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Ford Choses C&G As Part Of Selective Group

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Guest Josh   
Guest Josh

When Cheers & Gears ran with the debut of Lincolns two previous showings at the Detroit Auto Show we, like the many enthusiasts that visit us daily had no idea who was watching. We always hype up that our show coverage is bar none and quite frankly we feel the best on the Internet for what we are given.

As it turns out, as our members disected the MKX concept and other Lincoln offerings we seemed to have captured the attention of a few, select key representatives within the FoMoCo.

During our recent presentation of the all new 2007 Lincoln Navigator I was surprised to find Lincolns SUV Brand Manager, Sudhir Sahay contact us with an exclusive picture of the all new 2007 Navigator which can be found in the Chicago Auto Show section of this message board.

Deciding to dive a little deeper, I sent a reply message to Mr. Sahay asking how we were discovered by Ford, and how were we chosen to feature this image.

Little to my surprise I was greeted with an e-mail back nearly as quickly as I had sent mine. Mr. Sahay went on to say that "We selected you to receive this sneak peak as part of an effort to identify key online automotive industry influencers" which was quite surprising to me and proves all the more importance of automotive enthusiast web-sites when showing your product to a worldwide audience.

Furthermore he went on to say, "Less than 10 key influencers were selected for their ability to provide fair, impartial and meaningful discussion on the automotive industry and new products."

That is what has kept Cheers & Gears atop the list of many enthusiasts sites to visit. Our ability to provide impartial and meaningful discussion on the industry & new products.

We hope to continue providing automakers with the avenue of the web and hope in the future all domestic automakers can realize the importance of enthusiast sites, especially Cheers & Gears.

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caddycruiser    50

Hmm...I wonder what they thought of the ENDLESS stream of comments saying how bad the new Navi looks and the countless number of photochops showing how it could be improved. That's the kind of corporate meeting I'd like to be in on--going over the extreme negative response you got after releasing pictures and details of your new product.

To a certain extent, you still have to consider the "well, there's always going to be someone that hates it" factor, but in this case, I think the responses were overwhelmingly negative.

Regardless, still good to know for certain that people from the automakers are REALLY looking around here from time to time...they could learn a lot :AH-HA_wink:

Edited by caddycruiser

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NOS2006    11

This is great news; it's always good to see some of our valiant efforts and more efficient discussions pay off.

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Cadillacfan    0

Woot! They based their decision off a thread that I started! I deserve a gold medal for my efforts! :P

Anyway. It seems that we have enough people on this site who aren't blind in their loyalty to the General.

Hopefully, the ideas they get from our posters will convince them to change the God-awful front end and make it a little more competitive.

Edited by Cadillacfan

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CARBIZ    1

I've always been suspicious of "focus groups" and other such nonsense that the automakers, and others, utilize when researching a new product. Better to get the opinion randomly off the street.

I've been on C&G for almost a year now and I thoroughly enjoy the pitched battles back and forth. I have learned a lot, and I hope that I have somehow made a contribution, too.

Kudos to C&G and to the internet for letting this kind of discourse happen!

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caddycruiser    50

i'm a true blue ford guy, and employed at a l-m dealership, and the 07 navi scares the c*%p out of me. gawd the thing is ugly. i just hope there is time to fix it a little before one "graces" our showroom.

Well, that would have to be a no. What was shown is the production model, set to roll off the line as is, so there really is no time to change anything.

Should end up being a situation like the 500/Montego...styling that people go "Huh?" to from day one, upon which FoMoCo promises a rush refresh ASAP, which won't come for about another 2 years or so from intro.

I wish you the best of luck, because it might be a little rough selling these things for those first 2 years or so. They have the features and the refinemnent down pat, and packaging that is much better than an Escalade, but with looks...UH-OH... :blink:

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Drew Dowdell    4,980

I think we provide enough commentary on ALL makes that all of the manufacturers should be interested in watching what we say. We're essentially a free focus group full of fairly car smart people. And our opinions become an amazing return on investment for them. GM would be wise to watch us as closely as Ford appears to have been.

Message to Ford: You seem set on this naming scheme for Lincoln. While I'm not a fan entirely, if you switch it to a full spelled out Mark X, Mark T, Mark Z, etc. it would become a distinct medium between the alpha numerics of the foreign makes/Cadillac and the full names of the domestics while ALSO paying homage to your heritage. Win / Win on your part.

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2b2    2

I'm glad Ford is aware of the online community. Just hope they take more advantage of the resource (ie. us ).

[small rant] -The problems-

Seems a lot of their models need "one more tweak" to be ready to prime time.

Zephyr & Navigator for example.

But who do they have that can do it?

I believe the design colleges are turning out a bunch of drones who think their diplomas make them Michelangelos. I worked at a small college for close to a decade and the 'system' sure didn't favor originality. From what I've seen on the web - some photochoppers , amateur artists, and just guys who draw their cars with words - have the current crop of 'professionals' beat hands down.

Yet even IF Ford & GM have some real talent in the studio, it won't do any good if the decision makers give the go ahead to a 'safe' design that focus groups select (who are these people?).

Throw in a bunch of bean counters and executives who care only about their personal bottom-line and PRODUCT the cars becomes the last man on the totem pole.

-Solutions?-

There's so much stacked against F/GM (no need to list the usual suspects here), it may just come down to luck. Yeah, the business-case has to be made and for that the drones are well qualified. But it F/GM want to get some 'heart' into their product, they need to use something not found in Toyota's methods.

It isn't always easy to discriminate between the 11 year olds and fans with unrealistic desires (some people want to live in the '60s whether they're that old or not), but I've seen many ideas from posters that make so much sense, I don't understand why GM or Ford haven't contacted them directly to use them as a 'wild card' in their struggle for existence...

maybe they have and I've haven't made the grade (yet... Mr. Ford, here's my application to be a 'tweaker').

Guess the real question is if the-guys-who-decide are ready to put the input into action. If the Navi reaches the showroom 'as is' (after the outcry and near universal demand to change the lower fascia's grille & yes, I know things can look different in person) then I guess all we can do is hope for more LUCK.

[/end rant]

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KaliRover    0

I agree.

I think we provide enough commentary on ALL makes that all of the manufacturers should be interested in watching what we say.  We're essentially a free focus group full of fairly car smart people. And our opinions become an amazing return on investment for them. GM would be wise to watch us as closely as Ford appears to have been.

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Drew Dowdell    4,980

I'm glad Ford is aware of the online community. Just hope they take more advantage of the resource (ie. us ).

[small rant] -The problems-

Seems a lot of their models need "one more tweak"  to be ready to prime time.

Zephyr & Navigator for example.

But who do they have that can do it?

I believe the design colleges are turning out a bunch of drones who think their diplomas make them Michelangelos. I worked at a small college for close to a decade and the 'system' sure didn't favor originality. From what I've seen on the web - some photochoppers , amateur artists, and just guys who draw their cars with words - have the current crop of 'professionals' beat hands down.

Yet even IF Ford & GM have some real talent in the studio, it won't do any good if the decision makers give the go ahead to a 'safe' design that focus groups select (who are these people?).

Throw in a bunch of bean counters and executives who care only about their personal bottom-line and PRODUCT the cars becomes the last man on the totem pole.

-Solutions?-

There's so much stacked against F/GM (no need to list the usual suspects here), it may just come down to luck. Yeah, the business-case has to be made and for that the drones are well qualified. But it F/GM want to get some 'heart' into their product, they need to use something not found in Toyota's methods.

It isn't always easy to discriminate between the 11 year olds and fans with unrealistic desires (some people want to live in the '60s whether they're that old or not), but I've seen many ideas from posters that make so much sense, I don't understand why GM or Ford haven't contacted them directly to use them as a 'wild card' in their struggle for existence...

maybe they have and I've haven't made the grade (yet... Mr. Ford, here's my application to be a 'tweaker').

Guess the real question is if the-guys-who-decide are ready to put the input into action. If the Navi reaches the showroom 'as is' (after the outcry and near universal demand to change the lower fascia's grille & yes, I know things can look different in person) then I guess all we can do is hope for more LUCK.

[/end rant]

Open source car design! I love it!

Imagine if Cadillac came to us for a Q/A about new models. Some of us could walk away saying something like "See where that switch is located? I suggested that!"

How's that for a way to ensure brand loyalty?

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AM6_Cutlass    0

Very cool. Stange how GM revoked the media access from this site, and now this. Since Ford execs may be watching... please offer a bench seat in the 500 and Montego. I have a co-worker that bought a new Taurus last year in the overlap year because she liked the interior with the bench better than the 500. The 500 should be selling much better than it is...

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caddycruiser    50

Who knows? They redid the Zephyr, uh, I mean MKZMZKXAIDKSD in a model year.

Well, that was just a name swap, and the 3.5L & AWD was already coming in the first place.

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Flybrian    0

Well, that was just a name swap, and the 3.5L & AWD was already coming in the first place.

What I mean was they restyled the grille a bit already. Second-year changes aren't anything new.

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ocnblu    732

Hello Ford Motor Company:

Please Give Lincoln, Mercury, and Ford a new, fullsize, RWD replacement for Town Car, Grand Marquis, and Crown Victoria. The Ford should look like the excellent 427 concept.

Please kill the MKS concept in favor of the Continental concept from 2002 as Lincoln's mid-range sedan. The MKS is derivative to the point of being generic... something a luxury car maker with a proud, long history cannot afford, especially in these times of cutthroat competition.

Lincoln's small car, the MKZ, has been relgated to second tier status among entry luxury cars due to its FWD/AWD driveline. Look at the IS350 and the ES350... which would you rather switch for? A nimble, RWD/AWD chassis is needed to elevate Lincoln toward the top of the class. MKZ is tepid. I agree with those that favor spelling the word "Mark" instead of "MK". It allows for familiarity without sounding generic, or outdated.

Please bring the latest Focus here. Small cars are hot, and people are more interested in premium small cars these days. The US also needs the next-gen Ka to counter the Aveo, Yaris, Fit and Versa. Ka is a much more dynamic design than these competitors. Fun, powerful diesel engines are needed here in the States more than hybrids, which flatly aren't a good value.

Please give Mercury some meaningful product, meaning, with enough differentiation from Ford to create a true alternative. A completely reskinned Mustang (if you can keep up with production demands) for Mercury, with similar powertrains, would go far to reignite some passion into the brand, and bring in younger, more sophisticated buyers.

Thanks for lending an ear.

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NOS2006    11

And, Ford, never forget these concepts:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

PS The Mustang GT concept was so much better than the production Mustang. The concept should've been the layout for the GT500/Cobra.

Edited by NOS2006

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ocnblu    732

I was looking at Top Gear's latest issue. They had an illustration of what they think the next Ka will look like, it's cool, but you are right.

The Fiesta is what we need to slot below the Focus. Both Focus and Fiesta should be sold in nearly the same trim levels as Europe gets, if they can be priced competitively.

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mustang84    12

Cool, it's nice to know that reps from a major automaker have been lurking around the boards here. C&G really is a great board with a lot of diverse viewpoints and opinions...part of the reason I have stuck around here for so many years.

Since this is kind of turning into a "Hey Ford" thread, I just want to say Ford needs to take advantage of the Mustang platform! Granted, I know nothing about whether it would be easy or hard to stretch that platform out (or even cost effective), but it would be nice if D2C could be used for other nameplates and brands as well. I would love to see a Mercury Cougar with modern sheet metal (and Cougar cues) to compliment the retro Mustang. Could this platform be stretched for a new Thunderbird too? Or what about a Lincoln Mark coupe (no idea what alphanumeric that would be)? While I like that Ford is taking the booming AWD segment seriously, the RWD lineup is starting to wither now that the LS is going away and the future of the Panthers is looking cloudy.

The Iosis is a great design...use it for something.

Even though I'm 21, I have a soft spot for the Panthers. It's sad to see the sales keep dropping because these cars haven't had a major update in years. Don't give up on the large RWD car segment now that Chrysler is back in it and GM is looking to re-enter it as well. Putting the 3-valve version of the 4.6L and the 6-speed in there should help make it somewhat competitive until (or if?) a major update can be made.

Besides all that, I just want to say that Ford has done a great job with much of the new product. The Fusion/Milan/Zephyr, 500/Montego, and Mustang are all much more competitive/substantial than the ones they replaced. I haven't had a chance to drive any of them, but I've seen them in person and fit and finish looked very good. Kudos!

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regfootball    234

Very cool.  Stange how GM revoked the media access from this site, and now this.  Since Ford execs may be watching... please offer a bench seat in the 500 and Montego.  I have a co-worker that bought a new Taurus last year in the overlap year because she liked the interior with the bench better than the 500.  The 500 should be selling much better than it is...

that will be fixed with the styling change and duratec 35. it sells well now by the way

give me bill ford's address, i got a mile long list of what's wrong and right with that car.

it was great when ford had balls back in the eighties and 90's. Nasser really fckd that place up, didn't he?

ok, here's my list

500

better powertrain in power and refinement (on its way) give me the 280hp direct injection version of the 35.

much faster steering

lighter steering at parking lot speeds.

tighter and better feeling steering at high speeds.

more self centering on the steering

ride stiffness is ok but the tire thumping noises are annoying. the chassis must be as tight as a guitar string and there's nothing to damp out that tire thumping

we need more roll stiffness please

styling tweaks of course

larger gauges

a real stereo system

seats you sit in, not on, with lateral support please

say no to dashboard glare

get the climate controls and radio up into the line of sight please, and

ROTARY KNOBS please, not all this cryptic pushbutton crap on the climate controls

while you're at it, stop using the horrifically cheap looking parts pin radio and climate controls that all Fords have and develop something appropriate to the market.

plastics are ok, but really still need to be nicer

more daring interior

remote start and aux input LIKE GM

advance trac and side curtains and active head restraints should be STANDARD

its nothing that can't be fixed if you just INVEST in the product

but i do appreciate that you build a solid car and its built like a brick shthouse.

Its basically a car that was released with unfinished development. Thanks, Nasser.

Mr. Ford, please let me know how i may help you improve your cars.

89 sho

99 sho

95 tbird lx

06 Five Hundred Ltd

Edited by regfootball

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regfootball    234

I was looking at Top Gear's latest issue.  They had an illustration of what they think the next Ka will look like, it's cool, but you are right.

The Fiesta is what we need to slot below the Focus.  Both Focus and Fiesta should be sold in nearly the same trim levels as Europe gets, if they can be priced competitively.

America and Ford really doesn't need to bother with so many supersubcompacts. The Focus is as small as a car needs to be in this country.

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