Home » Ford CEO: I Don’t Want ‘A Bullshit Road Map’ On Electric Cars

Ford CEO: I Don’t Want ‘A Bullshit Road Map’ On Electric Cars

Jim Farley Tmd
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Do you want to talk about Ford this morning? Good, me too. CEO Jim Farley went to a conference and said all sorts of interesting things about the company’s quality issues, the future of EVs, the UAW, et cetera. It’s worth walking through them because Farley, and Ford, are in a somewhat unique position.

Ford didn’t go bankrupt. Could the company have gone bankrupt in 2008 like then-Chrysler and General Motors? Absolutely. But Alan Mulally mortgaged much of the company in 2006 and borrowed more than $23 billion, something that seemed desperate at the time. It was the right move, and allowed Mulally to restructure the company in a way that got it through the Great Recession and onto a better footing without declaring bankruptcy.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Somewhat counterintuitively, not going bankrupt has also had a cost for Ford. The company has played a different game and its path has diverged significantly from that of GM and Chrysler, and not necessarily always for the better. I’m not arguing that Ford should have gone bankrupt, but it is rhetorically helpful to raise the idea as we go through Farley’s statements.

Oh, and I’ve got vehicle supply numbers. Let’s also talk about those.

Farley: ‘I Don’t Want A Bullshit Road Map’

Jim Farley Ford

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So this week was the Wolfe Research Global Auto Conference in New York and it was kinda bullshit I didn’t get invited because it seems like a great party. My kinda scene. Maybe next year?

Ford CEO Jim Farley was there and he didn’t hold back. I’ve already told you about the Ford ‘skunkworks’ team designing a cheap EV, and now there’s some more color to that plan:

Let’s start with the Automotive News report on his statements:

“I’ve been in the prediction business in the EV business; it hasn’t been a great journey,” Farley said during the Wolfe Research Global Auto Conference in New York. “It feels great in the moment to say, ‘it’s 2027,’ or whenever it is, but it’s not reality anymore.”

Bleak. But it gets better:

“It’s nonnegotiable that we’re going to allocate capital to a new affordable electric vehicle … and you have to make money in the first 12 months,” he said Thursday, recounting the message he gave his team. “And I don’t want a bullshit road map. I want, like, a real plan. And if you can’t [execute] that plan, we ain’t launching the car.”

Farley said the company made that decision because the economics on smaller vehicles makes more sense for consumers.

“What the customer has now said to us is, if you have [an EV] larger than Escape, it better be really functional or a work vehicle,” Farley said. “But if you do the economics for a vehicle, let’s say the Escape or smaller, it’s totally different, it completely works. In fact, it’s dramatically better operating cost than a Corolla or Civic or even a Maverick.”

This is all true, though I don’t like anything that seems like Maverick slander or implies it isn’t the perfect vehicle.

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There’s sometimes this sense that journalists only want manual brown diesel station wagons, and we don’t want those, but we’ve also been saying that there are too many expensive EVs for a while now so it’s nice to get a little backup here.

So where does bankruptcy come into this? It’s a little complicated, but let’s look at Ford’s rivals starting with Chrysler->Daimler Chrysler->Cerberus Chrysler->FCA->Stellantis. Post-bankruptcy it was sold off to Fiat for a song and has become the multinational automaker it was probably always going to end up being. Making affordable, global EV platforms is now a scalable challenge for a company that has a trillion brands.

And General Motors? The company was already shipping more of its production to Mexico before its bankruptcy, but the reorganized company has doubled-down on cheaply building high-margin trucks and SUVs there, only helped by a long period of relatively low gas prices. GM may have fumbled its Ultium launch, but it’s closer than Ford to having a full lineup of EVs. (I can name a bunch of upcoming GM EVs. But what’s the next Ford EV?).

Would a bankrupt Ford have been forced to merge with someone else and end up part of larger company like Volkswagen? It’s a possibility. Ford’s alone, though, and it probably can’t afford to keep losing $5 billion a year on EVs indefinitely.

Farley mentioned something similar to this as well, as picked up by Reuters in its report:

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“If you cannot compete fair and square with the Chinese around the world then 20% to 30% of your revenue is at risk” over the next several years, Farley said.

[…]

“We can start having a competitive battery situation. We can go to common cylindrical cells that could add a lot of leverage to our purchasing capability,” Farley said. “Maybe we should do (this) with another OEM (automaker).”

GM has been a little pouch-heavy with its approach, but that’ll probably change going forward. Should GM and Ford just work together on this?

Here’s GM CEO Mary Barra at the same conference:

“If there’s ways that we can partner with others, especially on technologies that are not consumer-facing, and be more efficient with R&D as well as capital, we’re all in,” GM CEO Mary Barra told investors at a conference sponsored by Wolfe Research.

I mean…

Farley: Quality Regrets Is A ‘Humbling Thing’

Jim Farley
Photo credit: Spotify

Generally speaking, Alan Mulally has gotten a lot of deserved credit for streamlining Ford’s organization and trying to create a better product mix. Who deserves blame for Ford’s quality issues, then? Was it Mulally? Was it the lost period from Mark Fields to Jim Hackett?

It doesn’t matter whose fault it is, because it’s Farley’s problem now, which he acknowledged in the same conference, via Automotive News again:

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“I wish I had the same laser-focus on transforming our industrial system” as on other parts of the business, Farley said at the Wolfe Research Global Auto Conference in New York. “The capability atrophy in engineering, supply chain and manufacturing at Ford — [CFO] John [Lawler] and I talk about this every day — needed a much more fundamental reset than I had realized. I think we all have regrets, and that’s a big one for me. It’s a humbling thing.”

Ford has seemingly done better lately, changing things such as tying manager bonuses to quality performance and delaying launches of new products until those products are actually ready to launch.

GM had this issue when Barra took over, including the ignition switch recall, but that was really an “old GM” problem that “new GM” had to deal with. Ford did reorganize, of course, but would the clean slate of a bankruptcy addressed this earlier?

Farley: ‘We Have To Think Carefully About Our (manufacturing) Footprint’

Jim Farley
Source: Ford

Here’s the one where the non-bankruptcy becomes most evident. As Micki Maynard pointed out before here, Ford’s longstanding partnership with the United Auto Workers has fundamentally changed.

Ford has the most union workers and has long prided itself on having a less contentious relationship with the UAW.

Those days are in the past, per The Detroit News:

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Farley said as the company looks at the transition from internal combustion to electric vehicles, “we have to think carefully about our (manufacturing) footprint.”

Ford, Farley said, decided to build all of its highly profitable big pickup trucks in the U.S., and by far has the most union members — 57,000 — of any Detroit automaker. This came at a higher cost than competitors, who went through bankruptcy and built truck plants in Mexico, he said. But Ford thought it was the “right kind of cost,” Farley said.

“Our reliance on the UAW turned out to be we were the first truck plant to be shut down,” Farley told the conference. “Really our relationship has changed. It’s been a watershed moment for the company. Does this have business impact? Yes.”

Did UAW President Shawn Fain have a response to this? Of course he did:

The sense that I get is Ford is a little irked about how the strike went down last year and is still licking its wounds a bit, though I wonder how well this kind of rhetoric serves the company long-term (in the short term, investors probably don’t mind hearing it).

This goes back to what I said before about General Motors and Mexico, but GM makes about 700K vehicles there, which is almost double what Ford is making in that country. Could Ford build its next cheap EV in Mexico? Is keeping a strong labor base a tangible benefit for Ford or another legacy cost?

Dealer Supply Reaches Highest Level Since Pandemic Started

Cox Auto Supply Chart

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Yesterday I wrote about how vehicles have started to become more affordable, and the corollary to that is dealers have the highest supply of vehicles since June 2020, when the pandemic was in full swing.

According to Cox Automotive, vehicle supply is now at 80 days, with an average vehicle listing price of $47,142.

At the start of February, the total U.S. supply of available unsold new vehicles was 2.61 million units. That is 870,000 units – or 50% – above a year ago. Inventory was down from 2.66 million at the start of January.

Day’s supply at the start of January hit 80, up 38% from the same time a year ago. The last time days’ supply crossed the 80-days mark was June 1, 2020, when it was 83 days’ supply.

To the surprise of no one, the highest supply are among domestic automakers, specifically Ram and Jeep, though Genesis and Infiniti dealers are also clearly getting vehicles back on the lot in large numbers.

The tightest supplies are for the Toyota Grand Highlander, Ford Maverick, and Chevrolet Trax.

What I’m Listening To While Writing TMD

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Is Elastica really the best Britpop band of the ’90s? I am open to the argument. Certainly, lead singer Justine Frischmann has had the most interesting post-Britpop life, having discovered and nurtured M.I.A., become a painter, and apparently married an atmospheric scientist.

The Big Question

Would Ford have been better off bankrupt? (I realize this sounds like a wild question). Or would that have meant the death of the company and caused way more ultimate damage?

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anAutopian
anAutopian
3 months ago

“What the customer has now said to us is, if you have [an EV] larger than Escape, it better be really functional or a work vehicle,” Farley said. “But if you do the economics for a vehicle, let’s say the Escape or smaller, it’s totally different, it completely works. In fact, it’s dramatically better operating cost than a Corolla or Civic or even a Maverick.”

The Manufacturer’s customers are the dealers, then the dealers sell to us peasants at an adjusted market price. So, is Farley talking to us peasants or the dealers?

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
3 months ago

Ford is the one domestic company that seems to not have shit the bed in any major way, and even if they killed off all their smaller vehicles they still are leading a mini-revolution in the Maverick

I think it would have been a mistake for them to have gone through bankruptcy, considering how well the other two players have handled it.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

They have not shat the bed in any major macroeconomic way, but they have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are incapable of launching a vehicle. Either they have appalling quality issues (from the Focus transmission to the current Explorer “park them all in a field and fix them later” launch strategy), or they self-sabotage with lack of availability (Maverick).

Oddly though, the really difficult stuff that everyone assumes will be a horrific disaster (F-150 aluminum bed, Mach E actually working), turns out fine, or at least nominal.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Fusion

Oh noooooo… The Mavericks are so popular that they can’t make them fast enough!!
The Explorers are, again, the same story. Popular enough that they are selling them on a guaranteed basis, while having a hard time sourcing chips to finish them. Supply chain issues are not a new thing in today’s world. Been going on for 4 years now.

As to recalls, please point me to one manufacturer that doesn’t have a similar level recall on their hands within the past 10 years.
Not saying that’s a good thing, but you can’t call out one without pointing to the others.

Thirdmort
Thirdmort
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

It’s one thing for a car to have 1 or 2 recalls. The current Explorer has had 50 (just counted last week) since it launched!!! That’s a crazy amount of recalls!!!

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
3 months ago
Reply to  Thirdmort

Last year Honda had more vehicles affected by recalls than Ford (in total.)
Recalls alone are not the final note in whether a manufacturer is crap or not.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

This. And, if anything, recalls can be signs that the manufacturer wants to make things right, versus trying to hide defects or have cover-ups.

What’s damning is when the NHTSA forces a manufacturer to recall something and they try to do the bare minimum to cooperate (if they do).

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
3 months ago
Reply to  Thirdmort

Source? Actual recalls, not TSBs.

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
3 months ago
Reply to  Box Rocket

Yeah, I was wondering about that as well. Last year Ford total had 53 or 54 recalls.

Thirdmort
Thirdmort
3 months ago
Reply to  Box Rocket

https://www.dealerrater.com/recalls/Ford/Explorer/

I just went down and counted until the 2020 Model year was introduced. So 50 for the model. There could be more that were in that count for the older generation. Still a horrific number or recalls for one nameplate in 4 years.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
3 months ago
Reply to  Thirdmort

Try a primary source like https://www.NHTSA.gov.

They show the most recalls for a single Ford Explorer year being the 2020 with 19, followed by the 2000 with 16, 1999 with 15, 2002 with 15, 2001 with 14 (and probably a fair amount of overlap given the generation), and so on.
The 2021 and 2022 have 11, 2023 has 6. Again, probably some overlap being in the same generation.

So I dunno what BS source “dealer rater” gets their info (the website itself sounds like a paid advertising scheme) from or what math they’re using, but their 50 number is spurious. If you add up the entire generation year-by-year you only get 47, and – again – there’s overlap with the same recalls applying to multiple years.

That said, yeah, 19 is fairly high, but it’s not absurd. There’s years of the Toyota Corolla with 14-17, RAV4 with 14-15, Highlander with 11-14, Chevy Tahoe with 13-16, Silverado with as many as 24, etc.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: recalls alone are not necessarily a metric of quality or lack thereof.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

The launch Explorers were not parked in fields because they needed microprocessors, they were parked in fields because they had severe quality issues that Ford decided to address after-the-fact, instead of halting production until the problems could be fixed on the line. (IIRC, transmission programming was one of the big issues.)

I agree that other manufacturers have had a lot of quality issues in the past few years as well, but we were talking about Ford, so…

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Fusion

The launch Explorers were not parked in fields because they needed microprocessors, they were parked in fields because they had severe quality issues

https://wgntv.com/news/joliet/why-are-hundreds-of-new-cars-parked-at-joliet-racetrack/

Jayson Elliot
Jayson Elliot
3 months ago

If Pulp is considered a Britpop band, then they’re the undisputed holders of the title.

The ranking probably goes something like this:

  1. Pulp
  2. Suede
  3. Lush
  4. The Verve
  5. Placebo
  6. Drugstore
  7. Supergrass
  8. Blur
  9. Super Furry Animals
  10. Elastica
Church
Church
3 months ago
Reply to  Jayson Elliot

Any list that includes Placebo is probably a good list.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Jayson Elliot

Thanks for bringing up bands I had successfully erased from my conscious mind. 🙁

Huja Shaw
Huja Shaw
3 months ago

The evolution of the EV industry has been flawed from the start. It’s an impossible ask for automakers, new and old, to build platforms from the ground up. The industry would be in much better shape if they had followed the model of computers/phones and mechanical watches . . . a handful of companies build the EV platforms (like Intel makes chips and ETA makes watch movements) and then automakers would buy the platforms and build on top of them.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Huja Shaw

It’s an impossible ask for automakers, new and old, to build platforms from the ground up”

And yet, that’s exactly what Tesla did. And Tesla did it with fewer resources and less money than the legacy OEMs have.

The issue isn’t money or capability. The issue is a lack of willingness and vision at the top levels of management at legacy car companies.

Huja Shaw
Huja Shaw
3 months ago

Tesla’s first car was built on a Lotus Elise chassis

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Huja Shaw

I never said it wasn’t. But based on their experience with the Roadster, they concluded that the next vehicle (the Model S) would be a designed to a be a BEV from scratch with a no-compromise purpose-built BEV platform.

And Tesla pulled off the Model S with fewer resources and less money than legacy OEMs have available to them.

And thus my point stands… it’s all about a lack of willingness and vision at the top management levels at the legacy auto companies.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
3 months ago

I would further argue that the legacy automakers were better-poised than any startup to “build a platform from the ground up”, since that capability is inherent to their business. I’ve always thought that if you were able to combine a legacy automaker’s manufacturing and engineering expertise with Tesla’s vision and imperative (for lack of a better term), then the result would be a pretty fantastic vehicle.

Jason Lee
Jason Lee
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Fusion

The Kia / Hyundai twins especially have proved adept at going from 0 – 60 mph in manufacturing BEVs. It seems like they, unlike the Detroit Big 3, spent their time waiting to enter the market on actual RESEARCH and DEVELOPMENT.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Fusion

There is no doubt in my mind that a company like the old FCA had the money and engineering talent to build a great BEV and essentially do what Tesla acheived if they were given the same timeline and adequate financial resources.

What stopped it from happening was Mergio Sarchionne (and certain large shareholders like Exor) focusing on short term profit and setting up the company for a quick sale instead of long term planning.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
3 months ago

“Fewer resources and less money”? They’ve spent billions of dollars – several of which were taxpayer subsidies – in R&D and spreading the brand. They hired existing industry workers. They use an existing factory. It’s not like they were some scrappy startup working out of a shed.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Box Rocket

“several of which were taxpayer subsidies”

That’s a lie. Unless you look at it from the perspective of “Elon Musk and other Tesla co-founders pay taxes and thus, Tesla was subsidized by tax payers”

And that would be an extremely stupid take.

“They hired existing industry workers”

That other companies laid off

” They use an existing factory.”

That Toyota and GM shut down.

“It’s not like they were some scrappy startup working out of a shed.”

Tesla was very much a scrappy start up. You certainly didn’t expect them to produce something like the Model S out of a shed did you?



Last edited 3 months ago by Manwich Sandwich
Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
3 months ago

I approve of Elastica. That’s all I got today. I’d be fine if Ford fell off the earth.

Scruffinater
Scruffinater
3 months ago

“GM may have fumbled its Ultium launch, but it’s closer than Ford to having a full lineup of EVs. (I can name a bunch of upcoming GM EVs. But what’s the next Ford EV?).”

GM is continuing to fumble the Ultium launch, and I’m willing to bet they will ditch pouch cells before they reach anything like the volume they would like or had planned. Also, yes GM has more EVs for sale in theory and ‘coming soon’ (for 2+ years?), but their roll-outs have been so slow that I fully expect to see Ford’s next as yet unannounced EVs in the wild before I start seeing Silverado EVs in the wild. And those are theoretically on sale now!

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
3 months ago

“Would Ford have been better off bankrupt?”

If bankruptcy allowed GM to move production to Mexico and make massive profits on trucks built by cheap labor, I presume Ford could have done the same thing. Ford probably made a few fans by not declaring bankruptcy, but I can’t imagine there are enough new Ford loyalists to offset GM’s labor cost savings.

I am also having a hard time seeing any benefit Ford gained from not declaring bankruptcy. I had completely forgotten about GM’s bankruptcy, so Ford hasn’t gotten any lasting public relations benefit over the years. I like that Ford paid its debts and kept good jobs in the US, but not enough that I would choose a Ford over a different vehicle if it appeared to be a substantially better value.

I am not particularly knowledgeable on the topic of corporate bankruptcy, but it seems that Ford NOT declaring bankruptcy was, at best, a moral victory.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
3 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

A lot of the internet peanut gallery were very happy about Ford at the time. By contrast, FCA paid back the government, with interest, ahead of schedule. So one could make the argument that the taxpayers were no worse off after that bailout, and FCA was not mortgaged to the hilt like Ford.

(To be clear, I fully supported that bailout because of the thousands of middle-class jobs it saved at Chrysler Group, and its suppliers, and its suppliers’ suppliers, etc. Furthermore, despite Ford having more UAW workers in total, it was FCA who invested more than anyone else in opening or expanding domestic USA factories.)

Last edited 3 months ago by Mr. Fusion
JDE
JDE
3 months ago

Ford around that time was already kind of a mixed bag of automobiles, they had a bunch of euro brands under their belt and were actually in a little bit of money trouble before the other 2 which was why they were already on the restructuring train when the real economy bottom fell out. I do not think they would have done much better had they been bought up by some one else though. I think the massive quality hits over the past 2 decades on high volume vehicles like triton powered F150’s, and DCT transmissions in Focus’s has really hurt their reputation and they are floundering to try to right those reputations in a world where it seems the average assembly line installer has an IDGAF attitude and wants to be paid more to install said components in an even less quality manner….and of course 2nd and 3rd tier suppliers seem to be letting quality slip as well.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago
Reply to  JDE

I saw a Focus Titanium hatch today. They have become a rare sight thanks to the awful DCT. On the same drive I saw 6-7 2011-2013 Cruzes. Chevy definitely won the Survivor Olympics for decade old cars.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
3 months ago

Cruze isn’t a good example. I see them hauled off for auction from the chevy dealership next door a lot, typically with engine failures. Same with the trax and equinox.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago
Reply to  Box Rocket

Could be region dependent. And owner dependent. A lot of those I see have older license plate numbers. That means someone bought it new or late model used and has kept it. Presumably kept it up or else it wouldn’t have made it this long. Good engines but definitely not without fault.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
3 months ago

I dunno about Elastica, Matt. You have Oasis, The Verve, Lush, Kula Shaker,The Stone Roses, and Blur in that same wheelhouse. That’s some tough sledding…

As far as Ford goes, being raised in a GM family, If there was a way that it could be blown into oblivion without anyone in Detroit losing their job, I’d be marching in that parade. lol

Last edited 3 months ago by getstoneyII (probably)
Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
3 months ago

I was more into Oasis at the time, but there’s an argument for Elastica.

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
3 months ago

Don’t forget Republica!

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
3 months ago
Reply to  M0L0TOV

I totally had Elastica confused with Republica. Too many Britpopica bands.

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
3 months ago

That’s okay, I mix up Jimmy Eat World with the Killers (I know, I know). They were just super popular at the same time.

10001010
10001010
3 months ago

I’ll take Elastica over Oasis any day but for my money Lush was the best of the shoe gazing era.

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
3 months ago
Reply to  10001010

You’re a Hypocrite!

10001010
10001010
3 months ago
Reply to  Xpumpx

At least I’m not a Ladykiller 😉 Seriously 500 (Shake) would work great next time TMD has a Fiat story in it.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
3 months ago

If there’d have been a way for GM to implode but the good and effective middle-class workers to still maintain some sort of stable employment we’d all be better off. If only so we wouldn’t have been subjected to the horrible monstrosity that’s the current and previous generations of Silverado HD. And that’s just one of their many awful-looking production vehicles.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago

Never believe a CEO that claims they see the need and plan to offer desirable, budget prices cars. I feel like I’ve heard this a thousands times, but we all know it’s crap.

It’s not like it’s impossible for Ford to do what Farley claims they need to do. Take the damn Maverick powertrain and put it into a hatchback, a small crossover that doesn’t suck, a van, oh and how about actually build enough Mavericks?

Darnon
Darnon
3 months ago

They did. It was called the C-max.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago
Reply to  Darnon

I’ve actually driven a C-Max. It was a pretty decent car. Basically a bloated MPV version of a Focus in hybrid form.

Unfortunately Ford lied about the mileage those got, which killed a lot of goodwill for people looking for a Prius alternative. Oh, and they also named it ‘C-Max’ which is objectively a stupid sounding name for a car.

Ford would be wise to bring back a product like the C-Max, make a little less homely, and call it anything but ‘C-Max’.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
3 months ago

C-Max came with it on its trans-Atlantic journey. Ford Europe also has the S-Max, Tourneo, and Kuga, if you want to explore their managerie of “meh” names. But then again, they do serve many languages and countries there

Bob
Bob
3 months ago

I’m not sure, there’s a chance they are effectively disrupting themselves, and it might work. In recent years many, many industries have adopted a “premiumization” approach, in which they spend their resources almost entirely on products that give them the most margin (See also: Inflation). That looks good on the spreadsheet for the next quarter, but as prices to consumers go up and up those manufacturers are setting themselves up for others to come in at distinctly lower prices and make money on volume. I’ve been thinking along the lines of somebody like Tata and BYD, but Ford might be making the move on their own. I’m sure electrifcation is going to keep happening in fits and starts as vehicles and infrastructure grow at loosely coupled rates. In order to overcome consumer fears about inadequate infrastructure, some low-priced options might be the place to be for the next 5-15 (?) years.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob

I certainly hope to see it happen but I can’t help but being skeptical.

I would imagine it’s more likely for a new or a manufacturer that’s truly on the ropes to run a Hail Mary by bringing out a truly unique, affordable vehicle.

Credit where credit is due, while it’s not exactly super cheap, the Chevy Trax seems to be selling like hotcakes for being a car that dares to be a decent value. And it looks like Chevy is actually trying to pump them out in base level and mid trim form, unlike Ford with the Maverick.

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
3 months ago

Ford has been here before with quality concerns. They were shoveling cheap crap out in the 70s (same as GM and Chrysler) and their reputation tanked. A renewed push for quality in the 80s, paired with memorable advertising (“Quality is Job 1!”, “Have you driven a Ford lately?”) turned the ship around in time for the Taurus/Sable to save the company.

I think Ford has a chance to improve quality again here. Coming up with another home run like the Taurus/Sable, though, is unlikely.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
3 months ago

Farley says things that sound good, then they sort of just disappear and nothing comes of it.

Barra is a constant source of corporate word salad, and nothing seems to come of it.

Whoever the hell is the CEO of Stellantis seems to say interesting things, but come on…look at that dumpster fire of a company.

The Detroit Three, everyone!

Data
Data
3 months ago

Haven’t you been reading The Autopian? The Stellantis CEO is Jon Lovitz. I guess after his all time great performance in A Leage of Their Own (1992), he decided to make a career change.

AlterId
AlterId
3 months ago
Reply to  Data

For now, sure, but don’t forget that George Santos is a real up-and-comer with all the good work he’s done heading up Latin American operations since his retirement from Congress. It’s just a matter of time until he takes over the entire company, and then we’ll really see some changes.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago
Reply to  AlterId

His vaporware ought to give Tesla a run for their money!

JunkInTheFrunk
JunkInTheFrunk
3 months ago

In an era where free money is no longer available, and EV company valuations reflect reality instead of magical thinking, Farley is striking the right tone on setting a production roadmap.

Space
Space
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hardigree

Do #1! Be one of the few people to ever talk about it.

Mrbrown89
Mrbrown89
3 months ago

Ford should had merged with VW during the recession. VW is an expert on how to make small cars affordable while Ford works on the big stuff. It was a win-win for both. PSA buying FCA sounded like a good idea but the execution has been terrible, why we haven’t receive something substantial from Europe? They still work as separate entities.

Data
Data
3 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

VW quality combined with Ford quality may very well have created a singularity that would destroy the world.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Data

VW quality combined with Ford quality may very well have created a singularity that would destroy the world.”

And if that didn’t destroy the world, the in-fighting between the Ford family and the Porsche–Piëch family would have.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
3 months ago

What in-fighting? Their ancestors were quite fond of the same German leader.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

I give you the VW Apollo/Ford Verona! Autolatina already did it.
https://g1.globo.com/Sites/Especiais/Noticias/0,,MUL1129369-15635,00-CONHECA+A+HISTORIA+DA+AUTOLATINA.html

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

Ford should had merged with VW during the recession”

No… that would have been a terrible idea.

Box Rocket
Box Rocket
3 months ago
Reply to  Mrbrown89

Of all the auto companies for Ford to merge with, VAG would be low on my list. For product overlap, yeah, they’re not a bad match, but for corporate culture (beyond giving significant favor to unions in their home countries) along with R&D and production efforts they’d seem to clash. Pre-Stellantis Citroen/Peugeot group maybe, Suzuki perhaps, Mazda for certain (oh, wait…)…

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
3 months ago

The discussion regarding Farley’s candor here is surprising to me. He’s certainly correct, that choosing to build trucks in the US instead of Mexico, and then getting cranked by the UAW for it, has to be reflected in how FoMoCo looks at production in the future. Of course it does. I wouldn’t call that ‘licking wounds’ though. It’s simply being realistic. Additionally, his recommendation to move toward standardization in batteries is a commendable position for both cost and environmental reasons. So I’m all for it. Lastly, the success of Ford in the truck market is the envy of allmost everyone else in the automotive manufacturing world, with the possible exception of Toyota. Comments on the quality of Ford products would seem to me to be missing the boat when so many consumers are voting with their feet to buy Ford product.

Data
Data
3 months ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

Ford should really play up their built in USA trucks vs GM. A commercial with a F Series and an American flag and a GM next to it with a giant sombrero. And like Turd Ferguson, it would be funny because it’s a hat, but it’s big.

V10omous
V10omous
3 months ago
Reply to  Data

The “Made in the USA” factor and the rust-proof aluminum bodies are such obvious advertising points for their trucks that they really don’t take advantage of.

Space
Space
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

And with all the talks about “big heavy trucks” Ford could talk about the weight savings of using aluminum too. I think it ends up being a few hundred lbs different.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
3 months ago

Car dealers don’t just have lots full of vehicles, they have lots full of floorplan loans costing them interest. At least around here, dealers are so stubborn (stupid?) that they’d rather pay gobs of interest than reduce prices. Meanwhile, the local H/K dealers still have $10k+ ADM stickers on $25k cars on the lot. I hope they choke.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
3 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

ADM on run-of-the-mill Korean cars… WTF?

Schrödinger's Catbox
Schrödinger's Catbox
3 months ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

Simple fix for that. Buy out of state. Dealers in NC are trying the same stunt with ADM but flights from Charlotte damn near anywhere are available relatively cheap, and you can do most of the negotiation and financing online. Fly out, buy it, drive it home.

Last edited 3 months ago by Schrödinger's Catbox
Der Foo
Der Foo
3 months ago

It seems that a few manufacturers (including Ford) took note of how well the Chevrolet Bolt sold. I wasn’t the highest margin EV. It wasn’t on the large size side. It wasn’t the most stylish.It didn’t have an insignificant battery recall. Somehow, though, people liked them.

Though no other manufacturer is saying it, I think the Bolt;s success is the catalyst for some of the movement to actually build an affordable, relatively reliable, moderately capable, not ugly, non-penalty box EV for metropolitan dwellers

I find it predictably GM that GM killed the Bolt and though is saying they will bring it back (sometime in the future if the current gen of GM EVs don’t sell well), it will 90% likely miss the mark on what made the Bolt so popular.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

Oh the manufacturers all saw how well the Bolt sold. And they were aware that GM was losing money on each one. The takeaway: build gas powered trucks, sell a few expensive EVs, and wait for the technology and economics to change.

Der Foo
Der Foo
3 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

and wait for the technology and economics to change

And what you pointed out is the key.

GM was losing money, but other manufacturers know that the financials around building EVs will change and bring down the cost. When that happens the concept of a Bolt will be profitable per unit. Not huge, but I think Ford is saying that they will be taking the approach of volume over per unit margin. When that time comes, Ford may be in the position to sell a lot of Ford Bolts while some of the other bigger players (GM, Tesla, Stellantis) will still be focused on ICE and EVs over $50K. Oh the others will be still talking or maybe even rushing some half baked product to market. If played right, Ford could have a first mover advantage in the EV reboot later in the decade. A lot is going to have to change at Ford to pull this off, but at least Ford seems to be throwing their hat in the ring for making an afFORDable EV.

Chronometric
Chronometric
3 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

I don’t believe it at all. Look how Ford has treated the Maverick. Even though they make money on them, they are limiting volume, raising the price, and emphasizing the high-spec trims. Why make a low-margin Maverick when you can make a big-margin F150?

Last edited 3 months ago by Chronometric
Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

It seems that a few manufacturers (including Ford) took note of how well the Chevrolet Bolt sold”

They also were noting how well the Tesla Model 3 sold and how Tesla was/is making money on the Model 3 while GM loses money on the Bolt… and the reason comes down to vertical integration… For BEVs, Tesla has it and nobody else does.

That’s why GM has Ultium now… it’s GM going vertically-integrated with BEVs. No more farming out the key parts to 3rd parties.

It should be noted that while it was called the Chevy Bolt, with the key parts that were outsourced, it might as well have been called the LG Bolt.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
3 months ago

LG only built the batteries. We don’t call it a Cummins Ram just because Cummins builds the engine

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

No… they did more than that. A lot more…

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
3 months ago

That’s mostly rumor. LG mostly did some power train and infotainment. GM did everything else, even battery management

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1102176_bolt-ev-powertrain-how-did-gm-and-lg-collaborate-on-design-production

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

There is a big difference between “only building the batteries” and “mostly did the powertrain and infotainment”

Effectively all the key BEV parts were either built or designed and built by LG. And that’s a pretty big deal.

Hence my view that it might as well have been called the LG Bolt.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
3 months ago

And yet that still doesn’t change my point. BMW uses ZF transmissions yet we all still call them BMW. Nobody calls a diesel Ram a Cummins Ram. GM subcontracted power train design and bought off the shelf components. So did Tesla for the Model S. I mean Magna Steyr builds the entirety of the Toyota Supra

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
3 months ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

Except that with the Model S, all the key parts like the motors, electronics and battery packs were designed and assembled in-house.

And while Cummins may supply a diesel, they didn’t also supply the whole powertrain and other key parts. Similar deal with ZF.

While GM did a bit more in-house with the Bolt, it’s hardly a full in-house design like the way the Model S was/is or GM’s own Ultium platform/vehicles.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
3 months ago

Again, read the article I posted. “GM *designed* the electric traction motor and the battery-control system, was responsible for all integration of the powertrain into the vehicle itself, and validated all systems”

V10omous
V10omous
3 months ago

Speaking just in anecdotes, I know a lot of people who switched to Ford trucks in the 2010s because “they never took the government money”.

It’s hard to underestimate how raw those wounds were in 2010-2015, even in the Midwest where the bailouts objectively did tangible good.

Drew
Drew
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

My dad is on Toyotas now, but he kept talking about that for years. Still does if you talk about GM and Ford. He used to get GM pickups and hasn’t since.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Yup. I have an uncle in Texas. He’s an oil man and was a die-hard Cadillac owner. He’d buy a new one every couple of years.

When GM went into bankruptcy, he went to Lincoln and has never looked back.

Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Was about to post this and I live in MA where the stereotype would state we care less about such things. Hell, I had only owned Japanese cars until I bought a ’12 Focus (5MT) in ’11 and I was uncharacteristically proud to see the Made in USA sticker on the rear quarter window. That was a first year car, too, was much better in every way than its Mazda platform mate it replaced and it was dead reliable for over 200k without any of the DI issues reported with the Usual Suspects from Europe. Unfortunately, that experience seems rarer than not and they don’t make cars anymore (OK, Mustang, but it’s not for me), so I’m back to Japanese.

Der Foo
Der Foo
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I don’t think it is just that GM took a bailout, it’s all the other questionable stuff that GM did because they took the money and didn’t own up to decisions/commitments they made that put them into bankruptcy. People don’t always see the decisions companies make in the light of what is allowed in the business world. Morals, principles and a sense of right and wrong are different between how many people choose to live their lives and how companies choose to do business.

Otter
Otter
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

A lot of Midwestern voters are still struggling to vote for their own interests years later.

The Dude
The Dude
3 months ago

Great that Ford wants to launch small, affordable EV. But they’ve also been telling customers that they need to buy a large and expensive car. So now they need to convince those same customers that a smaller, affordable car is the right move while winning back customers that left Ford for other companies offering an affordable small car.

Wezel Boy
Wezel Boy
3 months ago

1- It sounds like Ford wants to produce a small, cheap EV. This is great.

2- Yes, Elastica is the best 90’s britpop band. No argument there.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
3 months ago

Thanks Farley, just confirmed my prediction from other day, cheap EV production of the secret company going to Mexico.

No mention of the joke that Tavares said Stellantis EV business is profitable? LOL, has nothing to do with US, and like I said about the FCA merger with PSA it was all about EVs as FCA was way behind especially in the US.

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
3 months ago

Ford is one of those brands I would absolutely never ever consider. Just absolute trash.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Daisuke

Can you elaborate? The Focus RS filled my soul with hot sick lust, and my f-150 runs and holds things in the bed. (Except for over Christmas when stupid cheap gaskets left all my coolant everywhere except the engine)

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
3 months ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

gestures toward every single recall and abhorrent new vehicle launch they’ve had recently. Sure, making cars is hard, we all get that, but Ford is just comically bad at it.

Space
Space
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Daisuke

Looking at the replies to your comment anicdotally it seems ford had acceptable quality 1990-2018. I can also add that my Dodge has $1900 vs $0 of repairs for my older Ford in the last 5 years.
Maybe their quality issues are somewhat recent and can be turned around.

Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Daisuke

I had two. One was Corolla reliable, but much better to drive and with better mileage and performance, the other was just as good until it got hit by an arrow in the ankle at 180k (Ecoboom). Only reason I’d be wary about getting another one is the continuing quality issues, but I found a lot of their product to be appealing (if not for me personally). The Focus ST was much better than the POS Camry I temporarily replaced it with while waiting for my new car to come in. Camry only had a few k miles more on it, but the Ford felt like less than half the mileage it had while the Camry felt like it had at least double and it was a well-cared for example (on top of that, the driving experience was somehow even worse than I could have imagined and I was expecting it to suck—even perfect reliability and old Mercedes level build quality wouldn’t be worth it for the experience).

Smallblockeight
Smallblockeight
3 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Second that on the FoST. I have two – a ’14 bought new. When they announced end of production, I could see it was last of the breed and bought another new ’18 for under $20k and gave the ’14 to my kids. Other than consumables and maintenance, I think I’ve spend less than combined $200 in repairs on both of them with a combined 170k miles – a t-stat, purge valve and two gas pedals. These are really solid, fun, practical cars, decent gas mileage, without the mandatory electronic BS that is forced on us. Long live the manual transmission.

And I mostly identify as a GM guy…even then GM had nothing to compete with it.

Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago

I thought of buying a second one before the end, especially with that last year slate blue that I liked. They were almost giving them away (even my ’16 ST1 only cost me $23k new, which was cheaper than my boring ’06 Mazda3), then about 6 months after they stopped making them, used prices started going up past what people were paying for them new. Mine was just $50 EGR valve (warrantied, but worth it to just do it myself) every 75k beyond the normal stuff (and even that was minimal), but it Ecoboomed at 180k. Still ran fine and didn’t overheat. Didn’t even really use that much coolant considering the amount of smoke, but I couldn’t find anyone who would replace the engine except for one who was going to back-burner it and several places just hung up on me. I took that as a no. For all the flack they got for cheap interior materials, nothing broke or aged prematurely and they were solid cars in general that were great to drive.

Tbird
Tbird
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Daisuke

I owned a fair amount of ’80s – ’90s Ford product, definitely seemed better than the comparable GM/Chrysler product of the era. My ’91 Sable was a far better car than my ’88 W-body in almost every aspect. My ’94 SHO 5 speed was an unheralded gem. I do have concerns about the current Ecoboost engines and have recently owned only Toyota/Honda. I’ve had a few Fords as rentals and been satisfied with them overall.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago

The Genesis situation genuinely puzzles me. They have an abundance vehicles but almost none of them are discounted. There are just no deals to be had on new Genesis products and there really never have been. It’s weird to me, and I’ve long said that their lower pricing compared to their competitors is a bit of a mirage.

By the time you equip them comparably to their competition the price delta isn’t very big anymore, and dealerships do what dealerships do and order most of the cars equipped to the moon. Most shoppers aren’t going to choose a Genesis at the same price as something with a more established badge.

And that Korean car black hole of depreciation? It doesn’t make an exception for Genesis. Anyway if they want to keep growing I think they need to offer some actual deals. Money on the hood, low APR financing, competitive leases, etc. Once you add a few options and mix in depreciation they’re not super appealing buys.

And I’d know, I keep an eye on G70, G80, and GV70 listings and have messed around on their configurator several times. I really want to like them since I love their design language and love my Hyundai despite its flaws…but they just aren’t great buys right now. At least new.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
3 months ago

And that Korean car black hole of depreciation? It doesn’t make an exception for Genesis. 

That does allow for some pretty good deals (relatively speaking) on CPO Genesis vehicles. I have some friends on their second and the long term quality on them seems a bit better than what I encountered with my own BMW and Audi.

Anecdotal I know but food for thought.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

No doubt. There are already post refresh G70s out there in high 20s/low 30s. For that much money it’s a hell of a lot of car, and the current gen G80s are already available in the mid to high 30s. If someone else has already taken the depreciation to the face then I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a Genesis, especially since they get the same ridiculous warranty as all Hyundai/Kia products.

I’m just a little baffled why the new ones remain such lousy deals all things considered. But when it comes to Korean cars you want to be the second owner anyway, and in that realm a Genesis is a great buy.

Last edited 3 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
3 months ago

Very true. I would love to be a buyer that rolls into the showroom to order my luxury vehicle exactly how I want it, especially with something like Porsche with all the crazy options they offer. But I am just too pragmatic and the CPO deals from the manufacturers are just too much of a cost/value difference to ignore.

I have worked at several companies that exhibit this mindset so I have some insights here. There is a pervasive attitude right now in business that you have to keep your prices high so as not to erode the value of the product in the shopper’s mind. It’s always been around to some degree or another. It’s why you see so many products with high prices but always running sales and coupon specials; The sale price feels like a deal but in the mind of a shopper it doesn’t diminish the overall value.

Genesis is just hopping on this bandwagon. They don’t offer incentives or sales because that’s not how it works in the high–ticket item world of retail. That will erode your perceived value. Genesis is very much subsidized by Hyundai and the leaders think they will sell enough to keep them afloat without eroding value and maybe they can continue to compete with the more established players over time and be perceived as a true, luxury maker. Who knows if they’re right?

It is one of the more annoying trends if you ask me but I’m not really sure if I’m annoyed at all the companies doing it more than I am annoyed at all the consumers that seem to eat this tactic up and come back for seconds.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

This is great insight, thanks for sharing it. My wife and I work in healthcare so I don’t have a ton of knowledge when it comes to corporate world. All of this makes sense in that context and I get why they’re doing it, I just think it’s a risky play considering they don’t really have any brand cache yet.

To me it seems like they could gain some ground by temporarily lowering the cost of entry and growing their customer base to an extent….but as you say that would erode the image of them being luxury products to an extent, and with how much money Hyundai’s printing right now it’s not like they need Genesis to do any heavy lifting.

They’re more or less a fleet of halo cars/exercises for the company to show what they can do with a bigger budget. And I couldn’t agree more on CPO when it comes to luxury products. Porsche in particular has a really stellar program and if I were to ever seriously consider one it would be CPO.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
3 months ago

Can confirm Porsche CPO is great. Bought my Boxster with less than 14K miles at about $23K lower than sticker price.
I can’t really call them affordable but they are comparative bargains.

Unimaginative Username
Unimaginative Username
3 months ago

Damn, G70s going that low? I’ve got a Stinger lease coming up in a few months with a buyout in the low 30s, have been watching a bit and I’m not seeing much in similar spec below about 35 without a bazillion miles. Crazy if the depreciation curve is strong enough for the upscale version to be selling at comparable if not lower pricing…

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago

Unfortunately they’re the ones with the lousy base 2 liter. V6s are mid to high 30s. A lot of the base ones made it to rental fleets and are now getting sold off which I think is lowering the prices.

I actually think the “new” turbo 2.5 will be the one to go with. It splits the difference when it comes to power and fuel economy. That V6 is a neat engine but if I’m going to suck up fuel economy that’s that lousy I’d rather have something with a V8.

Last edited 3 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Unimaginative Username
Unimaginative Username
3 months ago

Still, mid-high 30s is a 1:1 comparison for the Kia badges.

Agree on the V6 being nice but thirsty – I get similar power and about 25 mpg out of my B58 (albeit in a smaller package) and cringe whenever I get in the wife’s car and see a lifetime average of 16 as generously calculated by the computer. But she loves it, her commute is only about 8 miles one way, so we probably keep it…

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago

If I was trying to build up Genesis, I would stick to my guns and not worry about sales numbers for several years yet. Infiniti fell into the discount hole and their name no longer has any more cachet than does Nissan. Not sure how Lexus plays it, but they retain an air of exclusivity.

Schrödinger's Catbox
Schrödinger's Catbox
3 months ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

The Lexus dealership experience also sets them apart from most mass market brands. We have a brand new Genesis sales point in town that is an expansion of an existing dealership footprint.

New building, same ownership of the Kia and Hyundai franchises next door. They seem to be moving vehicles but I do wonder how many are leases vs purchases at the current pricing points, when you figure in crazy loan rates.

Might have to check it out to see if it’s the same treatment as the Hyundai dealer there, which was a waste of time. Nice cars, ignorant staff and a terrible sales manager. A shame.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago

Seems like it would be hard to make the experience different with those pre-conditions.

Schrödinger's Catbox
Schrödinger's Catbox
3 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

This is the way. Low mileage CPO for H/K/G vehicles is quite competitive in pricing and you still get the full manufacturer warranty.

About depreciation of Korean built cars, this is not so much of a thing anymore. I drive a 2018 Kia Sorento SX AWD. Bought used about 4 years ago at $28500. CarMax offered me about $20k this week for it. 50k miles.

If it’s a well optioned and maintained model you’ll get a better residual on it. Buy used and take less of a beating. Buy CPO and get the best of both worlds.

Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago

I think they’re playing the long game by refusing to discount in order to hold a higher reputation even if it hurts profitability now. Problem is that they’re apparently priced wrong—they should be undercutting the competition without needing discounts. IIRC, Lexus undercut when they came out and made sure it was a solid car to win people over. I can’t speak to Genesis relative build quality to know if it’s a parallel situation. Toyota as a parent brand also had a better reputation for reliability then than Hyundai does now. Speaking of which, brand awareness of Genesis is also an issue. Some pretty good looking cars, though.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
3 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

They very much did exactly this when they started in 2018. I think all the recent vehicle selling prices have altered these practices a lot but generally I’m sure they always planned to creep up to parity with their competitors.

I’m not sure where they stand in mindshare numbers comparatively but most non-car people I know are at least aware of them.

I just have to wonder if the pricing strategy you mention and Nsane brought up is coming in the near future. It’s not as if Hyundai/Genesis is standing alone in their efforts to try to maintain the high profit margins they enjoyed the last few years so it may just be a matter of time before they give in to the forces of our reality.

Cerberus
Cerberus
3 months ago
Reply to  Ottomottopean

My anecdotal story is the opposite. Everyone I’ve been with who has noticed one on the road/in a parking lot (because they’re pretty good looking vehicles—IMO, the big SUV is what the hideous Bentley should look like) asks what it is and, when I tell them, they ask what the hell a Genesis is. When I tell them it’s Hyundai’s version of Lexus, I can see by their face that they’ve immediately lost interest.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Korean cars are still perceived as shitboxes by a lot of folks. In many ways that’s not true anymore (clearly I like them, I daily one) but Hyundai/Kia are not doing themselves any favors when it comes to perception. Between the Theta engine failures, the Kia Boys nonsense and their nonchalant response, getting busted for child labor at the Alabama plant, and other things…normie brains just see them, think stuff like “oh the cars that can be stolen with a USB”, and move along.

It sucks. They’re making some genuinely compelling cars right now and have seen their market share grow quite a bit. But continuing QC issues are keeping them from earning the respect that they would otherwise deserve.

Edit to add my anecdote: I’m married to someone who doesn’t care about cars but will be getting a new one in the next year or two. I was excited to tell her that I thought we should look at Genesis for her, and she responded with “why waste the money on a luxury car that doesn’t have a real luxury badge?”. Ouch…

Last edited 3 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Leighzbohns
Leighzbohns
3 months ago

Ford’s commitment to quality: LOL, LMAO even. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Mick Molte
Mick Molte
3 months ago
Reply to  Leighzbohns

Yeah. Same Farley who just yesterday was bragging on a 10% reduction in terribleness, despite still leading all car makers in terribleness.

Cool Dave
Cool Dave
3 months ago
Reply to  Leighzbohns

Oh they’re committed to quality, they just don’t specify that the first 2-3 years of each new model are the public beta tests to get there.

Leighzbohns
Leighzbohns
3 months ago
Reply to  Cool Dave

Why test your product when you can have the public do it for you? MOVE FAST AND BREAK THINGS! REINVENT THE BUS AND CABS.

Last edited 3 months ago by Leighzbohns
Lockleaf
Lockleaf
3 months ago

I don’t think I can ever say bankruptcy is a better choice over financial management that keeps you out of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy is because you screwed up and dug a hole you can’t escape any other way. So regardless of how things are for them now, no I don’t think a bankruptcy would be better than where Ford is now.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
3 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

It wasn’t so much “financial management” that kept Ford afloat as it was luck in timing. It just so happened that Ford was due to renegotiate their credit right before the economy went to hell in a handbasket. Companies do that every 3-5 years. GM was still locked in and when it was time to renew there were no banks around willing to do it at a reasonable price. They weren’t any better managed then GM at the time.

Andrew Daisuke
Andrew Daisuke
3 months ago

they still aren’t!

Amschroeder5
Amschroeder5
3 months ago

It is still luck, but I would argue the biggest benefit that saved Ford was they had **just** shed the dead weight brands right before the recession hit… like technically the Tata sale happened during it, but obviously that was going on right before. Ford’s stroke of luck really was that shit hit the fan for them in devastating fashion 2 years before it hit the rest of the market, so they were already in the process of adjusting. Like they were really close to bankruptcy in ’06 and that saved their ass in 08.

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