Posts tagged with "\Ford"

Sydney Sweeney fixes up a Ford Mustang in ad campaign championing women in auto sector

December 8, 2023

When auto brand Ford partnered with Sydney Sweeney—the star of Euphoria and The White Lotus—to launch a women’s workwear collection in March, items began selling out in less than 36 hours. The success inspired the brand and Wieden+Kennedy New York to expand on their partnership, with an advertising campaign aiming to break barriers for women in the automotive sector, reports Adweek.

The initiative launches with a film showing Sweeney working on her 1964 Ford Mustang. Dressed in the Ford x Sydney Sweeney denim coveralls, which are manufactured by Dickies, she replaces a spark plug and air filter, and changes the car’s oil.

In a second film, she sports the collection’s new T-shirt and corduroy hat as she replaces the car’s brakes. Sweeney comes from a family of mechanics and has documented her work restoring a 1969 Ford Bronco on her TikTok channel, @syds_garage.

“We learned that a lot of people, a lot of women, and not just auto enthusiasts, are captivated and inspired by this extraordinarily authentic partnership,” Ford Marketing Communications Manager Erica Martin told Adweek. “They love getting a glimpse at a new side of Sydney and of Ford.

“This time, we aimed to simply do more of what was so successful—hanging out with Sydney (and her dog, Tank) in her garage while she gets her hands dirty and pursues her passion.”

While the auto industry is typically male-dominated, Ford wants to inspire more women with passion for the space. The brand is releasing a digital lookbook featuring step-by-step instructions for basic vehicle maintenance and pictures of the apparel modeled by female auto restoration influencers, including Adri Law and Gelica Peralta.

The lookbook and tutorials from Sweeney will be shared in Instagram carousels and story highlights directing consumers to buy the line at merchandise.ford.com.

“Anytime we can show up in a relevant way, in unexpected places for an automotive brand, that’s a win,” Martin said. “It’s all about harnessing the power of pop culture, of Sydney, to get in front of new audiences and drive conversation about Ford in social and in the media. And it would be great if the merch sold out again, too.”

Research contact: @Adweek

UAW launches unprecedented strike against GM, Ford, and Stellantis

September 18, 2023

The United Auto Workers union has launched an unprecedented strike against General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis after negotiators failed to reach a last-minute deal on a new contract, reports Axios.

The Detroit Three automakers collectively have about 150,000 UAW-represented employees at dozens of factories nationwide, making popular vehicles like the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado, and Jeep Wrangler.

UAW President Shawn Fain said the union would begin a strike at three factories after national contracts expired at 11:59pm on Thursday, September 14, rather than striking all U.S. operations of the companies:

  • GM’s assembly plant in Wentzville, Missouri;
  • Ford’s assembly and paint plant in Wayne, Michigan; and
  • Stellantis’ assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio.

There has never been a strike against all three automakers at once. “We must show the world that our fight is a righteous fight,” Fain said Thursday night on a livestream.

Fain said the UAW could gradually expand the strike to include additional plants —or all of them—if the automakers don’t give in to the union’s demands: “If we need to go all out, we will. Everything is on the table.”

Workers who go on strike will get $500 per week in strike pay from the union.

Ford said in a statement on Thursday night that the UAW didn’t offer a “substantive counterproposal” until 8 p.m. Thursday and the company had delivered a “historically generous” offer that included wage hikes, COLA, more paid-time off, and higher retirement contributions.

The UAW’s counteroffer “showed little movement from the union’s initial demands,” Ford said.

“We are disappointed by the UAW leadership’s actions, despite the unprecedented economic package GM put on the table, including historic wage increases and manufacturing commitments,” GM said in a statement, adding that “we will continue to bargain in good faith with the union to reach an agreement as quickly as possible.”

The automakers want a deal that will ensure they can compete with non-unionized automakers like Tesla, which already has a cost advantage over the Detroit Three.

The UAW wants a 36% pay increase, a return to traditional pensions and retiree health care, and other concessions.

In their latest offers, GM and Ford pitched a 20% pay increase and agreed to a return to cost-of-living adjustments (COLA)—one of the UAW’s demands. But the two sides were far apart on benefits as of Thursday afternoon.

President Joe Biden spoke to both sides on Thursday to discuss the status of the negotiations. It’s unclear whether he advocated for any particular outcome.

Biden, who has a longstanding pro-union stance, stunned automakers, the UAW, and industry analysts when he predicted on Labor Day that there wouldn’t be a strike.

A strike at select plants could quickly become “a logistical nightmare for the Detroit Three as it relates to the supply chain because automakers will have to adjust deliveries of specific parts to their assembly plants,” CFRA Research analyst Garrett Nelson said Thursday in a written analysis.

“Not knowing which plants the UAW will target in advance could create a massive level of uncertainty and have a crippling impact on production,” Nelson added.

If it turns into a strike at all of the automakers’ U.S. plants, it would cost more than $5 billion over a period of 10 days, according to the Anderson Economic Group.

Among the automakers’ biggest concerns is that they’ll fall behind on electric vehicles if a prolonged strike sets them back or leads to unaffordable contracts.

“This is a potential nightmare situation for GM and Ford as both 313 stalwarts are in the early stages of a massive EV transformation path for the next decade that will define future success,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said Thursday in a research note, using the area code for Detroit.

But the UAW says the the Detroit Three can afford the compensation increases it’s asking for after years of massive profits stemming from record-high vehicle prices and strong sales.

Research contact: @axios

Hertz links up with Uber to offer 50,000 Tesla rentals

October 28, 2021

Hertz Global Holdings  announced on Wednesday, October  27, that it is linking up with Uber Technologies  to make 50,000 Teslas available in Uber’s ride-sharing network by 2023—the latest in the rental-car firm’s efforts to build momentum postbankruptcy, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Hertz Global Holdings is the parent company of Hertz, an American car rental company based in Estero, Florida.  The deal comes days after Hertz, which collapsed into bankruptcy at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, said it is making a significant investment in an EV rental fleet—including an initial order of 100,000 Teslas by the end of 2022 and new EV-charging infrastructure across the globe.

The company exited Chapter 11 in June and has a planned stock listing coming later this year.

The Teslas it intends to add to the Uber network will come from the 100,000 vehicle order revealed earlier this week and future orders as the program grows.

The latest deals are part of a broader strategy by the postbankruptcy Hertz to modernize its operations and fleets—leveraging new tech to improve logistics and give customers more options, particularly on plug-in electric models, said Mark Fields, Hertz’s interim chief executive.

“One of the biggest benefits of a restructuring like ours is it gives us a fresh perspective,” Fields said in an interview with the Journal. “It allows us to take the approach of instead of saying ‘why?’—‘why not?’”

Fields, a veteran auto industry executive and former Ford CEO, was named to his latest post earlier this month.

The Journal notes that the deal between Hertz and Tesla led to a big stock-market rally for the electric-car maker this week. Tesla’s stock, which more than doubled this past year, shot up to $1,024.86 a share Monday, pushing the company’s value north of $1 trillion for the first time.

The deal also aided Hertz’s shares, which have been traded over the counter since the company was delisted in the summer of 2020. Hertz’s shares rose roughly 10% to $27.17 Monday.

The rental-car firm plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq in the fourth quarter of this year, under its previous ticker symbol, HTZ. The listing will mark a comeback for Hertz.

Research contact: @WSJ

‘Road of the future’ to link Detroit and Ann Arbor with 40 miles of self-driving cars and shuttles

August 17, 2020

Companies have poured tens of billions into self-driving vehicles, but they have yet to change how we get around: We continue to rely on ground transportation operated by humans.

Why? It could be a lack of vision. The self-driving vehicle industry has put all of its efforts into designing the driverless vehicles—and barely one cent into the roads that would carry them successfully.

But now, Fortune Magazine reports, we are about to see a quantum leap in transportation. An ambitious new project in Michigan is set to connect two of the state’s key cities—Detroit and Ann Arbor—with a new corridor dedicated just to autonomous vehicles.

The plan is being led by Cavnue, an infrastructure startup, and with the support of traditional car companies like Ford and GM as well as Alphabet’s driverless car subsidiary, Waymo.

The plan calls for new roads—or special Cavnue lanes for driverless vehicles—to be built alongside existing routes, including Interstate 94, with links to destinations such as the University of Michigan and Detroit Metropolitan airport.

The so-called road of the future, which was announced on Thursday, August 13, by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, amounts to an ambitious bid to reconceive both transportation and public transit. A press release describing the project hailed it as “the world’s most sophisticated roadway.”

A key feature of the plan is the development of a common software standard that will enable autonomous vehicles of all sorts—from cars to transport trucks to passenger shuttles—access the road. This will provide a revenue opportunity for governments, which can charge private companies for access to the road, using the funds to subsidize transit. For transit users, driverless shuttles could be an affordable new way to get around.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether all of this actually will come to fruition, Fortune notes. For now, the project calls for an initial 24-month planning phase, after which the State of Michigan and start-up Cavnue will decide whether to begin construction. Cavnue is a subsidiary of Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), a holding company partly backed by Google parent Alphabet.

According to Cavnue, the public sector will not have to finance any part of the first phase of the project, and if construction goes forward, the builders will explore a variety of funding options such as federal grants or fares from local businesses along the corridor.

In an interview with Fortune, Cavnue cofounder Jonathan Winer cited a “lot of nervousness” in the public sector over new technology and infrastructure projects. He said this stems from a shortage of funds—exacerbated by the pandemic—as well local governments’ experience with companies like Uber and Airbnb, which have been prone to flouting quality-of-life concerns.

In order to win the support of Michigan and local governments, Winer says Cavnue began by bringing together all manner of transportation interests—including road operators, public sector officials, and carmakers. At a convention in February, the various groups explored how dedicated routes for driverless cars could provide an alternative to light rail and other transit systems.

Winer adds that the occasion also underscored the challenge of finding practical uses for driverless vehicles—a challenge detailed in a recent Financial Times report that described “disillusionment” with the technology and “robotaxi failure.” The idea of “robotaxis” has been hyped for years as a new form of urban transportation, but companies have failed to develop autonomous cars capable of operating in cities.

“The general consensus is it’s harder than we thought,” he told the business news outlet. “If we’re spending billions on tech, we’ll need near-term commercial applications.”

In practice, Winer says, this means shifting the focus of the fledgling autonomous vehicle industry towards projects like the corridor between Detroit and Ann Arbor, which can allow autonomous vehicles to operate without challenges like urban traffic.

The Detroit project is also getting a boost from the traditional titans of Motor City, including Ford’s executive chairman, Bill Ford, who is the great-grandson of the company’s founder.

“Building out a connected corridor cements Michigan as a leader in creating a more connected, autonomous, and electrified future,” said Ford in a statement.

In addition to advisors from Ford, GM, and Waymo, Cavnue’s advisory board includes members from Argo AI, Arrival, BMW, Honda, Toyota, and TuSimple. The University of Michigan and the City of Detroit are also lending support to the project.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine