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mustang84

BIG Ford news

80 posts in this topic

European Focus is coming here soon and will be sold alongside the US Focus, along with the Kuga and C-Max.

Three US truck plants will be converted to car production; Fusion, Euro Focus, Kuga, and C-Max will be built at these plants. Louisville will be one of them.

Transit Connect and Transit coming soon, will be produced in the US

Our sources at Ford say that Mr. Mulally has already made the decision to convert at least three truck/SUV production facilities in North America as soon as possible to produce Ford models currently sold in Europe, where Ford is renowned for its small cars. The timeline Mulally prefers, according to insiders, is “yesterday”. He has made up his mind and is pushing forward.
The retooling to be undertaken is cataclysmic and will cost a lot of money. Obviously this is money that Ford desperately needs to marshal at this point in their turnaround efforts, but Mulally and most of the senior executives now believe that if they don’t spend the money they have on the retooling right now, there will be no company to spend it on later. They are literally betting the rest of the company’s future in the next 12 months. Our sources say there is no more discussion at this point as to whether or not they should do it; the discussion now is simply just how it will be done.

http://www.autosavant.net/2008/06/ford-wil...tories-for.html

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I love that Mulally gets it. It's about damn time. I hope they do well because it seems Ford is betting it's future on them...but considering how good they are They should be all set. Since they plan to sell the Euro Focus along side the NA one I wonder if it will be called Focus or not? Good luck Ford.

Bold Moves.

Edited by Dodgefan
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This sounds great. I hope these US-made Euro Fords will be sold here, preferably with the option of a diesel!

I wonder how factories in the EU will react to this "outsourcing"..?

Edited by empowah
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The European model that may not make it over here in terms of production, and therefore sale, is the excellent Ford Mondeo. Product planners are having a tough time figuring out where it would fit, price-wise, and even though Mulally is fan of the car, its price point may be problematic.

Chang'an Ford (China) recently announced a price cut for Mondeos, in response to new competition from Mazda's 6 and VW's Magotan. It will now start at 150,000 RMB, or $21K USD; perhaps Ford can import them from there...

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mondeo is not selling well.

mondeo can't be brought here and won't be.

on BON, the theory being bantered is that Mullaly is saying, 'we have to bring there products here now, because if we wait, it may be too late and there may not be a company left'.

think the euro focus will say 'mercury'?

regardless of each individual move and the wisdom of each of them, what this says to me is Mullally is grabbing it by the nuts and making decisive action with the strengths they have. My only concern with this is the quality control could suffer. Ford worked hard to where their products are pretty trouble free, and this could expose some issues there. Better to get the product in the showroom I guess.

I think this is good stuff. Don't you wish GM could enact say, a Zeta decision this quickly and decisively?

With this kind of grab it by the nuts moves, it can reinforce what Flint intimated, GM and Chrysler could be gone and Ford may be best poised to weather this out.

Edited by regfootball
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Reg, when the suppliers announced a few days ago that no new Mercuries were planned past 2012, but that Ford said they would remain committed, the first thought in my head was "what if continued support of Mercury does not involve NA suppliers?"

Hopefully this is the case. How else would Ford justify selling both vehicles side-by-side in same/similar size classes for different prices?

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Reg, when the suppliers announced a few days ago that no new Mercuries were planned past 2012, but that Ford said they would remain committed, the first thought in my head was "what if continued support of Mercury does not involve NA suppliers?"

Hopefully this is the case. How else would Ford justify selling both vehicles side-by-side in same/similar size classes for different prices?

Very good point, I hope you're right Croc! That would explain a lot on why Ford has been so mum about Mercury lately.

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Not to mention, the euro Focus would certainly sell at a price premium to the NA version.

Sounds like a perfect spot for Mercury.

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Someone compared Ford's radical plan to the US automakers' massive, almost overnight switch to military production during WWII, it's that drastic. I hope it works. Ford, we're pulling for you.
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I very much hope that Ford does not give the Euro Focus to Mercury. I don't want to see such an awesome car going to such a $h! brand.

Edited by Backup7
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Wow, this is big news indeed. I just hope the plant conversions are worth it, as importing cars from Europe is not palatable with the exchange rate.

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While I'm not sure Ford has a choice, I also applaud the decisive thinking behind these moves.

Quite frankly, with high-profit truck market under siege, the only way to go is to produce product that can be priced in a premium fashion--whatever the badges will be.

The Kuga, Euro-Focus & Mondeo would certainly make a nice showroom for Mercury--and justify its status as a Ford+ in the divisional structure.

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mondeo wont be able to be sold here.

lot cruising yesterday......ford has removed most of the focus incentives, smart move so they can get higher prices and they seem to be doing that. so maybe that is partially what is convincinc them they could sell a few of the c1 at high prices as a mercury until the next global focus is ready.

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While I'm not sure Ford has a choice, I also applaud the decisive thinking behind these moves.

Quite frankly, with high-profit truck market under siege, the only way to go is to produce product that can be priced in a premium fashion--whatever the badges will be.

The Kuga, Euro-Focus & Mondeo would certainly make a nice showroom for Mercury--and justify its status as a Ford+ in the divisional structure.

I just don't see Mercury being a fit for Euro Ford based upon the current state of that distribution channel.

Mercury, relatively speaking, isn't really that high on anyone's consideration list today. Ford is going to have to spend some MAJOR bucks just to get people to consider stopping in a Lincoln/Mercury dealership.....even with hot Euro Fords in the showroom. And if they can't drive traffic, then the whole idea of bringing the Euros over here will have been for moot.

While it may be an exciting thought, emotionally and passionately, to redefine and re-launch the Mercury brand with a bunch of hot Euro Fords, I just don't see it being practical. Whereas the Ford brand HAS the distribution channel, brand recognition, and support from Dearborn to make this work.

The target consumers for vehicles such as the Euro Focus, Mondeo, C-Max, and Kuga haven't (and most likely wouldn't) give "Mercury" a second thought.

Edited by The O.C.
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I just don't see Mercury being a fit for Euro Ford based upon the current state of that distribution channel.

Mercury, relatively speaking, isn't really that high on anyone's consideration list today. Ford is going to have to spend some MAJOR bucks just to get people to consider stopping in a Lincoln/Mercury dealership.....even with hot Euro Fords in the showroom. And if they can't drive traffic, then the whole idea of bringing the Euros over here will have been for moot.

While it may be an exciting thought, emotionally and passionately, to redefine and re-launch the Mercury brand with a bunch of hot Euro Fords, I just don't see it being practical. Whereas the Ford brand HAS the distribution channel, brand recognition, and support from Dearborn to make this work.

The target consumers for vehicles such as the Euro Focus, Mondeo, C-Max, and Kuga haven't (and most likely wouldn't) give "Mercury" a second thought.

I have faith in Jill Wagner!

Most of the Mercury dealers near me are now combination Ford/Lincoln/Mercury. I just hope they're smart enough to put Synch into the Euro cars when they transition to the US. My friend's MKZ has it and it is pretty cool -- my dad's wife's 2008 Mariner does not, which I thought was very lame.

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Nice to see a domestic car company getting on with it!

Bold Moves indeed.

Good luck, Ford!

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I just don't see Mercury being a fit for Euro Ford based upon the current state of that distribution channel.

Mercury, relatively speaking, isn't really that high on anyone's consideration list today. Ford is going to have to spend some MAJOR bucks just to get people to consider stopping in a Lincoln/Mercury dealership.....even with hot Euro Fords in the showroom. And if they can't drive traffic, then the whole idea of bringing the Euros over here will have been for moot.

While it may be an exciting thought, emotionally and passionately, to redefine and re-launch the Mercury brand with a bunch of hot Euro Fords, I just don't see it being practical. Whereas the Ford brand HAS the distribution channel, brand recognition, and support from Dearborn to make this work.

The target consumers for vehicles such as the Euro Focus, Mondeo, C-Max, and Kuga haven't (and most likely wouldn't) give "Mercury" a second thought.

I agree and disagree.

I agree because the network is a little small IMO and it will take some great marketing. I disagree because 1) I think the consumer will SEEK OUT these products if gas keeps going through the roof and the products are as good as we've been told. 2) I'm sure, at the price points these cars will be at, volume will not be a major issue. Ford NA can continue to push the Focus as the volume small car.

IMO, Mercurys lack of identity is its greatest strength. Unlike Pontiac, which supposedly has a BAD/damaged image with consumers, Mercury is more of a "forgotten brand" that has NO image with consumers. Mercury is just kind of 'there' and doesn't really mean much of anything. Ford will have to launch these cars exactly right if they want to rebuild Mercury; it's almost akin to Toyota starting Scion.

I think it could work... I mean, the alternative is to put all of these cars in the already crowded Ford showroom beside cars that are completely different and some of which are a lot older and unrefined.

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I just don't see Mercury being a fit for Euro Ford based upon the current state of that distribution channel.

Mercury, relatively speaking, isn't really that high on anyone's consideration list today. Ford is going to have to spend some MAJOR bucks just to get people to consider stopping in a Lincoln/Mercury dealership.....even with hot Euro Fords in the showroom. And if they can't drive traffic, then the whole idea of bringing the Euros over here will have been for moot.

While it may be an exciting thought, emotionally and passionately, to redefine and re-launch the Mercury brand with a bunch of hot Euro Fords, I just don't see it being practical. Whereas the Ford brand HAS the distribution channel, brand recognition, and support from Dearborn to make this work.

The target consumers for vehicles such as the Euro Focus, Mondeo, C-Max, and Kuga haven't (and most likely wouldn't) give "Mercury" a second thought.

There aren't that many stand-alone Lincoln/Mercury dealerships left...a lot of them have merged into Ford/Lincoln/Mercury. Most of the major sales channels here in Iowa are now F/L/M.

The least they could do is give Mercury some of the models; selling two Focuses and an Escape/Kuga is just too much confusion and overlap for a Ford lot. The Mercury brand may be unknown, but the Ford brand still carries a lot of baggage. I heard about someone who was trying to sell a Mazda Tribute to someone and she was interested until he told her it was based on the Ford Escape. I don't know how well a $28,000 compact Ford will sell in the showrooms. The Mercury demographic they have been targeting is more fitting for these vehicles than the Ford demographic.

I think Farley could pull it off.

Edited by mustang84
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I just don't see Mercury being a fit for Euro Ford based upon the current state of that distribution channel.

Mercury, relatively speaking, isn't really that high on anyone's consideration list today. Ford is going to have to spend some MAJOR bucks just to get people to consider stopping in a Lincoln/Mercury dealership.....even with hot Euro Fords in the showroom. And if they can't drive traffic, then the whole idea of bringing the Euros over here will have been for moot.

While it may be an exciting thought, emotionally and passionately, to redefine and re-launch the Mercury brand with a bunch of hot Euro Fords, I just don't see it being practical. Whereas the Ford brand HAS the distribution channel, brand recognition, and support from Dearborn to make this work.

The target consumers for vehicles such as the Euro Focus, Mondeo, C-Max, and Kuga haven't (and most likely wouldn't) give "Mercury" a second thought.

I was merely suggesting it could be an interesting opportunity to 'run-out' the current gen Focus, Fusion & Escape while building low volumes of a Merc Focus, Mondeo, Kuga, S-Max, or C-Max. If you're serious about moving quickly, it could be used as a template for Ford's future flex-manufacturing.

Just an idea. Can't wait to see Euro-Fords here, regardless.

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Ford doesn't have the money to remake Mercury and it doesn't fit into Ford's "One Ford" plan anyway.

Carmakers (and homebuilders and fashion designers and on and on) sell self-image. They don't sell horsepower, or comfort features or color or price. All of these things, for the vast majority of buyers whether they're conscious of it or not, take a back seat to self-image. Car salesmen or marketers or salesmen of any kind soon go hungry if they don't remember this.

A brand with no image but a checkered past is a liability UNLESS the carmaker is willing to spend gobs of attention and money to building it over a period of decades not years (see Lexus as the prime example of scratch to greatness).

When Ford kicks GM's behind with this plan then you'll see GM get religion overnight (but maybe too late) with all its albatross brands.

IMO, Mercurys lack of identity is its greatest strength. Unlike Pontiac, which supposedly has a BAD/damaged image with consumers, Mercury is more of a "forgotten brand" that has NO image with consumers. Mercury is just kind of 'there' and doesn't really mean much of anything. Ford will have to launch these cars exactly right if they want to rebuild Mercury; it's almost akin to Toyota starting Scion.
Edited by buyacargetacheck
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If you were Ford and you had very little money to spend, and perhaps even you're going to be banking the future of the company on this move as this article suggests [which isn't all that doubtful] would you go for a brand that needs major work, major attention, major marketing dollars and has a smaller disadvantaged network or are you going to go high volume and actually get profitability for your move? It's wishful thinking to say Ford is going to spend this money, which GM wouldn't do in the past when they had so much dollars in the pocket, and still won't do it with cars like Corsa, it's wishful thinking to say their going to go an extra step further and risk the hard task of remaking a brand. they'd have to spend huge amounts of money to do all this work....

i agree this is a very big move, and shows just how much they want to make it work. I can see the Focus fitting in the 16k-19k market just fine, and I hope they bring the good engines over. That's a big question, how much money does it take to bring the engines and components over here. The next big question is what are they going to call it. Kuga will be nice over here. I can see it overlapping in price with Escape and yet capturing a totally different segment. There is a definite market segment interested in cars like the TX2 concept from GM and Kuga, high mileage, high function, high style basically hatchbacks on stilts, for good prices. that's essentially what the first gen Rav4 was, and that was ugly. It's gonna be interesting for sure.

Though the types of cars they are does represent a step above Ford, being more premium than everyday, I just don't see it happening at Mercury since thier brand has been so starved and image deprived already.

Edited by turbo200
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Great move on Ford's move. These Euro cars seem very much on the pulse of what the public will gravitate towards just because of the standout designs. Ford NA should get the Euro Fords. And if they want to keep Mercury around, that division should get the current NA Fords.

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I just don't see Mercury being a fit for Euro Ford based upon the current state of that distribution channel.

Mercury, relatively speaking, isn't really that high on anyone's consideration list today. Ford is going to have to spend some MAJOR bucks just to get people to consider stopping in a Lincoln/Mercury dealership.....even with hot Euro Fords in the showroom. And if they can't drive traffic, then the whole idea of bringing the Euros over here will have been for moot.

While it may be an exciting thought, emotionally and passionately, to redefine and re-launch the Mercury brand with a bunch of hot Euro Fords, I just don't see it being practical. Whereas the Ford brand HAS the distribution channel, brand recognition, and support from Dearborn to make this work.

The target consumers for vehicles such as the Euro Focus, Mondeo, C-Max, and Kuga haven't (and most likely wouldn't) give "Mercury" a second thought.

Was Cadillac on anyone's radar in the 90s before the 2nd Escalade? No. And even then, it wasn't until the 2003 CTS until it really got on people's radar.

Product can promote a brand more than marketing smoke and mirrors ever will.

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