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Where Is Ford taking the Lincoln Motor Company?



  • scootertrashscootertrash Posts: 698
    Warren Buffet drives a Town Car.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    ...a 1989 Lincoln Town Car?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,415
    Well Donald Trump is a media hound (I really what to use another word but not sure if it would go over well), the fact that his face will be seen by even more people will appeal to him. Ted Turner to a much lesser extent, the others most likely won't do it.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    The 06 is pretty much a livery car. But Trump does have one, stretched. Don't know about the others mentioned, except Gates, who has a Lexus LS430.

    Gates wouldn't be caught dead in a Town Car.....
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    "Gates wouldn't be caught dead in a Town Car..." as NVB states, but if Mr. Gates dies before his time, or he retires, more than likely he will be: in a Lincoln hearse! One more problem facing Fields & Ford to revitalise Lincoln....

    GWB Sr. did infact have a 1989 Town Car Limousine, which used a special chassis and a 460 engine! I saw the car when I was at the White House the day President Bush returned from Texas, November 4, 1992...and it made an imposing Presidential Limousine with its extended roof and armoured appearance.

    ...yes, even Lehmann-Petersen/Ford Motor ran a series of advertisements showing the various concurrent CEO's of the nation's largest companies behind their recently acquired Lincolns. Gleason, as well as other Hollywood stars as Robert Vaughn, had at least two Lehmann-Peterson's. 'The Donald', among many others following in their foot-steps! But the silly super extended stretch jobs have now hurt Lincoln's image more than it has helped it.

    ...but getting Bill Gates to give up his Lexus, and buy a new Lincoln before he turns over day to day operations of Microsoft to the minions, or takes his "last ride" would be quite a coup!

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "if Mr. Gates dies before his time, or he retires, more than likely he will be: in a Lincoln hearse!"

    LOL.....sure enough! :P
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    The Lincoln hearse will have both a luggage rack and hitch.

    Gates will figure out how to take some of his billions with him. :)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    If Ford does build Hearses, they'll be Navigators......for sure.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    You like the Town Car ? :surprise: I didn't figure that kind of car would be in your tastes.

  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    "I am proud that the State of Illinois has wisely invested in this innovative manufacturing site..." Governor Rod R. Blagojevich commented August 10, 2004 when Ford Motor re-opened their Chicago plant. After an $800Mn investment by Ford Motor and the dozen suppliers at the 155 acre site, 2,300 jobs with an additional 1,400 were preserved at the 1924 Assembly Plant. Mr. Fields taking over North American Operations a year later---commenting in Washington that: "You don't get as much help or credit when you invest just as much money updating existing plants." at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who said at the same gathering, as I may have stated before: "It's a lot easier to build a brand new factory than retro fit an old one."

    By contrast Mr. Fields tells us that up to $160K per job in subsidies are often received, bringing in up to $720Mn for a new factory. Chicago, of course, will become Lincoln's defacto home after Wixom closes, during the third shift. At the time Ford Motor invested in the plant at 130th & Torrence Avenue the State agreed to up to $100Mn in road improvements, spending $25Mn immediately. Additional tax. economic and jobs programs credits totalled $58Mn for the 2,600 workers now at the plant. In toto, Ford Motor received the comparable equivalent in subsidies, credits, tax incentives for the 80 year old Chicago Ford Plant that BMW AG spent to build the Rolls-Royce factory at Goodwood: more than L66Mn Pounds, roughly $85Mn. Ford and its "just-in-time" suppliers located within the economic development zone created for the Chicago plant spent ten times that amount refitting the plant. Yet government expenditures more than tipped the difference for Chicago, making it a viable move for Ford Motor. The same could be applied to Wixom, or a new greenfield site for Lincoln.

    In raw numbers what Mr. Fields states is true, but prior events have nor totally borne out his remarks---Governor Blagojevich and Mayor Daly of Chicago making it entirely possible to uprate an old plant. The announcement of its opening led by the Governor himself, before being officially opened by Ford Motor executives. Not unlike a young Henry & Benson Ford throwing the 'switch' to start-up the Rouge! The Governor and the State of Illinois very much providing for and giving credit to Ford Motor for retrofitting an existing plant, that August 10, 2004. Goodwood was 'up to speed' building the 'Best Car in the World' from scratch.

    Thus it can be so for Lincoln...either in a new factory or a 'retrofitted' old one. What seems less than retro, infact, is Mr. Fields attitude toward long established Ford Motor factories. There are 43 of them in America, let us hope that one of them remains to build Lincolns---exclusively. Mr. Gardner would be pleased.


    source: Ford Motor company; U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Illinois; Mayer Richard M. Daly, Chicago)

    (NVB: thank you for the kind remarks!!)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Lincoln is Lincoln no more..... :sick:
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    I believe Lincoln can be rebuilt. I'm not impressed with them building cars in Mexico. The Baby boomers that remember america in the golden years still have enough numbers that don't want a mexican made car because Uncle Bill wants to swing another $100 million in his pocket.


    P.S. nv, I agree Lincoln isn't close to the same. ;)
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    ...precisely why Lincoln should not be allowed to die...or remain deserves more than just the third shift at Hermisilio or Chicago. And the battle within Ford over Lincoln clearly is heating up: why the team under Mr. Horbury is having a hard time creating a fresh look for Lincoln that Mr. Engel, Thomas, Najjar, etc. did in 1961. That is what they are trying to do for Lincoln again, and the Mark S is an example of what they are attempting, though not succeeding, in doing. At least they are doing something, though it be based on a Volvo. Not enough to save Lincoln...

    Turning the "switch-off" at Wixom will indeed kill the brand, with the launch of the 385 platform stretched from the 500 not due for another 12 months after Wixom closes. What will Lincoln build between the Zephyr and its trucks as the Mark LT? Cadillac will have a Zeta based car perhaps under wraps and tempting the public, and Imperial will certainly be teasing the public. The Way-Forward Plan having delivered Town Car customers into the laps of the opposition. Even Lexus, Nissan, BMW, and Mercedes will benefit. No doubt splash, pizzaz, and inspiration are needed. But the '61 happened at a moment in history that in part was a fluke, and a very good one at that. A black '63 used at the studios for inspiration for some of the latest show cars...yet that steam seems to now be dimmed within the halls of Dearborn, Irvine, and London design studios. The designers as Mr. Horbury and Freeman Thomas still have the chance to cast the die for Lincoln again. Chicago, unfortunately, is waiting---in part because Ford Motor needs to recover part of that $800Mn they invested to keep the 80 plus year old factory open. not dead yet, nor should it be forced into the fate of Packard. Studebaker-Packard CEO James Nance found out when he signed his "Manangement Contract" with Curtiss Wright in July 25, 1956 yeilding 52% control of Studebaker-Packard to Wright's Roy Hurley, in exchange for $35Mn stock-option financing for the 1957 model year---effectively killing Packard, the notation that operations be shifted to South Bend for 1957 on the last page of the agreement---Mr. Fields can still be persuaded not to close Wixom, or to build a new factory. He would not wish to become known as the 'James Nance' of Lincoln!!---or Ford Motor.

    If anything, on the day the last Lincoln rolls out of Wixom, perhaps then they should announce the opening of a new secretly built plant, and a new prototype car rolling through the sheets as the last Town Car comes off the line. Crewe, after-all, was built as part of a "secret-factories & air-armaments program" initiated by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain & Lord Beaverbrook in 1937-38. Perhaps that is what Mr. Fields is truly up to as he stumps America, which I paraphrase and call his "We can fight the competition, but we can't fight the Japanese Government"---or rather: "We'd like to fight 'em on the sales lots, but not on the beaches" speech.

    I would hope the epitaph of Lincoln should not be, as an author might write of Ford Motor Company in 2017, on the hundredth anniversary of The Rouge: "Never in the course of history, have so few, given up so much, at the expense of the very many."

    ...and we see by the notation for the 2007 Town Car that St. Thomas is noted as the new home of Lincoln? But no official announcement about that fact has been made. Perhaps Ford Motor is too embarrassed to make that announcement as their North American CEO Mr. Fields stumps the country telling us how "American" Ford cars remain versus the competition assembled in this country as Honda.


    (Sources: Ford Motor Company; U.S.Chamber of Commerce, remarks of Mr. Mark Fields, June 16, 2006; 'Curtiss-Wright, Greatness & Decline' Louis R. Eltscher & Edward M. Young, Twayne Publishers, NY)
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    Ford Motor Company does not confirm that production has begun at St. Thomas for Town Car, yet the '06 Model Year at Wixom began July 18, 2005---Wixom still up and running. "They may already be building the '07 at St. Thomas for pre-production" were the only remarks made by a company spokesperson. (06-23-06) And the Wixom plant could indeed fall into the hands of Magna International's Siegfried Wolf, who intends to build a 'specialty vehicle' within the U.S. for domestic and international sale---with the comment to FT staffwriter James McIntosh: "If we kill all industrial jobs people have no opportunity to earn money, and if you have no money, you can't buy cars..."

    Thus it shall come to pass that Lincoln is built in three countries: Mexico, the U.S. at Chicago, and Canada at St. Thomas if fate holds, and production shifted across the border. But for a time, it will NOT be made in America! Before the E385 Ford 500 platform version is made in Chicago at Torrence Avenue, and after Wixom closes, Lincoln will become a defacto: IMPORT---with high American content! Perhaps it will take more than Ford Motor's average of $3,209 in incentives to move the metal off the lot when that becomes true, if the designs aren't really 'hot'.

    We can expect then, that the Mark S will be made at the Volvo plant in Europe, built in left and right hand drive, exported to America at least, and around the globe at best. While this idea might be a cheerful one, the bond traders don't agree: up-grading the risk factor today that Ford will default on its debts to 9.39 versus 9.26 for GM! This fact holding eventhough Ford has not posted anywhere near the losses of GM, and indeed has posted a profit overall!!

    The 'Way Fordward' for Lincoln, perhaps, now an international one: piggybacking production on any and all Ford Motor plants around the globe. Gaining capacity on one hand, at the expense of exclusivity on the other. One would wager that Mr. Fields and his people believe that it makes little or no difference where the car is assembled and by whom, rather that there's no way forward for Lincoln without such a reality. Thus, by making Lincoln into an Import, they have ensured that this issue must be faced by the buying public at the top end of its market for Lincoln. Some may conclude that if they want an import, they might as well buy one: from the Germans, Japanese, or Koreans...others concluding that they only care about the car and the price!

    Officially "Unconfirmed", it stands that Town Car will become an import, but at least it will survive to do battle against Imperial and Zeta platform Cadillacs.


    (Sources: Ford Motor Company; Financial Times 06-23-06); WSJ)
  • The 'Way Fordward' for Lincoln, perhaps, now an international one: piggybacking production on any and all Ford Motor plants around the globe. Gaining capacity on one hand, at the expense of exclusivity on the other. One would wager that Mr. Fields and his people believe that it makes little or no difference where the car is assembled and by whom, rather that there's no way forward for Lincoln without such a reality.

    Lincoln, or any domestic marque, loses me as a consumer when manufacturing moves across our borders. I'll buy a foreign marque made within our borders, with the concomitant benefit to our workers and their local economies, first.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Buy his brand regardless of where it is made, here or there as the most important part of the deal is transferred and goes to the home office and that part is called Gross Profit.

    The UAW'r is now reaping what he sowed. His craftsmanship and attention to detail has been surpassed by more meticulous and concerned factory workers in other countries causing the American consumer to develop a snooty attitude about buying American. :mad:
  • Its true, and our governmnet needs to come in and help our automakers. The Japanese government helped make all of there industries powerful and helps to keep our foreign competition.

    I'm not suggesting we go this far, but something needs to be done. A good deal of US MFG is going to Mexico, and mostly the unions just want more money.

    I will not buy a Camry made here b/c the profits still go back to Japan. The allegence is not to american workers. I view these workers like the humans in the pods in the Matix, getting brainwashed by the system to beilieve they are in a better world.

    How much money did Toyota or Honda give to support America after the 9/11 attacks? Nothing. How much did GM and Ford give? Millions.

    We need to bring this manufacturing back. Manufacturing is one of the basic sources of a nations power. Would we have won WWII if all of our production was in Japan?
  • We need to bring this manufacturing back. Manufacturing is one of the basic sources of a nations power. Would we have won WWII if all of our production was in Japan?

    Exactly why I would not support a domestic brand which sends its manufacturing overseas. I see the retention of domestic manufacturing as a matter of national security.

    We were able to wage war in WWII by taking peace-time manufacturing and putting it on a war footing, and we were able to do this because we had the factories and workers here, on our shores. Don't you think if the situation arose again the US Government wouldn't hesitate to take Japanese or German-owned factories and turn them to domestic war support? Oh, sure, there'd be some squawking from the owners of the factories, but the equipment and material would be here for our taking. We can't do that if a domestic owner has their factories overseas. It's also one of the reasons I find outsourcing our IT worrisome.

    Economically, yes, profits from the sale of a Camry may go to Japan, but the cars are 75% domestic content, assembled by workers (not UAW) here, and they spend their paychecks here, in local businesses. If I buy a Mexican-made MKZ, the profits may come here and enrich the owners of a domestic company, but I don't think that goes as far to enrich the macroeconomics of the country.

    As an aside, it would be interesting to do an economic study to determine which gives the US economy a bigger bang for its buck: buy a foreign marque made here, or a domestic marque made in Mexico.

    How much money did Toyota or Honda give to support America after the 9/11 attacks? Nothing. How much did GM and Ford give? Millions.

    I agree totally, which is one reason when I bought my LS I shopped domestic brands made on our shores. Daimler Chrysler was out; BMW and VW were out; Infinity was out (part owned by the French). The LS was perfect: a domestic brand made in Michigan.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "our governmnet needs to come in and help our automakers. The Japanese government helped make all of there industries powerful and helps to keep our foreign competition."

    ED; I'm, not opposed to Government support for business and industry. But you must also note that while the Japanese government helped their auto industry, it almost went down this last decade as a Govt, barely avoiding financial ruin.
  • scootertrashscootertrash Posts: 698
    "our governmnet needs to come in and help our automakers. The Japanese government helped make all of there industries powerful and helps to keep our foreign competition."

    You are missing an important fact. The Japanese companies have a long term plan, stick to that plan and make products people want to buy.

    The American companies plan quarter to quarter and make obsolete, irrelevant stuff like the Ranger, Taurus and Town Car and they wonder how the consumers could possible reject it.

    Their main problem is a fundamental disrespect for the intelligence of the car buying public. Until they fix their short term greed and arrogance, they should not be rewarded with tax dollars.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "Until they fix their short term greed and arrogance, they should not be rewarded with tax dollars."

    No question about it, Scooter - they should not be enabled to continue to make inferior product and try to pawn it off on the public out of "patriotism" alone. If we loan them money to survive, they'd better change something, as when Chrysler reorganized for the 7th time under Iacocca.
    There should be terms required for the assistance. And you are 100% right, it IS our money.... ;)
  • its funny that the union gave ford a good reason to keep the factories open but not enough reasons to update it, and this is the result when you let the union sit on your head and run the show.

    On the bright side, the town car triplets have a very low true cost to own (of the people i know who own them) a repair costs about 1/3 the price of a camry repair. Any part you need is available in a junk yard b/c these cars have been around for ever.

    Also, they are very confortable and while they eat alot of gas, I talked to a guy last year who was car shopping, and accidentaly came to a F/L/M dealer here in brooklyn, they offerred him $17,000 for a Mercury Grand Marquis with leather. It is more car for the money than anyone can give you. For the price of a corolla you get a v8 RWD enough seating for 6, one of the biggest trunks you will ever find, and a very easy car to live with and fix.

    Its sad that ford has not invested in the mustangs 4.6L v8, to be fit into these cars, and that new 6 speed would be nice too. I was reading a book about how the taurus saved Ford, and the book noted that these triplets saved ford when 15 or 20 years ago RWD came back into style and GM had fully converted to RWD, people started comming back to these cars and ford made good money on them. I forgot what years though.

    Nvbanker, the industry might have went down a little, but toyota stock is so powerful it could buy GM and Ford Whole if it wanted to. Only politics would stop it. Long Term it seems Jaapanese business support and American refusal to budge helped clear the path for japan to be the worlds leading producer... meybe behind china. We need to stop this, and I don't think NAFTA and CAFTA will help, even though in the future we may see them as the saviors of the US auto industry.

    It is horrible that this is they things have to be. I don't think the republicans are going to hold on much during the next elections. THEN we arer eally in for it. :cry: :sick: :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
  • scootertrashscootertrash Posts: 698
    Just think of the billions wasted on corporate jewelry: The Ford GT, Jaguar, Range Rover, Think!, Aston Martin and all the money squandered on products that should have been, and could have been, successful had Ford actually committed to their success like Marauder, Blackwood, T-Bird, the SVT line etc...

    What could have been if all those billions were instead spent on this revolutionary idea: exciting and competitive mainstream products.
    The Mustang and F-150 prove Ford can do it if they care to. Their success make lumps like the Freestyle and 500 that much more shameful.

    There is no excuse whatsoever for the miserable Ranger, and nearly 10 year old Focus and whatever the mini-van is called.

    Ford's strategic "planning" is like seeing someone living in a low-income housing project with a 50 inch plasma TV saying they can't afford to feed their kids.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "Ford's strategic "planning" is like seeing someone living in a low-income housing project with a 50 inch plasma TV saying they can't afford to feed their kids."

    Those acquisitions were Nasser's idea, and I'm not sure they were bad ideas at the time. Ford had cash to burn, and investing in heritage brands across the world gave Ford a pretty large footprint. Problem was, that cash went away fast with the Firestone Tire problem, and so did all the momentum Ford had at the time. Nasser, who was a miserable manager, but a pretty good visionary from what I can see, was then fired and Bill took over. A consistent theme has not been noted since, as he went about undoing most everything Nasser had done - not altogether a bad thing, but PAG with Lincoln included, seemed to be working to me. All of those brands should have been lifted with a solid, consistent plan for reinventing the cars within the brands. Bill pulled Lincoln out of PAG, making it a rebadged orphan. Aston Martin actually makes money, as does Volvo. Jag and Rover are black holes for funds still. The Range Rover Sport seems to be a hit though, and may mark a spark of hope there. I think the two should be merged into one company, with Rover making the SUVs and Jag making the Sedans. Some efficiencies should be achieved and they fit well together. Like Lincoln-Mercury, it would be Jaguar-Land Rover.

    You are correct that Ford and GM CAN do it right. The "Way Forward" is another smokescreen for Wall Street to attempt to rally the stock & investors. Wall Street LOVES to see jobs cut, costs drastically reduced, and corresponding revenue increases, you know. Unfortunately, it's Wall Street's fickle finger of fate that has ruined long term planning in the US industrial complex. Seriously both Bill & Bob can't afford to plan 3 years ahead, and tell Wall Street, "Just trust me, this will work out in the end." Even if it would, and it might, investors will abandon you like roaches in the light if this quarter's profits aren't higher than last quarters.

    This is not how it's done in Japan. This is not how it should be, and it's driving our industries out of business. :sick:
  • douglasrdouglasr Posts: 191
    53 years ago today, on June 25, 1953, the first full scale clay model of William Clay Ford's Continental Mark II was completed. Less than two years later in 1955 the first new Post-War Continental rolled out of the 'Continental' plant in Detroit.

    "...There was a pride in belonging to this most famous industrial management crew---perhaps the most famous in the world, even though any one individual's part may have been small---a crew like this had a sense of achievement by association."

    ---Charles Sorensen wrote in his autobiography 'My Forty Years with Ford'. The man who built the Rouge and served the Henry Ford longest of any non-Ford family executive (serving Ford from 1903-1944) also added: "When one man began to fancy himself an expert, we got rid of him---the minute a man thinks of himself as an expert, he gets an experts state of mind, and too many things become impossible." It was this notion of the "Impossible" that became the guiding force of Ford Motor in the begining. Nothing was: "The Ford operations and creative work were directed by men who had no previous knowledge of the subject...they did not have a chance to get on really familiar terms with the impossible." Sorensen concludes that they were indeed pioneers, not knowing whether an idea, concept, or design was bad until they built it first, tested it, and put it into production. It had never been done before, so there were no guidelines; Ford Motor creating them as they went along. This was the sue que non of the Henry Ford era at Ford.

    This perception about the impossible, and thinking that experts becoming blindsided in their approach to new problems by the methods and ways by their previous experience, perhaps is what William Ford Jr. means when he speaks about 'innovation' at Ford Motor. Yet one does not see the 'team' ethos at Ford Motor. The very mantra of 'innovation' being the watch-word at Ford seemingly to run counter to what Mr. Sorensen is talking about: by declaring they're 'innovators' so loudly, they seem to draw to much attention to that fact, and then no longer espouse what they seek.

    For the team that designed and built the Mark II under the father of the current leader of the company reeked of excitement and thrill for the work on the Continental. It almost did not matter whether the car succeeded or not, (much like Bugatti Veyron today), it was the accomplishment and the teamwork to get there that mattered. I dare say with the opening of the new Dearborn Center that this might happen again at Ford Motor under Messrs. Ford & Fields. (F-sqd?) But they should take heed from the team that built the first modern Continental between 1952-1955, and the words of Charles Sorensen about the empire he built at the side of the Henry Ford.

    It was the Rouge that WCF Jr. saved first. But now it is Lincoln that needs the saving. Making the car an import primarily is not the best path towards that goal, but for now seems the one they have seen to take---though I don't believe for a moment that that was the best choice: building a new factory for new products for Lincoln is. BMW-AG UK represents several billion dollars in investment within the UK for the Mini and Rolls-Royce plants. The ripple effect through the British economy created 55,000 jobs. It takes 2,000 man hours to build all the components for one Rolls-Royce Phantom, with a bulk of the suppliers in England. A new Lincoln plant would have essentially the same effect, though the number of workers at the plant might not exceed 2,500. Goodwood-Rolls-Royce only has 550 people on staff, yet their impact to the local economy has been tremendous. Mr. Fields says: "We will not keep building cars just to fill out a plant." Yet, like the Rouge, and the team that created the Mark II, it was in the first case, saving the plant that mattered, The Rouge having become synonomous with Ford Motor as much as the Blue Oval. That is what needs to happen for Lincoln as it was for the Mark II, building a great design worthy not only for the challenge of it, but a factory its own, and a workforce emboldened to make it.... Mr. Sorensen said: "...if he became proficient, he developed into a full-fledged Ford Executive, a specialist, but not an expert." That is the challenge that Ford Motor and Lincoln needs today: the rank and file no matter where they sit rising to the task. So that the word: "impossible" carries no meaning. Like putting a 600Bhp Mustang engine into a Lincoln. That is what the Road Ahead must hold for Lincoln. Hopefully the new Design Center might encourage bold thinking, and the results of Ford's Way Forward Plan will not become F-sqrd: fatally-failed under Ford & Fields.


    (Sources: Ford Motor Company; 'My Forty Years with Ford', Charles E. Sorenson, Collier Books, NY 1962; Edmunds Inside Line)
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Let Town Car go the way of the Oldsmobile.

    Let Grand Marquie go the way of the Oldsmobile.

    Enhance the Crown Victoria line to appeal to the Grand Marquie crowd.

    Replace the Town Car with the Jaguar XJ8L and Vanden Plas in all dealerships currently housing Town Cars.

    The XJ8 needs a dealer network like Corvette, extensive in small cities with big buck customers. The reason Ford's investment in Jag isn't profitable is they don't sell well over here & they would given a numerous dealer network.
  • one of the reasons toyota and other makers do so well here now, many people who would like to buy car X buy car Y b/c the service center is too far away. Toyota is becoming harder and harder to stop due to its powerful dealer network in the US.

    This is also why the japanese govt and businesses have tight control over their distribution system to keep most of the foreigners out.

    we have been shown many examples in business class about deals with japanese businesses that went sour over lies about getting into the japanese market. Everything from beer to rice to soup.

    I'm not saying its the only reason that toyota is doing so good, but it is one of the major factors. During the 80's I think, Ford assembled or re-grouped its dealer network and that network helped it survive.
  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328 fsect=


    DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has informed the Canadian Auto Workers union that it won't move the Lincoln Town Car to a plant in Ontario, putting the venerable luxury nameplate in jeopardy.

    Ford plans to idle the Wixom, Mich., plant, where the Town Car is assembled, during the second quarter of 2007. Ford officials won't say what will happen to the Town Car, Lincoln's top-selling vehicle since at least 1980.

    CAW President Buzz Hargrove told Automotive News that Ford executives have told the union that Town Car production won't shift to the St. Thomas, Ontario, plant. That plant makes the Town Car's sister products, the Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis.

    Even if the Town Car is discontinued after Wixom closes, that doesn't mean its Panther platform siblings also will be killed. Ford has told the CAW that it plans to build the Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis at the St. Thomas plant until at least 2010, Hargrove said. After that, the plant's future is up in the air.

    The St. Thomas plant is scheduled to go to one shift of production in 2007. Going to one shift often is a harbinger that a plant will close.

    "I have a very nervous feeling long term about St. Thomas," Hargrove said. "We have no reason at this point to be optimistic that they're going to do anything with St. Thomas."
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