Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What's going to happen to poor Ford?


What's going to happen to Ford? I doubted and they denied for the longest time, that they would sell their Premiere Auto Group brands, but it keeps popping up in the news. The latest that Indian auto maker Tata may buy Jaguar and Land Rover. And while there are new and interesting models coming from all sectors, what's coming from Ford? What happened to the much hyped Fairlane and Bronco concepts? When will the new Fiesta get here? Why drop the Focus hatchbacks ? How many variations of Mustang can you sell? Where is the Way Forward leading?
It's been depressing for a devoted Ford Fanatic like myself to watch what's been happening or not happening over the last 2 years. And I just don't see Mulally or Fields pulling any rabbits out of their hats. Yes, I know it's not just FoMoCo that's doing poorly, GM and Chrysler have made their mistakes too, but I'm a Ford guy! Yes, I know I bought a Mazda, but I still have my Ford truck and bleed Dearborn Blue.
Over the last 2 years I've said countless times what I think Ford should have done, but I'll spit out some quick one liners here to remind you.
Bring out the Reflex! Based on the Fiesta/Mazda 2.
Bring the Euro Focus here to North America!
Bring the Mondeo here!

Bring the EcoSport/Fusion here!
Bring the Australian Falcon here!
Bring the new Ranger/BT50 here with their Diesel powertrains.
Bring a new Econoline to market!
Bring a new Bronco out based on the EcoSport!
If the Interceptor comes to market, make sure it has IRS!
Get more power in the base Mustang and Mustang GT now! 210 hp for the 4.0 and 300 for the GT are not enough. I read today that Hyundai's new 4.6 V8 may put out as much as 360 hp, and it will be in a new RWD sedan and coupe, FoMoCo needs to get it's head out of it's ass and make some of these things happen!
So much for Driving American Inovation!
Oh and one last cheap shot, concerning this new Sync system developed with Microsoft. Stupid! I mean I fear each time Microsoft comes out with a new system, because I know there will be bugs and service packs for months. Do you want that with a new car?
Poor Ford my ass! If they go down, it will be because of their own stupidity! And if a Ford fan says that, then you know it's serious.

6 comments:

Alex said...

Hey Ford Fan, I remember them teasing us with the Bronco back in like 90-something. I had it as my wallpaper back when I was in college! I think I even blogged about it myself on http://basictransportation.blogspot.com
(sorry for the plug) ANd it never happened? Toyota got the FJ, Jeep got long and any Ford fan that wanted a small 4x4 had to go F themselves.

Is there anything the car fiend hates more than being teased by concepts that never happen?

And, yes, the US Focus is a humiliation compared to the sweet 5cyl Euro ones, including the Focus ST - which would sell like hotcake flavored crack over here!

Anonymous said...

"What happened to the Fairlane concept?"

Have you been in a hole? It was unveiled this Spring as the Ford Flex and will be on sale next summer.

Big Ford Fan said...

Actually I have been in a media blackout, self imposed. But I do remember the Flex now, thank you.

But still it's too little too late.

Igor said...

Bring out the Reflex! Based on the Fiesta/Mazda 2.
DONE - production starting Arpil 2009 - Reflex is rumored for 2011, but that is a speculation at this point.

Bring the Euro Focus here to North America!
DONE - Production starting 2012 (it will be the NEXT (3rd generation) Focus)

Bring the Mondeo here!
DONE - next Fusion will be identical to the next Mondeo - Production starts 2013

Bring the EcoSport/Fusion here!
DONE - Production starts shortly after the Fiesta - it will be the EcoSpot with AWD and such.

Bring the Australian Falcon here!
DONE - Production starts in 2011 - lookup the Ford AU project Huntsmen

Bring the new Ranger/BT50 here with their Diesel powertrains.
- NOTGONNAHAPPEN - do you realize that the new BT50 is actually the CURRENT US Ranger with a new skin and interior? Ford is developing a new small truck under the Ford AU project T6 - that will come here - Production starts 2009


Bring a new Econoline to market!
- UNSURE - E-series still rules the market .. and Ford is exploring how to merge the Econoline and Transit programs - decision was not made yet.

Bring a new Bronco out based on the EcoSport!
- This is a speculation, but the US version of the EcoSport - or even possible the EcoSport itself will probably look like the Bronco - this was not confirmed yet.

If the Interceptor comes to market, make sure it has IRS!
- DONE - the Huntsmen has IRS - it is really going to be slightly updated version of the new Orion.

I hope I made you a little more optimistic now :D

Igor

Igor said...

just a quick update

-US production and US sale of the new global Focus begins in April 2010 ... the vehicle will be revealed in LA 2009 or Detroit 2010.

this is about 1 year ahead of optimistic and 2 years ahead skeptical predictions.

I hope this makes you a little happy :D
Igor

Rene Rosales said...

As a Ford fan myself, I am even more concerned how far back Ford seems to be slipping behind the necessary trend towards higher-MPG vehicles. Ford has a winner with the Escape Hybrid, but they have yet to ramp production up to meet demand. For awhile, I bought into domestic automakers' excuse of the high cost of batteries for hybrids limiting production, but the Japanese are doing it, somehow, with lots of models to choose from and true mass-market sales volume with Prius, Civic H and others. There is no more excuse: the Big Three are now years behind the Japanese and losing more and more ground.

I don't know if hybrids are the ultimate answer, but Ford needs to do something truly revolutionary to regain a position as domestic leader in innovation/design. Ford's EcoBoost direct-injection/high-compression technology for 2010-and-up models will buy 20% better fuel economy. It is a good step, but GM, Mercedes-Benz and others are doing this too, and even without this technology, there are too many models like the Prius, the Civic and others that are already leading mass markets without this special technology. The Japanese will only innovate something new by the time Ford and GM are out with their direct-injection/high-compression gas engines like EcoBoost.

Additionally, I think the global crude oil situation will only get worse in 10 years, and if Ford was serious about leadership, they should leapfrog into non-fossil-fuel transportation early. There are startup companies now with the first, practical (but expensive) EV's out there now. The technology exists. Ford and the Other Two have the power to bring it to market and drive costs down. Whatever conspiracy/ inertia is holding them back is hurting us all in the long run. By 2020 when gas is $50.00 a gallon, nobody will want to buy gas-powered vehicles regardless of efficiency, and Honda/Nissan/Toyota and other American brands will have their EV's on the market.

Come on guys, catch up! I want America to stay competitive, first of all, and I'd like Ford to regain first place as an innovation/design leader.