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Ford CEO is replaced on grounds Ford falling behind on autonomous (electric) vehicles

2972 Views 15 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Ladogaboy
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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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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