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Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego

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  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Nvbanker, Heh I wouldn't flame ya. But I ment in the lines of ... every crease, every detail, every possible toy, every possible high tech system, etc. Even on my current vehicles, there's always something I would rather have had them done in a different way. Maybe the stitching could be better (not that it's broken). Maybe have the sunvisor be 2 inches longer, etc. Really just rediculous anal retentive sort of details that no other person will care about, yet being a perfectionist, I try to maximize.

    Sort of how I added much more insulation on a Mustang GT (way back when) because the road noise was something I disliked... Or removing ALL these rediculous sun visors, that have safety labels on them I find annoying. (Had someone sew up new one's for me). Again...just anal retentive items no one else would care about heh...

    Oh and before I get the off-topic police on me, let me throw something to tie this all together...

    The 500 will feature a warning chime, that will remind you that you have left your turn signal on, after you have traveled a certain distance. A quick little "bling" that will sound.

    Now, if they can just invent one that will signal the CORRECT one on lane changes... unlike the number of people here in Miami that have the left turn signal on, to turn to the right..Ahhh...
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Pricing will be the key factor in the success or failure of the new Ford products, since they lack anything like a nice V8 and rear wheel drive, or a reputation for quality to attract buyers. The size, seating position, and good looks (my opinion) will be positives for some buyers, but with so many other choices, it takes more.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    I doubt that. AWD is a major factor.

    Nice V-8? With gas prices the way they are and going higher? I guess my observation is that you are not in the target market for this car...
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    But how 'bout just introducing the car with a strong V6, instead of promising 250+ hp, but only in 3 model years....

    This is a mis-step the next Avalon will not be making, and the way it seems, these two cars are going to go head-to-head.

    ~alpha
  • samnoesamnoe Posts: 731
    "The 500 will feature a warning chime, that will remind you that you have left your turn signal on, after you have traveled a certain distance. A quick little "bling" that will sound."

    That feature is already used in so many cars and vans today. In my 2002 Windstar I have it, but rarely use it. I usually never travel a 3/4 mile with the signals on and not noticing. The only possible way is if the radio is turned up very loud and don't hear that signal noise, but then I won't hear that reminder sound either...

    I agree with you that all manufacturers are cutting costs (features) on newer models recently. One example, my father in-law drives a 2001 Chrysler Town & Country. Until 2003, there was so many features on all their vans, from lower-end to higher-end. in 2003, they dropped them all, Here is a short list:

    - illuminated controls for power window/door locks;
    - illuminated ignition key ring;
    - windshield wiper de-icer (which de-iced the snow/ice in winter);
    - sun visor extender;
    - dual sun visor mirror with variable brightness. Now there is just a single lamp with no adjustable brightness;
    - dual liftgate lamps. Now there is only one.
       and so on.

    Ford eliminated on the Freestar some good points from the Windstar. Examples: Light in the glove box, illuminated power control for the audio system; good sun visor (which eliminates the need for an extender. the Freestars is not the same size as Windstar's); power lumbar support, and many more. They even offered the 2002 Windstar Limited with dual sun visors, and stopped making'em on the 2003's.

    OK, so you see I agree. What bothers me is, that if you already developed this feature, and won't cost the manufacturer a dime to figure out how to install that feature, why shouldn't they offer it as an OPTION? I'm sure there will be 1000' of people willing to pay for them!

    That's something I'll never understand. It seems to me that those people building cars are not smart enough to understand simple stuff as that. They have something in stock, people want to buy them, they beg you please sell it we'll pay you top dollar, but the company has deaf ears!

    Isn't that crazy? Being an insider, can you explain me that? What's Ford thinking? When a Taurus owner will be excited to upgrade to the new 500 and will find out there is no light in glove box, no dual sun visor, or tiny buttons on the radio, how will he respond?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I wish such options were available such as the...

    Example...

    "Extended sun visors" - $79 Order Code: A123
    "Glovebox light" - $24 Order Code B267
    "Door reflectors" - $18 Order Code B778
    "Double seam stitching - $89 Order Code C324

    The issue... Complexity. If these items were left as options each, it would increase the complexity of the build, the ordering, the manufacturing. Hence, maybe it's just $4 for that lightbulb in the glovebox, but $24 by the time you get it produced. Then the negative press... "YOU NEED to pay for a glovebox light in this vehicle".

    Granted, I'm not defending the notion. I too want a glovebox light, and some other toys that I believe should be standard. But consumer groups (I dislike them) researched, come to these conclusions. When items,toys,options, are not offered, it's usually THEM.

    I sometimes question the participants of these research groups... Can you imagine "what if" the Mustangs research group, was composed of 50% retired, nursing home inhabitants, where they main concern would be "Are the seats cushy enough?, I dont need speed"... It's a MUSTANG ! But that's a far out example (there's more to it than just that).

    Another senario... A supplier could have a "set design" for a certain item. More inexpensive if it's shared with other vehicles/manufacturer's, than creating a totally new one, for that specific vehicle. Helps as well.

    Some manufacturer's are cutting cost by removing items, but Ford has publically stated it has tripled it's investment in it's interiors. And sometimes the "resources" are spread around...Surely, you might not get a glovebox light, but your getting better materials through-out, thicker carpeting, thick headliner, more comfortable seats, etc. Which means, you might lose the glovebox light, but gain items that are much more pleasing to touch and feel, which gives a lasting impression.

    The thinking is, will the glovebox light always be on, and how many times do you really reach into it... Whereas, your constantly feeling the steering wheel, the seats, touch the doors, quality of the buttons clicking, etc.
  • dave2222dave2222 Posts: 78
    The fusion will not directly replace the Taurus. The taurus in itself would be too hard to directly replace as its sales are far to great. So we've been spreading the risk with the Freestyle, Five Hundred, and Fusion. The Freestyle will compete more with subaru and other sports wagons and for those people who arent looking for something as sporty as a Nissan Mazda or Subaru. The Five Hundred is to compete with the Avalon for the mid-large sedan market. They both have comparable engines, sizes, and specs. They found though that people who are buying Avalons want a more comfortable car. The target age range will be around 40. The Fusion is targeted at the Camry and Accords while the Fusion 3.5L will be targeted at the Altima which is a little bit more sporty with aggressive sloped back headlights, tri-bar steel bar grille, nice interiors, and american styled exteriors. Fords trying to differentiate itself from the Japanesse and Europeans in design style so people actually buy american for american design not copied Euro or Japanesse styling.

    As for the person who said that the Five hundred was a 2005 car you're wrong. It first started in 1999. Nasser has always been obsessed with euro everything so when it came to design a new flagship he of course wanted it euro based. Then came Bill Ford and Fords future took a 180 to the north. Bill Ford layed out his goals to make more enviormentally friendly cars, focus on sigma six quality, increase profit per car to Japanesse levels, and add a more american flavor to fords car designs. For example did you know that the Focus's sound deadening panels are actually made out of old jeans, and that the lights at the dearborn and atlanta plants are powered by paint fumes? Just some of the innovations Bills been pioneering to make Ford a more cleaner company.

    The fusion and Milan will both come in hybrid forms as well.
  • dave2222dave2222 Posts: 78
    Fords cost cutting isnt to use cheaper materials. Actually its the opposite by streamlining designs and reducing the number of different parts used you considerably reduce transport costs, retooling costs, supplier costs, taxs, etc... Quality also rises as supply chains arent interrupted nearly as much. Fords now able to reinvest those saved costs into higher quality material. So while you may get a wider variety in interiors from other brands you'll get better quality interiors and exteriors from ford motor company. Another way Ford is cost cutting is to stream line platforms. By doing this you reduce platform expenditures by up to 10% and save 20% on retooling costs. This allows for flexible manufacturing and on time manufacturing. By doing this you further improve quality and are better able to meet demands by the market. Fords now able to produce a couple of platforms that work for multiple vehicles. Point in case in the rouge plant theyre now able to produce the fusion, freestyle, montego, five hundred, milan , and a number of other cars since theyre all based on the 6 platform. A huge part of retooling costs comes from Platform making which can cost millions of dollars. Simply put Fords trying to streamline production as much as possible while still improving quality. What youll begin to see starting next year is a huge jump in quality. Weve already seen this with the new F-150 as well as the new Ford focus both of which are using shared interior systems. These and the new cars for 2004 + 2005 should bring them far above the Industry Avg. in quality standards. With the new investments in interior plus fit and finish you'll see a higher rating as well in the Consumer reports which many people use in helping to decide their cars.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    The Mazda 6 platform is not what is under the Five Hundred, Montego, and Freestyle - it started as the Volvo 80.

    As for gas prices, I do not see how anyone who performs the calculations would place fuel mileage high on their list of priorities. I drive roughly 27,000 miles per year, far more than average. With gas at $2 per gallon, a 17MPG car costs $3,176 per year, and a 25 MPG car costs $2,160, a savings of just $19.54 per week, less than $0.04 per mile.

    Also, as Chrysler has shown, a powerful V8 with cylinder deactivation produces the fuel mileage of a much smaller engine.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    And it's the Chicago plant that produces Five Hundred/Montego/Freestyle, not Rouge. In fact, the suppliers have aligned themselves in many cases right outside the plant.
  • dave2222dave2222 Posts: 78
    I apoligize for the type about what platform is being used the 6 and volvo platform are being used.
  • badgerfanbadgerfan Posts: 1,564
    Though I agree that the Fusion is likely targeted at a more "sporty" consumer, that does not mean that it will not grab a healthy part of the Taurus customer base. If Fusion is capable of carrying 5 passengers in relative comfort and has a 15-17 cubic foot trunk, it will certainly replace the Taurus in many customer's minds. Even though I am in the demographic getting "too old" for Fusion, it will probably more closely fit my needs than the 500, which is quite a bit longer and heavier than the current Taurus. I may even consider a Focus next time around.

    One thing the automakers soon find out is that no matter how much they try to target cars to the youth market, the fact is the vast majority of people under 30 are not buying new cars, they are buying used, as that is what they can afford. Or they are buying Korean, at the bottom of the new car price range.
  • dave2222dave2222 Posts: 78
    The midsize- to large sedan market have fragmented significantly since the last major redesign of the Taurus. There will be a more econo Fusion that youre proably looking for as well as an ST version just like the Focus ST that appeals to people looking for a more sporty car. The styling wont be as aggressive as Nissans or Mazdas ,but wont lack the dullness found in Toyotas. Most people will generally buy the 3.0L duratec since it better fits their needs and gets great gas mileage. Itll also have a 6-speed transmission as well a CVT. Youll just have to wait to see what it looks like. I was impressed when I saw it, but I like more sporty styles so thats proably why. Its looks almost exactly like the drawing, but was in black with black and white dots on side for camo.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    The artist that sketched the "Futura" and 500 years ago, did quite well. Whereas the one who sketched the Montego got it ALLLLLL wrong... Made the Montego look lowered/slammed.
  • As far as gas prices...

    To me, ~$1000 a year is a lot of money. I plan on keeping a car for at least 6 years, so that extra money spent on gas adds up. And when you consider that that $1000 is after tax, then you are talking about $1300+ extra that I can put into my 401K vs. driving a less fuel efficient vehicle. I don't drive as much as you do, but even if you cut your numbers in half, my answer is still the same.

    It's all about trade-offs. For a 3600 pound vehicle, the value I place on horsepower begins to drop exponentially after 180hp. ...so I don't want to pay for it.

    That's just where I'm coming from, and I admit that I'm cheap.
  • rayainswrayainsw Posts: 2,520
    I agree that $1,000 / year is not a trivial amount to most people.

    “drive roughly 27,000 miles per year, far more than average. With gas at $2 per gallon, a 17MPG car costs $3,176 per year, and a 25 MPG car costs $2,160, a savings of just $19.54 per week, less than $0.04 per mile.”

    Well – a more likely comparison, meaning something closer to what a typical consumer might see / use when buying a new vehicle, it seems to me would be more like 15,000 miles per year (closer to typical / average) and overall 22 MPG vs 25 MPG. Here the difference calculates as:

     15,000 / 22 MPG = 682 gal x $2.00 = $1363 / year

     15,000 / 25 MPG = 600 gal x $2.00 = $1200 / year

    diff = $163 / year = $3.13 / week = $0.44 / day

    - Ray
    Apologies for some rounding errors . . .
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Nothing wrong with being cheap... Cheap is buying something that must be replaced without the first few months, HENCE, might as well buy something good to avoid that.

    Better you place your money on a house, or 401K, something that appreciates, moreso than on a car that depreciates. It's amazing how many people I see buy expensive cars, add $6K of pointless toys (DVD's on the headrests, lowered suspensions, ghetto-fied wheels) YET, they live in the worst run down houses in town.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    Let's say 15 MPG (pickup / SUV) vs 30MPG (small car) at 12,000 miles per year and $2 per gallon is a better comparison for average drivers. The small car would only save $800 per year, and the large vehicle with cylinder deactivation would narrow that to $400.

    Yes, it is funny to see those who spend what they don't have buying what they don't need. That is, funny as long as they then don't demand that government take money from others to give to them.

    Ford may have guessed correctly when they decided to build the Five Hundred family with the 3.0 driving the front wheels, but I think that a Five Hundred with a 4.6 V8 and rear wheel drive would sell far better, and be much more of a real alternative to the Avalon, 300, and other large cars.

    I don't know when Ford will figure out how to offer cylinder deactivation, since it is probably much more complex with an OHC engine than with a pushrod design. It would really help them compete, especially with the large vehicles which people prefer. Superchargers and turbo chargers also allow a small engine to provide better power when needed, and would be a simple solution to improving the Five Hundred line.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "The thinking is, will the glovebox light always be on, and how many times do you really reach into it... Whereas, your constantly feeling the steering wheel, the seats"

    ANT, the focus groups are actually right! As much as I think the details of a glovebox light and other trifeling things should be in a nice car - and as pissed as I was when I picked up my special order 98 Mountaineer with ALL the options on it, I mean every possible option package was included, and I discovered that it didn't have a glovebox light or a power passenger seat, and my 97 did have those things - it didn't make me quit buying Mercurys.... They're not deal breakers, but they should be included anyway because they are people pleasers and they make you feel good about your car.
  • Hi,
    I happened to see the new ford 500 and freestyle today in Boston. Very nice looking vehicles. Both were black w/grey leather interior. Fit and finish looked top shelf. Paint jobs on both showed no blotches. Interiors looked nicer than what you associate with Ford. Since both had Mich. manufacturers plates, I'm guessing they are early production vehicles being tested or maybe brought in for local dealers to try out. Both vehicles were badged for AWD and were top of the line models.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    FSM,

    Yes cylinder de-activation might be a bit more costlier on OHC engine designs, BUT not by much... There's various different ways (some simply done by computers), that can allow/disallow cylinder...

    NVBanker,

    Yes there's certain items that won't break a deal. It's ironic how many look at the negatives and bypass all the positives. Example, Ford uses manual backrest adjustment.... I find it much easier to use, quicker, less issues if it breaks down, over the power units... That to me isn't an issue, but for some in the media, they quickly note it.

    Wood,

    Yes they were production versions.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    On the Five Hundred, all but the SE model will have power backrest adjustment, or did you mean lumbar adjustment?
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    No just in general, not taking these new vehicles into account. Although in the new vehicles coming out, you will be seeing it powered.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Posts: 2,287
    On the Five Hundred, the BASE model has it manual, the others powered. Will be interesting to see if this vehicle is decontented as time goes by. I sure hope not.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I HATE decontenting!!!!
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    All automaker's usually decontent as time passes... When they offer a certain feature, and see it's not selling, or most do not care for it...chances are it gets removed. Amazingly Volvo has a few items that most people do not really care for, and they keep it around rather than bothering to remove it.

    Or another common trait, group it into a package group where the person will pay additional for, and upsell them into other items they wouldn't have bothered buying anyways.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I struggled mightily to get this last Mountaineer just right because of that very problem. My 02 was one of the first ever made and it had everything on it you could get except the running boards, which the dealer ordered and installed after. When we wanted the 04, my wife wanted a rare color (True Blue) this time, and we ordered it. We didn't want to lose anything the 02 had, so we tried to get the max option package in that color, which is the Luxury model now. The first one that came in, had deleted the 3rd row seat out and had no CD changer. That wouldn't do, so we rejected it. The dealer ordered it again, this time it came in Red, but with the right equipment. We rejected that. The third one we ordered came in as a Convenience model, which is a stripper, cloth seats and a 6 cylinder engine, but the right color, so we rejected that one too. At this point, we just took a Black Premier that was on the way already, and despite the color, which was the same as the 02, it's perfect otherwise. Now, I don't know for sure, the dealer tells us it wasn't their fault, that Ford keeps changing the option packages, color availability and combinations on them, making it impossible to get just what we wanted, and the Premier, which has the right equipment on it, only comes in 4 colors, and blue isn't one of them. But it was a nightmare. And you know how the girls are - it's all about the color!

    I'm not jazzed with the Convenience, Luxury & etc., option packages Ford is going to now. If you have a color issue, you can really struggle to get the right car.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Yes many times it's not the dealer's fault, although they can be on top of the situation. Example, they might place an order today with the correct order codes and such (tailored to your needs) and it gets process... If Ford tomorrow changes their packages, or makes an item unavailable (sometimes there's outside reasons like supplier delays), then your order is still pending... If you do NOT receive build date yet, chances are that your order (and your options) might default since it hasn't gone through yet.

    Naturally the dealer's are adviced when such changes take place... If a particular color is no longer being offered effective, last build date for it, etc. Again, all depends how on top of it they are.

    A dealer can easily place 200 order's, but being on top of those 200 are quite difficult at that.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That sounds pretty much like what happened. The gal that orders the cars at my dealer was pulling her hair out. Fortunately, I'm a patient guy :) I mean, what the hell, eventually I'll get what I want, what's the rush..... And they treat me like gold, so I knew they were trying. Plus, the 04 has really been a satisfier. It's an awesome car.
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