Auto Industry Shake-Ups: GM Cuts Car Production, Ford Replaces Top Execs

Print Email

Looking to trim another 50,000 vehicles from its year-end inventory, General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) plans to continue reducing production of passenger cars and retool some of its plants to building more vehicles based on light-truck frames. That’s one way to shake things up.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) has chosen another way: replace some top executives. The company this morning announced that four top executives are leaving the company in the first shake-up under new CEO Jim Hackett.

Hackett commented on the changes at Ford:

As we develop our strategy to become the most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world, we will continue to reshape the organization to deliver the most value for our customers and all of our stakeholders. The changes we are announcing today will further align resources and improve efficiencies throughout our global markets and operations.  At the same time, I want to recognize the truly significant contributions of the senior leaders departing from Ford and thank them for their many years of service.

GM, which reported third-quarter results this morning, was reported earlier this month to be closing its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant for the final six weeks of 2017 in an effort to draw down its inventory of slow-selling passenger cars. The company builds its Buick LaCrosse, Cadillac CT6, Chevy Volt and Chevy Impala at the plant.

Only the Cadillac CT6 has shown a year-over-year sales gain in the first nine months of this year, and sales plunged 26.7% in September, indicating that the company has enough inventory to last through the end of 2017.

At Ford, executive vice president Steven Odell, a 37-year company veteran, is retiring as head of the company’s global marketing, sales, and service organization. Bennie Fowler, group vice president for quality and new model launch, is retiring after 27 years at the company. Felicia Fields, group vice president for human resources, is also retiring after a 30-year career with Ford. John Casesa who joined Ford in 2015 as group vice president of global strategy, is also leaving.

Ford made other management changes detailed in the company’s press release.

GM stock traded up 2.3% in the early afternoon Tuesday to $46.17, after posting a new 52-week high of $46.76 earlier. The 52-week low is $30.21.

Ford stock traded up 1.3% to $12.20, in a 52-week range of $10.47 to $13.27. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Thursday.