FordFusionClub.com banner
1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,337 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://info.detnews.com/newsblog/index.cfm?category=Ford
Ford Stand Shows Why The Company Is In Trouble

Ford has the biggest stand at the North American International Auto Show behind GM, and I was looking for clues as to why this giant of the industry was in such big trouble. After all Ford lost $3.3 billion in North America in the first nine months of 2006 as part of a $7 billion overall loss. For the same period in 2005, Ford lost $1.3 billion in North America. Mind boggling numbers. Ford's U.S. market share has plunged to 16 per cent from 25 per cent in 1995. It has also mortgaged the future with huge loans backed by most of the company's physical assets. How has Ford come to this? The answer must surely be in the product. As you walk on to the Ford stand, there's the Ford Edge, a smart looking medium sized SUV, flanked by a Ford Fusion. There's also a new Ford Focus, which looks different from the European version of the same name. Why does Ford squander scarce resources making its own Focus when there's a perfectly good one already on the roads of Europe? And come to think of it, Ford Europe is about to launch its new Mondeo, a mid-sized sedan that looks tailor-made for Americans as well. The Ford stand also shows off all the pickup trucks, including the class leading F-150. These have been huge profit earners in the past, but that's wobbling now as concerns over the environment mean the public is demanding better fuel economy, and smaller vehicles. It's when you look at the rest of the stand though that the doubts mount. The Lincoln and Mercury stands are packed full of bland vehicles, mostly badge engineered from mainstream Fords, and which don't have the brand power to compel premium prices. They probably end up selling as commodities, and taking sales away from Ford itself. If Ford truly needs more from its premium brands, perhaps it should concentrate more resources on its foreign firms. Mazda, (Ford owns about 33 per cent), full of great new ideas and high quality workmanship, is showing off the new CX-9, an Audi Q7 look-alike. There's the fabulous concept sports car, the Ryuga, with a door hinged down the centre of the roof. Volvo unveiled its XC-60 concept compact SUV, while its S80 big sedan is ready to roll into American dealerships. Land Rover has a new compact SUV, the LR2, while hidden away in a corner is the magnificent new Jaguar concept, the C-XF. Today, the C-XF is on a revolving stand, and whichever way you look at it, the car is beautiful. The rear end looks like an Aston Martin, as the roof sweeps down to the trunk. This does prompt a possible criticism. Will the headroom in the back be adequate? The car looks like a coupe because the rear door handles are hidden. Apparently they snap into view when you approach. The Jaguar C-XF is as handsome in the metal as in the pictures, with its jet fighter grille, and Maserati-reminiscent front end. Ford's only memorable action at the show was to announce a deal with Microsoft to add hi-tech gizmos to its cars. I can't help thinking that means a lot more cars breaking down with electronic failures, as the onboard computer suggests you switch off and start over. New Ford CEO Alan Mulally has the power of life and death over these brands. Which ones will still be standing when he has finished his work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
I agree, poor reporting and most of all news most folk already know about. This constant death drum that some like to beat about Ford is just a joke. Ford isn't going anywhere, but up. They will pull out of this I'm confident. Besides, it the North American market they are loosing money in, not Europe or Asia or even South American...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,337 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ford has dropped from 25% to 16% market share, so no, they aren't going up ;)

That being said, the reporter has a point - why is ford doing separate development on the Focus here, when they already have one ready-made in Europe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
[quote author=Scape2 link=topic=66500.msg1140834#msg1140834 date=1168368786]
I agree, poor reporting and most of all news most folk already know about. This constant death drum that some like to beat about Ford is just a joke. Ford isn't going anywhere, but up. They will pull out of this I'm confident. Besides, it the North American market they are loosing money in, not Europe or Asia or even South American...
[/quote]
Scape,
The reporting may have been alarming, as to content, but I don't think it was poor reporting at all. Ford is in trouble, deep doo-doo. That's why Alan Mulally was brought on board: To Fix Or Repair Daily. Isn't the North American market the largest of all? Shouldn't Ford be doing better in NA? Why isn't it? Aren't the Fusion and Edge the first really "new" models Ford has come out with in the last five years?

We own three Ford products at present and have owned many more in the past. I think there just are a lot of Ford owners who wear rose-colored glasses; refuse to see the handwriting on the wall, which ain't very pretty. Big changes are clearly in order, IMHO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Ford being in trouble has long been established. The problem with this reporting is that it is providing only half baked information. There is more to bringing a Euro spec vehicle to the US than just importing it. It has to conform to US standards which are different. Also, the reporter did not bother to do any research into any of these things or he would have known that Ford and Mulally have ALREADY STATED that they will be synching the European and American designs in the next round of development. He also fails to mention that the F150 is STILL the best selling vehicle in America. Ford has been caught without enough product to satisfy current market conditions. That much is true. However, they were already developing more car platforms before the SUV sales declined. The timing was off but they weren't just resting on their laurels either. Contrary to what everyone wants to believe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
[quote author=NaplesBill link=topic=66500.msg1141197#msg1141197 date=1168378439]
There is more to bringing a Euro spec vehicle to the US than just importing it. It has to conform to US standards which are different. Also, the reporter did not bother to do any research into any of these things or he would have known that Ford and Mulally have ALREADY STATED that they will be synching the European and American designs in the next round of development. He also fails to mention that the F150 is STILL the best selling vehicle in America. Ford has been caught without enough product to satisfy current market conditions. That much is true. However, they were already developing more car platforms before the SUV sales declined. The timing was off but they weren't just resting on their laurels either. Contrary to what everyone wants to believe.
[/quote]
I, for one, am tired of hearing that the F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. The largest market is mid-size sedans, by far. Where does Ford rank in that market, discounting fleet sales. Third? Fourth, fifth or lower? Boz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Whether you are tired of hearing it or not it still stands true. The F150 is not the biggest problem at Ford regardless of how many people want it to be. The reliance on SUV sales is a much bigger problem. Ford HAS figured this out and is working to rectify it. I am quite sure they will be successful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
[quote author=NaplesBill link=topic=66500.msg1141259#msg1141259 date=1168380162]
Whether you are tired of hearing it or not it still stands true. The F150 is not the biggest problem at Ford regardless of how many people want it to be. The reliance on SUV sales is a much bigger problem. Ford HAS figured this out and is working to rectify it. I am quite sure they will be successful.
[/quote]
Bill,
I don't doubt the truth about the F-150 contained in your words. But billions of dollars in losses annually tells me that Ford is not competitive in the full-size, mid-size and compact car markets; that Ford did not respond quickly enough to the dip in the SUV market. Given its history and resources, the company should not be in the condition that it now finds itself. If I were Mulally -- and certainly I'm not and he didn't seek my advice -- I would dump the Mercury brand and be done with it. The Lincoln brand needs to be enhanced from top to bottom. Either its a luxury car, regardless of size, or it isn't. Boz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Boz,

Everything you are saying is already being done. The Zephyr is the first step in the Lincoln rebirth. The Mercury brand is in jeopardy and has been before. There is plenty of information available on the steps Ford has been taking. Also, just an fyi in case you didn't know, but Ford announced 2006 as the year of the car in mid 2005. They were developing and planning for improvements in the mid-size segment before the downturn in SUV sales. The bigger culprit in all this financial mess is that the "employee pricing for everyone" crap from 2005 has led to a lot of the losses for fiscal year 2006. It was a forced decision to offer that thanks to GM and Chrysler. Also, I don't care if Ford retains the #2 spot. I really don't think it matters as long as they become profitable again. It will be better if they produce less cars if it means the quality will be higher. Finally, at your age you should remember the 70s and the financial woes of GM, Chrysler and Ford back then. A ton of layoffs, etc. There is no reason to believe that Ford can't compete.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
[quote author=NaplesBill link=topic=66500.msg1141316#msg1141316 date=1168382057]
Boz,

... Also, I don't care if Ford retains the #2 spot. I really don't think it matters as long as they become profitable again. It will be better if they produce less cars if it means the quality will be higher.

Finally, at your age you should remember the 70s and the financial woes of GM, Chrysler and Ford back then. A ton of layoffs, etc. There is no reason to believe that Ford can't compete.
[/quote]
Bill,
Foul! "At your age ... ."

Yup, I remember those days. It's also a little-known fact that Ford outsold Chevy in 1957 even though the ratio of '57s on the road is about 100-to-1, in favor of the Chevys.

Nope, I don't personally care is Ford is No. 3, No. 4, or No. 5 in U.S. sales as long as they produce quality cars that are a good value for the money invested. The stockholders are the ones who should be the most worried about the company's profitability.

I have no doubt that Ford will be around for a long time but it might have to begin divesting itself of some of its losers and start discontinuing makes and models that are money losers.

If I were a Ford honcho I would have an entire battery of people sitting at computers all day long reading public comments on forums like this one, blogs, YouTube, everything on the Internet just to gauge unsolicited public opinions, what the public is really thinking and saying about Ford products.

Yes, they already do this to a certain extent, but there is a lot more to be learned in cyberspace and it is there for the asking (or looking). Of course they might want to discount my opinion for a few more months. LOL. Boz, hopeful in Salisbury (Smallsberry), MD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
910 Posts
The seperate development point is a great one. The mondeo should definetly be brought to the states. If not as a ford then rebadge it as a mercury and kill of the milan (milan buyers can go to the mkz) they also need to consider making some of these concept cars a reality (interceptor, the lincoln concept) in my opinion the best thing ford showed at the show was the Jag (it was actually my favorite car of the show overall) they definetly have issues to attend to maybe not elsewhere but stateside certainly. For one the cars in europe tend to be superior to the ones we get here, that needs to change.

And as for this Gates/windows deal its cool I suppose but alot of this stuff is already available anyway and restarting your car like your pc could be annoying. The reliability of fords (already mediocre quite often) could very well go south (to volkswagen territory) all the gadgets are cool but they cost more and break more often then not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
[quote author=otaku link=topic=66500.msg1141577#msg1141577 date=1168391443]
The seperate development point is a great one. The mondeo should definetly be brought to the states. If not as a ford then rebadge it as a mercury and kill of the milan (milan buyers can go to the mkz) they also need to consider making some of these concept cars a reality (interceptor, the lincoln concept) in my opinion the best thing ford showed at the show was the Jag (it was actually my favorite car of the show overall) they definetly have issues to attend to maybe not elsewhere but stateside certainly. For one the cars in europe tend to be superior to the ones we get here, that needs to change.

And as for this Gates/windows deal its cool I suppose but alot of this stuff is already available anyway and restarting your car like your pc could be annoying. The reliability of fords (already mediocre quite often) could very well go south (to volkswagen territory) all the gadgets are cool but they cost more and break more often then not.
[/quote]
Otaku,
I've been battling -- and mostly losing the fight -- since 1980 when my newspaper went to a mainframe computer for the newsroom. Our V6 2007 SEL AWD Fusion already has too many computers, as far as I'm concerned. A few more is not what I, or the world, needs.

According to third-party, independent surveys, the 2006 Fusion did better than Toyota and Honda on the reliability chart. That was a pleasant surprise and was a factor in our buying decision.

Even so, in hindsight (which is always 20-20) we should have bought an I4, 5-speed stick shift because the V6 AWD combo is only delivering 13 mpg city for the first month, 713 miles. Now that's a computer that needs a reboot if there ever was one.

Having cried crocodile tears over seeing Microsoft's blue screen of death more times than I care to admit, I am not the least bit interested in a Windows-Ford marriage. Ford has enough if its own problems without inheriting a whole new batch of them from Bill Gates. Talk about your horror stories! Boz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,337 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
[quote author=NaplesBill link=topic=66500.msg1141316#msg1141316 date=1168382057]
Boz,

Everything you are saying is already being done. The Zephyr is the first step in the Lincoln rebirth.
[/quote]

The Zephyr/MKZ is basically a rebadge with some additional features - NOT acceptable for a luxury brand. Sure luxury brands often use the same underlying platforms of other cars, but not anything beyond that!

More to the point in my opinion is that the age of FWD is over. Ford needs to realize that. More and more AWD and RWD models are coming out, and not only is Ford missing this, but going MORE to FWD (Lincoln Zephyr). And Ford's AWD is basically FWD. They need a RWD/Full Time AWD platform, which they don't have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
[quote author=urnews link=topic=66500.msg1141248#msg1141248 date=1168379869]
[quote author=NaplesBill link=topic=66500.msg1141197#msg1141197 date=1168378439]
There is more to bringing a Euro spec vehicle to the US than just importing it. It has to conform to US standards which are different. Also, the reporter did not bother to do any research into any of these things or he would have known that Ford and Mulally have ALREADY STATED that they will be synching the European and American designs in the next round of development. He also fails to mention that the F150 is STILL the best selling vehicle in America. Ford has been caught without enough product to satisfy current market conditions. That much is true. However, they were already developing more car platforms before the SUV sales declined. The timing was off but they weren't just resting on their laurels either. Contrary to what everyone wants to believe.
[/quote]
I, for one, am tired of hearing that the F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. The largest market is mid-size sedans, by far. Where does Ford rank in that market, discounting fleet sales. Third? Fourth, fifth or lower? Boz
[/quote]

Sorry, more picup trucks are sold in the U.S. market than mid-size sedans. Ford also sells about as many F-150's as Toyota or Honda sell ugly Camcords combined!! Get your facts straight, please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
[quote author=MZ6ZoomZoom link=topic=66500.msg1142358#msg1142358 date=1168439134]
[quote author=NaplesBill link=topic=66500.msg1141316#msg1141316 date=1168382057]
Boz,

Everything you are saying is already being done. The Zephyr is the first step in the Lincoln rebirth.
[/quote]

The Zephyr/MKZ is basically a rebadge with some additional features - NOT acceptable for a luxury brand. Sure luxury brands often use the same underlying platforms of other cars, but not anything beyond that!

More to the point in my opinion is that the age of FWD is over. Ford needs to realize that. More and more AWD and RWD models are coming out, and not only is Ford missing this, but going MORE to FWD (Lincoln Zephyr). And Ford's AWD is basically FWD. They need a RWD/Full Time AWD platform, which they don't have.
[/quote]

That is not true at all. The Zephyr has major differences in the interior and in ride and handling. It is every bit a Lincoln in the areas that matter. It's all in the details. The Zephyr is as much a Lincoln as any Lexus is not just a Toyota.

As far as the AWD argument, I'm not buying it. I chose not to get AWD because I don't want or need it. Also, the AWD system in the MKZ is perfectly suitable to the task it's designed for. FWD is not dead by any means. If I wanted a pure sports car then I would like RWD. For everyday driving I prefer FWD hands down. I understand how you feel as an enthusiast but that does not make it good business sense. Also, the 2007 Fusion is the only vehicle in it's class to offer AWD IIRC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
[quote author=MZ6ZoomZoom link=topic=66500.msg1142358#msg1142358 date=1168439134]
[quote author=NaplesBill link=topic=66500.msg1141316#msg1141316 date=1168382057]
Boz,

Everything you are saying is already being done. The Zephyr is the first step in the Lincoln rebirth.
[/quote]

The Zephyr/MKZ is basically a rebadge with some additional features - NOT acceptable for a luxury brand. Sure luxury brands often use the same underlying platforms of other cars, but not anything beyond that![/quote]

So, the ES 350 doesn't have the same engine, transmission, etc. as the Camry?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
[quote author=otaku link=topic=66500.msg1141577#msg1141577 date=1168391443]
The seperate development point is a great one. The mondeo should definetly be brought to the states. If not as a ford then rebadge it as a mercury and kill of the milan (milan buyers can go to the mkz) they also need to consider making some of these concept cars a reality (interceptor, the lincoln concept) in my opinion the best thing ford showed at the show was the Jag (it was actually my favorite car of the show overall) they definetly have issues to attend to maybe not elsewhere but stateside certainly. For one the cars in europe tend to be superior to the ones we get here, that needs to change.

And as for this Gates/windows deal its cool I suppose but alot of this stuff is already available anyway and restarting your car like your pc could be annoying. The reliability of fords (already mediocre quite often) could very well go south (to volkswagen territory) all the gadgets are cool but they cost more and break more often then not.
[/quote]

This is exactly why I feel this journalist did a lousy job on this article. You wouldn't be making these statements if he had bothered to inform you that Ford has already COMMITTED to synching the Mazda6/Fusion/Milan/MKZ/Mondeo to a unified platform when the MZ6 and Mondeo are redesigned next. The same goes for the Focus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
[quote author=NaplesBill link=topic=66500.msg1142384#msg1142384 date=1168440623]
[/quote]

This is exactly why I feel this journalist did a lousy job on this article. You wouldn't be making these statements if he had bothered to inform you that Ford has already COMMITTED to synching the Mazda6/Fusion/Milan/MKZ/Mondeo to a unified platform when the MZ6 and Mondeo are redesigned next. The same goes for the Focus.
[/quote]
Bill,
Are you saying the 2008 U.S. and European Focuses will share the same platform? From what I have read, only two models, a four-door and a two-door sedan will initially be offered, no hatchbacks, no station wagon. Does that jive with your information? Boz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Boz,

The 2008 Focus was already well into it's redesign before the unified platform decision was made. The next Focus platform will be in the US first then will be used in Europe. I forgot about Volvo and Jaguar too. I think it's the 60 series Volvo but one of them will also be part of the Fusion platform. The Jaguar X-Type is already on the Mondeo platform.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top