Fords That Could Save Ford Now
Going up against Japan and Europe, Ford does very well overseas by building
cars that people love and buy, with good looks, performance and reliability.
So why not here in the US..? What is wrong with FORD USA..?
I don't know what the hell is wrong with them. They are so bad I
just bought another Ford a couple of weeks ago to keep the Mustang
and Ranger I had company.
Parked it next to the Pontiac and Chevy.
I agree with you that they need to introduce some new models.
About the only thing exciting in the whole line is the Mustang.
There cars don't have to be all 'exciting'... but at least interesting.
The excellent Fusion isn't an 'exciting' car, but it's a great value and
very competent. It stands up well to the Camry and Accords of the world.
The Freestyle is very good too, but it's dull arse boring and I think it's
failing because people can get as good a people/cargo mover with someting
more interesting from other makers.
I really don't know who is out of touch Ford or me.
I have driven several Ford products in Europe. The last was a plain jane
rental Ford Taurus in England ( I don't know what it was badged). It was a
completely different car. Stick, plenty of torque, tight suspension, decent
seats. There was no comparison to the American Taurus. I imagine the
American equivalent would have been the SHO which Ford dropped and when they
offered it wanted $6-10K dollars more the that model. All of the
manufactures, except BMW, VW and Nissan, selling in the US use the same
formula. Fords, GM, DC, Toyota and Honda all seem to "soften up" the ride,
detune the handling, offer sticks on only underpowered or specialty models
and add lots of gadgets. What do the marketers think we are? Do they think
they wouldn't be able to sell a Euro handling car in the US. If I can't
afford a well tuned suspension (BMW) then I will choose reliability (Toyota
or Honda). I say that owning two Fords at the current time. I would purchase
another Ford if they offered a 4 door sedan with stick and European type
suspension as a basic model (which they are able to do overseas). The
Australian models are interesting but I really don't need 300+ horsepower
and a car that stands out.
You, of course, are correct. The car I rented was a 1999 Mondeo
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Mondeo ). In the US it was called the
Contour. I have rented US Contours of that era and IMO they seemed "tamer"
in power and suspension than typical Euro cars.Looking at wiki Ford Contour
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Contour ) I see that Manual transmision
was available probably just not in the rental fleet. I have not owned a
Taurus or Contour.
The Mondeo seemed like a Taurus to me probably because of the Jelly Bean
shape and the narrow UK roads made everything look bigger :).
Even the cars that are offered for sale in the US by the Japanese and
Europeans are not the same as those they offer in their own countries. The
fast majority of Japanese and European cars sold in the US have automatic
trannys and more standard equipment. Americans simply do not want standard
shift cars. The only Americas that buy standard shift cars are those that
buy small cars and can not afford the extra cost of an automatic. Even then
only around 15% of buyers buy one with a standard tranny. Ford offered
manuals in the Lincoln Marks and the LS and they languished in dealer
showrooms. Several times Ford offered some of its European and Austrian
cars to American buyers over the years and they too sat in the show rooms.
America is not like Europe or Japan and the American drivers are not like
the European or Japanese drivers, in their wants and needs.
I don't need a SUV
I don't need a truck
I don't need an econobox
The reincarnated T-Bird is/was too small for my 6' 2" frame
The Mustang is too small for me.
The 500 is too corporate blah looking.
The family won't ride in anything that looks like a cop car or attracts
Lincoln dealers have their heads up their asses, at least the ones I've
stopped in to check out.
I won't knowingly buy a new car that requires $800+ of labor and the purge /
recharge of the A/C system to replace a $25 heater core.
Compared to other vehicles Fords always seem underpowered.
Factory base sound systems suck. Factory premium sound systems break too
I bought too many Fords where the sheet metal seemed barely thicker than a
Considering all manufactures use the same gauge steel, that must the secrete
as to how all of Fords vehicles are made to meet a frontal crash standard
that is five miles and hour HIGHER than ALL other manufactures vehicles.
All other manufactures build to meet the federal standard of 35 MPH front,
and 30 rear Ford builds all of its vehicles to a 40 MPH standard for
frontal crashes and 35 for rear crashes, with exception of the CV and GM,
they are built to a 50 MPH standard, front and rear. ;)
Gee, they have enough brands (Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo, Astin-Martin,
Range-Rover) that they should be able to market cars to just about everyone.
I think if they import some of these cars, they will sell them. Look what
happened when they started to sell the Mondeo in the US as the
Contour/Mystique. It was one of the top 10 cars for 2 or 3 years and a Car
and Driver 10Best for several years. All with very little advertising.
Look what Ford is doing to the Taurus: It is selling very well to the public
at dealers. Unfortuantely for Ford, it is at used Car dealers and at Hertz,
because Ford no longer sells the Taurus to the general public (only through
Ford has to figure out what people will buy and then build it.
One can still buy a 2006 Taurus. The only manufacture that sells more
vehicles annually than Ford is GM Apparently Ford is doing a much better
job of building vehicles buyer want to buy than all twenty some of the other
brands being sold in the US
I don't know about that. Ford is closing the Atlanta plant, the only plant
assembling the Taurus. Based on reports I've read Ford will build 2006s
until the end of the calendar year when that plant shuts down. I doubt Ford
would spend the big bucks needed to certify the car as a 2007 just to build
a few thousand copies
70,000 to 80,000 2007 models will be built. Final order date for 2006
models was 2/7/06, last production 3/31/06. 2007 production was slated
to start 4/3/06. Some other 2007 models started production in May: the
Five Hundred, Montego, Escape, Mariner, Freestar, and Focus.
By JERRY GARRETT - The New York Times - Published: May 7, 2006
FORD has been trying to bury the Taurus, but like the Undead in a zombie
movie the car keeps keeps rising from the grave.
The euthanasia process has been made more difficult by the fact that the
Taurus, which was expected to be comatose by now, is still showing up
for work. Is it possible that this old warhorse remains Ford's
best-selling passenger car?
"I guess it is," said George Pipas, a company spokesman, when asked if
the Taurus's estimated 71,000 sales in the first four months of 2006
meant that it was still the most popular Ford car.
What's more, the Taurus has been available only to fleet customers,
including rental agencies, since Jan. 1. "Taurus has been particularly
popular with our business travelers," said Richard Broome, vice
president for corporate affairs at Hertz. "It's been a reliable
workhorse for us."
Taurus sales totaled 180,000 last year, but only 15 percent went to
retail customers. With a sticker price of $21,830 nicely equipped, most
appear to have been sold.
"They don't stay on our lots very long either," said Mr. Broome of
Hertz, whose company sells used models after they are retired from the
rental fleet. Hertz Car Sales now offers 2006 models in the $14,000 to
$15,000 range and 2005's for $11,000 to $13,000. Since Hertz had bought
the cars at a sizable fleet discount, Mr. Broome said they held their
Ford announced last year that it was discontinuing the Taurus and
pulling the plug on the life-support machine: the cars would get no more
styling changes, no more advertising or promotional support, no more
sales incentives, no more retail customers. But while the Sable died
last year, the Taurus soldiers on as a favorite of corporate fleets.
Through the end of April, the car was still being produced at a rate of
more than 18,000 a month at an Atlanta-area plant that is on a list of
factories to be closed. "We will be on that pace, more or less, at least
through the second quarter and into the third quarter," Mr. Pipas said.
"After that, it is T.B.D."
This withering away seems an inglorious end for a midsize sedan that was
the nation's best-selling car in 1992-96 (the last American-brand model
to earn that distinction). The Taurus has now been Ford's sales leader
longer than the celebrated Model T.
Through April, total production of the Taurus, which made its debut in
1985 as an '86 model, neared 7.5 million cars, with the Sable adding
another 2.1 million. As of April 3, all new Tauruses are called 2007 models.
There are no plans for an '08.
My assumption that they would sell just a few thousands was apparently
wrong. I have been out of the fleet business for two years and had no idea
Taurus sales were still that strong. I knew the fleets have always
considered the Taurus a very reliable vehicle, with especially low overall
operating costs. We serviced Taurus' by the thousands
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