Ford COO Sees 2009 Crisis Flashback on Faces of Colleagues





(Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co.'s recently appointed chief operating officer sees the struggling automaker operating with the same sense of urgency and crisis that kept the company out of bankruptcy a decade ago.

"Everyone at Ford knows the situation we're in," Jim Farley, who becomes COO on March 1, said Wednesday at a Wolfe Research conference in New York. "I can see it on the faces of my colleagues and it takes me back to about 10 years ago. I've seen the look before."

Ford lost $14.8 billion in 2008, the most in its 105-year history, but was the only automaker in Detroit to avoid the bailouts and bankruptcies that befell General Motors and Chrysler a year later. The tables have turned recently as Ford let its product lineup lapse, posted a string of dismal earnings results and botched the launch of its redesigned Explorer sport utility vehicle. Its stock closed Tuesday at the lowest in more than a decade.

Farley contends Ford functions best when its back is against the wall.

"When I see Ford at its best was in '08, coronavirus, Thai floods, earthquake in Japan," Farley said, recounting the current and previous calamities the company has faced. "When there was a threat, the team comes together, decisions get made quickly at the right level. It's very natural."

The promotion of Farley, 57, was announced earlier this month along with the early retirement of Joe Hinrichs, the other president of the company.

Farley said he is focused on fixing Ford's problems, accelerating Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett's $11 billion turnaround plan and growing its business.

His first priority is improving Ford's financial performance by smoothly launching important new models, including the revived Bronco sport-utility vehicle, the electric Mustang Mach-E and a redesigned version of the F-150 pickup, the company's biggest money maker.

"We need to immediately fix the reliability of our cost performance and especially our launches," Farley said. "We're launching very, very expensive products. So the first one is to really fix our execution capability around launches, warranty costs, delivery and revenue. I would say that's No. 1."

Ford shares rose 2.7% to $7.42 as of 10:54 a.m. in New York. The stock has dropped about 20% this year.

Farley sees an opportunity to wipe away much of the $5 billion it spends annually on warranty repairs by harnessing data coming from newly connected cars to head off problems. But that will require Ford to hire new tech talent that can create software solutions for the flood of data coming from its cars, which will all have modems by the end of this year.

"It's a completely new muscle," Farley said of the data mining that will save the company billions in repairs. "You really have to wire up the company differently."

(Updates with additional COO comments from fourth paragraph)

To contact the reporter on this story: Keith Naughton in Southfield, Michigan at knaughton3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, Chester Dawson

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Gilead Generates Street Skepticism Ahead of Covid-19 Results
Gilead Generates Street Skepticism Ahead of Covid-19 Results

(Bloomberg) -- Results from a study of Gilead Sciences Inc.'s experimental Covid-19 medicine are top-of-mind for Wall Street as cases surpass 1.35 million and deaths approach 76,000.With a potential vaccine more than a year away, Gilead's antiviral remdesivir offers one of the nearest-term hopes for a treatment in the pandemic that's sweeping across the globe and putting many countries, including most of the U.S., on lockdown. Results from late-stage studies out of China are expected this month with results from U.S. trials following in May.After the company's valuation surged more than $20 billion from late January to early March, some Wall Street analysts are cautioning there may not be...

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson's Stand-In as U.K. Premier Is a Blunt Former Lawyer
  • World
  • 2020-04-06 23:41:14Z

(Bloomberg) -- The man at the helm of the British government while Boris Johnson is hospitalized, Dominic Raab, is a former foreign office lawyer who trained so hard at karate he had to have a hip replacement in his mid-30s.It's a testament to a kind of determination that can sometimes go to excess.Raab, 46, has been in Parliament since 2010, but he struggled to rise under former Prime Minister David Cameron. Instead, he became a troublemaker, asking awkward questions of the government and then backing Brexit. That upset voters in his southwest London district, and he came close to losing the usually safe Conservative seat in last year's election despite a national surge for the...

Boris Johnson Is Moved to Intensive Care With Covid-19 Worsening
Boris Johnson Is Moved to Intensive Care With Covid-19 Worsening

(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson has been taken into the hospital intensive care unit for treatment for coronavirus after his condition worsened, his office said. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is now deputizing for the U.K. prime minister. Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital in London for tests on Sunday night because his virus symptoms had not cleared up, and he became more seriously ill on Monday afternoon, a government spokesperson said in an email.He remains conscious and was moved to intensive care at about 7 p.m. in case he needs ventilation to help him recover, an official said. The pound fell."The prime minister is in safe hands with that brilliant team at St Thomas's...

U.S. Stock Futures Rise as Virus Deaths Ease: Markets Wrap
U.S. Stock Futures Rise as Virus Deaths Ease: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks futures advanced after the daily reported death toll in some of the world's coronavirus epicenters was lower on Sunday. Oil tumbled.The latest fatality figures provided some respite to the onslaught of recent negative virus headlines, though the economic impact will continue to bite for some time. S&P 500 futures opened more than 1% higher, and contracts in Japan also climbed. The pound dipped as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests after suffering from the coronavirus for 10 days. Oil sank as uncertainty remains over a proposed meeting of supplier nations that is planned for April 9. In the latest developments on the health...

No Probe on Trump
No Probe on Trump's Early Virus Response, House Democrat Says

(Bloomberg) -- House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said it's unlikely a congressional panel overseeing coronavirus relief will investigate the Trump administration's initial response to the pandemic that's claimed thousands of American lives."This committee will be forward-looking," Clyburn told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." "We're not going to be looking back on what the president may or may not have done back before this crisis hit. The crisis is with us."The South Carolina lawmaker said the panel will instead be looking at how $2 trillion stimulus package to address the economic fallout of the spread of Covid-19 is administered."The American people are now out of work,...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy