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
#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.
#3202 of 3623 Re: Gregg [barnstormer64]
Mar 14, 2006 (8:23 am)
Well of course you are right about hybrids not paying for themselves through gas savings.
But still, there are waiting lists for the Toyota and Lexus products. Part of it is the newer hybrids are faster than the conventional counterpart while saving fuel, part is that segment of the market wanting the newest thing, and a significant part as well are those who choose to pay more for a vehicle that claims to be better for the environment.
One would think that Ford could serve the needs of such consumers, even if we don't always agree with their motivations. Ford has made a huge commitment to hybrids in coming years. Here's hoping their efforts will be at least as well received in the marketplace.
Mar 14, 2006 (8:36 am)
Well of course you are right about hybrids not paying for themselves through gas savings. . . . But still, there are waiting lists for the Toyota and Lexus products.
So what does that say about Toyota/Lexus buyers? I rest my case.
I actually considered hybrids (probably would've gone for the Lexus RX400h), but the economics simply didn't make sense. Neither did the long wait time to actually GET one, either.
I asked somebody (a Ford salesman, I believe) about why the Freestyle wasn't a hybrid. The answer given was that they *could* make it a hybrid with relatively little work . . but that one of the big issues was the supply of batteries for hybrid vehicles.
Part of it is the newer hybrids are faster than the conventional counterpart
In general, this isn't true, as the idea behind hybrids is to replace the engine with electric motors (for low speeds) and a SMALLER engine (for higher speeds). However, as you say, some are actually faster. Like the Lexus RX400h I mentioned above. It actually keeps the same displacement engine as the RX330, I believe. Though it runs on a different "cycle".
In the end, though, I decided against that for the reasons given above, plus the fact that having that much power in such a vehicle isn't really what I *need*. And after driving a 300C / Magnum with hemi's in them, I concluded that I'd have a bit of fun with that much power, but I probably wouldn't really enjoy it often enough to make sense.
And if I *did* start to enjoy it too much, it would probably mean that I was starting to drive in a manner that was WAY too unsafe.
as well are those who choose to pay more for a vehicle that claims to be better for the environment.
In some ways they are better, but in some ways they are worse. But hybrids certainly make a lot more sense than totally electric vehicles, at least in practice for the forseeable future. But somehow I doubt those "greenies" have considered all the effects . . such as all those batteries that will have to be disposed of, etc.
One thing's fairly certain, though: at a LOCAL level, using hyrids/electric vehicles will surely improve the environment (assuming you dispose the batteries in somebody else's backyard ). But as the the *overall* effect on the environment, I'm not convinced that it's necessarily an overall positive. And at best, it's WAY less of a positive effect than most think.
#3204 of 3623 2008 refresh?
Mar 14, 2006 (8:58 am)
Latest I have read said mid 2007 refresh on the exterior only. Is that still correct? Will these be considered 2008 models?
Also- I see where the 500 will head (more towards a Fusion front end, which is a great idea). But isn't the Montego already very in-line with the corporate Mercury look? I prefer the Montego and wonder how they will freshen it.
Finally - I hope Ford starts offering remote start like GM has been doing for a couple years now. Very nice feature here in the cold north; and the few times I've used it in 90+ degree weather to cool off hot leather, I've been thankful. Fantastic and inexpensive!
Mar 14, 2006 (9:32 am)
I hope Ford starts offering remote start
This is available as a dealer add-on.
#3206 of 3623 Re: Gregg [barnstormer64]
Mar 14, 2006 (10:22 am)
Maybe that's simply because Ford buyers are rational people?
That is very true Ford buyers are very rational people. I used to be a Ford buyer for many years. The reason that most rational people would not buy a Ford Hybrid is because they would be afraid that there would be many,many problems with it that nobody at the dealership would be able to fix. Toyota has a reputation for making cars that work without problems. Unfortunately Ford does not have the same reputation for quality or trouble free cars.
People have trust in Toyota products, while most people don't have trust in Ford products. That is why people feel confident to buy a Toyota hybrid and not a Ford hybrid. Its the lack of confidence in the company that prevents most rational people from buying a complex product like a hybrid from Ford.
Besides Ford is not exactly known for developing and refining advance technology. Look at the fiasco with the CVT transmission in the 500/Freestyle. Years and years of development and millions of dollars spent on development. And for what? So the factory can be closed after a few years of production? What will happen to all of the current CVT owners when the transmissions start to fail?
Its this type of "commitment" from Ford that prevents rational people from buying hybrids from Ford. Its also the reputation of Toyota that enables rational people to buy Toyota hybrids.
Face it the only advance technology that Ford is capable of is "More Chrome" for the Ugly Navigator.
#3207 of 3623 Re: Gregg [gtee]
Mar 14, 2006 (10:34 am)
At least you don't mince words!