Friday, July 31, 2009

CARS aka Cash For Clunkers to be expanded....

So, it looks like Washington is going to expand the CARS aka Cash For Clunkers program.
The initial response was overwhelming and it looks like the first Billion was spent almost before the program got started. Deals started on July 1st, even though the program wasn't finalized until July 24. So, $2 billion has been approved by the House and is expected to be approved from Congress allowing the program to go on uninterrupted.
This program gets wild responses on both ends of the spectrum. Dealers are loving the traffic through the showrooms, but concerned about the disposal of the clunkers. Consumers ( myself included ) are concerned about the complicated process and potential for abuse, while hopeful and showing a real interest. Pundits, like Mark Tapscott (who I respect a great deal ) are concerned that the program, like so many Federal "entitlements" will take on a life of it's own and become permanent, something that I personally believe is very unlikely.
There's no doubt that the program seems to be a huge boon to sales, with over 23,000 dealers taking part. It's being praised as the most actual stimulus out of all the Fed's programs. Mostly because it's the only program that the average citizen can realize a genuine personal benefit.
But as with any incentive program, many are concerned what will happen to sales when the money again runs out.
Obviously my opinion is biased, because I've been trying to cash in on this myself. But after seeing how well similar programs worked in Europe I'm still a supporter.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

CARS aka Cash For Clunkers to shut down?

Only 4 days into the program, the AP is reporting, from un-named sources, that the Obama administration will stop the CARS program? I know it's been cranking beyond anyone's imaginings, with 10% of the funds already spent and a bunch more in the pipeline, but stopping it? I'm hoping this is either untrue or just temporary, as I'm still holding out hope for my own deal, which if the dealer hadn't putzed around would have been done tonight.
I heard earlier today on the radio that the program was so sucessful that many wanted to see the fund increased. It's estimate that the money will run out long before the November cut off date. Some say as early as September.

NASCAR Mustang? This should be a joke, but it's not

Autoblog ( link in title ) had this piece the other day on the Mustang going to NASCAR.
And while it should be a joke, it's not. NASCAR lost relevance over a decade ago when the last carberator was installed on a production car. Never mind the fact that all of the "Car Of Tomorrow" bodies are identical regardless of the stickers on them declaring Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry. But this is just the final insult, it doesn't look anything remotely like a Mustang, not even if you squint.

NASCAR is a joke, the pro wrestling of motorsports, don't let the Mustang become part of that joke. There are enough real Mustangs racing in legitimate series that FoMoCo shouldn't cheapen the heritage by plastering these stickers on plastic fantastic posers.

Still waiting to see what the dealer says.....

If my experience lately is teaching me anything, it's teaching me to not trust salesmen.
Still waiting to see what the dealer is going to say about our CARS allowance, now that we've presented our case for the higher $4500 credit.

I'll admit this program is slippery and just makes the dealer look stupid. If I'm totally honest, I'd have to say they're having as much difficulty trying to decipher the program as I was. But after all the research I've done, I know that it's $4500 based on a "Clunker" SUV (Catergory 1 truck) being traded for a new SUV (Category 1 truck) and the difference of 5 mpg.

I'm going to copy my online live chat with Ford's site so you can see the type of frustation I'm feeling. I love the part where Julian says that it would be $4500 if I was going to get a Focus, Fusion, ..... or Mariner. And the confusing bit where I have to explain that a Mariner isn't a "Car" it's an "SUV"

You are now chatting with 'Julian'
Julian: Welcome to the Let Ford Recycle Your Ride support center. How may I assist you?
you: Joe here
Julian: Hi Joe
you: My Mercury dealer says my trade for the CARS program is only eligable for $3500, but according to your site and it's $4500
you: I've also read the 136 page pdf from and if I'm reading it right, my trade allowance should be $4500
you: Who's right?
Julian: That depends on the car you get, if the fuel economy improves by 1 MPG you will only get $3500 and if the fuel economy improves by 2 MPG you will get the $4500.
you: the old car gets 16 mpg according to and the new one gets 21 mpg for a diff of 5 mpg
you: I'm trading a 1997 Isuzu Rodeo V6 4wd manual trans and getting a Mercury Mariner Premier I4 4wd
you: how do I let the dealer know he's wrong, or can I appeal to Ford?
Julian: One moment please.
Julian: Just get the print out of that web where it says that your car gets 16MPG.
you: I've done that
you: I tried sending him an email as well, but he won't return my calls
Julian: That is the government web we have to follow what is in that web.
you: So, you're saying I'm right? That it should be $4500
Julian: Well let me check your car
Julian: What kind of car do you have?
you: sure, 1997 Isuzu Rodeo LS 4wd 3.2 V6 5 spd manual
Julian: Ok one moment.
you: according to it's 16 mpg
you: new Mercury is 2.5 4cyl auto 4wd gets 21mpg
Julian: What is your zip code?
you: xxxxx

Julian: Yes I see your car gets 16 MPG.
Julian: Ok I just checked the rules for car

Julian: I was wrong
you: you were wrong?
you: what does my trade qualify for?
Julian: The information that I told you was for a truck
you: these are both Category 1 trucks
you: SUVs
Julian: What it says here is 4 MPG or higher $3500
Julian: And 10 MPG or higher $ 4500
you: for Category 1 trucks? It says $4500
you: why does letfordrecycleyourride calculator come up $4500 as well as and every other resource?
Julian: I know but for cars is different.
you: these aren't "cars" they're Category 1 trucks
you: both are SUVs
Julian: If you you get a ford focus you will get the $4500
Julian: Or the fusion ,ranger, escape, Milan, or mariner
you: I don't want a Focus, I want a Mariner and your website as well as others and the federal pdf file say that both vehicles are Category 1 trucks, so it should be $4500
you: this is a Mariner
you: 4cyl 4wd auto trans, SUV
Julian: Is it the 2.5 liter?
you: yes
Julian: Yes I see what you are looking at
you: it is confusing
Julian: Give me one minute.
Julian: I am going to verify that on the government site.
you: thank you
Julian: I will be right with you.
Julian: Thank you for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment.
you: ok
Julian: Do you want a 2009 or 2010
Julian: ?
you: 2009
you: 2010 isn't out in dealers
Julian: I'm sorry for the delay. I'll be right with you.
Julian: It says right here from the government site that you qualify for $ 4500
you: That's what I've told the salesman
you: how do I get him to see what you see?
you: can you email him?
Julian: Did you tell him the same information about the new car ?
you: I did
Julian: No we can not do that. but tell him to go to .
Julian: So you can show them the right information.
you: thank you I will and I'll print everything out
Julian: Because it says right from the government site that you are eligible for $ 4500
Julian: Thank you for chatting with us. We value your feedback. Please click the CLOSE button at top right to answer a few questions about your experience with us today.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The dealer says $3500, Edmunds, CARS and LetFord say $4500

I'm getting sick of this stuff, but here's what I found on Edmunds and it agrees with what Ford's site and how I read the CARS site say;

1997 Isuzu RodeoLS 4dr SUV 4WD

It appears your vehicle qualifies for the C.A.R.S. program based on the information you selected.
Combined Fuel Economy† of My Trade-In ............. 16 MPG
C.A.R.S. Category for My Trade-In ......................... Category 1 Truck
Data provided was for the following configuration:
Engine ...................................................................... 3.2L 6-Cylinder
Transmission ............................................................ 5-Speed Manual
Drivetrain .................................................................. Four-wheel drive
Note: If this is not your vehicle's configuration, your vehicle may not qualify under the C.A.R.S. Program. Search for your Combined Fuel Economy at the EPA Website. ( I checked here too )

2009 Mercury MarinerPremier I4 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

MPG of New Vehicle:
Estimated Credit†† Based on New Vehicle Selected: $4500
MSRP: .................................................................... $27,240
Combined Fuel Economy† of new vehicle ............. 21 MPG
C.A.R.S. Category for new vehicle ......................... Category 1 Truck

Yet my local Mercury dealer is telling me it's only $3500.

Now, when I punch the new Chevy Equinox in it's also $4500. Who's going to get my money?

Don't use the Ford site folks, it looks like they've got it all confused? Use

This program is not clear and reports are that even though everything was supposed to be settled Friday July 24, there were some last minute changes by the EPA. These changes help some folks, which is a good thing. But you really have to be careful and hope your dealer is smart and honest. I'm running into speedbumps with my trade, the dealer now says that my allowance is only $3500. But I've read the 136 page PDF from and checked Ford's site and both read to me that the allowance should be $4500, based on 2 Class 1 trucks and a differnce of 5 mpg.
But don't trust the Ford site folks! Looks like they've got bugs. Which is a real shame, because FoMoCo was geared up to perform well under this program. I had used this site over and over and now can't trust the numbers it gives me. But wait, there's hope! has a calculator on their site and it seems to be working better. One odd note, is that if I put Mercury Mariner in, there's a glitch that doesn't allow me to pull down the trim. No problem, I entered Ford Escape and similar trim/drivetrain and it says yes, the deal is $4500.
If I were Ford I'd get my guys on this pronto. Last thing they need is bad PR about a site designed to help folks. It's bad enough that there seem to be shady dealers trying to screw folks over as it is.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Catching up on all sorts of EcoBoost news and opinion....

While MyFordDreams has been concentrating on other things, the blogsphere doesn't stand still, so I've been catching up at AutoBlog on the latest EcoBoost news, opinion and speculation.
Interesting that Australia will be the first place an EcoBoost I-4 will appear in a rear wheel drive platform. And not just in the upcoming Global T-6 Ranger, but in the Falcon. I still believe that ultimately the base Mustang will replace it's aging V-6 for an EcoBoost I-4, but there are doubts out in the Net.

Furthermore, folks want to know when the EcoBoost I-4 will be seen in the Edge and other North American mid-size CUVs and Cars. Although fuel prices haven't peaked at last year's record numbers, this is further proof that Ford's EcoBoost is an anticipated technology upgrade.

6 cyl power with 4 cyl economy makes too much sense for consumers and the manufacturers alike. Some have forecast resistance from consumers based on past history of turbo charged powerplants in the past and the perception that Uncle Sam is trying to force us all into underpowered eco-boxes. But if you've got over 200 hp and still achieve 25-30 mpg how are you being forced into an eco-box?

I personally would love it if my new Mariner (soon to be ) was packing a 2.0 EcoBoost. The current 2.5's 171 hp is fine, as is the 25 mpg on the highway, but if I could realistically expect 200 hp and 27 mpg ( it is 4wd after all) I'd be tickled pink.

EcoBoost will be a win win for many enthusiasts and green minded folks as well.
Minimally it will maintain ( more than likely improve) performance, while also lowering our carbon footprint and lessening our dependance on foreign petrolium.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Buyers be aware of Dealers scams! Especially with the new CARS program..

Ok, so we went to the dealership today and a couple of red flags on the deal.
First the salesmen told me there would be a $50 Document Fee, which is in direct contradiction to the CARS program guidelines. Second he told me that if there is an excess Scrapage value above the $4500 federal credit the dealership takes the first $50, which is allowable under the CARS guidelines. It's Saturday and the program just went into effect yesterday, so it's understandable if some dealers don't fully understand the program, but it's more likely that they're counting on buyers not understanding either.

Buyer Beware! Go to the CARS site and click on the link to the PDF file, print it out if you need and highlight the passages that are directly in conflict with anything the dealer says. Remember there are always other dealerships and other deals.

In this case it's very stupid of the salesman to try and pull this kind of stunt, there are several Mercury dealerships in my area and as many Ford dealerships also. I can switch dealerships with no problem. It's not as if I'm looking for a rare vehicle, I know there are at least 7 sped'd like I want in the local area.

I'm waiting until Monday to decide how to procede, I've told the salesman that he can't have the $50 Doc Fee. The ball is in his court, deal like a professional or play games and I walk! FoMoCo are you reading this? Email me and I'll give you the dealership's name as well as the salesman.

CARS confusion on LetFordRecycleYourRide with a friend

As I've posted about, I'm taking advantage of the CARS program and I've found Ford's website to be imensely useful. So, when a close friend was asking if his car would qualify also we headed over to Ford's site, linked in title, so see if it does.
And according to Ford, it most certainly does. But I'm confused, his car, a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, isn't 10 years old. I tried looking elsewhere, but I've been busy.

I was looking at the Fed's site but they don't have the easy to use tool that the Ford site does. Instead they've got a link to a PDF file over 130 pages long and in legalese that if I took the time would probably clear things up. I think later today I'll just go to and use his chart. With all the research The Auto Prophet has done, I'm counting on him as yet again one of my best resources and you should too.


First I'd like to thank MF my friend from Dearborn for the Xplan pin, much appreciated.
It looks like today we're going to give the Mariner a second test drive and if all goes well sign on the dotted line. We're taking advantage of the CARS program (Cash For Clunkers) and trading in our Isuzu Rodeo (Ranger is in too good shape to be scrapped) and combining that with the Fed program and FoMoCo incentives means that this is a great value.
While it's obvious I'm biased toward FoMoCo products, I did my due diligence, researching available vehicles and incentives on small SUVs, CUVs and Wagons from Jeep, Dodge, Chevy, Chrysler, VW, Honda and Subaru ( as well as Ford, but more on that later.) End result? The Mariner is the value leader among them, when combined with mild incentives and the programs I'm taking part in (CARS & XPlan.)
The Mariner drove well in the first drive, the interior was very nice and there are a ton of features I really like. One thing I haven't seen in years, but was a real plus, was the two way opening hatch, where either just the window or the entire liftgate open depending on what you need to load/unload. The one deficiency that jumps out is the lack of 4wheel disc brakes? The Ford/Mercury twins were the only ones that didn't even have this as an option.
Traction Control, ABS, full compliment of Air Bags and the RSC (Roll Stability Control) offer a level of safety and confidence that help aleviate the nag of rear drum brakes. The tech goodies and amenities make the Mariner a near luxury vehicle at a more reasonable price. The 2.5L I-4's 25 mpg and 171 hp have the power and economy balance I'm looking for and the Smart 4WD will help in bad weather.
I've spec'd all the major options, Moonroof, Sync, Power and Heated everything, Dual Zone A/C and Stereo, so this is no stripper. I didn't opt for the DVD Navigation, I've never needed it, with my natural navigation skills, but a Tom Tom or Garmin GPS can be had for much less.
The one surprise was that with all the same option boxes ticked, the Mariner comes up $600 less than it's Ford Escape twin. That and my dislike of the Escape's egg crate grille were the tipping points for the Mariner.
I'll blog more about my adventure with this purchase later this weekend. This will be my first Mercury, I've owned quite a few Fords and even 1 Lincoln over the years, and my mom and dad each had a Mercury over the years, so I'm looking forward to this.
The one downer is that my Mazda 3 sGT is going away, but I'm just thinking of this as MyFordDreams doing my part to stimulate the economy and support the home team.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Can anyone at FoMoCo help me out?

Back in 2006, when I was buying my last new vehicle, I was offered help in the way of an X-plan pin. I'm wondering if anyone can help again? As I posted the other day, I'm considering doing my part to stimulate the economy and by extension FoMoCo. I'm looking at either a Ford Escape Limited or Mercury Mariner Premeir and in these tough economic times I could use all the help I can get. Scott Monty, you out there? How about my Lincoln PR friends I met in Queens when I tested the MKT and MKZ? Anybody from FoMoCo could email me and do a friendly blogger a huge favor?

"Brokeback cars" Is a stupid assumption and dead end marketing idea...

What is a "Gay" car? There is no such thing. LGBT folks buy cars just like everyone else.
Over the years, we've all heard that some cars are stereotypicaly "Gay" or "Chick" cars.
The very idea is juvenile and baseless. And during my recent vacation on Cape Cod, I had an oportunity to meet and talk to quite a few LGBT car enthusiasts.

Trying to market a "Gay" car or brand, as suggested by Desiree Cooper of the Detroit Free Press in January of 2006 ( link to my reaction then in title ) is futile. It assumes that LGBT folks are somehow different than everyone else and could have a backlash from both sides. LGBT people could be insulted by the implication and others may feel the need, based on fear, to avoid such a vehicle or brand. I know LGBT folks that drive all sorts of cars, many who drive Ford vehicles by the way, and I've never really notice any particular trend that would deviate from the population at large. People drive what they need or like.
I met one guy on vacation who had the new Flex which he traded his Mountaineer in on.
Not exactly a frilly little vehicle. I've known LGBT folks that are into classic cars, Studebakers for example. Many of the people I've known drive sedans or hatchbacks, not very exciting, but they get the job done.

And I was surprised at how many full size trucks there were also.
It only goes to prove that PEOPLE drive what they need and like.
You can't pigeon hole people or try and design a brand for one demographic.
The only proof you need of that are all the 40something folks driving Scions.
If you want to know more, you can go to and see for yourself.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The wheels are spinning in my head. possible new car in my future?

So, with no Internet on vacation and some down time I got to thinking, not always a good thing.
My quiry was this, would this be a good time for me to take advantage of several programs and trade up while reducing my monthly payments? Let me lay the foundation, I currently have 2 vehicles, 1999 Ford Ranger XLT with 4.0 V6 and 4x4, plus 2006 Mazda 3 s GT. The truck is paid for, the Mazda is more than half paid, but I'm paying insurance, gas and repairs (minimal luckily ) for 2 vehicles. Now, the Ranger as much as I love it is a prime candidate for the CARS program, more commonly called the Cash For Clunkers, it's 10 years old and gets poor fuel economy. So, I went to Ford's CARS site to see what I knew, that if I were to scrap the Ranger I would be eligable for up to $4500 if I picked a vehicle that got better milage.
Yesterday, after enduring the long drive back to the New York Metro area from Cape Cod, I started tipping and tapping at my keyboard and checked KBB and NADA values of the Ranger, both pegged at aproximately $4300, so the $4500 scrapage is very fair. I also checked the Federal website and noticed that beyond the $4500 I may be eligable to apply the further scrappage value of the truck. But let's just assume the $4500. What to buy? Well after a lot of thought I settled on the 2009 Ford Escape Limited with the I-4 and AWD. It's 175 hp may not be impressive, but the Ranger has 5 less and the Mazda's 158 does fine. My racing days are long over. The Escape's MPG rating of 19 city and 25 city is less than the Mazda's but very livable.
Life's a compramise and I need the following qualities/features in my next vehicle;
I-4 engine for economy
AWD for winter driving
Wagon style versatility for hauling and people moving.
I'd like the following as well
Heated Leather seating
Premium CD stereo
and since it's a Ford Sync.
I'm thinking that if I do this, I can get one vehicle that will fulfill all my needs and save me a few bucks every month. After the CARS and Trade In of the Mazda my monthyly payment should be about $40 less per month and since I'll be paying for Insurance on only one vehicle you can add about $90 more to that.
The only drawback to the entire thing? No Manual Transmission available with the AWD.
Research has only begun on this idea, I need to shop the competition, see what's going to be a better price with comparable options and see if I can get the Manual with AWD anywhere.
Do I stay Ford loyal ? Keep an eye on these pages over the next few weeks as I explore my buying options.

Back from vacation, getting back to MyFordDreams

I've been on vacation and didn't have Internet access while out on Cape Cod. Sure I could have trudged up to one of many locations with free WiFi, but it was a vacation to get away from everything. But I'm home, and going to be getting back to blogging. I've got some observations and comments based on my vacation and interaction with a lot of very interesting folks.

I don't usually mention what I do in social situations, the Auto Blogging or my day job. But this year there were a lot of situations where friends and aquaintences started talking about cars and the auto industry and I couldn't resist adding my perspective, especially on several important subjects like the "Quality gap perception" and marketing towards the LGBT community.

I like to keep MyFordDreams about the cars and avoid "social issues", god knows I've got flack over the years when I've touched on certain issues. But this years trip opened my eyes and the eyes of those I talked to.

I go to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod a couple of times a year with a big group of friends and most of these folks are LGBT folks. And you'd be surprised how many of them are real car enthusiasts. Some of my friends are real gear heads, restoring classic cars and modifying and personalizing their newer cars. Many have brand loyalties based on perceptions of quality and on real life performance. Some LGBT folks buy vehicles based on how community friendly they percieve the company to be.

Some of my friends never knew I write about the industry or of my passion for FoMoCo, but when they found out they wanted to know my opinion on the perception of quality of the "Big 3" versus the competition. I was encouraged that MANY of them knew and appreciated the fact that Ford was the only domestic auto maker that did not take Bailout Money or declare Bankruptcy.

I was talking to one fellow who was a native of Dublin Ireland, now working in Germany, and vacationing on Cape Cod. Our conversation was enlightening, because it was one of those rate moments when I was able to get a European perspective on Ford. His insight on how well Ford does in Europe confirmed what I've known for years, that Ford truly is a global company that can compete market by market with a completely comparable lineup, that in many segments is class leading. His comments on the European view of Ford in the US unfortunately were not as favorable and all too familiar to comments to folks I've known that own Honda/Acura, Volkswagen and other foreign competitors.

Over the next week, I'll try and post some pieces that will flesh out these conversations and hopefully dispell myths on all fronts. Myths like Ford quality is so much worse than that of foreign competition. Myths like Ford is a company that is not LGBT friendly. Myths like all LGBT folks drive Miatas and Mini Coopers.

So, while I've been silent these last 2 weeks, I'm hoping that you'll come back for these and more opinion pieces.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

EcoBoost to spread across FoMoCo lines in coming years, maybe even Mustang

When I went to the recent Lincoln event and drove the MKT and MKZ there was much EcoBoost talk. I even got to talk with Dan, one of the project heads and ask him about the migration of this technology across the FoMoCo line. Currently available in the Lincoln MKS and MKT flagships and the Ford Flex and Taurus SHO, the EcoBoost in 3.5 V6 355 hp glory will next be seen in the F-150 range as well. But there's a lot more to this story than that. While it's true that you can achieve V6 economy and V8 power in the larger vehicles, it's also going to be applied to I-4 engines to give superior economy with V6 power. We're going to see EcoBoost 2.0L engines with 200+ hp and even smaller engines with EcoBoost.
Not knowing if I'd ever get a chance like this again, I popped the question. No I didn't ask Dan for his hand in marriage, I asked him if we could expect to see EcoBoost in the Mustang. At first he assumed I meant the 355 hp V6 in the Mustang GT and told me that it was unlikely since Ford had new V8s which will offer superior performance and better economy. I acknowledged that and corrected myself by asking if we could possibly see an EcoBoost I4 in the "Base" Mustang? And being the smart guy he is, I'm unable to say "Yes" but there's enough wiggle room in what he said to guess that it's a distinct possability. And before the old guard Mustang guys start spitting nails let's see what's possible.

I doubt they would revive the SVT or SVO label for a Turbo 4 Mustang, not with the Shelby GTs.
It wouldn't be some pricey option, but a replacement for the V6 that makes 210 hp and achieves poor fuel economy. In Reality an EcoBoost 4 could produce more power and boost FoMoCo's CAFE ratings. And you're wondering where Ford would get such an engine?

Did you forget the Ford Explorer America Concept that was shown last year?
That has 275hp EcoBoost 2.0L 4 cylinder power.

So, while Dan didn't say it was going to happen, he didn't say no either.
Ford is going to spread EcoBoost across the model lineup, maybe just maybe in the next generation Mustang we'll see better power and fuel economy and an IRS?
Dan didn't mention anything about the IRS, that's just a matter for common sense.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Hey Ford, give me a Fiesta for a week?

Ford wants to get the word out about the Fiesta, I want them to give me a Fiesta for just one week. I'm going on vacation, to a very trendy location where the demographics for this car would be huge. I've seen more Honda Fits, VW Jetta TDI and Tiguans here than anywhere else. Folks come from all over the nation and they have money to spend. These are the people who need to see a Fiesta in the flesh.

So, Ford give me a Fiesta for a week, July 11th to 18th, and I'll make sure it's seen and talked about. What have you got to loose? The idiot in Brooklyn let people stand on his and it sat in an impound lot for that long. E-mail me and we'll talk.

Proof of Ford's Way Forward moving.....

If you want proof that Ford's Way Forward was the right way to go you need look no further than the headlines, LA Times Ford #1 in Canada or Ford boosts 3Q profits
Great article here too
The numbers don't lie. Sure, Ford's sales are down 11%, but Toyota, Honda, GM & Chrysler are down on average 30%, some way more than 30%.

All those pundits who questioned if Ford not taking bailout funds or filing for Government backed Bankruptcy need to step up and acknowledge that Alan Mulally and Bill Ford did the smart thing, mortgaging everything they could and riding out the storm.

Ford has closed plants and dealerships, this is true, but not in the slash and burn manner of crosstown rivals. Ford has new product and technology in the pipeline that will mean a huge difference over the next few years. It's very likely Ford will return to profitability in 2011.

It's no secret that I've been critical of Ford, Mulally and Bill Ford, but while pundits dig FoMoCo's grave, I feel free to Dream again.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Verve, Fiesta, Verve? WTF? Ford has yet another little one?

I'm confused, AutoBlog has a piece talking about a new Verve test mule spotted in Australia?
But I thought the Verve was the concept that became the new Fiesta?
And the spy shots show what looks like the last generation bodywork, on a new chassis.
So, what's the deal?

Is this like the Ikon? A Fiesta based sedan sold in South American and Asian markets.
AutoBlog says it's unlikely we'll see this Verve in the US because of the new Fiesta and Focus.
But the Verve is just a Fiesta, right?

It's tough to follow all the versions of Fords sold around the globe. Did you know that in South American markets the old Ka has been freshened and updated? So, instead of getting the Polish Fiat 500/Ka that Europe gets, they get something akin to our last Focus?