Ford's product 2006 concerns

I know they're just starting their 'way forward' plan, but has anyone else gotten a sick feeling as to how Ford's going to do this year? First, I like Ford, and I think they've got themselves and their
relations with their subsidaries much, much better set up than GM has with theirs... but in the shorter term, i think Ford's about to be in trouble.
Specifically, what got me on this today was that the Explorer was 'warmed over' last year and looks exactly the same. Sales are down. GM revises their Tahoe/Yukon and makes them (IMHO) class-leading and sales begin strong.
GM also revises the Suburban and it receives rave reviews. Ford will give us a warmed-over Expedition later in the year. It could be a great truck, but it's coming across more as a refreshing of the vehicle than a redesign.
More importantly, Ford has already released the Fusion, and sales are starting to climb.
That's just about it. While GM has introduced the Solstice and Sky, the G6 convertibles are finally coming out, and Saturn is getting a glut of new product...
Ford waits for the Edge.
But, the final nail that put me over the edge was when I'm reading about the good stuff GM is doing and their excellent interiors, the latest C&D has an article on Ford's new STATION WAGON that's slow, expensive, and has an ugly interior. Oh, and the article on Australian Fords that could "save the company now". Anybody remember the GM experiment that was Holden product to america??
I see GM focused and rolling out good product and after years of stumbling along with only a 4 speed auto tranny (which I hate them for), they're skipping the 5speed entirely and rolling out their 6 speed!! GOOD FOR THEM.
Ford has the Fusion.
So, thoughts? I'm quite concerned that this year will end up brutal for Ford. JP
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Gee, wonder how it happened that the Holden platform was handed over to Domestic GM designers and turned into a Blah POS?!!!! Go figger!
Will Ford Exec's allow this.. who knows!

Uh, YEH.. finally! After years of leaning on engine technology and owner loyalty to sell their vehicles. And expecting those named to accept crap interiors and bland design for Chebby ...

And Five Hundred .. see above rant on Chebby...

Maybe, maybe not. If they upgraded feature function and interiors coupled with exterior warmover, it would work... if not.....
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I really don't understand your comments about the Tahoe/Yukkon. To me they look like a three year old Expedition. The chassis is just a warned over version of the old crap and is no where near as good as the Expedition's. The only advantage they have is the availability of a more powerful enigne. When one of the major features in you ads is a power release on the second row seeats, you have to wonder what is so wonderful about the design (and the seats are only "power release," you still ahve to manually fold them back). I look at the Tahoe/Yukon and wonder what genius at GM decided to scrap the new RWD car program for this turkey.
Ed
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Well, to each his own opinion... but the chassis is new, although to accelerate delivery they went with a simplified rear suspension. In pictures the trucks aren't that attractive, but in person they're gorgeous and look nothing like the 'warmed over' Expedition. From my limited experience they ride better than the ford, and their engines are top-notch for smoothness and fuel-efficiency. And then there's the interiors. GM has finally produced a great interior, that's light-years beyond Ford.
Again, YMMV, but i'm supremely impressed with them.
More specifically, unless there's a lot more to the revised Ford suv's coming out, I think they're going to be VERY poor sellers. For my money, right now, I'd definitely buy the chevy over the ford.
JP
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Like you say, to each his own. I have the exact opposite opinion of the looks. In person they are extra plain. I believe the Expeditions looks "boring", and the Tahoe looks like a bad copy. The Tahoe interiors look nice, but the seats suck after a few minutes (typical GM design, looks over functiuon). There is nothing new enough about the "new" Tahoe to justify the money GM spent. They could have refreshed the interior and exterior sheet metal on the prior model and accumplished just as much AND had money left over to build a decent RWD car. If GM was in great shape, the money they blew on this half baked redesign might be justified, but in the end, the money would have been better spent on other products. Too bad Ford can't put the GM engines in their chassis. Then you might have something.
Ed http://home.earthlink.net/~cewhite3 /
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never say cant... or wont. Not too far off.
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