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Old 07-02-2012, 03:15 PM   #1
XDCX
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Default Henry Ford III appears on Barrett-Jackson - Orange County Auto Auction

I was watching some of the Barrett-Jackson - Orange County Auto Auction on Tivo over the weekend and I was impressed when the Speed broadcast team did an interview with Henry Ford III.

Henry Ford III is the great grandson to the founder of Ford Motor Company - Henry Ford. (Henry Ford - Henry Ford II - Edsel Ford - Henry Ford III)

During the Speed interview Henry Ford III indicated that he spent a few years as a teacher and a coach before joining the family business. His current job, as I understand it, is the District Manager for Ford's Southern California operations. (That would be like a Business Center Director for Chrysler.)

He sounded very humble and indicated that he routinely talks with Ford dealers in Southern California.

Ford used to have a strong position in California about ten years ago and then gave up a large percentage of their market share between 2005 - 2008. It will be interesting to see if Ford can claw back some market share in Southern California with Henry Ford III in the driver's seat.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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I don't remember what the exact numbers are, but Ford is supposedly gaining market share in California. I think the Fiesta and new Focus are helping Ford, but that was several months ago. I don't know what the situation looks like today, but it sounds like Ford is on a rebound a bit in California.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Lincoln (and Cadillac). Apparently, these two luxury brands are pretty much non-existent in the California market with Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Audi being the dominant brands.
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Old 07-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #3
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I don't remember what the exact numbers are, but Ford is supposedly gaining market share in California. I think the Fiesta and new Focus are helping Ford, but that was several months ago. I don't know what the situation looks like today, but it sounds like Ford is on a rebound a bit in California.
That's good to hear. I haven't studied the California market for the past several years but it's good to hear Ford's been able to claw back some market share.

My impression of Ford's historic strong market share in California was because they jammed their dealers with inventory and then used Ford Motor Credit to move the iron. It seemed to work well and the dealers were mostly happy until the market started to soften and the dealers were stuck with excessive inventory and high expenses.

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Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Lincoln (and Cadillac). Apparently, these two luxury brands are pretty much non-existent in the California market with Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, and Audi being the dominant brands.
Great point. While I think Cadillac has some existing product and some product in the pipeline that will sell in California, I don't think the same can be said for Lincoln. I'd hate to own a Lincoln single-point store anywhere, but I think it would be worse in a market like Southern California where the Lincoln dealers face high expenses and low market share/consideration.
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Old 07-06-2012, 09:47 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by XDCX View Post
That's good to hear. I haven't studied the California market for the past several years but it's good to hear Ford's been able to claw back some market share.

My impression of Ford's historic strong market share in California was because they jammed their dealers with inventory and then used Ford Motor Credit to move the iron. It seemed to work well and the dealers were mostly happy until the market started to soften and the dealers were stuck with excessive inventory and high expenses.
From what I've been reading in other forums, it sounds like Ford's dealer inventory is very low (even in California). Ford is no longer pushing products through dealers, but rather letting the market pull the products through. Apparently it is working because Ford is supposedly near capacity at its plants - and the Ford dealers still cannot get enough inventory. I understand the Michigan and California dealers just cannot get enough products like the Explorer, Fiesta, Focus, and new Escape. This is a good situation for the company, but bad for the dealers.



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Great point. While I think Cadillac has some existing product and some product in the pipeline that will sell in California, I don't think the same can be said for Lincoln. I'd hate to own a Lincoln single-point store anywhere, but I think it would be worse in a market like Southern California where the Lincoln dealers face high expenses and low market share/consideration.
I would hate to be a Lincoln dealer anywhere right now. I really like Alan Mulally and what he has done for Ford, but I'm not quite sold on his plan for Lincoln. The Ford fans say that everybody needs to have patience because Lincoln is at the beginning of its comeback. I don't know. I really don't see Lincoln doing anything right now, but apparently there is more to come. Everybody (Lincoln dealers included) needs to have faith and patience I guess. I just don't know.
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