Ford and the future

Ford Motor Co. recorded strong earnings for 2011 but the market didn’t flinch and the stock price sunk? Is there something we don’t know because with great management and strong products isn’t Ford on the right track? Here is a good article that digs a bit deeper than most reporting on Ford’s future.


Sometimes it can be difficult to please Wall Street. As trading for the week neared its close the automaker’s shares were on track to drop about a half dollar as trader’s lamented the sort of figures that they might have only fantasized about during the depths of the Great Recession. The maker reported a full-year pre-tax operating profit of $8.8 billion, or $1.51 a share, an increase of $463 million over 2010.

But what didn’t sit so well is that Ford still fell about a nickel a share short of early estimates, and more worrisome, total automotive pre-tax operating profits for the fourth quarter dipped to $586 million, a decrease of $155 million from the fourth quarter of 2010.

Read the full article.


Does Mercury have a future?

The company line is really to say nothing at this time and I’d say that’s pretty coy considering all of the jobs (factory, design, marketing, dealerships and more) that rely on the Mercury nameplate. If Mercury is going the way of the Edsel then you have to wonder where Lincoln fits into Ford’s future? Mercury is down to a few re-badged Ford’s and Lincoln isn’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball at this point in time.


DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. plans to kill the 71-year-old Mercury brand slowly by starving it of product, two sources tell Automotive News.

Ford leaders plan to propose eliminating Mercury to the board of directors in July. They believe Ford no longer can justify the cost of supporting Mercury in light of the brand’s declining volume, the sources say.

The company has been laying the groundwork for eliminating Mercury for years.

Decades ago, Lincoln dealers were encouraged to add Mercury franchises to give them the volume they needed to survive. In recent years, Ford has pushed consolidation of those dealerships into Ford-Lincoln-Mercury stores. Those dealers now derive their volume from Ford brand sales.

Read the full article here.


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