Hooniverse Asks: What Other Mistakes Do You Think Ford is Making?


Late Sunday night Ford Motor Company announced that the company was parting ways with its CEO and former mullet-sporter Mark Fields. The corporate line is that Fields retired, but everyone knows that’s bullshite. One has to wonder if he got to keep the little Ford emblem lapel pin, and whether or not his order for a 2017 Ford GT has now been put on hold “indefinitely?”
Ford’s official reason for kicking Fields to the curb and replacing him with former Steelcase turnaround guru James Hackett was the former CEO’s inability to keep up with the industry’s emerging technologies. Undisclosed officially, but a likely additional reason was Fields’ debacle with then candidate Trump where he made Ford the whipping boy for outsourcing of labor. Seeing as Ford is a truly global manufacturer, I don’t really believe they could outsource anywhere, other than perhaps Mars. Maybe Matt Damon needs a job while he’s up there.
Okay, the first step towards solving your problems is admitting that you have a problem. It’s pretty obvious that Mark Fields was part of Ford’s problem, but their aged product line and lack of role in autonomous vehicles and long range electrics also seems glaring. I’m sure you all have your issues with the marque too, and today I want to hear ’em! In addition to Fields, what other mistakes do you think Ford has been making of late?
Image: Forbes 

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101 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What Other Mistakes Do You Think Ford is Making?”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar
    Sjalabais

    Um, over the last couple of years Ford EU has really only impressed me, with their cars being practical, not sickening to look at, and – first and foremost – some models are the most reliable cars in their class. That is what I respect the most. Also, there’s nothing wrong in defending a corporate, fact- and reality-based decision. Among the Big Three in the US, it’s definitely Ford I respect the most.

    1. outback_ute Avatar
      outback_ute

      Do the cars there still use the dry clutch DCT?

  2. neight428 Avatar
    neight428

    My last two car purchases have been Fords, so I must think they are doing something right, but in the U.S., I’d wager that the Ford BoD is worried that it has all of its eggs in one basket, that being the F-series, what with all these young folks out there that don’t even want to drive, much less tow a boat or haul a ton of rocks around their property. Outside of the F-series (and potentially the Mustang, though it is low volume) it seems to me that nearly all of rest of their sales are of vehicles that are, at best, second place in their segment and utterly interchangeable with a half dozen other alternatives.
    A Ford Edge, is that the one that’s smaller than a Highlander but bigger than a CRV? Who cares?

    1. Kiefmo Avatar
      Kiefmo

      Of note: The CRV is actually larger inside than the Edge.

      1. neight428 Avatar
        neight428

        Wouldn’t have figured that, but that seems like even more evidence why no one would buy one.

    2. Mike Zaite Avatar
      Mike Zaite

      Uhh young folks want pickups to do ACTUAL work, not just to tend to their acquisitions, but they can’t afford $40,000 pickup trucks so they buy used. Ford doesn’t make money when someone buys a used car. They need to re-learn that.

      1. neight428 Avatar
        neight428

        I’m sure there are still plenty young or otherwise that do want a cheaper new truck, but my specific reaction is a bit of an interpolation of Ford’s decision to promote the guy working on electrics and autonomous vehicles to the CEO spot. Sounds like a decision toward the whole “mobility company” idea rather than a car maker. The price of trucks will be what the market will bear, and Ford is still in business today because they can get $40k for many millions of them, though you can still get a basic full sized work truck brand new for $20k.

        1. Mike Zaite Avatar
          Mike Zaite

          Autonomous vehicles are a when not an if. Ford dropped the ball on hybrids, they can’t afford to keep being walked on by Toyota and Tesla in the long run. They are slowly sliding into the Buggy Whip mentality.
          Yea you can get a $20k work truck with shit load capacity…….If you can FIND one. They pack their lots with over wrought Luxury trucks that they just happen to offer unwise loans for in order to falsely make the market appear to bear the price they think they should get. And they’ve gotten themselves bitten in the ass doing that multiple times in the past with no evidence to prove that won’t just happen again. The implication being that no, the market CAN’T bear that price point because people just go to the used market. The pool of people willing and able to buy F150’s has gone down and will continue to drop as less and less people make enough money to even quality for a $20K new truck loan.
          The Truck market is in a bubble and has been since the early 2000’s and Ford stands to take the biggest hit when it pops.
          And as stated in the article, Ford is having trouble being in business today on those truck sales. A company that big doesn’t fail over night. But they are STILL digging themselves out of the 1980 ass kicking they got from Toyota.

          1. neight428 Avatar
            neight428

            Virtually no one can pay cash for anything anymore. The financing situation could be a serious issue for all the OEM’s to deal with, that is certainly not isolated to Ford or trucks/SUV’s. Some ghastly percentage of vehicles out there have more owed on them than they are worth. I think the whole industry will have some serious issues if/when a reckoning comes in that market like it did to housing in 2008/9. If $30K is too much for you to spend for a new work truck to haul 11,000 lbs, then the used market is where you need to be or you need to figure out how your competition is able to afford newer vehicles if such things are necessary in your line of work.

          2. Mike Zaite Avatar
            Mike Zaite

            You’re missing the point. It’s not my problem if I have to buy a used truck. It’s Ford’s. And that’s why they feel like they are getting into trouble.
            Ford doesn’t operate off of used truck sales. Aside from using resale value as a marketing piece, used sales are money they aren’t making. Money you don’t make doesn’t pay the bills.

          3. neight428 Avatar
            neight428

            Did someone say somewhere that Ford is concerned with high selling prices of their trucks? I must have missed that.

  3. dukeisduke Avatar
    dukeisduke

    1) Taking too long to get the Ranger here. I’m afraid that by the time it arrives, mid-size truck sales will have tanked again.
    2) Not already offering a turbo-diesel in the F-150.

    1. Mike Zaite Avatar
      Mike Zaite

      God enough diesel pickups. There’s no reason an F150 couldn’t have a 11,000# tow rating with a real engine and not just some “just like a big rig” pipe dream rattle trap. But they refuse to swallow their pride and just BUY a good transmission.

      1. neight428 Avatar
        neight428

        11,000 lbs is a fairly serious trailer load, but if you need that, you can get 13k tow rating work truck for about $30k brand new, it just says 250 on the side instead of 150. Modern diesels in pickups can return fantastic mileage based on what the new Dodges are reporting.

        1. Mike Zaite Avatar
          Mike Zaite

          Not really. Not if you actually follow tow ratings like you are supposed to. A basic closed car trailer and a weekend worth of race gear puts you well over 8,000 pounds. And unless you are towing ALL THE TIME that 250 is just obnoxious to own and live with, too tall, to hard sprung when empty, or it just collects dust and insurance bills sitting around not being used most of the time. Dodge seems to have no problem getting their Gasoline 1500 class pickup to do 11,000 pounds just fine (although Dodges are kind of a half step up class wise when you really compare them to Chevy and Ford.)
          Never mentioned Diesel mileage, which is also a misnomer during actual load operations. their efficiency in relation to Direct Injection gas is not significantly better, requires more expensive mechanics to be fixed properly (or good bye fuel efficiency), doesn’t cost any less due to the price premium now on diesel, and they sound like shit and suck to drive in for any length of time (whOOOOOOSH,WOOOooooh,whooooooooooSH, WOOOOOOOOOoooo, for 9 fucking hours straight.)

          1. neight428 Avatar
            neight428

            We’ll agree to disagree that 11k isn’t a fairly serious load to tow.
            It looks like you have found a good solution for your needs and preferences in a Dodge. Ford sold about 330k more F-series than Ram sold of its trucks 2016, so crowding the upper limits of half ton towing capacity is apparently not the highest priority in the marketplace.
            Duke didn’t mention tow ratings either. My comment about the mileage was pointing out a potential upside for diesels apart from tow ratings that he might consider as important as you do low cost and heavy towing ability.

          2. Mike Zaite Avatar
            Mike Zaite

            When your average camper or closed transport trailer nears 5-7,000 pounds un-loaded, no it’s a pretty common load when you include stuff packed into the vehicle. AND a safety margin from MAX towing and load capacity.
            Ford sold more than dodge because Fanboys. Which is why I loathe all truck owners. The half ton market is stagnant and growing stupider, and the last thing it needs is what duke posited which is a shit heap diesel.
            And my solution is knowing people who own a truck. Fuck trucks. And especially fuck diesel brodozers.

          3. neight428 Avatar
            neight428

            I guess I’ll agree to disagree on my own then. If you have a 15 year old 454 powered HD 3/4 ton that will return 13 mpg pulling a loaded 35′ enclosed trailer, I can see how 1/2 ton truck performance might fall short of your expectations.

          4. mdharrell Avatar

            There’s always the option of flat towing for that weekend of racing.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/954e627fc11e144c368bec9f57ac9ac5759f2c82a75113d13d1f191073a733dc.jpg

          5. CraigSu Avatar
            CraigSu

            So, is that a PushMe-PushMe or a PullYou-PullYou?

          6. cap'n fast Avatar
            cap’n fast

            difference is I get 16mpg under load and the same truck with gas got 9mpg. 7mpg is a significant figure to me, sound levels are not relevant when not using aftermarket inlets which work no better than stock and howl so much more. OOOOOooooooo……..happily burning fuel saved by prius owners.

          7. Mike Zaite Avatar
            Mike Zaite

            The 2500 HD 454 I used once pulled 13 MPG all day on regular cheap 87 octane. Open car trailer or huge 35′ rolling garage. And that was a 2002 chevy with probably a 5 year old engine design but with a 5 speed Allison transmission.
            The current Dodge 1500 guzzeline guzzler my team mate uses to move our open car trailer gets a solid 11mpg but it’s working closer to it’s max rating. So you know when you factor in the cost difference to diesel fuel now including the BlueDef tank it’s not so impressive.
            Diesels in anything below a one ton is good money thrown at bad. When you’re talking about a chassis that’s only good for maybe 12,000 pounds of total load, there’s just not much point with how good the DI gas engines and crazy 7 speed transmissions are these days.
            And your diesel doesn’t have the stones, your turbocharger does. Di gas has turbo chargers too these days.

        2. cap'n fast Avatar
          cap’n fast

          I have a dodge diesel with five speed. 24mpg empty @ 70mph. 16mpg towing 12,500lbs fifth wheel at 60mph. hell of a lot quieter than the powerstroker I used before. can even hear the radio/cd without turning the volume up all the way.
          having heard southern cal. wieners bitch about getting up the hill with their boat in tow, I laugh very heartily at their misfortune from using a gas powertrain. I climb the Rockies in Colorado. diesels have the stones, no doubt about that! $28.8K when I bought it new and four doors, to boot. $40K in powertrain and running gear and they throw the coachwork in for free..OOOOoooooo…..

  4. hwyengr Avatar
    hwyengr

    Not poaching any of GM’s chassis engineers. Good gravy, I wish the Mustang handled like and had the steering feel of the Camaro.

  5. Lokki Avatar
    Lokki

    I was passed by a (new, newish?) Taurus SHO the other day, and it surprised me because I suddenly realized that I didn’t even know if Ford was making the Taurus any more, let alone an SHO version. I only seem to know of two models from Ford – the F-150 and the Mustang.
    I would tend to think that if either of those niche fell out of fashion or were successfully invaded by (the Japanese/Germans/Koreans) somebody Ford might be in serious trouble.
    Having said that, I am lousy at forecasting future trends, so if I don’t expect to be offered the CEO position. I do recognize though that for the younger generation the relationship with cars is different. My generation was one where the driver’s personality could be seen through his choice of vehicles. I don’t think you can do that with kids these days any more than you could stereotype them by the brand of TV they own.

    1. JayP Avatar
      JayP

      New Focus Sport – 325hp, AWD
      New MKZ 2.7 Ecoboost – 400hp, AWD.
      MKC 2.3 Ecoboost – 300hp, AWD.
      Wonder where the marketing money is going?

      1. neight428 Avatar
        neight428

        Fusion Sport has fantastic performance measurables wrapped in bodywork that only Hertz could love.

        1. JayP Avatar
          JayP

          Such potential.

        2. Maymar Avatar
          Maymar

          Eh, the Fusion is still one of the better looking options in the segment, and I’m grateful they made a tasteful-looking performance sedan. I just don’t see a ton of people lining up to spend nearly Audi money on a Ford.

          1. neight428 Avatar
            neight428

            With discounts, they are really cheap. I don’t mind the look of the Fusion, it’s a clean design, just not anything that scratches any particular personal itches.

  6. Dearthair Avatar
    Dearthair

    There is a certain point at which a company has to realise that their priorities need to be clearly established and understood by everyone in the company, that they need to be appropriate to the mission they are wanting to accomplish, and most importantly, they need to be indisputable and uncompromising.
    For me, the Lincoln Continental is the perfect illustration of where this all fell apart. It’s a microcosm of the problem at Ford that keeps peeking through the clouds.
    The Continental concept was a damn good-looking car. The production car was… well, close enough. The concept had all these promises of great ideas and new technologies and fresh takes on a luxury car. The production car…. was…. well, close.
    Oh let’s be honest, the production car felt like a big MKS, which feels like a tarted-up Taurus. Which, in SHO trim, is a fantastic engine, wasted.
    A luxury car can be all-wheel-drive, that’s fine, but it needs a certain level of credibility. If Lincoln already had that credibility, the Continental might have been able to get away with being FWD. In a car THAT big, however, it’s just wrong. It feels wrong, it drives wrong, it just isn’t a sports sedan. It’s a replacement for the Cadillac DeVille for those people who thought the DTS was just too edgy. That’s not a big market.
    Now, all of this could just be seen as me being pedantic, and that’s fair, but it’s indicative of a larger issue. If Ford REALLY wanted to jump start Lincoln, it needed one car that it took completely seriously and didn’t cut corners. That seemed to be the Continental, and then the priorities of the penny-counters took over. The problem Ford seems to keep stumbling into is just the simple fact that their priorities are completely not uncompromising. They are negotiable and flexible, right up until the point where something doesn’t seem to work, at which point, in hindsight, they weren’t, and someone did it wrong. The Focus was a rival for the best-in-class Golf, at a significant discount, when it came out. But…. that was 2010. All their platforms are getting old, because they refuse to commit to their priorities. It’s as if they say, “This is our top priority! Well, I mean, unless… something else…. comes up, or someone doesn’t like that, or… I mean… did you have another idea?”
    Mercedes, Toyota, Volkswagen, they’ve all made steadfast decisions about their directions, and made mistakes in them. But they each powered through, and realised they would remain a stronger company if they committed to the vision, and tried to fix the details. Ford seems to have commitment issues.
    Now, that said, they make a good product, their vehicles are well-made, reasonably priced, and attractively styled. But… is “good enough” really what you want to continue to strive for?

    1. theskitter Avatar

      *clutches pearls*
      I…
      I didn’t know you felt so strongly.

      1. Dearthair Avatar
        Dearthair

        ::fans your face::
        There, there, pet. Breathe slowly and deeply, it’ll all be okay.

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          The ‘American’ problem also shared with FCA and GM Chevrolet.
          Making them ‘just good enough’ or more commonly ‘just about good enough’ will give enough sales and save some company money in production expenses to justify staying in business a little longer. Spending a tiny bit more to be ‘best in class’ is somehow perceived as not being worth the extra bother. But historically, it always has been vastly more profitable. See Mustang, European Fords and Opels in the 80s/90s in Europe, the first Taurus etc.
          And: Welcome back Dearthair. We won’t ask where you’ve been.

      2. caltemus Avatar
        caltemus

        See I see the continental as just the opposite, it’s lincoln returning to classic floating american luxury, as opposed to the curent trend of “everything has to be quick on the nurburgring” Sport sedan =/= luxury car

    2. 0A5599 Avatar
      0A5599

      At least they brought back the Continental name. I think their target market of 74-year-old retired dentists got confused with all the MK_ names, and found it easier to wander into a Lexus dealership instead. Have they learned nothing from the Taurus-Five Hundred-Taurus fiasco?

      1. Dearthair Avatar
        Dearthair

        Imagine how Mark Fields must feel, after they forced him to legally change his name to MKF.

        1. cap'n fast Avatar
          cap’n fast

          I am STILL lalughing

    3. caltemus Avatar
      caltemus

      See I see the continental as just the opposite, it’s lincoln returning to classic floating american luxury, as opposed to the curent trend of “everything has to be quick on the nurburgring” Sport sedan =/= luxury car.

      1. Dearthair Avatar
        Dearthair

        Which would be fine… but it isn’t that either. It’s not floaty, it doesn’t have that luxobarge feel to it. it feels like it’s trying to be a new-age trendy sports sedan, but it doesn’t do that well.
        If it were just an EcoBoost La-Z-Boy, I’d be okay with that. But they couldn’t commit to that either.

        1. caltemus Avatar
          caltemus

          I can’t argue with anything you mentioned, if you’ve driven all the cars you mentioned. The reviews I’ve seen claim that it is not of sporting pretensions, and is fairly comfortable. I cannot speak with any first hand opinions, as I have not ridden in one yet.

          1. Deartháir Avatar

            …I would commute in/on that.

      2. Zentropy Avatar
        Zentropy

        I’m completely fine with the Continental being a non-sporty luxury car. My problem is that it looks at best forgettable, and at worst clumsy. Moreover, I expected Lincoln to return the marque to RWD– not for performance, but balance. Unless it’s a high-revving four-cylinder bolted to a manual in a hot hatch, I have no use for FWD architecture, especially in a luxury car. It makes them feel cheap and isolates the driver from the machine.

        1. Harry Callahan Avatar
          Harry Callahan

          The “Continental” name is gold. That car is outselling the Caddy CT6 three to one…because,well, CT6 means exactly nothing…!

        2. outback_ute Avatar
          outback_ute

          I get what you are saying balance-wise, but I’m not sure how much it matters in a non-sporting luxury car. On the other hand, I wonder if they could change the configuration of the transmission to put the axle line ahead of the engine to improve weight distribution and move the wheels forward for a better appearance?
          Toyota iQ is the only example I’m aware of that has done this, although it was for space reasons in that case. Can’t hurt for the Lincoln either.

      3. Maymar Avatar
        Maymar

        I haven’t driven one, but having sat in one at the auto show this year sort of irritated me. So much of the interior trim seems to be aping Mercedes (especially those seat controls), but with an E-class sitting 50 feet away, it’s easy to tell how much they missed the target. It’s not Standard of the World (I know, that’s the other guys), it’s a bargain knock-off.

        1. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          Ford, again, does a nearly Mercedes for the short-sighted senior with limited touch sensitivity.
          http://www.classiccarstodayonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Ford-1977-Granada-coupe-ad.jpg

    4. Tomsk Avatar
      Tomsk

      The fact that Ford is only using the current Mustang platform for the Mustang, rather than stretching it out and softening the dynamics a bit to create a credible rear-drive Cadillac CTS/Lexus GS/Genesis G80/Infiniti Q-whatever competitor for Lincoln (The E-Class/5 Series/A6/etc. might be a bridge too far at this point.) and/or a new Falcon for Down Undah, is puzzling to say the least.

      1. Dearthair Avatar
        Dearthair

        I don’t understand it at all. The Mustang platform is loosely based on the DEW platform of the Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-type. That has been updated into the Jaguar XF, and the Mustang version has been updated into the new S550 (I think?) platform, so it is literally already prepped and ready to be a full-out sedan. Like…. from a certain perspective, that would basically give them their own version of Jaguar’s iQ modular platform, so all the pieces are there waiting for them.
        But they’d rather use the old Ford Five Hundred platform, so that’s fine I guess.

        1. neight428 Avatar
          neight428

          I’d buy that sedan or a Chevy version of the ATS, but apparently they can’t market such a thing. They didn’t even try with the SS.

          1. caltemus Avatar
            caltemus

            The V6 camaro is an ATS coupe you can’t see out of. Even available with the 6speed. It would have been silly to market the SS, with the low volume they were going for. I’m waiting for ATS’ to get cheap so I can grab a 3.6 sedan and convert it to manual

          2. neight428 Avatar
            neight428

            The depreciation hit on year old ATS’s make them look more like the Oldsmobile I wish still existed. They were on my Autotrader App saved searches for a while next to the year old Infiniti G50’s.

          3. outback_ute Avatar
            outback_ute

            Unless they deliberately wanted to minimize SS sales for Cafe purposes, I’m sure it would have been more profitable to sell more of them not less. Think about how few cars they had to amortize the federalization costs for starters.

          4. Dearthair Avatar
            Dearthair

            Remember years ago, Chevy rolled out two compact RWD concept cars? I saw them at a car show and went, “I WANT THAT.”
            …and they were never heard from again.

          5. neight428 Avatar
            neight428

            Yep. It’s almost as though they treat enthusiast interest as a negative.

          6. caltemus Avatar
            caltemus

            Ah yes, the tru140s and the code130r. Modern eclipse and baby ss

          7. Deartháir Avatar

            Yes! Those ones! I could not remember the names at all.

          8. Tomsk Avatar
            Tomsk

            Maybe if they had called them Nova and Monza you (and most other people outside RenCen) would have remembered them. Just a hunch.

        2. caltemus Avatar
          caltemus

          This is not even slightly true. The continental rides on the CD4 platform, which was all new for the 2013 Fusion. The Jaguar XF was on the DEW98 platform shared with the thunderbird and Lincoln LS. The new XF is on a bespoke jaguar platform. The Mustang S550 platform was only used for the new current mustang. The S550 platform is all new and not derived from the DC2 (modified DEW98 used on 2005 era mustang).

          1. Dearthair Avatar
            Dearthair

            You are correct on the Continental, and I stand corrected. When the production Continental first came out, it was widely publicised that it would be on the same platform as the Taurus, but I never did a followup to realise that they meant the upcoming Taurus, not the outgoing Taurus that is still on the Five Hundred platform from the Nixon Administration. Also, if memory serves, the Explorer/Flex version of that platform is called the D4, so confusing the two, when they are similarly named and underpinning different versions of the same car, is understandable. So that’s my bad.
            As for the rest of that, you’re missing the point for the details, but in fairness my explanation sucked. The point is that the Mustang and the XF were derived from the DEW platform. In developing a new XF to replace the DEW platform, Jaguar came up with a delicious new modular platform that enabled them to build, if memory serves, the XE, XF, F-Pace, and something else. In replacing the DEW-based Mustang, Ford created…. the Mustang. So, I’m trying to say that both Ford and Jaguar had to do the same thing, but Jag got a lovely modular platform that was ready for anything. If Ford had done that, they’d have a Falcon, and a proper Continental, and who knows what else.

          2. outback_ute Avatar
            outback_ute

            Is there going to be another Taurus? I’ve seen one of the Chinese-market CD4 Tauruses, which I would have thought would have made it to the US if it was going to.

        3. Rover 1 Avatar
          Rover 1

          They could use one of a choice of dynamically engineered Ford developed platforms, but decide to use an obsolete European luxury platform from a former susidiary ?

      2. JayP Avatar
        JayP

        Ford has the parts – great V8s, turbos, reardrive IRS.
        They aren’t having it.
        Again, the Ford Falcon was right there. Coulda been Ford’s answer to the SS.
        https://www.ford.com.au/content/dam/Ford/website-assets/ap/au/nameplate/falcon-fgx/gallery/exterior/overlay/cars-fgxfalcon-gallery-exterior-large-6.jpeg

        1. Harry Callahan Avatar
          Harry Callahan

          Me thinks those folks in Dearborn are pretty darn good about knowing what to build and what not to build. Sure, some of us here would be REALLY excited for a brown, rear drive, manual Falcon in USA…but we wouldn’t buy one…hardly anybody would. Along the way, Ford would harm its CAFE average. Those Ford guys are a few steps ahead of you.

          1. outback_ute Avatar
            outback_ute

            Exactly, Ford killed the global rwd platform that was going to replace all the rwd cars back in 2011. I wonder how much of the S550 carried over from the previous generation? I remember hearing something about that getting IRS deleted at the last minute.

          2. Rover 1 Avatar
            Rover 1

            And that’s why we’re discussing what a missed opportunity the Continental is?

          3. Harry Callahan Avatar
            Harry Callahan

            It is easy for outsiders to pronounce this or that move a missed opportunity, but I am fairly certain that factors only known to company insiders play VERY large roles in these decisions.

      3. P161911 Avatar
        P161911

        So a new Mercury (Lincoln) Cougar then, or maybe time for the real Mk IX LSC. Need a 5 seater Thunderbird while they are at it too.

        1. Tomsk Avatar
          Tomsk

          As more and more Boomers become empty nesters, I have a feeling we’re going to see demand for large (or at least bigger than the Civic) coupes pick up again. Not to Malaise Era levels, no, but way above the rounding error it is now.

          1. outback_ute Avatar
            outback_ute

            Depends, I think city congestion and cramped parking is driving buyers towards compact cars & CUVs, at least outside the US.

  7. JayP Avatar
    JayP

    GT should have Voodoo.

  8. caltemus Avatar
    caltemus

    I still don’t see how Fields hurt ford, or why he’s being ousted. It seemed like he genuinely was just looking out for ford’s long term success, and shareholders are a shortsighted bunch. You have to take risks and sink money into development to keep up in the market these days.

    1. Kiefmo Avatar
      Kiefmo

      I heard an analysis on NPR this morning about this — it’s purely a move to please Wall St. Apparently, kicking your CEO is a sign that you know something is wrong and intend to do something about it.

    2. outback_ute Avatar
      outback_ute

      Ford has made noise about future mobility and autonomous car development, but hasn’t produced a lot in terms of hybrids or electric cars, and the fuel economy issues with the Cmax (had to think hard to remember that name!) weren’t a good look.
      I wonder how much of a factor how he dealt with Trump was, and investors reaction to that?
      Almost off topic in how much it matters, but Ford is selling very little in Australia these days other than Ranger. The Fiesta and Focus have been hit by the dry clutch DCT debacle even though they have been charged to torque converter autos – can’t exactly advertise “the shit gearboxes are gone”. Mondeo supply from Europe was strangled for years, Escape/Kuga is doing very little, Falcon was run down for years before its demise and now they are without a mid size CUV for about a year before the Edge gets here. They are almost being outsold by Mitsubishi!

    3. Gianni Burrows Avatar
      Gianni Burrows

      Hackett’s claim to fame is as a cost cutter, er, turnaround artist. At Steelcase he laid off half of Steelcase’s workforce and moved production to Mexico. Ford’s stock price is down and this is a signal to Wall Street that the new guy is going to cut his way to prosperity (or at least a higher stock price).

      1. Vairship Avatar
        Vairship

        Hackett may have made cuts at Steelcase and helped it grow again, but according to Reuters that didn’t help shareholders:
        Ford’s new chief executive, James Hackett,
        who had been overseeing its division focused on self-driving cars, has a
        reputation as a turnaround artist for guiding changes at furniture
        maker Steelcase Inc (SCS.N) that helped it regain its market leading position, though those reforms did not always benefit shareholders.
        Over
        the 18 years that Hackett oversaw Steelcase as a public company, the
        stock fell by more than 55 percent and delivered a total return,
        including reinvested dividends of negative 22.3 percent, or an
        annualized total return under his tenure of negative 1.54 percent. By
        contrast, the S&P 500 generated an annualized total return over the
        same run of 5.62 percent.
        Notably, on both a price and total return basis, Steelcase underperformed its main competitors like Herman Miller Inc (MLHR.O) and HNI Corp (HNI.N) by substantial margins on a cumulative basis.
        ” Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ford-motor-ceo-stocks-idUSKBN18I2T1

  9. neight428 Avatar
    neight428

    While we’re ranting, one more thing occurred to me, the new Bronco rollout is pretty tortured. Some talented fans go out and make some renderings that generate a ton of positive buzz, some of which could be built with basically zero development work. Flash forward to a year later, Ford puts the Bronco logo up on the screen at an auto show and tells us to wait three years while we presume they will do what they did to the Continental concept in the meantime.

    1. Deartháir Avatar

      I really want that Bronco rendering from the Interwebs. I mean… I want the Bronco, not the rendering. I have the rendering. And that’s probably all Ford will let us have.

    2. outback_ute Avatar
      outback_ute

      I’m surprised that they are proposing to sell the current Ecosport in North America (2018 or 2019?). I would have thought it was ready for replacement, which would be the opportunity to make it better, perhaps even competitive. As it is it will be killed by the Honda HRV and Mazda CX3.

  10. Manxman Avatar

    I have no beef with Ford. Their products have been reliable and affordable and attractive. The 130+mph police Explorer is popular with law enforcement. The F-150 is still a money maker and the Fusion has a good reputaion. The panther is still the best deal for a good handling full-size sedan on the used car market. I guess they don’t hire car guys anymore to head up car companies.

    1. Mike Zaite Avatar
      Mike Zaite

      A used panther doesn’t pay to keep the lights on in Dearborn.

    2. peugeotdude505 Avatar
      peugeotdude505

      Just went to my local craigslist and searched for ‘Police Explorer’ – nothing yet, but the tahoes look good

  11. Mike Zaite Avatar
    Mike Zaite

    Forgetting cars are supposed to be fun, enjoyable, and not feel like a lumpy SUV.
    Stop making the Edge.
    Finally replace the Crown Victoria with a real car not the Taurus abomination that rides like a shitty truck.
    GIVE UP ON SYNC and just put a good Alpine or JVC infotainment unit in.
    Make a car to replace the Mustang that they stopped making when they re-invented the thunderbird with a horse logo on it.
    Stop making garbage pickup trucks. An F150 needs to have a 10,000 lb tow rating and cost less than a house.
    Start selling cars in COLOR again and not just shades of blah.
    Fusion WAGON.
    Fire anyone involved in designing the Triton line and make a public apology for the 3 valve.
    Let people ORDER their damn cars and stop choking dealerships with garbage nobody really wants but has to take.
    Suck it up and make a real competitor to the 86 and the Miata. Not the ST turdburger slugs they make now.
    Separate all ford platforms from Lincoln and make real quality cars there like Cadillac did.

    1. cap'n fast Avatar
      cap’n fast

      do please tell us of your concept of “quality cars”, in general. What do you want in a car? a Ferrari at Chevelle prices? and F-150 built like a Peterbuilt? that would cost a pile..
      I believe that if ford can’t figure out the market today with all the algorithms and experts on staff, they need to leave the building……

      1. Mike Zaite Avatar
        Mike Zaite

        “Quality” was in regard to Lincoln. As in the opposite of just putting a wood interior in a damn Fusion and pretending its a better car worthy of the price premium. Mercury was always just a badge engineered option package. But Lincoln used to try a little harder to be a bit less same car flashier wrapper. It’s something that could help Ford pull out of this slow meandering into sub-mediocrity it keeps finding itself.
        Main Line fords just need to get a fucking soul again. They out beiged Toyota and got what they deserved for it. Lackluster consumer response, and lost market share.

    2. kogashiwa Avatar
      kogashiwa

      I’m right with you on most of this but at the same time most of this is probably the opposite of what the market in general wants.
      Colours? Even when you can get them, people just buy grey anyway.
      Wagons? When’s the last time you saw a CTS wagon? Mazda didn’t even bother bringing the gorgeous new 6 wagon to North America, sales of the previous one were too low and CX-5 sales were too high.
      The Thunderhorse is popular enough to pretty much be the new Civic, at least around here.
      Toyota and Subaru basically keep the 86 twins going as a labour of love.

      1. Mike Zaite Avatar
        Mike Zaite

        What the market “want’s” is always a touchy thing. People want what’s made available to them. Everyone drives around in Grey because dealers stock grey because people have no strong opinions about grey. So you end up with lots of grey and grey adjacent colored cars out there because of the whole goofy Manufacturer sells to dealers then dealers sell to owners scheme. Same goes for wagons. DEALERS don’t want wagons because its less of a slam dunk, and dealers want to optimize their chance to move shit off their lot before they have to pay the floorplanning. That means bland and inoffensive. especially when trying to throw dim bulbs into leases for cars they don’t care about. And if you can sucker them into buying a Crossover or a full on truck that has a fatter margin since “well of course it costs more, it’s bigger”, even better for the dealer.
        The best thing that happened to the Mustang was becoming basically the 90’s thunderbird. But it leaves a hole on the rung below it that no Focus can ever fill. Small coupes are always a bit of a labor of love for a manufacturer. But, they represent a sort of “Attainable Halo” effect. The first fatal mistake Saturn made was killing the SC. Even if they aren’t buying the cool coupe and have to go for the dumpy 4 door compact today. That stuff rubs off. Toyota used to be the king of that in the 90’s. And ford making the Mustang so big feels like they forgot a group of buyers who seem to have no problem keeping Mazda pumping out Miatas.

  12. mdharrell Avatar

    The blue oval is nice and all, but they might at least try to squeeze a few more miles out of this:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f153e7e84ceadd38763ca9a2a7aa1ee969cfd2e6e6ef1b6e00b8ce79e1f8d8f1.jpg

    1. Mike Zaite Avatar
      Mike Zaite

      Really? Even Cadillac finally gave up on their stupid ducks.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Oh, no. I’m not about to let myself get drawn into the whole martlet vs. merlette heraldic controversy surrounding those charges. Either way, yes, GM should have kept them.

        1. Manxman Avatar

          The mopar emblems were cool, too.

          1. Vairship Avatar
            Vairship

            Fratzogs for everyone!

  13. Harry Callahan Avatar
    Harry Callahan

    I believe all the buzz about autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles is overblown. There is no viable technology that will cost-effectively replace human drivers. There is no viable technology that will cost effectively replace internal combustion engines either. Ford builds cars, many of them great cars. To deny that fact, and to embrace this “mobility” krap, is a major mistake–a distraction they can’t afford!

    1. cap'n fast Avatar
      cap’n fast

      can you imagine the talk In the insurance industries back rooms? who is the responsible party here when some traffic violation occurs. let alone what law enforcement and god help us all….the courts man the courts!!!!OOOOOooooooo……….

    2. boxdin Avatar
      boxdin

      Bingo! I have over 4000 uber/lyft rides. Headless cars are a large upcoming boondagle. If they use the same maps I do, and they will, riders are going to be standing around waiting for “cars” that are circling nearby. Uber is currently going broke and serious legal trouble, and others are gaining ground in the headless race. Uber is betting everything on this, and it will take them down. I ask a lot of riders if they prefer a human driver or computer. All prefer human drivers.

      1. Vairship Avatar
        Vairship

        Judging by the average Uber driver that I meet on the road, headless cars will have a tough time being worse drivers.
        But at least Uber now has big signs on the front AND rear, allowing me to give them a wide berth!

    3. Vairship Avatar
      Vairship

      “There is no viable technology that will cost-effectively replace human drivers.”
      This is why they chose a two-stage process:
      1) Dumb down almost all human drivers by giving them Facebook-enabled phones, to be used while driving.
      2) Replace crashing humans with technology, because “think of the children!”.

  14. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    I think Ford’s main problem for now is that they seem to be positioning themselves as a stylish, innovative brand, but also want to fully amortize all development. Looking at their mainstream lineup (cash-cow F150 excepted), they’re stuck in about 2013. Everything is due for replacement, nothing is on the horizon, mid-cycle refreshes for everybody! They have a lineup of perfectly cromulent vehicles that are at least class average (although the Fiesta and Focus are a bit tight inside, and that PowerShift still isn’t doing anyone any favours), but I don’t think they’re doing anything to engender serious loyalty, and I’m not sure what their long-term planning is at this point.

  15. Joey DaVive Avatar
    Joey DaVive

    Ford’s going from ‘too late’ to ‘too soon’
    F is cheap (I’m underwater) but the dividend is nice

  16. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    Like Nasser before him, Fields never truly embraced product development. That is the one unforgivable mistake in the car business. Fields wanted to be a “fast follower.”
    Something something there is no second place.

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