Six weeks ago, in the shadow of largely “paper companies” like Tesla, real automaker Ford held it’s first attempt at a “virtual” annual meeting as Ford stock hovered at $11 and a couple pennies a share. Said “virtual” meeting was rather “buggy” amidst further announcements of Ford forays into ride sharing, autonomous vehicles, and all that other vaporware that plays well with hipster investors. Ford stock budged about two bits in the wrong direction.

“When in doubt, fire the figurehead CEO”… Which is exactly what Ford did about 10 days later. By then the stock was recovering past $11 again and in the euphoria of the firing made it all the way to $11 and a dime before sinking again.

Then Ford did the unthinkable at LeMans- 2nd place! Following the script from the “Total Performance” Era of the 60s Ford is supposed to enter 4 cars at LeMans and most likely finish 1-2-3, barring a bit of luck inserting a Ferrari or other interposer in that order. Granted, the Fords ran consistently like a fleet of Super Duties on a tight delivery schedule, but not fast enough… Aston Martin beat Ford and a only a late race mishap kept a rival ‘Vette from pushing the fastest Ford GT into 3rd place. And even with the “Vette waylayed, Ford was denied 3rd spot on the podium by a Porsche 911RSR. To make the defeat even more painful, the winning Aston Martin has an engine built in Ford’s Cologne plant, and there’s likely more Ford DNA in the winning Aston Martin from when Ford owned the company a few years back. Sorta like getting beat by your ex, whose racing is being funded by the divorce settlement…

It gets worse… In a rare moment of lucidity, Ford media dropped a little factoid that the buyers of high performance variants of the Fiesta and Focus have higher incomes and are younger than SUV buyers. So a couple weeks later, Ford up and decides to move North American market Focus production which is getting evicted from Michigan Assembly to Mexico even further away… To China! The Focus is usually the world’s 1st, 2nd, or 3rd best selling car and and ought not be treated like an orphan.

Fortunately the young Turks over at Ford Otosan aren’t entirely following orders from Dearborn, as they reintroduced Ford heavy trucks into the EU via the Eastern European back door, bringing the Cargo truck to another market besides the middle east and south america.

And after all these machinations, Ford stock closed a couple cents higher at $11.04 a share as of market close friday. And lest anyone get alarmed about Ford, GM and FIAT/Chrysler are even more f’d up…

 

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