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Ford Motor Company

University of Michigan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, the son of longtime University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler went on record to say that he, too, was abused by former UM doctor Robert Anderson. Also, a review of this week’s big auto industry reveal: Ford’s new hybrid mini-truck. Plus, one art fan’s collection, and the personal statement it reflects about gay identity.

The University of Michigan football stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, the Ford F-150 Lightning marks the company's first foray into the electric truck market. What should consumers expect? Plus, a new exhibition tracks the killing of Black Detroiters by police during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and 1970s. And, how a Michigan GOP plan to change higher education funding would impact state colleges and universities. 

Stellantis

U.S. automakers are seeing a ripple effect of production line slow-downs and shut-downs due to the ongoing computer chip shortage.

Autotrader Senior Analyst Michelle Krebs says a major reason for the shortage is because automakers canceled orders when the pandemic began last year, as production lines were shut down initially.

She says the companies did not expect demand for vehicles to surge back so quickly.

Now, they're at the back of the line, as chip suppliers fill orders for other high-demand goods, like i-Phones, laptops, and video games.

Ford Motor Company

The Ford Motor Company is making plans to begin transitioning thousands of employees from working remotely to back in the office.

But the automaker is leaving the door open to those who want to continue to work remotely.

Ford has more than 30,000 employees working remotely.

Yolanda Sun / unsplash

General Motors says it is setting a science-based target of carbon neutrality by 2040.

The automaker says the vast majority of its cars, SUVs and pickups will be zero emission vehicles by 2035, and its global manufacturing sites will rely 100% on renewable energy by that year as well. GM expects to have its U.S. manufacturing sites using only renewable energy even sooner, by 2030.

The automaker is following in the footsteps of VW and Ford, says Sam Abuelsamid, Principal Analyst for Guidehouse Insights, but going further than those companies' targets of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Wikimedia commons

Ford Motor Company is shutting down its three manufacturing plants in Brazil as part of a global cost cutting strategy that began in 2018. 

The cost-cutting is aiming to achieve an 8% EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) as well as greater free cash flow, in part to boost Ford's long-flagging stock price.

The shutdowns will result in the loss of about 5,000 jobs in Brazil.

bottles of vaccination sitting in a box on a table
Canva

Ford Motor Co. has purchased a dozen ultra-cold freezers to store a COVID-19 vaccine that, once available, will be distributed to employees on a voluntary basis.

A Ford spokeswoman says the freezer purchase is the first step in a broader vaccine distribution plan. General Motors hasn't bought any freezers for vaccine storage but said it's taking steps to make a vaccine available to its employees.

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is building a new factory, on the grounds of its Rouge Complex in Dearborn.

The new factory will build battery-electric F-150 trucks.

Current Ford COO (and soon-to-be CEO) Jim Farley  says the new truck will be able to haul materials to a work site, and then power all the tools with its batteries.

"This is no gimmick," says Farley. "It is a work horse, it's not a show horse, destined to a shiny garage filled with four luxury cars. It's for serious truck owners."

Farley will replace outgoing Ford CEO Jim Hackett next month.

Ford Motor Company's headquarters in Dearborn.
Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Co. will offer early retirement incentives with hopes of cutting its U.S. white-collar workforce by 1,400 more positions. President for the Americas Kumar Galhotra told employees about the offers Wednesday morning.

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, state health officials report that there are currently 14 COVID-19 outbreaks in Southeast Michigan associated with schools, but they won’t say which ones. A reporter talks us through how the health department shares—and retains—information on outbreaks. Also, the story behind the viral video of U.S. Postal Service mail sorter machines being scrapped in Grand Rapids. Plus, a new podcast documents the history of the Ford Bronco.

Ford Motor Company

After three years at the helm of Ford Motor Company, CEO Jim Hackett is retiring.

He will hand leadership of the 117-year-old car manufacturer to Jim Farley, Ford's current Chief Operating Officer, as of October 1st, 2020.

Farley assumes the top job at Ford in the middle of its effort to restructure its global operations and cut costs. 

A maroon 1955 Lincoln Continental
Ken Fischang / Gilmore Car Museum

Ford Motor Company announced this week that it is ending production of one its most famous cars: the Lincoln Continental. Ford will stop manufacturing the luxury sedan at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant at the end of this year.

Ford Motor Company

Workers at Ford Motor Company's Dearborn Truck Plant are expected to return to work on Tuesday, after their local, UAW Local 600, filed a grievance over COVID-19 protocols at the plant.

The grievance was filed after two UAW members showed up for work last week, before learning the results of tests they'd received for COVID-19.  The tests turned out to be positive.  The situation sparked a brief walkout on Wednesday.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slammed Ford Motor Company’s bottom line.

Company officials announced on Tuesday Ford lost $2 billion in the first quarter of the year. Ford blamed the loss largely on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The automaker said Tuesday that its revenue from January through March fell nearly 15% to $34.3 billion as most of its factories were shut down for the final week of the quarter.

Ford’s Chief Financial Officer Tim Stone expects the automaker will take an even bigger hit in the second quarter of 2020.

Andrea_44 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Financial rating services are eyeing Detroit automakers as the COVID-19 outbreak slams auto sales.

On Wednesday, Moody's placed General Motors on negative watch for a possible ratings cut to junk level due to the disruption around the pandemic.

The rating service says GM is vulnerable to shifts in the market, due to “unprecedented operating conditions.”

Gary Jones stands at a UAW podium
United Auto Workers

Ford Motor Company and the United Auto Workers have a new, four-year contract with 56.3% of the vote.

Ford Motor Company's headquarters in Dearborn.
Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company has begun a new round of job cuts.

The automaker plans to lay off 7,000 white-collar workers globally by August to "prepare for a fast-changing future."

The company said Monday that the plan will save about $600 million per year by eliminating bureaucracy and increasing the number of workers reporting to each manager. The cut amounts to 10 percent of Ford's global salaried workforce.

Michelle Krebs is an analyst with Autotrader. She says Ford's plan is to wring every penny out of its current operations for future investments.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is concerned that escalating tariffs on Chinese goods may end up hurting Michigan’s economy.

Whitmer worries that Michigan’s exporting industries could be affected.

“Our international trade policy needs to be thoughtful… Not capricious and punitive,” says Whitmer. “I’m very concerned about what it’s going to mean for Michiganders and our ability to strengthen our economy.”

Ford

Ford Motor Company says it has hired an outside firm to investigate an issue raised by employees about the company's analytical modeling that is part of the process for establishing fuel economy and emissions compliance.

The issue is highly technical. The company says it is investigating the employee concern regarding the "road load" specifications used during testing done on a machine called a dynamometer.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Judging by conventional wisdom and all-knowing polls, President Donald Trump and his Republicans face a historic wipeout in the coming mid-term elections.

But if you accept the Clintonian notion that “it’s the economy, stupid” such thinking may be just a bit too conventional.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Two years ago, residents of Alden Village, a small subdivision directly east of Ford Motor Company's Livonia Transmission, got a letter from the automaker.

It was not good news.

Daniel Howes / Detroit News

The Blue Oval is stuck in neutral. Again.

Just a few years after superstar CEO Alan Mulally retired and left town, Ford Motor is embarking on another 25 billion dollar restructuring. If you think this sounds like déjà vu all over again, that’s because it is.

What happened?

Ford’s second largest business – China – is in free-fall.

South America remains a money loser.

Its European business -- just a couple of years ago hailed for its turnaround -- is losing steam.

old school Ford logo
James & Carol Lee / Unsplash

Ford Motor Company got some troubling news this week from Moody's Investors Service.

It has downgraded Ford's investment rating to just one level above junk status. To Moody's, this signifies the chance of default.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Lately, Detroit has more good news to report than bad. Its bankruptcy is in the rear view mirror, the streets have lighting again, and more businesses are moving downtown.

Michigan Central Station circa 2018
Ford

It was a near thing, but Michigan Central Station has a new lease on life, thanks to its purchase by Ford Motor Company.

The historic building is in terrible shape, stripped of much of its glory by former owners, thieves, and vandals. So Ford has its work cut out for it.

But the automaker's plans (and finances) for the building seem much more firm than many of the pie-in-the-sky visions floated by other developers.

Ford's Corktown Play

Jun 16, 2018
Daniel Howes / Detroit News

Ford Motor is planning a big party on Tuesday. It’ll be at the Michigan Central Depot, that gap-toothed hulk looming over Detroit empty and rotting for thirty years.

But not anymore, once Ford’s plans for what it’s calling a campus in Corktown become more clear.

Here’s what you need to know: Detroit’s oldest neighborhood could be transformed by Ford’s plans. The automaker wants to anchor its next-generation mobility, autonomy and electrification work in the 105-year-old train station.

This is huge, people. Detroit hasn’t seen a business move this big in eight years. That’s when Dan Gilbert moved his Quicken Loans headquarters to the city and followed with a downtown real estate buying spree.

This may be even bigger because it’s eight years later. Because Quicken blossomed into a major corporate presence downtown. Because Ford’s presence is likely to turbo-charge redevelopment of a neighborhood … and set the example for more.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

After more than a quarter of a century, the Michigan Central Depot is changing owners. The Moroun family has sold it to Ford Motor Company.  

The once-thriving Beaux Arts gem became a symbol of Detroit's decay, after Amtrak sold it to the Moroun family in 1992. Matthew Moroun says now "the depot will become a shining symbol of Detroit's success and progress."

Michigan Central Station in Detroit
Jason Mrachina / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The city is abuzz with the rumor that Ford is taking over Michigan Central Station, after reports that the once-glamorous train depot — an iconic symbol of Detroit’s decay since it closed in 1988 — has changed owners.

Ford Service Department employees assault a UAW organizer in what came known as the Battle of the Overpass
James E. (Scotty) Kilpatrick of the Detroit News / Battle of the Overpass photo courtesy of the Archives of Michigan

Do corporations have too much power and too little oversight? That question has dominated American society since the Civil War and it does not seem to be going away any time soon.

Over the decades, the political pendulum has swung back and forth between workers’ rights and corporate power.

Ford has halted all production of its best-selling vehicle, the F-150 truck.
Ford Motor Company

Due to a component shortage after a fire at one of its suppliers, Ford Motor Company announced Wednesday it is suspending all production of its best-selling F-150 trucks.

The fire at Meridian Magnesium Products of America in Eaton Rapids, Mich. occurred May 2, injuring two people, forcing nearly 150 people to evacuate the building, and destroying portions of the roof, according to The Lansing State Journal. In a news release yesterday, Meridian Magnesium General Manager George Asher said the company is “planning to recall some employees for critical operations as soon as possible.”

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