Monday, April 17, 2006

Down and dirty impressions of FoMoCo's performance at the NY Auto Show.

Now I'm going to comment on FoMoCo's brands in the order I went through them at the Javit's Center, starting with Jaguar. The new XK is a beauty, even though my friend pointed out the front end is very similar to the now defunct Taurus. Other than the XK, nothing new, and Aston was shoe horned in there abutting Range Rover. Next was Lincoln with 3 Zephyr/ MKZs in a row, to totally confuse consumers. So confusing in fact because one of them was badged as both a Zephyr and MKZ. The Aviator, I mean MKX was in the corner, and locked so I couldn't get in, but I was impressed with what I could see. And in the corner was a sad Lincoln LS that not many people payed attention to, just like FoMoCo. The new MKS sedan was on a stand, and beyond reach. It also didn't draw many looks while I was there. Further proving Lincoln and Mercury's irrelivance. Mercury was there, nuff said.

A bit of disapointment was Volvo, their spokes people in these ugly seafoam green suits with white shoes, and no C-30. But they did have a couple of C70s and they were great, a lot of people in the Volvo section, and many seemed drawn to the C70's good looks, top up or down.

Mazda was by far the winner of FoMoCo's brands, with almost as much space as needed and the new CX9, CX7 and Mazdaspeed3 really drawing the crowd. I actually had a chance to sit in the CX7, and let me tell you, this is one well executed vehicle. I was able to pop the hood and check the turbo direct injected I4, and greatful that I would never have to turn a wrench under there. In person the size difference between the two CX models is obvious in a way the photos online can't show. They both are nicely styled with the Mazda zoom zoom showing through.

Now Ford brand had the lion's share of the floor allocation and used it well. Except the way the GT350H was shoe horned next to a black Mustang GT, but the GT500 was on a turntable near the GT supercar's turntable, both had the crowd's attention. The Edge was there, looking good, but like the MKX not accessable. The styling and size of the vehicles lead me to think they'll be good sellers, especially with the 265 hp from the new 3.5 DOHC V6.

My new dream car, the Reflex, was there on a turntable, and I just stood there drooling like a fool. The one area that is not of interest to me is the interior. I'm not happy with the look of the materials and the goofy back seat. Build it as a 2 door and forget marketing it towards families. It's a sporty little car, just meant for the very young and the mid life crisis.

The trucks were downstairs, and I walked right by the FX2 without even noticing it, just as many prospective buyers will. The SuperChief was there as well. They had a couple of Rangers, although I can't figure out why.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd give FoMoCo a score of 8 overall, and the entire show experience a 9. One of the best NY shows I've attended over the last 28 years. I even walked over to the Zoom Zoom City across the street and was not as disapointed as I thought. The presentaion was well done, more than just a tent, Mazda knows how to market their vehicles, something Ford should learn.

No pictures with this post, because of problems with my PC.


ThatDudeMike said...

Joe - How were the interiors of the CX-7 and Edge? One concern I have with these crossovers is the seat height. Since Ford refuses to build a decent sized (sporty) wagon - like the Maz6 wagon, or 325 wagon, or Magnum - I'll probably be looking at these crossover vehicles soon. I'd like to find one that I can easily transfer into from my wheelchair, so the drivers seat height can't be much more than knee-height (24" or so).

Keep up the good reportng!

Cars! Cars! Cars! said...

I was very disappointed because when I was there (Wed) I couldn't find the CX7. I am wondering if maybe it wasn't set out yet. I hope you'll expand on your impressions of the CX7.

I think Ford's revival depends on Mazda. Good thing for Ford that Mazda's been hitting homeruns so often. Heck, it's good for everyone!

Go, Mazda!

Joel A said...

Sorry you didn't like Mercury or Lincoln as much. I think they're really aimed at a different demographic. Personally, I find them handsome vehicles (Exception: Grand Marquis and Town Cars.)

Big Ford Fan said...

Mike, as you can see in my follow up post, I only sat in the CX7. I wish I had paid more attention to seat height, I drive a 4x4 so it's not easy for me to judge, but I think it's very close to the Mazda5.

Bob, they had a CX7 on the floor Friday, and one across the street at the Zoom Zoom City. I know I said I was going to aviod that, but with the rain, I figured it wouldn't be too crowded. Nice display. Great vehicle.

Joel, it's just that FoMoCo has done little to refine Mercury or Lincoln and differentiate the brand/models. As for demographics, I'm right there for Mercury, as far as income and age. It's more dissappointment in FoMoCo's effort, or lack of it.