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Is Ford's End Right Behind Chrysler's?

drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
edited March 10 in Ford
Ford F-Series struggling to stay on top, waiting 18 long months for a redesign. They are reduced to lying about it's towing abilities, just to slow the mass exodus!

Can't name their current line-up, making many changes in the last year.

Anyone inspired by the new vehicles coming out? :confuse:

Ford Edge is good, but already getting outshined by Mazda CX-7. Would someone buy the Edge over the CX-7?

Ford Flex? Looks like a Mini Cooper, without the style or anything nice. Redesigned Ford Focus award-winning days are over. Pretty brutal look.

No news on Ford Ranger. Exploder's days are numbered. 500/Taurus sales continue to tumble, and prices will start at $24k? They're afraid to redesign Crown Vic at this point, the only car that actually hits it's target.

Since Mark Fields took over, things have taken a turn for the worst!

At least Chrysler has some vehicles that hit their target market, and have some appeal! At least they have 300, Caravan, and Jeep.

Outside of the NEXT F-150, the cubbard is pretty bare.

Fleets sales are making things look better than they are, sales wise.

The biggest problem is their Turnaround Plan bit the dust! Or was it Way Forward (I think they misnamed that too.)?

Can anyone find a silver lining? A reason for Hope? I think they're having more trouble attracting traffic than Chrysler is. :sick:

DrFill
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Comments

  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    Mercury is nowhere, man! I'll predict you take the Outlander at the end of the day!

    Just a feeling...

    Regards,
    OW
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    Ford as we know it today will go away. Just a matter of time.

    The market has changed so much and Ford as well as Chrysler and GM think THEIR plans will always work and invariably, they get it wrong.

    Here's an example of a comment from DCX Chairman yesterday:

    CEO on the fact that the Chrysler unit lost $1.5 billion in 2006:

    "The crucial factor was the unforeseeable shift in demand to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles which was triggered by increased gas prices in the U.S.," Zetsche said. He noted that Chrysler's strengths have been minivans, pickups and sport utility vehicles, autos not known for their fuel efficiency.

    Unfortunately, The Big 3 were blind sided by a SUDDEN increase in gas prices. I remember visiting a Lincoln dealer at the end of 2005 and most of the new vehicles were Navigators. What a joke!

    Regards,
    OW
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    My nephew bought a new Explorer to replace his 5 year old model. He hates it. Wants his old one back. His dad is hanging on to his 1995 Explorer in hopes that Ford will return to building a decent SUV. Looks bleak :cry:
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Chysler's strength was SUVs? I didn't realize that seeing as they have like 3 of them?

    Durango and the Jeeps?

    -mike
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    If the '09 F-150 falters in the slightest, their game maybe over.

    I've seen the next Ford Focus, and that ain't gonna git it!

    The market has already turned it's back on the 500, I mean the Taurus. Changing the name now only highlights the incompetence of a weak engine, cheap wood, and bad Passat knock-off styling.

    Exploder is done. Ranger is Done. The minivan is done.

    Flex I don't get.

    Edge seems decent, but it's far from class-leading.

    Escape can't get a new V6 after 7 years? The thing just gets heavier. :confuse:

    DrFill
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    between Chrysler and Ford is that Ford has a global operation it can bring to bear when things at the North American operation get their suckiest.

    By contrast, Chrysler is just about to be cut loose from its European partner and has already cut its ties with its Asian partners. Chrysler is all alone, with nothing in the cupboard (I liked that metaphor! :-)) as you say. I predict a break-up for Chrysler, with the winner the one who retains or gets Jeep.

    Ford may hit the skids of bankruptcy, but I don't see a break-up in their future. If they do have to go to court, I hope someone over there finally has the sense to kill Mercury (and maybe Lincoln too, not exactly an inspiring or aspirational brand any more) and really focus on waking up the Ford brand from its coma.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    ...will die. But Ford itself won't...they seem to be in the midst of redefining themselves into a low-volume performance brand. The Edge is decent (though heavy), the Fusion looks good. The next Focus (after the silly refresh) will likely finally be updated with the Euro platform. The Mustang, of course, is not going anywhere. Ford used to be just another producer of wheeled appliances, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore (consider how much of their car business is now based on Mazda's work).

    Ford as the source of Hertz snoozeboxes may be dead. But if Ford succeeds in turning itself into "American Mazda" they'll be OK. Especially if they really have the quality control under control (finally). The world finally figured out that Americans really do like driving Euro-style sporty cars, and since GM and DC seem to be slow on the uptake (though GM is turning Saturn into American Opel, so maybe they get it too), Ford may as well make use of Mazda's expertise to be the primary American manufacturer for such vehicles.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    The Mustang has acres of brand equity. The Fusion seems to be successful, though not a Camry/Accord-level success. And the F-150 will be a player for the forseeable future.

    Mercury is a true waste of money. The money spent thur should go to Lincoln, to build something somebody wants. Not much aspiration in Lincoln right now, probably because Ford's core is eroding. :sick:

    If Ford could make something cool like the Mazda3, they'd have 200k sales right thur. :) Not expecting much from the homely Focus, doh.

    The Freestyle was junk. The Flex is junk. :lemon:

    DrFill
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,942
    The Freestyle owners seem to like their rides pretty good. Other than some rear brake issues, their biggest complaint is that Ford didn't market it very well.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    That's actually a major complaint. You can't sell cars to people if they don't know the car exists. Getting the message out about the product is almost as important as having the product itself. ;)

    Then again, with the overlap between Freestyle and Edge, I can see one of them going byebye...probably the Freestyle...and a third-row seat being added to the Edge if it is successful (It's a midsize...Mitsu and Toyota managed to get 3rd row seats into COMPACT SUVs).
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    drfill: Ford F-Series struggling to stay on top, waiting 18 long months for a redesign. They are reduced to lying about it's towing abilities, just to slow the mass exodus!

    Ford has been deliberately underrating the F-150's towing capacity. Now it is telling the truth...
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    drfill: The Freestyle was junk. The Flex is junk.

    The Freestyle is a very good vehicle hampered by a lackluster drivetrain and a very weak marketing effort. Ford is addressing the drivetrain issues and giving the vehicle a new front end (much more attractive than the current one) for 2008. But the basic vehicle is solid.

    As for the Flex - no one knows what it will be like, as it has not yet been released in production form. But I like what I see so far regarding the styling and the packaging.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    F150 is good, however that market is getting crowded.

    2010 Titan will be offered with Diesel
    Toyota just jumped in that market
    New Chevy/GMC styling
    Dodge Ram

    It's a tough market to be in because they are all vying for the market share and these trucks aren't cheap nor gas-savy.

    -mike
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    If Ford was deliberately underselling it's towing, that's deceptively stupid.

    When should I believe what they say? Now? Or Next week. when it's 11,200 lbs? Isn't this the 3rd time they've lied about, I mean, changed, it's towing rating?

    Why don't they just change the name of the truck, while they're at it. :sick:

    If you wanna get played for a Jethro, be my guest.

    PM just tested the ting, and it took over 12 seconds to move a 1000lb load? You've gotta be kidding me!

    I could buy another truck in the time it takes a Triton to move 11k!

    Either they were lying then, or they're lying now. That's the thing about lying. Once you start......

    DrFill
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    drfill: If Ford was deliberately underselling it's towing, that's deceptively stupid.

    Or maybe Ford didn't want to tip the competition's hand as to its true towing capacity. And when the competition released the towing capacity of its trucks, Ford was ready.

    I seem to recall Nissan and Honda doing the same thing with the horsepower ratings of their respective V-6s a few years ago, and no one called them deceptive.

    drfill: If you wanna get played for a Jethro, be my guest.

    The competition got played for Jethro, not me. ;)
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    Anyone towing more than 7-8k with an F-150 ain't getting it done this week. And with 7-8 MPG to boot.

    If you have the time, Ford will have your money.

    DrFill
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Wow I'm towing 9k with my Armada w/o much issue and about 10mpg at 60-65mph on relatively flat terrain.

    -mike
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Ford still has some decent product; the Fusion and Mustang are selling well, but the rest of the lineup is pretty weak.

    The Freestyle I actually think is hidden equity. All Ford needs is a stronger marketing plan for the Free.. er, Taurus X. Now that it's been given a Power Liftgate and the 3.5, it should be ok, as long as people know the car exists.

    The Edge is ok, it won't light the crossover world on fire, but it will bring in a few sales.

    The Escape is in dire need of a new set of engines, and a total top to bottom redesign. The refresh just isn't going to cut it.

    The Focus should be fine when it finally gets the Euro platform; until then it's worthless in terms of sales.

    The Flex is junk. Reminds me of a squared off Pacifica, with an extra 300 pounds added to it. I'll check it out at the NY show tomorrow to be sure...

    The Taurus (Five Hundred), Ranger, Freestar, Crown Victoria, Explorer, Expedition (and EL) and F-150 are dead or about to die. That's a pretty big proportion of the lineup.

    Mercury needs to get the ax. Spending all the money to promote the Mariner and Sable are not worth the extra sales. The entire Lincoln lineup needs to go, and replaced with fresh things.

    Over at Chrysler, I think it will stay in one piece, as the three brands are so interdependent on each other in terms of where the products are produced. (okay, Jeep maybe could be separated, but separating Dodge and Chrysler will be messy)

    At Chrysler, the main problem is the interiors on the new model. It's all hard plastic, from the $14,000 Caliber to the $30,000+ Nitro R/T. Until they fix the interiors, the lineups are junk, except for maybe the minivans.

    Has anybody seen the new Liberty? Gives you even fewer reasons to buy the Nitro...
  • punkr77punkr77 Posts: 183
    Today's buyers want styling and reliability. Detroit in general has problems with both. Chrystler has lots of style, but their reliabilty stinks. My Dad rented a new charger 6 months ago. It had less than 6k on the clock and had to be towed off for repairs. Add to that CR's ratings and they seem way behind the curve.

    GM has made gains on quality, but their styling stinks. They knock a few out of the park (Vette, Sostice), but the rest of their line is either bland or downright homely.

    Ford is probably the biggest disappointment. I'm currently driving one now (99 Cobra) and had one in the past (88 Taurus), so I'm not just another "Ford Hater." I don't see anything from Ford that's remotely interesting except for the Mustang. After a test drive I came away feeling that it had more of everything the old one had. It has more of the looks and power which sold me on the 99, but also more weight, poorer visability, and more crappy build quality which are my biggest gripes about the 99. As far as the rest of the line, the styling puts me off. They also seem average, nothing to reccomend them over their competitors.

    The only bright spot for Ford is their hefty stake in Mazda. Mazda seems like it can do no wrong right now. SUV's look great, Mada 3 (and MS3) look and drive great. The Miata gets better with every incarnation (although heavier). If they'd add some HP and torque to the RX-8, I'd be all over it.

    BTW, has anyone seen the Ford Super chief concept. Whoever designed it should be drug out and shot. I saw one at the Houston Auto Show. The styling made me ill. It was the biggest vehicle I've ever seen. Think F250 stretch limo or Peterbuilt pickup. I'd swear OPEC designed it.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    The 2008 Escape is the redesign! That's the problem. :sick:

    Mustang will have it's hands full once the Camaro gets here. It'll have all the appeal of a BeeGees T-shirt.

    It'll have to step out of the 50's and into the new millenium. :confuse:

    DrFill
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    I'm in Houston, too, and eyesore the Ford Super Chief.

    I actually like it, but it was after seeing the current 'Stang, Expedition EL, and FreeStale. :blush:

    DrFill
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I'll be at the NY auto show myself tomorrow...want to see the Edge and Fusion along with some of the concepts (I'm currently tilting between those 2 and Mitsu Outlander for my next car, after trading in my Mazda3). Edge is actually pretty important, as it's a market few have touched (an actual SPORTY SUV). So far only Mazda, Nissan, and Mitsubishi have entries there (Unless you want to count BMW, Porche, and Infiniti as well, heh).

    I agree about Mercury though...right now it's a waste of money and sign space; there's nothing to make it unique, except that it's not Ford. They have Lincoln for luxury, Jag for high-end sporty, Mazda for low-end sporty...where does Mercury fit?
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    "Mustang will have it's hands full once the Camaro gets here. It'll have all the appeal of a BeeGees T-shirt.

    It'll have to step out of the 50's and into the new millenium. :confuse: "


    Or the 1960s even, eh?

    I'm not particularly worried about the Mustang's prospects. If Ford could replicate what it did with the curent Mustang development and execution, for the rest of the vehicle line, it wouldn't have a care in the world.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    That's why Ford goes down. They lost it with almost every other vehicle except the pickup line.

    Regards,
    OW
  • aldwaldw Posts: 82
    Replace Lincoln-Mercury with an ultra-lux Lincoln-Continental division, sell off Jaguar and combine overseas Fords alongside US models is something I've advocated for a while.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    You can't sell off Jaguar without selling off Land Rover which won't happen since Land Rover is doing very well.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,400
    Finally! Someone who says it like it is! The same goes for G68M...how could they let this happen in their own back yard? A perfect example of mismanagement, including the Unions.

    The best is that they keep missing the target. The F-- Lady is warming up in the Show Rooms near you!

    Hey, did you see the DCX news...Dr. Z wanted $8b and KirkK is offering $5B. He should get them to throw in a life time Family Plan Discount!

    F.O.R.D. pretty soon.

    Regards,
    OW
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,972
    some are trying to spread some sort of hysteria.
    i have 4 fords. they are pretty good vehicles.
    i am pretty sure my next one will also be a ford, too.
    it seems like mb has been trying to sink chrysler, so maybe they will be better off, if they are sold.
  • punkr77punkr77 Posts: 183
    I never understood the Chry-Benz partnership. Chrystler has had their styling down since their ugly K-car phase. It's their poor reputation for reliability that's really hurt them. Judging from CR, Mercedes has nothing to offer in that respect.

    Ford has always been the one American brand I liked. My current Ford will likely be my last. I've been less than impressed, and their current financial woes make me suspect they'll be cutting even more corners in the years to come.
  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    When the Expedition was redesigned about 5 years ago.

    Cheap dash, hard plastic, small, crappy iPod-sized NAV screen, about 400 extra lbs., a hard ride, and no more power? The 3rd seat was great, but they created a whole new list of problems they had no intention of fixing!

    Pretty demoralizing, as a Ford Internet salesman. :sick:

    DrFill
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