Ford’s Fight To Remain An American Icon

Ford Motor Companyis the oldest U.S. automaker. More than one century old, it is the only one to have survived the
Great Depression, two World Wars and the 2008 financial crisis without having to sell to a foreign buyer or file for bankruptcy. After one hundred fifteen years, Ford is now at a critical juncture in its storied history. Global auto sales peaked in 2016. The entire industry is struggling with higher interest rates more expensive material costs and a global trade war. Then there’s Uber, Waymo, Tesla and
other new startups and companies that are upping the pressure on the industry
to keep up with the latest technology. Autonomous driving, electric vehicles, hybrids, all of which will take billions of dollars in investment and years to
develop before any real payoff comes. The automaker’s stock sank below 10
dollars a share in July 2018 for the first time since emerging from
the financial crisis in late 2009. Under former CEO Alan Mulally. Since his departure in 2014 Ford, has struggled with his successors. Mark Fields who was an executive with Ford for nearly three decades held the top job for just three years before the board replaced him with current CEO Jim Hackett, a company outsider in April 2017. And Hackett is already under pressure sales in China have plummete. Falling 45 percent in October 2018 over
the same quarter in the previous year. Ford’s European business has deteriorated and it has long struggled in Latin America. Hackett’s promised $11 billion turnaround plan hadn’t fully materialized by late 2018. Although, investors have become impatient, analysts say Hackett still has the backing of Henry Ford’s great grandson. Ford was founded at the turn of the 20th century by Henry Ford, a mechanically inclined young man from a farm outside Detroit, Michigan. Uninterested in farming, He worked as an engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company, where Thomas Edison encouraged the young entrepreneur to experiment with automobile designs. Ford ultimately teamed up with a Detroit coal dealer and founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903. I think it’s important to know that Ford was not afraid of failure in fact he embraced and welcomed failure. He would talk about how his first two car companies failed. He would have rather setbacks along the way but he saw each failure as a to lessen a chance to learn something and do better with the next attempt. So I think that was important. At that time, cars were assembled slowly by teams of skilled craftsmen. Ford saw the potential to streamline the process. He adapted assembly line techniques learned from other industries, such as brewing and canning. This dramatically sped up production and reduced costs. Henry’s Model T car was the first automobile produced on a mass scale would turn him into a legend. Its initial price in 1908 of $825, under $23,000 in today’s currency, gave it widespread appeal. By 1916, Model T production rose to more than 585,000 units and the price fell to $360. During their lifetime, Model Ts represented half of all the cars on the road worldwide. In 1917, the company made its
first foray into producing the vehicles, it is perhaps best known for today, the pickup truck. The truck was based on the Model T
and was a sturdy frame with a cab in the front. Ford sold roughly 4 million pickups
before stopping production during World War II. In the postwar period, the company would release a number of now classic cars, including the legendary Thunderbird. Ford rolled out the Mustang, a two door pony muscle car in 1964. Steve McQueen would turn it into an icon in the 1968 film, Bullet. By the early 1980s though, Ford had suffered a number of bad years and executives at the company began
looking for challenging and inspiring new designs. The company rocked the automotive world in 1985 when it released the Taurus, a front wheel drive sedan with rounded edges, that was strikingly different from what sedans looked like at the time. The car is often credited with saving the company and its so-called Jelly Bean shape influenced auto designs for more than a decade. But Ford would later face other challenges. Reports started surfacing in the late 1990s of accidents involving the tires on Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles. The scandal resulted in more than 270 deaths and 800 injuries in the United States alone prompted congressional investigations. Millions of dollars in settlements and legal costs forced several executives to resign and severely damaged Ford’s reputation. Just as Ford was putting the scandal behind it, Cracks started showing in the auto lending market in late 2005 and early 2006, foreshadowing the crisis to come. Ford which made $1.6 billion in 2005 lost an astounding $12.6 billion the next year. At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, it booked a record loss of $14.7 billion. The big three Detroit automakers: Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler would go to Washington hat in hand for a combined $34 billion in loans that December. But Ford was spared the fates of its rivals. Then CEO Mulally, who had been hired from Boeing in 2006, was credited with having the foresight to see the credit markets tightening. He amassed a $20 billion war chest
through borrowing before the crisis was in full swing. The gamble paid off. Ford was the only Detroit automaker that didn’t take federal assistance or file for bankruptcy and has booked annual profits ever since. But since Malawi’s departure in 2014, the company has seen its fortunes sink. Some industry watchers say Mulally, like other auto executives, missteps by realigning Ford’s portfolio around passenger sedans and compact cars, missing the dramatic consumer shift toward SUV and pickups. Hackett has inherited a challenge. With U.S. auto sales down from their 2016 peak of 17.5 million vehicles sold, the industry has been increasingly relying on high priced trucks and SUV fees to bolster profits. The company has to slim down its operation, remain profitable, invest in new products for the short term, and still show it is looking further ahead into the future. And it has to do this while fending off competition from not only traditional automakers but a whole new ecosystem of companies, from industries such as technology.
Some of which have very deep pockets. They are in this transitional challenging place right now and and taking a lot of criticism. But let us not forget it is not a company that’s on the verge of bankruptcy. They are still very profitable. They have a lot of cash. So, it’s not a company that’s going away tomorrow as Ramos said it wouldn’t. Ford wouldn’t make it through the next recession. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Of course Ford certainly has its strengths. It has a strong brand, loyal customers and good products among other things. But the auto industry could look very different in just a few years. Investors aren’t yet convinced Hackett can navigate through these choppy waters. Whether Ford will see another century as an American icon remains to be seen.

Paul Whisler


  1. Ford needs to go back to making simple, reliable, inexpensive cars.

  2. Well, committing fraud by changing employees W-4's without their permission is not going to make it easy.

  3. Just remember – they didn't take the bailout! Made them stronger!

  4. Stop making vehicles with water pumps that fail and dump coolant in the oil pan that will destroy the engine. Edge, Taurus, Flex, fusion.

  5. Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Kia and Hyundai still sell lots of sedans. The difference is, these vehicles are reliable. Fords are not.

  6. Become incredibly reliable, and do what the Japanese have done. Even when their reliability falls off (which it has and is) then you can rest slightly on your laurels while you sort things out. Short term profit long term loss just to appease your shareholders quarterly is a failing strategy.

  7. 7.38. I would not take analyst advice from someone born in 1930.

  8. In my humble opinion, Ford should have ditched the Mercury brand decades ago.
    Little more than a nice trim package for almost any Ford model…redundant.
    They might have done well to focus and invest more in their flagship Lincoln brand which was once America's premier luxury car.
    Seems like somewhere in the 80's, they invested in Lincoln only enough to keep the brand afloat and it showed.
    How much money did they lose buying and selling off Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo?
    They should have continued developing the Lincoln line to compete better with most foreign luxury brands.
    I really like what they are doing now with Lincoln…finally.
    A bit too late though maybe?

  9. 3:58 Says Ford is stopping production during WW2 but shows footage of a WW1 tank 🤦‍♀️

  10. The tire problem is Firestone's fault. They haven't done business together since.

  11. This video is stupid. I’ve seen an f150 almost every single day of my life for the last 3 years. Mustangs are ubiquitous and the expedition is very common. Heck even the discontinued Ford Focus and fusion are still common. They are doing VERY well, shoot they push the f150s so much that it’s HARD to find the new Ranger.

  12. maybe if they improve their interiors and don't sell just trucks, they'd make more sales in the US instead of giving it all to the europeans.

  13. Ford's greatest problem has been its carless attitude to quality and not building into their product a Japanese level of reliability , and when problems did appear because of their lack of quality control they then treated their own customers as the enemy who were expecting them to fix the problems under warranty , but recently there has been a turnaround because of a class action about the double clutch gearbox problem which they point blank denied there was a major flaw , lets hope they have learnt , but as wheels magazine in Australia said about them , they are a company that never learns .

  14. Toyota, Nissan, and Honda are more American than Ford and GM. A majority of their cars are made in the US while Ford and GM cars are made in Mexico.

  15. I'm getting tired of the cars and trucks all looking the same. Copy each other's designs too much. I don't want a cross over either. I want a truck that's a truck and a car that's a car. Can't get any simpler than that.

  16. With Jim Hackett at the helm as CEO, Ford will no longer be an American icon when he's done with it.

  17. 50k for a brand new truck? Come on! I remember when a truck costed $500. Henry Ford would be so ashamed of this new Ford.

  18. All I know is that.. as someone who loves to drive.. a love affair with the automobile since I was 17 ..the idea that all Americans want a car that drives itself..go f… k yourself google,Microsoft,and all the other technologies companies lol..thanks you!

  19. Sadly, Ford is following the playbook written by GM and FCA as far as treating customers like 💩 and building unreliable vehicles.
    They’re still the best of the worst, but with so many better choices, that’s not helping them.

  20. if technology is getting cheaper then why are cars so expensive????

  21. FORD = forgot OBVIOUS RESEARCH/ recall cronies..Detroit

  22. Brilliant, they mixed WWI and WWII, pretty sure they just edited the time between, cant be such a huge mistake right? Anyway, nice light doc, thx for making it and sharing.

  23. Two words that have driven many people away from Ford, permanently: Ford PowerShift.

    My Focus was my first Ford product and my last one, forever. Why this car has had to have the guts of the transmission replaced five times is ridiculous.

  24. Ford will hurt again for stop making cars, when the market turns again to cars. To retool again it's going to be to costly to make a profit.
    I've have had good luck with Ford's but they could make them better.

  25. Ford is partnering with Rivian to make an electric F-150. Very smart.

  26. Autonomous driving, electric vehicles, and hybrids. All things that I want to remain far far away from my cars.

  27. Out of all my friends, my family and me. Ford has ALWAYS broke down the most.
    NOT RELIABLE. Even the Ford trucks at work always the worst problems. Ford sucks man. I will never buy a Ford truck or car ever.

  28. Ford quality is amazing and great technology. There f150 is the best truck and it goes a lot!

  29. Maybe Car company should be run by Car enthusiasts and/or engineers

    Not by Businessman that only know Numbers and Charts

  30. Ford had the Pinto scandal, then the tire scandal, then the warping cylinder head scandal and the dual clutch transmission scandal.

    Every time, they knew about the problem and didn't fixed it. They lied to their customers at every new scandal. And their customer base depleted. Now Toyota and Honda are rubbing their hands and Kia is kicking strong into the market.
    Don't take your customers for idiots. 😎

  31. Remember when Ford's Motto was Quality is Job 1 ? That was many, many years ago! Today they build them cheap, charge what they can and hope the customer never calls to have it fixed under warranty. If it's recalled they band-aid it and once it fails they tell the customer it's their turn to fix it. After owning four Fords I can tell you we will never purchase another one because of the lack of customer service and all the recalls. Fix Or Repair Daily has come to haunt those who own newer Fords. Ford's quality started to go down hill in 2008. Don't even bother calling what Ford calls their Care Center. All they do is take memos and provide no help. The call center has no way to call you back because all phones are incoming only lines. Gone are the Ford Field Reps who could possibly work to fix customer's issues. Dealers are given memos on how to deal with their customers when recall repairs fail. (We had a 100,000 warranty on our 09 MKX. At 50,000 mile it was in the shop for the 7th time to repair the moon roof. The dealer told me I would have to pay for his shop to fix it again. / 09 Escape power steering had no issues till Ford had us bring it in and they reprogrammed the power steering unit. 3 months later the power steering system failed and Ford would not fix it. I had to get it fixed out of pocket and sue Ford in small claims court to recoup my money. Ford would not fix the issue and didn't answer any of my certified letters that I sent to their legal department over the course of 6 months. Once I won the law suit their legal department called me and asked me to drop it so there would not be a record of it and they would pay my repair bill. The judge thought that was funny so he granted me a Write of Excision and once Ford saw I had that they sent me my money over night. No company is to large to fail when they treat their customers the way Ford has. It's only a matter of time before everyone learns Ford's game and they creator because they have no customers.

  32. well ford is a very big player and will be for along time to come. in the mean time tesla is looking at ford lunch table and going nom nom nom mmmm that is very nice, thank you.
    ford – ev will never take off. then ford ev is just a fade. then ford mmm maybe ev are a nice thing…. you know how this to going to go. 10 years later . ford ok ev are a going to be it.

  33. So sad that nobody wants an over priced white supremacist truck that may blow up

  34. They didn't get bailed out, they just got 30 billion from bank loans, either way without that money they were going bankrupt no matter how you look at it

  35. Of the Detroit 3, I feel Ford is the strongest one. The other two, especially Chrysler, I feel have questionable futures.

  36. Ford should first stop selling cars to the rental companies. As a customer it makes me feel that Ford is some cheap Chinese made product.

  37. Honda and Toyota will be the only two Automakers that will survive this and the coming decades with profits.

  38. Ford, has made some of the most iconic cars in the world. Now, they make great trucks. Like this videos background music, they are on a roller coaster clown ride. LOL. (:

  39. I have a 2003 fi50 5 speed i have over 200,000 and replaced the clutch at 198,000 no other problems

  40. The transition to electric (FULL) is going to happen within 5 – 10 years, and Ford honestly does look well prepared to handle that.

    A lot of people missed out on some great PHEV cars with the CMAX and Fusion Energi lines. They are more fun to drive than the Toyota fair, and with an overnight charge can travel 20 – 30 miles depending on how you drive.

    There are of course bad years but every car manufacturer has those, even Toyota. the 2009 Corolla the 2008 xB are total dogs. They have some of the worst reliability of any car in the industry.

    The same is true for the 2013 Fords – their traditional transmissions have issues, but so do their electrics from that lousy Microsoft Sync deal. Look for a used (or new) Ford running Sync 3, which runs on linux (QNX to be precise) – it's much more reliable, and the transmission issues (have hopefully) been ironed out as well.

    God Bless.

  41. Lets make few more variant of every model so that people may have Access to there favorite models. Sales up👆 simple according to purchasing power and convince of features.

  42. Ford should sell cheaper yet reliable vehicle. Today, people are buying vehicles that cheaper yet with quality such Toyota and Honda.

  43. Why buy ford ?they are made overseas or mexico or Canada. They are garbage. Japanese cars are better built and more reliable.

  44. I was hoping for more commentary on their decision to cease production of their cars in the US.

  45. Model T "cars" look very similar to Today's crossover "SUVs". Ford moving away from Sedans is just Ford getting back to its roots.

  46. Problem? That's OK we'll get to it on the recall! Honda and Toyota have the 4 door sedan market all to themselves. Where, oh where, did the honest reliable affordable vehicle go? Sometimes I think that the pricing on new vehicles is because the ordinary working person is just despised!

  47. Said goodbye to Ford years ago due to them not resolving a recall issue.
    Terrible customer service from my experience.👎

  48. there was a financial crisis in 2008? lol i didnt even notice. edit: the bad tires, now that i remember.

  49. Give america small reliable subcompact pickup suv around 15-18k 4×4 and fors will be top of the game. Key word is reliable and value, ford is not known for either of these

  50. I own 5 Fords, the oldest being my 1943 Ford GP (Jeep) and the newest being my 1984 Ford Ranger, which has over 311,000 miles on it and it's never needed any drivetrain work…never….I'll only ever own Ford vehicles for as long as I live, I mock and ridicule any and all Garbage Motors vehicle owners as they deserve to be, and I absolutely detest any and all Asian made vehicles….if a legal U.S. citizen willingly enriches an Asian auto manufacturer by purchasing their vehicles, that person is 100% a huge scumbag piece of fecal matter….

  51. Todays cars has to many unnecessary electronic parts that make the cars malfunction in couple of years in some cases almost imposible to find the fail even for the agencies, making the people spend lot of money on electronic fixes, todays cars use a very tiny cables and connectors that doesn't last to much time, the automatic transmission from the 95 Chevrolet puck up it was one of the best, now they have more than one computer and filled with many sensors and all that stuff that a the end it only make the car more sensitive and less durable, now cars are very delicate very fragile in the electronic part.

  52. I hate the technology in all cars !!!!!!! Useless completely !!!!!!!! Navigation wheels simple straight V8 and I’m happy!!!!! Any idiot can hack your car wth is this ???? Waste of money !!!!!!!!!!!!! FORD PICKUPS ARE THE BEST !!!! 500 more yrs to come 🍾🥂

  53. Stop circling the drain with Autonomous vehicle development.
    The driving experience will be essentially gone.
    If driverless vehicles are the future then at 53 I’m extremely pleased I’ll be be on the other side and not giving a rat’s ass about it.

  54. Ford needs to focus on what people want and step away from building cheap low quality designs….or stick to cheap reliable pickup trucks and government utility vehicles.

  55. If you take glance in a Ford you would think it looks nice but when you feel the materials you make a face like this:😬 The interior is made at of plastic, every single peace is made out of plastic. I get if cars have plastic but they don’t need to have that much plastic 🙄🙄

  56. Keep selling America and the American people out Ford and there won't be any American people to buy Ford vehicles

  57. Ford just recently built a billion dollar plant in Mexico told its suppliers to move to Mexico too sellout Ford GM and mopar are American sellouts too

  58. We have 8 fleet ford vehicles all have between 300 400k miles original that's ford surprised my company still keeps em we had tundra silverado and ram all gave us problems except the f150 my boss decided to get rid of all of em except the Ford. Best decision he ever made
    For the ppl that are ignorant and dont know Toyota r ok…but when u overwork em they fall apart. At my job we abuse em everyday and It fell apart sad.

  59. Ford is doing fine. They're selling less vehicles at a higher profit per vehicle. no more fiestas, focuses or other low-profit vehicles

  60. No Ford did not except any government funds in the USA, they did accept government money from Canada, Europe, and some South American companies. They did take huge concessions from all union and non-union crafts, and they pawned the blue oval to raise cash to stay afloat. Ford started off rocky, to say the least, Henry Ford almost bankrupted the company 9 times before the Model A was ever produced.

  61. Hopefully Ram and Toyota will show them that when people are paying that premium they expect reliability and quality.

  62. I like Ford but they are too EXPENSIVE like everyone else….. they should keep on making cars don't stop not everybody wants an SUV or a truck


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