William Clay Ford Senior – the last surviving grandson of Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company – has died at the age of 88.
William Clay Ford Sr. was a director at the company for almost six decades and owner of the National Football League’s Detroit Lions.
In a statement, the Ford Motor Company said that he was instrumental in influencing the designs of vehicles the company made.
William Clay Ford Sr. died of pneumonia at his home in a suburb of Detroit.
William Clay Ford Senior was the last surviving grandson of Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company
“My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community,” William Clay Ford Junior, the executive chairman of Ford Motors, said in a statement.
“He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, yet he will continue to inspire us all.”
William Clay Ford Sr. was a director at Ford for 57 years and Forbes magazine put his fortune at $1.35 billion.
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Ford has announced that last year was “one of the company’s best years ever”, driven by a strong performance in the US and Asia.
The company said net income for 2013 was $7.2 billion, up $1.49 billion on the previous year.
Q4 2013 net income was $3 billion, or 74 cents per share, an increase of $1.4 billion compared with the same period in 2012, the company said.
The strong performance helped offset losses in Europe and South America.
Ford president and chief executive Alan Mulally said 2013 was “an outstanding year”.
“We are well positioned for another solid year in 2014,” he added.
Ford net income for 2013 was $7.2 billion, up $1.49 billion on the previous year
The results follow Ford’s warning in December that the cost of introducing new vehicles and a deteriorating Venezuelan economy would hit its profits in 2014.
Ford plans to triple the number of product launches in North America this year.
But that will hit its profit margins, the company said, as older models will have to be discounted and Ford will have to spend more on marketing.
Ford produced 6.4 million vehicles in 2013, up 646,000 from a year ago.
As a result of its 2013 performance, Ford said it planned to make record profit-sharing payments of about $8,800 per person to around 47,000 of its hourly employees in the US.
Ford has been open in acknowledging that 2014 will be a transition year for the firm, both in terms of products and changes in leadership.
Alan Mulally is scheduled to step down at the end of the year.
He is credited both with leading the firm back to profitability after the 2008-2009 financial crisis, as well as with changing the corporate culture at Ford.
Ford faces difficulty in the future returning its European operations to profitability, as well as maintaining its streamlined supply chain to avoid the oversupply issues that plagued Ford and other US car makers during the financial crisis.
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JWT India has decided to sack employees over a series of controversial Ford Figo advertisements, including one showing former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi with a group of bound women in a car boot.
The adverts were never commercially used but appeared on a website.
JWT, a unit of the world’s biggest advertising group WPP, said the posters were “distasteful and contrary to standards” followed at the company.
The firm’s managing partner, Bobby Pawar, has been asked to leave.
JWT India has decided to sack employees over a series of controversial Ford Figo advertisements, including one showing former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi with a group of bound women in a car boot
According to reports, the creative director of Blue Hive, a WPP unit dedicated to managing the Ford business, Vijay Simha Vellanki, has also been asked to resign.
“We deeply regret the publishing of posters,” JWT said in a statement.
“After a thorough internal review, we have taken appropriate disciplinary action with those involved, which included the exit of employees at JWT.”
One of the adverts showed Silvio Berlusconi in the driver’s seat with three bound women in the boot and a slogan: “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra-large boot.”
They were uploaded on a website just days after India passed strict anti-rape laws.
The posters had triggered comments against them on the various social media, with many people labelling them as sexist.
The controversy saw the Indian unit of Ford Motor Company issuing an apology earlier this week.
JWT also condemned the posters saying that “these were never intended for paid publication and should never have been created, let alone uploaded to the internet”.
“This was the result of individuals acting without proper oversight and appropriate actions have been taken within the agency where they work to deal with the situation,” it said.
According to some reports, Ford is one of JWT’s biggest global accounts.