Day: July 1, 2016

Ford U.S. year-to-date sales jump 5%, best in a decade

Good news out today for the automaker’s Louisville factories, which employ nearly 10,000 workers.

Ford said total U.S. sales grew 5% during the year’s first six months, with 1,353,048 vehicles sold — its best first-half performance since 2006. June sales were up 6%, with 240,109 vehicles sold, the automaker said in a press release this morning.

Ford logoTruck sales were the standout. The company sold 531,500 pickups and vans, a 13% gain vs. a year ago. Truck sales were up 24% last month, driven by strong F-Series sales of 70,937 vehicles: a 29% increase from a year ago, and their best June sales in more than a decade.

Ford’s stock, battered over the past week in the Brexit-fallout, rose 1.6% in mid-afternoon trading to $12.76 a share, on a day when U.S. stocks overall were marginally higher. Even so, Ford is down 4.7% from pre-Brexit levels.

The Kentucky Truck Factory employs about 5,100 workers, producing F-250 and F-550 Super Duty pickups, plus Expeditions, and Lincoln Navigators. The Auto Assembly Factory employs 4,700 producing  Escapes and Lincoln MKCs. More about Ford’s Louisville operations.

Society magazine NFocus is calling it a night, for good

July issue cover
July issue is the last.

In a blow to everyone who loves society news and photos, the monthly NFocus magazine’s Louisville edition is now kaput. The July issue, on newsstands July 6, will be the last.

Tonya AbeLn

Yesterday, Editor Tonya Abeln said the luxury, philanthropy, art and fashion magazine had been well-received, but “the challenges that are affecting all of print media were a factor in this decision.”

NFocus is owned by Nashville-based SouthComm; the Nashville edition will continue.

The magazine’s demise leaves much of the city’s ongoing society coverage to the weekly Voice-Tribune — and to Boulevard, of course.

Not yummy: KFC won’t be hiring another Colonel Sanders actor to promote these foul parts

Another day, another animal part mistakenly cooked into a KFC meal. In the latest reported case, this morning, an Australian woman in Brisbane says she bit into something that “looked like a brain,” possibly deep-fried into some chicken at a southeast Queensland restaurant, according to the local Courier-Mail.

Yum“I called up the store because we’d already had issues with other parts of the meal,” said the woman, who didn’t want to be identified by the newspaper. “The potato and gravy smelt like a cigarette tray and tasted like cigarettes.”

A KFC spokeswoman said the fast-food chain was sorry for the woman’s experience, according to the paper, but assured it was not a health issue: “Our chicken is hand-prepared and cooked fresh, but occasionally mistakes happen and organs are not removed when they should have been.”

This isn’t the first time a KFC customer has claimed a brain or other body part in a meal, and produced what they said were photos as evidence. That’s hardly surprising for a company as far-flung as the Louisville-based Yum Brands division, which has nearly 15,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries. If each one served only 500 meals daily — a very conservative figure — that would be 7.5 million a day, and 2.7 billion a year.

What’s more, several of the news accounts come from British and Australian newspapers, which are famous for sensationalized reporting. Still, like rubbernecking past an especially gruesome roadside wreck, we can’t help gawking at:

Well, you get the picture. Except, wait: maybe you don’t. The news story photos are too disgusting for Boulevard to publish here, so we’ll link to the most recent one in Australia, which we’ll term NSFW — or home.

KFC bucket of chickenIn many of the stories, KFC officials have offered the same explanation as the one in today’s story out of Australia: food is hand-prepared and mistakes happen.

To be sure, there have been false reports of foul parts that were later debunked, including one about an entire rat last month in Los Angeles. “A third-party independent lab tested the suspicious meal,” the Los Angeles Times said last Wednesday, “and determined it was undoubtedly a piece of hand-breaded chicken–an assertion KFC stood firm on.”

Related: KFC just hired its latest Colonel Harland Sanders impersonator — alarmingly tanned actor George Hamilton, to sell its extra-crispy chicken.