Friday, June 05, 2009

Business Week's "Car that could save Ford" article and my take

David Kiley of Business Week wrote a nice piece on the upcoming 2011 Ford Fiesta. He's had seat time in a Euro Spec version, talked to a Fiesta Movement Agent and interviewed FoMoCo Euro design personel. And he's got nice things to say, but I of course take issue with a couple of things. First is this dig at the top "The Bad: Lacks a few features, like a sliding rear seat, to keep costs down." David this is odd, how many competitors have this "Sliding rear seat" you're looking for? I've read up the Fiesta, watch reviews on Fifth Gear and Top Gear and many many others and nobody but Nobody including the notoriously cranky Jeremy Clarkson ( who stands well over 6' ) complained about a sliding rear seat. Many mentioned that the seat doesn't fold flat, but nobody thought that a deal breaker. How many tall folks ride in the back of sub-compact cars for any lenght of time anyway? But I'm nit picking here.

My real issue is the implication that any one vehicle will "save" Ford at all.
David your assumption that Ford needs to be "saved" is wrong in the face of what we've been seeing lately and their "Way Forward" plan that's been working to evolve the Blue Oval.
It's going to be several models that set Ford apart. It's going to be the work that Alan Mulally has been doing with the "One Ford" and the fact that Ford has recently updated several solid models like Mustang, Taurus,Fusion and F-Series trucks while bringing new product like Flex and Edge to market.

Ford will survive because they're going to have the products and technologies to compete in a truly global market. Because of the Fiesta, Fusion, Upcoming Focus redesign and EcoBoost & Hybrid technology.
I'm sure Ford appreciates the praise of the Fiesta, it's a praise worthy car, but let's not peg our hopes on just one model or understate all the hard work that's been done.

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