2019 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
Good pay & strong benefits
Employee discounts on Ford vehicles
Renewed public confidence in the company following years of financial disappointment
A lot of grumbling about management
UAW contract limits raises until 2015
Employees are happy to play a role in Ford’s efforts to write one of the great turnaround stories in American business.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor is striving to build smart vehicles for a smart world. One of the "Big Three" automakers in the US (with GM and Fiat Chrysler), the company manufactures cars, trucks, and SUVs under the Ford and Lincoln brands – the F-150, the Lincoln Navigator, and the Mustang among its most popular models –- and finances sales through Ford Motor Credit. Ford, which does business worldwide, is making significant investments in a strategic shift to move it from solely an automaker to a leader in vehicle technology and mobility services. In 2018, Ford said it would phase out nearly all of its car offerings, except for the Mustang, to focus on more profitable trucks and SUVs.
Ford's Automotive segment represents more than 90% of revenue and includes the sale of Ford and Lincoln brand vehicles. The Financial Services segment contributes more than 5% of revenue and includes vehicle-related financing and leasing through Ford Motor Credit Company. Outside the US, Europe is Ford Credit's largest operation with nearly 60% of that region's receivables in the UK and Germany.
Ford's Mobility segment includes Ford Smart Mobility which designs and builds mobility services and makes investments in start-ups and technology companies. Mobility is also Ford's locus for the development of autonomous vehicle technologies.
Ford's business units span the five regions of North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific. More than half of its 60-plus plants are in North America with about 25% in Europe.
The US accounts for more than 60% of Ford's revenue. Other major markets include the UK, Canada, and Germany, each accounting for about 5% of sales.
Sales and Marketing
Ford's vehicles, parts, and accessories are sold through more than 11,000 dealerships worldwide, most independently-owned. In addition to retail sales, these dealerships sell vehicles to commercial fleet customers, rental car companies, and governments.
Ford's revenue has seen steady growth the last five years, rising more than 11% between 2014 and 2018. The company's US automotive sales have been the primary growth driver, as the worldwide auto industry enjoyed several years of strong growth before global automotive sales began to wane in 2018.
Sales in 2018 increased 2.2% to $160.3 billion compared to $156.8 billion in 2017. Growth in 2018 was fueled by US sales in the Automotive segment. Although revenue improved across all three of Ford's reportable segments; Automotive accounts for more than 90% of sales.
Net income decreased 52% to $3.7 billion in 2018 compared to 2017, primarily due to weaker earnings in the Automotive segment. Ford faced higher costs related to tariffs as well as increased commodity prices. Unfavorable currency exchange rates also impacted net income.
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2018 were $16 billion, an increase of $2.6 billion from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $19.9 billion to the coffers, while investing activities used $25.3 billion, mainly for acquisitions of finance receivables and operating leases, and securities purchases. Financing activities brought in $1.7 billion, primarily from the issuance of long-term debt.
Ford is making bold moves to focus on key products and markets while continuing to make investments in mobility services that are expected to shape the industry's future. In 2018, Ford announced a sharp turn away from passenger car development in the North American market. By 2020, in response to lack of consumer interest in sedans, Ford aims for 90% of its products in North America to be trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and commercial vehicles –- the Mustang being the only car to make the cut. Within the same timeframe, the company will revamp 75% of its offerings in the US.
Electrification and autonomous vehicles are pivotal areas of focus for Ford. The company is investing $11 billion in vehicle electrification and plans to introduce electrified versions of some of its most popular nameplates, including the F-150. Ford will spend $4 billion on autonomous driving technology through 2023, including the $1 billion it's already invested in autonomous vehicle start-up Argo AI.
To help in its overall strategic objectives, Ford inked a deal with Volkswagen (VW) in early 2019 that will help the two companies share development costs for electric and autonomous vehicles, and commercial vans and medium-duty pickups. The deal –- which doesn't involve cross-ownership between the two companies –- brings VW in on Ford's investment in Argo AI. The tie-up gives both companies independent access to Argo AI's self-driving technology and will bring scale to the two automakers' autonomous vehicle ambitions. The alliance also gives Ford access to VW's electric vehicle (EV) architecture, which will accelerate Ford's EV strategy in Europe.
Speaking of Europe, 2019 also brought tighter focus for Ford's operations on the Continent. Ford aims to refresh the company's European lineup, streamline operations, and return the business to profitability. Moving forward, Ford's Europe division will be organized across three customer-focused areas: Commercial Vehicles, Passenger Vehicles, and Imports (US-made products like the Mustang). Ford will introduce at least three models over five years and offer more electrified products across its lineup. Ford also plans to beef up its already-strong presence in Europe's commercial vehicle market.
In late 2019 Ford and India-based Mahindra & Mahindra formed a joint venture that will build vehicles under the Ford brand for the Indian market, and Ford and Mahindra branded vehicles for other high-growth emerging markets. Mahindra will hold a 51% controlling stake in the new venture and Ford will hold 49%.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In late 2018, Ford purchased San Francisco-based electric scooter startup company, Spin, for $100 million. The wildly popular stand-up electric scooters will expand the portfolio of Ford's Smart Mobility division, which is focused on piloting new transportation products and services.
Also in 2018, Ford acquired two transportation software companies, Autonomic and TransLoc – part of its plan to speed up the development of new products such as microtransit services and self-driving cars.
The following year Ford announced it would also purchase Journey Holding Company, an intelligent transportation system software company. Ford plans to integrate Journey Holding's operations with those of TransLoc to further its efforts to enable cities to offer more seamless transportation services.
Henry Ford started the Ford Motor Company in 1903 in Dearborn, Michigan. In 1908 Ford introduced the Model T, produced on a moving assembly line that revolutionized both carmaking and manufacturing. By 1920 some 60% of all vehicles on the road were Fords.
After Ford omitted its usual dividend in 1916, stockholders sued. Ford responded by buying back all its outstanding shares in 1919 and didn't allow outside ownership again until 1956.
Despite the debut of the Mercury (1938), market share slipped behind General Motors and Chrysler. Henry Ford II decentralized Ford, following the GM model. Henry Ford died in 1947 at the age of 83. In 1950 the carmaker recaptured second place. Ford rolled out the infamous Edsel line in 1958 and launched the Mustang in 1964.
Ford acquired Hertz in 1994. To focus on its struggling automotive operations, Ford sold its Hertz car rental business in 2005.
With the automotive industry reeling from the Great Recession, companies made decisions to streamline their operations for survival. In mid-2010 Ford sold all of Volvo Car Corporation to Geely Automotive, a subsidiary of China-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. At the onset of 2011, Ford's Mercury model production was discontinued.
Ford's $65 million acquisition of app-based, crowd-sourced shuttle service Chariot (completed in 2017) is allowing it to use data algorithms to schedule trips in real time. Chariot uses 100 Ford Transit 15-seat vans; its 28 routes have been based on demand from riders. Ford is expanding the service from two cities (San Francisco and Austin) to eight, with at least one outside the US.
Amid shifting consumer tastes, in 2018 Ford announced it would phase out virtually all its car offerings in North America, except for the Mustang, to focus on more profitable trucks, SUVs, and crossovers.
1 AMERICAN RD
Dearborn, MI 48126-2701
Phone: 1 (313) 322-3000
Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: F
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
Executive Chairman: William C. Ford
CEO: Jim Hackett
EVP and CFO: Robert L. Shanks
Employees (This Location): 277
Employees (All Locations): 199,000
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