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What about the future of Ford Inc??



  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    Hasn't Ford said that their small car strategy is going to have 3 new models over the next few years which will all be built in Mexico?

    I'd imagine that the vehicles would at least be mostly derived from Ford of Europe designs...
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    They plan to do it over the next few years.

    HonToy have them in dealers now, and they can't supply enough of 'em.

    In a couple of years, the next hot thing will be something else.

  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    So, Ford should just give up on small cars altogether because Honda and Toyota have better products right now? If they had done that with mid-size cars they wouldn't be making all that money on the Fusion now.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "So, Ford should just give up on small cars altogether because Honda and Toyota have better products right now? "

    No, i disagree with your sugestion. I think that ford's products are as good, they just don't have them here right now, and several years may be too long to wait.

    Seems that the big problem with ford, and other US car companies is how slowly they react. It took hontoy 1 year to bring smaller cars here. Why will it take ford 3-4?
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    WHERE is the Ford Small Car?

    Small cars help Honda profits soar

    When is Ford going to be leading the trend instead of following?

  • chuck1959chuck1959 Posts: 654
    due for a restyle for '07?
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    The Lincoln MKS, sure looks to be awesome. It has the most powerful DVD-Audio system on the market, borrowing it from the MKZ. The Volvo S80, is built in Sweden, so I wonder if Ford will build the MKS in Sweden ?

  • ehaaseehaase Posts: 328
    500 gets a Fusion style grille for 2008, but no restyling until 2010 or 2011 (per this week's Automotive News).

    MKS will probably be built at the same Chicago plant where the 500/Freestyle/Montego are built.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Okay, thanx-ehaase

  • buckwheatbuckwheat Posts: 396
    Ford readies 6-speed automatics, new engines

    Richard Truett Automotive News / July 31, 2006 - 6:00 am

    DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. will expand its use of six-speed automatics and introduce engines that are expected to dramatically upgrade the refinement and performance of its vehicles in the next five years.

    Fuel economy is expected to improve incrementally as well.

    Ford is focusing its powertrain engineering in four areas: diesel engines for light-duty trucks and SUVs, higher horsepower V-8s for cars and trucks, gasoline-electric hybrids and six-speed automatic transmissions.

    Here's what's on tap: Diesel engines: At year end, Ford will replace its troubled 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel truck engine after just five model years.

    In the first quarter of 2007, Ford's redesigned 2008 Super Duty trucks will be powered by a 6.4-liter diesel V-8 with a state-of-the-art piezo fuel injection system.

    Ford engineers have finally resolved most of the 6.0-liter's quality issues, but the change is being made to boost power as well as comply with tightening emission regulations that take effect in January. The new engine will enable Ford to keep pace with General Motors' and Dodge's new diesel engines.

    Look for the new 6.4-liter diesel, manufactured for Ford by International Truck and Engine Corp., to deliver 350 hp and around 625 pounds-feet of torque.

    For light-duty trucks, such as the

    F-150 and Ford Expedition, Ford may use a 4.4-liter diesel V-8, based on a smaller engine used by its Land Rover division, beginning in 2010 .
    Gasoline engines: Ford's new 263-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 hits the road this fall in the 2007 Lincoln MKZ sedan. The car was called the Zephyr during the 2006 model year.

    The engine architecture has been designed with future technology in mind. The engine can be mated to a hybrid transaxle, outfitted with gasoline direct injection as well as a turbocharger. Ford Powertrain Vice President Barb Samardzich said the engine can be used in rear-drive vehicles such as the Mustang.

    Ford also is offering a variety of engines that operate on E85.

    Big-block V-8s are on their way for such vehicles as the F-150, Expedition and Mustang. A 5.8-liter V-8 could appear in 2009. A 6.2-liter V-8 could be added for the Lincoln Mark LT pickup around the same time.
    Hybrids: Bill Ford's recent decision to back off on the goal of developing capacity to assemble 250,000 gasoline-electric hybrids annually by 2010 will not slow Ford's short-term plans. The 2007 Mazda Tribute adds the same hybrid powertrain as the Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner.

    The next-generation hybrid transmission is being engineered by Ford and is still on track for late 2008 for the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan. But Ford has not decided on where to build the second-generation gearbox. Ford could stick with its current supplier, Japan's Aisin AW, or build it in the United States.

    Ford is re-evaluating plans for hybrid versions of the Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego and Edge and Lincoln MKX.
    Transmissions: Six is the magic number at Ford Motor when it comes to transmission gears and improving fuel economy. Nearly all Ford cars and many of its light trucks will shift to a six-speed automatic transmission, which offers a 6 to 8 percent fuel economy gain over a four-speed automatic.

    The six-speed for front-drive vehicles was co-engineered with GM. The transmission for rwd models will be produced by Ford.

    A six-speed transmission will be standard in the upcoming 2007 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers. The transmission is expected to eventually replace the six-speed automatic Ford currently purchases from Aisin for the Ford Freestyle, Five Hundred and Mercury Montego.

    Once that change is made, Ford sources have said the savings per transmission will be about $1,000 per unit.

    The automaker also is expanding six-speed automatic transmissions to the 2007 Ford Expedition and several other rwd trucks.

    Finally, Ford is dropping the continuously variable transmission offered in the Ford Freestyle, Five Hundred and Mercury Montego at the end of the 2007 model year.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Seems that the big problem with ford, and other US car companies is how slowly they react. It took hontoy 1 year to bring smaller cars here. Why will it take ford 3-4?

    Because HonToyNissan were already building those small cars in their home market of Japan. They just rebadged them and sent them here, hence the short "development" time. Ford wasn't making a small car at all which is why it's going to take them 3 years. They dropped the ball, but all they can do now is pick themselves up and keep going. Maybe they can accelerate things a bit and get it out in 2 years.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "Ford wasn't making a small car at all which is why it's going to take them 3 years."

    No. As i pointed out, they already have well-thought of small cars in europe.

    (scroll to the bottom for MPG figures )
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Its interesting that Ford is dropping CVTs while Nissan is apparently betting the farm on it. The Saturn Vue used to be CVT but is now convetional, IIRC, and the Dodge Neon crossover replacement thing (forgot the name)/Jeep Compass is a CVT on some models. I wonder how this will play out.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I think the difference is that the Asians design their cars with the U.S. market in mind, so that the mods necessary to federalize them are relatively minor and can be completed quickly.

    Perhaps the Fiesta would require a major redesign to federalize. Indeed, I can't think of any other explanation why they would not bring that fantastic little model to the NA market right away. From what I've seen, it just might turn HonToy on their ear and make them work for the sales more than they are with the waiting-list, selling-at-full-MSRP pattern that exists right now.

    This highlights a larger problem: despite the emergence of globalization more than 25 years ago, Ford and GM are only just now beginning to really focus on designing world cars. The Asians and the Europeans have been doing it for a long long time now, and saving money and reducing inefficiencies in the process.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "I think the difference is that the Asians design their cars with the U.S. market in mind, so that the mods necessary to federalize them are relatively minor and can be completed quickly."

    That seems like a likely theory. The question is, why do the asian manufacturers have the foresight to think ahead in this manner, and it seems as if out own companies don't?

    Based on my own work experience in the engineering field, corporate culture is amazingly strong. It can even persist through massive turnover. At some level, there seems to be an acceptance in dropping small issues, in deciding a car or truck is good enough because it's selling, after all. When that happens, someone else keeps moving forward, and wins.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    YOu're right, that's interesting. I notice Nissan is advertising it already - and Ford never really did advertise the CVT. They mentioned it, but didn't demonstrate it, like Nissan did. Another [non-permissible content removed] by Ford's Ad group. Ford Ads are the worst! Part of their problem, although GM's aren't much if any better.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    Good article about the Focus and why the European version isn't imported here:

    snippet: Today, Ford sells a different version of the Focus to the rest of the world. The European-made Focus is a superior vehicle that features much more dynamic styling, better performance and superior quality. Many industry analysts have wondered why Ford cannot sell the European Focus -- widely regarded as one of the best small cars in the world -- in North America.

    The answer is price. While the Focus fits snugly in the compact economy segment in the United States, it is considered a midsize car in most of the rest of the world. In fact, it is considered an upmarket vehicle in many countries and is priced accordingly.

    For example, the sporty Focus Zetec starts at $25,491 in Britain, which is more than the price of a Ford Fusion, the next car up in Ford's domestic lineup. In the United States, prices for the Focus start at less than $14,000 -- and that is before rebates.

    Hard to make up $11K + in cost, I'll have to give them that. Stinks for them but all they can do is forge ahead I guess.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Yes, but the fact that the focus is 25K in the UK doesn't mean it'd be 25K here. For example, german cars cost more in germany than they do in the US. A large chunk of the cost is taxes. A basic ranger in the UK is over $20k. It's just over $15K here.

    I checked, the base UK focus is $21.3K in US dollars. That included VAT. That'd be just under 16K with a similar price gap to the ranger above. This car also has power windows, ABS, EBD, and alarm.
  • lweisslweiss Posts: 342
    The July sales figures are an unmitigated disaster for Ford. Now I am really wondering if they will avoid bankruptcy. If Bill Ford and Mark Fields can save this company, they will be doing well. The market has changed so greatly in the U.S. and they were so ill prepared for it. Well, I guess the only good thing is that as these old trucks and SUV's are scrapped (I think the average is 15 years), and new small models like the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit are sold these days, the U.S. may start importing less oil from some unsavory countries. Feel bad for the Ford workers, Ford dealers, present Ford owners who are taking hits on higher depreciation. Tough stuff, hard to see this company's fortune's turning around soon.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    big plans in the next five years are in trucks or large crossovers. No small cars until at least 2010? Ford, what are you thinking?

    Not to mention, no new Ranger (once a perennial best seller) and no new Focus for at least two more years?????

    But hey, the new Expedition comes out in September, let's hope it takes a REALLY BIG chunk of the rapidly shrinking, never-was-that-huge, large SUV market.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Thanks mirth. Makes sense, and usually, the inexplicable does make sense, once the facts are known.

    I guess Ford could introduce the Euro-Focus over here as the next level up - if they could make it bigger - but that won't work either. Interesting to me the journey of the Focus. Panned at first due to excessive recall activity, then gained respect, even becoming an anointing from C/R as a best buy (wish I could get that crown), then falling soon after as "old hat", "outdated", "surpassed".... Personally, I don't like them, but I don't think it's surpassed by a Cobalt. Maybe by an Accent....but it's about on par with one IMO.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    The focus2 is here in a sense--the mazda 3 and volvo s40 are based on that platform. I've driven the s40 and i thought if was pretty good, though not a world beater.

    The mazda3 touring starts at 16.5K. You need the touring for A/C which i think of as a must here in the US. :) One would think ford could sell the focus a tad cheaper.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Good point. I am extremely impressed with the Mazda 3, and the S-40 (somewhat less, has less personality). I recommend the 3 all the time, but not the Focus.
  • kronykrony Posts: 110
    As a 10 year marketing person and an MBA graduate I'm stunned at Ford's marketing tactics that have caused the AFA to launch the campaign. Knowing their current financial situation I can imagine they can risk losing any part of their market even if they acquire new (gay) customers.

    Ford has simply failed to recognize the conflict between their market segments. By choosing to market to the gays, Ford has alienated their Christian customers. This is no different that Pepsi having a marketing campaign on prime time TV to target older adults, how many kids would be fired up to buy the product? Case studies like this exist where Pfizer marketed Viagra in the early days to the 50+ men and found no one 30-40 would even think about using the product much less women who would have a say in the need for such product.

    Where I think Ford has went from a marketing oversight to marketing suicide is to go beyond advertising in gay media to full-blown public financial support of gay organizations. What's next? Publicly supporting abortion, Israel, communism, or some other politically charged topic? I find it hard to believe that Ford feels their marketing is worth the risk. Stick to fixing your core business and get out the cultural and political activism.

    For full disclosure, I must say as a Christian they've alienated me too.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531

    Don't know what to say about that.

    I honestly don't think there are very many people who will avoid fords because they target one of a vast multitudes of demographics in this country.

    Great first post to edmunds, BTW.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,515
    I see the problem as the AFA who think everyone cares what they think. This, IIRC, is the same group who launched boycott of a motel in the Greater Cincinnati area a few years back because motel had X-rated videos available in their private rooms and they were located near Kings Island amusment park.!!!! Get a life.

    I've heard the leader, Mr. Wildman, interviewed on various radio programs and he truly does believe they should run everyone's life. Apparently that now includes what automobile o buy!

    Talk about a hot button. If I'd not sworn off Fords years ago, I'd go buy one just to stand up against having the Think Police tell me by what to be alienated. :P

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,977
    FWIW, GM advertises in gay oriented venues too, indirectly supporting the causes that the egoistic psychos at AFA so vehemently oppose. DCX does likewise.

    Ford's troubles have nothing to do with supporting causes that aren't so divisive in the rest of the first world, and everything to do with a lacklustre product line, cheapskate product development, and goofy marketing scheme. I don't think anyone can substantiate the AFA having any impact on Ford. Their woes are all product and image related.
  • kronykrony Posts: 110
    I'm simply saying, if you are a large company marketing to a large vast (diverse) audience you can't afford to alienate anyone. If you are marketing to a niche that's fine but not when you're going for the masses.

    As for the AFA, they simply want to make sure they make their constituents aware of Ford's activities. The great thing about being in a capital market is we can choose to but from anyone, for any reason.

    My advice to Ford...don't intentionally piss anyone off.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "I'm simply saying, if you are a large company marketing to a large vast (diverse) audience you can't afford to alienate anyone."

    Have you considered that some people might be alienated by a company advertising in an AFA publication?
This discussion has been closed.