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What about the future of Ford Inc??

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    Oh, I loved this one! :-)

    "The Ford Explorer is the best selling mid-size SUV since its debut in 1994!"

    Didn't it debut around 1990? I had a friend with a '90, so it must go back at least that far. Oh yeah, and last year it was outsold by the Trailblazer - go figure! :-P

    "Once again, for 2005, Ford put over 900,000 F-series trucks into the hands of customers."
    "No other company understands trucks the way Ford does."

    Well, except perhaps for GM, which put over 935,000 Silverados and Sierras into the hands of customers. :-)

    "What Ford is now trying to do is to PICK its market. Its obvious that Ford is going to choose to build less cars in the future and may have a lower market share. This is insignificant if those fewer cars can be sold at a profit."

    Hehehe, yeah, Ford is trying to pick some OTHER market BESIDES the U.S.! :-P
    Seriously though, if they sell fewer cars at a profit (for a change), how does that help them compete against the many companies in the market who already do that and have been doing that year in and year out for decades? I guess it's a start, but it's not some huge exciting claim to make.

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

  • Mschmal

    Just so it's understood, the F-150 is the best truck out there, all things considered, although I don't know if it's been the best for 28 straight years, it deserves a great deal of respect. Just because the Titan has a bigger engine doesn't mean it's a better truck, even though it beat all comers in a C&D comparison.

    I like the redesign of the F-150, but in what will be it's 3rd year on the market, it needs a pair of stud V8's THIS FALL, no later, if it wants to close the door on being passed in the next 3-5 years by the competition. This won't happen, and I see new engine arriving no earlier than early 2009 (model year, Spring of '08). Ford will lose sales and share to GM and Toyoat, as the next Tundra will take the baton of Toyota's momentum and run very well with it, past 200k units.

    This happened to Ford with the Taurus, which was the Camry in the mid-80's, but Ford got lazy, sat on their laurels, and was quickly passed by Accord and Camry. F-150 won't become a Taurus, but sales will slide significantly, and it will not be the Unions fault, or our fault. Another management error.

    Kd

    You bring up a strong point, that Toyota, for one, will more or less sell you the same car, with similar quality for very different prices, just differences in styling, features, and power. Without "badge engineering" them. They have distinction. And seperate identities. And both have value in their classes.

    Regarding Toyotas and comparison tests, the Scion tC came in 3rd in MT vs. Mazda3, MiniCooper S, and it beat a domestic. Corolla came in 3rd out of 8 in a 2003 C&D comparo, beaten by Elantra and Protege. Also did well in a MT comparison vs. Mazda3, but didn't win. in XRS trim last year. I remember very strong acceleration numbers and best in test economy.

    Comparison test are great, but if you've owned a Honda or Toyota, and never been burned in 10-15 years by one, chances are you will seek one out, if you have good memories.

    I think customer satisfaction for the imports beats that of the domestics. They just haven't always been able to offer product to all market niches like the domestics. Now that is changing.

    Nippon

    If I had a bet, I'd say the Silverado will take down the F-150 in 5 years. I'm hoping the next Silverado will have a slicker look of the Cheyenne concept, but the Tahoe and Escalade say no to that.

    DrFill
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    ..Toyota, for one, will more or less sell you the same car, with similar quality for very different prices, just differences in styling, features, and power. Without "badge engineering" them. They have distinction. And seperate identities. And both have value in their classes.

    moving reply to Camry vs Fusion vs Accord vs Sonata thread
  • I think people have already mentioned this, but the answer to your problems is relatively simple: build cars people WANT and will PAY a premium for.

    Honda and Toyota are GAINING market share and selling cars more EXPENSIVE than comparables from Ford or GM. Buyers desire these cars and are willing to pay more for quality, reliability, resale value, better fuel efficiency, etc.

    Execs, engineers and anyone involved in product design at Ford and especially GM need to trade-in their company cars for an Accord to experience first hand the world of difference between their product and the competition.

    They have an up hill battle. Consumers they need to win back have been spoiled by Honda and Toyota. Building cars close to Japanese quality will not be enough, they need to build them better.

    The Fusion/Milan look promising. Ford needs to aim high, these cars might the Sebring but they need to keep pushing their engineers to make them serious Camcord-Killers. A Hyundai-like warrantee would also help quell uneasy feelings about prior quality issues.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    I agree that Ford is missing the boat when it comes to the warranty issue.

    Right now Ford includes a 5 year 100k powertrain warranty on all new Focuses/Foci. This is a huge selling point for the car. Ford could easily slash the rebate and use that money to pay for the ESP and it would gain more face than the rebate.

    Ford should also go to a 4 year 50,000 bumper to bumper at least on Mercurys.

    Mark.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I agree. Can you imagine if Ford went for a bumper to bumper 100K mile warranty. Even if they had to charge an extra 5% per vehicle I think sales & profit would go up.
  • chuck1959chuck1959 Posts: 654
    Sure it would. I'd bought from the Big 3 if they had. That;s why for the first time in 2002, then 2004 I bought Kias. First time I EVER did not by American.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    4yr 50k scheduled maintence INCLUDED!

    You just lease the car for 3 to 4 years and have no expense otherthan your monthly payment.

    Mark
  • Insiders say Ford is going to bring European Focus here and move it upscale. Beneath it (where Focus is now) will be Fiesta.

    The problem with Ford is that it could start with good platform and but does not pay enough attention to details. E.g. Ford interiors on passenger cars are boring. If you sit in Ford there is some ambience of cheapness. You just feel that this car is for masses. Sitting in Accord or Camry you may think that it is a luxury car by difference.

    Engine noise in 500 is terrible – worse that in my Sable, probably because it weights more (engine is identical). And my Sable accelerates better. And 500 is a newer and upper scale (supposedly) model than Sable! BTW engine in Sable also groans and you feel unpleasant vibrations on steering wheel. I first thought that something is wrong with engine. Modern sedan V6 is not supposed to be this way, it is supposed to be quiet and smooth.

    I drove ’90 Ford Scorpio with DOCH V6 and engine was smooth and quiet and interior was like in luxury car. So it does not mean that Ford does not know how to make engines and interiors. They just think that while they have to do it for rest of the world, USA customer will be happy with less engineered components and crude interiors. Now what is wrong with that? With cost structure as it is now Ford must make luxury or upscale cars instead of competing with Koreans and Chinese. There is no way to win cost war in cheap cars with Asians without dramatic change including ban on unions. The only way is to make cars with high margins. But for that you have to move upscale offering best engines, highest content and best interiors you can make.
  • Wow! :confuse:

    That's somewhere between following-the-leaders bad management decision and not-covering-the-market-basics bad management decision

    First, the Focus doesn't have a good enough name to compete at the high-end of the compact market. It's would have to be renamed.

    Second, they have to sell the face that they can make a viable economy car that will sell.

    Third, not moving upscale with the Mazda3 two years ago, but doing it later, doesn't enhance an upscale image for Ford. It confuses the market.

    Give me a business plan that makes sense, please.

    DrFill
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,673
    that the Big 2, Ford and GM, pay lip service to the design and quality issue, and just pray that carbuyers will flock to them like in the old days when they had the market cornered...

    Ford's midsize vehicles have a 200 HP V6, against Accord 240 HP V6, and Camry's V6...

    Have you seen the Malibu???...I think the body looks out of the 1970s...Accord and Camry are still quite middle of the road, but continue to update their looks and their interiors and dashboards do get modernized...

    I wonder if the CEOs of Ford and GM actually acknowledge that the competition is here to stay...

    Without beating a dead horse (OK, if you insist, I will... ;) ;) ), wherever management has its brains may be in the past, but it really is time to deal with the unions and play hardball...bust the union, as it only tries to protect a job that they cannot afford to keep, but does nothing to help improve quality...

    And, whether true or not, American cars do not seem to ooze the perceived quality that oozes from the imports...maybe not factually true, but the unions spent the last 20 years trying to protect jobs while market share was plummeting, along with the need for those workers...the imports seem to have made perceived quality their main issue, and it shows in their growing market share...

    I do believe that when the Big 2 shed the union and its entire cost structure, their costs will drop in line with everyone else...BUT IF THEY DO NOT IMPROVE PERCEIVED QUALITY, GM AND FORD WILL SIMPLY JOIN STUDEBAKER AND NASH AND BECOME PART OF AMERICAN HISTORY...
  • While they're shaking things up at FoMoCo, they should ditch the Mercury logo, the reverse "M" looks like a summer intern project.

    Can't Mercury go retro, don't they have an old logo with a dude that looks like he's running out a burning house (maybe appropriate given the current circumstances)?

    Mercury is coming out with some nice looking exteriors, just a shame to see that lame logo gracing their backends.
  • nitromaxnitromax Posts: 641
    First, the Focus doesn't have a good enough name to compete at the high-end of the compact market. It's would have to be renamed.

    Maybe the Focus just needs to create a positive name for itself. Perhaps winning the first race of the WRC in Monte Carlo last weekend.
    http://www.wrc.com/page/RalliesDetail/0,,10111~12,00.html

    And putting together a rally car to compete with the best in only one years time frame.
    http://www.rsportscars.com/eng/cars/focus_wrc.asp

    Maybe this will turn some heads.

    Nice job Ford!
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    We in the states thaink of the Focus as a bottom tier first car.

    In Europe the Focus has a reputation more like an a accord or camry does here.

    Focus continues to be the best selling car in the UK

    Mark
  • Listen, Ford needs to think CLASS-LEADER, not bottom-feeder. Putting leather and a bigger engine in a Focus doesn't make it more valuable, or deserving some higher price. I forget how that adage goes, silk purse out of a sow's ear, or something.....

    Hey, why not build a car and use Mazda's or the company you own, strategy. No name, just a code, or number. Works for Luxury cars. You used it for Lincoln, clumsily, but you are doing it. Get away from the names. Make a great car, with a Ford badge, and give it some code that "Focuses" on the ford name, not the car.

    If Toyota was a bottom-feeder like Ford is, in perceived value, that's what they'd do.

    It's too late for the Focus. And apparently too late to gleen any shine off the Mazda3.

    Good job!

    DrFill
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    Changing a car name to an alphanumeric designation isn't going to fix Ford's problems...
  • lweisslweiss Posts: 342
    I attended the Washington, DC auto show this week- great and worth the $6 admission- just to see all the cars and not be followed by a sales guy. And the imports had excitement, the domestics hardly did (except for Chrysler). And this area does very poorly for the domestic car companies (GM has less than 15% market share, Ford also lower). But the Ford exhibit was pretty quiet except for the Fusion, but Mazda was jumpin'. And Mark Fields came from IBM, he is not a longtime auto exec with old thinking. I think there is more hope for Ford than for GM, which I think has harder to fix problems.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Changing a car name to an alphanumeric designation isn't going to fix Ford's problems..."

    Too late...

    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060127/AUTO01/601270358/1148-
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    Ford just announced on the media part of their website that they will be introducting an all new Expedition and Expedition EL (extended) for the 2007 model year.

    They look like winners. Looks like they may trump the GM fullsize SUVs with interior packaging (fold flat seats), 6speed auto standard on all models, and a redesigned IRS. To bad Ford didn't develope a more powerful v8 to compete with the larger GM v8s, but overall they look like winners.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    ...it might even add to them... ;)

    Interesting that it seems if you have a great car, an evocative name will only increase its appeal. I can't imagine that the Mustang would do nearly as well if it had been rechristened the "Ford MST" back in the 1980s.

    I personally think the domestics need to get back to the aggressive names they chose back in the classic day. The 1970s-on "made up" names (i.e. Ciera) were terrible and the 1990s unconnected names were a little better (i.e. Taurus).

    I still think "Falcon" is a great name that deserves to come back on a US Ford...
  • If they don’t make cost structure more effective (read UAW stop playing games and management keeps focus for longer than couple of years) they will go bankrupt sooner or later. It is not about new exciting models anymore. It does not help if you cannot make profits. Chrysler despite all the new hot products virtually makes no profits.

    Ford can close car building operations in NA (what it actually does slowly), make cars outside of USA/Canada and keep only trucks manufacturing, financing, marketing and distribution arms in USA . Engineering and building cars can be done outside of USA and Canada, e.g. in Mexico, Europe, Japan, China. Of course some engineering can be done in USA but only to adapt cars developed in Europe or Japan to USA market.
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    "They look like winners. Looks like they may trump the GM fullsize SUVs with interior packaging (fold flat seats), 6speed auto standard on all models, and a redesigned IRS."

    Gasoline is now climbing past $2.50 a gallon as I write this. I don't see how any full-sized SUV is going to be a "winner". Yea, some folks will need to buy them because of towing, etc. But those numbers are too few to put black ink on the Ford bottom line. SUV sales are way down and still falling.....
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,673
    I am responding to an earlier comment you made about Ford's 4.6 and 5.4 liter engines not keeping up with GM's 6.2L 400 HP V8...

    I disagree with the premise of your statement...there will always be some folks who will need 400HP, maybe 500 or 600...

    But I think the 5.4L, which does put out over 300HP should be enough for most F150 buyers...in fact, I would bet that few people choose GM over Ford because of the engine, but almost everything else...build quality, comfort, design, sturdiness, smooth ride, etc.

    But as long as a 5.4 has sufficient get-up-and-go, I do not think that factor will lose a Ford sale and give it to GM...remember, with that 400HP, the MPG may not be so good, altho I am not aware of actual numbers...

    I would agree if the 5.4 was as anemic as the 4.6, but I do not believe they are even close...you may have more info than I do... :shades: :shades: ;)
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,673
    Ford may have 25 Billion in the bank, but I have read in multiple sources that their long term debt is about 125 billion...add to that all those legacy costs and current costs where UAW folks refuse to pay any part of their health insurance premiums or any deductible, and you do have the makings of a disaster/Chapter 11...

    It may help if they agreed to pay $100-200 monthly toward their own Blue Cross premiums, and then a $1000 deductible yearly...so many other companies have "shared costs" and it is about time that UAW comes out of the 1980s, recognizes that we have past the 1990s, and we are 5 years into the new millenium...either they do that, or they will pay 100% of their premiums and 100% of the health costs as they will all be on individual polices as the UAW group will cease to exist...

    $25 billion just ain't what it used to be... :cry: :cry: :shades:
  • On every comparison or extended test drive I've seen, the engine regarded as adequate, and when driven back to back with the competition, the weight gain in it's redesign becomes more of an issue.

    If there was news on the horizon, again, I wouldn't make an issue of it. But the Nissan has more general strength (and lighter weight), and the Hemi is ahead, and there is a stronger Vortec. Toyota is comin' on strong, and Ford remains steadfast?

    Seems like resting on laurels to me. Engine is good, but not great. And this is one the high end of pudgiest trucks in class. I'm sure there is a plan, but it's almost too quiet.

    Adequate is a sure death sentence, to me. Trucks need power. The more, the merrier.

    DrFill
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    Well I guess I should define what I meant as "winners". My point was, the new Expedition should remain competitive. I also believe the large SUV market is mature and probably will continue to shrink to a point where it will stabilize from those of us who have a need for a fullsize suv that can't be met by car based sport-utes. Still, there are profits to be made in large SUVs and as long as Ford can adjust production to demand, money can/will be made.

    The 5.4L will be fine in the standard Expedition with a 6speed auto. It weighs about the same as a Tahoe and the 5.4 has more torque than the 5.3 which is more important IMO.

    I am concerned about the Expy El though. That thing is going to weigh over 6,000lbs and I think it will need more power to satisfy those who tow.
  • Fat, slow and thirsty is no way to go through life. :(
  • No one has ever taken the three letter code: SUX ...? I don't think the creators of RoboCop would mind.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    It is my understanding, that something like MKX or MDX or any other combination of letters CANNOT be trade marked.

    This is the reason Intel dropped the 286, 386, 486 nomenclature and went with Pentium. Of course now the brand power is in Pentium and not in Intel and so we are up to Pentium 4.

    Infiniti had an edge on Audi because Infiniti had already trademarked the phrase "the new Q"

    Now the next question is how do you pronounce MKX? Lincoln wants it called the "Mark X". Previous Marks though were appended by roman numerals. So maybe we should call it the "Mark Ten" or "Mark 10"

    Maybe we should just call it the Aviator, Which emphasizes that its part of the FLM line of SUVs "Explorer" "Navigator" Mountianeer" "Mariner" obviously there is a pattern.

    Mark
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    that model the MKX is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of. Actually, it brings up a poser: with this name change, they are obviously trying to draw on their heritage, but what exactly is their heritage? I am not talking 1925 here, I am talking their heritage in the lifetimes of most people buying their cars, say since 1950. I would submit that most people have no idea of what Lincoln's heritage is, how the MKX fits into it, or even what it "means" to buy a Lincoln.

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

This discussion has been closed.