The game of predictions for the replacement in October of its director general Jim Hackett, the solution adopted by Ford motor company had the favor of the in-house teams. It is in effect the current director of operations, Jim Farley, a connoisseur of the sector, which will take its estate. It arrives with the aura of a genuine expertise in the automobile to the point that, in the way of a Carlos Tavares with PSA, it does not disdain to take the wheel of race cars, the weekend came. We saw it fly at le Mans Classic a Ford GT40, but intimiderait good number of seasoned drivers.
Jim Farley arrives at a crucial moment for the american manufacturer, which has engaged in a comprehensive restructuring. He is still struggling to convince investors that its predecessor the age of 65 years, Jim Hackett, was not of the seraglio car when he arrived at the head of the company in 2017.
He quickly engaged a cure of austerity aimed at saving $ 11 billion. Hope to be at the forefront of a automotive landscape rushed by Silicon Valley and Tesla, he has at the same time pushed the investment in autonomous vehicles, and electric.
It has also repositioned the range of Ford to meet the demands of Americans for larger vehicles, focusing the company's efforts on the pick-up, 4X4, city and utilities, and gradually abandoning the city and sedans. But the group has also suffered from problems when launching new models Ford Explorer or Lincoln Aviator. And investors seem to struggle to understand the strategy of the group in the long term.
Ford has the ready answer to Tesla, one that will appeal to investors, with its Mustang-Mach-e, an SUV all electric very efficient. © Ford
On Wall Street, the action Ford has lost about half its value over the past five years at the same time as a group as the manufacturer of electric vehicles Tesla flew in the Stock market. The predecessor of Mr. Hackett, Mark Fields, had already been pushed towards the output due to the discontent of the markets. Under the leadership of Mr. Hackett, the profits of Ford have also gradually fade.
The group, however, resisted better than expected to the pandemic Covid-19, which resulted in a drop in the second quarter, sales of cars and led to the temporary closure of some of its facilities. Ford, which unlike General Motors and Chrysler did not go bankrupt during the financial crisis of 2008, assured to have sufficient liquidity to cope with a decline in global demand for cars and a new wave of factory closures.
" Even if the new vehicle offering from Ford shows promising products with the Mustang Mach-E and the Bronco, Farley is going to have a job for "right the ship" to the extent that Ford is still in full restructuring, and the sales of vehicles are not going to return anytime soon to the levels before the Covid, " said Tuesday, Garrett Nelson of the firm of CRFA.
Ford has made a contemporary interpretation of the Bronco very appealing that could come up in Europe. © Ford
"The way for Mr. Farley and Ford will be anything but easy to the extent that the industry just adopt new technologies, new global regulations and to meet the high expectations of customers," noted Michelle Krebs, an analyst at Cox Automotive.
" In a period of transformation, the leaders who dream big and lead with emotions that go up often to the top. And this certainly seems to be the case at the moment with Jim Farley ", a-t-it added, however.
After several years at Toyota, Mr. Farley, age 58, arrived at Ford in 2007 as head of global sales and then led the line Lincoln, the regions South America and then Europe, before overseeing all of the group's markets. He had been chosen in April 2019, to lead the team in charge of new activities, technologies and strategy before being appointed director of operations in February, a promotion, placing him in a good position to take the head of the company.
The chairman of the board Bill Ford, great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, has emphasized on Tuesday that the new boss was a real expert of cars, who loved his lost hours to drive old cars. His grandfather worked in a Ford factory.
During a conference call, Mr. Farley was assured that there would be no differences in major strategic with his predecessor and that he was "completely in agreement" with the decision to concentrate the design of the new cars around the digital features.
The management was very thoughtful to bring in an outside person to replace, " said Mr. Ford. But Mr. Farley has won points with his management of the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
" The choice of the continuity can be a great force, especially if you feel that you are on the right track ", he assured.