Tag Archives: Detroit

Ford full-year profit plunges on slower sales, pension costs


Ford Motor Co.’s profit last year plunged by more than $3.6 billion, weighed down by slowing U.S. sales, the cost of a botched SUV launch and some big pension expenses

Ford Motor Co.’s profit last year plunged by more than $3.6 billion, weighed down by slowing U.S. sales, the cost of a botched SUV launch and some big pension expenses.

The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker said Tuesday it made $47 million in 2019, down from a $3.68 billion profit a year earlier. For the fourth quarter the company lost $1.7 billion, or 42 cents per share, hit by $2.2 billion in one-time pension costs.

Excluding one-time items, Ford made 12 cents per share for the quarter, falling short of Wall Street’s expectations. Analysts polled by FactSet predicted 17 cents per share.

Quarterly revenue fell 5% to $39.7 billion, about even with Wall Street estimates.

Shares of Ford, which released results after the markets closed Tuesday, tumbled 9% to $8.35 i n extended trading.

Ford had said earlier that it expected to deliver better results in 2019 than in 2018.

CEO Jim Hackett said on a conference call with analysts that the company fell short of expectations for the year, and he blamed the drop primarily on the flubbed launch of the new Ford Explorer SUV at its factory in Chicago.

New Explorers came off the assembly line with multiple problems and had to be shipped to a Detroit-area factory for repairs, delaying deliveries to customers.

Hackett also referred to higher warranty costs during the year, especially for a flawed six-speed automatic transmission in the Ford Focus compact car.

He said the Explorer production is now fixed and the SUVs are selling well.

“Our leadership team is determined to return to world class levels of operational execution,” he said. “I have zero question that we have identified what was at risk there, what bad decisions we made, things we have to change.”

He said 2019 was a year of restructuring for the company as it downsized its white-collar workforce and shifted its products to higher-growth, higher-margin SUV and truck segments while exiting lower-growth sedans. Ford, he said, made cuts in Europe, restructured in South America, installed new leaders in China and cut its white-collar work force globally to trim bureaucracy.

Hackett, who replaced ousted CEO Mark Fields in May of 2017, seemed apologetic when he said the change is taking hold. “It’s just not material enough to move the needle,” he said. “It will move the needle and it will have impact.”

Last year at this time, Hackett acknowledged frustration with the speed of Ford’s $11 billion restructuring effort.

Ford said it made a pretax profit of $6.4 billion for 2019, and its guidance for this year didn’t show much improvement, if any. The company said it would make $5.6 billion to $6.6 billion before taxes in 2020, not including any impact from the coronavirus outbreak in China, which could crimp the parts supply.

“Were still assessing the magnitude and duration of potential impacts” from the virus, Chief Financial Officer Tim Stone said.

The company also announced that about 55,000 blue-collar workers represented by the United Auto Workers union will get profit-sharing checks of $6,600, based on North American pretax profits of just over $6.6 billion. Last year the checks were $7,600.

Ford’s U.S. sales fell 3.2% last year to just over 2.4 million vehicles.


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The Newest: Gary Jones stays head of UAW after board meets


The Newest on the potential for a United Auto Staff strike in opposition to Common Motors (all occasions native):

8:30 p.m.

United Auto Staff President Gary Jones stays in energy after a gathering of union officers held to debate UAW enterprise.

Spokesman Brian Rothenberg says nothing modified after the assembly and that Jones and Vance Pearson are nonetheless in workplace. Pearson is a district director from the St. Louis space.

The executives met at a Detroit Metropolitan Airport resort on Friday, a day after federal authorities unveiled costs in opposition to Individual in a widening union corruption probe.

After the assembly, Jones’ driver and others bodily blocked an Related Press reporter from attempting to method him to ask questions. Jones has not been charged within the case.

The corruption scandal is complicating contract talks with Common Motors. The union’s contract with the corporate expires Saturday night time.


1:40 p.m.

The United Auto Staff union has prolonged its nationwide contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler, however the pact with Common Motors continues to be set to run out on Saturday night time.

GM has been picked because the union’s goal firm, that means it is the main target of bargaining and would be the first firm to face a strike. The four-year contract with GM will expire at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

Specialists say a strike in opposition to GM is probably going given the large gulf between the union and firm on wages, plant closures and different points.

One Detroit native union corridor already has posted picket line schedules with no dates connected.


11:50 a.m.

A strike in opposition to Common Motors looms giant as contracts with the United Auto Staff and Detroit’s three automakers is about to run out.

The union’s nationwide agreements with GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler finish at 11:59 p.m. Saturday. The union has picked GM as its goal firm.

It is potential that contracts will likely be prolonged or an settlement is reached. However 49,200 UAW members additionally may stroll out of GM vegetation subsequent week.

Specialists say each side are far aside, with staff wanting an even bigger slice of report firm earnings and automakers in search of to chop labor prices which are increased than U.S. factories owned by foreign-based corporations.


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Strike looms at GM as UAW extends Ford, Fiat Chrysler pacts


Leaders of the United Auto Employees union have prolonged contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler indefinitely, however the pact with Normal Motors continues to be set to run out Saturday evening.

The transfer, plus a widening corruption investigation of union management, places added stress on bargainers for each side as they method the contract deadline and the union begins to make preparations for a strike.

The union has picked GM because the goal firm, that means it’s the focus of bargaining and could be the primary firm to face a walkout. GM’s contract with the union is scheduled to run out at 11:59 p.m. Saturday.

It is attainable that the four-year GM contract additionally may very well be prolonged or a deal may very well be reached, nevertheless it’s extra possible that 49,200 UAW members may stroll out of GM vegetation as early as Sunday as a result of union and firm calls for are thus far aside.

Picket line schedules have already got been posted close to the doorway to 1 native UAW workplace in Detroit.

Artwork Wheaton, an auto business professional on the Employee Institute at Cornell College, expects the GM contract to be prolonged for a time, however he says the gulf between each side is broad.

“GM is trying by means of the windshield forward, and it seems to be like nothing however land mines,” he stated, citing a attainable recession, commerce disputes and the expense of creating electrical and autonomous autos. “I believe there’s actually going to be a giant drawback down the street in matching the expectations of the union and the willingness of Normal Motors to have the ability to give the membership what it desires.”

Plant-level union leaders from all around the nation can be in Detroit on Sunday to speak in regards to the subsequent steps, and after that, the union possible will make an announcement.

However leaders are prone to face questions on an increasing federal corruption probe that snared a prime official on Thursday. Vance Pearson, head of a regional workplace primarily based close to St. Louis, was charged with corruption in an alleged scheme to embezzle union cash and spend money on premium booze, golf golf equipment, cigars and swanky stays in California. It is the identical area that UAW President Gary Jones led earlier than taking the union’s prime workplace final 12 months.

Jones and different union executives met privately at a resort at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Friday. After the assembly broke up, Jones’ driver and others bodily blocked an Related Press reporter from making an attempt to method him to ask questions. Jones has not been charged within the case.

Union spokesman Brian Rothenberg stated Friday evening that Jones stays in workplace, as does Pearson. “They did not make any adjustments,” he stated.

In a 40-page prison grievance, the federal government alleged that over $600,000 in UAW cash was spent by union officers at companies within the Palm Seashore, California, space, together with at eating places, a golf resort, cigar store and rental properties, between 2014 and 2017.

The union stated the federal government has misconstrued info and stated the allegations aren’t proof of wrongdoing. “Regardless, we is not going to let this distract us from the important negotiations underneath manner with GM to realize higher wages and advantages,” Rothenberg stated.

At UAW Native 22 in Detroit, picket line schedules for 3 days have been posted on the foyer home windows. The native represents staff at a plant that straddles the border between Detroit and the hamlet of Hamtramck.

The 24-hour schedules do not record any date to begin however a separate schedule has a bunch reporting to the union corridor at 6 a.m. on Sunday. The manufacturing unit, which makes the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac CT6, is certainly one of 4 that GM plans to shut.

Listed here are the primary areas of disagreement:

— GM is making huge cash, $eight billion final 12 months alone, and staff need a larger slice. The union desires annual pay raises to protect in opposition to an financial downturn, however the firm desires to pay lump sums tied to earnings. Automakers don’t need increased mounted prices.

— The union additionally desires new merchandise for 4 factories GM desires to shut. The manufacturing unit plans have irked some staff, though most those that have been laid off will get jobs at different GM factories. GM presently has an excessive amount of U.S. manufacturing unit capability.

— The businesses need to shut the labor value hole with staff at vegetation run by overseas automakers. GM’s hole is the biggest at $13 per hour, adopted by Ford at $11 and Fiat Chrysler at $5, based on figures from the Middle for Automotive Analysis, an business suppose tank. GM pays $63 per hour in wages and advantages in contrast with $50 on the foreign-owned factories.

— Union members have nice medical insurance plans however staff pay about 4% of the associated fee. Staff of enormous companies nationwide pay about 34%, based on the Kaiser Household Basis. The businesses wish to minimize prices.

If there’s a strike, it could be the union’s first since a brief one in opposition to GM in 2007.

The union might need to strike at the least for some time to point out staff that it bought as a lot from the corporate because it may, Wheaton stated. Some staff, he stated, distrust union leaders because of the corruption scandal.

Negotiators are normally tight-lipped in regards to the talks, however per week in the past, UAW Vice President Terry Dittes wrote in a letter to native union leaders that GM has been gradual to reply to union proposals. GM answered in a letter despatched to factories that stated it’s transferring as rapidly as it could.

“We’re working arduous to know and reply to UAW proposals and we now have provided to fulfill as typically as wanted,” the letter stated.


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Museum exhibition offers glimpse into world of ‘Star Trek’


An exhibition at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in suburban Detroit is offering a glimpse into the world of “Star Trek.”

Titled ” Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds ,” the exhibition runs through Sept. 2 at the museum in Dearborn. It offers a look at more than 100 artifacts and props from the original TV series and its spinoffs. It also explores its enduring impact on culture, from arts and technology to fashion and literature.

The traveling exhibition from Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture includes a tricorder, communicator and phaser from the original series. It also features artifacts from the “Star Trek” films and original set pieces, including a navigation console and costumes.

The exhibition is a collaboration involving CBS Consumer Products, which manages licensing and merchandizing for the network.


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Correction: Youth Robotics story – ABC News


In a story April 26 about the FIRST Championship robotics competition, The Associated Press reported erroneously the first name of the FIRST president. His name is Don Bossi, not Dan.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Youth robotics global championship returns to Detroit

Thousands of students from dozens of countries are in Detroit this week competing in the biggest youth robotics event in the world


Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — Thousands of students from dozens of countries are in Detroit this week competing in the biggest youth robotics event in the world.

Still, organizers of the FIRST Championship hope it gets a lot bigger

“Here in the United States, about 12% of schools have a FIRST team, serving 18% of the students. So, there’s still a lot of kids out there that don’t have easy access to our programs,” said Don Bossi, the president of FIRST, which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

“And that’s our passion. That’s our mission to make these programs available and accessible to every kid everywhere.”

More than 40,000 people are attending this year’s event, including 17,000 students representing 700 teams from 35 countries.

Bossi, a former tech executive with a doctorate in electrical engineering from MIT, said the Manchester, New Hampshire-based nonprofit is trying to attract more students, including from under-represented communities.

Mary Pangowish, 17, is the captain of the First Nations STEM team that qualified for its first FIRST Championship in only its fifth year of existence.

“We’re a team of all First Nations kids. We are all Ojibwe, Odawa, Potawatomi,” Pangowish said. “We’re the first of our kind, really, to come to the world championships. We’ve never seen an all-indigenous team make it to the world championships.”

Pangowish worked with her teammates on their robot between matches and spent time spreading the word about their journey to the Motor City.

When a FIRST judge visited the First Nations STEM team’s area in the pits, Pangowish told her: “We’re so proud to be here. We want to show our culture. We want to show that we’re just as capable as everyone else.”

And they did both, competing successfully in the outer space-themed matches and at one point heading outside to take part in a traditional cleansing ceremony.

“We’re kind of blazing a trail for indigenous students to follow in our footsteps, to know that they can experience the world championships, because they deserve it just as much as any other team,” Pangowish said.

The FIRST Championship also was held in Detroit last year and will be back in 2020. Matches are held during the week at the Cobo Center downtown before moving to Ford Field, home of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, on Saturday for the event’s championship matches.


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