DEARBORN - At Ford Motor Company the employees are the wheels behind every cutting-edge innovation and global strategy that keeps the company in motion.
Day to day, Ford executives, and employees are hard at work making the decisions that affect the company’s future standing.
Group Vice President and General Counsel, David Leitch spoke to a former group of these employees who helped make technology leadership part of Ford’s DNA – the Ford Retired Engineering Executives (FREE) club.
In his address, Leitch updated the group on Ford’s current standing – including information on EPA mileage standard, a glimpse of what’s ahead in the coming year and the company’s tax reform.
“What we’re keeping a close eye on is the company’s tax reform, which has been in the news and the public eye over the past couple of years,” said Leitch. “Everybody agrees that we ought to have a corporate tax reform – the president does, the House does, the Senate does and the issue is figuring out a way to get it done.”
He said that Ford is well-positioned to engage in that debate on lowering the tax rate.
Leitch also took the time to address any questions or concerns that members had – including an inquiry from one retiree who asked further information on the current tax code.
“I find it puzzling that such a large percentage of companies in fact are not paying taxes, and most of the effort to raise taxes is against the companies who are paying large taxes,” said Al Chambers, FREE member.
According to Leitch, this is the result of a couple things -one is who is and isn’t favored in the economy.
“Obliviously we don’t agree with that, we believe the tax code should be a fair tax code,” Leitch said. “We’ve had such huge losses over the years but we’re now accruing taxes, and that’s a good thing. We’ll have net profits as opposed to net losses.”
When another member asked about the EPA mileage standard dispute with C-MAX, Leitch said the disagreement is around hybrids.
“The mileage varies a lot because they’re more subject to temperature, driving conditions and the way you drive the vehicle,” he said.
Ford retiree and President of the FREE group Howard Freers said his highlights of the meeting were the key issues that Leitch covered – the fuel economy standard and company updates.
“This was a very interesting and well-versed meeting,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who we get from Ford, they are always so knowledgeable on their expertise and the current product lines and that’s why the company is so successful today.”Each month a new guest speaker attends this event. Next meeting Ford’s Chief Economist Ellen Hughes-Cromwick will be speaking to the group. Click here for more information on FREE and their initiatives.
More than 450 Ford alumni are members of FREE – making it one of the largest and most prestigious retiree organizations in the company. With more than 40 years as an active retiree group, FREE membership is limited to those with supervisory experience at an LL5 (SG11) or above.