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I thought I heard a giant flushing sound coming from the direction of Dearborn. I think Ford is in much worse condition than GM. For the past two decades Ford has invested all of it's R&D and styling in ever increasingly huge pickups and SUV's. They just don't have much to offer on the small card side. Oh yea, the Focus and the Mustang. The Focus is OK I guess. I drove one from the Hertz rental fleet a few months ago, but the Chevy Cobalt that I had on my next trip was a 100% nicer car to drive. Other than those two smaller platforms the rest of their car fleet is ugly junk. I don't see any graceful way out of the self inflicted mess that Ford finds itself in now.
 

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They just don't have much to offer on the small card side. Oh yea, the Focus and the Mustang.

Focus
Fusion

and from Europe

Fiesta
Focus
Fusion (not the same as ours, more of a small crossover)
C-Max
Ka
Mondeo

Surely it wouldn't be all that hard to federalize some of the above? :confused:
 

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and from Europe

Fiesta
Focus
Fusion (not the same as ours, more of a small crossover)
C-Max
Ka
Mondeo

Surely it wouldn't be all that hard to federalize some of the above? :confused:
It is. For cars to meet US standards for emissions and crash requirements they have to be engineered from the ground up. Clean air and super safe cars cost money and fuel. In Europe historically high gas prices, high taxes on vehicle purchases and the relatively cleaner air because of geography have led the automakers to design cars separately for the individual continents. If they were to just sell the cars intended for the US market in Europe, they would fail because the cars would cost a lot more than the competition and would get worse gas mileage. So it's tough to just convert a European car for America.

Car companies are now just getting around to designing "world cars" in the economy and mid-range classes with common architectures where they start with North America and Japan in mind and then de-content them for other markets. The upper end of the market is different in that they can keep the content in for Europe because those buyers expect a safer car for the money and the various bits of smog equipment is easy to delete for fuel economy.

Everybody has to keep in mind that until about two years ago, nobody was talking about smaller and smaller cars. It was still all about trucks and SUVs. The rising fuel costs came on a lot faster than I think anybody could have seen. Until recently, most Americans would have considered most of the cars on your list as a joke and never would have paid what they really cost. Trust me, I know. Although I no longer have it, for ten years I drove a Ford Aspire, one of the smallest and affordable cars available in the US, and I got nothing but ridicule from almost everyone. At their very core, most Americans do not like small cars and if this energy problem ever passes, I fully expect them to jump back into really big vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ford's CEO was on CNBC today. They talked about electric cars, but they were showing video of the Volt.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=802829123
LOL - gotta luv it. I've been worried about Ford for awhile. If I were Ford's Board of Directors, I would call the CEO onto the carpet and tell me what he's planning for REEV's, BEV's, FCV's, etc. If he gives a lame wait and see answer, I would fire him on the spot.

At this point, Ford should try to buy either Tesla Motors or Fisker Automotive.
 

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LOL - gotta luv it. I've been worried about Ford for awhile. If I were Ford's Board of Directors, I would call the CEO onto the carpet and tell me what he's planning for REEV's, BEV's, FCV's, etc. If he gives a lame wait and see answer, I would fire him on the spot.

At this point, Ford should try to buy either Tesla Motors or Fisker Automotive.
While there at it how about they buy toyota, and why not buy back aston martin, jaguar, and land rover. You can never have too many brands just ask GM.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
While there at it how about they buy toyota, and why not buy back aston martin, jaguar, and land rover. You can never have too many brands just ask GM.
They don't need to buy a nameplate, they need to buy an EV tech embedded in a conventional looking and performing automobile. Right now, that's Tesla and Fisker. Toyota's market cap is so high that no enterprise could buy them, except for maybe Dubai.
 

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I like to see the bright side of this, even though it's quite devastating to Ford's financial position. Ouch.

OK, the positive? Alan Mulally has to now show us his cards. He has kept his secret projects going for a long time. The shareholders will need some assurance so that they all don't start abandoning ship. I expect that within 6 months you will hear something from Ford that will make you sit up and take notice.

What exactly? It will be technology that takes lightness and aerodynamics to the next level. He did it with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and I believe he is deep into doing the same for the automobile. Carbon fiber, ultra-light alloys, glue assembly, advanced aerodynamic analysis, low-resistance tires, etc. The more you lighten the car the smaller the engine, brake systems, fuel storage, safety systems, etc. need to be. It's like a downward spiral of optimization. All those systems get lighter and thus less energy is needed and so on.

They will also talk about their electrification plans. No, not the lame ones they that they previously used to keep it's competitors placated. I'm talking about the real stuff. Advanced plug-in hybrids, complete new platforms (using the technologies mentioned above), maybe even full on BEVs.

If I am wrong and Mr. Mulally has not been up to his elbows in these projects then I too agree that he should step down. I quite honestly don't see how they can compete otherwise. Just the costs that are going to be associated with the retreat from the SUV and Truck markets are enough to keep them in the red for many years to come. How will a strategy of weak hybrids, hydrogen cars (still a decade out at best), and inferior small cars with substandard ICEs bring them back or invigorate it's employees or assure the shareholders? Answer, it simply cannot.

Mr. Mulally, I look forward to your announcement!
 

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LOL - gotta luv it. I've been worried about Ford for awhile. If I were Ford's Board of Directors, I would call the CEO onto the carpet and tell me what he's planning for REEV's, BEV's, FCV's, etc. If he gives a lame wait and see answer, I would fire him on the spot.

At this point, Ford should try to buy either Tesla Motors or Fisker Automotive.
The last thing Ford needs is to jump into the EREV/BEV/FCV bandwagon. Nobody wants those cars. Most people don't even know how they work or their advantages. My dad works for Ford and when I bring up the Volt, he can't think of anything but a golf-cart. People like him are hard to convince, and there are a lot of them out there.

Ford needs to start making what people want to buy NOW, not something people might want to buy if they can get the price down in 5 years, and cars like the Volt aren't it (sorry to disappoint everyone here, but very few people outside our clique appreciate EREVs like we do).

Ford needs more fuel efficient vehicles and small fuel efficient SUVs. Don't waste money trying to play catch up with GM or driving a marketing/education campaign towards EREV, just wait and see if it works out with GM, learn from their mistakes (maybe pick up where they left off if they go under), and build a Ford EREV eventually. Now isn't the time (Ford obviously can't afford it).

My suggestions:

Retool and bring a few plants back from idle and produce the Focus now (while the others are under development). Ford can't make enough of the Focus and this shortage is hurting sales.

Bring the Fiesta from Europe as fast as possible. Glad to see Ford doing this.

Bring the Ka from Europe, but redesign it and rename it, the newer design sucks compared to the original. Even people in Europe hate the new look.

The CMax is a nice practical car, but I don't think it would be a success here. So skip it and start production on the Kuga (again, rename it... it means Plague in several languages) from the concept, it's a small and efficient platform, and it's what people want, efficient crossovers. The Kuga would make a perfect EREV later on.
 

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The last thing Ford needs is to jump into the EREV/BEV/FCV bandwagon. Nobody wants those cars. Most people don't even know how they work or their advantages. My dad works for Ford and when I bring up the Volt, he can't think of anything but a golf-cart. People like him are hard to convince, and there are a lot of them out there.


If you were the CEO of Ford you would have just sealed Ford's fate. The measures you brought up will of course be done because they are so obvious. However, they are not enough to move the company in a position to continue to be a leader in the automotive industry. They are so far behind in small car design it's not even funny. If they don't do what GM is doing by leapfrogging the competition into the new age of the electrification of the automobile then they will be soon be joining Chrysler as a once great American car company that is soon to be extinct.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Boy, you can't wait to get Tesla and Fisker sold off. Are you working on commission? LOL
I am more interested in getting Ford back on track. I don't think anyone here really understands the impact to the US economy if one of the big 3 collapses. I already think Chrysler is terminal, and Ford is in critical condition and requires a transplant.
 
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