Dear Mr. Ford (a modest proposal)

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Dear Mr. Ford:
I see you're having tough times lately. It sounds as if you realise this is mostly because people don't want to buy the cars you've got on
offer. That new Ford Five Hundred sedan, and its Lincoln and Mercury rebadged versions, are total sales flops for you, which has got to be tough to stomach. But it's not all bad news; your salvation, at least from the product side of the equation, is right in your own backyard, in Australia. I mention this because it's been the case for about 12 years now and you and your predecessors seem not to have noticed it.
Bring this car to America, Mr. Ford: http://www.fpv.com.au/index.asp?link_id=2.440 . Definitely bring this high-zoot version, sure, but also bring the more docile Falcons like the ones shown at http://www.ford.com.au/range/falcon/models/ . The 2-doors, the 4-doors, the station wagons, and the utes: http://www.ford.com.au/range/falconute/models . Replace the aging and dangerous Clown Victoria with the Fairlane: http://www.ford.com.au/range/fairlane/models/ , and every cop shop and taxi company will buy your cars because they want to, not because they have to.
Pay attention, Mr. Ford, for this is the important part: *Don't fuck them up*. Bring them intact. Do the bare minimum of changes necessary to comply with North American safety standards: Left-hand driving position, DOT-certified headlights and taillights, sidemarker lights and reflectors, US-spec airbags instead of the safer Australian ones, that kind of thing, sure, but don't downgrade the suspension, brakes, tires or anything else to bring the car in line with what you perceive as "American tastes". Your notions of "American tastes" are obviously in dire need of recalibration, and the machines linked herein are just the tools to do so. Most imperatively, don't replace the world-class 4-litre inline Six engine these cars have with the mediocre V6s you've heretofore foisted on North Americans. Do what is necessary to ensure that quality is built into the cars, not slapped on as an advertising slogan. Bring the cars *intact* from Australia.
You don't sell anything I want, Mr. Ford, and you haven't for decades. But do this, Mr. Ford, and I'll buy one. Maybe even two. I bet I'm not alone.
--DS
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Stern wrote:

I intended this to be in my letter to Ford should the person who was telling me to put up or shut up in the Mustang NG live up to her end and get me a meaningful contact name and address.
If this car were made in a 2 door, I'd buy one right away... as a four door I might have to think about it bit. I would certainly love to drop the drive train into my maverick :)
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Brent P wrote:

Better qualify your statements; they may bring it over with a $60K price tag :/
I would seriously consider a GTO if it weren't so expensive...
nate
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replace "fly" with "com" to reply.
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While I dont agree that Ford hasnt produced anything most people might want, I think Mr Stern has hit the nail on the head.
Ford is trumpeting the relationship with Volvo engineering as a door opener to the Left Coast crowd. And that's fine and a little overdue.
But looking at the Fairlane Line styling against the current mid-size Fusion offering shows where some tastes might split. - If I were buying it would be the Milan, for impression of Front-End styling, alone. - and I like Volvo styling, but I dont like the Fusion. I'll take the 'strayan offering!
I understand Ford's dilemma .. just look at those who think Chrysler's styling is good looking. I dont!
Surely, though, there's a middle ground.
By the way... "Fordvehicles.com" should have a selection intro.... one path would be "Twentysomething Viewer", the other "Adult Viewer"
As it is, what an overglitzed, empty of meaningful content, PIECE OF SHIT!

--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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.

Ooops! Falcon, not Fairlane!
--
Yeh, I'm a Krusty old Geezer, putting up with my 'smartass' is the price
you pay..DEAL with it!
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The very first Mercury Milan was sold to the owner of a 2002 Camry. His tranny went out with 62K on the clock. He and he and his car were taken off the interstate to the local Toyota dealership. I was a dual store, Toyota and Lincoln Mercury. The salesman tried to sell him another Camry but after he saw, drove and priced the top of the line Milan, he drove home in the Milan. ;)
mike hunt

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Dang... i should do my research before I jump on the bandwagon!
Daniel.... look at those MSRP's on there.
The Fairlane runs about 40,000 USD to start.
Sure bringing them in here would bring the price down... but THAT much?

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you pay..DEAL with it!
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The styling was decent...but wow! I don't know what the SVT guys have been doing in the US, but this was awesome! I doubt I'd ever buy one, purely on price, but I've dreamed of a Nissan Skyline coming to the US for years. Same for this car, very nice. And what impresses me the most are the (seemingly) small details in the interior that look fabulous. niiiicccce.
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On Sun, 29 Jan 2006, Jon R Patrick wrote:

You've just nailed a big part of Ford's problem: They've painted themselves into the corner with decades of mediocre-to-crappy products, to such a degree that they could offer a brilliantly-engineered, flawlessly-built car, a true delight to drive that would run perfectly for over a decade, and the instant reaction from North Americans would still be "That much?! For a FORD?!!".
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the sad part is, back in the mid 80's they were truly leading the american manufacturers. 5 of the top 10 best sellers were fords, quality was rising rapidly, and products such as the Tarus and then Explorer were ground-breaking and class-leading.
Mr. Ford had a LONG way to go when he took over from Ghosn, and I'm both encouraged and excited by what they're doing. Personally, I like the Five Hundred, and I'm just about in lust with the Fusion. I drive a Focus, but if TODAY I had to replace it, it wouldn't be with another Focus... I'd want something a bit more refined. Honestly, the Cobalt is a heck of a car, but I'd probably go for a Mazda 3.
That being said, Ford still HAS a long way to go. In a word - unfocused. Right now, they're in the 'fix the product' stage, and that means replacing products into existing niches. You can see from their concepts they're getting ready to expand into new niches or overhaul what they have (the Edge), but there's only so much work a staff can go, and I get the distinct feeling that the SVT staff are idleing right now.
Maybe more later on my thoughts for product placement
(and, yes, Ford, I would move to detroit for a product planning job and a high 6-figure salary! :)) jp
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On Sun, 29 Jan 2006, Jon R Patrick wrote:

Well...H'm. Leading? I guess, contextually, though objectively it would seem that "least backward" would be more accurate than "most forward".

McDonald's sells more Big Macs than Ruth's Chris sells steaks.

It could scarcely have gone the other direction; there wasn't much room for it to drop!

Think you mean Nasser.
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why, Yes... Yes I did.
Maybe *later* Ford will buy out Renault and take over from Ghosn!
J
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"Jon R Patrick" wrote: | "Daniel J. Stern" wrote in | | >> Mr. Ford had a LONG way to go when he took over from Ghosn | > | > Think you mean Nasser. | > | > | | why, Yes... Yes I did. | | Maybe *later* Ford will buy out Renault and take over from Ghosn! | | J
Actually, Mr. Ford has already tried to hire Mr. Ghosn, who wasn't interested. And to get Mr. Ghosn by corporate acquisition, one would also have to buy Nissan.
john cline ii, who hopes that helps
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I'd like to see that Ford Reflex diesl Hybrid for sale. That would get me to buy a new car. Unfortunately, Ford's marketing department will probably not be interested and use the improvements from that car to make slight improvements to a truck or SUV.
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I know he tried to hire Ghosn... but he'd have to buy Renault, not Nissan. R owns N, and G is going to become the head of R... (isn't that effective this year??)
JP
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Does that explain why the Camry is the number one selling car in the US? ;)
mike hunt

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Given the number of other nameplates they own, there would seem to be a simple solution to that problem.
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Decades ago, Ford used to have the occasional display car in the lobby of the NAAO building and Ford World Headquarters. The ones from Australia were stunning then too and I pondered why the hell they were never seen in America. They did not get it then and they won't now so we won't either.
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Ford did bring over an Aussi car, a two seat convertible and sold it as a Mercury Capri, it was a piece of crap.
mike hunt

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Wasn't any more a piece of crap than any other Ford sold here... just boring, who wants a slow, FWD convertible?
nate
Mike Hunter wrote:

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