Driven A Ford Lately? Probably Not.
We are equal opportunity bloggers. It appears that misery loves company and being that we have already reported on General Motor’s spiral downfall, they should be happy that we are now discussing Ford’s foibles. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that despite an unexpected $100-million profit the first quarter, the manufacturer significantly suffered second quarter with a $8.7 billion loss, their largest quarterly loss ever. Much like GM’s situation, the huge loss is being blamed on soaring gas prices and the huge crash in consumer demand for trucks and larger SUVs (although we still get calls about F Trucks every single day).
Ford appears to be following in GM’s footsteps and will be concentrating their efforts on producing smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, according to chief executive Alan Mulally. And there’s good reason for this; truck and SUV sales have declined 18% this year, while Ford Focus sales are up 27%.
In order to achieve their goal, they are shifting production at a variety of their plants. The Detroit Free Press reports that SUV and truck plants in Michigan, Mexico, and Kentucky will all be converted by 2011 to produce smaller cars, including cars derived from the manufacturer’s new C-car platform and a new verion of the Ford Fiesta. There is a bright side; a Twin Cities, Minnesota plant originally scheduled to close in 2009 will stay open through 2011 to produce the compact Ford Ranger pickup.
Time will determine if these plans are in fact “built Ford tough,” or if there are going to be unforseen potholes on their road to financial recovery.