Last post on Aug 22, 2008 at 10:00 PM
You are in the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable
What is this discussion about?
Ford Five Hundred, Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Future Vehicle, Sedan, Wagon
#396 of 530 Re: Ford should copy Toyota? [mschmal]
Oct 24, 2007 (9:52 am)
It is good that you are so enthusiastic about the products you sell. They are good products. However, "huge hit" could be perceived as an overstatement.
The Fusion is far from the top mid-size seller. The F150 is losing market share. The "New Escape" is clearly the old Escape with running improvements, and some different lines in the sheetmetal. Unlike when Toyota for example updates the RAV4 (each generation starts with new architecture), the "new" Escape has all ther same underpinnings, mount points, much the same glass, etc. I commend Ford for actually doing more for a change than the usual new grill/new rear styling and interior modifications, but they still don't get what Honda and Toyota have known for a long time about how to sustain heavy sales of a product.
Ford could use a huge hit like the original Taurus, the Mustang, or the original Explorer or like the F150. But somehow the Fusion had to really struggle to outsell the old Malibu, which was clearly an inferior car. Getting away from tons of fleet sales is a good thing, but then you begin to see where Ford really stands in the market.
A lot of it is that the suits at Ford don't get why their market share keeps shrinking. If they did, they would not have pinned hopes for salvaging the 500 by putting in a better engine and different grill and changing the name. It's not a car that most people would ever walk across the street to give a second look. Ditto the 08 Focus. Yes, it looks better than whst came before, but it looks too much still like the design issued in 1999 with some lipstick and filigree. Plus, they eliminated the hatchback just as hatchbacks are beginning to catch on again.
BTW, both Canada and Mexico are not the US, and the wage scales there are different. Ford and the UAW created this mess together, what with $78/hour packages and job banks.
The Edge is a good start, but where are the new iterations and new models for other niches? Toyota may be stalling momentarily in its relentless march, but Hyundai has Ford adn Toyota's backs. VW and Audi both are reinventing themselves and have too many new models coming to even keep track of.
Ford just has to get it together to be fast and first, or it will never be a major player again. What have they been doing? Well, trying to unload Jaguar and Land Rover for one thing. It remains to be seen whether that works out for them. It must be clear to some of the suits that they really don't know how to re-make a marque into a winner. After all, they invested untold billions in Jaguar, improved the quality, the products and their reliability. Sales as we all know have tanked. They can't sustain Jaguar with the XK8, and the Edge isn't going to save Ford's passenger car business.
I don't know the answers, but it is clear that Ford does not either. What are they even DOING with old things like the Ranger, the Crown Victoria, the Explorer, the Sport Trac? Where's the innovation in the latest Expedition? Where is their city car? Yes, I know, all coming, all coming. It's very telling that the suits thought that the US needed its own dull designs and that the stellar European Fords would not work here. What's so damnable is that people got paid really big bucks to screw up so badly. Let's see, 2004, the Year of the Car...sheesh.
#397 of 530 Re: Ford should copy Toyota? [gregg_vw]
Oct 24, 2007 (2:59 pm)
What is the Ford approach? My wife and I are retired teachers and I think they are copying the education model. We had a teacher in Orlando write an editorial a few years ago saying she couldn't teach the kids to read because she didn't have enough computers (never the fault of us teachers). When the kids can't read and right or find their own state or country on a map - u raise taxes and build new schools and tell people "it's for the kids". Unfortuntately for Ford, they are not a government entity and if they are inept or lose money for any reason they can't raise taxes to subsidize Ford "for the automotive buyers". It's a competetive world and building the same thing that failed year after year will not result in success this year.
#398 of 530 Re: Ford should copy Toyota? [wayne21]
Oct 24, 2007 (4:25 pm)
If USA continues move toward socialism at the current rate I will not be surprised if Ford asks tax payers to foot its bills very soon. There are a lot of examples that it already happening, like recent “Dream Act” to colledge educate childrens of illegal immigrants at our expense, bail out failed home owner or socialized health care which pretty soon will become a reality because everybody (except of taxpayers) wants it.
#399 of 530 Re: Ford should copy Toyota? [wayne21]
Oct 24, 2007 (4:55 pm)
Although we really wanted a taurus and the backup car was the fusion we opted to buy neither of these. I had never been in a hyundai, but drove a sonata over the weekend. I found it to be a better car than the taurus or fusion and on par with our accord. We would have bought an accord, but after having transmission problems and learning that this has been an issue for honda for years we opted not to do that. Really wanted to buy a car made by union workers, but will buy a sonata.
#400 of 530 Re: Ford should copy Toyota? [wayne21]
Oct 25, 2007 (5:14 am)
Good for you. There is a reason Hyundai is growing so fast. Supporting American manufacturers simply because they are American (or union) got us into this mess in the first place. I'd like to see American cars at the top of the heap, but they won't get there with slogans and false patriotism. Build the best and buyers will follow.
#401 of 530 Re: Ford should copy Toyota? [gregg_vw]
Oct 25, 2007 (6:16 am)
You know somehow I don't think you'll find a similar thought process in Japan, Germany, or Korea.....
I agree with some of your thoughts, but most recent quality rating have the American stuff on par with their competitors.
And by the way I do own a Ford and a Honda, so I own both.
#402 of 530 Re: Ford should copy Toyota? [bobber1]
Oct 25, 2007 (7:25 am)
With a few exceptions, like Americans, citizens of other countries are patriotic and root for the home team. Even the old East German Trabant had a certain following that was not simply a result of being coerced.
There are American vehicles on a par with anything else in terms of quality, and that's good. But that quality came as a result of some people realizing that they could get a better product elsewhere, and so they did.
Now, American manufacturers are fighting to get their reputations back. There is good quality out there...and there are still models with serious quality problems. It goes beyond quality of course. Features, engine choices, mileage, resale are a few of the other things people look at.
The Taurus offers one engine. Competitors provide a choice of two or three. Why didn't they continue to offer the 3.0 liter and the gearing setup for those who want better mileage? Why doesn't the Fusion offer a sport suspension or a version with the 3.5 liter (which is becoming standard for the class anyway)?
You can get a decent and reliable ride with the Fusion. However, some people won't buy the Fusion, because unlike its competition, it does not offer traction control. Ford also skimped on sound deadening for the Fusion. The prop rod issue has been beaten to death. The point is that you can have stellar quality, but if you don't offer the features of the competition, you lose sales anyway.
I have owned more American iron than any other kind, but after 27 vehicles, I have also owned stuff from Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, Isuzu, VW, and Audi. Everything I have owned since the late 80's has been completely reliable, except for one really awful Oldsmobile, and minor irritations with a Mazda.
I would love for example to buy a new Ranger. I owned three of them and every one gave me great service, one to 177,000 miles when I sold it to a neighbor who continued to use it for years. Unfortunately, Ford doesn't make a new Ranger. They are selling an old one for new offering the same stuff my 98 had.
#403 of 530 Re: Ford should copy Toyota? [gregg_vw]
Oct 25, 2007 (8:31 am)
The Ranger, in my opinion, is good. I think Ford should make a crew cab, but don't try to tell me the stuff about the Explorer Sport Trac.
Here is a link to what I am picturing:
I also think that they should ditch the two-door Supercab, because, I don't see why anyone would want it. In my opinion, Ford should make a Crew Cab and a Crew Cab extended (like the Dodge Ram Mega Cab) for more cab room, but have the Super Cab for guys who don't want to spend so much on their truck.
As for the Taurus, I think it looks cool as it is very comfortable and spacious. Comparing specs between the Five Hundred and Freestar minivan, the Five Hundred had 129 cubic feet of cargo space, and the Freestar, 130.5. But, for 08, the Taurus contends with four other new players: the NEW 08 Honda Accord, the NEW O8 Subuaru Outback/Legacy (Outback= off-road station wagon, Legacy= all-wheel drive sport sedan) , the Toyota Camry, and the new Chevy Malibu. I have yet to sit in a Malibu. I don't overly care for Subaru, I had a 92 Silverado that blew chunks, so I will never buy a Chevy (not necessarily a GM) again, the Camry was nice, but I have brand loyalty to Ford.
And what about the Taurus X, people?
#404 of 530 Re: Ford should copy Toyota? [jmn1]
Oct 26, 2007 (5:17 am)
"The Ranger, in my opinion, is good. I think Ford should make a crew cab, but don't try to tell me the stuff about the Explorer Sport Trac."
I looked at the Expo vs. F150. No comparison! F150 lot less money bigger engine and bigger towing capability. But, I digress...
#405 of 530 Truth about Toyota.
Oct 28, 2007 (8:33 am)
Toyota does the min. necessary to produce a profitable vehicle.
The 08 Corolla will be largely a reskin and the Civic will still have better powertrain and dynamics.
The Rav4? You obviously haven't opened up the back of a Rav lately if you belive that this is a "best effort" The spare tire is STILL mounted to the hatch and the hatch still swings out to the passenger side. That might be great in right drive Japan but in the US it opens to the curb/sidewalk and creates a barrier. Plus the weight of the tire is annoying. That is so 1990.
(imagine paralle parking and you can't open the back hatch cause it will swing into the car behind yours.)