Last post on Feb 13, 2011 at 9:08 AM
You are in the Ford Five Hundred/Mercury Montego
What is this discussion about?
Ford Five Hundred, Mercury Montego, Sedan
#3192 of 3623 ANT14 and gene_v and 2zmax and mcshmal
Mar 09, 2006 (11:05 am)
ANT14 - yes, the "jumpy" initial throttle response is also very evident and annoying in the Buick Lucerne / Cadillac DTS.
Gene_V - exactly my thoughts - big everywhere except for the driver.
2xmax - I am 6' 1", 189 Lbs., 36" waist, 34" inseam, and 34" sleeve (and yes, I do need to get back to 175 Lbs.), and the small footwell and knee space for the driver and especially the lack of a telescoping steering wheel kept me from buying one.
I think that I have narrowed my list for my next vehicle down to a 2008 Montego or a 2007 Sport Trac (more a car with a huge trunk than a rough truck). I just rejected the Lucerne - no interior storage, torque steer, expensive, no folding rear seat, narrow trunk opening, but it does have some features which should be options on the Montego / Five Hundred - cooled seats, rain sensing wipers, a dimming exterior mirror, and a more powerful and very nice sounding engine.
mschmal - Sorry, but that seems line Ford PR baloney about the wide console and crash tests, as the Freestyle has a narrower console. I have driven my brother's Freestyle, and the narrower console really does make a difference, as I can sit closer to the non-telescoping steering wheel so that I do not have to drive with my arms straight out. My wife really hated the engine noise in the Freestyle, and the extra weight makes it even slower and nosier.
#3193 of 3623 2007 Sport Trac.
Mar 09, 2006 (2:15 pm)
Mar 10, 2006 (4:03 pm)
I'm currently on vacation now so I don't have direct information at my fingertips, but in relation to the D3 vehicles (500/FS/MTG), vs. LX vehicles (300, Charger, Magnum), people seem to forget conviniently that 25% of sales of the Chrysler LX vehicles are fleet, which mean very little profit, whereas Ford has kept there's to 13-15%, if you do the math you'll notice almost the same number of retail people, buy the vehicle.
The rebates on the LX sedans are greater than that of the D3 sedans, and last month DCX led with the highest rebates/incentives in the industry.
But overall both vehicles sell very well, the "Oh this one sells 100 units more, therefore it makes it successful"...sounds like kids in the locker room measuring their privates. There's some brands that can't even cut 100K units with various models, let along these vehicles are selling over 200K.
#3196 of 3623 Re: Sales [ANT14]
Mar 12, 2006 (7:47 am)
I did the math, and it seems like you are a bit of an apologist for at least questionable Ford decision-making. Taking away 25% for fleet sales from the DCX sedans and 15% from the Ford sedans still leaves 142,125 Chrysler non-fleet sales to 114,750 Ford sales for 2005.
Remember too, that Ford sales should be higher, because the Ford on average sells for less, and traditionally has been the the volume seller compared to Chryslers. In addition, when you look at 2004 sales of 2005 models, it is no contest: 113,000 Chryslers to 17,000 Fords.
Yes, the 300 was available for a longer period of time that year, but it also illustrates that an awfully lot of people who wanted a 300 have already bought one. Until recently, no incentives were needed for big sales, and now with those incentives, it is still selling well. And making money.
The conclusion remains that the Fords are selling ok, but the company needs still greater sales to begin turning a North American profit. I think Ford would agree that another 50,000 sales of the big sedans would help.
The 500 is a good vehicle and meets the needs of a chunk of buyers. Still the Chrysler, though arguably less user friendly and flexible (and more expensive), sells better. You gotta think looks and powertrain choices have a bit to do with it.
By the way, the first two months of 2006 sales: 46,316 Chrysler/Dodge sedans to 19,118 Ford/Mercury sedans. That hardly seems to be moving in the right direction for Ford.
Mar 12, 2006 (1:26 pm)
"Remember too, that Ford sales should be higher, because the Ford on average sells for less, and traditionally has been the the volume seller compared to Chryslers"
So because something in inexpensive, it's suppose to sell at a much higher number. So why is the Camry the best selling midsize, when the Sonata is less? We can't follow that reasoning. Also, "Traditionally" was thrown out the window. Ford has continuously stated to the media that the days of 400K units per vehicle, were no longer what they are aiming for, rather, there's more fragmentation in the market. That argument is up there with the "OH Lincoln needs to follow Cadillac upmarket, because they simply are". It's no longer valid.
Yes the 300 sells for more, and you would in turn perceive that as being higher profit, and it could be, but thats hard to judge because of the manufacturing, design, platform, tooling, etc. Only Chrysler can state what it's profit margins are on those vehicles. But what might be obvious, might not be true. As I know it, the D3 sedans enjoy a good healthy profit, considering the overly engineered donated platform. Not as healthy as the Panther cash cows, but quite good in comparison to most competitors.
Toyota admitted about 2 years ago, that their Camry wasn't bringing in much profit, IF ANY... Their reasoning is that if the Camry buyer has a good experience, and they gain their loyalty, chances were they would buy a more expensive Toyota next time around..possible a Highlander, Sequoia, Avalon. Something with higher profits.
The last generation Cavaliar had a -$800-1000 loss on each vehicle. GM did this on purpose because they needed the CAFE credits, and innundated the market with them to offset the CAFE drainage of the bigger vehicles SUV/Trucks which enjoyed a healhy profits.
50K extra buyers for the D3, at the moment wouldn't be sustainable because the factory allocation is limited. Another plant will be retooled for D3 sedans, but not the sedans we know of now...these will be for D3 Lincolns and another D3 Ford vehicle.
People continue to expect traditional ideas/moves from Ford when it's convinient for their argument, but systematically slam them for doing so on other issues. There's more to the story, and the rules of the game have changed and so has Ford.
Ford has constantly addressed what they expect from these vehicles, what their roles are, and where they are going...if you look at the PR work done on these vehicles, it's mainly to dispell the journalists expectations, or how they are perceived because their unwillingness to understand the concept behind them.
Some want to compare it to the 300 because they are both domestic, full size and available AWD. Yet DCX bills itself as being a bit more premium therefore the higher priced/trims. Some compare it with the Accord/Camry because they deemed the Taurus not competitive. Some compare it to the Avalon because it's FWD offering. Some perceive it as being the CV/GM replacements. Some believe it's the next future Taxi-can/rental fleet. Some expect it to have Mustang performance. Some expect it to sell at Camry-like numbers.
And the fault the vehicle has had is all these expectations only set by the people who have no other reasoning than just to set a bias against the vehicle for not having something they wish it had. So in the end we can conclude... IS the vehicle different compared to the market people perceive it to be in? Do we attribute the success of the vehicle by pre-conceived notions of traditional expectations, rather than the happiness of buyers?
I can tell you one thing, the 500/FS is actually enjoying a high satisfaction/loyalty repurchasing rate that compares favorable to the Mustang, F150, Panther cars, internally. And considering some of the forums of other vehicles (such as Accord/Camry which looked like a rant board), it surely shows their many 500 buyers which are happy with their purchase.
#3198 of 3623 Re: Gregg [ANT14]
Mar 13, 2006 (7:59 am)
No doubt many 500 owners are satisfied with their vehicle. You miss my point.
Ford has lost more market share over the past 10 years than than GM or Chrysler. You may make company arguments about why the 500 sells less units, but the fact remains that Ford, along with Chevy and Toyota among others (not Sonata or Chrysler 300 pre-2005) was the volume car seller.
I have no quarrel with offering more models, rather than relying on selling 500,000 of one model like had been done with Taurus. However good Ford's strategy may be on paper, the sales mumbers have dwindled. And they are not clawing their way back with any sort of consistency. Further, to say that Ford cannot build MORE cars because of factory capacity problems certainly says volumes about their market planning.
It is scary how defensive and short-sighted Ford people can get even as their market share further shrinks. It angers me that a company with the resources of Ford, the legacy and the history of being able to market good products has stumbled so badly--and continues to do so. I have owned 27 vehicles and the most common nameplate in the group was Ford. I have been a "Ford" guy. I have owned Ford stock a long time.
Of course companies make marketing decisions that may even include producing something at less than a profit, because within the scheme of things, it advances the overall profitability. Ford's US operations are not profitable. Arguing such things as Explorer production was deliberately cut (resulting in a sales drop bigger than the drop in the segment), or D3 sedans cannot currently be built in higher quantities would make more sense if those strategies were paying off. It's been years of declines and this is the best that can be done?
I wouldn't question profits per car on the Camry when they are building and selling all they can AND the company is very profitable AND they are poised to eventually take over GM in the dominant position. I would question it if profits or market share begin to dwindle.
In other words, your long defense of Ford's decisions rings hollow as long as Ford sees such things as a division like Chrysler--whose competition is more normally Mercury or even Lincoln, begin to beat the pants off more mainstream Ford sales.
An aside to this: I see that the 2008 re-style of the Escape will be the usual new front clip, rear end and interior re-do (a la Ranger, Windstar, Explorer, Expedition, etc). What on earth will it take to convince Ford that you cannot cheap out this way on styling and stay on top in this fast moving scene? The policy of introducing segment leading models and then letting them die on the vine from timid and belated updating, if not changed, will eventually be the death of Ford.
BTW, I realize this is a good strategy for the 2008 Five Hundred. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be surprised if they try to limit 2010-2011 changes to the same formula. It's a shame.
Mar 13, 2006 (10:48 pm)
In the next 2 decades, the car market in the U.S. will be reflective of what is currently occuring in Europe. Everyone will struggle to even keep at 8-10% market share as the market is saturated. As much trash as someoen may dump over the fence onto their neighbors yard, they forget it's all in the same neighborhood.
#3200 of 3623 Re: Gregg [ANT14]
Mar 14, 2006 (7:34 am)
You have a very good point. It is just sad to see Ford dwindle so much and do it first, while Toyota and others can continue their growth for the time being.
Another aside: I note that Ford cannot even seem to move hybrids like everyone else. The Escape hybrid needs incentives now in several areas of the country, and the Mariner hybrid, even produced in very low numbers, is languishing. Yikes! It is like a dark cloud covers even their best efforts.
Mar 14, 2006 (7:36 am)
I note that Ford cannot even seem to move hybrids like everyone else
Maybe that's simply because Ford buyers are rational people?
With the current prices of hybrids vs. their counterpart ICB cars, they simply do NOT pay for themselves . . even at today's gasoline prices. UNLESS you drive a LOT of miles.