Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm certain there's a new Ford in My future, but could it be a Hybrid?

Seeing Alan Mulally the CEO of Ford drive the Fusion Hybrid to DC recently and then reading reviews like the one linked in the title from Left Lane News, I've been thinking a Hybrid, especially this one would make so much sense for me. I know I've said before that Hybrids don't make sense for many folks, that have long commutes and don't live in urban areas. But I don't have a long commute and I live in a suburban area. And the improvement the Fusion Hybrid has over past offerings is that it operates on Electric up to 40 mph. Combine that with the 38 MPG city rating and I'm set! I've always liked the Fusion and my driving habits are a perfect match with this car. But can I drive a Hybrid?
I like to shift for myself. My Ranger and Mazda3 are both Manual. And then there's the 4 door sedan thing. I'm weird I guess, I don't really find 4 door sedans useful. My Ranger, well that's just tons of fun and can get through any weather. The Mazda3 is nimble, fun and because it's a 5 door it's versatile. So, what do I do? Ultimately I'd like to go from 2 great vehicles to just 1.

Maybe? Ford Kuga with the EcoBoost 2.0 I-4, 6 speed Manual and All Wheel Drive?
Or should I grow up and let the Fusion shift for me? I'm torn, but at least I'm torn between Fords. Conflicting "dreams" but FordDreams just the same........
I've got a couple of years til I'm buying again.

Ford cutting NASCAR budget by 20%, maybe they should cut it to 20%, what do they get for the dollars? What do we get?

In the title, is an Autoblog piece on Chrysler not backing out of NASCAR and it mentions that Ford has cut their support by 20%. I've had issues with NASCAR for a long time. I mean what does Ford get from their investment? Or more importantly, what do we get? Take a look at the 2 "Fusions" above. The top is one of the "Car Of Tomorrow" that is a Fusion only because of the stickers. The bottom is the production car. Do you really think people buy a Fusion because of NASCAR? Doubtfully.
In the early days it was simple, win on Sunday, sell on Monday! The cars were production based. That's why it was called Stock Car racing! And there was mutual benefit to the auto makers and the racers. Manufacturers learned through racing how to improve reliability and safety. There was a true symbiotic relationship between the two.

Even later when the cars were less "stock" this relationship existed. Manufacturers used racing as a form of testing that still improved the road going versions. And of course the marketing ties were obvious. You could buy a car that looked very close to what was being raced. But what about now?

What do these 2 Fusions have in common? What do I get out of NASCAR?
The production Ford Fusion is a great 4 door midsize sedan, with a compitent chassis and selection of powertrains. The NASCAR version is a tube chassis and composite body in the shape of a 2 door coupe. Production comes with front or all wheel drive and either 4 or 6 cylinder engines. NASCAR? Rear wheel drive, Carburated V-8. When was the last Carberator used in a production car? 1990? So, what development are we getting from NASCAR?
As for Marketing, it could be argued that the truck series is "relevant", but barely.
The V8 engines used in Production vehicls are Overhead Cam Multi Valve technical beauties.
The V8 engines used in NASCAR? Overhead Valve Pushrod engines, really nice, but not cutting edge by production standards.
So, in my opinion Ford and GM and Chrysler would be better served by cutting their NASCAR budgets out. The bang for the buck isn't there.
From what I've seen on TV they'd be better supporting professional wrestling.
Or God forbid, American Idol? Go Ford?

End of Days? Thankfully not for Ford

I've been away a long time, don't expect many folks to still be reading this blog, but what the hell. With what seems like the end of days I was at least comforted to know that Ford feels they can survivie. As noted by Mulally himself in the press release at AutoBlog ( linked in title).

With all the gloom and doom, there is hope on the horizon, there are products that folks will want to buy, that will get better economy and can be competative.

I've had my own personal issues to deal with and backed away from blogging. For a while there I really wasn't following any news. So I've been happy to read about the new Ford Fusion Hybrid, the prospect of EcoBoost 2.0 engines coming into the line and of course the reality of Ford's "World Car" finally.

It's been a tough year for everyone, and the next year is going to be tough also. But 2010 is a chance for all of us to recover, prosper and grow. Is it time to "Dream" again? Maybe finally it is.

For those that have commented lately, I just moderated, so they should be there. For those looking to advertise on My blogs, sorry, I'm not that active, you wouldn't get your money's worth and I've decided not to go that route anyway.

While I respect my fellow bloggers that have ads, I don't need the pennies.

MyFordDreams has always been my personal views, I'm not a team, it's just me. And if I "Dream" again, it will be just the same.