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Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan Hybrid

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Comments

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    I understand your point and agree with most of your observations, but the sad truth is the average driver (which is the vast majority) does not have the skill or presence of mind to avoid an accident, so having better steering and handling really doesn't matter. All they know is to stand on the brakes and pray. We need driver TRAINING in this country, not just driver education. But then what do you expect from people who can't obey a simple traffic sign that says "keep moving" at an intersection?
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Don't take any of this as an insult

    When one is as ignorant as myself about the technical design of an automobile it's difficult to be insulted. We're all fortunate to have access to your wealth of knowledge about the FFH.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    about Fusion Hybrid by U.S. News and world report give it rave reviews. Looks like these Hybrids are going to be a hit even before they make the showroom floors. My worry is dealers are going to be asking way over what Ford recommends. This could back fire on Ford and make some consumers very unhappy. Ford needs to make sure they balance demand with supply very carefully. If a consumer cannot go to another Ford dealer and find a Hybrid Fusion they are looking for for a decent price it is going to give Ford a bad name. I have an 06 SEL V6, I'm waiting 2 years to trade my Fusion in for a Hybrid. Hope by then all the hype will have died down, along with prices.. ;)
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    They can't do anything until they get more battery and hybrid component capacity. They are limited to 2000 units per month for all the Ford stores in the country ( ~4000? ). That math is easy.

    I believe that I heard that Ford was going to concentrate the sales on certain 'hot spot markets' only. Boston, NY/NJ, DC/MD/NoVA, Chi, DFW, SoCal and NorCal.

    The rest of the country?....errrr, buy a plane ticket.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    My worry is dealers are going to be asking way over what Ford recommends.

    I noticed that Fitzmall has their TCH's at almost $5000 off MSRP. Even if you think the FFH is a better car, would you pay MSRP+ when the TCH is discounted? $5000 less for a somewhat compariable car would buy a lot of gas for a hybrid.

    There is a lot more competition now than what the TCH had when it first arrived. Even though there may be an early shortage when they hit the floor I can't imaging Ford being able to get a stiff premium.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,689
    "I noticed that Fitzmall has their TCH's at almost $5000 off MSRP."

    Not just Fitzmall - had a TCH advertised for $5000 off MSRP in Dallas. May have been a one-off loss leader ($33k list, loaded), but it's the first time I've see one discounted in the local paper.
  • Referring to the cheaper TCHs advertised, it could be the old bait-and-switch trick crooked dealers use when advertising. Still, if the TCH is being discounted, say, $3,000 less than a Fusion Hybrid, it might be worth it, even though its steering feels like stirring oatmeal and fuel economy isn't as good.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Fitzmall actually have their whole allotment priced at $5K off. They have several. Even the Prius is discounted significantly. I guess when times are tough even Toyota has to compete.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    On the E Coast Fitzmall and Laurel CarMax are the two that everyone 'shops' first online. The internet prices are almost always at invoice or below. Just call them and tell them which stock number you want and they'll pick you up in that car at one of the DC/Balt airports. You can sign the papers in the car and drive it away.

    The sales person catchs a cab back to work.

    LLBean for auto buyers.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 413
    I read that the batteries in the FFH will be 10 years, 150k miles. There have been serveral tested at over 300k miles without any issues.
  • The Prius is getting discounted because the new Prius is due out in a few months. It's still one of the top 10 selling cars in the country, so it's hard to place the discount on the tough times.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    They're discounting the Prius because it isn't selling. Nothing is selling right now and most people looking for one wouldn't know that a new one is coming in a few months. The average car buyer doesn't go to car shows or read car magazines.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 413
    Hi, went to the DC auto show on Sunday. The weather was mid-60's and the place was packed. The largest crowd on the Domestics floor was over on the Ford/Lincoln side with the highest level of enthusiasm over on the Lincoln side. The Mercury side was there with a few vehicles.

    The Fusion and Mercury HB's were there but I must say that the Fusion looks more stylist. The sales folks really did not know much about them. I cannot say that folks were all over the Hybrids they were just there.

    I will say more about the show later but one item that came up from both the Ford and Mercury salesman about their respective Hybrid is that there is little to no difference between the two and that they are only going to be a few hundred dollars apart. I have heard that also here.

    This confuses me for some reason. I always thought the Mercury was suppose to be a step up from the Fusion. I thought it had better interior, different suspension (softer ride) and a extra or different hi-tech electronics display. Of the two I saw the Fusion really looked sportier. Perhaps the olive drab color on the Milan turned me off. I have seen Milians in Black and in Red on the road and thought they looked really sharp. Not sure if they even offer the Milian HB in red.

    As a side note that MKS was the real winner and in Red it is a stunner. The concept MKC had the young folks going wild.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    The Fusion and Milan have always been virtually identical including price and features. In the past there was a little more of a differentiation (e.g. the Mountaineer came standard with a V8 while it was an optional upgrade on the Explorer) but not any more. The only reason the Milan exists is to keep the Lincoln Mercury dealers afloat until they get more new Lincoln products. Notice there is no new Sable to go along with the Taurus.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 413
    The Lincoln sales man of course said the following when ask about the differences:

    "Milan usually has nicer/luxury appointments i.e.; wood-grain, chrome and softer suspension"

    I still cannot make up my mind on this one.

    Another side note: At the DC auto show Lincoln did not have any Navigators or MKX's.
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    10 years / 100K miles (150K in a few states) is the warranty for Toyota. I can't imagine Ford not matching that.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,162
    It is mandated in all the CARB states to get the AT-PZEV rating.
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  • On the possible (unknown?) differences between the Milan and Fusion Hybrids, I don't know why Mercury can't simply add more sound insulation and give theirs softer springs. I have no confirmation that they have done either. Does anyone know for sure? This has been traditional (Buick vs. Pontiac; Lincoln vs. Ford models, etc.) where cars share the same basic platform. Mercuries should be a tad quieter and ride mushier than a Ford, at least thats easy to do.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    They could, but why bother?
  • My SAE Automative Engineering magazine (Jan. '09) says doing some clever and tricky fuel-shutoff dynamics (called ADFSO by Ford) any time the driver lifts their foot off the pedal saves 1.5% of fuel over past engines.
    From the SAE article: "During a deceleration event, as the driver lifts off the gas pedal, torque is ramped down to zero, and the injector pulses follow. Precise calibration with the transmission allows the torque convertor to remain locked, saving fuel. When the driver resumes acceleration (presses the pedal down again), the injectors ramp up. This seamless electronic control maintains smooth, uninterrupted power delivery to the wheels. This system does not abruptly cut off gasoline flow to the Bosch fuel injectors, which would affect driveability."

    This may be one of the cumulative many little things the Fusion Hybrid does to get amazing fuel economy compared to the Camry Hybrid.

    I've always been a bit fuzzy about how engine controllers juggle emissions and driveability concerns during deceleration events, and it looks like Ford has raised the bar with how to do it.

    The article also said Ford might increase the fuel efficiency even further by adding direct injection and lowering displacement, something a couple of Ford engineer friends of mine have been trying to do at Ford for the Fusion for a couple of years now but have been vetoed by marketeers who said customers don't care about fuel economy enough. Of course, as of summer 2008, the marketing people are beginning to see the light. Get ready for a 2.0L direct-injected 4 cylinder in the Fusion Hybrid and regular Fusion as well in a year or two.
  • replying to: "They could, but why bother? "

    Huh? Aren't there people who want quieter, smoother riding cars out there, and are willing to put a Merc badge on it and pay a little extra? Thats the way its always been.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Umm...the 2010 Fusion is already quiet, perhaps more so than the 2009 MKZ. The 2010 Milan shares alll the upgrades, and provides a slightly more stylish interior, and a slightly different exterior.

    I prefer the Milan styling. Lots of people prefer the Fusion. Ford has no business putting a lot of differentiation here, when it is still doubtful whether the whole shebang will surviive. I am still hoping they save the Mercury brand. If they are able to do so, right now it will be by providing half-efforts (which are super cheap to do) like the Milan. If Ford can turn around (and that is a big if), then maybe Mercury will be something again. Meanwhile, I'd buy the Milan hybrid for the exclusivity and slightly more formal look. I don't want the suspension any more wallowy than the Fusion.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Right. If you want a wallowy suspension go buy a Buick. Ford already offers 2 suspension packages for the Fusion and the Milan gets the softer of the 2.

    Next thing he'll be asking for a bench seat........
  • akirby, Have you never heard of brand differentiation? Get a clue.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    You don't get "brand differentiation" by cloning another brand's product and tweaking the suspension.

    Mercury needs unique vehicles to thrive as a brand, not just clones and rebadges of Ford products. Right now they only exist to allow Lincoln dealers to sell Fords, and that's ok for now. Longer term they'll either kill the brand or give it unique products. You're seeing that now with the lack of a new Sable to go along with the Taurus.

    Why does everyone think that it makes business sense for a mfr to make whatever vehicle they want?

    Toyota and Buick have that market cornered already. Ford needs to be different.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,689
    I think a big problem for Mercury is that there isn't much room between a well-optioned Fusion and an MKZ for the Milan to differentiate itself.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,747
    Ford is purposely moving the Ford brand upmarket (look at the Flex and new Taurus for proof). Lincoln will be the volume brand on the high end. Mercury will have niche vehicles that complement the other 2, but you won't see any rebadges. I expect some of the new Euro vehicles to be Mercurys.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Yes, I agree. Mercury with few exceptions has not been differentiated from Ford for decades. The last Cougar, based on the Contour/Mystique was unique to Mercury. But for the most part, there have been no "more sound deadening/more plush suspension" type differentiations or anything else for a long time. It has just been different front and rear styling details and some interior trim differences. Crown Vic/Grand Marquis the same. Contour/Mystique the same. Fusion/Milan the same. Escape/Mariner the same. It is no wonder that Mercury sales melted away even more than other brands.

    I do remember when Mercuries received unique rooflines and body panels and/or longer wheelbases or special options. But with the success of so many companies from other parts of the world, even the genuine Pontiac/Mercury styling/upgrades that used to be done before the 1990s to differentiate them from Chevy/Ford is not even enough. We no longer need such brands for volume and variety, as the choice out there is already phenomenal and increasing all the time. Just wait until Chinese and Indian and Malaysian vehicles get good enough to enter our market. If Mercury is to survive, unique models will be the only way to do it.
  • akirby said "You don't get "brand differentiation" by cloning another brand's product and tweaking the suspension. "

    The first 2 things are things they could easily do, the 3rd is one they are doing:

    1. Making the Merc Milan Hybrid ride smoother with more progressive spring rates.

    2. Milan Hybrid quieter due to the application of more sound-deadening materials like soft polymers inside body panels.

    3. Milan Hybrid already looks a little different.

    Then, if somebody buys a Merc Hybrid over a Fusion Hybrid, they can say the Milan rides better and is quieter, and they paid about $1,000 more for it. The Fusion Hybrid can be the one that holds a turn better. Differentiation between the Fusion Hybrid and Milan Hybrid. Those first two changes would cost about $500 to do by Ford, so it means their profit margin is better, since it has long been known people will pay for more quiet + smoother ride (generally older, more affluent buyers). Otherwise, the Fusion Hybrid and Milan Hybrid are really the same cars, which seems silly to me.
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