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Old 01-11-2006, 04:00 PM   #1
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Ford and small cars???

Ford’s President of the Americas, Mark Fields, kicked off the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show today with a candid – if cagey – assessment of Ford’s place in the US market, and what it needs to do to regain its footing against increasingly popular import automakers.

“It’s time to play offense,” said Fields, though he failed to detail exactly what type of offense Ford will play, aside from emphasizing the importance of brands in an increasingly competitive market. Fields admitted that “we lost our way to our customers,” and went so far as to claim that the days of the Big Three were “long gone” and that US automakers were now looking at a landscape on which a Big Six played, with no assurances of success. “We have to earn our customers every day,” said Fields, though he refused to list just how Ford plans to make the changes needed that will facilitate such earning power, saying that his “Way Forward” plan for Ford will be released on January 23. He did, however, say that domestic automakers could increase their sagging market share, but that first they need to “stabilize.” He also cited the recent success of the Ford Fusion, Ford’s new mid-size sedan, as well as the F-Series truck and the upcoming Ford Edge crossover. And though Ford has no known plans to debut a small production vehicle here in Los Angeles or at the upcoming North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Fields pointed toward small cars, specifically subcompacts, as part of Ford’s strategy for the future, saying that “Small is big in America.”

“Without American Innovation and red white and bold, we would have missed the small car trend,” said Fields. Ford has plans to debut a small concept car named Reflex at next week’s Detroit show, while Toyota, Nissan and Honda have already announced plans for production subcompacts. Fields also took a few veiled shots at Toyota, saying that Toyota “Wants to be an American brand,” and that even though they have made significant strides in appealing to American buyers, “that doesn’t make them an American brand.”

“For Ford, it’s third down and ten,” said Fields. “But we’ve got a pretty good game plan.”


This is sort of a repost, i know there was something about Fields posted before but this one talks about Ford stepping back into the small car trend.

Im also suprised no one posted anything about the reflex concept ford debuted

Is it real? The Reflex is a design study.

What’s the point? Ford wants to demonstrate that small cars – ones smaller than those currently on U.S. roads – can be bold, distinctively American and environmentally friendly. Ford predicts the North American market for small vehicles will grow 5 percent a year through 2008.

The company line: “No one has exploited the American small car,” said J Mays, group vice president of design and chief creative officer at Ford. “It represents a huge growth opportunity, an opportunity we plan to seize. Small is big.”

The view from here: The Reflex is reminiscent of the European-market Puma, a car that is popular with enthusiasts but not sold in the United States. The Reflex would be a worthy, practical substitute.

What makes it tick? Under the hood is a 1.4-liter diesel engine with a hybrid-electric motor assist paired with a six-speed transmission. Ford said it would reach 60 miles an hour in less than seven seconds and up to 65 m.p.g. fuel economy.

Other design features include reverse butterfly doors for entry to the front and back mesh seats. The rear “love seat” accommodates one adult, two small children or the attachable integrated child safety seat. The seatbelts are an experimental Ford design in which the straps across the chest inflate in an accident. Solar panels in the roof power electric fans for interior cooling; solar panels in the headlamps and taillamps recharge the battery pack.

How much, how soon? No plans for production were revealed, though Ford is known to be looking for an entry in the B segment (like the Nissan Versa or Honda Fit) size class.

How’s it look? Cool wheels for a young urban couple unwilling to give up the sports car just because they have a baby.


Heres some more info on it with a few pictures
http://media.ford.com/products/press...d=8a30c4d50cdc

THe relex looks awesome, i love the design and how it kinda looks like an aston martin with its wide rear fenders. I really hope Ford starts making cars with design cues from bot the Isios and the Reflex concepts.


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Old 01-11-2006, 04:38 PM   #2
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The reflex looks like what would happen if the Murano was made into a small car... I like the design...

And I LOVE this new guy Mark.. I think he will turn things around...

GO FORD!
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:45 PM   #3
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Old 01-11-2006, 09:52 PM   #4
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I cant see that as a production car, Ford has great prototypes but doesnt seem to use them very often. Mark is quite well spoken, but this car is Clearly green, as in it will take a lot of it. If it comes to market with those features in the next 3 years I make my estimate at around 27k.
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