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Old 04-14-2005, 07:01   #1 (permalink)
Grover C. McCoury III
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
William Clay Ford Jr. - Not your great-grandfather's Ford.

By Daniel Gross for Slate
4/14/05

Last week, Ford Motor Co. showed all the signs of a once-great company in
distress: a sharply reduced earnings forecast, a credit-rating cut, and a
sliding stock. Ford has been here before, most recently in early 2003. The
latest run of bad news may represent either the next stage in a long decline
or the point at which a miraculous comeback begins. Regardless, it has ended
the hopes that CEO William Clay Ford Jr., the youthful great-grandson of
Henry Ford, would quickly restore the nation's second-largest automaker to
its former glory.

Bill Ford, the first recognizable personality at the top of an American car
company since former Chrysler head Lee Iacocca, is a hybrid executive, a
postmodern synthesis. Although he came to the CEO's post in the fall of 2001
with no great accomplishments, his lineage and his Úlan gave him instant
credibility. A humanist among gearheads-Ford is a self-confessed
guitar-strumming tree-hugger, though he also professes a deep affection for
muscle cars-he promised to build an intellectual and managerial bridge
between Ford Motor Co.'s glorious 20th century and its uncertain 21st.
"There is an air of nonchalant enthusiasm about Bill Jr., a man clearly
comfortable in his own skin," Douglas Brinkley wrote in the definitive
Wheels for the World. But while the miserable run of numbers is obscuring
some of the genuine good Ford has done, it seems like the bridge is
buckling.

Henry Ford pronounced history bunk. Bill Ford wallowed in it. Born in 1957,
he grew up in exclusive Grosse Pointe, prepped at Hotchkiss, and enrolled at
Princeton. From an early age, Bill had "an intense infatuation with American
history, particularly Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, the Plains Indians,
and his own ancestor, Henry Ford," as Douglas Brinkley put it. Bill worked
one summer at Greenfield Village, his great-grandfather's nostalgic
reproduction of a pre-automobile America. At Princeton, he wrote a thesis on
Henry Ford's labor policies.

When Bill went to work at Ford after graduating in 1979, the company was
both a supercharged global corporation and a fourth-generation family
business. Henry Ford's descendants controlled the company through a class of
special voting stock, and the presumption was that the males among them
would find their way to the top. Bill rotated through different departments
and joined the board of directors in 1988. But when it came to executive
ability, he was more like the young Franklin Delano than like Theodore
Roosevelt. According to Brinkley, his boss, Don Peterson, thought him "the
most likely fourth-generation Ford to rise to the top" but not because he
had "any remarkable skill." "What he had was a fine manner," Peterson
explained. "He never became fully knowledgeable of any particular aspect of
the company. But he was naturally bright and that can compensate for a lot."

In January 1999, Bill Ford was named chairman of the board at the age of 41.
And while Jacques Nasser ran the company as CEO, Ford engaged in big-think.
Other American car manufacturers planted new facilities in low-cost foreign
countries; Bill Ford advocated investing in domestic manufacturing. His
signature project involved investing $2 billion to turn his company's vast
River Rouge complex outside Detroit into a technological and environmental
showcase. As his competitors feverishly opposed any efforts to boost fuel
efficiency, Ford proclaimed in 2000 that he could increase the fuel
efficiency of his company's SUVs by 25 percent in five years. The next year
he unveiled the design for the Escape Hybrid SUV, billed as the car that
would occupy a happy middle ground between the new Japanese hybrid putt-putt
and the masculine Hummer.

At the same time, however, Ford Motor Co. continued to stamp out hundreds of
thousands of gas-loving Expeditions, Explorers, and Lincoln Navigators.
Sales of these land yachts boosted Ford's top line, but the bottom line
suffered. Distracted by investments in technology and services, and intent
on maintaining too many brands, the company was caught short by the
2000-2001 downturn; it lost $5.5 billion in 2001, and Nasser resigned that
October.

Assuming the role of CEO, Bill Ford made a series of tough decisions. In
2002, he pushed through a major restructuring, eliminating 35,000 jobs, five
plants, and the Lincoln Continental. Spurred by ultra-low interest rates and
0 percent financing, Ford Motor Co. recovered quickly. Results improved
markedly in both 2003 and 2004. Future strategy rested on relentlessly
seeking efficiencies and pumping up the volume of key products, pickup
trucks and SUVs. Pretax profits would rise to $7 billion by 2006, Bill Ford
promised. These profits would enable the company to make the investments
needed to transform it.

But then Ford the company's drive for profits ran right over Ford the
humanist's eco-friendly vision. Bill Ford's promise to boost fuel standards
for SUVs was abandoned in 2003 as too costly and impractical. Meanwhile, the
Escape Hybrid remained trapped on the drawing board until last fall, even as
the Toyota Prius became a status symbol. Environmentalists turned on Ford,
somewhat unfairly. The River Rouge plant, which was opened to the public in
May 2004, is an environmental showcase. And this is a guy whose "distaste
for nonbiodegradable materials" is so powerful that the curtain and
carpeting in his office "are all made of hemp," as Brinkley noted. Still,
Ford's image continued to take a beating, especially after it was revealed
he had been allocated 400,000 shares of Goldman Sachs in a 1999 IPO. Ford
was a major Goldman Sachs client, and Goldman president John Thornton sat on
Ford's board. Ford's own board absolved him of wrongdoing, but he sold the
shares and gave the profits to charity nonetheless.

Ford Motor Co. turned around enough to have a good year in 2004. But its
profits came mostly from its financing arm. And there were signs of trouble.
In the 2004 fourth quarter, vehicle sales fell far, and Ford's U.S. auto
operations lost $470 million. And in recent months Ford and General Motors
have been getting the tar kicked out of them by Toyota, Honda, and other
companies that specialize in smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Aside from
the F-150 truck, Ford lacks big hits. As this March report shows, in the
first quarter of 2005, sales of the Excursion, Explorer, Expedition, and
Navigator-the big vehicles that sport far higher profit margins than the
Taurus-have all declined sharply.

The environmentally friendly products that Bill Ford said would be integral
to the company's future also now seem peripheral at best. But it's one thing
to overpromise and underdeliver to the Sierra Club and quite another to do
the same to Wall Street. In April, just one month after reaffirming its
profit projections, Ford reduced its estimate for 2005 by nearly 30 percent
and rescinded the promise of $7 billion in pre-tax profits for 2006. The
market responded by driving Ford's stock down to $10. And last Friday,
Standard & Poor's lowered Ford's credit ratings-it has $173 billion in debt
outstanding-perilously close to the dreaded junk level.

To be sure, this is a very difficult time, perhaps an impossible one, to be
the chief executive of an American auto business. The factors that are
making it difficult to turn a profit-expensive steel and oil, a weak dollar,
rising health-care costs, aggressive foreign companies-are likely to be with
us for awhile. And the government certainly isn't in any mood to help. But
Bill Ford no longer appears to be what the Ford family and the company's
324,000 employees needs. His job isn't in jeopardy, since his family still
controls the company. Ford Motor Co. might be best served, however, by a
sharp break from the past. It needs someone to bust things up, to make
difficult choices about its many brands, about its relationship with labor,
about the basic nature of its business. In short, it needs an executive who
more closely resembles relentless Henry than sensitive Bill.

Yet another $.02 worth from a proud owner of a 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4 and a
1970 Mach 1 351C @ http://community.webshots.com/album/18644819fHAehGJAjt



  Reply With Quote
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Old 04-14-2005, 16:01   #2 (permalink)
kenny gee17253@hotmail.com
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: William Clay Ford Jr. - Not your great-grandfather's Ford.

On Thu, 14 Apr 2005 09:24:12 -0400, "Grover C. McCoury III"
<gcmccoury@yahoo.com> wrote:

>By Daniel Gross for Slate
>4/14/05
>
>Last week, Ford Motor Co. showed all the signs of a once-great company in
>distress: a sharply reduced earnings forecast, a credit-rating cut, and a
>sliding stock. Ford has been here before, most recently in early 2003. The
>latest run of bad news may represent either the next stage in a long decline
>or the point at which a miraculous comeback begins. Regardless, it has ended
>the hopes that CEO William Clay Ford Jr., the youthful great-grandson of
>Henry Ford, would quickly restore the nation's second-largest automaker to
>its former glory.
>
>Bill Ford, the first recognizable personality at the top of an American car
>company since former Chrysler head Lee Iacocca, is a hybrid executive, a
>postmodern synthesis. Although he came to the CEO's post in the fall of 2001
>with no great accomplishments, his lineage and his Úlan gave him instant
>credibility. A humanist among gearheads-Ford is a self-confessed
>guitar-strumming tree-hugger, though he also professes a deep affection for
>muscle cars-he promised to build an intellectual and managerial bridge
>between Ford Motor Co.'s glorious 20th century and its uncertain 21st.
>"There is an air of nonchalant enthusiasm about Bill Jr., a man clearly
>comfortable in his own skin," Douglas Brinkley wrote in the definitive
>Wheels for the World. But while the miserable run of numbers is obscuring
>some of the genuine good Ford has done, it seems like the bridge is
>buckling.
>
>Henry Ford pronounced history bunk. Bill Ford wallowed in it. Born in 1957,
>he grew up in exclusive Grosse Pointe, prepped at Hotchkiss, and enrolled at
>Princeton. From an early age, Bill had "an intense infatuation with American
>history, particularly Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, the Plains Indians,
>and his own ancestor, Henry Ford," as Douglas Brinkley put it. Bill worked
>one summer at Greenfield Village, his great-grandfather's nostalgic
>reproduction of a pre-automobile America. At Princeton, he wrote a thesis on
>Henry Ford's labor policies.
>
>When Bill went to work at Ford after graduating in 1979, the company was
>both a supercharged global corporation and a fourth-generation family
>business. Henry Ford's descendants controlled the company through a class of
>special voting stock, and the presumption was that the males among them
>would find their way to the top. Bill rotated through different departments
>and joined the board of directors in 1988. But when it came to executive
>ability, he was more like the young Franklin Delano than like Theodore
>Roosevelt. According to Brinkley, his boss, Don Peterson, thought him "the
>most likely fourth-generation Ford to rise to the top" but not because he
>had "any remarkable skill." "What he had was a fine manner," Peterson
>explained. "He never became fully knowledgeable of any particular aspect of
>the company. But he was naturally bright and that can compensate for a lot."
>
>In January 1999, Bill Ford was named chairman of the board at the age of 41.
>And while Jacques Nasser ran the company as CEO, Ford engaged in big-think.
>Other American car manufacturers planted new facilities in low-cost foreign
>countries; Bill Ford advocated investing in domestic manufacturing. His
>signature project involved investing $2 billion to turn his company's vast
>River Rouge complex outside Detroit into a technological and environmental
>showcase. As his competitors feverishly opposed any efforts to boost fuel
>efficiency, Ford proclaimed in 2000 that he could increase the fuel
>efficiency of his company's SUVs by 25 percent in five years. The next year
>he unveiled the design for the Escape Hybrid SUV, billed as the car that
>would occupy a happy middle ground between the new Japanese hybrid putt-putt
>and the masculine Hummer.
>
>At the same time, however, Ford Motor Co. continued to stamp out hundreds of
>thousands of gas-loving Expeditions, Explorers, and Lincoln Navigators.
>Sales of these land yachts boosted Ford's top line, but the bottom line
>suffered. Distracted by investments in technology and services, and intent
>on maintaining too many brands, the company was caught short by the
>2000-2001 downturn; it lost $5.5 billion in 2001, and Nasser resigned that
>October.
>
>Assuming the role of CEO, Bill Ford made a series of tough decisions. In
>2002, he pushed through a major restructuring, eliminating 35,000 jobs, five
>plants, and the Lincoln Continental. Spurred by ultra-low interest rates and
>0 percent financing, Ford Motor Co. recovered quickly. Results improved
>markedly in both 2003 and 2004. Future strategy rested on relentlessly
>seeking efficiencies and pumping up the volume of key products, pickup
>trucks and SUVs. Pretax profits would rise to $7 billion by 2006, Bill Ford
>promised. These profits would enable the company to make the investments
>needed to transform it.
>
>But then Ford the company's drive for profits ran right over Ford the
>humanist's eco-friendly vision. Bill Ford's promise to boost fuel standards
>for SUVs was abandoned in 2003 as too costly and impractical. Meanwhile, the
>Escape Hybrid remained trapped on the drawing board until last fall, even as
>the Toyota Prius became a status symbol. Environmentalists turned on Ford,
>somewhat unfairly. The River Rouge plant, which was opened to the public in
>May 2004, is an environmental showcase. And this is a guy whose "distaste
>for nonbiodegradable materials" is so powerful that the curtain and
>carpeting in his office "are all made of hemp," as Brinkley noted. Still,
>Ford's image continued to take a beating, especially after it was revealed
>he had been allocated 400,000 shares of Goldman Sachs in a 1999 IPO. Ford
>was a major Goldman Sachs client, and Goldman president John Thornton sat on
>Ford's board. Ford's own board absolved him of wrongdoing, but he sold the
>shares and gave the profits to charity nonetheless.
>
>Ford Motor Co. turned around enough to have a good year in 2004. But its
>profits came mostly from its financing arm. And there were signs of trouble.
>In the 2004 fourth quarter, vehicle sales fell far, and Ford's U.S. auto
>operations lost $470 million. And in recent months Ford and General Motors
>have been getting the tar kicked out of them by Toyota, Honda, and other
>companies that specialize in smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Aside from
>the F-150 truck, Ford lacks big hits. As this March report shows, in the
>first quarter of 2005, sales of the Excursion, Explorer, Expedition, and
>Navigator-the big vehicles that sport far higher profit margins than the
>Taurus-have all declined sharply.
>
>The environmentally friendly products that Bill Ford said would be integral
>to the company's future also now seem peripheral at best. But it's one thing
>to overpromise and underdeliver to the Sierra Club and quite another to do
>the same to Wall Street. In April, just one month after reaffirming its
>profit projections, Ford reduced its estimate for 2005 by nearly 30 percent
>and rescinded the promise of $7 billion in pre-tax profits for 2006. The
>market responded by driving Ford's stock down to $10. And last Friday,
>Standard & Poor's lowered Ford's credit ratings-it has $173 billion in debt
>outstanding-perilously close to the dreaded junk level.
>
>To be sure, this is a very difficult time, perhaps an impossible one, to be
>the chief executive of an American auto business. The factors that are
>making it difficult to turn a profit-expensive steel and oil, a weak dollar,
>rising health-care costs, aggressive foreign companies-are likely to be with
>us for awhile. And the government certainly isn't in any mood to help. But
>Bill Ford no longer appears to be what the Ford family and the company's
>324,000 employees needs. His job isn't in jeopardy, since his family still
>controls the company. Ford Motor Co. might be best served, however, by a
>sharp break from the past. It needs someone to bust things up, to make
>difficult choices about its many brands, about its relationship with labor,
>about the basic nature of its business. In short, it needs an executive who
>more closely resembles relentless Henry than sensitive Bill.
>
>Yet another $.02 worth from a proud owner of a 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4 and a
>1970 Mach 1 351C @ http://community.webshots.com/album/18644819fHAehGJAjt
>
>



ford has been building CRAP for years
it is catching up

hurc ast
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2005, 14:01   #3 (permalink)
Jacob Suter
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: William Clay Ford Jr. - Not your great-grandfather's Ford.

kenny gee17253@hotmail.com wrote:

> ford has been building CRAP for years
> it is catching up


Find me a car that isn't crap...

Ford's big failure is they can't compete on price and warranty compared
to everyone else's crap. Expensive crap or cheap crap, which would you
choose?

Of course, I've neglected to mention Fords also work nicely as Tiki
torches. I know a guy that puts a box of .22 blanks on the hood of his
truck every night in his garage... Hopefully if it decides to perform
the Automotive China Syndrome the bullets will go off waking him up.

Hows that for buyer trust? :)

JS

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2005, 16:02   #4 (permalink)
svend_ha_n_sen17@hotmail.com
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: William Clay Ford Jr. - Not your great-grandfather's Ford.

On Fri, 15 Apr 2005 15:03:34 -0500, Jacob Suter <j4k3@ezho.org> wrote:

>kenny gee17253@hotmail.com wrote:
>
>> ford has been building CRAP for years
>> it is catching up

>
>Find me a car that isn't crap...
>
>Ford's big failure is they can't compete on price and warranty compared
>to everyone else's crap. Expensive crap or cheap crap, which would you
>choose?
>
>Of course, I've neglected to mention Fords also work nicely as Tiki
>torches. I know a guy that puts a box of .22 blanks on the hood of his
>truck every night in his garage... Hopefully if it decides to perform
>the Automotive China Syndrome the bullets will go off waking him up.
>
>Hows that for buyer trust? :)
>
>JS



lmfao

why cant ford compete with warrenty??

lmfao
ford is CRAP

look at all them 3.8s
that pissed a lot of people off
in fact a windstar with 100KM is TOAST


hurc ast
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2005, 19:01   #5 (permalink)
Rowbotth
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: William Clay Ford Jr. - Not your great-grandfather's Ford.

Every time that some company gets a bit of bad press, some flakeoids
start a rumor that they are headed for certain bankruptcy.

How many times have last rites been performed on Apple by these windbags?

How many times have last rites been performed on MicroSnot by these
know-nothing flat earthists?

How many times will last rites be performed on Ford by these hosers?

(Of course, if they get one right, even if it is one out of 3000, they
are supposed to be qualified for massive contracts as those in the
"know"!)

Losers.

H
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2005, 11:01   #6 (permalink)
Jacob Suter
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: William Clay Ford Jr. - Not your great-grandfather's Ford.

svend_ha_n_sen17@hotmail.com wrote:
> On Fri, 15 Apr 2005 15:03:34 -0500, Jacob Suter <j4k3@ezho.org> wrote:
>
>
>>kenny gee17253@hotmail.com wrote:
>>
>>
>>>ford has been building CRAP for years
>>>it is catching up

>>
>>Find me a car that isn't crap...
>>
>>Ford's big failure is they can't compete on price and warranty compared
>>to everyone else's crap. Expensive crap or cheap crap, which would you
>>choose?
>>
>>Of course, I've neglected to mention Fords also work nicely as Tiki
>>torches. I know a guy that puts a box of .22 blanks on the hood of his
>>truck every night in his garage... Hopefully if it decides to perform
>>the Automotive China Syndrome the bullets will go off waking him up.
>>
>>Hows that for buyer trust? :)
>>
>>JS

>
>
>
> lmfao
>
> why cant ford compete with warrenty??
>
> lmfao
> ford is CRAP
>
> look at all them 3.8s
> that pissed a lot of people off
> in fact a windstar with 100KM is TOAST


Well if people would do some basic research before purchase, Ford
wouldn't have been able to sell a Ford 3.8 since 1994...

People get 'hot' for the 'box', and forget to check on its contents.
Its like taking a bitchy woman to prom.

JS

  Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2005, 15:01   #7 (permalink)
H.C. McK______
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: William Clay Ford Jr. - Not your great-grandfather's Ford.

You think that it is being critical of Bill Ford to say that he is more
Franklin Delano Roosevelt than Teddy Roosevelt? Your credibility went the
moment you wrote that sentence.
Grover C. McCoury III <gcmccoury@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:HuKdnYq1R9lh88PfRVn-gQ@adelphia.com...
> By Daniel Gross for Slate
> 4/14/05
>
> Last week, Ford Motor Co. showed all the signs of a once-great company in
> distress: a sharply reduced earnings forecast, a credit-rating cut, and a
> sliding stock. Ford has been here before, most recently in early 2003. The
> latest run of bad news may represent either the next stage in a long

decline
> or the point at which a miraculous comeback begins. Regardless, it has

ended
> the hopes that CEO William Clay Ford Jr., the youthful great-grandson of
> Henry Ford, would quickly restore the nation's second-largest automaker to
> its former glory.
>
> Bill Ford, the first recognizable personality at the top of an American

car
> company since former Chrysler head Lee Iacocca, is a hybrid executive, a
> postmodern synthesis. Although he came to the CEO's post in the fall of

2001
> with no great accomplishments, his lineage and his Úlan gave him instant
> credibility. A humanist among gearheads-Ford is a self-confessed
> guitar-strumming tree-hugger, though he also professes a deep affection

for
> muscle cars-he promised to build an intellectual and managerial bridge
> between Ford Motor Co.'s glorious 20th century and its uncertain 21st.
> "There is an air of nonchalant enthusiasm about Bill Jr., a man clearly
> comfortable in his own skin," Douglas Brinkley wrote in the definitive
> Wheels for the World. But while the miserable run of numbers is obscuring
> some of the genuine good Ford has done, it seems like the bridge is
> buckling.
>
> Henry Ford pronounced history bunk. Bill Ford wallowed in it. Born in

1957,
> he grew up in exclusive Grosse Pointe, prepped at Hotchkiss, and enrolled

at
> Princeton. From an early age, Bill had "an intense infatuation with

American
> history, particularly Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, the Plains Indians,
> and his own ancestor, Henry Ford," as Douglas Brinkley put it. Bill worked
> one summer at Greenfield Village, his great-grandfather's nostalgic
> reproduction of a pre-automobile America. At Princeton, he wrote a thesis

on
> Henry Ford's labor policies.
>
> When Bill went to work at Ford after graduating in 1979, the company was
> both a supercharged global corporation and a fourth-generation family
> business. Henry Ford's descendants controlled the company through a class

of
> special voting stock, and the presumption was that the males among them
> would find their way to the top. Bill rotated through different

departments
> and joined the board of directors in 1988. But when it came to executive
> ability, he was more like the young Franklin Delano than like Theodore
> Roosevelt. According to Brinkley, his boss, Don Peterson, thought him "the
> most likely fourth-generation Ford to rise to the top" but not because he
> had "any remarkable skill." "What he had was a fine manner," Peterson
> explained. "He never became fully knowledgeable of any particular aspect

of
> the company. But he was naturally bright and that can compensate for a

lot."
>
> In January 1999, Bill Ford was named chairman of the board at the age of

41.
> And while Jacques Nasser ran the company as CEO, Ford engaged in

big-think.
> Other American car manufacturers planted new facilities in low-cost

foreign
> countries; Bill Ford advocated investing in domestic manufacturing. His
> signature project involved investing $2 billion to turn his company's vast
> River Rouge complex outside Detroit into a technological and environmental
> showcase. As his competitors feverishly opposed any efforts to boost fuel
> efficiency, Ford proclaimed in 2000 that he could increase the fuel
> efficiency of his company's SUVs by 25 percent in five years. The next

year
> he unveiled the design for the Escape Hybrid SUV, billed as the car that
> would occupy a happy middle ground between the new Japanese hybrid

putt-putt
> and the masculine Hummer.
>
> At the same time, however, Ford Motor Co. continued to stamp out hundreds

of
> thousands of gas-loving Expeditions, Explorers, and Lincoln Navigators.
> Sales of these land yachts boosted Ford's top line, but the bottom line
> suffered. Distracted by investments in technology and services, and intent
> on maintaining too many brands, the company was caught short by the
> 2000-2001 downturn; it lost $5.5 billion in 2001, and Nasser resigned that
> October.
>
> Assuming the role of CEO, Bill Ford made a series of tough decisions. In
> 2002, he pushed through a major restructuring, eliminating 35,000 jobs,

five
> plants, and the Lincoln Continental. Spurred by ultra-low interest rates

and
> 0 percent financing, Ford Motor Co. recovered quickly. Results improved
> markedly in both 2003 and 2004. Future strategy rested on relentlessly
> seeking efficiencies and pumping up the volume of key products, pickup
> trucks and SUVs. Pretax profits would rise to $7 billion by 2006, Bill

Ford
> promised. These profits would enable the company to make the investments
> needed to transform it.
>
> But then Ford the company's drive for profits ran right over Ford the
> humanist's eco-friendly vision. Bill Ford's promise to boost fuel

standards
> for SUVs was abandoned in 2003 as too costly and impractical. Meanwhile,

the
> Escape Hybrid remained trapped on the drawing board until last fall, even

as
> the Toyota Prius became a status symbol. Environmentalists turned on Ford,
> somewhat unfairly. The River Rouge plant, which was opened to the public

in
> May 2004, is an environmental showcase. And this is a guy whose "distaste
> for nonbiodegradable materials" is so powerful that the curtain and
> carpeting in his office "are all made of hemp," as Brinkley noted. Still,
> Ford's image continued to take a beating, especially after it was revealed
> he had been allocated 400,000 shares of Goldman Sachs in a 1999 IPO. Ford
> was a major Goldman Sachs client, and Goldman president John Thornton sat

on
> Ford's board. Ford's own board absolved him of wrongdoing, but he sold the
> shares and gave the profits to charity nonetheless.
>
> Ford Motor Co. turned around enough to have a good year in 2004. But its
> profits came mostly from its financing arm. And there were signs of

trouble.
> In the 2004 fourth quarter, vehicle sales fell far, and Ford's U.S. auto
> operations lost $470 million. And in recent months Ford and General Motors
> have been getting the tar kicked out of them by Toyota, Honda, and other
> companies that specialize in smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Aside from
> the F-150 truck, Ford lacks big hits. As this March report shows, in the
> first quarter of 2005, sales of the Excursion, Explorer, Expedition, and
> Navigator-the big vehicles that sport far higher profit margins than the
> Taurus-have all declined sharply.
>
> The environmentally friendly products that Bill Ford said would be

integral
> to the company's future also now seem peripheral at best. But it's one

thing
> to overpromise and underdeliver to the Sierra Club and quite another to do
> the same to Wall Street. In April, just one month after reaffirming its
> profit projections, Ford reduced its estimate for 2005 by nearly 30

percent
> and rescinded the promise of $7 billion in pre-tax profits for 2006. The
> market responded by driving Ford's stock down to $10. And last Friday,
> Standard & Poor's lowered Ford's credit ratings-it has $173 billion in

debt
> outstanding-perilously close to the dreaded junk level.
>
> To be sure, this is a very difficult time, perhaps an impossible one, to

be
> the chief executive of an American auto business. The factors that are
> making it difficult to turn a profit-expensive steel and oil, a weak

dollar,
> rising health-care costs, aggressive foreign companies-are likely to be

with
> us for awhile. And the government certainly isn't in any mood to help. But
> Bill Ford no longer appears to be what the Ford family and the company's
> 324,000 employees needs. His job isn't in jeopardy, since his family still
> controls the company. Ford Motor Co. might be best served, however, by a
> sharp break from the past. It needs someone to bust things up, to make
> difficult choices about its many brands, about its relationship with

labor,
> about the basic nature of its business. In short, it needs an executive

who
> more closely resembles relentless Henry than sensitive Bill.
>
> Yet another $.02 worth from a proud owner of a 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4 and a
> 1970 Mach 1 351C @ http://community.webshots.com/album/18644819fHAehGJAjt
>
>
>



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Old 04-23-2005, 16:01   #8 (permalink)
Geoff
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Re: William Clay Ford Jr. - Not your great-grandfather's Ford.


"H.C. McK______" <Hughmc52@bellsouth.net> wrote in message
news:2Tyae.117439$UW6.109570@bignews5.bellsouth.net...
> You think that it is being critical of Bill Ford to say that he is more
> Franklin Delano Roosevelt than Teddy Roosevelt? Your credibility went the
> moment you wrote that sentence.
> Grover C. McCoury III <gcmccoury@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:HuKdnYq1R9lh88PfRVn-gQ@adelphia.com...
>> By Daniel Gross for Slate
>> 4/14/05
>>
>> Last week, Ford Motor Co. showed all the signs of a once-great company in
>> distress: a sharply reduced earnings forecast, a credit-rating cut, and a
>> sliding stock. Ford has been here before, most recently in early 2003.
>> The
>> latest run of bad news may represent either the next stage in a long

> decline
>> or the point at which a miraculous comeback begins. Regardless, it has

> ended
>> the hopes that CEO William Clay Ford Jr., the youthful great-grandson of
>> Henry Ford, would quickly restore the nation's second-largest automaker
>> to
>> its former glory.
>>
>> Bill Ford, the first recognizable personality at the top of an American

> car
>> company since former Chrysler head Lee Iacocca, is a hybrid executive, a
>> postmodern synthesis. Although he came to the CEO's post in the fall of

> 2001
>> with no great accomplishments, his lineage and his Úlan gave him instant
>> credibility. A humanist among gearheads-Ford is a self-confessed
>> guitar-strumming tree-hugger, though he also professes a deep affection

> for
>> muscle cars-he promised to build an intellectual and managerial bridge
>> between Ford Motor Co.'s glorious 20th century and its uncertain 21st.
>> "There is an air of nonchalant enthusiasm about Bill Jr., a man clearly
>> comfortable in his own skin," Douglas Brinkley wrote in the definitive
>> Wheels for the World. But while the miserable run of numbers is obscuring
>> some of the genuine good Ford has done, it seems like the bridge is
>> buckling.
>>
>> Henry Ford pronounced history bunk. Bill Ford wallowed in it. Born in

> 1957,
>> he grew up in exclusive Grosse Pointe, prepped at Hotchkiss, and enrolled

> at
>> Princeton. From an early age, Bill had "an intense infatuation with

> American
>> history, particularly Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, the Plains Indians,
>> and his own ancestor, Henry Ford," as Douglas Brinkley put it. Bill
>> worked
>> one summer at Greenfield Village, his great-grandfather's nostalgic
>> reproduction of a pre-automobile America. At Princeton, he wrote a thesis

> on
>> Henry Ford's labor policies.
>>
>> When Bill went to work at Ford after graduating in 1979, the company was
>> both a supercharged global corporation and a fourth-generation family
>> business. Henry Ford's descendants controlled the company through a class

> of
>> special voting stock, and the presumption was that the males among them
>> would find their way to the top. Bill rotated through different

> departments
>> and joined the board of directors in 1988. But when it came to executive
>> ability, he was more like the young Franklin Delano than like Theodore
>> Roosevelt. According to Brinkley, his boss, Don Peterson, thought him
>> "the
>> most likely fourth-generation Ford to rise to the top" but not because he
>> had "any remarkable skill." "What he had was a fine manner," Peterson
>> explained. "He never became fully knowledgeable of any particular aspect

> of
>> the company. But he was naturally bright and that can compensate for a

> lot."
>>
>> In January 1999, Bill Ford was named chairman of the board at the age of

> 41.
>> And while Jacques Nasser ran the company as CEO, Ford engaged in

> big-think.
>> Other American car manufacturers planted new facilities in low-cost

> foreign
>> countries; Bill Ford advocated investing in domestic manufacturing. His
>> signature project involved investing $2 billion to turn his company's
>> vast
>> River Rouge complex outside Detroit into a technological and
>> environmental
>> showcase. As his competitors feverishly opposed any efforts to boost fuel
>> efficiency, Ford proclaimed in 2000 that he could increase the fuel
>> efficiency of his company's SUVs by 25 percent in five years. The next

> year
>> he unveiled the design for the Escape Hybrid SUV, billed as the car that
>> would occupy a happy middle ground between the new Japanese hybrid

> putt-putt
>> and the masculine Hummer.
>>
>> At the same time, however, Ford Motor Co. continued to stamp out hundreds

> of
>> thousands of gas-loving Expeditions, Explorers, and Lincoln Navigators.
>> Sales of these land yachts boosted Ford's top line, but the bottom line
>> suffered. Distracted by investments in technology and services, and
>> intent
>> on maintaining too many brands, the company was caught short by the
>> 2000-2001 downturn; it lost $5.5 billion in 2001, and Nasser resigned
>> that
>> October.
>>
>> Assuming the role of CEO, Bill Ford made a series of tough decisions. In
>> 2002, he pushed through a major restructuring, eliminating 35,000 jobs,

> five
>> plants, and the Lincoln Continental. Spurred by ultra-low interest rates

> and
>> 0 percent financing, Ford Motor Co. recovered quickly. Results improved
>> markedly in both 2003 and 2004. Future strategy rested on relentlessly
>> seeking efficiencies and pumping up the volume of key products, pickup
>> trucks and SUVs. Pretax profits would rise to $7 billion by 2006, Bill

> Ford
>> promised. These profits would enable the company to make the investments
>> needed to transform it.
>>
>> But then Ford the company's drive for profits ran right over Ford the
>> humanist's eco-friendly vision. Bill Ford's promise to boost fuel

> standards
>> for SUVs was abandoned in 2003 as too costly and impractical. Meanwhile,

> the
>> Escape Hybrid remained trapped on the drawing board until last fall, even

> as
>> the Toyota Prius became a status symbol. Environmentalists turned on
>> Ford,
>> somewhat unfairly. The River Rouge plant, which was opened to the public

> in
>> May 2004, is an environmental showcase. And this is a guy whose "distaste
>> for nonbiodegradable materials" is so powerful that the curtain and
>> carpeting in his office "are all made of hemp," as Brinkley noted. Still,
>> Ford's image continued to take a beating, especially after it was
>> revealed
>> he had been allocated 400,000 shares of Goldman Sachs in a 1999 IPO. Ford
>> was a major Goldman Sachs client, and Goldman president John Thornton sat

> on
>> Ford's board. Ford's own board absolved him of wrongdoing, but he sold
>> the
>> shares and gave the profits to charity nonetheless.
>>
>> Ford Motor Co. turned around enough to have a good year in 2004. But its
>> profits came mostly from its financing arm. And there were signs of

> trouble.
>> In the 2004 fourth quarter, vehicle sales fell far, and Ford's U.S. auto
>> operations lost $470 million. And in recent months Ford and General
>> Motors
>> have been getting the tar kicked out of them by Toyota, Honda, and other
>> companies that specialize in smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Aside
>> from
>> the F-150 truck, Ford lacks big hits. As this March report shows, in the
>> first quarter of 2005, sales of the Excursion, Explorer, Expedition, and
>> Navigator-the big vehicles that sport far higher profit margins than the
>> Taurus-have all declined sharply.
>>
>> The environmentally friendly products that Bill Ford said would be

> integral
>> to the company's future also now seem peripheral at best. But it's one

> thing
>> to overpromise and underdeliver to the Sierra Club and quite another to
>> do
>> the same to Wall Street. In April, just one month after reaffirming its
>> profit projections, Ford reduced its estimate for 2005 by nearly 30

> percent
>> and rescinded the promise of $7 billion in pre-tax profits for 2006. The
>> market responded by driving Ford's stock down to $10. And last Friday,
>> Standard & Poor's lowered Ford's credit ratings-it has $173 billion in

> debt
>> outstanding-perilously close to the dreaded junk level.
>>
>> To be sure, this is a very difficult time, perhaps an impossible one, to

> be
>> the chief executive of an American auto business. The factors that are
>> making it difficult to turn a profit-expensive steel and oil, a weak

> dollar,
>> rising health-care costs, aggressive foreign companies-are likely to be

> with
>> us for awhile. And the government certainly isn't in any mood to help.
>> But
>> Bill Ford no longer appears to be what the Ford family and the company's
>> 324,000 employees needs. His job isn't in jeopardy, since his family
>> still
>> controls the company. Ford Motor Co. might be best served, however, by a
>> sharp break from the past. It needs someone to bust things up, to make
>> difficult choices about its many brands, about its relationship with

> labor,
>> about the basic nature of its business. In short, it needs an executive

> who
>> more closely resembles relentless Henry than sensitive Bill.
>>
>> Yet another $.02 worth from a proud owner of a 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4 and a
>> 1970 Mach 1 351C @ http://community.webshots.com/album/18644819fHAehGJAjt
>>
>>==

General Motors is also haveing major problems. If the price of gas goes
higher
anyone who makes gas gusslers is in for a hard time. I used to be a supplier
to
Ford and GM. Ford spends a lot more time and money fixing problems than GM
does,
and is willing to pay a LITTLE <VBG> more for a better product.
Geoffp


>>

>
>



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Old 04-24-2005, 14:03   #9 (permalink)
MikeHunt2@mailcity.com
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Re: William Clay Ford Jr. - Not your great-grandfather's Ford.

Ford and GM need to do what the Japs do, make most of their
vehicles over seas and only assemble the rest of their vehicle in
the US, with low cost labor that get fewer benefits, no pension
except a 401K, in more modern plants built with taxpayer money.
Then get the majority of their parts from those countries with
low wages, no company benefits and no environmental laws or
unions. to top it off they should more their corporate head
guartes to Japan so they don't need to pay all the millions in US
cooperate federal income taxes ;)


mike hunt




Geoff wrote:
>


> General Motors is also haveing major problems. If the price of gas goes
> higher
> anyone who makes gas gusslers is in for a hard time. I used to be a supplier
> to
> Ford and GM. Ford spends a lot more time and money fixing problems than GM
> does,
> and is willing to pay a LITTLE <VBG> more for a better product.
> Geoffp
>
> >>

> >
> >

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