Marketing & Sales

Ford Chief's First Task: Explaining His Vision

Senior executives at Ford Motor Co. have come to expect emails from their new boss, Chief Executive Jim Hackett, that include links to TED Talks and articles from Science Daily. They often come around 11 p.m., when he catches up on his reading.
 The former chief of an office- furniture maker, Mr. Hackett frequently references the work of theoretical physicist Geoffrey West and uses terms such as “think phase” (a concept from his design background) and “clock speed” (a phrase from computing).

No Detail Was Too Small For Legendary Auto CEO

One day near the end of 2010, Sergio Marchionne received a message on one of his six smartphones: A colleague updated him on efforts to fix a door-latch defect on a new version of the Dodge Charger.
 “I am getting updates every couple of hours on the bloody door handle,” he told a Wall Street Journal reporter.
 Was this a wise use of time for a sleep-deprived CEO responsible for running struggling auto makers

Ford Looks to Beat Toyota Hybrids

Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Jim Hackett said Thursday he sees “upside” to the auto maker's longer-term 8% target for profit margins, citing progress on cost-cutting initiatives and an overhaul of product- development procedures.
 Mr. Hackett, nearing one year at the helm, said the company is emerging from an extended “think phase” during which about 10 top executives hammered out a series of strategic steps. “We're just going to run the company better,” Mr. Hackett said.

The Motorcycle Industry Is Dying

It’s also the manufacturing equivalent of a mid-life crisis. Motorcycle sales in the U.S. peaked in 2006 at 716,268 and promptly started to skid. When the recession hit, the market went down hard. Bike sales fell by 41 percent in 2009 and another 14 percent the following year, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. That’s not surprising considering the economy at the time: A motorcycle is a picture of discretionary spending, and they can be tricky to finance even in a healthy credit market. Even now, with the stock market on a historic bull run and after the U.S. auto industry posted its best year on record, traffic in motorcycle stores has stayed slow. In 2016, U.S. customers rolled off with 371,403 new bikes, roughly half as many as a decade ago.

Ford, UAW in talks to revive Ranger sales, output in U.S.

Ford Motor Co. is in discussions with the UAW about bringing the Ranger midsize pickup back to the U.S. market, a person with knowledge of the talks said late Tuesday.

The company is considering a plan to build the truck at Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit after production of the Focus and C-Max ends in 2018, the source said.