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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #1
thought this might be more important Corporately than just truck-wise

biz.yahoo.com - Ford plans to add 1,000 workers at F-150 factory
Thursday October 30, 5:45 pm ET
By Tom Krisher, AP Auto Writer

Ford plans to add 1,000 workers at Michigan plant to support expected uptick in F-150 sales

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. is predicting pickup truck sales will bounce back enough for it to add 1,000 workers to its Dearborn F-150 factory in January.

The company celebrated the manufacturing launch of a new version of the truck Thursday and announced that it will restore a third shift to the plant.

Ford spokeswoman Angie Kozleski said the additional workers will come from those laid off earlier this year at many Ford plants when the company cut production. The move will bring employment at the Dearborn plant to around 3,300, she said.

Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said the shift was added because there is demand for pickups.

The company has done well selling down the 2008 models in preparation for the new one, he said, and it's anticipating increased sales.

"When we project forward looking at our sales rate this month, and what we project our sales rate to be over the next couple of months, it warrants the shift coming back here in Dearborn," Fields said.

As the U.S. auto market has dwindled through the summer due to high gasoline prices and economic concerns, trucks have started to come back as a percentage of the retail market, rising from 8 or 9 percent in June to 13 or 14 percent in the past two months, Fields said. That's partly due to a huge drop in gasoline prices, he said, from peak of around $4 per gallon nationwide to $2.547 a gallon nationwide on Thursday.

"People are buying trucks in a market, in an economy that's very poor," Fields said. "And us being a leader there coming out with a new truck, we feel we're well positioned."

Through September, large pickup truck sales are down nearly 25 percent compared with the same month last year, according to Autodata Corp. It's a larger drop than the overall U.S. market, which is down 13 percent for the period. F-series truck sales are down 27 percent for the first nine months of the year.

In addition, Ford faces increased competition from a completely redesigned Dodge Ram truck, with both companies claiming their truck is better.

F-series trucks hit showrooms in early October, but the company celebrated the manufacturing launch on Thursday by gathering workers for a ceremony with executives.

Fields also said Thursday that October auto sales are looking like the last couple of months. Sales dropped below a million in September, the worst month for the industry in 15 years. The industry reports October sales on Monday.

He also said that if the federal government gives aid to General Motors Corp., Ford would seek "a degree of parity." GM is talking with Chrysler LLC owner Cerberus Capital Management LP about acquiring Chrysler, and the federal government reportedly may throw in some cash to make the deal happen.

Despite the down economy, Ford won't change its product development plans, Fields said. The company says almost half its model lineup will be new in 2009.

Ford says it hasn't cut its marketing budget for the new truck despite the economic downturn and questions about whether it has enough cash to survive. Industry analysts say the company is burning through $1 billion or more per month. Ford said that as of June 30, it had about $38 billion in cash and credit lines available. The company will announce its earnings and third-quarter cash-burn figures on Nov. 7.

Ford will market the truck exclusively to work buyers and says the market is all but gone for people who buy trucks but never haul or tow anything.

"The people that now are in the truck business, they need a truck," said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of marketing.

Television ads for the truck, which debut this Sunday on a football pregame show, tout its features for people who use them on the job.

Ford's shares rose 12 cents, or 5.6 percent, to $2.28 in regular-session trading Thursday but dipped 8 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $2.20 after hours.
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #2
got 2 comments

1) IIRC, Dearborn Truck was one of the plants speculated to get the F-100
(which Now might be unified with/as a lighter F-150)
Plus future vehicles based on the truck platform
2)
biz.yahoo.com said:
In addition, Ford faces increased competition from a completely redesigned Dodge Ram truck, with both companies claiming their truck is better.
Who SAYS the Ram will even be available anymore in a year's time???

imho, looks like Ford is gonna be ready / waiting / locked / & Loaded :D
 

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Mercury C557
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SeekingAlpha.com - Ford Celebrates, GM Scratches Its Head

by: Andrew Snyder November 02, 2008 | about stocks: F / GM
After wave upon wave of layoff notices and factory closures, Ford (NYSE:F) employees are celebrating a re-hiring event. Thanks to Ford re-starting its 2009 F-150 truck line, nearly 1,000 workers will be stamping their time card.

Ford is making a risky move. After all, its truck sales were down 27% last month and many experts say we have yet to reach a bottom in the industry. But company executives see a profit opportunity.

With one of the best-selling product lines in the history of automaking, Ford believes it must concentrate on the profitable line if it wants to ensure future success.

Officials insist that pent-up buying demand created from the credit-industry freeze is growing and truck-buyers will flock back to showroom floors over the next several months. After all, many businesses depend on reliable pick-up trucks for their daily operations.

As investors, we need to look at today’s news as less of a human-interest story and more as an in-depth look at the company’s financial situation. Ford’s willingness to put another thousand names on its payroll roster proves its short-term liquidity and its long-term odds of success.

When General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Chrysler are begging for merger assistance in a last-ditch shot at success, Ford continues its transition into a leaner, smarter manufacturer.

As of their last earnings reports, Ford had nearly twice as much cash on hand as General Motors and its operating cash flows were nearly $10 billion higher. Ford’s liquidity issues are miniscule compared to GM’s problems (see Ford's conference call transcript here, GM's here).

Even with Ford’s outlook significantly brighter than its Detroit counterparts, its share price has been drug into the mud. Over the last twelve months, shares have dropped by nearly 75%. General Motors, with a much smaller shot at survival, has seen its shares fall by 85%.

Fortunately, Wall Street is realizing Ford is worth more than $5 billion. Over the past five days, share price has risen significantly. And investors that followed my buying recommendation on Monday are now sitting on gains of nearly 20%.

Fortunately, shares of Ford will continue to rise. If you do not have any shares of Ford, now is the time to buy.

Detroit’s hopes of success are rising with every passing day. As more and more cries for industry assistance hit Washington, the likelihood of a significant bailout increase exponentially. Even if you think it is too late for General Motors, do not toss Ford into the same category. It is much better managed, has far greater financial stability, and its products are still in demand.

Take a look at shares of the company and see if they meet your investing criteria.​
 

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as I said over at GMI - let's keep in mind that Ford is shutting down Cuatitlan in about a month - so they need the extra production to supply Mexico and South America.

Cuatitlan will be retooled (expanded and redesigned) for the Fiesta.

Igor
 

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Ford seems to be doing pretty well, when all is said and done. I hope GM and Chrysler can keep its nose up in this down turn.
A failure of Chrysler would be catastrophic for jobs.
 

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This is great for Ford and the people that will be getting the jobs.

I just hope that sooner than later we will hear some good news from GM and Chrysler.
 

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #7
via Pontiac Custom-S @ Cheers and Gears
AutomotiveNews said:


Amy Wilson
Automotive News
October 30, 2008 - 2:09 pm ET


DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. plans to restore a third crew of production workers to its F-150 plant in Dearborn, Mich., in January, adding about 1,000 employees to the plant's work force.

"Despite the challenges in the market, the full-size pickup market remains one of the largest in the industry, and we are ensuring we have the production capacity we need to meet market demand," Joe Hinrichs, group vice president of global manufacturing and labor affairs, said in a company statement.

Ford spent $148 million to upgrade the suburban Detroit plant for the launch of the 2009 F-150. Ford executives today celebrated the production launch of the new version of the truck.

Record-high gasoline prices and the downturn in the economy sent F-series sales plummeting this year. Through September, Ford sold 392,698 F-series trucks, down 26.9 percent from the same period a year ago.

PRESS RELEASE: FORD'S DEARBORN TRUCK PLANT EMPLOYEES CELEBRATE PRODUCTION OF THE NEW 2009 FORD F-150

* Ford is celebrating the production launch of the 2009 Ford F-150, which offers unrivaled capability, unsurpassed fuel economy and the most choice in the full-size truck segment

* Ford will restore the third crew at Dearborn Truck Plant in January; the move will add 1,000 workers to the plant's production team

* Ford invested $148 million in tooling and equipment upgrades at Dearborn Truck Plant to build the new F-150

DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 30, 2008 – Ford Motor Company employees at Dearborn Truck Plant today celebrated the production launch of the new 2009 Ford F-150, which offers unrivaled capability, unsurpassed fuel economy and the most choice in the full-size truck segment.

During the celebration, employees, dealers, government officials and United Auto Workers leaders, also previewed the bold new marketing campaign for the 2009 Ford F-150, which debuts Sunday on "NFL on Fox" with print and radio ads to follow.

"Ford is the truck leader and F-150 truck buyers expect and demand the best truck on the market," said Ford Motor Company CEO and President Alan Mulally, who thanked plant employees for a successful launch of the new F-150. "The employees at Dearborn Truck Plant are delivering a truck that is 'Built Ford Tough' with an unwavering focus on quality and craftsmanship."

Ford also announced that it was restoring the third crew to Dearborn Truck Plant in January, a move that will add approximately 1,000 skilled trades and production workers to the plant's work force.

"The new F-150 is the best truck Ford has ever produced and we expect a strong response from core truck buyers," said Joe Hinrichs, group vice president, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs. "Despite the challenges in the market, the full-size pickup segment remains one of the largest in the industry and we are ensuring we have the production capacity we need to meet market demand."

On sale now, the new F-150's fuel economy is improved by an average of 8 percent across the entire lineup versus the prior model year, the result of a wide range of engineering enhancements. The fuel economy gains reach as high as 12 percent on F-150 models equipped with the high-volume 3-valve, 5.4-liter V-8 engine. At the same time, the new F-150 delivers class-leading towing capability of 11,300 pounds and hauling capacity of 3,030 pounds – a combination no other competitor can match.

The new F-150 offers more standard safety equipment than any other half-ton pickup on the market, with comparable or better pricing at all three cab configurations versus the competition. The F-150 Lariat SuperCrew, for example, starts at $35,820*, more than $5,000 less than a comparably equipped 2009 Dodge Ram.

The new 2009 Ford F-150's strengths and appeal to core truck customers was affirmed earlier this month when the Texas Auto Writers Association named it the one and only "Truck of Texas," the top honor at TAWA's annual Truck Rodeo.

Ford invested $148 million in the Dearborn Truck Plant for new tooling and equipment to build the new F-150, which offers consumers the most cab styles, box options and trim levels.

Upgrades include the addition of flexible automation in the paint shop.

In final assembly, the box line was extended to support installation of the F-150 cargo management system and the tailgate step. The plant also added a New Model Quality Center which is designed to take Ford's quality-focused manufacturing processes to the next level. The New Model Quality Center helped Ford prove out manufacturing, test vehicles and train employees for the launch of the 2009 F-150.

In the body shop, automated weld fixtures that allow for greater flexibility and state-of-the-art, precision lasers were installed to mate the roof and body-side panels to the truck's new roof structure, which features the industry's first use of ultra-high-strength, dual-phase steel. The stiffer, tighter structure contributes to improved safety and delivers a quieter more refined ride.

Before the production launch of the 2009 F-150 began, prototypes of the new truck endured 4.5 million miles of real-world and laboratory testing.

And while the truck was undergoing tough testing, Dearborn Truck Plant employees were focused on ways to build in quality into each new F-150.

"The team at Dearborn Truck Plant understands the importance of the F-150 to Ford," said Rob Webber, plant manager, Dearborn Truck Plant. "They are proud to build Ford's best F-150 ever."

The new 2009 F-150 also is produced at the Kansas City Assembly Plant (KCAP). Ford invested $110 million in Kansas City Assembly Plant for new tooling and equipment to build the new F-150, specifically precision lasers in the body shop, new clear-coat robots in the paint shop and an extended box line in final assembly. KCAP also added 65 new error-proofing devices.

Link: http://www.autonews.com/article/20081030/A...paign_id=alerts
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as I said over at GMI - let's keep in mind that Ford is shutting down Cuatitlan in about a month - so they need the extra production to supply Mexico and South America.
Ihad it in my mind that Cuatitlan made SuperDuty. I guess I was wrong.
Cuatitlan will be retooled (expanded and redesigned) for the Fiesta.
They will have to hustle ! Isn't Job #1 in mid/late summer ?
 

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Ihad it in my mind that Cuatitlan made SuperDuty. I guess I was wrong.
It also built the Heritage 150 which has been selling pretty well down there.

They will have to hustle ! Isn't Job #1 in mid/late summer ?
last I heard the Fiesta is not going into production before 1.1.10 - and last I heard is was sometime in February 2010. So they have about a year.

any chance you can tell us more about the "unique feature" of the Fiesta's Dual Clutch that you have been mentioning now for over a year?

Igor
 
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