Entries in Ford (29)


US Auto Sales Reach Five-Year High

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- U.S. auto manufacturers, as it turns out, did quite well in 2012.  Sales climbed 13.4 percent to 14.5 million cars and light trucks sold -- a five-year high.

It was a big year for Chrysler -- the company in 2012 achieved its best sales in five years. Chrysler's Dodge brand led the pack, with sales of the Journey crossover and Dart compact car helping the company to a 21-percent gain. In all, Chrysler sold 1.65 million vehicles last year.

Ford was up 4.7 percent in 2012, boosted by its best December sales in six years.

General Motors' sales, led by the Chevy Sonic small car, posted a 1.6-percent gain last year.  The company's December sales rose by 4.9 percent.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Ford to Invest $773M in Michigan Plants, Add 2,350 Jobs

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(DEARBORN, Mich.) -- Ford Motor Company announced on Thursday it's spending more than $773 million to enhance and expand six facilities in Michigan that will create 2,350 new hourly jobs.

In addition to the new positions, the investment will allow the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker to retain 3,240 hourly jobs in the state.

“Even as we wrap up an incredibly busy year of capacity expansions and product launches, we are continuing to look to the future,” Ford vice president of North America Manufacturing, Jim Tetreault, said in a statement Thursday.  “These investments, many of which are already under way, will ensure our southeast Michigan manufacturing facilities can support our aggressive growth plans.”

The facilities include the Dearborn Stamping Plant ($305 million), Flat Rock Assembly ($161 million), Van Dyke Transmission ($87.7 million), Sterling Axle Plant ($86 million), Livonia Transmission ($74.7 million) and Michigan Assembly Plant ($59.4 million).

Ford says the investments are part of a commitment to spend $6.2 billion in U.S. plants by 2015 and add 12,000 hourly jobs across the country.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ford Hybrids Not Living Up to MPG Claims?

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Are you a car buyer who trusts what you read on the window sticker?  New findings by Consumer Reports may make you think twice.

The magazine says its tests show the new Fusion Hybrid and C-Max hybrid don’t live up to Ford’s claims that they get 47 miles per gallon.

“We actually just completed our formal instrumented testing of them in fuel economy,” says Jake Fisher at Consumer Reports.  “We got 37 miles per gallon for the C-Max and 39 for the Ford Fusion Hybrid.”

That is significantly lower than Ford’s mileage claim and the biggest discrepancy Consumer Reports has ever found between a manufacturer’s estimate and actual real-world performance.

Fisher predicts, “If someone were to buy these vehicles and see 47 miles per gallon and get 39 or 37, they’d probably be pretty disappointed.”

Despite achieving 10 miles per gallon less than advertised, Consumer Reports finds both vehicles actually get excellent fuel economy, even at 37 mpg.  It’s the best mileage testers have ever seen in mid-size vehicles.

In a written statement to ABC News, Ford responds: “Early C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid customers praise the vehicles and report a range of fuel economy figures, including some reports above 47 mpg.”

Ford insists that different driving styles will yield different results.  The company says there are tools inside the hybrid vehicles to optimize fuel economy.

Despite Ford’s assertion that 47 mpg is achievable, Consumer Reports says it doesn’t believe that is the case in real-world, typical driving conditions.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ford's Lincoln Making a Comeback

Bryan Bedder/WireImage/© Ford Motor Company(NEW YORK) -- The Ford Motor Company is unveiling a new version of its Lincoln luxury car called the MKZ, which is being marketed to younger drivers.

At one time, Lincoln was Ford's top luxury car, but when the automaker began acquiring brands such as Land Rover, Volvo and Jaguar that it has since sold off, Lincoln was pushed to the back of the line.

That won't be the case anymore, though.  In fact, Ford CEO Alan Mulally says the car is going back to its origins with its own Lincoln Motor Company.

Mulally adds that new Lincoln owners can expect to receive "differentiated service" at its dealerships with the advent of the latest model and three others on the way.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Auto Sales Hit Highest Level Since Early 2008

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Car and truck sales in the U.S. have hit their highest level since February of 2008, according to Autodata.
Of the Detroit three, Chrysler had strong sales, showing a 12-percent increase compared to a year ago. General Motors and Ford had more muted numbers -- GM sales were up 1.5 percent and Ford sales were down 0.1 percent.
Japanese carmakers posted strong year-over-year gains, in part because the comparison is to a time when they were suffering badly from the effects of the Japanese earthquake.
Smaller, more fuel efficient cars posted by far the strongest sales for the car companies.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ford, GM, Chrysler Report Strong August Sales

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Consumers may still be exercising caution when it comes to spending money on some things, but last month’s auto sales showed that new cars isn’t one of them.

August was a hot month for the auto industry: On Tuesday, Ford reported sales rose 13 percent last month; General Motors says sales were up 10 percent on solid gains for Buick, Cadillac and Chevrolet; Chrysler repeated its strong showing, with last month's sales up 14 percent on the year before; and Volkswagen is making a comeback with its biggest August for sales since 1973.

And while the auto industry is running well ahead of last year, separate reports out Tuesday showed U.S. manufacturing fell for a third straight month, while construction spending took a dive due to a steep drop in home improvement projects.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GM, Ford Sales Slip in July; Chrysler, Others Report Strong Month

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Any worries Americans have about the economy fail to dissuade them from buying cars.  

Chrysler had a banner July, with sales up 13 percent. Volkswagen posted a 27 percent jump. Toyota saw a 26-percent rise. And at Nissan, sales were up 16 percent.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. didn’t fare quite as well last month. Sales of GM vehicles slipped 6 percent, the company said, while Ford reported a 4 percent decline in sales from the previous year.

Buyers closed out of the auto market since the recession are finding good deals on last year's models, better financing and strong trade-in values. Pent up demand, analysts say, is also helping consumers overcome the risk of a softer economy. The average car on the road is more than a decade old so some drivers need to buy rather than bring their clunker in for one more repair.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Ford Recalls 2013 Escapes, Tells Owners to Stop Driving Car

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(DEARBORN, Mich.) -- If you bought a new Ford Escape in the past few months, you may be getting a notice from the automaker soon to stop driving your SUV.

Ford issued a recall Thursday of about 11,500 Escapes citing a problem with the vehicle's fuel line that could split and leak gasoline, creating a potential underhood fire.  The recall only affects 2013 models with 1.6-liter engines.

While no injures have been reported, Ford is advising affected car owners to stop driving their vehicles and contact their local dealership immediately.  The automaker says its dealers will then pick up the Escapes and provide owners with a loaner vehicle -- free of charge -- in the meantime while repairs are being made.

If all the parts are available, Ford estimates the fix will take less than an hour.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Chrysler Sales Soar in April While Ford Sales Drop 

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(DETROIT) -- Chrysler sales soared 20 percent in April compared to the same month in 2011, while Ford sales dropped 5 percent.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Chrysler reported its twenty-fifth consecutive month of year-over-year increases with many Chrysler models including the Fiat 500, Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan, Dodge Challenger muscle car and Jeep Wrangler SUV recorded their best sales ever, or since 2008. Sales for the Dodge Avenger mid-size sedan climbed 47 percent, reaching its best month yet.

Meanwhile, April 2012 sales for Ford fell from 189,778 in April 2011, to 180,350.

Sales for Ford Fusion’s midsize sedan climbed 2 percent alongside the automaker’s Focus compact car that increased 12.5 percent from the same month in 2011. Ford’s subcompact Fiesta showed little signs of progress, falling 43.9 percent alongside the Escape SUV, which also declined 20 percent.

“The momentum built by the recovering economy and compelling product choices in the first quarter continued to fuel new vehicle sales in April,” Jesse Toprak, vice president of market intelligence for, said in a report last week.

All automakers are slated to release April sales Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Union Workers' Bonuses Boost Economy

Stephen Morton/Bloomberg via Getty Images(DETROIT) -- At last: bonuses for ordinary Joes, not Wall Street wheeler-dealers. Union workers at GM, Ford, Chrysler and Boeing are seeing bonus checks of up to $7,000 each.

That money, in turn, is helping boost economies in Detroit, Seattle, Charleston and other cities. The payouts come on the heels of improved or record corporate profits.

GM, which went bankrupt in 2009, reported 2011 net income of $9.19 billion on Thursday, an all-time high for the company. Starting in March, part of that profit will go to 47,500 members of the United Auto Workers in checks of up to $7,000 each, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Lansing State Journal says that 4,690 unionized hourly workers at GM's Lansing facilities will get a total bonus of $32.8 million, a strong boost to the capital city's economy.

Ford and Chrysler also are paying bonuses.

About 26,000 union workers got checks averaging $1,500 at Chrysler earlier this month. Ford, which reported a $20.2 billion profit last year, will pay its workers an average $2,450 starting in mid-March. Ford workers earlier received $3,750, profit-sharing for the first half of 2011.

The windfall might be enough to lift the economy of the Midwest, especially states such as Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky, which are home to union auto factories, economists say. States dependent on the auto industry have already been improving faster than the U.S. economy in general.

Federal Reserve Board data predict Michigan will outperform all other states economically for the next six months.

Donald Grimes, a University of Michigan research specialist who follows labor and the economy, said such performance is the flip-side of the great recession's auto bust. "This is a reversal of the first half of the 2000s, when Michigan and other auto states bore the brunt of the downturn," he told Bloomberg News. "Now, they're getting a bigger share of the recovery."

The bonuses are a dramatic change from the recent past. GM paid no bonuses whatsoever to its union workers from 2005 to 2010. In all but two of those years, Ford and Chrysler paid no bonus, according to Michigan's Center for automotive Research.

Boeing's net income in the fourth quarter improved 20 percent to almost $1.4 billion. Workers in Seattle and in Charleston, S.C., including members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, got their bonuses before Christmas.

About 29,000 machinists in the Seattle-Tacoma region saw checks of $3,500 to $4,000 each. Economist Dick Conway told the Seattle Times the payments would inject $217.5 million into the local economy. In Charleston, bonus checks went to 4,500 Boeing workers.

Retailers, hoping to cash in, have introduced marketing programs aimed at newly prosperous workers. In Michigan, Art Van, the state's largest furniture store chain, has a special promotion aimed at GM workers.

There's plenty of pent-up demand for spending on wants, instead of needs, a store spokeswoman told Bloomberg News. "Many folks," she said, "are beginning to replace furniture, carpet and televisions."

Gary Chaison, a professor of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., calls the bonus payments a significant development nationally for labor-management relations.

"Over the past decade," he said, "workers in perhaps a third of contract negotiations did get bonuses, but of a different type: 'signing' bonuses of anywhere from $500 to $7,000 if they ratified collective agreements with wage freezes or cuts."

Profit-sharing bonuses of the kind being paid now by the Big Three are considerably rarer.

For most union workers in the United States, Chaison says, a traditional percentage increase is still the norm. The change at GM, Ford and Chrysler is significant because, "the auto makers and the UAW are the big-timers, when it comes to negotiation. They're the trend-setters."

"What happens in autos usually gets copied in heavy manufacturing in general," he said, "and then in smaller manufacturing."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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