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    Ford Executives Stand Their Ground On Car Cutting Decision

      There's a lot of pushback from a number of folks to this decision

    Last week, Ford shocked the industry by announcing that it would cut most of its passenger car lineup. The only models that would remain are the Mustang and the upcoming Focus Active - due to arrive in 2019. The move has earned a fair amount of ire from various folks, but the company is trying to push back and explain their reasoning.

    "We're going to feed the healthy part of our business and deal decisively with the parts that destroy value," said Ford CEO Jim Hackett to Automotive News.

    The "healthy part" are Ford's utilities and trucks. According to Ford CFO Bob Shanks, this part made more than $3 billion in the first quarter of 2018. Ford is projecting that light trucks will make up 90 percent of North American sales in the near future.

    The car side hasn't been faring as well with sales declining for the past few years. Ford hasn't said how much money they have been hemorrhaging on cars, but UBS analyst Colin Langan estimates Ford is losing $800 million per year on small cars in North America. Automotive News also notes that consumer demand for cars may be even weaker than first thought. Looking registration data from Polk, the outlet reports that a third of Fusions sold last year went to fleet buyers (about 69,874 models).

    Shanks said there are other items that could be cut, including "most Lincoln products" and chunks of Ford's overseas business.

    A number of people who hate this idea point out that this could hurt Ford if gas prices spike up like they did in the 2000s. But Jim Farley, Ford's head of global markets points out that the gap in fuel economy between sedans and crossovers has closed up significantly. The 2018 Fusion has a combined fuel economy rating of 27, while the Escape is rated at 26 mpg. 

    Farley also insisted that Ford isn't repeating the mistakes from the mid-2000s with their utility vehicles that almost sent them to the brink. The industry he says has "fundamentally changed" since then.

    "Customer view and experimentation on the utility side is so much more broad. Utilities are the preferred body style. This wasn't the case before the downturn," said Farley.

    "We intend to expand our passenger car lineup in the U.S We also intend to serve similar, affordable price points to today. What's changed here is just the format of the vehicle. Our dealers will have just as much opportunity to grow, just with a different portfolio."

    Still, there are some that are very skeptical about Ford's new strategy. 

    "Eight years ago, Ford Motor Co. announced it was killing Mercury. It assured us not to worry, because there would be no problem taking care of Mercury customers at Ford dealerships — those customers would just buy Tauruses and Fusions," said Chris Lemley, owner of Sentry Auto Group near Boston.

    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)



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    They have to stand by it, you can't put the toothpaste back into the tube.  I imagine the Lincoln sedans will get the axe also at the end of their life cycles.  

    The risk beyond the gas price thing, is what if the Japanese take their Crossover/SUV business the way they took their car business.  The Rav4 already outsells the Escape by a wide margin, Toyota and Honda will make more crossovers and keep chipping away at Ford's market share there too.  

    I am bewildered as to how Toyota and Nissan haven't been able to make a dent in full size trucks, instead they are still peddling trucks with the 5.7 liter and 5.6 liter V8s from 10 years ago that make 380 hp and get 14 mpg.  Toyota especially, they have deep pockets the Tundra should be a best in class product, not an also ran.

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    Models & styles come & go with the breeze. Of COURSE Ford could kill off most of their cars, then introduce new cars if they desired/had a business case for it in the near future; the auto industry is fickle.

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    Well, that's great, but it is still stupid. They still sold quite a few sedans, and they are pretty much giving those sales away.

    Yeah, some folks will go the CUV/SUV route, but as hard as it is to believe, some will still want a car, and go someplace else for it. It also helps that sedans are cheaper too.....

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    That's ok Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, GM etc will be happy to take Ford sedan buyers into their customer base while also building CUV's as good or better than Ford's offerings.

     

     

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    13 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    They have to stand by it, you can't put the toothpaste back into the tube.  I imagine the Lincoln sedans will get the axe also at the end of their life cycles.  

    The risk beyond the gas price thing, is what if the Japanese take their Crossover/SUV business the way they took their car business.  The Rav4 already outsells the Escape by a wide margin, Toyota and Honda will make more crossovers and keep chipping away at Ford's market share there too.  

    I am bewildered as to how Toyota and Nissan haven't been able to make a dent in full size trucks, instead they are still peddling trucks with the 5.7 liter and 5.6 liter V8s from 10 years ago that make 380 hp and get 14 mpg.  Toyota especially, they have deep pockets the Tundra should be a best in class product, not an also ran.

    Truck buyers tend to be very loyal compared to car buyers.  More importantly, if Toyota and Nissan got rid of all of their BOF trucks, no one here would actually care.  The plan for them is to take all the sedan and CUV sales from Ford and GM and render them obsolete and irrelevant.  Same with Honda, except they never invested in BOF.

    The highest selling vehicles last year were the F-series, Silverado/Sierra, RAM pickups, and then the RAV4 and Rogue.  Essentially, the US market has gone Japanese/Korean a long time ago and eventually a lot of the US market will look a lot like California's auto market: Japanese dominance and Detroit irrelevance.

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    11 hours ago, daves87rs said:

    Well, that's great, but it is still stupid. They still sold quite a few sedans, and they are pretty much giving those sales away.

    Why would they want those sales if they're losing money on them overall? 

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    15 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    Truck buyers tend to be very loyal compared to car buyers.  More importantly, if Toyota and Nissan got rid of all of their BOF trucks, no one here would actually care.  The plan for them is to take all the sedan and CUV sales from Ford and GM and render them obsolete and irrelevant.  Same with Honda, except they never invested in BOF.

    The highest selling vehicles last year were the F-series, Silverado/Sierra, RAM pickups, and then the RAV4 and Rogue.  Essentially, the US market has gone Japanese/Korean a long time ago and eventually a lot of the US market will look a lot like California's auto market: Japanese dominance and Detroit irrelevance.

    Right but the F150 and GM pickups sold huge numbers still, while Titan and Tundra combined probably sold 100k or something, it is a fraction.  And I think it is because the new Titan has old Titan engines and the Tundra is just old.  If Toyota refreshed the Tundra ever 5 years with an all new truck like they do with the Camry they could eat away at F150 sales.  Not beat it, but take another 10% of Fords volume and 10% of GM's and that becomes 150,000 trucks, it adds up fast.

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    ccap41

    Posted (edited)

    I would agree that I'm surprised Toyota hasn't made a competitive full size truck in the last decade. They seem to have an incredibly loyal customer base with the Tacoma and you'd think you'd want to give them a good opportunity to move to the next model up without almost forcing them to the D3 for the best truck. Whichever D3 you want is head and shoulders above the Japanese full sizers. 

    Edited by ccap41

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    The Escape is not analogous to a Fusion.  I don't see people cross-shopping them and Fusion buyers would probably see an escape as a downgrade.

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    RAV4 is compact too though, I don't think it is considered a downgrade to the Camry to shoppers?  At least the new one that will share its platform..

     

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    18 minutes ago, frogger said:

    RAV4 is compact too though, I don't think it is considered a downgrade to the Camry to shoppers?  At least the new one that will share its platform..

     

    Seems like the RAV4 would be analogous to the Corolla, and the Highlander would be the Camry analogue...

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    1 hour ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Escape seems more analogous to the Focus.  Compact. 

     

    1 minute ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Seems like the RAV4 would be analogous to the Corolla, and the Highlander would be the Camry analogue...

    yes.

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    I think the majority of buyers are not spending the extra dough on the midsize CUV's when they ditch their midsize sedans.  At least here in Canada, the midsize sedans buyers are now compact CUV buyers... RAV4, CRV, Rogue.  The default family car became the large compact CUV here for families with 2 kids or less.  There are not nearly as many two or three row midsize CUV's around.

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    Just now, frogger said:

    I think the majority of buyers are not spending the extra dough on the midsize CUV's when they ditch their midsize sedans.  At least here in Canada, the midsize sedans buyers are now compact CUV buyers... RAV4, CRV, Rogue.  The default family car became the large compact CUV here for families with 2 kids or less.  There are not nearly as many two or three row midsize CUV's around.

    Yes... people are downsizing.   Getting empty-nesters to downsize was a key target demographic for the Encore when it first came out. 

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    Also the compact CUVs are generally heavier than their midsize sedan counterparts..  Even the Forester is heavier than the Legacy with both having AWD.

     

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    5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The Escape is not analogous to a Fusion.  I don't see people cross-shopping them and Fusion buyers would probably see an escape as a downgrade.

    they sort of cross on price in the showrooms.  i do think they battle each other for ford customers.

    4 hours ago, frogger said:

    I think the majority of buyers are not spending the extra dough on the midsize CUV's when they ditch their midsize sedans.  At least here in Canada, the midsize sedans buyers are now compact CUV buyers... RAV4, CRV, Rogue.  The default family car became the large compact CUV here for families with 2 kids or less.  There are not nearly as many two or three row midsize CUV's around.

    right.  they move down in size class to keep the price close.  however, the taller seat height helps offset the length legroom issues.  i find most of the time that CUV trunks are less accommodating than midsize sedan trunks, apart from a little extra cargo height.

     

    face it, a HUGE reason CUV's sell is the easier ingress and egress and taller seat height.  Some CUV's make better use of it than others.  The Rogue is very comfy for larger and taller folks because it is so tall inside.  Chevy screwed the pooch and the new Equinox is narrow inside.  The Escape has tight rear leg room.

    Ford's Edge is one of the nicest packages out there.  To me it is a jacked up Fusion.

    Why can't GM take my Malibu and just jack it up.  Same wheelbase.  same leg space, etc. with taller seats.  hatch area with the same footprint as the sedan, just taller.  GM never takes the easy way out.

    Edited by regfootball

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    36 minutes ago, regfootball said:

    Why can't GM take my Malibu and just jack it up.  Same wheelbase.  same leg space, etc. with taller seats.  hatch area with the same footprint as the sedan, just taller.  GM never takes the easy way out.

    uh.. they did literally that.  The CX platform the Acadia, Traverse, and coming Blazer ride on is just the crossover version of Epsilon

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    I hope the new Blazer is cool looking.  Not so sure about the front lights after seeing the latest surveillance photographs... could it be another Cherokee/Kona/new Santa Fe type light cluster?  I really want it to not be sad.

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    4 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

    I hope the new Blazer is cool looking.  Not so sure about the front lights after seeing the latest surveillance photographs... could it be another Cherokee/Kona/new Santa Fe type light cluster?  I really want it to not be sad.

    I am already stocking up on the half gallons of ice-cream because I'm prepared to be very let down by the new Blazer simply on the hardware.  I want Chevy to build a true Grand Cherokee competitor in terms of off-road capability options. I'm expecting it to be no better than a Murano for off-road.

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    I would love to see that too.  Maybe they'll tailor the current Trailblazer to American tastes, like they did with the Colorado pickup.

     

    I am conditioning myself to remember that the last Blazer was pretty mild, off road imagewise, being based on the S-10 pickup in 4-door form.  Those 4-door Blazers sort of took over the mantle of "family wagon".  The 2-door ZR2 Blazer was the standout back then.  I was puzzled why they never sold a 4-door ZR2 Blazer... although I would not have bought a 4-door at the time.

    I'm thinking the new Blazer will be just that what you said... a semi-sporty 2-row CUV to go against the Edge and Murano type customer.

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    15 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    Why would they want those sales if they're losing money on them overall? 

    1. It still gets people in the door.

    2. They could find a way to stop losing so much money....find where to save a few bucks. Build less if they need to.....

    5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I am already stocking up on the half gallons of ice-cream because I'm prepared to be very let down by the new Blazer simply on the hardware.  I want Chevy to build a true Grand Cherokee competitor in terms of off-road capability options. I'm expecting it to be no better than a Murano for off-road.

    Me too!

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    Since the Blazer will be a tad larger than the Equinox, I hope to see a V6 engine option in it.  It would hit a sweet spot that way, and it would meet competitors' challenge.

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    Sounds like the Blazer will basically be a shorter wheelbase version of Traverse w/ different styling.  Probably the same engine choices.   Basically Chevy's version of the Acadia but 2 row.   Just another C1XX variant.  Their Edge competitor.  

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    12 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I am already stocking up on the half gallons of ice-cream because I'm prepared to be very let down by the new Blazer simply on the hardware.  I want Chevy to build a true Grand Cherokee competitor in terms of off-road capability options. I'm expecting it to be no better than a Murano for off-road.

    I think that is what I am getting at is Chevy needs a murano / edge type vehicle more than something that looks like another truck. These blazer shots give the impression that's it's faux trucky look. 

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    14 hours ago, regfootball said:

    face it, a HUGE reason CUV's sell is the easier ingress and egress and taller seat height. 

    That is exactly why I liked my Escape so much. Getting in and out was pretty much the perfect height. 

    My dad's Tacoma i have to step up into and any car is falling down into.. Tacomas aren't big trucks but it's more of a pain to get in and out of than my Escape was. 

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    8 hours ago, daves87rs said:

    1. It still gets people in the door.

    2. They could find a way to stop losing so much money....find where to save a few bucks. Build less if they need to.....

    Or... just sell what the majority of the public wants.. They have to throw so much on the hoods to sell mid size sedans anyway.

    Get's people in the door? Fusions and Malibus get people in the door so they can sell them Escapes/Edges or Equinoxes/Traverses? I've never heard of people going to a dealership because of those cars "just because". That's something the Mustangs and Camaros do or Raptors. Something that actually grabs attention to just look at then get caught talking to a salesman about what they can afford. 

    4 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    Since the Blazer will be a tad larger than the Equinox, I hope to see a V6 engine option in it.  It would hit a sweet spot that way, and it would meet competitors' challenge.

    You know GM will put the 3.6 in it.. They put it in everything. 

    1 hour ago, regfootball said:

    These blazer shots give the impression that's it's faux trucky look

    WAT? 

    Blazer.jpg

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    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    Or... just sell what the majority of the public wants.. They have to throw so much on the hoods to sell mid size sedans anyway.

    Get's people in the door? Fusions and Malibus get people in the door so they can sell them Escapes/Edges or Equinoxes/Traverses? I've never heard of people going to a dealership because of those cars "just because". That's something the Mustangs and Camaros do or Raptors. Something that actually grabs attention to just look at then get caught talking to a salesman about what they can afford. 

    You know GM will put the 3.6 in it.. They put it in everything. 

    WAT? 

    Blazer.jpg

    @regfootball wants a sporty 2-row crossover, not something upright and fake-truck looking like a Grand Cherokee. 

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    16 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I am already stocking up on the half gallons of ice-cream because I'm prepared to be very let down by the new Blazer simply on the hardware.  I want Chevy to build a true Grand Cherokee competitor in terms of off-road capability options. I'm expecting it to be no better than a Murano for off-road.

    I'm guessing the Bronco might end up being more of a GC competitor.  I wonder if it is built off the same platform as the next Explorer.

     

     

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    7 minutes ago, frogger said:

    I'm guessing the Bronco might end up being more of a GC competitor.  I wonder if it is built off the same platform as the next Explorer.

     

     

    The Bronco will be built on the Ranger's platform/chassis. 

    I'm not 100% but I believe it is supposed to be more of a Wrangler competitor. The Edge is already the size of the JGC. 

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    8 minutes ago, frogger said:

    I'm guessing the Bronco might end up being more of a GC competitor.  I wonder if it is built off the same platform as the next Explorer.

     

     

    Ranger platform from what I understand, but Explorer platform could make sense too.

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    5 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    @regfootball wants a sporty 2-row crossover, not something upright and fake-truck looking like a Grand Cherokee. 

    this would do the trick

     

    2018_Buick_Enspire_All_Electric_Concept_01.0.jpg

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    I was going to acquiesce and go looking at Equinox 2.0t, but now I want to wait a bit longer before I decide.  All the cool stuff in my head ain't out yet.

    Ranger STX Supercab 4x4

    Maverick

    Bronco

    Blazer

    Refreshed Colorado 4X4

    Silverado WT shortbed reg cab 4X4

    Ram Tradesman reg cab shortbed  4X4

    Scrambler regular cab

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    don't waste your time on an Equinox.  It has no soul.  Really sad what's become of the nox.

    Neighbor (Mopar fan) got an 18 Cherokee before the 19's came in.... the 19's no longer have the v6.

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    14 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    Or... just sell what the majority of the public wants.. They have to throw so much on the hoods to sell mid size sedans anyway.

    Get's people in the door? Fusions and Malibus get people in the door so they can sell them Escapes/Edges or Equinoxes/Traverses? I've never heard of people going to a dealership because of those cars "just because". That's something the Mustangs and Camaros do or Raptors. Something that actually grabs attention to just look at then get caught talking to a salesman about what they can afford. 

    You know GM will put the 3.6 in it.. They put it in everything. 

    WAT? 

    Blazer.jpg

    Then we can just choose to disagree...it's okay. I just believe in choice- sedans still belong in the market, period.

    What I meant by getting them in the door was more that they wanted to come in for a car, of some sort. Some come in for a truck, another a van, and maybe another a car.And heck, those looking for a deal.......Sorry if I did not come off clear enough.....been a rough week....😔

    3 hours ago, regfootball said:

    don't waste your time on an Equinox.  It has no soul.  Really sad what's become of the nox.

    Neighbor (Mopar fan) got an 18 Cherokee before the 19's came in.... the 19's no longer have the v6.

    Dude, the Nox never had a soul....but at least the first gen looked different......been a korean clone for a while.

    New one is finally starting to grow on me......

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    8 hours ago, regfootball said:

    don't waste your time on an Equinox.  It has no soul.  Really sad what's become of the nox.

    Neighbor (Mopar fan) got an 18 Cherokee before the 19's came in.... the 19's no longer have the v6.

    I see wut yer sayin' on the Equinox, but the 3.2L V6 is still available on the '19 Cherokee.

    work out flex GIF by Ryan Nemeth

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      Jim Hackett's tenure as Ford CEO will be coming to a close on October 1st as he will retire from the position. His replacement is Jim Farley, currently Ford's Chief Operating Officer, a role he took on at the beginning of this year. In a press release, Ford said the two will be working together over the next two months on the transition. Hackett will stay on as "special advisor" for some time after.
      “I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future. Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic,” said Ford executive chairman, Bill Ford.
      Hackett became Ford's CEO in 2017 after the ousting of then CEO Mark Fields. His short tenure brought forth some major and controversial decisions such as Ford killing off most of their passenger car nameplates to focus on trucks and utility vehicles; spending $11 billion in electric vehicles by 2022, and the introductions of the Mach-E, 2021 F-150, and Bronco. He has also dealt with a lot frustration from various groups as The Detroit News outlines,
      Hackett admitted that his tenure did cause a fair amount of friction, but said his efforts are starting to show.
      "I aimed for moving ahead versus just moving fast. Could we aim for a longer-arc kind of reward. In this case, for the three years it takes to get products to market, you're starting to see the fruits of our labor."
      Farley, who has been with Ford since 2007, knows he has a tough road ahead. Aside from realizing the various paths laid out by Hackett, he also has to deal with the issues of the COVID-19 pandemic and hopefully launch two of Ford's key product without any issues.
      Source: Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2


      FORD ANNOUNCES JIM HACKETT TO RETIRE AS PRESIDENT AND CEO; JIM FARLEY TO SUCCEED HACKETT AS COMPANY CONTINUES TRANSFORMATION
      Jim Hackett, who has led Ford Motor Company’s transformation since 2017 as president and CEO, has elected to retire from the company Jim Farley, currently chief operating officer, becomes president and CEO of Ford effective Oct. 1. He was also elected to the Ford board of directors. He will work closely with Jim Hackett on the transition over the next two months Seamless CEO transition underscores strength of Ford’s leadership team, succession planning, and company progress over the past three years, Executive Chairman Bill Ford says DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 4, 2020 – Ford Motor Company today announced that Jim Hackett, who has led the company’s transformation since 2017, plans to retire from the company. Jim Farley has been named the company’s new president and CEO and will join the board of directors, effective Oct. 1.
      Hackett, 65, and Farley, 58, will work together on a smooth leadership transition over the next two months.
      Under Hackett, Ford moved aggressively into the new era of smart vehicles and drove a deeper focus on customers’ wants and needs. At the same time, Ford improved the fitness of the base business – restructuring operations, invigorating the product portfolio and reducing bureaucracy.
      “I am very grateful to Jim Hackett for all he has done to modernize Ford and prepare us to compete and win in the future,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “Our new product vision – led by the Mustang Mach-E, new F-150 and Bronco family – is taking shape. We now have compelling plans for electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as full vehicle connectivity. And we are becoming much more nimble, which was apparent when we quickly mobilized to make life-saving equipment at the outset of the pandemic.”
      Farley, an automotive leader with deep global experience and a successful track record, collaborated with Hackett over the past three years to develop and execute Ford’s Creating Tomorrow Together plan to transform Ford into a higher-growth, higher-margin business.
      “Jim Farley matches an innate feel for cars and customers with great instincts for the future and the new technologies that are changing our industry,” Bill Ford said. “Jim’s passion for great vehicles and his intense drive for results are well known, and I have also seen him develop into a transformational leader with the determination and foresight to help Ford thrive into the future.”
      Farley joined Ford in 2007 as global head of Marketing and Sales and went on to lead Lincoln, Ford South America, Ford of Europe and all Ford global markets in successive roles. In April 2019, Farley was chosen to lead Ford’s New Businesses, Technology & Strategy team, helping the company determine how to capitalize on powerful forces reshaping the industry – such as software platforms, connectivity, AI, automation and new forms of propulsion. He was named chief operating officer in February of this year.
      Hackett, who will continue as a special advisor to Ford through March of 2021, said the time is right to pass the mantle of leadership to Jim Farley.
      “My goal when I took on the CEO role was to prepare Ford to win in the future,” Hackett said. “The hardest thing for a proud, long-lived company to do is change to meet the challenges of the world it’s entering rather than the world it has known. I’m very proud of how far we have come in creating a modern Ford and I am very optimistic about the future.
      “I have worked side-by-side with Jim Farley for the past three years and have the greatest confidence in him as a person and a leader,” Hackett said. “He has been instrumental in crafting our new product portfolio and redesigning our businesses around the world. He is also a change agent with a deep understanding of how to lead Ford in this new era defined by smart vehicles in a smart world.”
      Said Farley: “I love Ford and I am honored by the opportunity to serve and create value for Ford’s employees, customers, dealers, communities and all of our stakeholders. Jim Hackett has laid the foundation for a really vibrant future and we have made tremendous progress in the past three years. I am so excited to work together with the whole Ford team to realize the full potential of this great company in a new era.”
    • By William Maley
      During a recent fireside chat with Bank of America, Ford teased a new 'Whitespace' product due in the 2021MY. What could that product be? Muscle Cars & Trucks speculates this may be a smaller pickup truck.
      We've been hearing rumblings about this since 2018 when Automobile Magazine first brought this to light. This truck would be the replacement for the Brazilian market Courier, last sold in 2013. It would be based on the C2 platform that underpinned at the time the new Focus for markets outside of the U.S. Fuel would be added to the fire a year later when Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets dropped this,
      Since then, a trademark filing for Maverick by Ford has appeared, possibly giving us a name for this new model. Plus, dealers were shown this model earlier this year where it earned an enthusiastic reception.
      This model could have a starting price of around $20,000 or so when it launches. Stay tuned.
      Source: Muscle Cars & Trucks

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      During a recent fireside chat with Bank of America, Ford teased a new 'Whitespace' product due in the 2021MY. What could that product be? Muscle Cars & Trucks speculates this may be a smaller pickup truck.
      We've been hearing rumblings about this since 2018 when Automobile Magazine first brought this to light. This truck would be the replacement for the Brazilian market Courier, last sold in 2013. It would be based on the C2 platform that underpinned at the time the new Focus for markets outside of the U.S. Fuel would be added to the fire a year later when Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets dropped this,
      Since then, a trademark filing for Maverick by Ford has appeared, possibly giving us a name for this new model. Plus, dealers were shown this model earlier this year where it earned an enthusiastic reception.
      This model could have a starting price of around $20,000 or so when it launches. Stay tuned.
      Source: Muscle Cars & Trucks
    • By William Maley
      The 2021 Ford Bronco shows how serious the automaker is to creating a real threat to the Jeep Wrangler. With two and four-door versions, seven different trims, a number of off-road features, and other goodies, there is a lot to digest. So let us dive in.
      It Certainly Looks the Part
      Ford's designers leaned heavily on the first-generation (1963-1977) Bronco as inspiration for the new model. The boxy profile is here, as is the "BRONCO" front grille. Unlike Broncos of the past, Ford is offering two and four-door versions. Before you ask, the doors are removable. While being slightly heavier than the Wrangler, the Bronco's doors are frameless that not only makes them more compact to store, but also makes it feel more like a convertible. If you're wondering about the side-view mirrors, Ford moved them from the doors to the front cowl.
      Which brings us to the Bronco's tops. The two-door version will only come with a hardtop, while the four-door comes with both a soft and hardtop. Ford claims that removing the top on the Bronco will be easier and quicker than on the Wrangler, we can't wait to see that claim be put to the test.
      One item that the Bronco doesn't have is the ability for the front windshield to fold down like on the Wrangler. Roadshow asked Ford officials and this is what they wrote,
      Moving inside, the Bronco leans more on being purposeful and plain. There are some clever touches such as grab handles molded into the dash, a set of dedicated buttons on top of the dash for various off-road features, and built-in drains in the floor to wash out the interior. Ford's latest infotainment system, SYNC 4 will come standard in the Bronco - either in 8 or 12-inch touchscreen. 
      Turbo Power!
      Ford is going all-in on turbocharged power for the new Bronco. The base engine is the 2.3 EcoBoost four-cylinder packing 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. This will come standard with a seven-speed manual. Before you start thinking this is similar to what you'll find in a last-generation Chevrolet Corvette or Porsche 911, the seventh-gear acts a crawler gear. With the upgraded 4x4 system, it can achieve a 95:1 crawl ratio for peak climbing prowess. A ten-speed automatic is optional.
      Next step up is the 2.7L EcoBoost with 310 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. This is paired solely with the ten-speed automatic.
      Both engines have four-wheel drive as standard - in this case a part-time system with a two-speed, shift-on-the-fly electronic transfer case. Optional is a full-time system with a 4-Auto setting.
      GOAT Doesn't Mean "Greatest of All Time" for Bronco
      If you checked our Bronco Sport story from last night, you may have seen something called GOAT. This in Bronco terms means "Goes Over Any Type of Terrain" - i.e. seven different drive modes. Those modes are,
      Normal Eco Sport Slippery Sand Baja Mud/Ruts Rock Crawl There is also hill-descent control and Trail Control, the latter being an off-road cruise control system.
      How About that Suspension?
      Up front, the Bronco utilizes a independent suspension setup with twin-A control arms and coilovers. The back utilizes a live axle with trailing links and coil-over springs. On certain versions, a electro-hydraulically actuated sway bar can be disconnected while under load. It will automatically reconnect at speeds above 20 mph.
      If you want a slightly deeper dive into the Bronco's suspension, I highly recommend Dan Edmunds' piece on Autoblog.
      How Much and When I Can Get One?
      First the bad news, the 2021 Ford Bronco will not be available at dealers until next spring. This might be a good thing considering Ford's previous launches haven't gone over so well (see Explorer). As for pricing, the base two-door will begin at $29,995. The four-door kicks off at $34,695. Prices include a $1,495 destination charge.
      The rest of the lineup is as followed (two-door, four-door),
      Big Bend: $34,880, $37,375 Black Diamond: $37,545, $40,040 Outer Banks: $40,450, $42,945 Badlands: $43,590, $46,085 Wildtrak: $50,370, $52,865 First Edition: $60,800, $64,995 (Author's Note: As of this morning, Ford has announced that all First Editions of the Bronco have sold out.)
      Car and Driver has a good piece breaking down each trim and what comes equipped.
      As we mentioned in our Bronco Sport story, you can put a reservation on a 2021 Bronco with a $100 deposit. Hopefully, Ford's servers are up to the task as they were struggling last night.
      Source: Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2


      ALL-NEW 2021 BRONCO TWO-DOOR AND FIRST-EVER FOUR-DOOR MODELS: BUILT WILD SUVS WITH THRILLING 4X4 CAPABILITY, READY FOR FUN
      Built Wild™: Ford Bronco returns as the flagship of a new all-4x4 family of rugged SUVs, with a classic two-door and a first-ever four-door; both are engineered with Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing, Capability and Innovative Design for segment-leading 4x4 capability, long-term off-road performance and dependability Thrilling: Bronco features powerful EcoBoost® engines with segment-exclusive 7-speed manual transmission and available 35-inch tires; Bronco excels with available best-in-class 94.75:1 crawl ratio, ground clearance, suspension travel and water fording capabilities, plus breakover and departure angles Ready for fun: Bronco two-door and four-door models can get you to the trails fast with quick-release stowable roof panels and doors on select versions; available cutting-edge off-road drive technologies and segment-exclusive digital trail mapping allow owners to easily plan, record and share their experiences via an all-in-one app Infinitely customizable: Bronco launches with more than 200 factory-backed aftermarket accessories for more capability, personalization and style, and with a base MSRP of $29,995; 2021 Bronco two- and four-door SUVs can be reserved at ford.com starting today for $100 DEARBORN, Mich., July 13, 2020 – Ford today unveils the 2021 Bronco – including a classic two-door and first-ever four-door – the flagship of an all-new family of rugged off-road vehicles.
      The all-4x4 Bronco brand is Built Wild™ and ready to deliver thrilling experiences with its heritage-inspired style, engineering and smart off-road technology, plus innovative features to help outdoor enthusiasts create adventures in the most remote corners of the world.
      “We created the Bronco family to elevate every aspect of off-road adventure and equipped them with class-leading chassis hardware and exclusive technologies to raise the bar in the rugged 4x4 segment and take people further into the wild,” said Jim Farley, Ford chief operating officer. “They’re built with the toughness of an F-Series truck and performance spirit of Mustang – and come wrapped in one of the most stunning and functional off-road designs that’s true to the original Bronco design DNA.”
      The all-new Bronco re-enters the scene with an all-4x4 lineup with production beginning in early 2021 and first models arriving in Ford dealerships next spring. Bronco owners can choose from an extensive lineup of more than 200 factory-backed accessories for maximum personalization, enabling dealers to provide outfitting-on-demand for each customer’s individual adventure needs.
      Built Wild 4x4 confidence

      Just like the first-generation Bronco, nicknamed G.O.A.T., the mission of the all-new 2021 Bronco is to deliver maximum 4x4 go-anywhere, anytime capability and confidence. Bronco incorporates off-road mapping and drive technologies to give novice adventurers as much fun as hard-core off-road experts, while its Built Wild durability makes for lasting performance in the harshest of conditions for generations to come.
      “Bronco’s advanced four-wheel-drive technology is at the core of its off-road capabilities, and at the heart of it all is Bronco’s exclusive Terrain Management System™ with G.O.A.T. Modes™ that is designed to help drivers better navigate any type of terrain,” said Mark Grueber, Bronco consumer marketing manager.
      Up to seven driver-selectable modes are offered including Normal, Eco, Sport, Slippery and Sand, with Baja, Mud/Ruts and Rock Crawl for off-road driving.
      Two 4x4 systems are offered on all Bronco models, a base setup and advanced 4x4. The base system utilizes a two-speed electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case, while the optional advanced system features a two-speed electromechanical transfer case that adds an auto mode for on-demand engagement to select between 2H and 4H. Power is distributed to a Dana™ 44 AdvanTEK® solid rear axle and Dana AdvanTEK independent front differential unit – both with available Spicer® Performa-TraK™ electronic locking differentials for improved traction over rough terrain.
      Available segment-first Trail Toolbox gives Bronco owners a suite of exclusive technologies to elevate their off-road experience. This includes Trail Control™ – cruise control for low-speed trail driving, while Trail Turn Assist tightens off-road turning radiuses through torque vectoring, and the innovative Trail One-Pedal Drive acceleration/braking control makes for more precise and confident slow-mode rock crawling.
      Segment-leading levels of off-road capability are possible thanks to Bronco’s available best-in-class 11.6-inch ground clearance, maximum 29-degree breakover angle and 37.2-degree departure angle, plus best-in-class water fording capability of up to 33.5 inches. Off-road capability is further reinforced by exposed tow hooks in the front and rear and available heavy-duty modular steel bumpers with integrated Ford Performance accessory winch mount.
      Bronco’s strategically placed steel shields protect critical hardware. Higher-capability models get an available front bash plate, plus shields for the engine, transmission, transfer case and fuel tank. For those taking on the roughest rocky terrain, Bronco’s available side rock rails are strong enough to support the weight of each side of the vehicle.
      “Bronco two- and four-door models leverage the company’s Built Ford Tough durability and performance testing and take it even further off-road with Built Wild Extreme Durability Testing in the harshest possible environments, including the brutal trails of the King of the Hammers off-road competition,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford enterprise product line management, Icons.
      Thrilling performance borne of Bronco DNA
      Thanks to Bronco’s legendary Baja racing DNA, each model brings forth a thrilling off-road experience and delivers it with modern, heritage-inspired style. It all began in a Ford design studio with a life-size digital scan of a first-generation model that served to influence the proportions and design of the all-new Bronco for maximum off-road capability and performance.
      “Similar to the first-generation model, Bronco’s square proportions, short overhangs and wide stance are optimized for off-road adventure,” said Paul Wraith, Bronco chief designer. “The side profile features a flat, no-nonsense surface with clear-cut edges and robustly flared fenders. Large, open wheel wells are a modular design with a quick-release attachment for simple customization.
      All-new Bronco architecture for two- and four-door models is based on a fully boxed, high-strength steel chassis that delivers available best-in-class suspension travel – 17 percent more both front and rear over the closest competitor to thrive in rugged environments.
      To deliver thrilling high-speed off-roading and overall driving performance, every Bronco comes with an independent front suspension for improved control, confidence and comfort. At the rear, a rugged solid axle design featuring coil springs with five locating links delivers both strength and off-road control. Long-travel position-sensitive Bilstein® dampers with end-stop control valves at every corner are available for added off-road durability and reduced harshness.
      An available segment-exclusive semi-active hydraulic stabilizer bar disconnect design provides maximum articulation and increased ramp angle index for off-camber terrain. This innovative system bests competitors by disconnecting during articulation; it can reconnect under all conditions to improve steering and stability at higher speeds.
      Segment-first 35-inch off-road tires direct from the factory are available on every trim level of two- and four-door Bronco, while available segment-first beadlock-capable wheels allow customers to elevate off-road capability, regardless of price point. 
      “Race-bred EcoBoost® engines and our segment-first 7-speed manual and available 10-speed automatic transmissions give the all-new Bronco the optimal combination of power, torque and gear ranges to perform in a wide variety of terrains and uses,” said Pericak.
      Best-in-class projected gasoline-powered horsepower and torque is available with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, which is projected to produce 310 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, while the 2.3-liter EcoBoost is targeted to deliver best-in-class four-cylinder torque of 310 lb.-ft. with an expected 270 horsepower.
      For maximum low-speed rock-climbing capability, a segment-first 7-speed (6+1) manual transmission paired with the available advanced 4x4 system with automatic on-demand engagement generates a class-leading available crawler-gear ratio of 94.75:1. An available segment-first SelectShift® 10-speed automatic transmission makes for easier driving on- and off-road, while offering a maximum 67.8:1 crawl ratio with the available advanced 4x4 transfer case.
      Ready to head effortlessly into the wild
      Both Bronco two- and four-door models make the open-air experience quick, easy and fun. Two-door models come with a standard three-section roof system – left and right front sections and a rear section – molded-in color and an available premium painted modular top with four sections that adds a removable panel over the rear seats and cargo area. Four-door models have four removable roof sections – left and right front panels, a full-width center panel and a rear section. Roof panels on all models can be removed by one person by unlocking the latches from the interior. First-row panels stow away onboard on two-door models.
      All modular hardtops have rear quarter windows that are removable in three easy steps – snap, push and lift away in a fraction of the time it takes for competitors – without removing the roof panels. By locating the sportbar behind the second row, both Bronco two- and four-door models offer the largest overall open-top view in its class to take in the sunshine or to gaze at the stars at night.
      A cloth soft top, standard on four-door models, provides easy access to the open air and a unique tilt-up function for quick access to the rear cargo area. For customers who don’t want to choose between a soft or hardtop, the four-door model can be optioned with both.
      Every Bronco comes with class-exclusive frameless doors that make them easier to remove than what competitors offer. On four-door Bronco models, all four doors can be stored onboard with protective door bags. Exclusive cowl-mounted mirrors maintain sideview visibility when the doors are removed. Trail sights on the front fenders also serve as tie-downs, reminiscent of the first-generation Bronco, have a 150-pound capacity for securing longer items like canoes.
      High-tech interior designed for the outdoors
      Inside, all Bronco models are purpose-built and ready for action. The instrument panel is inspired by the first-generation model, with gauges and controls clearly visible and intuitive. Colors and materials are inspired by natural palettes and outdoor gear. With off-road functionality paramount, materials are tough and rugged.
      A multifunction color LCD instrument panel is front and center with the transmission shifter/selector and G.O.A.T. Modes controller in the center console. Available grab handles are integrated into the modular instrument panel and center console, while available MOLLE hooks are mounted in the seatbacks. Attachment points are built into the instrument panel to mount a bring-your-own-device rack, with 12-volt power connections to easily mount cameras, navigation units, phones or other devices.
      Further setting Bronco ahead of the off-road competition is an available segment-exclusive 12-inch SYNC® 4 system with over-the-air updates and seamless integration to the FordPass Performance app with off-road navigation – a Bronco class-exclusive feature that allows owners to easily plan, navigate and share their off-road adventures. The SYNC system also displays the available 360-degree camera system with class-exclusive off-road spotter views to provide additional visibility in technical pursuits such as rock crawling.
      Bronco’s advanced topographic trail maps and more than 1,000 curated trail maps are powered by class-exclusive trail content from NeoTreks’ AccuTerra® Maps, Trails Offroad trail guides and FunTreks trail guides.
      “The trail mapping system available on Bronco is truly a game-changer in the off-road community,” said Grueber. “It works online or off on either of the navigation-capable 8- or 12-inch SYNC systems, allowing users to select one of hundreds of available curated trail maps to map out and then track, capture and share their adventures with others.”  
      To make post-adventure cleanups simple, fast and painless, select Bronco models come with washable rubberized floors with integrated drains and marine-grade vinyl seating surfaces that resist mildew. Instrument panel surfaces are wipeable, with seamless silicone rubber on the dash-mounted hero switches, while rubber touchpoints protect against dirt and water. Six available upfitter switches mounted overhead are silicone-sealed to protect against the elements and to make customization easy, with pre-wired leads to key accessory points.
      A modern high-strength steel roll cage with integrated side curtain airbags in the upper structure and seats helps protect passengers from side impacts and complements driver and front passenger airbags. Available Ford Co-Pilot360™ driver-assist technologies plus standard AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™ and Trailer Sway Control help instill driver confidence.
      Equipment series redefine customization
      An all-new experiential-based equipment series provides unique flexibility to align capability with the adventure interests of each customer. Seven unique Bronco series are offered, with matched color and trim combinations. When combined with four content packages, numerous available options, 11 color choices and more than 200 dealer-installable accessories, personalizing an all-new Bronco SUV has never been easier.
      Series range from a base Bronco, a no-frills SUV for those who want to customize their own, to Big Bend™, Black Diamond™ and Outer Banks™ with a variety of options and colors, topping out with Wildtrak™ and Badlands™ for more extreme off-road adventuring. A limited-production First Edition™ will be offered at launch.
      Reservations begin today

      As with the five generations before it, the all-new 2021 Bronco two-door and four-door models will be built at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. More detailed information, including vehicle specs, accessories and full pricing and options, will be provided closer to launch. MSRP for the base two-door Bronco is $29,995, including $1,495 destination and delivery. Reservations for Bronco two- and four-door models can be made for $100 beginning at 8 p.m. EDT today at ford.com. 

      View full article
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