Friday, December 22, 2006
And with the Holiday Season here's an article that Mark Tapscott of "Carnival of Cars" fame sent me. It's an editorial that discusses the obvious scam of Speeding vs Bad Drivers
DWI/Distracted Drivers more dangersous than Speeding!
Don't forget to click the link on the side to check out each week's Carnival of Cars. And Gary of the Garage Blog is starting a Carnival of Wheels feature. They say immitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so let's hope that Gary does a great job.
So have a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanuka or Happy Kwanza, whatever your flavor, just spend it with people you love and be careful out there.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
I've read articles and comments over the last two years saying that's exactly what Ford should do, but it's a stupid idea. I'm not saying not to use Mustang parts, I'm saying don't use the Mustang name on a sedan or wagon. Don't tarnish an icon!
Ford has allowed their rear wheel drive platform, the Panther Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis/Town Car triplets to get old and irelivant. They're underpowered compared to even many V6 sedans and the chassis has evolved since it's 1979 rollout, but nobody is shocked to see sales just dry up.
But a Mustang sedan and wagon??? Don't be fooled Ford had this idea before, and even worse. Did you know that in the 60's after the original Mustang's impressive debut that FoMoCo had mock ups of Mustang wagons and sedans? They did. And again in the 70's the idea was dusted off, but luckily both times someone had the presence of mind not to fuck up a good thing. The origianl Mustang was based on Ford Falcon mechanicals, and there were already Falcon sedans and wagons selling quite well.
But AutoWeek says that like GM, Ford could go to their Australian well and draw a drink of relief. Possibly, but when GM took the Monaro and turned it into the GTO it was imported in low numbers and not the best planned conversion. A friend of mine has and loves a new GTO, but have you ever seen the trunk? The gas tank takes up much of the space.
I'm not saying Ford shouldn't tap into the Australian Ford Falcon for a new rear wheel drive sedan and wagon, I'm saying don't use the Mustang name! What's wrong with Falcon?? It fits with the stupid F naming scheme. It's not a name that's so damaged like "Pinto" or "Fairmont" that people would run screaming in the other direction. Hell, there hasn't been a Falcon on US Ford Dealer's lots since 1970, many consumers today won't remember the name. If not Falcon, why not LTD or Galaxie? How about Maverick?
And why not Ranchero!!!! Hell if you federalize the platform it's a no brainer to expand with the Australian Ute.
And you say you want all wheeel drive optional? Well, lucky you, the Falcon chassis with some mods has the Territory CUV! With a little work, this system could be put under a sedan as well.
I'm sure Ford wants to tap into the baby boomer's renewed interest in rear wheel drive, hell I'd be thrilled, but as Bob S points out the Charger name had been out of circulation for a while, and despite what Mopar faithful say had been poluted in the 80's by being on a K-car based coupe!
Don't, I repeat DON'T!! Fuck up the Mustang!
I've been saying since the earliest days of MyFordDreams that Ford should tap into the Aussie Falcon, and they should, but don't damage an icon in the process.
If anyone in Dearborn wants some help, feel free to contact me, I'll slap the stupid out of you.
Here's the new 2007 Ford C-Max people mover from Europe.
I would love to see this little Focus based people mover sold here in the US. It seems that the market is moving toward small cars again, models like the Dodge Caliber, Mazda5, Chevy HHR, Honda Element and the new Jeep Compass/Patriot twins seem to show that there is a market for them. And Ford's answer? Well, first they're going to kill the Focus wagon, and replace it with?? Nothing!
Sure gas prices have come back down below $3 per gallon, but does that mean they'll stay there? If there' an emerging niche and you have a competative model overseas you would think to bring it here, wouldn't you?
Just another observation of Ford's inability to think on thier feet. While some manufacturers like Honda and Chrysler are preparing to bring Diesel power to their US models, what is Ford's response? I don't know, and I don't think they know either!
Ford has some sharp products globally, very competative models, when are they going to smarten up?
While the Ford Ranger dies a slow painful death here in the US, around the globe Ford customers are enjoying a completely new Ranger that's bigger and stronger, yet more "car like" and plush. And Ford knows just how important the Ranger is globally. In New Zealand at a press roll out of the new model, they highlighted the new Diesel's power by towing a 46 foot fishing boat across a beach. Click the link and take a look at the picture, the boat dwarfs the truck, yet the only change to the truck was to air down the tires for traction on the sand.
Why can't we get this Ranger !
Monday, December 04, 2006
And do you know what? This concept might actually make it to production, but not for the US. No, Ford thinks we're sheep in the US. They're afraid to really make "Bold Moves" here. Don't get me wrong, they are a BOLD company around the world, just not in the US lately.
Take a look at the Australian market! This Territory Crossover is based on Fairlane archictecture, base models have rear wheel drive and a 4.0 Liter I-6, but there are turbo and all wheel drive versions with leather and every option you could imagine! It's a really nice vehicle.
What about the new Ranger, the one that's going to spread across the globe, with two Diesels and class leading interior and dependability.
What about all the hot concepts? How about this B sized Reflex Sporty Coupe, with it's Diesel/Hybrid powertrain? Wouldn't this be a Bold Move!
How about the Faction? A mini crossover sport hatch, that with Focus power and drivetrain could teach Honda, Hyundai, Toyota and the others a real lesson.
Everybody loved the Bronco concept, isn't there a way to bring that to market quickly? Just look at Jeep's new Compass/Patriot, Dodge's new Nitro and Caliber, the new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited and the Toyota FJ Cruiser. These are risky moves, but so far they're gaining traction in the market. There is room for niche vehicles, why can't Ford take advantage of that?
Why do we get the Fusion/Dave look and the rest of the world gets Kinetic/Iosis style? Take a look at the new Mondeo, it's sharp, it's got style. Don't think so? Well, if it's good enough for James Bond, I think it does.
The new Mondeos are great, 4 and 5 doors as well as Estate (station wagon) models with a nice range of petrol and diesel powertrains, most available with a 6 speed manual and some with all wheel drive!
The fact is that Ford can build interesting cars, the question is when are we going to start seeing them?