A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 9:48 a.m.
FORD is shutting down production for a week at the Louisville Assembly Plant starting today, canceling shifts to slow production slightly as it pauses to allow demand to catch up with supply. A second week off is scheduled to start Oct. 31. Sales of the two compact SUVs made there — Escape and MKC — are up slightly through September, but Ford officials said they want to keep production and inventory levels in line (Courier-Journal). The company employs nearly 4,700 workers at the factory, plus another 5,100 at its sister truck factory. More about Ford in Louisville.
CEO Mark Fields is recasting the company as an auto maker and a transportation-services provider, as he pivots away from predecessor Alan Mulallay’s “One Ford” vision, shorthand for a painful downsizing and management overhauls that helped the automaker avoid bankruptcy and return to big profits. In recent months, according to a new Wall Street Journal story today, it has launched a series of investments and partnerships in areas like self-driving automobiles, electrified vehicles and ride sharing.
But those efforts have done little to raise the company’s stock, which has fallen by roughly 30% since Fields took over in mid-2014, despite record earnings last year. Investors appear more focused on plateauing U.S. auto sales and the company’s weakening near-term profit outlook. Some market watchers also say it isn’t clear how the new initiatives will mesh strategically (WSJ).