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Last Friday the Board of Ford Motors replaced Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford. The complaint seems to have been that Ford is falling behind on autonomous vehicles, which, because you need a lot of power for the autonomous electronics, also means electric vehicles. Fields was replaced by the previous head of autonomous vehicles, suggesting the putative reason for the dismissal was the actual reason.

Though very knowledgeable, Fields was out front in the effort to get the Trump Administration to roll back the CAFE standards, and he was not exactly a supporter of electric vehicles. So really not terribly forward thinking. (I simply don't understand why the car companies are so hot to alienate their future customers by blocking climate change mitigation measures. Seems insane.)

For electric vehicles this is probably a big win since not only will Ford be more focused on electrics, that focus and the shakeup at Ford may send a message to other companies.
 

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Their stock got beat by Tesla, nothing more...

The funny thing is they still have the best selling model, the F150, are making it into a Hybrid along with Mustang and the first legacy automaker to release an OTA update...They also said they're making a 300 mile SUV EV...All and all, not a terrible pipeline...
 

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Wow... that would be a Sea-change for Ford and would definitely put pressure on other manufacturers.

Love it or hate it, Ford has clout.
 

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oh bull, they bet one small vehicles back years ago; namely small cars; and the market kept with larger vehicles and CUV/SUVs.

I doubt electrification and automation were top concerns. The simple matter is that in three years Ford's value tanked and it was because they pushed small cars hard over pushing more CUV/SUV
 

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Their stock got beat by Tesla, nothing more...

The funny thing is they still have the best selling model, the F150, are making it into a Hybrid along with Mustang and the first legacy automaker to release an OTA update...They also said they're making a 300 mile SUV EV...All and all, not a terrible pipeline...
Yet they have promised this by 2020. Who know what will be out by then. GM with the Bolt EV already has a dedicated electric vehicle architecture that will be mid-cycle and likely fully amortised by 2020 and possibly under pinning several vehicles.

Basically it sounds like Ford is a full half design cycle behind GM. That that is a sizeable deficit.
 

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Stockholders are angry. Ford's stock price has dropped 40 % under Fields and the Ford family are big shareholders. Hackett made his name in office furniture and getting Jim Harbaugh to coach football at U Michigan. Meantime after 6 years of great sales everybody has a recent vehicle. Not much excitement in the market. Ford is laying off engineers. GM is closing unprofitable foreign operations and Chrysler can't find a buyer. Expect more of the same.
 

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Their stock got beat by Tesla, nothing more...
I believe Ford has the highest PE ratio of any major car company. Higher than the industry average. Ford is also making money in Europe. So no, I don't think it was the stock price per se. More a lack of a story and lack of a vision.

oh bull, they bet one small vehicles back years ago; namely small cars; and the market kept with larger vehicles and CUV/SUVs.
I don't think Ford went into small cars in a big way. Certainly no more than GM. Assuming they did it would be a good strategy. Ford is way to dependent on truck sales. Diversification would be a good idea. FWIW I believe Ford is recording record profits. It's not as if their revenue or profits were off.

Where Ford hasn't been active is autonomy and electrification (and those are pretty much the same thing) as well as mobility services. GM has invested in Lyft, has the Volt and the Bolt EV, and with the acquisition of Cruise Automation, a healthy autonomy program. Not to mention Maven and now Maven Gig. I don't think it's a coincidence that on the same day Ford elevated the head of the autonomy project to the CEO position it announced plans for a 300 mile range electric SUV and a fully autonomous version of the vehicle.
 

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Stockholders are angry. Ford's stock price has dropped 40 % under Fields and the Ford family are big shareholders.
If you're a long term investor, which I'm assuming the Ford family are, you don't care about the stock price. That's because, contrary to what a lot of people think, most investment returns from stocks come in the form of dividends. If you're a trader then not so much.
 

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Yet they have promised this by 2020. Who know what will be out by then. GM with the Bolt EV already has a dedicated electric vehicle architecture that will be mid-cycle and likely fully amortised by 2020 and possibly under pinning several vehicles.

Basically it sounds like Ford is a full half design cycle behind GM. That that is a sizeable deficit.
But as we're seeing with US sales, there just isn't a lot of demand for the Bolt EV...Because there isn't a true definition of a CUV/crossover, GM can call the Bolt EV one, but its a small wagon, subcompact...That segment, despite often being often very affordable, just doesn't sell well...What does sell well are SUVs which the EPA has a segment for...In Jan Ford announced they were making a 300 mile range SUV, aka the top segment so if it was an affordable actual SUV, it could be the top selling non-Tesla-M3 EV...But today Ford scaled back their original SUV and said “We think we have a technology path that will get us a 300 plus miles range and an affordable crossover utility that will be fully competitive"...So some really bad news there, so an intentionally omission of "SUV" and the addition of "crossover", just tells me they have no idea what they're doing...Add to that there's no mention we already have something in development and "THINK" they found the path? Again just not good...Maybe GM will have a Trax based EV out by then...

I believe Ford has the highest PE ratio of any major car company. Higher than the industry average. Ford is also making money in Europe. So no, I don't think it was the stock price per se. More a lack of a story and lack of a vision.

I don't think Ford went into small cars in a big way. Certainly no more than GM. Assuming they did it would be a good strategy. Ford is way to dependent on truck sales. Diversification would be a good idea. FWIW I believe Ford is recording record profits. It's not as if their revenue or profits were off.

Where Ford hasn't been active is autonomy and electrification (and those are pretty much the same thing) as well as mobility services. GM has invested in Lyft, has the Volt and the Bolt EV, and with the acquisition of Cruise Automation, a healthy autonomy program. Not to mention Maven and now Maven Gig. I don't think it's a coincidence that on the same day Ford elevated the head of the autonomy project to the CEO position it announced plans for a 300 mile range electric SUV and a fully autonomous version of the vehicle.
I don't think you have to drag Tesla into it. Here's a big part of the reason:



Jalopnik posted a thorough article on the many reasons Fields is out: http://jalopnik.com/why-mark-fields-was-fired-1795431562
Thanks for sharing, technically meant market value vs individual stock price in which Ford is like $11 and Tesla is $300...I also should have clarified I meant was the final nail in the coffin, because if Fords market value continued to climb and Tesla's didn't surpass Ford until the M3 ramp up I do not think he would have been fired...Unless a person with insider wants to talk, we'll never know if Tesla surpassing Ford, will have anything to do with the firing...
 

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Stockholders are angry. Ford's stock price has dropped 40 % under Fields and the Ford family are big shareholders. Hackett made his name in office furniture and getting Jim Harbaugh to coach football at U Michigan. Meantime after 6 years of great sales everybody has a recent vehicle. Not much excitement in the market. Ford is laying off engineers. GM is closing unprofitable foreign operations and Chrysler can't find a buyer. Expect more of the same.
True, Ford produced rubbish quality and service (So never ever again for me) GM still TBA, see how they respond to my customer request. Chrysler see Ford & add even worse warranty support in Australia.

In Australia you would have to have severe brain issues to ever walk into a Chrysler / Jeep (Fiat) Stealership.
 

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Their stock got beat by Tesla, nothing more...

The funny thing is they still have the best selling model, the F150, are making it into a Hybrid along with Mustang and the first legacy automaker to release an OTA update...They also said they're making a 300 mile SUV EV...All and all, not a terrible pipeline...
When the market stops growing, people wake up and start paying attention. Ford's sales in China in 2017Q1 were also 21% down compared to 2016Q1.
 

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Thanks for sharing, technically meant market value vs individual stock price in which Ford is like $11 and Tesla is $300...I also should have clarified I meant was the final nail in the coffin, because if Fords market value continued to climb and Tesla's didn't surpass Ford until the M3 ramp up I do not think he would have been fired...Unless a person with insider wants to talk, we'll never know if Tesla surpassing Ford, will have anything to do with the firing...
In the Jalopnik article, there was no mention of Tesla relative to Ford that I recall. Fields was compared with Mary Barra and her looking into the future. I have to think that the market cap has much to do with investors' feelings about Fields' direction with the company.

Personally, I found fields to be quite full of himself. Normally I'd overlook it if he was doing the job, but it looks like he wasn't.
 

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In the Jalopnik article, there was no mention of Tesla relative to Ford that I recall. Fields was compared with Mary Barra and her looking into the future. I have to think that the market cap has much to do with investors' feelings about Fields' direction with the company.

Personally, I found fields to be quite full of himself. Normally I'd overlook it if he was doing the job, but it looks like he wasn't.
No doubt that he just wasn't doing the job and that Mary Barra is his counter part as they both sell very affordable vehicles...Even the article states a variety of reasons, mentioning trump and not making decisions fast enough...The interesting thing about autonomous, Ford already released their Gen2 version: https://medium.com/@ford/building-fords-next-generation-autonomous-development-vehicle-82a6160a7965...Now how well does it work? Who knows, we also see that is getting smaller and therefore more production ready...The other wildcard are costs, if GM's huge roof array is $100K in hardware alone, it'll be a commercial only thing which isn't a bad thing...
 

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Had to make Mary Barra feel good that she was being used as a yardstick. At the same time, she should not rest on her laurels. I suspect she isn't. Don't forget she was working on the Bolt EV almost on the heels of the Volt Gen 1 release. Her team is likely working on another EV or EREV as we speak...
 

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For whatever reason, Ford thought they were Honda and Toyota. They thought they could get away with building underwhelming cars and people would still buy them. Sorry, your brand got in the way.

It's funny that it only took until the second post for someone to bring up Tesla. Had all of Tesla's car sales gone to Ford instead, it would have barely registered on Ford's total sales during that period. That being said, they were also the first company that jumped into my head but for different reasons. At this point, Ford is so far behind in the EV and automated driving realm, that a partnership or collaboration with Tesla might be the only way to catch them back up. They already signed on for the new CCS standards, but it would be a small price to pay to build 200-300 mile EVs with POU access to the Supercharger Network. Also, Tesla might be the cheapest source for batteries and on board electronics. Finally, Tesla also gets something out of the partnership. They want to build a pickup truck (Model P), yet so far, I haven't seen evidence that Tesla can produce a rugged vehicle. Ford can.
 
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