Ford’s Board of Directors '"86's" Mark Fields - update - Ford Inside News Community
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post #1 of 293 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Ford’s Board of Directors '"86's" Mark Fields - update

Ford's Board Turns Up Heat on CEO
MSN / The Wall Street Journal
- Christina Rogers and Joann S. Lublin - 5 hours ago


Ford Motor Co.’s board of directors is extending its scheduled meetings this week so it can press Chief Executive Mark Fields to clarify his strategy as the company’s stock price languishes and its U.S. market share recedes, according to people familiar with the situation.

Company directors, slated to gather this week ahead of the annual shareholders meeting, scheduled an additional day of meetings to address growing uncertainty about the auto maker’s course, these people said. Ford has been solidly profitable since Mr. Fields became CEO in July 2014, but shares have fallen by about a third in that period.

“We do not share details or discussions from our board meetings for competitive reasons,” a Ford spokesman said. “We also are unable to comment on rumors or speculation.”

Ford shares traded at $11.17 Tuesday afternoon.

Founded in 1903 by one of the industry’s most iconic figures, Henry Ford, the auto maker was dealt a blow in early April when its market capitalization fell below electric-car startup Tesla Inc.

Tesla is valued at $52.1 billion, or 15% higher than Ford’s, despite the Silicon Valley electric-car company’s financial losses. Tesla sells a fraction of the volume delivered by Detroit’s auto companies, but is seen as having a lead in electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

When asked about Tesla’s surge during an earnings call last month, Mr. Fields said Ford needs to do a better job quantifying revenue and profit-growth potential of its technology bets. “We’ve talked about the investments, and we’ll do that going forward,” he said.

While Chairman Bill Ford and other directors support Mr. Fields, they are urging him to heighten his focus on growth opportunities, the people said.

Mr. Fields, a 28-year veteran of Ford, took the helm after his predecessor, Alan Mulally, restructured the company by selling off brands and simplifying operations. Mr. Mulally, currently a member of Alphabet Inc.’s board, oversaw an extensive succession race that included members of Mr. Fields’s current management team. He also helped the No. 2 U.S. auto maker avoid bankruptcy, unlike its Detroit rivals.

Mr. Fields has focused on accelerating growth in Asia, jump-starting the company’s Lincoln brand and placing bets on future technologies.

Ford is facing pressure as the U.S. auto market is leveling off after seven consecutive years of growth. The auto maker’s profits have been dented by falling sales and vehicle-recall costs.

The company also is shouldering higher costs as Mr. Fields seeks to venture beyond its core business of building and selling cars. He is pushing into new areas such as ride-sharing and autonomous vehicles and placing bets on new initiatives that could reduce exposure to the auto industry’s boom-bust cycles.

Ford’s closest rival, General Motors Co., also is investing in technology and is far ahead on electric cars. Ford doesn’t plan to launch a long-range battery-powered vehicle until 2020.

At the same time, Silicon Valley firms including Alphabet, Apple Inc., Intel Corp. and a number of startups are acquiring auto suppliers and spending billions on vehicle testing in a bid to unseat Detroit.


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Ford's Board Said to Question CEO on Strategy as Shares Lag
Bloomberg
- by Keith Naughton - May 9, 2017...updated


Ford Motor Co.’s board of directors is turning up the pressure on Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields to better explain the company’s fading fortunes and his plan to turn things around, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

The directors scheduled extra time in their meetings this week in advance of Thursday’s annual shareholders meeting so they could question Fields on his strategy as Ford’s stock continues to stall, said the person, who asked not to be identified revealing internal deliberations. The shares have fallen 35 percent since Fields became CEO July 1, 2014.

Investors have been indifferent to Fields’ plan to pour billions into new technologies like driverless cars and robo-taxis to take on upstarts like Uber Technologies Inc. and Waymo, Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving spinoff. Ford’s traditional automotive business has struggled more than crosstown rival General Motors Co. as the U.S. auto market declines following seven years of growth. Ford’s first quarter adjusted earnings fell 42 percent, while GM appears on pace for another record annual profit.

“This is the first public sign that the board is becoming impatient,” said David Whiston, an analyst with Morningstar Inc. in Chicago. “It’s likely proof that the board is frustrated with the stock price languishing for the past several years. It may be a grilling session for Mark.”...

...Fields has defended his strategy of trying to transform Ford into a mobility company that will field robot taxis in 2021 and develop ride sharing services that are essential to the 114-year-old company’s survival.

“We’re having one foot in today and one foot in tomorrow,” Fields said on Bloomberg Television April 27 of his dual strategy to invest in the autonomous future while defending Ford’s turf in the car and truck market.

Dual Strategy
That dual strategy is proving difficult to pull off, said Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst with Cox Automotive.

“They’re in a tough position because they have to focus on selling products today, making money, paying dividends,” Krebs said. “And yet they’ve got to position themselves for the future and there’s not going to be a payback on that anytime soon.”

A Ford spokesman declined to comment on the board meeting.

“We do not share details or discussions from our board meetings for competitive reasons,” Mike Moran, the spokesman, said in an emailed statement. “We also are unable to comment on rumors or speculation.”

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier the board’s plan to question Fields.

Ford’s shares closed Tuesday at $11.16 in New York, up 0.3 percent.

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post #2 of 293 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 10:17 PM
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Re: Ford’s Board of Directors -Vs- Mark Fields?

I guess they could always tip their hand on key future products or strategies like 2-3 years in advance. Seems to work for the competition just fine. And honestly, the competition needs years to replicate or trump over anyway, so why not.

Roll out Lincoln's strategy for starters, up to 2020.
Push ahead any electrification reveals, at least partially. Perhaps some specs, strategy, etc.
Or dam it, just show us the Ranger and Bronco concept, even if it is computer generated.
Why keep that so dam secret.

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post #3 of 293 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 11:19 PM
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Re: Ford’s Board of Directors -Vs- Mark Fields?

It's just old farts not seeing the importance in pursuing mobility that is not selling cars. And they are too bling to see what is happening at GM ... if anything Fields is too slow to embrace the shift.
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post #4 of 293 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 12:17 AM
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Re: Ford’s Board of Directors -Vs- Mark Fields?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingsnut View Post
I guess they could always tip their hand on key future products or strategies like 2-3 years in advance. Seems to work for the competition just fine. And honestly, the competition needs years to replicate or trump over anyway, so why not.

Roll out Lincoln's strategy for starters, up to 2020.
Push ahead any electrification reveals, at least partially. Perhaps some specs, strategy, etc.
Or dam it, just show us the Ranger and Bronco concept, even if it is computer generated.
Why keep that so dam secret.
I suspect the biggest issue with revealing even medium term plans is that they are subject to change and/or outright cancellation. Take D6 for example, if they had ever publicly confirmed its existence along with how Lincoln will utilize it only to cancel the platform due to economic issues that would be a big black eye. If the successor to Continental turns out to be nothing more than CD4+ it's not because D6 failed, it's because D6 never existed.... officially.

But yeah, show us the fucking Bronco already! Don't show us the Ranger, we already know it's a mildly modified ROW T6 Ranger.
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post #5 of 293 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 12:18 AM
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Re: Ford’s Board of Directors -Vs- Mark Fields?

Quote:
Originally Posted by igor2 View Post
It's just old farts not seeing the importance in pursuing mobility that is not selling cars. And they are too bling to see what is happening at GM ... if anything Fields is too slow to embrace the shift.
No such things as too much bling.
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post #6 of 293 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 02:11 AM
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Re: Ford’s Board of Directors -Vs- Mark Fields?

I wonder if everything is a secret because after changing around plans for Mexico,
the schedule has become very light...

Rethinking new plants and consolidating car products might be a sign of things to come..
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post #7 of 293 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 04:37 AM
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Re: Ford’s Board of Directors -Vs- Mark Fields?

Tesla is losing money and has a market value 15% higher than Ford, that have solid profits. Clearly, is a PR problem.

Let the public know what is the future of Ford.... show us the exciting new models to come (really , they exist?) , give us some fun with some concepts cars, talk about the electrification plans and give us a glimpse about thems ( like VW, Audi and Tesla). And show us how great are the plans for Lincoln.

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post #8 of 293 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 06:17 AM
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Re: Ford’s Board of Directors -Vs- Mark Fields?

EVs... Autonomous vehicles...
I'm actually more interested in the future of Ford's core global vehicles, the ones that actually pay the bills.

I wish Ford tried to solve the PowerShift issue early on before moving its attention to some mobility-autonomous-ideas.
I just found out some recent Ford models still have PowerShift reliability issues.
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post #9 of 293 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 08:01 AM
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Re: Ford’s Board of Directors -Vs- Mark Fields?

turn up the heat on Fields , go get em boys
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post #10 of 293 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 09:02 AM
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Re: Ford’s Board of Directors -Vs- Mark Fields?

Bring back Mercury. There was a time when Ford Motor loyalists could choose a similar size Mercury, if they did not like the look of a Ford model. Now, they have too many choices outside the company, and none within.


Right now, Lincoln is ok, but what does the future look like. They seem to be afraid to go too low, but refuse to go higher.
Mercury could be a performance/premium brand based on Ford platforms. Think discount Audi or Pontiac done right!
MKZ, MKC, MKX could be rebadged/restlyed for Mercury. They would also get Explorer, Mustang, and Focus ST and RS variants.


Lincoln could then....well...be Lincoln.
Continental and Navigator would be the only Lincolns offered for a short period. First priority would be luxury/performance CUVs. If they cannot get a platform on their own accord, do a joint venture with someone to get a decent CUV/SUV lineup. The next Continental could be on a Lincoln platform that would have three wheelbase lengths. This should also spawn two coupes using the smallest and largest wheelbase, and use Continental name as well. All 5 variations of Continental could be made on the same prodcution line.


What a line up that would be!
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