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Ford CEO Jim Hackett out, to be replaced by COO Jim Farley

Jim Hackett, President and CEO, Ford Motor Company delivers the keynote address to media and guests at the 2018 CEO.

Photo by Sam VarnHagen, courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company has announced that President and CEO Jim Hackett, 65, will retire. Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley, 58, will take over that role, effective October 1. Hackett will continue to serve as a special advisor to the company through March 2021.

Ford's Executive Chairman Bill Ford, who is the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford as well as tire magnate Harvey Firestone, joined Farley and Hackett at a press conference on Tuesday morning to share the news.

Hackett took over the role of CEO on May 22, 2017, succeeding Mark Fields. While Fields concentrated much of his Public energy on visions of the tomorrow of 50 years from now, Hackett marked his tenure with moves designed to help Ford's bottom line today while planning for the future.

"My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future," Hackett said. "The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it's entering rather than the world it has known. I'm very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future.

"I have worked side-by-side with Jim Farley for the past three years and have the greatest confidence in him as a person and a leader," Hackett said. "He has been instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world. He is also a change agent with a deep understanding of how to lead Ford in this new era defined by smart vehicles in a smart world."

During his tenure, Ford has discontinued most of its cars while bringing SUVs and trucks to the forefront. Hackett oversaw the launch of the new Escape and Explorer in the U.S. as well as the debut of the next-generation of Ford F-150, a new-for-the-U.S. Ranger, the company's best-selling model, and fresh lineup infusions in the form of the Mustang Mach-E all-electric crossover, the Bronco family of products, and a bevy of Mustang variants.

His time at the top will also be remembered for efforts to streamline the business practices of a company that could fairly be described as bloated with bureaucracy. While plants were shuttered to modernize production and jobs were lost as Ford moved to a more direct and modern way of conducting business, Hackett also approved changing Ford's marketing and advertising to a new agency model, changing out to BBDO as creative lead over W+P, which had served the company for 75 years.

Hackett also formed a partnership with Volkswagen Group to develop and distribute electric vehicle technology - a costly venture for companies to undertake on their own. He is also credited with encouraging the development of smart mobility solutions and sustainability practices.

However, Wall Street investors have not been kind to the company during Hackett’s tenure, even as the company allocated $11 billion toward restructuring in an effort to be better prepared for the future. The company is expected to turn a $4-5 billion profit in the second half of 2020 according to Ford CFO Dhivya Suryadevara. In contrast, Tesla, a company that turned its first annual profit ($104 million) in 2019 and has notable quality control, reliability, and human resources issues, has seen its stock soar in recent years.

Prior to his tenure at Ford, Hackett was vice chairman of Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry.

This story is developing and will be updated as new details are available.

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Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group, the parent company of Hyundai, has announced the formation of a new unit - New Horizons Studio. The new venture is focused on the development of what Hyundai calls Ultimate Mobility Vehicles (UMVs).

New Horizons Studio is part of Hyundai's larger focus on the future of mobility. Unit workers will work to envision vehicles that wander with "unprecedented mobility". These products will focus on target customers that have unconventional travel needs whether it be to access places they have never been or adapt their mobility limitations to their surroundings.

Hyundai 'Elevate' Walking Car Concept

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor Group

New Horizons Studio is led by Vice President Dr. John Suh, who has held several leadership roles at Hyundai Motor Group since 2011. He served as founding director of Hyundai Ventures, and then led Hyundai CRADLE (Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences) as its founding director based in Silicon Valley. He brings over 35 years of expertise in the automotive and emerging technology sectors, including roles at Stanford University, Palo Alto Research Center (PARC; formerly, Xerox PARC), and General Motors Company.

"We aim to create the world's first transformer-class vehicle, also known as the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle," said Dr. Suh.

Dr. Ernestine Fu will move to New Horizons Studio as Director of Product Management. She has led research on human operator and autonomous vehicle interactions at Stanford University's Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab, as well as scaled emerging technology companies for over nine years as a venture capital partner at Alsop Louie Partners.

The Hyundai Elevate is the first vehicle being developed by the Studio. It debuted at CES 2019 and does not rely solely on wheels to makes it way across urban, suburban, and rural landscapes. The unit sees the Elevate as being able to respond in emergency situations like natural disasters or assist with persons who do not have access to an ADA ramp.

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The Lamborghini Urus Graphite Capsule adds new interior and exterior color choices for buyers.

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

Expressions in color and trim meet at the Urus Graphite Capsule, a collection of SUVs produced by super luxury automaker Lamborghini. The Urus itself sits at the intersection of performance and practicality, and is the best-selling model in the Lamborghini lineup.

The Urus Graphite Capsule lets buyers push the limit in a pick-and-choose fashion. Lamborghini will offer the Urus Graphite Capsule in four new exterior matte colors including white Bianco Monocerus, black Nero Noctis, and grey Grigio Nimbus and Grigio Keres. The lower parts of the car, the front, rear, and side sills, are all finished in the color.

Lamborghini Urus Graphite Capsule

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

From there, buyers are able to choose from four tiny accent colors: orange Arancio Leonis and Arancio Dryope, yellow Giallo Taurus, and green Verde Scandal. Those accent colors are shown on the front splitter, door inserts, and rear spoiler.

The cabin of the Urus sports the same traditional design the SUV has had during this, its initial generation. The Urus Graphite Capsule check box adds dark, anodized aluminium trim on the dashboard and door panels, with new matt-finish carbon fiber inserts. The buyer's choice of exterior colors are carried over to the inside where upholstery is contrast stitched. Q-citura stitching and the embroidered Lamborghini logo reside on the headrests.

The ventilated Alcantara seats are an exclusive option only available on the Urus Graphite Capsule and the recently launched Pearl Capsule.

"The new Graphite Capsule endorses the inimitable versatility of the Lamborghini Urus as the original Super SUV: its color and styling is as adaptable and versatile as its presence in every high-performance and lifestyle environment." said Automobili Lamborghini Chief Commercial Officer Giovanni Perosino. "The inherent design of the Lamborghini Urus, with the DNA of our super sports heritage, lends itself to virtually limitless potential for personalizing color and trim. The Urus Graphite Capsule is the latest collection to offer our growing clientele the opportunity to stamp their individuality and way of life on their Lamborghini."

The Urus Graphite Capsule is available on Urus model year 2021. It has a starting MSRP of $218,009 in the U.S.

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