive collaboration."
Mulally noted that many of the challenges he encountered in commercial airplane manufacturing are analogous to the issues at Ford.
"Just as I thought it was appropriate to apply lessons learned from Ford to Boeing, I believe the reverse is true as well," Mulally said. "I also recognize that Ford has a strong foundation upon which we can build. The Company's long tradition of innovation, developing new markets, and creating iconic vehicles that represent customer values is a great advantage that we can leverage for our future."
Bill Ford said he expected Mulally would assist Mark Fields and the Way Forward team as they accelerate their business plan.
"After dealing with the troubles at Boeing in the post-9/11 world, Alan knows what it's like to have your back to the wall -- and fight your way out with a well-conceived plan and great execution," Bill Ford said in his note to employees. "He also knows how to deal with long product cycles, changing fuel prices and difficult decisions in a turnaround."
Prior to his current position, Mulally served as president of Boeing Information, Space & Defense Systems and senior vice president of The Boeing Company. Appointed to that role in February 1997, he was responsible for Boeing's defense, space and government business.
Beginning in 1994, he was senior vice president of Airplane Development for Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group, responsible for all airplane development activities, flight test operations, certification and government technical liaison.
Mulally serves as co-chair of the Washington Competitiveness Council, and sits on the advisory boards of NASA, the University of Washington, the University of Kansas, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of England's Royal Academy of Engineering.
Mulally holds bachelor's and master's of science degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Kansas, and earned a master's in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a 1982 Alfred P. Sloan fellow.
A member of the board since 1988, Bill Ford, 49, was elected chairman in September 1998, and took office on Jan. 1, 1999. He also serves as chairman of the board's Environmental and Public Policy Committee and as a member of the Finance Committee. He was named Chief Executive Officer on Oct. 30, 2001.
Bill Ford, who led the Company to three straight years of profitability through 2005, told employees in his email that he looked forward to an excellent working partnership with Mulally on global strategic issues.
"Let me assure you: I'm not going anywhere," Bill Ford wrote to Ford workers. "As executive chairman, I intend to remain extremely active in the direction of this Company. I'll be here every day and I will not rest until a prosperous future for this Company is secured."
|09-11-2006, 06:51 PM||#11|
Ford aims for 30,000 job cuts 4 years sooner than planned
September 11, 2006
Ford Motor Co. plans to accelerate its scheduled 30,000 job cuts in North America by four years, four unidentified people familiar with the company’s strategy have told Bloomberg News.
Ford aims to complete the reductions by 2008 instead of 2012 as announced in January, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because details aren’t public. Ford may disclose the new timetable as early as this week, when its board meets for the first time since Alan Mulally succeeded Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. as chief executive officer on Sept. 5, the people told Bloomberg.
On Wednesday and Thursday, new Ford CEO Alan Mulally and the board will be faced with the option of cutting 30% of the North American workforce -- nearly 40,000 jobs -- by the end of this year, several pepple told the Detroit Free Press for a Sunday report. That's about 6,000 more jobs than the 34,000 announced earlier this year.
Also on the agenda: accelerating and possibly adding plant closures, retooling the product plan, consolidating the dealership body nationwide and offering buyouts to hourly workers at all of its facilities nationwide, among other actions.
|09-13-2006, 08:22 PM||#13|
UAW prepares to fight further cuts from Ford
September 13, 2006
BY SARAH A. WEBSTER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
As Ford Motor Co.'s Board of Directors meets today and Thursday to consider a historic rescue plan for the 103-year-old automaker, UAW members are bracing for job cuts that could total 40,000 in North America
• As early as Thursday, Ford leaders could announce the details of the retooled Way Forward restructuring plan.
As Ford Motor Co.'s Board of Directors meets today and Thursday to consider a historic rescue plan for the 103-year-old automaker, UAW members are bracing for job cuts that could total 40,000 in North America.
Ford could roll out an announcement as soon as Thursday. But people with knowledge of Ford's plan have outlined some of the moves that are on the table:
• As many as 6,000 more job cuts than originally planned.
• No brands will be killed, though some models may be eliminated and others introduced.
• More plants could be closed.
• Dealerships will be consolidated in some manner.
• The company does not plan to sell Ford Credit.
On Tuesday, hundreds of UAW leaders from Ford plants, mostly middle-aged men in blue jeans and polo shirts with their names stitched on the breast, met in downtown Detroit to consider the company's deteriorating finances.
It was a gray, drizzly day, and the mood wasn't much better in the closed-door meeting at the Renaissance Center's Ambassador Ballroom, where the scene was set for the union to consider concessions that might help the automaker.
"It's sad in there," said one union leader who took a break on a bench by the Detroit River. He did not want to be identified for fear of retribution.
Union representatives attending the meeting said they had not been briefed on any concrete concessions being sought by Ford, nor had they heard specifics on a nationwide buyout program similar to the one offered earlier by General Motors Corp.
The union sessions are slated to continue through Thursday -- coinciding with meetings of the Ford directors, who are examining a retooled Way Forward restructuring plan that could make or break Ford's future.
Board committees are slated to meet today, with the full board to meet Thursday. Alan Mulally, appointed president and chief executive officer of Ford last week, will attend his first meetings as a director.
The board is said to be considering crucial aspects of Ford's future. The foremost issues are how many jobs the company needs to cut, how fast and by what means, such as buyouts and severance packages. The board also will examine what plants to close and when, and how many dealerships Ford really needs as its car and truck sales continue falling.
The automaker is considering widening its job cuts to 30% of its North American workforce, to about 40,000, and may try to execute most of those cuts this year, people familiar with the plan told the Free Press. That's about 6,000 more jobs than the 34,000 announced earlier this year; it's unclear what percentage of those could be targeted for salaried or hourly employees.
Cuts for hourly workers, who are protected by a UAW contract, could take longer to execute.
Many workers are expecting a nationwide buyout program and are eager to leave Ford voluntarily if the deal is sweet enough. GM quickly cut 35,000 hourly workers from its payroll with its buyout program.
Ford has been taking a plant-by-plant approach. About 6,500 workers have accepted buyouts at 15 Ford plants this year.
UAW President Ron Gettel-finger told the Reuters news service on Tuesday that Ford had not briefed him on the restructuring plan, and he was not certain whether Ford's update would include new cuts or just an acceleration of measures previously announced.
"I can tell you we won't like it, and we'll be debating it with them," Gettelfinger said.
Ford's initial Way Forward plan, introduced in January, spreads up to 34,000 job cuts -- about 25% of Ford's workforce in North America -- and 14 plant closures over seven years. But it was criticized for lacking detail and urgency. For example, it failed to identify half the plants slated for closure and to move as fast to cut jobs as GM's plan did.
High fuel prices and plummeting truck sales, especially of the mainstay F-Series, quickly magnified the plan's flaws. Ford posted a half-year loss of $1.4 billion, largely because of a $4-billion loss in the North American division that was only partially offset by gains elsewhere.
Six months after announcing the Way Forward, Ford Chairman Bill Ford conceded July 20, "We need to go farther and faster."
Since then, the problems have accelerated.
The company has lost 1.1% of the U.S. market this year compared with the same eight months of 2005, including 2.3% in August alone compared with the same month a year ago.
Overall, Ford sales are down 9.9% this year. But sales of trucks are down 17% -- a breathtaking decline for truck-dependent Ford. A planned production cut of 21% in the last three months of the year also foretells expected sales declines and profit erosion.
Ford will negotiate a new national contract with the UAW next year, but the company hasn't been waiting until then to extract concessions. Ford has been asking the UAW to reopen contracts at some North American plants to make them more efficient.
Ford and UAW leaders have crafted 20 "competitive operating agreements" this year to adjust work rules in a way that allows more teamwork and cuts absenteeism. Workers represented by UAW Local 600 in Dearborn, which covers the Ford Rouge Complex, recently passed such a deal.
"We want them to be as productive as possible," Joe Hinrichs, vice president for North American vehicle operations, said in an interview Friday. Hinrichs oversees Ford's 19 assembly plants and eight stamping and tool-and-die plants in Canada, Mexico and the United States. Ford and the UAW "have made a lot of progress" this year, he said.
Meanwhile, buyouts seem to be the main subject on the minds of workers and investors. They have not liked Ford's incremental plan or its results.
Brokerages complain the company hasn't cut labor costs fast enough, and workers complain they want a sweeping deal. Older workers are eager to retire, and younger ones who want job security are eager to see older ones get their chance.
Several workers said even though they want buyouts, they didn't take ones already offered because they expect a better deal to come in a national package. GM offered up to $140,000, and many Ford workers are holding out for that type of deal.
Ford is offering three early retirement plans, a tuition-assistance program and another that offers a $100,000 lump sum to forgo all benefits except accrued pension.
"It would have to be reasonable," said Raymond Lipa, 62, a millwright at the Rouge Complex who has worked at Ford for 44 years and doesn't think the existing programs are sufficient.
Mike Baehr, 60, of Trenton said he would wait for a buyout that makes sense. The Dearborn Stamping employee has worked at Ford for 42 years.
"Other parts of the union have negotiated higher buyouts" than what Ford has offered, he said.
Considering Ford's situation, though, Baehr said many workers might consider leaving with a lesser deal than the one GM offered.
"I'd have to look at it," he said. "I don't think we have a lot of choice. ... I never thought it would come to this."
Contact SARAH A. WEBSTER at email@example.com or 313-222-5394.
|10-23-2006, 03:07 PM||#14|
Ford financial results 'clearly unacceptable'
October 23, 2006
By SARAH A. WEBSTER
FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
The ailing Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. today reported its largest quarterly loss in 14 years — a result of plummeting sales, a costly restructuring and growing challenges in its luxury division.
Ford said it lost $5.8 billion, or $3.08 per share, during the July to September period this year. Sales fell 10% to $36.7 billion. Last year during the same period, Ford posted a net loss of $284 million, or 15 cents per share.
The third quarter loss was the largest three-month loss since the first quarter of 1992, when the company lost $6.7 billion due mainly to accounting changes.
For the year, Ford’s losses now total $7.2 billion, and it was unclear whether Ford’s full-year results might come close to or surpass General Motors Corp.’s $10.6 billion loss last year.
On a conference call with journalists and automotive analysts, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who took his post at the beginning of the month, called the results “clearly unacceptable.”
The company’s North American division, which manages the United States, Canada and Mexico, has long been the weight dragging Ford’s results down. Through the first half of the year, Ford posted a $1.4 billion loss, with $4 billion coming from that unit. But North America is no longer solely to blame.
The deep losses announced today were also caused by challenges in Asia Pacific, Africa and the Premier Automotive Group, which manages Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar and Aston Martin.
And as bad as the results were, they were also a cliffhanger. Ford also said today that it would restate its financial results for the past five years at a later date to correct the accounting for certain transactions. The net impact of those changes was unclear. The company expected the restatement would improve results for 2002, but said other periods are under study.
Ford is working aggressively on its revamped Way Forward turnaround plan, which calls for eliminating a cumulative 44,000 hourly and salaried jobs, closing 16 factories and making other changes by 2012. The plan will cut $5 billion in costs by the end of 2008, when most of the job reductions are expected to be complete.
Most of Ford’s losses in the quarter — $4.6 billion or $2.46 per share — were for special one-time charges, many related to that restructuring. Among the special charges:
• A net charge of $861 million for jobs bank benefits and employee separations directly related to plans to idle facilities in North America.
• A charge of $259 million associated with continued personnel reduction programs at facilities other than those identified for idling.
Excluding special charges, Ford posted a loss from continuing operations of $1.2 billion or 62 cents per share.
Ford’s current restructuring plan estimates Ford’s North American operations will be profitable again by 2009, and Mulally said, “These actions will lead to profitable growth of our business over the long term.”
Meanwhile, Ford still has plenty of cash for now. The automaker had $23.6 billion, including money in a fund for employee benefits, at the end of September. That is unchanged from the end of June.
Some automotive analysts expressed concern this morning that Ford will burn through cash quickly as it restructures, asking questions about Ford’s lines of credit and how little cash Ford might feel comfortable with going forward.
However, Don Leclair, Ford’s chief financial officer, said that maintaining strong liquidity will continue to be a high priority, so the company can have a cushion.
JP Morgan automotive analyst Himanshu Patel said he still thinks Ford will miss its year-end cash projection of $20 billion. He expects the company to be $1 billion short of that mark. He expected Wall Street to react negatively to Ford’s earnings results today, although they were largely in line with forecasts.
Check Ford's Stock performance at http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/ext...any=Ford&go=Go
Contact SARAH A. WEBSTER at 313-222-5394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.