Ford announced it will shift all production of its small cars to Mexico but that now only affects the Focus and C-MAX. Smaller cars generate less profit for automakers, thus the shift by Ford and Fiat Chrysler to move production where labor costs are less. But there are indications that jobs may not be lost at the most affected U.S. plant in Michigan, as Ford replaces lost product with production of new vehicles such as a mid-sized pickup. Focus and C-Max production will switch to a new $1.6 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, according to the Detroit News.
Ford also announced it is on target to deliver 12 new performance vehicles by the end of the decade. The vehicles build on the huge market success of the Ford GT, Shelby Mustang GT350 and GT350R, Focus RS, Focus ST and F-150 Raptor.
And in a meeting with investors, the company defended its investments in autonomous vehicles, ride sharing companies, and even rent-a-bikes. In the short term, CEO Mark Fields said that will reduce earnings, but holds the promise of a nice payoff down the road.
“As we expand to be an auto and a mobility company, we’re not moving from an ‘old’ business to a ‘new’ business. We’re moving to a bigger business,” Fields said. “The world is moving from simply owning vehicles to owning and sharing them. That’s why we are expanding to sell more vehicles and provide transportation services at the same time,” Fields said. Those investments, recall expenses, and other items means the company will fall below the $10.2 billion in profit projected for this year.
Looking ahead, Ford expects its core business adjusted pre-tax profit to improve every year from 2016 through 2018. Yet Ford shares closed down 1.9% yesterday.
And Ford will introduce 13 “new electrified vehicles” by the year 2020 and predicts that autonomous vehicles could account for up to 20 percent of vehicle sales by end of the next decade.
General Motors plans to generate or source all electrical power for its 350 operations in 59 countries with 100 percent renewable energy — such as wind, sun and landfill gas — by 2050. “Establishing a 100 percent renewable energy goal helps us better serve society by reducing environmental impact,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “This pursuit of renewable energy benefits our customers and communities through cleaner air while strengthening our business through lower and more stable energy costs.”
Automotive News reports Ford, Volvo and Rolls-Royce are skipping this year’s Paris Auto Show to concentrate on luring in customers on the internet. The big shows with lavish displays are costly, and the growing feeling among executives are that there are better ways to get in touch with customers.
AN also reported that Toyota will invest $150 million in its Tijuana, Mexico plant to step up production of the Tacoma pickup.
Magna International announced it will manufacture the new 5-Series sedan for the BMW Group at its contract assembly facility in Graz, Austria. The production, which is expected to begin in 2017, will be split with BMW Group’s manufacturing plant in Dingolfing, Germany. The partnership between Magna and the BMW Group began in 2001.
Fiat Chrysler posted sales increases in nearly every major European market in August with sales up 20.4% year-over-year. And our neighbors across the ocean like Jeeps just as much as we do. Sales were up 22% driven primarily by the Renegade.