BLOG: Nick Bunkley

Why it was no surprise that Ford had no surprises

Posted 11:17 am U.S. ET, Jan. 12
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Lincoln chief Kumar Galhotra today revealed the new Continental sedan, but the most notable aspect of the car is that it looks just like the concept shown last year. (REUTERS/Gary Cameron)
A year ago, the Ford GT was the surprise star of the Detroit auto show. Ford Motor Co. has a much lower-key presence in this year’s show. Even the GT itself is oddly hard to find. Instead of putting it front and center, where it would be certain to attract a nonstop gaggle of onlookers, Ford hid the GT on the second level of its new stand, along with the rest of its ...
     Continue reading "Why it was no surprise that Ford had no surprises" » Jan 12, 2016 11:17 am U.S. ET
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UAW members send another loud message to their leadership

Posted 3:41 pm U.S. ET, Dec. 8
At a time when Americans seem more divided than ever, more than 3,000 union members at Nexteer Automotive in mid-Michigan made a stunning show of solidarity this week. Solidarity against the people running their union, that is. The UAW’s proposed contract with Nexteer went down in flames so huge that the local fire department is probably still sifting through the ru ...
     Continue reading "UAW members send another loud message to their leadership" » Dec 8, 2015 3:41 pm U.S. ET
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How Ford got punished by Wall Street's 'we know better' formula

Posted 12:42 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 27
When is doing better than you thought a bad thing? When Wall Street doesn’t listen. Back in June, Ford Motor Co. invited analysts to a question-and-answer session with its CFO, Bob Shanks. Among the details Shanks shared was a forecast that Ford’s tax rate in the third quarter would be 34 percent. Analysts took this information, applied their proprietary &ld ...
     Continue reading "How Ford got punished by Wall Street's 'we know better' formula" » Oct 27, 2015 12:42 pm U.S. ET
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In Trump vs. Ford, truth is the loser

Posted 1:08 pm U.S. ET, Oct. 26
Never one to let facts stand in the way of a good victory lap, Donald Trump wants credit for a decision Ford Motor Co. made four years ago. Trump on Sunday claimed Ford had canceled plans to invest $2.5 billion building plants in Mexico and instead would do the work in Ohio. “FORD LISTENED TO ME, GREAT!” he tweeted to his 4.67 million followers. Except that ...
     Continue reading "In Trump vs. Ford, truth is the loser" » Oct 26, 2015 1:08 pm U.S. ET
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In this round of UAW talks, a high number of anxious new hires

Posted 1:44 pm U.S. ET, Sept. 15
In 2007, during the UAW’s six-hour strike against Chrysler, I went to interview workers on the picket lines outside one of the company’s plants. One man turned the tables and started interrogating me. He demanded to know what kind of car I drive, and when I told him a Mini Cooper, he began yelling at other workers to come harass the reporter who owned a non-un ...
     Continue reading "In this round of UAW talks, a high number of anxious new hires" » Sep 15, 2015 1:44 pm U.S. ET
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2005 vs. 2015 -- similar SAAR, different story

Posted 3:13 pm U.S. ET, June 26
By the numbers, the U.S. auto industry just had its best spring selling season in a decade. But that’s rather misleading. June 2015 is far better than June 2005. In June 2015, automakers are healthy and scrambling to keep up with demand for their most profitable vehicles. In June 2005, they were overflowing with inventory nobody wanted and desperate to get rid of ...
     Continue reading "2005 vs. 2015 -- similar SAAR, different story" » Jun 26, 2015 3:13 pm U.S. ET
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GM vs. Ford and the latest sales rivalries

Posted 2:25 pm U.S. ET, June 4
Five months into the year, 2015 is on pace to be one of the U.S. auto industry’s best years ever. And Detroit’s two biggest automakers are finding themselves locked in a number of close races, even switching places in a few important segments. General Motors may not be the world’s largest automaker anymore, but it still can get plenty of satisfaction fro ...
     Continue reading "GM vs. Ford and the latest sales rivalries " » Jun 4, 2015 2:25 pm U.S. ET
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Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer

Posted 3:51 pm U.S. ET, May 15
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The F-150 isn’t the only Ford Motor Co. icon that’s been changed to aluminum this year. Get behind the wheel of the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum, which goes on sale in a few months, and you’ll notice that something familiar is missing: the Ford Blue Oval. For the most expensive Explorer series ever, with a starting price of more than ...
     Continue reading "Why Ford's Blue Oval is missing from the 2016 Explorer" » May 15, 2015 3:51 pm U.S. ET
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The F-150, Ford's heavy-duty profit hauler

Posted 2:33 pm U.S. ET, April 28
Forget aluminum. Ford Motor Co.’s first-quarter earnings report is a reminder that the redesigned F-150 is still made of the same thing it always has been. Money. Ford CFO Bob Shanks said the automaker could have earned at least $1 billion more in North America if it had built the same number of F-150s and Edge crossovers as in the first three months of 2014. Inst ...
     Continue reading "The F-150, Ford's heavy-duty profit hauler" » Apr 28, 2015 2:33 pm U.S. ET
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Why Lincoln is ready to toss the alphabet soup

Posted 2:44 pm U.S. ET, April 21
DETROIT -- Does the Lincoln Continental mark the beginning of the end of the brand’s confusing “MK” naming scheme? Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co.’s president of the Americas, today gave the strongest hint yet that the company is ready to bring back real words, possibly by reviving iconic names such as the Town Car. “Without divulging the futur ...
     Continue reading "Why Lincoln is ready to toss the alphabet soup" » Apr 21, 2015 2:44 pm U.S. ET
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Why the F-150 pricing 'gravy train' will eventually slow down

Posted 3:35 pm U.S. ET, March 12
Even Ford Motor Co. executives admit being surprised at how fast transaction prices on pickups keep rising. Not that they’re complaining, of course. Ford execs are more than happy to find somewhere to stash all that money. (Though it could be awkward to show up at the UAW bargaining table in a few months with crumpled $100 bills falling out of their pockets.) But F ...
     Continue reading "Why the F-150 pricing 'gravy train' will eventually slow down" » Mar 12, 2015 3:35 pm U.S. ET
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Why you can't blame only GM for the Year of the Recall

Posted 10:31 am U.S. ET, Feb. 13
Don’t blame General Motors for the Year of the Recall. At least not entirely. Sure, GM started it. But like those predictable, out-of-control TV sitcom parties that begin by “just inviting a few friends over” when someone’s parents go out of town, it turns out that GM didn’t actually make most of the mess. The finally tally of 2014’s ...
     Continue reading "Why you can't blame only GM for the Year of the Recall" » Feb 13, 2015 10:31 am U.S. ET
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Could a Super Bowl loss deflate car sales in New England or Seattle?

Posted 4:45 pm U.S. ET, Jan. 24
SAN FRANCISCO -- Cars are emotional purchases for consumers. A Wisconsin dealer told me he got clear evidence of that this week, after the Green Bay Packers were eliminated from the NFL playoffs is heartbreaking fashion. Until then, sales had been going well at Rapids Ford-Lincoln, owner Allen Taylor said. "We were just clicking away all month," he said. Then, the Packer ...
     Continue reading "Could a Super Bowl loss deflate car sales in New England or Seattle?" » Jan 24, 2015 4:45 pm U.S. ET
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NADA, Tesla, pitchforks and torches -- a missed opportunity

Posted 1:00 am U.S. ET, Jan. 23
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeb Bush and Jay Leno are the keynote speakers at this weekend’s NADA convention, which is great, because car dealers tend to love Republicans and bad jokes. If there’s one thing many car dealers can’t stand right now, it’s Tesla. Yet here they are, thousands of them, spending a few days right in Elon Musk’s backyard. It&rsqu ...
     Continue reading "NADA, Tesla, pitchforks and torches -- a missed opportunity" » Jan 23, 2015 1:00 am U.S. ET
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Drones fly at Ford and stir up drama

Posted 12:01 am U.S. ET, Jan. 13
DETROIT -- There’s drone drama at the Detroit auto show. Ford Motor Co. is delivering toy models of its F-150 Raptor by drone, but the city’s fire marshal briefly grounded the stunt. And after some people didn’t like the drone flying throughout the stand, its flight path was restricted to an area in which no one would be underneath. Meanwhile, ...
     Continue reading "Drones fly at Ford and stir up drama" » Jan 13, 2015 12:01 am U.S. ET
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