F - Ford Motor Company

NYSE - Nasdaq Real Time Price. Currency in USD
9.20
-0.01 (-0.11%)
As of 11:31AM EST. Market open.
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Previous Close9.21
Open9.22
Bid9.19 x 45900
Ask9.20 x 45100
Day's Range9.19 - 9.25
52 Week Range8.16 - 10.56
Volume14,433,838
Avg. Volume38,698,725
Market Cap36.477B
Beta (5Y Monthly)1.07
PE Ratio (TTM)23.00
EPS (TTM)0.40
Earnings DateFeb. 03, 2020
Forward Dividend & Yield0.60 (6.55%)
Ex-Dividend DateJan. 27, 2020
1y Target Est10.09
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  • Foxconn May Be About to Prove Elon Musk Wrong
    Bloomberg

    Foxconn May Be About to Prove Elon Musk Wrong

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Five years ago, in a routine display of trash talking, Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk made a now infamous quip about how hard it is to manufacture automobiles.“Cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches,’’ he told German newspaper Handelsblatt. “You can’t just go to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car.”He may be proven wrong. Foxconn Technology Group, through its Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. unit, will establish a joint venture with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, the Taiwanese company said in an exchange filing Thursday. While not yet signed, they expect their 50-50 enterprise will “develop and manufacture electric vehicles and engage in IOV (internet of vehicles) business,” referencing a growing ecosystem of connected cars that share location, weather, traffic and vehicle information.Hon Hai would be responsible for design, components and supply chain management, Chairman Young Liu told Debby Wu of Bloomberg News. Foxconn might not actually do final assembly, he said.If you’ve ever visited Foxconn’s global headquarters on the outskirts of Taipei, you’d know that the prospect of the company designing cars is disconcerting. It truly is one of the ugliest office buildings in the world. So let’s hope Fiat Chrysler takes the driver’s seat on that.However, components, supply chain management, and manufacturing are right up Foxconn’s alley. The company makes most of Apple Inc.’s iPhones and iPads, as well as a lot of the electronics that go into cars, including Teslas.Tesla’s then-head of vehicle engineering, Doug Field, whose resume includes Apple and Ford Motor Co., in February 2018 subtly dissed the Foxconn-Apple relationship. “The model at Foxconn was very different” from Tesla, because the Taiwanese company uses manual labor to achieve economies of scale quickly. The iPad is a product “whose simplicity is orders of magnitude below ours.” Field returned to Apple later that year.Let’s agree, cars are indeed more complicated than tablets or smartphones. But I’ll say that there’s no way Elon Musk could churn out half a million handsets per day, consistently, with quality and on time.By contrast, Foxconn, because of the reasons Field outlined, could be well placed to leverage its 40 years of experience in manufacturing, scale and manual processes to get Fiat Chrysler to mass production of electric vehicles quicker than almost anyone in the world. After all, Foxconn’s giant workforce and scale mean it’s the only company that can churn out 5 million iPhones a week at launch every year for the past decade.With scale comes not just cost advantages but supply-chain leverage, an important element when you’re hunting down parts that may be in short stock. Batteries, for example, have been a bottleneck for Tesla deliveries in the past. But when your client list includes Apple, Dell Inc., HP Inc. and a dozen other companies that need batteries by the container, suppliers are likely to put you higher on the priority list. Given that they’re the largest cost of an electric vehicle, solving both the supply problem and then using scale to force costs down could give Foxconn and Fiat Chrysler an edge.Having electric vehicles more readily available and delivered on time might even take the gloss off the cult of Tesla, which is driven in part by the difficulty of getting your hands on one. Yet Fiat Chrysler needs to ensure that Foxconn doesn’t mess it up. It’s known to be domineering in partnerships, with an obsession toward efficiency and cutting costs, rather than value-added branding. Its venture with HMD Global Oyj to revive the Nokia name looked promising until Foxconn executives started pulling rank, overruling those who truly knew how to design and market phones. Many of the talented members of the consortium left and the brand is unlikely to see the revival that many had expected.Sure, Fiat Chrysler is taking a risk by betting on Foxconn. But the U.S.-Italian car company doesn’t have much to lose, and knows that it has little time to waste. Chief Executive Officer Mike Manley is hoping to merge with France’s PSA Group, and told investors in October that electrification could happen on a grand scale after that.It’s also likely to join a self-driving car venture being set up by BMW AG and Daimler AG, Bloomberg reported this month. Such plans necessitate the kind of electric vehicle technologies it doesn’t currently have. Foxconn doesn’t, either, but between them there’s every chance the two companies can develop or acquire what’s needed.If Foxconn really wants to make it in electric vehicles, it will need to learn from Fiat Chrysler the importance of good design, marketing savvy, and brand mystique. In other words, a little bit of Elon Musk.Just not too much.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • How Boeing Lost Its Way
    Bloomberg

    How Boeing Lost Its Way

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The 2019 column I most wish I could take back was about Boeing. In May, two months after the second deadly 737 Max crash, I compared Boeing’s current troubles to other times when Boeing had stumbled badly, including 2013, when the new 787 — which had come to market four years behind schedule —had a problem with its lithium ion batteries, which burst into flames several times. The Federal Aviation Administration even grounded the plane temporarily.Airplanes are fiendishly complex, and new planes almost always have kinks that need to be worked out (though, admittedly, those kinks don’t usually include fatalities). In any case, my working assumption was that the company had always overcome its problems and would do so again. “Boeing’s history strongly suggests that it will recover from this fiasco and do so quickly,” I wrote. “It will emerge stronger than ever.” Ouch.Within a matter of months, I could see that I was wrong and that Boeing was not the same company I had followed two decades earlier. In October, Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenberg testified before Congress. He was awful. He kept saying that safety was part of Boeing’s DNA, yet the evidence angry legislators confronted him with — internal emails, for the most part — suggested just the opposite: that safety was no longer high on Boeing’s list of priorities. What was ascendant was maximizing shareholder value, with catastrophic consequences.The company cut corners to get the plane on the market quickly. It used the least expensive suppliers regardless of how inexperienced they were. Its manual contained only one sentence about the system that was the root cause of the crashes. Worst of all, it persuaded the F.A.A. — and its airline customers — that pilots didn’t need flight simulator training to fly the 737 Max. The release of a devastating batch of internal Boeing emails late last week — showing engineers rushing to get a plane to market despite knowing it had serious problems — only reinforced the notion that Boeing’s culture had been compromised. A company that had long been run by engineers for engineers was now a company run by corporate bureaucrats whose primary goal was to please Wall Street. That’s the underlying story those emails tell.Which begs the question: How did this happen?In the Atlantic not long ago, business writer Jerry Useem suggests an answer. He marks May 2001 as the beginning of Boeing’s cultural decline; that month, top executives announced that they were moving the company’s headquarters to Chicago. More than 30,000 engineers would remain in Seattle, mind you. But the top 500 executives would move 2,000 miles away.“When the headquarters is located in proximity to a principal business — as ours was in Seattle — the corporate center is inevitably drawn into day-to-day business operations,” CEO Phil Condit said at the time. How he could view removing the top brass from the “day-to-day business operations” as a net positive is beyond comprehension. But he did. Useem wrote: “The present 737 Max disaster can be traced back … to the moment Boeing’s leadership decided to divorce itself from the firm’s own culture.”Condit was ousted in 2003 (in part because he had a series of affairs with female employees) and was succeeded by Harry Stonecipher. Stonecipher, who had been CEO of McDonnell Douglas when it merged with Boeing in 1997, had spent the bulk of his career at General Electric, including seven years under Jack Welch. As I’ve noted before, Welch’s stated goal was to make GE “the world’s most valuable company,” which meant focusing first and foremost on finding ways to increase the company’s share price. As his underlings took over other companies, they brought that mindset with them.Stonecipher was no exception. At Boeing, he gained a reputation as a ruthless cost-cutter and expressed pride in the way he was blowing up the company’s engineering mindset. (“When people say I changed the culture of Boeing, that was the intent, so that it’s run like a business rather than a great engineering firm,” he once said.) Wall Street loved it; the stock price rose fourfold.When Stonecipher was fired in 2005 (also for having an affair with a subordinate), the board passed over the obvious internal candidate, Alan Mulally, the head of the commercial airplane division and Boeing’s last great engineering executive, and brought in another Jack Welch protege, James McNerney. So now Boeing had a CEO who knew nothing about how to manufacture an airplane. And this lack of engineering know-how was compounded when McNerney named Scott Carson to succeed Mulally, who left in 2006 to become CEO of Ford Motor Co. True, Carson was a Boeing lifer, but he was a salesman, not an engineer.In 2007, McNerney inaugurated a series of stock buyback plans, which lifted the stock price; it repurchased $6 billion worth of shares in 2014 alone. The CEO and other top executives received tens of millions of dollars’ worth of stock options and stock grants. Dividends were doubled. The stock bottomed out at $30 a share in the aftermath of the financial crisis, but by the time McNerney stepped down, it was approaching $150 a share.Meanwhile, Boeing was putting the screws to its unions, eliminating their pensions and moving some production to a nonunion facility in South Carolina. Richard Aboulafia, the well-known aviation consultant, thinks this was a critical mistake — and another example of how little McNerney understood about the business of building airplanes.“Aviation is not like other industries,” he wrote in Forbes after McNerney announced his retirement. “There are certainly cost pressures, but this is a capital-intensive business with very high barriers to entry. Labor costs just don’t matter as much compared to other industries.”Aboulafia concluded: “An experienced and motivated workforce, therefore, is the most important asset a company has. McNerney failed to recognize this important fact, and the company has suffered as a result.”In that same essay, Aboulafia noted that the incoming CEO, Muilenberg, was an aviation engineer, and though he had spent his career on the defense side of the company, there was hope that he could reverse some of McNerney’s emphasis on the stock price. But it wasn’t to be. Instead, he ratcheted up the company’s stock buybacks, retiring 200 million shares — a quarter of the company’s stock — at cost of $43 billion.How could Boeing afford to do that? As Jonathan Ford pointed out last August in the Financial Times, it was precisely because it was saving so much money on the 737 Max. Instead of starting from scratch and building a new plane, it simply “bolted new fuel-efficient engines onto a tweaked existing airframe.” Ford concluded: “Boeing was able to redirect some of those ‘savings’ to repurchase stock instead.”By the time Boeing decided to cobble together the 737 Max, its engineering culture was completely broken. Here’s how Aboulafia described it to Useem in the Atlantic:It was the ability to comfortably interact with an engineer who in turn feels comfortable telling you their reservations, versus calling a manager [more than] 1,500 miles away who you know has a reputation for wanting to take your pension away. It’s a very different dynamic. As a recipe for disempowering engineers in particular, you couldn’t come up with a better format.You can see that disempowerment — and its consequences — in the recently released emails. Instead of bringing their fears and complaints to superiors, the engineers grouse to themselves about the problems they see with the plane. They are bitter about management’s unwillingness to slow things down, to build the plane properly, to take the care that’s required to prevent tragedy from striking.There is one email in particular(1)  from an unidentified Boeing engineer that I can’t get out of my head. It was written in June 2018, about a year after the company had begun shipping the 737 Max to customers:Everyone has it in their head that meeting schedule is most important because that’s what Leadership pressures and messages. All the messages are about meeting schedule, not delivering quality… .We put ourselves in this position by picking the lowest cost supplier and signing up to impossible schedules. Why did the lowest ranking and most unproven supplier receive the contract? Solely based on bottom dollar…. Supplier management drives all these decisions — yet we can’t even keep one person doing the same job in SM for more than 6 months to a year. They don’t know this business and those that do don’t have the appropriate level of input… .I don’t know how to fix these things … it’s systemic. It’s culture. It’s the fact that we have a senior leadership team that understand very little about the business and yet are driving us to certain objectives. It’s lots of individual groups that aren’t working closely and being accountable …. Sometimes you have to let things fail big so that everyone can identify a problem … maybe that’s what needs to happen instead of continuing to just scrape by.Of course that’s exactly what happened: the 737 Max failed big — at a cost of 346 lives. Shareholder value has caused much harm in the three decades since it became the core value of American capitalism: diabetics who can’t afford insulin; students ripped off by for-profit universities; patients gouged by hospital chains; and so much else. But none worse than this.(Corrects the given name of aviation consultant Richard Aboulafia in the 13th paragraph.)(1) The email in question can be found on page 24 of this document.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at jnocera3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Auto Stock Roundup: GM's Electric Hummer Revival, F China Sales Dip & More
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    Reuters

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  • Ford's China vehicle sales drop 26% in third straight year of decline
    Reuters

    Ford's China vehicle sales drop 26% in third straight year of decline

    Ford Motor Co's China vehicle sales fell for a third consecutive year, by 26.1%, as it battles a prolonged overall sales decline in its second-biggest market that has hit demand for its mass-market Ford brand and sports utility vehicles. The U.S. automaker delivered 146,473 vehicles in China in the fourth quarter, down 14.7% year-on-year, Ford said in a statement. Ford has been trying to revive sales in China after its business began slumping in late 2017.

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  • Ford's China sales drop 26%
    Reuters Videos

    Ford's China sales drop 26%

    ANOTHER TOUGH YEAR FOR FORD IN CHINA. Sales falling for the third straight year - down 26% in 2019 to roughly 568,000 vehicles. That's less than half of what it sold in 2016. And Ford sees the external pressure on its sales continuing this year. The U.S. automaker has been hit by the same factorS that also slammed GM's sales there. China's auto market, the world's second largest, has shrunk for two straight years, and the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers predicts it'll contract a further 2% in 2020. Ford plans to rev up sales by launching more than 30 new models in China over the next three years. Electric vehicles will make up a third of that. Ford shares fell at the market open Monday.