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Deutsche Bank Has Its First Meeting With New Ford CEO: 'It Does Feel Different'

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Deutsche Bank Has Its First Meeting With New Ford CEO: 'It Does Feel Different'

Recently appointed CEO of Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) Jim Hackett hosted a meeting with analysts this week, which appears to have eased sell-side concerns following Mark Fields’ ousting.

“Overall it did feel different,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Rod Lache in a note. Hackett was appointed CEO as part of a broader culture shakeup at the company.

Forward Thinking

Lache noted that management was candid and open to feedback from the analysts at the meeting (see Lache's track record).

The company seemed more receptive to the idea of greater powertrain collaborations than in the past, but the majority of the meeting was spent discussing Ford positioning in emerging technologies.

The analysts highlighted the ambiguity of Ford’s plans for autonomous, electric, and connected cars and mobility services.

To their credit though, Hackett was “ready to admit” the areas where Ford is falling behind, such as in-vehicle connectivity.

The future of vehicle and driving developments is no longer controlled by the major traditional automakers. It is set by young companies with disruptive technologies and fast growth rates.

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Uber were two such companies used to point out this trend. Tesla is now the most valuable automaker in the United States and Uber essentially created a new multi-billion dollar ride-hailing market, both companies are years ahead of Ford.

Closing Thoughts

“We believe the new CEO was more clear that deployment of capital would be scrutinized with an eye toward returns, and Ford remains committed to doing the basics right,” said Lache.

He also acknowledged Hackett’s “good grasp” of major decision making and thinking about different paths forward.

That said, the company still needs to do much to convince investors that it can keep up with the rapid pace of the industry.

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Image Credit: By Maize & Blue Nation [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Posted-In: Deutsche Bank Jim Hackett Mark FieldsAnalyst Color News Travel Management General Best of Benzinga

 

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