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Discussion in 'Road Side Pub' started by ON D BIT, Sep 9, 2019.
She says they look ugly A/F haha. Caught me the hell off guard, because she is in love with the Bikini Blue Rubicon Unlimited.
Unless Bronco truly offers a genuine competitor to what the JLU offers, its going to be a JLU.
The gladiator look great lifted and clear 35s stock. I saw a rubicon on the forum that had 37s and no lift
Why not get it fixed and get a fusion
I completely understand where Ironsnake is coming from. I was an unfortunate owner of a 2007 H-D Fatboy with the offset front forks. 2008+, normal forks. Something off about the balance of the Fatboy chassis. Engineering bandaid, and they knew it. It didnt matter that I could trade it in, it was that fact that not only was the Softail a terrible chassis for riding, it ruined the brand for me.
The 2012 Dyna Fat Bob I got after that was an amazing bike, but I still had and still have a sour taste for Harley's.
Tell me more about this... I'd love to feel good about some $$$ I have in Ford.
Same thing happened to me with Ford after my 2014 Focus with DCT. Ford knew about the issues, but determined that the potential fallout was worth it in the long term.
I'm incredibly brand loyal and have always loved Ford. They knowingly ****ed me, and many others with that car. When it came time to buy my next car, I was still sour at Ford so I ended up in another manufacture.
Nah, get a Bronco. Unless you're really, really into specific off-roading shit, it's a much nicer place to be than a Wrangler.
We'll see when/if the new one comes out before we go to purchase. But the Wrangler specifically has been her dream ride forever. Much like the Shelby was mine. She really likes the Rubicons, and we were pleasantly surprised at how well the JLUR drove compared to the JKUR.
I genuinely hope Ford surprises the crap out of us, and the Bronco becomes a direct competitor. We'd definitely give it a good look if its worth it. At the very least force FCA to finally offer real rebates on the Wrangler haha.
ETA on bronco?
Detroit. With last week’s column still rocking the denizens of Dearborn, a follow-up is in order. I heard from a few Jim Hackett defenders who suggested that my criticisms were overly harsh and that I was borderline unfair in my assessment of the Ford CEO.
I beg to differ.
I didn’t suggest that Hackett isn’t a smart man, because he is, but his track record speaks for itself. And despite his accomplishments in other businesses, the automobile business is one of the most difficult and relentlessly complicated endeavors on earth, and if you don’t have an engineering background or haven't been immersed in the business for years, it’s damn-near impossible to get up to speed. And Jim Hackett is perpetually not up to speed. Making vague pronouncements about “fitness” and promises that “it won’t be long now,” while lecturing top managers about how they have to get their minds right - and handing out books by theoretical physicists - isn’t cutting it. It ignores the fundamental fact that Ford is in a real state of urgency at this very moment, and as I said last week, Hackett is simply the wrong guy, at the wrong time, at the wrong company.
And about this urgency facing Ford right now? The company is in an ominous downward spiral, fueled by a pitiful strategy – or lack thereof – that focuses on contraction, pulling back from regions, making excuses and generally putting the Ford Motor Company on a path to becoming susceptible to a takeover, despite the family’s stock position. The juggernaut F-150 is a phenomenon and responsible for the majority of the company’s profitability, but as hugely successful as that product is, it’s not enough to power the company forever.
Ford business is down everywhere in the world, in some cases by double digits, and it’s not getting better. What about growth, which is the lifeblood of any company? It’s nowhere to be found in Hackett’s strategy, unless you count the drunken-sailor-like spending on Mobility. Talk about vague. Spending on “mobility” is like betting on the come that’s just not there, and even if it should happen to work out for the company, Ford’s slice of the mobility pie threatens to be miniscule, at best. Needless to say, a “zero growth” strategy does not bode well for the long-term health of the Ford Motor Company.
This has to be unacceptable and worrisome to the board of directors, and with a board meeting coming up next week, the situation may have reached the point of being untenable. And what about those board members? How can they sit back and watch this train wreck unfolding without doing something? Why has it taken so damn long to get worried about the state of the company? It was more than a little apparent, given the warning signs emanating from Wall Street, that the Jim Hackett Show wasn’t exactly garnishing rave reviews early on. And it didn’t get better. One year passed and… crickets. Twenty-three months on now in Hackett’s regime, and absolutely nothing has changed. I would expect the board of directors to recommend substantive changes immediately when they meet. If it doesn’t, I would start worrying about any kind of meaningful future for the Ford Motor Company, the situation is that dire.
As you might imagine, these developments have piled up on Bill Ford Jr.’s plate by the month, and the pressure has to be mounting. He has to share the blame, because he clearly allowed things to deteriorate on his watch, and now it has reached a boiling point. He made a shrewd move in hiring Alan Mulally and it paid off brilliantly, but that is ancient history now. Alan isn’t coming back. Ever since Mulally left, Ford has been in turmoil, with factions facing off and fiefdoms battling it out, which is exactly the way it was before Alan got there.
And judging by what I hear from within Ford, it is worse now than ever before.
Mindful of all of that turmoil, now Bill Ford Jr. has one more ultra-critical issue to deal with, and that is the fact that the Ford Motor Company is completely devoid of a legitimate succession plan. How can that be, you might ask? Well, Bill Ford Jr. is the chairman, and of all the family members it remains up to Bill to be the captain of the Ford ship. Other family members either aren’t up to it, are not capable, not interested or too young. So, Bill is The Guy for the foreseeable future.
But who does he turn to? Let’s say Jim Hackett is asked to leave, or departs for greener pastures, or goes back to the mobility arena, where esoteric think tanks and future navel-gazing are part and parcel of the gig? That’s all well and good and would be a hugely positive move for Bill Ford, but then what?
Upon closer inspection – and the board should pay attention to this – Ford is in a world of hurt with a painfully shallow bench and very few executive assets worth noting. For a major American company, this isn’t just tragic, it’s unconscionable. Let’s take a look at the players.
Kumar Galhotra. Ford’s North American boss presents well, at least initially, but there’s really not much “there” there. Bright and personable, Kumar just doesn’t have the heavy-duty chops to be thrust into a CEO role. The knowledgeable people at Ford understand this implicitly.
Hau Thai-Tang. Hau is brilliant, gifted, well rounded, and Ford’s chief of product development. He has “The Future” written all over him, but he’s too young to be CEO. He needs another seven to ten years, but if I were running a new auto company, I’d poach him… like yesterday.
Jim Farley. As I wrote last May, Farley is the most dangerous executive at Ford. Unfettered by rational thought and untethered by accountability, Ford’s enfant terrible displays a prodigiously short attention span and is burdened by an excruciatingly painful interpersonal awkwardness. To make matters worse, Farley’s belligerent, condescending style of dealing with underlings has made everyone in the company loathe being around him. Farley, not affectionately, is known as "The Two Jims," and interactions with him are a crapshoot, hinging upon whether people encounter the "good" Jim or the "bad" Jim on a particular day. Needless to say, when the "bad" Jim is unleashed, which is basically all the time of late, he leaves a trail of bad feelings and highly questionable decisions in his wake. And, in case you’re wondering, all of those Ford regions underperforming? It’s happening under Farley’s watch.
Farley has long considered himself to be “the smartest guy in the room” at Ford, much to everyone’s endless chagrin, because the reality is that he isn’t. It’s a carefully crafted façade that is hollow to its core. Farley’s bad executive behavior starts with his inability to listen, considering his own counsel to be by far the best source when it comes to decision making. Farley has left such a bitter taste in people’s mouths that if it were possible, a mutiny would be mounted – with pitchforks raised – to get rid of him once and for all.
When Mark Fields was exited from the company, not only did Bill Ford bring in Hackett, he brought Farley back from Europe (much to the disgust of many back in Dearborn), and made Joe Hinrichs and Farley co-No. 2 executives reporting to Hackett. And it proved to be a fateful decision, because at that very moment Farley decided that he was very much going to be The Guy.
As I said previously, an emboldened Farley, unfettered and untethered, turned out – predictably – to be disastrous. With his eyes set firmly on Hackett’s job, the very worst of Farley returned to Ford headquarters, only now his most repugnant qualities were magnified and amplified, with no one seemingly able to rein him in.
Besides his now-signature belligerence and rudeness in full view, Farley started to get way out ahead of his skis, making decisions that were puzzling at best and potentially harmful to the long-term health of the company. Having been gunning for Ford’s advertising agency – the WPP-owned GTB – for years for slights both real and imagined, Farley almost immediately put the massive Ford account up for review. This, after WPP/GTB had been involved with Ford for 73 years. Could the advertising be improved? Certainly. But there was a better way to go about it. Destroying a long, fruitful relationship to assuage Farley’s gargantuan ego was flat-out irresponsible and uncalled for.
And then there was the “we’re going to get out of the car business” decision that turned out to be an unmitigated PR disaster, because it was handled poorly and came off as a knee-jerk pronouncement that hadn’t been thought through. It turns out that the idea was Farley’s (no big surprise), wittingly or unwittingly aided and abetted by then CFO Bob Shanks. And internally it bore the signature of a classic Machiavellian move by Farley as well, because Joe Hinrichs was kept in the dark that it was even going down until the very last minute, which is almost beyond comprehension when you think about it.
Am I picking on Farley? Hardly. I have only scratched the surface in describing this raging egomaniac and his fundamental untrustworthiness, and the sad thing is that there are several other areas he is seeing fit to mess with inside of Ford that will wreak havoc on the company’s future for years. This simply shouldn’t be, of course. One bad actor shouldn’t be causing this much consternation and hand-wringing throughout the enterprise, threatening to jeopardize everything the Ford Motor Company stands for.
This is another thing that falls squarely on Bill Ford’s shoulders. Both he and Jim Hackett knew that Farley was a bad actor at Ford well over a year ago, and yet nothing was done about it. Where is the accountability? Why has this situation been allowed to continue? Those are questions for Bill and the board of directors when they meet next. Jettisoning Farley would give the company an immediate lift and send the very best signal that things will be different from here on out, and I would hope Bill and the board have the guts to do it. If they care about the future of the Ford Motor Company, Farley will be packing his bags and taking his corrosive act elsewhere.
And finally, there’s Joe Hinrichs. Joe has had to put up with a lot at Ford over the last half decade or so. He was passed over for the top job after Mulally left, and he was passed over again when Bill Ford hired Jim Hackett. In the meantime, Hinrichs kept grinding away, making sure that the company could execute the product plan and build the vehicles the company needed to build. Hinrichs isn’t flashy, but that’s okay. He knows the Ford Motor Company inside and out, and he would be the absolute right choice to replace Hackett. And make no mistake, promoting Joe would give Bill Ford more time – easily five solid years – to really calculate the future direction of the Ford Motor Company, and who will lead it.
There is no question in my mind that Ford is on the precipice of irrelevance, and the decisions made in the next few weeks could very well determine the future of the company.
I sincerely hope that the right decisions will be made.
And that’s the High-Octane Truth for this week.
FORD ON THE PRECIPICE OF IRRELEVANCE. - Rants - Autoextremist.com ~ the bare-knuckled, unvarnished, high octane truth...
This article makes EVERYTHING that we have been seeing of late make 10000000% sense.
GET JIM HACKETT AND JIM FARLEY THE **** OUT OF FORD.
Detroit. Having a classic lyric from The Beatles work as a headline makes me happy, especially when it’s dead-on accurate concerning this week’s subject: The turmoil roiling the Ford Motor Company at this very moment. And that turmoil begins and ends with CEO Jim Hackett.
Loyalists to Bill Ford Jr. are dismissing the constant hand-wringing about the leadership – or lack thereof – of Jim Hackett as whining by people who just don’t like change. Or even more derogatorily, as people who just don’t get it. This is classic spin emanating from Ford, as if the hoary claim that “you’re just not hip enough to understand” actually carries substance and weight and can be considered a legitimate explanation.
Well, it doesn’t, and it isn’t, and patience is wearing thin on all fronts, both from inside the company and within the financial community. All of these feelings, mostly bad, have been brought to the fore by Phoebe Wall Howard’s devastating piece in the Detroit Free Press, entitled “Anxiety builds for Ford employees. Hackett says that’s fair, but he’s confident.”
In it, the consternation within Ford is writ large. Hackett is an addled professor-type who speaks in quirky catchphrases, or single-spaced two-page memos, or even worse, by handing out books so that the minions can become as educated about things as their CEO.
One salient quote from Howard’s piece says a lot: “Jim is not from this world and does not listen,” a senior-level executive who has worked in and around Ford for decades told the Free Press. "He just does not listen. He’s more on transmit mode. He doesn’t take time to understand where people are coming from. Why things are the way they are. Whether it’s reasons we have plants where they are, reasons we do certain things in manufacturing.”
In case you forgot, Hackett’s claim to fame is that he was the touchy-feely CEO of Steelcase furniture, a Silicon Valley/Mobility devotee, acting Athletic Director for the University of Michigan and a longtime friend of Bill Ford Jr. Seems logical to hand him the reins of the Ford Motor Company, right?
And here’s another quote from the Freep: “Instead of simply making the point that hiring too quickly is bad business, Hackett distributed a book, “Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies," by theoretical physicist Geoffrey West, who has been called the dean of complexity science. This is the sort of thing that makes earthlings at Ford crazy.”
Can you imagine? Not only are you, as a Ford minion, too unhip to understand things, you’re given a book by the CEO so that you can get your mind right, because clearly your experience having worked in and around Ford and the automobile business for your entire career counts for absolutely nothing. And now, Professor Moonbeam will show you the way to the Light of Enlightenment. Gee, thanks.
No wonder legions of senior Ford executives are bristling under Hackett, whom I am now officially dubbing “Professor Moonbeam.” Hackett insists he is a conductor who has been brought in to push people, but to where is a legitimate question. Is it for the overall “fitness” of the company, his favorite trope? Because if it is, he has failed miserably. In a business that sustains itself on speed and accuracy, Hackett is insisting people have to get their minds right before approaching a problem. But high-level navel-gazing is a fool’s errand in this business, and to the extent that Hackett is insisting on it so that Ford can fly “the right way” is effectively killing the company.
No wonder the financial community is questioning everything about Ford these days. They have been waiting for going on two years now for Hackett to show them something, anything, that would engender confidence in the Ford Motor Company, and they haven’t seen one thing. Oh sure, they’ve heard a lot of “It Won’t Be Long Now!” talk from Hackett, which veers dangerously close to the Unmitigated Bullshit Hall of Fame, but despite all of the “We’ve Got It Goin’ On” platitudes being bandied about by Hackett and the few executives who have been ordered to buy into the bullshit – or else – the essence of the Ford Motor Company remains building and selling F-150 trucks, Explorers, Escapes, Mustangs and the few Lincolns worth a second look.
Meanwhile, the company’s business around the globe is contracting at a furious rate, and the vaunted Ford regions are coming apart, with sales dropping 10 percent in two years. But that doesn’t even begin to cover it. How bad is it for Ford in the world’s largest vehicle market? How does a sales plunge of 44 percent in China over the last two years sound? Just off the top of my head, that’s a giant bowl of Not Good.
The other main concern about Hackett is that his strategic "plan" for the company is simplistic, predictable and weak, almost bordering on being something that a "Master of the Obvious" would bring to the table. Restructuring; exiting underperforming product lines and markets; cutting costs; engineering "intelligent" vehicles with connectivity that consumers will actually desire; creating green and safe mobility for the people and blah-blah-blah. There is absolutely nothing new here. It's exactly what you'd expect someone from outside the industry, one who has very little feel for the business, to come up with. I would be amazed if it took all of fifteen minutes. It's not very good, is it?
Ford's biggest issue in the here and now? Its product cadence borders on the piss-poor. Its inability to execute new products in a timely fashion is glaringly inexcusable. The delayed delivery of the Bronco is just one painful example of this – that it may see showrooms by the end of 2020 (let's face it, that means early 2021 in Ford time) is simply incomprehensible. In fact, it has now achieved status as the worst running joke in the industry. If Jim Hackett had stood up on his first day at Ford and said, "It's about the product, it has always been about the product, and it always will be about the product" I would have given him the benefit of the doubt at least.
But now, that window is closed.
And by the way, some of those aforementioned executives should keep their mouths shut, especially Julie Lodge-Jarrett, the company’s chief talent officer who had the following to say: “We brought in a CEO that could supplement where our strengths were and help us with what we weren’t doing. I do think there is some misunderstanding. You have left-brain engineering talking to creative design thinking and the brain doesn’t work in the same way. He might answer a question different than they’re used to. They might think he doesn’t get it but it might be they who don’t get it.”
Huh? Interesting. As a matter of fact, I have a book to recommend for Ms. Lodge-Jarrett since that seems to be Professor Moonbeam’s preferred way of communicating. It’s entitled, “Hell on Earth: The Universal Laws of Spinning the Unspinnable, Unchecked Regression, Rote Predictability and Struggling to Defend the Indefensible for No Apparent Reason Whatsoever." It’s by my alter ego, Michael Paratore, and it’s a real page-turner.
I have written about Ford two times in the last ten months – “Ford in Free Fall” and “A Tale of Two Fords.” Each time wasn’t exactly complimentary, to put it mildly. And now, things are getting progressively worse for the family-controlled company. And this is really too bad, because it is no small thing that people in this area speak fondly of the Ford Motor Company. In fact, it’s gut-wrenching. People who work there often refer to working “at Ford’s” as if being part of a family. And to a large extent that is true. Bill Ford Jr. has set the tone that his family’s company takes care of its people, and that is certainly commendable in this day and age of instant gratification and fleeting loyalty. It is what makes Ford so special and such a part of the fabric of this region.
But... and there's always a "but."
Bill Ford alighted on the notion that Hackett could be The Guy for the Ford Motor Company 22 months ago. Unfortunately, Hackett has shown only intermittent flashes that he could be The Guy. Hackett by all accounts is a decent, smart and well-meaning guy, but he just doesn’t have the depth and breadth of experience to make a real difference at Ford. And right now, the one thing Ford desperately needs more than anything else is a chief executive who understands this business inside and out and can guide Ford through perilous waters. Ford needs a visible force who can present the company’s mission clearly and succinctly, but more important, one who can execute and implement at an accelerated pace. Wistful meanderings and engaged discussions about theories and conjecture are nice, but they aren't going to save the Ford Motor Company at this juncture. A lot of people looking in from the outside can see that, even though the Fog of War has obscured the vision of too many people at the top of Ford.
I said the following last May: “Bill Ford has a very difficult task facing him. He has to admit publicly (after first admitting it to himself) that Jim Hackett isn’t The Guy.”
Following up on that, Jim Hackett is not only not The Guy, he is the auto industry’s Nowhere Man, a stranger in a strange land wandering around lost in a blissful haze of organism-think while contemplating the pace of life. And it’s going nowhere good.
Hackett is simply the wrong guy, at the wrong time, at the wrong company.
And his fifteen minutes are up.
And that’s the High-Octane Truth for this week.
HE’S A REAL NOWHERE MAN, SITTING IN HIS NOWHERE LAND, MAKING ALL HIS NOWHERE PLANS FOR NOBODY: FORD’S “PROFESSOR MOONBEAM” PUSHES THE COMPANY TO THE BRINK. - Rants - Autoextremist.com ~ the bare-knuckled, unvarnished, high octane truth...
This was written in FEBRUARY. 7 months ago and this company is circling the drain? Bill Ford does nothing?
But but Ford is a mobility company...
I'd like to know who that guy is writing those articles and why he pretends he knows anything about the people of whom he speaks.
Not that I'm defending any of the executives. But, he writes like he actually sits in the board room, or is an executive himself with first hand knowledge of these people. Pretty easy to throw rocks from the outside.
the best post in here...
Hope you heard F is getting a new CEO. But with the high float and lack of interest in the auto industry/auto loan bubble speculation. A 20% or more move will be extremely difficult to produce. The right guy for the job probably isn't someone Wall Street knows well (ie they won't price in their value properly for a length of time)
What's a 07 Z06 bringing vs a 07 GT500? Ford builds a great car, occasionally.
Those articles ring true. I'm disgusted with their timing and pricing on the performance that I love. Just bought my daughter a new CUV and didn't even look at ford because of it. Something in my earlier years I could not fathom, I'm thinking my last performance car is going to be a C8.
I beg to differ with that last statement. My wife has 2015 honda civic with 110k miles and I have my 16 focus st with 71k miles. Until recently we did the same 110 mile round trip to work every day. Same roads same traffic. We both worked at the same place but schedules different so couldn't carpool.
Anyway, the front of my ST looks like someone blasted it with birdshot and the front of her civic has 1 or 2 small chips in the paint. And trust me I'm much more careful about not riding behind trucks and trailers than she is lol.
Some interesting reading in here.
Oh believe me, DeLorenzo gets told to write that shit by some of the people he's talking about. A lot of it is 100% true. That said, he has an axe to grind that is personal in nature, and you can take a wild guess which person it's with...