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What about the future of Ford Inc??

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Comments

  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "Freestyle as competitive as possible"

    I agree. But I think they should start by "tweaking" the design of the Freestyle. IMHO it looks too much like a mini-Explorer. And if what were reading about the Explorer is true (about sales) then Ford should put as much distance between the Freestyle and Explorer as possible.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    "3-4 inches in shoulder room is a big difference"

    Are you comparing the Ford 500 to the Crown Vic? If you are, then the 500's shoulder room is 2.2/2.4" less than the Crown Vic, and the leg room of the 500 is 3.9" greater in the 500. The hip room is less by 3.7" in the front, so I can see how that would interfere with the police and all the gear they carry on their belt, unless they made a 500 with a front row bench. To me, it's the lack of a front row bench that makes the 500 hard to use for police use.

    500
    Head room - front/rear (in.) 39.4/38.6
    Shoulder room – front/rear (in.) 57.8/57.6
    Hip room – front/rear (in.) 53.7/53.6
    Leg room – front/rear (in.) 41.2/41.9
    Trunk 21.2

    CV
    Head room - front/rear (in.) 39.5/37.8
    Shoulder room – front/rear (in.) 60.0/60.0
    Hip room – front/rear (in.) 57.4/56.1
    Leg room – front/rear (in.) 41.6/38.0
    Trunk 20.6
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,341
    There are forty five new Dodge Chargers in the Oregon State Police force. Perhaps Oregon's Purchasing Dept has been advised there will be no more CV's.
  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    Actually Freestyle is said to be taking a lot of Explorer sales.. both seat 7, both are SUV (like) but the Freestyle gets much better mileage...

    Fresstylle will be redesigned next spring alongside a very nicely redone Five Hundred and Montego. However Freestyle might be replaced by a Mercury model after all - there was a mule spoted for a Mercury Freestyle derivative, but as of now .. no sight of a Ford Freestyle redesign mule.

    BTW year over Year - in April sales:
    Explorer down 26%
    Cherokee down 27%
    Trailblazer down 15%
    Sequoia down 29% (although 4runner is up 15%)

    This is not Explorer problem.. this is really Midsize SUV problem.. people either get the Car based Compact or Midsize CUV's or upgrade to the real thing (Full Size SUV's) if they really need the power. All of SUV sales are down... When Gm reports on their SUV's like the Tahoe, they do not tell you that the 1% increase is them putting 5000 rebate on the old models, while selling some measly 10k of the GMT900 models.

    Finally.. For people complaining about Ford Sales and Taurus.. right now Fusion and Fivehundred have minmal fleet sales... very very low even compared to the like of Camry.. Ford is doing very well with the Taurus and Focus covering this market.

    When taurus is gone .. all of its fleet sales will go to Five Hundred ... very few to Fusion.

    Finally.. Ford's Fleet sales are up.. but all of the increase is in F-series.. people seem to think that all fleet sales are daily rentals of car, while Ford's biggest fleet sales are on the Commercial E-vans and F-trucks for contruction and other commercial purposes... there are countless F-series roaming around New Orleans for example...

    And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this .. Trucks build their reputation on being used by pros on construction sites. You can expect Toyota aggressively selling the new Tundras to fleets once it is introduced.. seeing a Truck work on your town's contrutction etc.. is the best commercial .. better than any country singer ads on TV.

    Igor
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "BTW year over Year - in April sales:
    Explorer down 26%
    Cherokee down 27%
    Trailblazer down 15%
    Sequoia down 29% (although 4runner is up 15%)"

    I wonder why 4 Runner sales up and all the rest like Cherokee and Explorer are down. Maybe age of the current generation 4 Runner has something to do with it. I mean the 4 Runner is 4 a year old model (it was new for 03) while the Cherokee and Explorer were new for 05 and 06 respectively. I was thinking maybe Toyota was rebating 4 Runner more than Ford is doing with the Explorer ad Chrysler is doing with the Cherokee but than gain Toyota spends alot less on incentives anually than Ford or Chrysler does.

    "Finally.. For people complaining about Ford Sales and Taurus.. right now Fusion and Fivehundred have minmal fleet sales... very very low even compared to the like of Camry.."
    "Ford is doing very well with the Taurus and Focus covering this market."

    Well I think the prime reason for the Focus selling to fleets is its age I mean the current generation Focus was new for the 2000 model year. I think Ford should have re-did the Focus by now for the US market. That was a mistake by Ford in my opinion for not releasing a new generation Focus by now. Also, the Escape needs an update too. I mean a new RAV 4 is out and a new Honda CR-V will be out in September or October of this year for the 07 model year probably. See... the problem is Ford wants to update models every 7 years while Honda and Toyota update models every 5 years.

    "When taurus is gone .. all of its fleet sales will go to Five Hundred ... very few to Fusion."

    Um, I don't think so Fords mission with the 500 is have it being a fleet car. They need the 500 to give the Toyota Avalon and the Chrysler 300 a run for its money. The revision on the 07 midcycle 500 refresh is to have I would think was to address the 500's criticized blandness by automotive reviewers. I have read that Ford will put a Fusion grille on the 500 but if thats all Ford is going to give the 500 is put a Fusion grille on it in my opinion that is not going to be good enough to turn it into a hotseller in the buying place. I don't understand why the 500 gets ragged on for its bland styling anyway. I mean the Avalon and LaCrosse are bland and those are the 500's competitors in its repective class of car. I don;t know maybe people want the 500 to stick out style wise like the Chrysler 300 does.

    "Finally.. Ford's Fleet sales are up.. but all of the increase is in F-series.. people seem to think that all fleet sales are daily rentals of car, while Ford's biggest fleet sales are on the Commercial E-vans and F-trucks for contruction and other commercial purposes... there are countless F-series roaming around New Orleans for example... "

    "And there is absolutely nothing wrong with this .. Trucks build their reputation on being used by pros on construction sites. You can expect Toyota aggressively selling the new Tundras to fleets once it is introduced.. seeing a Truck work on your town's contrutction etc.. is the best commercial .. better than any country singer ads on TV."

    Well, there is nothing wrong it with Ford selling trucks to construction companies as long as they are not losing money on it I would think. I would think Ford makes more money selling trucks to construction companies than a car or a truck to rental fleets. I mean the rental fleets cars always come back to a Ford dealership or another dealerships car lot. A truck sold to a construction company doesn;t come back on the marketplace the way a rental fleet car or a truck does.
  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    Well I think the prime reason for the Focus selling to fleets is its age I mean the current generation Focus was new for the 2000 model year.
    ...
    the problem is Ford wants to update models every 7 years while Honda and Toyota update models every 5 years.


    well.. this is mostly correct Focus is not as popular, because Ford dropped the ball on it.. but right now, it serves well covering some rental fleet sales.. sucks for Focus (I love Focus and owned one), but for now serves Ford right..

    Escape, Mariner and Tribute have a redesign ready for production starting January or February 2007.

    Um, I don't think so Fords mission with the 500 is have it being a fleet car. They need the 500 to give the Toyota Avalon and the Chrysler 300 a run for its money. The revision on the 07 midcycle 500 refresh is to have I would think was to address the 500's criticized blandness by automotive reviewers. I have read that Ford will put a Fusion grille on the 500 but if thats all Ford is going to give the 500 is put a Fusion grille on it in my opinion that is not going to be good enough to turn it into a hotseller in the buying place.

    Well the redesign is somewhat more substantial than just Fusion grille, but it is only a nose and tail job.. (and maybe interior).. however the nose is very very well done
    image
    You can see through the camo that the headlights are much more pronounced and much more interesting than the Fusion's
    (Fusion's front design was just an afterthought after the smashing success of the 427 Concept)

    MORE PICTURES: http://www.blueovalnews.com/index.php?categoryid=3&p17_sectionid=9

    Overall, Ford is still in big trouble... their new product development is frozen, becaue Fields was not happy with the state of the company. When he took over Mazda, he suspended product introduction for 18 months to realign the firm and fully define the brand image... after that, he let the teams finish all the new great mazda products: Mazda6, RX8, MX5 and Mazda3.

    The Edge duo, Fusion trio, redesigned 08 Escape trio, 08 Expedition duo, and 08 Five Hundred trio (quattro) will be released, but Fields is quite open that they could have been better.

    With the Mazda designer now in charge of the Cars design in Ford, he will have his teammate from Mazda working with him, and I will not be surprised by a much more expressive and interesting design of Ford cars right after they restart the release cycle. Facelifted Mustang, and the B segments are the next to be released. Focus should be next, and then we do not really know. The releases should resume next spring-fall.

    Ford is on the track to regular 5-6 year full redesign cycle.. they have it well in place in most of the world, and as they are finally moving to unite all the platofrms globally, we will see it finally translated int US products. The next Focus should be once again a World product, built along the next generation EU Focus, and Mazda3 and small Volvos on the replacement for C1 platform. Mazda6 and Fusions will be moved off of Mazda's CD3 platform to the European EUCD platform in future generations. The Crossovers will follow with Escape moving to C1 and Edge to EUCD. D3 will probably remain as global large midsize platform. Finally Ford is re-starting Australian Ford and pumping lots of money into 2 projects there: global light commercial truck platform and global RWD car platform. The expectation is that at least the car platform will make it to US as replacement for Panther.

    However, that is all song of the future. For now Fields is focused on working out a corporate identity for the Ford North American vehicles.. something better than "Dave".. something more expressive, and more unanimous.. we can see how well his team did it with Mazda.. and I have high hopes the results at ford will be no worse. Current models, are simply the victims of this shift in gears...

    Igor
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    ""How does that happen? Buyers have really turned the cold shoulder to the new Explorer, which I don't really understand,"

    1) I agree with Chuck1 - the Explorer was re-designed by the 500 team......(yawn...)
    2) Have ya SEEN that interior door panel? A real turn off.
    3) What has Ford done to market the new Explorer? I see nothing.
    4) The new interior of the Tahoe alone, would move me. While driving the Explorer, you would probably say it's the best Explorer yet - the interior is not attractive. It's overly plain. Just like the outside.

    I feel sorry for Ford design - they don't know what to do. They get radical in 83 with their T-bird, and it's a huge success. Again in 86 with the Taurus, they changed the world this time. They do it again in 96 with the Taurus, and it's not well received - too wierd. So they go to safe and plain like Toyota - not a good move. One flop with the ovid Taurus only meant that particular design was a bomb. Didn't mean America hated style. They need to get the T-Bird and original Taurus guy back, and put him to work again. The Passat wins no customers from the exterior design. It's the interior and the cache of owning a troubled German brand (kind of like Smoking, it's a thrill to defy the odds) that sells them. Oh, and when they're working, they drive really well.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "Other than a few inches less shoulder & hip space, the 500 is comparable to the CV, so why wouldn't the police/sheriff/taxis go for the Ford 500? Or is it the body on frame design? And why does RWD matter?"

    It's all about the RWD and body on frame. The CV is built just like a truck - and it's just as tough. The 500 is no possible way as durable or as capable of jumping curbs, or taking an impact and still running. Plus, if you've driven agressively in pursuit - RWD, and the V-8 power is the only option. The 500 can't be an interceptor in its present form. A Taxi - maybe. Should be more economical to run. DOn't know if you can get half a million miles out of a 500 though, like you can out of a CV.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "The new interior of the Tahoe alone, would move me. While driving the Explorer, you would probably say it's the best Explorer yet - the interior is not attractive. It's overly plain. Just like the outside."

    I think that GM did a GREAT JOB on their new full-size SUVs. The questions is - can they continue to sell them at $3.00 gal/gas?

    Also, if you took the old and new Explorer and looked at the profile (sides) only... the average person couldn't tell them apart. That is not good.....
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "Also, if you took the old and new Explorer and looked at the profile (sides) only... the average person couldn't tell them apart. That is not good....."

    I totally agree, chuck1
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    The style of the interior is one thing, but I’m more impressed with the Explorer for the interior space. The Tahoe is 9” longer, 4” wider and 5” taller, yet inside the Explorer has 9” more legroom in the 3rd row, but only 2” less in the 2nd row. For the length of the Tahoe, you’d think they could put in more space in the 3rd row, and the Tahoe 3rd row doesn’t fold out of the way.

    Explorer specs:
    193.4/72.8/73.7 L/W/H
    39.8/38.7/37.4 Head Room Rows 1/2/3
    42.4/36.9/34.9 Leg Room Rows 1/2/3

    Tahoe specs:
    202/77/79 L/W/H
    41.1 39.2 37.9 Head Room Rows 1/2/3
    41.3 39.0 25.6 Leg Room Rows 1/2/3
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "The style of the interior is one thing, but I’m more impressed with the Explorer for the interior space. The Tahoe is 9” longer, 4” wider and 5” taller, yet inside the Explorer has 9” more legroom in the 3rd row, but only 2” less in the 2nd row. For the length of the Tahoe, you’d think they could put in more space in the 3rd row, and the Tahoe 3rd row doesn’t fold out of the way."

    Yes, but the Tahoe is selling, at a higher transaction price than a year ago. You can tell the difference (a big one) between last years Tahoe and this new model. Can't say that on the Explorer.

    HEY!! ALL YOU FORD........... SALESPEOPLE....EMPLOYEES...FANS....ETC...FORD BLEW IT!! The best you can hope for is an order to comedown from Dearborn saying "IMMEDIATE RESTYLE", and realize the mistake like they did in the 500!! Lets' get off the Titanic!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Yes, the Tahoe is different than previous years, but the nterior space utilization is still poor. But I guess if new style is the most important feature, then go with the Tahoe.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "Yes, the Tahoe is different than previous years, but the interior space utilization is still poor. But I guess if new style is the most important feature, then go with the Tahoe."

    I guess interior space utilization isn't that important to some people. Now it looks like the Blazer is the number one selling SUV in the country. I don't have official measurements - sure looks smaller than the Explorer to me though.
    The bottom line is this - The new GM full size SUVs have very nice interiors. I bet the pages of the brochures that spell out these measurements is probably the most overlooked. I bet people spend more time looking at the wheels that come with each model more than interior measurements. Most people will just sit in a vehicle they are considering, and if it "fits" them they will buy it. People do not (for the most part) look at the brochure and say for example - "Well the Explorer has 1 1/2" more hip room in the driver's seat" - and this sways them - nope doesn't happen this way.

    Remember, those of us here on Edmunds are not average people when it comes to these things......
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    igor2: Overall, Ford is still in big trouble... their new product development is frozen, becaue Fields was not happy with the state of the company. When he took over Mazda, he suspended product introduction for 18 months to realign the firm and fully define the brand image... after that, he let the teams finish all the new great mazda products: Mazda6, RX8, MX5 and Mazda3.

    That's great for Mazda, and the 18-month suspension obviously worked.

    The big problem is that Ford cannot afford ANY delay in new products. The company is already behind Toyota and Honda in key segments. Even worse, if GM's new crossovers are a hit, then Ford will be under even more pressure, as they will steal sales from not only the Freestyle, but also Ford's SUVs. And the new GM full-size pickups are going to turn up the heat on the F-150.

    Ford has let so many products wither on the vine - Focus, Ranger, Lincoln LS, Panther cars, Taurus/Sable - that I often wonder if Toyota hasn't secretly installed several moles on the committees in charge of Ford's product planning. This is not a company that wants to compete to win. Anything less in today's brutally competitive market is a ticket to oblivion.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "Anything less in today's brutally competitive market is a ticket to oblivion."

    Agreed. They got a solid powertrain under the Ranger, yet it's a body style that is many, many years old. By the time Ford brings the European Focus over - it will be like the new Explorer - dead on arrival.
  • kgfordkgford Posts: 7
    Just to let all of the Ford haters out there know that the GT 500 will have 500 HP and the Fusion will come standard with side impact as well as the canopy system in 2007!!!! By the way an All Wheel Drive version of the Fusion will be available in the 2007 model!!
    All I can say is having driven the competion with AWD the Fusion will be awsome!!!! :surprise:
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    In several ways, the Explorer is a better SUV. However, it doesn't look like it - and let's face it - lots and lots of buyers are emotional, not rational buyers.....
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "Just to let all of the Ford haters out there"
    I don't think anyone here "hates Ford". If you do - you don't need to criticize Ford for the poor performance in the market place. They are doing enough themselves.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Posters here don't hate Ford.

    They are, however, very disappointed in a company that appears to have the automotive equivalent of attention deficit disorder when it comes to product planning.

    I can't think of any other company that has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory so many times over the past 15+ years.

    The original Taurus ended GM's supremacy of the family sedan market and showed Toyota and Honda what a successful midsize family car needs to succeed in this country. And Ford then lets the car wither on the vine after one unsuccessful redo.

    The Focus was BETTER than the Civic and Corolla in many ways. But Ford botched the introduction by failing to test many of the new, American-only parts used on the North American version, and the car stumbled in a blur of recalls and quality glitches. Now Ford is letting that one wither on the vine, too.

    The Ranger was the best compact pickup on the market for many years. But Ford couldn't be bothered to update it, and now the Tacoma is trouncing it on the sales charts.

    Lincoln beat Cadillac in sales a few years back - and now it is headed to also-ran status in the luxury market, relying on heavily rebadged Fords for new products.

    This is a company with serious problems in the product planning department.

    That is not a statement of hatred, it is a - very sad - statement of fact. It gives me no joy to say that, and I'm sure the other posters feel the same way.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    GR,

    I agree with everything you said. Very well written.
  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    There seems to be quite a bit of movement about Ranger.. its production is being shifted to Dearborn and there is continued rumormill that Ford is replacing Ranger with an F100 - based on Explorer - and another truly compact truck (possibly co-built with the new Bronco - although that would make it FWD/AWD unibody.. which might be a problem).

    And I agree. Ford is in a very peculiar position with the product rellease. I am optimistic about the Edge.. I think Ford hit a homerun with it.. even more so than the Outlook from GM. But ford is desperately behind on the newly key markets of C and B segments - and while there are very optimistic rumors about both segments.. they are all about 2008 and 2009 model years and that is very late.

    Igor
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    In several ways, the Explorer is a better SUV. However, it doesn't look like it - and let's face it - lots and lots of buyers are emotional, not rational buyers.....

    True enough...some people buy them because they have bright new wheels ;) Maybe if people started comparing and buying vehicles for more practical & intelligent reasons, Ford would do better.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    From what I've seen, the Outlook is just a Freestyle only a little taller & wider, so I guess GM is following the Ford lead on making a 3 row CUV capable of adult seating in all rows.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "They need to get the T-Bird and original Taurus guy back, and put him to work again. The Passat wins no customers from the exterior design."

    The original T-Bird and Tarus guy is probably real old now. No, Ford needs to get in touch with younger people not go back on what they did in the past in terms of exterior design. As far the Passat is concerned the 02-05 model was great looking but the 06 model really doesn;t really do anything for me.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "That's great for Mazda, and the 18-month suspension obviously worked."

    Sure the perception of Mazda has come up alot in since the release of the 6 and 3 but their sales numbers in the Us are still not great and I don;t think where Mazda wants them to be. Mazda has not grown like Nissan has in the past few years. I mean aside from the 3 and MX-5 the 6 annd RX-8 aren't really selling though. I am a Mazda fan and also a Honda fan but Mazda still has alots of work to do to win customers from Honda and Nissan. I wonder as well getting a new desinger will effect the release of the 08 6. I think the product plan of the 08 6 was still in the pipe-line when Moray Callum(Mazda than designer)before he left for Ford.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Again another load of incorrect BS.

    Mazda was up in profits 56% last fisical year!!!!

    Nissan was up about 5% basically flat.

    Mark
  • igor2igor2 Posts: 148
    yes, but Mazda has not grown SALES numbers for about a decade.. it was covered recently over several sources.. they have kept steady some 250k units a year..

    their profits are up meaning they sell cars for good prices - people want them, but there aren ot attracting new customers...

    No one really knows why

    Igor
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    Mazda still continues to grow year after year. Granted, RX-8s can be had for $9K off MSRP, and the 6 doesn't sell as well as the CamCord, but their product as a whole is solid, reliable, and a TON more fun-to-drive than the competition.

    Mazda will never be able to match the sales of Toyota or Honda, and they shouldn't. Why? Two reasons: 1. That's Ford's job, and 2. They'd have to "dumb" down the excitement of their product to appeal to a broader audience, which is a big, BIG "no-no" in my book!

    AFAIC, Mazda is more of a "niche" automaker, a poor man's BMW, if you will. Not leading the sales charts, but still increasing brand awareness every year with new and exciting products (the CX-7 ans upcoming MazdaSpeed 3), bringing in new customers, and is frankly the only bright spot in Ford's product line. Why would Ford borrow the 6 platform as a base for the Fusion/Milan/Zephyr and the upcoming Edge? Hmm...
  • kgfordkgford Posts: 7
    OK maybe Hate was a little to strong of a word. Yet when others such as Toyota/Lexus, Honda/Acura and Nissan/Infinity share platforms it is called innovative and cost effective. Yet when Ford does it it is looked upon as cheap.

    Also when a vehicle that defined a market, the F-150, and for the past thirty years has the number one selling Vehicle in the world. Is head and shoulders above the rest of the competion in terms of ride, responsiveness, quietness and capabilities is left out of the truck of the year competion and the winner is a front wheel drive unibody enlarged car(basically enlarged Accord) is a joke.
    To see the real truth check out www.thetruthabouttrucks.com ,you will wonder why would anyone buy another type of pickup truck.

    As far as safety the Five Hundred is safer than any other car on the road. In fact it is the only car to receive 5 stars in side impact protection without the use of side airbags. And the Freestyle leads its field in safety.
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