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Old 08-19-2009, 06:59 AM   #1
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The Confessions of a Ford Employee

I really hate to post this because there are so many rumors floating around on the net about the release and updates of certain models. However, it's nice to sit around and think about what future holds. A friend and I stopped in at a local dealer yesterday evening to look at Mustangs and ended up having an hour long conversation about where Ford is headed.

#1 - First, because this is so important to many of us here, he claimed the RS's US arrival will depend greatly upon whether or not Ford keeps receiving customer inquiries. He usually gets a few questions a day about it and we're in a fairly rural area. Hopefully, this is an indication that the larger dealers are receiving even more requests.

#2 - Ford has huge plans for the 50th Anniversary Mustang. It's not entirely out of the question that an AWD platform will be adopted and the twin-turbo 3.5 will be an option. I honestly hope this doesn't happen. All hope is not lost for the Mustang purists such as myself. A highly tuned version of the 6.2l Raptor engine will supposedly be offered soon to allow the 'Stang to surpass the Camaro and Challenger.

#3 - The Flex will receive the 3.5 twin-turbo.

#4 - The Mondeo will be out within the next couple of years. To me, this one doesn't make sense. I don't think there is a place for it. We already have the Fuzion and the Taurus. I'm not sure what kind of market Ford expects to capture by bringing it to the states.

#5 - A fully optioned Fiesta will be slightly more than a non-optioned Focus and will likely be available starting in March 2010. I personally cannot wait for this car. I think they have a lot of potential.





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Old 08-19-2009, 07:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X6StringerX View Post
I really hate to post this because there are so many rumors floating around on the net about the release and updates of certain models. However, it's nice to sit around and think about what future holds. A friend and I stopped in at a local dealer yesterday evening to look at Mustangs and ended up having an hour long conversation about where Ford is headed.

#1 - First, because this is so important to many of us here, he claimed the RS's US arrival will depend greatly upon whether or not Ford keeps receiving customer inquiries. He usually gets a few questions a day about it and we're in a fairly rural area. Hopefully, this is an indication that the larger dealers are receiving even more requests.

#2 - Ford has huge plans for the 50th Anniversary Mustang. It's not entirely out of the question that an AWD platform will be adopted and the twin-turbo 3.5 will be an option. I honestly hope this doesn't happen. All hope is not lost for the Mustang purists such as myself. A highly tuned version of the 6.2l Raptor engine will supposedly be offered soon to allow the 'Stang to surpass the Camaro and Challenger.

#3 - The Flex will receive the 3.5 twin-turbo.

#4 - The Mondeo will be out within the next couple of years. To me, this one doesn't make sense. I don't think there is a place for it. We already have the Fuzion and the Taurus. I'm not sure what kind of market Ford expects to capture by bringing it to the states.

#5 - A fully optioned Fiesta will be slightly more than a non-optioned Focus and will likely be available starting in March 2010. I personally cannot wait for this car. I think they have a lot of potential.





Discuss.
Regarding #2: I have no problem at all with the 3.5 Ecoboost. That is a sick engine. The AWD would be sweet, too. The Raptor engine will be there for those who want the V8 I'm sure. I think this plan would easily put it over the top. We can't expect the Camaro to sit around like it is for long. They will definitely end up with AWD and I would imagine a turbo version of the V6 and an even more powerful V8. Ford would be wise to try to beat them to those technologies in the ponycar platform.

#3: That's already here.

#4: Gas prices will be going through the roof again soon. It's predicted to be sometime in summer 2010-early 2011, but this time we will see $300/BBL unlike the $150/BBL oil prices we saw before. Expect prices to hit anywhere from $7-$9/gallon. The Mondeo with the ecoboost will fit nicely into the luxury car market at a time when fuel prices dominate buying rationale. I think this is a very good move personally. They will have to compete with cars like diesel VW CCs and others that get killer gas mileage. They need a plan and this is probably their start.

Thanks for the info kickdown.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:15 AM   #3
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#4: Gas prices will be going through the roof again soon. It's predicted to be sometime in summer 2010-early 2011, but this time we will see $300/BBL unlike the $150/BBL oil prices we saw before. Expect prices to hit anywhere from $7-$9/gallon. The Mondeo with the ecoboost will fit nicely into the luxury car market at a time when fuel prices dominate buying rationale. I think this is a very good move personally. They will have to compete with cars like diesel VW CCs and others that get killer gas mileage. They need a plan and this is probably their start.
I guess my biggest concern with this is that Ford may be trying to do too much in such a short period of time. With the economy in its current state, new vehicles are moving slow. Introducing more models that will compete with what they're already trying to sell just doesn't sit well with me. My personal opinion is that Ford should drop Mercury and cease offering country specific vehicles. There is no need to have both the Ford Explorer AND the Mercury Mountaineer. Keep the Explorer, and dump the Mercury. They need to sit down and select a car to compete in each segment, offer an entry engine and a performance engine for most of the Fords, but also keep the hybrids, and then sell those cars in every country in which Ford exists.

I haven't put a ton of thought into this. Actually, I'm really just kind of coming up with it as I go, but you get the idea. I think a structure such as the one listed below would be pretty good. The key is to give the consumer 2-3 engine options.

Ultra-Compact:
Ford Fiesta (2.0 and possibly a Diesel) FWD

Compact:
Ford Focus (2.0 and 2.0 Turbo) FWD

Mid-Size:
Ford Fusion (Hybrid, 3.5 and 3.5 Eco) FWD/AWD

Full-Size:
Ford Taurus (3.5 and 3.5 Eco) FWD/AWD

Sport:
Mustang (3.5, and 6.2) RWD

Trucks:
Ranger - Redesign (3.5 and Diesel) RWD/4WD
F-150 (5.4 replacement, 6.2, Diesel) RWD/4WD
F-250 (5.4 replacement, 6.2, Diesel) RWD/4WD
F-350 (6.2 and Diesel) RWD/4WD

SUVs/Crossovers:
Escape (Hybrid, 3.5, and Diesel) FWD/4WD
Edge (3.5 and 3.5 Eco) FWD/AWD
Explorer - Share Ranger Redesign (3.5, 3.5 Eco, and 5.4) RWD/AWD/4WD
Expedition (5.4 replacement, 6.2, and Diesel) RWD/AWD/4WD

Lincoln:
Keep current lineup, but only offer the highest engine option of its Ford counterpart.

Notice how many of the vehicles share the same engine? The 3.5 can cover a lot of ground and would eliminate the need for the current 4.0 that is offered in the Explorer, Ranger, Mustang, etc. The 4.6/5.4 have also run their course. Eliminate them both entirely and possibly use the new 5.0 in place of the 5.4. Offer a small and efficient diesel for the Fiesta, Escape, and Ranger, but also offer a larger diesel for the F-150, 250, and 350.

I realize it's not as simple as just snapping your fingers and making it happen, but I think Ford should really push making things more modular.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:35 AM   #4
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I agree about the Mondeo. We've already got cars in its class. Focus RS, however, I'd knife at least two unwanted relatives for.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:50 AM   #5
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The fiesta is a great car and already been made in to a Rally car and soon to be Super2000 rally car, hopefully it will boost Ford's sales in the US as the fiesta in europe has helped loads, infact Ford Europe have actually started making profit once again which could also be down to the problems GM have had on both sides of the Alantic
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X6StringerX View Post
I really hate to post this because there are so many rumors floating around on the net about the release and updates of certain models. However, it's nice to sit around and think about what future holds. A friend and I stopped in at a local dealer yesterday evening to look at Mustangs and ended up having an hour long conversation about where Ford is headed.

#1 - First, because this is so important to many of us here, he claimed the RS's US arrival will depend greatly upon whether or not Ford keeps receiving customer inquiries. He usually gets a few questions a day about it and we're in a fairly rural area. Hopefully, this is an indication that the larger dealers are receiving even more requests.

#2 - Ford has huge plans for the 50th Anniversary Mustang. It's not entirely out of the question that an AWD platform will be adopted and the twin-turbo 3.5 will be an option. I honestly hope this doesn't happen. All hope is not lost for the Mustang purists such as myself. A highly tuned version of the 6.2l Raptor engine will supposedly be offered soon to allow the 'Stang to surpass the Camaro and Challenger.

#3 - The Flex will receive the 3.5 twin-turbo.

#4 - The Mondeo will be out within the next couple of years. To me, this one doesn't make sense. I don't think there is a place for it. We already have the Fuzion and the Taurus. I'm not sure what kind of market Ford expects to capture by bringing it to the states.

#5 - A fully optioned Fiesta will be slightly more than a non-optioned Focus and will likely be available starting in March 2010. I personally cannot wait for this car. I think they have a lot of potential.





Discuss.
#1: I think the potential for the RS coming stateside is pretty decent. But I wouldnt expect it for at least 2 years, if that.

#2: An AWD/Eco-boosted Mustang would be hideous. Ford would lose BIG TIME cool points with me if they offered something as non-traditional as that on the Mustang's big celebration. IMO they should offer the GT500 motor in the GTs, along with some Bullitt and GT500 options (ie hood pins, retro wheels, bigger exhaust, strut braces, etc) for minimal $$$ over the base GT cost. Of course this would be a limited run only deal, but thats what Id like to see happen. I can dream, cant I?!?!?! Anyways, I dont see the need to offer the 6.2L in the Stang, the GT500 already owns the SS Camaro and SRT-8 Challenger. Heck, even the base GT is neck and neck with the SS, and readily outhandles it, too. My last issue of Car & Driver picked the Stang out of the 3, as it was all-around the best car in the test, despite being down 100+ hp to the SS.

#3: No big news there. Its Lincoln counterpart will receive the same treatment.

#4: The Mondeo is a solid car, but I agree with you, I dont see where it would fit in here, except maybe in wagon form. The Fusion and Taurus will be Ford's bread and butter sedans, no room for the Mondeo.

#5: The Fiesta and Fiat 500 are, IMO, two of the cars Im most excited to see arrive here in the States. Pretty sad, considering all of the other wicked rides out there, but these 2 cars are what I could afford, and look cool.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:12 AM   #7
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First, remember that Ford dealer employees are NOT Ford employees. In my experience, dealer employees are less informed than I am.

Second, regarding the Mondeo: it has been widely reported that the next Fusion will be merged with the Mondeo platform sometime around 2012 (as a 2013 model?). They won't be selling Fusions alongside Mondeos. My guess is that the merged car will continue to be called Fusion here and Mondeo in Europe even if they are virtually identical.

Finally, a redesigned Explorer is due out in 2010. It will be a unibody construction instead of body on frame, and the Mountaineer will die. Mercury is shifting toward smaller near-luxury offerings. I agree that if they are going to continue selling re-badged Fords, the whole brand should just be discontinued. We'll see if the strategy works.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:26 AM   #8
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9 bucks a gallon?? where's ur source?
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robotaz View Post

#4: Gas prices will be going through the roof again soon. It's predicted to be sometime in summer 2010-early 2011, but this time we will see $300/BBL unlike the $150/BBL oil prices we saw before. Expect prices to hit anywhere from $7-$9/gallon.


I doubt the world economy could survive $300/bbl prices.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:38 AM   #10
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Finally, a redesigned Explorer is due out in 2010. It will be a unibody construction instead of body on frame, and the Mountaineer will die. Mercury is shifting toward smaller near-luxury offerings. I agree that if they are going to continue selling re-badged Fords, the whole brand should just be discontinued. We'll see if the strategy works.
As someone that frequents an Explorer forum and has owned 3 Explorers in the past, a unibody Explorer is a huge disappointment to me. At the same time, I also realize that the average person doesn't use his Explorer like the offroad guys on the forums. It's just sad to see such an iconic Ford, a vehicle that was responsible for propelling them in the early 90's, transform into a car with 10" of ground clearance. I know the Cherokee pulled off the unibody and was still capable offroad, but it also didn't have independent suspension like the Explorer does now. This new Explorer won't be much more than a Taurus wagon unless things have drastically changed since the last time I read the leaked info.
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