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Old 03-24-2006, 09:15 AM   #41
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Igor - I disagree with you here.

It is NOT that Americans won't buy Euro style with a Ford badge on it. They just won't buy poor quality Euro. There is not much in the way of brand loyalty among the general population now. As of mid-March, all manufacturers were posting sales declines except BMW, which increased sales 8%. Minis are selling like hotcakes with waiting lists. I live in Texas, and we just had brand new Mercedes and Toyota dealerships open here in the last 6 months. A LOT of people here that were driving Lincolns, Mercurys, and Fords are now driving new Mercedes and Toyotas. Why? Quality and value for what they are spending - both real and perceived! Even though Mercedes quality these days could be debated - there is still a quality perception. My neighbor just traded in her Escape for a Mercedez C230 a few months ago, and it is a very nice looking vehicle with a quality interior.

With gas prices back up to $2.50/gal, fuel efficiency has become a much more desired feature now. Those people who are trading in larger vehicles for smaller ones still want quality. The main thing holding Ford back, I feel is still the quality of the interiors - still way too much cheap hard plastic being used. And I won't even get into the way the cheap radio faceplate in the Fusion looks awful compared to the trim around it.

People are looking for value AND quality these days - period. Fords are no longer perceived as offering either of these merits. Look at the awful looking new Navigator - cheap plastic door handles on the inside that feel hollow on the backside. People paying the prices Ford is asking for these vehicles simply demand more attention to detail and less cost cutting where it degrades the day-to-day enjoyment of a vehicle.

Whatever forecasting models Ford is using are either obsolete or just wrong. Since when has Ford EVER been on the leading edge or first in anything? Ford is not a leader in the market, but a follower - just like GM. But, by the time Ford and GM come out with their new cars designed to compete with the cars their competitors released 4 years ago - the competitors are already releasing new models that make the new Fords and GMs look stale out of the gate.

Check any website on the internet which ranks vehicles based on value and/or quality and see how many Fords are listed. This is not simply the market shunning Ford products with Euro design. it is the market telling Ford they need to try harder! They will HAVE to try harder to compete in today's market.

Instead of always looking at costs and profits, GM and Ford need to look at what creates their profits in the first place - the vehicles and the customers! If they offer quality vehicles at reasonable prices with good fuel efficiency, people will buy.
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Old 03-24-2006, 09:49 AM   #42
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People are people...right or wrong. Internet forums are the largest group of critics on the planet. Some are serious. Some are seriously sarcastic. It's the nature of the beast.....anyone can offer up responses to posts.

As far as Ford and the Focus go, much discontent is burdened by Ford. Ford has changed it's mind on the NA Focus too many times. We, as owners and enthusiasts have had our chains yanked around by Ford's own announcements.

Sure, we'll always want a competing high performance model. But Ford has said one thing and changed it's mind over and over. Like a boy crying wolf,
we won't believe anything Ford says anymore until we see the "newly redesigned" model on the dealer lot.

The negativity is more like disgust and dispair born out of mistrust. The last thing all of us needed to see was a mule with a Fusion like grille....that's certainly going to set off the herd. Now about this mule....sure, it could be anything or conversley, it could be nothing.

So what is left to do on the topic of the new NA Focus? The dead horse is beat. There is no ground to cover. The wait continues, and every now and then, like a needle to a balloon, venting takes it's opportunity.
I have lowered my expectations of what to expect. But that doesn't mean I'm happy about it. It's a saftey measure. I want to be pleasantly surprised instead of being seriously disapponited.
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Old 03-24-2006, 09:56 AM   #43
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Kneel,

There is nothing I disagree with you on..

My post was about people's reaction to the picture.. there is no telling of what that car is doing... but people are so upset they call in Dooms day...

There were several good articles online abou Ford's Euro design decision.. and they all said that it will be a good move.. most people like the new edgy design direction... and customers seem to like it too.

My point is that Ford is a mass manufacturer.. and if ALL FF and FJ members went and bought a new Focus we are still nothing in the huge numbers Ford needs to sell.. and because of that our moaning over "We Want euro Designs" and "We Want Hatchbacks" will never be priority. They have been making a lot of customer reaction research about the new deasign - heck Fusion was orginally designed and production ready with completely different Front - but after the great response to 427 of 2004, they reworked the nose to fit that theme in the car, and made it the lineup theme.

Note that all I am talking about is design.. not quality, innivation, etc.. just design direction. Ford was a big advantage over GM in that it is usually assumed to make well handling cars, but there is much mroe to be done.
There is also no question that Ford is not on the forefront of any market at this point.. but while you perceive that as a failure, I beceive not being at the tail of any of the segments as success - for now.. but that is just matter of opinion... so it is not really worth discussing.

As I said before.. if all Ford will do, is slap a new nose on the 05 Focus and call it a day - without having an awesome all new model in the works for 2009-2011 release, then I am very upset. However there are many possibilities of that that picture means - and we shoud keep them in mind - after all it is just one pic in a (ONE) magazine that is not always right

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Old 03-24-2006, 09:57 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally posted by HotRodWagon
People are people...right or wrong. Internet forums are the largest group of critics on the planet. Some are serious. Some are seriously sarcastic. It's the nature of the beast.....anyone can offer up responses to posts.

As far as Ford and the Focus go, much discontent is burdened by Ford. Ford has changed it's mind on the NA Focus too many times. We, as owners and enthusiasts have had our chains yanked around by Ford's own announcements.

Sure, we'll always want a competing high performance model. But Ford has said one thing and changed it's mind over and over. Like a boy crying wolf,
we won't believe anything Ford says anymore until we see the "newly redesigned" model on the dealer lot.

The negativity is more like disgust and dispair born out of mistrust. The last thing all of us needed to see was a mule with a Fusion like grille....that's certainly going to set off the herd. Now about this mule....sure, it could be anything or conversley, it could be nothing.

So what is left to do on the topic of the new NA Focus? The dead horse is beat. There is no ground to cover. The wait continues, and every now and then, like a needle to a balloon, venting takes it's opportunity.
I have lowered my expectations of what to expect. But that doesn't mean I'm happy about it. It's a saftey measure. I want to be pleasantly surprised instead of being seriously disapponited.
very good post and I agree

thanks

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Old 03-24-2006, 10:01 AM   #45
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Yes Igor - I apologize for the rant. And yes, that picture could be anything. Maybe I'm just letting off steam over Ford not bringing anew Focus to NA already at this point in time. Hell, even Bill Ford is upset about it - NOW!
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Old 03-24-2006, 10:08 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kneel
Yes Igor - I apologize for the rant. And yes, that picture could be anything. Maybe I'm just letting off steam over Ford not bringing anew Focus to NA already at this point in time. Hell, even Bill Ford is upset about it - NOW!
YAY.. Another post I can agree with...

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Old 03-24-2006, 11:35 AM   #47
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Seriously though, i thought with Fields coming into the company something would be done about fords design, especailly the focus, i was expecting him to push for an edgy redesign. Guess not though, and why the hell does Ford have to slap on the three bar grill on the focus. They not going to slap a three bar grill on the mustang and i feel the focus is one of those cars that can be different from the pack but still represent ford. I really dont wanna see a coupe focus either, this is what made the focus unique a hatchback, i dont want to have something that looks like my next door neighbors civic coupe. And what do they mean America doesnt want the hatches....alot of people like the hatches, look how many people have hatchs on this forum, its about a 3 to 1 ratio of hatch back to sedan at my school, and i see hatches flying around everywhere. No offense the hatchs are the ones who grabbed the young adult and teenage market, with the 05s they got even more conservative and that age range went up, and now with the three bar grill and the rumor of discountinuing the hatch that age group will move up again, unless they create a edgy coupe with lots of power.....which i really dont see happening anytime soon.

I wanted a mazda 3 when i was first looking for cars too, but it just came out and i couldnt afford one, so i got a focus. I love the focus and if Ford came out with something exciting id pass over the mazda and buy another one, but that doesnt look like itll be happening either.
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Old 03-24-2006, 11:56 AM   #48
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Seriously though, i thought with Fields coming into the company something would be done about fords design, especailly the focus, i was expecting him to push for an edgy redesign.
Fields has been there for mere 6 months.. by no means enough time to get through the bureaucraucy to approve a decision, and them go aheand and develop it... it seems the decision was made and the full redesign/all new Focus will be coming.. if the picture is an 07 Focus it was aither approved before Fields or even Fields felt there is need for another slight refresh before the full redesign.. after all the most optimistic reports of full redesign coming still placed it in 2009 MY.

Quote:
And what do they mean America doesnt want the hatches....alot of people like the hatches, look how many people have hatchs on this forum, its about a 3 to 1
I see plenty flying by too.. but you arein NY, I am in Philly.. when I drive to Cleveland most of the cars on the way there and around there are sedan Foci..and MANY of them are 05's ....

I Would love to have a chance to buy another Focus HB.. I would reallylove to, but we all are the minority and really you ned no further proof than looking at the competition. Unfortunately I doubt Ford will feel bold enough with the next Focus to redefine HB and C-segment again.. I think they will play it safe for a generation, and simply reinstate the maquee... once they are safe out of the water, we can sart pushing for MkIV to be HB again..

I am going way ahead of any rumors, but unfortunately that is what I see hapening.

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Old 03-24-2006, 12:40 PM   #49
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It's true this is all speculation and just a spyshot, but there's no harm in speculating either. Right?

I'll keep an open-mind with low hopes. How is that?

I'm just curious as to what direction Ford is taking with the Focus. Are they going for an older target audience or shooting for the younger generation? A Mazda 3 appeals great to the youth, but it also does well in the adult segment. Does it fall in line with the Mazda 3, or are they looking for the Focus to be the primary pack-mule sedan for the everyday driver (not that it basically isn't)? But what market are they appealing to if obviously not the minority enthusiast crowd? Why still keep the Focus name?
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Old 03-24-2006, 12:48 PM   #50
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I'm just curious as to what direction Ford is taking with the Focus. Are they going for an older target audience or shooting for the younger generation? A Mazda 3 appeals great to the youth, but it also does well in the adult segment. Does it fall in line with the Mazda 3, or are they looking for the Focus to be the primary pack-mule sedan for the everyday driver (not that it basically isn't)? But what market are they appealing to if obviously not the minority enthusiast crowd? Why still keep the Focus name?
Thatis hard to say. I would assume they will maintain it on the Mazda3 level.. those two products complement each other well on world markets.
I believe hey are trying to salvage enough value in the name to keep it.. since it is a world name .. like civic and Corolla, it would be an asset.

but there is no indication what exactly they want to do.. if htye just follow market trends, the Focus will grow to be a more refined car satisfying broad range of customers from young to older ... however the C1 grew over C170.. and C1's replacement is planned to grow as well.. so there is a big chance there will be change in driving dynamics - the car will be larger and posibily heavier.

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