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Ford Issues Recalls for More Than 38K Vehicles

Actions cover sport-utilities and pickups.

by Michael Strong on Nov.16, 2018

The Expedition is part of the recall of more than 37,000 large SUVs.

Ford Motor Co. is recalling more than 38,000 SUVs and pickups as part of four individual recalls covering problems involving seats, airbags, fuel system components and transmissions.

The largest is for 2018 Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigators. The action covers large utes that have second row center bench seats. In that instance, the seats could be missing reinforcement brackets in the seat track assembly.

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If not properly secured, the rear seat may come loose. As of this moment, the company is unaware of any incidents or injuries. There are approximately 37,801 vehicles in North America, with 34,946 in the United States and federalized territories, 1,900 in Canada and 955 in Mexico. (more…)

Negotiating Deal VW is a “Delicate Dance,” Says Ford CEO Hackett

First project could be announced before year-end.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.15, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett described the talks with Volkswagen as a "delicate dance."

A deal between Ford and Volkswagen focusing on joint efforts in the light commercial vehicle market could come together quickly, but in his first official acknowledgement that the two carmakers are exploring a wide range of additional options, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said those negotiations involve a “delicate dance.”

Like a growing number of competitors, Ford has opened up to the possibility of teaming up with erstwhile rivals on a variety of projects. And, in recent weeks, sources have indicated it is discussing deals that also could see them team up on everything from autonomous and electrified vehicles to joint production and marketing efforts in markets such as Europe and Latin America.

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“(VW CEO) Herbert (Diess) and I had a great discussion” about a possible alliance on commercial trucks, Hackett said in an interview with the Reuters news service, noting that things are “going better than we thought it would.” (more…)

Ford Partnering With Walmart on Autonomous Deliveries

Initial pilot taking place in Miami.

by Michael Strong on Nov.14, 2018

Through the collaboration with Walmart and Postmates, Ford is exploring how self-driving vehicles can deliver many groceries and other goods.

Ford continues to grow its mobility business, announcing a new partnership with Walmart to use autonomous vehicle to make deliveries to Walmart customers.

The automaker will partner with San Francisco-based Postmates, a delivery service company, to develop the delivery service initially using vehicles driven by people to deliver goods. Those initial delivery runs will help develop the routing for autonomous vehicles.

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“Before self-driving cars can go mainstream, we must get a better sense of how people want to interact with them,” Tom Ward, Walmart senior vice president for digital operations, said in a statement on Thursday. (more…)

Ford Gets into the eScooter Business With Spin Acquisition

Plans call for growing into 100 cities.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.08, 2018

Ford Smart Mobility, LLC acquired Spin, a San Francisco-based electric scooter-sharing company .

Ford is putting a new spin on its push into mobility services – quite literally, with the acquisition of the San Francisco electric scooter start-up Spin.

The move comes as the auto industry attempts to cope with the explosive growth of alternative transportation businesses, ranging from ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber to the growing availability of bicycle and e-scooter rentals in major cities in the U.S. and abroad.

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“Everywhere you look around the U.S., people’s mobility choices are changing,” Sundeep Madra, head of Ford X, the company’s mobility incubator, wrote in a post about the acquisition. “In crowded and congested cities, especially, many are reconsidering their transportation options. From ride-hailing to dedicated bicycle lanes, people and cities are considering alternatives to personal vehicles, but some are also taking more novel approaches — including scooter sharing.” (more…)

Detroit Symphony Turns Lincoln Warning Buzzers into Sweet Music

Automaker wants to create a “symphonic landscape.”

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.05, 2018

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra made over 100 recordings before coming up with the right warning sounds for the new Lincoln Aviator.

Warning sounds are, by definition, designed to draw your attention, but sometimes they also can get on your nerves.

Ford has been trying to find the right balance with some recent products, looking for sounds that are distinctive yet easy on the ears. It’s going a step further with the new SUV its luxury brand will launch this coming year, turning to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to record 25 of the “non-critical, soft-warning chimes and hard-warning chimes that will be used in the new Lincoln Aviator.

We Sound the Right Note!

“Aviator represents the true vision of the Lincoln brand,” explains Lincoln design director David Woodhouse. “With a look this striking, we needed to have sounds that matched the beauty of this vehicle.”

(more…)

Ford, VW Discussions Now Far More Wide-Ranging Than Originally Planned

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.02, 2018

Ford and VW initially wanted to discuss cooperation on light commercial vehicles.

Talks between Ford and Volkswagen are covering far more territory than originally planned, when the two signed a memorandum of understanding in June that initially focused on joint development of commercial vehicles.

While Ford officials have told TheDetroitBureau.com there is no thought to an exchange of equity, virtually everything else seems at least open for discussion, with a number of key ventures being considered. According to various U.S. and European sources, these include joint development of a small pickup, cooperation on electrified and autonomous vehicles and possibly even collaboration on sales and marketing in trouble-spot markets, such as Europe and Latin America.

Breaking News!

Several reports have suggested that a major announcement could be in the offing, and a source close to the talks told TheDetroitBureau that “There could be an update by the end of the year.” But that person stressed that not all the discussions underway are likely to be resolved immediately, and could be spread out over months, even years – even “if everything (being negotiated) comes true.”

(more…)

Ford, Baidu Ink Autonomous Test Deal in China as Waymo Starts in California Despite Protests

Disparate reactions to autonomous vehicle testing.

by Michael Strong on Nov.01, 2018

Ford's Sherif Marakby and Baidu's Zhenyu Li shake hands, confirming the new autonomous testing deal between the two companies.

Ford Motor Co. just inked a deal with Baidu Inc. to conduct two years of autonomous vehicle testing on the roads of China as Waymo is getting approval to engage in its own self-driving vehicle tests in California despite the protests of watchdog groups.

The Baidu-Ford L4 Autonomous Vehicle Test Project is set to begin by the end of this year, the automaker noted. The project will develop and test autonomous vehicles that are designed to meet the Level 4 (L4) driving automation standard as defined by SAE International.

Global News!

Level 4 vehicles are capable of operating autonomously within a specific geographic area and under certain weather conditions. Ford engineers have already started the process working at its Nanjing Research and Engineering Center, which was set up to convert the vehicles into Autonomous Vehicle Platforms in order to prepare them to be fit with Baidu’s Apollo Virtual Driver System.  (more…)

Easter Comes Early for the Ford Ranger

Automaker's marketing team hides Easter eggs in promo pictures.

by Michael Strong on Oct.29, 2018

Some Ford's picture promoting the new Ranger pickup feature Easter eggs hidden in the background.

Ford Motor Co. is hyping the Ranger, its new entry in the fast-growing midsize truck segment, with a mix of media focusing on its capability, technology and economy. However, it’s throwing in a few Easter eggs for good measure.

No, not actual dyed eggs, but hidden images within the promotional pictures of the new truck slated to hit dealer showrooms in early 2019.

Dig Deeper!

The pictures have an array of things lurking in the background ranging from the imaginary jackalope to the Loch Ness monster and more. The first two were in the images released during the North American International Auto Show in January and now there are eight total. (more…)

Ford Recalling 1.5 Million Focuses for Gas Tank Problem

Company is unaware of any accidents due to problem.

by Michael Strong on Oct.25, 2018

Ford is recalling 1.5 million 2012–18 Focuses for a problem with gas tank deformation.

Ford is recalling approximately 1.5 million 2012–18 Ford Focus vehicles for a problem that could cause the vehicle’s gas tank to become deformed.

The automaker says car equipped with 2.0-liter GDI and 2.0-liter GTDI engines may have a malfunctioning canister purge valve that can become stuck in the open position. When it happens, an “excessive vacuum” in the fuel system can cause the deformation.

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As a result, owners may get a malfunction indicator light or a fuel gauge with fluctuating or inaccurate fuel levels. This could lead to a stall while driving and/or an inability to restart the vehicle, which can increase the risk of a crash. (more…)

CEO Hackett Calls Ford’s Restructuring “More of a Redesign”

Automaker plan to trim $11 billion from operating costs.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.25, 2018

Jim Hackett, president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Co., suggested the automaker wasn't going through a restructuring, but instead a redesign.

Ford Motor Co. executives during a conference with analysts promised more details of the company’s restructuring plan, but Ford CEO Jim Hackett also said it will not have the same kind of thrust as traditional restructuring with firing and plant closings.

“It’s not a restructuring plan, it’s a redesign plan,” Hackett told analysts. “First, we have to identify the areas that need to be fixed then we have figure out how to fix them and then execute,” he added. Ford officials said last year that they expected to trim $11 billion from the company’s operating cost, though they offered few specifics, irritating analysts, who wanted more details.

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“I think some elements wouldn’t take the full five years,” he said. Some are going to take longer,” he said.   (more…)