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The new Ford has learned to think small

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The new Ford has learned to think small

Jamie LaReau

Automotive News -- August 2, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Ford Motor Co., long known for pickups and SUVs, will emphasize cars, crossovers and fuel-efficient engines in the next few years.

The company wants to be the fuel economy leader, and federal mpg standards are rising. Ford launched the Fiesta subcompact this summer and will introduce a redesigned Focus compact early next year.

The Fiesta and Focus are the first U.S. vehicles from the One Ford plan. Under the plan, each region has global responsibility for certain models. For example, designers and engineers in Dearborn, Mich., will continue to work on trucks and crossovers that can be adapted worldwide. The Europeans are designing small cars.

With Mercury dying by year end, Ford has promised Lincoln more product investment in the coming years.

The Ford brand will get at least one new crossover and possibly a subcompact crossover. Ford and Lincoln also will add powertrain options to many products.

Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, says Lincolns will stand out from their Ford siblings with advanced technology such as noise cancellation, advanced powertrains, adaptive suspensions and retractable roofs with glass panels.

Lincoln will add a compact vehicle, possibly a crossover, developed on a front-drive platform shared with the redesigned Focus.

At some point Lincoln, after it loses the Town Car, also could get a U.S. version of the Mondeo sedan now sold overseas.

Ford will spread its EcoBoost engine technology -- turbocharging and direct injection -- across the Lincoln lineup.

The Ford brand also gets new technology, including the EcoBoost engine in large vehicles such as the Edge crossover and possibly the Expedition SUV, sources say. But Ford sees no place in the future for small pickups, so the Ranger will be phased out.

What follows is a summary of Ford's product plans for the 2011-13 models years, according to company and industry sources.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/article/20100802/OEM04/308029997/1216#ixzz0vS2YoGbs

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