Tag Archives: Ford

Voltswagen vs. Volkswagen, by Eric Peters

Once upon a time there were car companies interested in building economical cars that were affordable for even people of very modest means. Those days are long gone, and will be even farther in the rear view mirror when electric cars become the norm. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The name change – even if April Foolsey – is indicative of what this change is all about.

The Volkswagen was – literally – the people’s car. It was Germany’s open emulation of America’s people’s car, the Ford Model T.

In terms of their looks and layouts, they were as different as a square and a circle. Henry’s car had a water-cooled, inline four cylinder engine up front powering rear wheels, out back. It was angular and upright and jacked up off the ground – to enable travel over America’s then mostly dirt roads.

The Beetle – as the first Volkswagen was affectionally called – had its air-cooled horizontally opposed four cylinder engine mounted in the rear – on top of the rear wheels – and it was as round as the T was not.

It sat low, to take advantage of aerodynamics and Germany’s new system of Autobahns, which predated America’s Interstates – which emulated them – by more than 20 years.

Yet both reflected the same wonderful concept, that of putting people behind the wheel. Which opened up not just the road but possibilities that average people of modest means had never previously had. With a people’s car – whether it was the Model T or a Beetle – the people were mobile. Just like that, they were freed from the necessity of having to stay put – or stay close. They could live at a distance from where they worked. They did not have to consider the proximity of the bus stop or the train station to either.

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Googled by Ford, by Eric Peters

Ford has agreed to turn it’s cars into data streams for Google. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

For generations Ford worked closely with Firestone, which not only provided the tires installed on new Fords but also developed them to work with specific Ford vehicles. That relationship soured in the late ‘90s, when Ford – and Firestone – got very publicly Johnnie Cochran’d over Ford Explorer SUVs sometimes rolling over while being driven on Firestone Wilderness A/T tires.

To this day, debate rages over whether the rolling over was caused chiefly by subpar Firestone tires, under-inflated subpar Firestone tires, rollover-prone Ford Explorers, or reckless Explorer drivers. It was probably all of these elements to one degree or another, acting in concert.

The proverbial perfect storm.

In any event, Ford is developing a new relationship – with Google – that may make you roll over.

CEO Jim Farley made the announcement recently that Ford will be using Google tech already built into all of its new cars to “provide new revenue opportunities” – which translates as monetize the data streamed by the vehicle.

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Trump Tweets, Ford and GM Counter, their Shares Jump, the Peso Plunges, but the Jobs Won’t “Come Back” to the USA, by Wolf Richter

Trump’s crony socialism by tweet is still crony socialism. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

Whacked by slow demand, Ford cancels plant in Mexico, shifts car production to existing plant in Mexico.

President-Elect Trump has been hounding individual businesses with his drive-by tweets, to knock them around some, get their shares to sink, and cut some “deals.” Last year, he singled out Ford, Carrier, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Amazon, and others. Now companies have set up damage-control teams to prepare for and counter a hit of this type.

Today he singled out GM. It was automaker day. It started with a Trump drive-by tweet about threatening GM with a “big border tax” for importing its Chevy Cruze from Mexico:

General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!

But he got the facts wrong, and GM’s damage-control team instantly retorted:

General Motors manufactures the Chevrolet Cruze sedan in Lordstown, Ohio. All Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold in the U.S. are built in GM’s assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S.

Reality is this: Demand for GM cars has been swooning, and inventories on dealer lots have been ballooning. For example, at the end of November, dealers sat on 127 days’ supply of Cruze models, more than double a healthy level, after sales had plunged 18%. In November, GM had announced the first wave of layoffs. In December, it followed up by announcing 10,000 layoffs and five plant closings [read… “Car Recession” Bites GM: Inventory Glut, Layoffs, Plant Shutdowns].

To continue reading: Trump Tweets, Ford & GM Counter, their Shares Jump, the Peso Plunges, but the Jobs Won’t “Come Back” to the USA

The New CEO’s First Moves (and Trump), by Scott Adams

Scott Adams analyzes Trump’s moves vis-a-vis Carrier and Trump through his persuasion perspective and believes they’re part of an excellent strategy. From Adams on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

One of the things I will enjoy about the Trump presidency is watching non-business writers try to explain his methods. Case in point, the recent stories about Ford and Carrier keeping some parts of their manufacturing in the United States because Trump negotiated/bullied them into staying. If you tell that story through a political filter – which is all I have seen so far – you focus on the facts. In this case, the political story is that both the Ford and Carrier situations are exaggerated claims of success.

The political filter misses the story completely. As usual.

Here’s the real story. You need a business filter to see it clearly. In my corporate life I watched lots of new leaders replace old leaders. And there is one trick the good leaders do that bad leaders don’t: They make some IMMEDIATE improvement that everyone can see. It has to be visible, relatively simple, and fast.

Why?

Because humans are not rational. Our first impressions rule our emotions forever. Trump has a second chance to make a first impression because his performance as President is fresh ground. Trump is attacking the job like a seasoned CEO, not like a politician. He knows that his entire four-year term will be judged by what happens before it even starts. What he does today will determine how much support and political capital he has for his entire term.

So what does a Master Persuader do when he needs to create a good first impression to last for years? He looks around for any opportunity that is visible, memorable, newsworthy, true to his brand, and easy to change.

Enter Ford.

Enter Carrier.

To continue reading: The New CEO’s First Moves (and Trump)

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