Chris Hill: Ford Motors sales in the fourth
quarter were strong in North America. Unfortunately for shareholders, Ford also
sales vehicles in other parts of the world, and that’s not going
very well these days, Ron. Ron Gross: No. Is there any reason
to get excited about owning a stock like Ford or GM? I have a hard time coming up with one,
unless you get into the value investing argument. In this case, there’s too much
that you would need to bet on. They’ve got to really turn
this business around. The restructuring is ongoing
around the globe, China, Europe. They’re getting bigger on
trucks and SUVs in the U.S. There’s an $11 billion restructuring overseas,
it’s going to take several years to complete that. Who knows how successful it’ll be?
They’re cutting $25 billion in costs by 2020. There’s a lot to come here.
It’s hard to say what’s going to happen. They declined to give profit guidance for 2019,
but they tried to dance around and make some comments, which left
investors a little unpleased, unfulfilled. This is one, I’d watch it and take some
interest in it, but I would not want to own it. Hill: I’m not saying he’s necessarily on the
hot seat, but Jim Hackett’s been the CEO of Ford Motor for about a year and a half.
The stock’s down 20% during that time. It really seems like if that guy and his executive
team have any rabbits that they can pull out of their respective hats,
this would be the year to do it. Gross: Yeah, but it’s tough to do that. You take the reins of something that’s kind
of a mess, and you have to set up expectations, where you say, “I’m going to come in here
and do my best, but you have to give me several years because I can’t turn
something like this on a dime.” Jason Moser: Any chance these guys go knocking
back on Alan Mullaly’s door at one point or another? “Hey, are you interested in part two?”
Gross: [laughs] You never know!