I was reading the latest issue of Automobile magazine yesterday and
came across a column blasting American auto companies for providing
much better cars to the European market than they provide to the
American market. One of their prime examples was the Focus (totally
different car in Europe).
What really caught my eye was the assertion that Ford engineering no
longer has the expertise to design an automatic transmission in-house.
I recall Nasser eliminated thousands of engineering jobs. My personal
experience in engineering was that companies eliminate engineering
jobs with no concern for whether or not they retain critical skills.
Management's answer is to hire an outside company to provide needed
skills. Of course, that means hiring someone with far less skill in a
specialized technical area compared to the in-house engineer. This
may have something to do with the poor reliability of certain
transmissions as reported often in this newsgroup.
Guess that's why we pay top management so much money. They have to
make these really difficult decisions that jeopardize the future of
End of rant!
Why do you think this is true? Most Ford automatics are designed in
house, the main exceptions being the US manuals (various, ZF, Mazda,
Aisin Warner), the 6 speed automatic used in Navigators and Explorers
(ZF), and the 6 speed auto used in V-6 Fusions and Milans (Aisin
Warner). The heavy duty truck transmissions are a Ford design. The
automatics used in Mustangs, Town Cars, Grand Marquis, and Crown
Victorias are a Ford design. The FWD automatic used in 4 cylinder
Fusions, Milians, Foci, and Escapes is a Ford/Mazda design. The FWD
six speed used in Taurus, Sable, Taurus X, Edge, MKZ, and MKX is a
joint Ford/GM design (tailored to each others product line).
Do you think BMW, or Daimler, or Toyota, or Nissan are incompetent
because they all buy transmissions from outside suppliers (BMW and
Daimler buy many ZF transmissions, Toyota buys mostly from Aisin
Warner, Nissan from Jatco, etc., etc., etc.).
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