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Auto blogThu, 22 May 2014
It seems weird to think that an automaker could have a social media star, but Ford does. Or at least it did. Scott Monty, its Global Digital Communications Manager, led the company's team for almost six years and forged a reputation as being one of the most talented people in corporate social media. But the guru recently announced that he would be leaving the automaker for an undisclosed job elsewhere.
"I just decided the time was right. I am going to take a little time with my family, and I am going to start on a new adventure pretty soon," said Monty in an interview with AdWeek. He also explained a little about his theory of how companies should use social media. In his opinion, it should be a chance to go beyond standard marketing and build a relationship with people. Businesses need to have a broad focus for its online message, and using just one service isn't enough to be successful.
Under his guidance, Ford expanded its Facebook presence significantly. According to AdWeek, it launched the 2010 Explorer on the popular site. Also, when the company wanted to investigate selling electric models, it initially gauged the public's reaction on Facebook and then advertised them there first. Monty has been a major supporter of Twitter as well to broaden the company's communication with the public.
As predicted, Ford has reported that its first quarter of 2013 was a resounding success overall, with a pretax profit of $2.1 billion ($0.41 per share), and a net income of $1.6 billion ($0.40 per share). In fact, Ford made a pretax profit of some $2.4 billion in its home North American market, with that total number being pulled down by losses in South America and Europe. That gaudy North American profit is the strongest result by the automaker since 2000.
Ford's companywide profit for Q1 was down $147 million from one year ago, while the net income number marked an increase of $215 million year over year. Overall, this is Ford's 15th-consecutive profitable quarter.
The bad news from the European market was even worst in Q1 2013 than it was last year. Pretax losses of $462 million - on revenue of $6.7 billion - represented a year-over-year change of -$313 million. In South American, the company reported a loss of $218 million, down from a slim profit of $54 million in Q1 2012. The news was better for Ford Asia Pacific Africa, where a $6 million pretax profit in 2013 showed a year-over-year gain of some $101 million when compared to losses in 2012. Scroll down to read Ford's full press release.
The 2015 Ford Mustang is one of the most anticipated cars of the year, despite the fact that production hasn't yet begun. What's a pony car fan to do? It turns out that Ford already has pricing and options information about the vehicle in its dealer ordering system. A few enterprising folks have snapped some pictures from it and have posted them online. You might not be able to drive your car yet, but you can at least see what it might cost.
At the moment, Ford appears to be splitting the Mustang into five models - 3.7-liter V6, 2.3-liter EcoBoost, GT with the 5.0-liter V8, 50th Anniversary and SVT. There are 10 available paint colors, 2 of which require an extra outlay. Triple Yellow is $495, and Ruby Red Tint is $395. Regardless of model, navigation goes for $795, and reverse parking assist is $295.
For both the EcoBoost and GT, the six-speed automatic tacks an extra $1,195 to the sticker, and adaptive cruise control is the same price. The GT also has a limited-slip 3.55 rear end for $395 and a GT Performance package for $2,495. Recaro leather seats add an extra $1,595. For the EcoBoost, there's something called EcoBoost Performance package for $1,995. The system doesn't say what the packages include.