By on September 1, 2012

These F-words were brought to you by Ford. Yesterday, Ford’s 350 millionth vehicle rolled off the lines. It was a Ford Focus, and an occasion to celebrate an even more auspicious record: The Ford Focus “is the world’s best-selling car for the first half of 2012,” says a Ford press release. Media from Associated Press to Autoblog obediently announced the record. The record went down in a hail of protests.

The Wall Street Journal deemed it below its ethics to parrot a press release and asked questions. Answers in hand, they write:

“The company announced on Friday that through seven months of 2012, the car had sold 522,000 units around the world, making it the best-selling single nameplate vehicle, ahead of the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf. Outselling the Corolla, which similarly is a model sold around the world, would be a great accomplishment for Ford.

But according to Toyota, the Focus actually hasn’t outsold the Corolla. Through that same seven-month period, it said it has sold 722,000 vehicles. Ford, when notified about the difference, said they made a mistake and issued a new press release, saying they actually sold 489,616 units in a six month period – not seven months – and the Toyota Corolla had sold 462,187 units. They also, in the new release, attributed those numbers to IHS Automotive, an independent auto research and forecasting firm that tracks data like global sales.”

That should settle it, no? No, says the WSJ.

Toyota says it sold 603,840 in that same six-month period. Which would give the Corolla a slight lead of 114,224 units over the Focus. IHS and Ford overlooked what is familiar to TTAC readers: The Corolla goes by different names in different countries, where it is known as the Matrix, Corolla Axio, Corilla Fielder, Corolla Rumion, and we possibly missed some.

Even if you only count global sales of the Corolla sedan and Auris hatchback, the two body styles available on the globally-sold Focus, that would give 524,000 units to the Corolla, which would still be ahead of the Focus, says Toyota.

Ford should know better than to rely on IHS Automotive. Its predecessor, IHS Global Insight, once received the nickname “Global Oversight” in the business for consistently erroneous numbers. In November 2009, IHS Global Oversight infamously crowned Volkswagen as the World’s largest automaker. A month later, Volkswagen ended the year correctly in place 3.

IHS concedes that its worldview is a bit blurred, as its numbers cover only 90% of the world and “the 10 percent that we miss out on may be in countries where Toyota is strong,” Christopher Hopson of IHS told the Journal.

In the end, muses a gracious Wall Street Journal, “it’s fair to say both companies are selling a lot of cars, even if no one can agree on how many.”

Bloomberg, after first buying into Ford’s 489,616 Focus vs. 462,187 Corollas story,  has second thoughts.  In a new story, the wire correctly reports that Ford and Toyota  “are each saying they produce the best-selling car in the world in the first half. Their definitions are the key.”

PS: Flagwavers, take note: The 350 millionth Ford and allegedly best-selling Focus rolled off the assembly lines in Thailand, at Ford’s Rayong plant.

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77 Comments on “Ford Flubs Focus First, Fixes, Fails, Falls Flat...”


  • avatar
    Richarbl

    Regardless of the figures, the consumer is ultimately the winner in this duel.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Not sure if the consumer is a winner here. Fords reliability rankings in Consumer Reports and JD Powers are an embarrassment to Detroit.

      Then, there is that problem with the back seat room. I consider the Focus a 2 seater with a rear seat for marketing purposes only. I guess that makes the Focus the #1 selling 2 seater in the world. Toyota can’t beat that statistic. Ford, run with that headline.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Give me a break. The back seat is perfectly fine for a compact car. It isn’t great, but nothing is in that segment.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Try a Civic redav. You’ll see that your statement is ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar

        Did you ever drive Focus, or even seat in back seat? Focus (and Golf’s) popularity is related to it being well designed and well handling car which is also very practical and comfortable. In most countries it is family car. Corolla is more kind of rental grade car, may be Toyota sells too many Corollas to fleets.

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        jimmyy,
        Would this be the same CR that you claimed was infiltrated by the Obama administration to make Honda/Toyota look bad? How can you now trust anything they say?

      • 0 avatar

        Focus rating in CR went down because of halve-baked DCT and MyTouch. Has nothing to do with reliability. MT also hated the car for same reasons but C&D and Automobile loved it. So go figure. Well MT is CR equivalent and Toyota Camry and 90s Malibu were their COTY so I take their endorsements with grain of salt.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Yeah, Ford’s reliability in CR was pretty good until MyTouch and the DCT.

        And it’s easy to have reliability when you keep using old components like a 4 spd AT which has had the bugs worked out long ago (basically why Buicks during the 2000s were so reliable).

        I think what Ford meant here is the best selling selling model of the current generation (not taking into account older generations which are still being sold).

        And the Matrix really shouldn’t be included in Corolla sales – it has different sheetmetal and a diff. interior.

        It’s like Honda first calling the Crosstour the Accord Crosstour and then dropping the Accord part.

  • avatar

    Quite a little enterprise Henry started on Mack Ave, no?

    http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/257047/305909.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Which building is that. The Ford Motor Company that produced the Cadillac, or the Ford Motor Company that produced the Ford?

      • 0 avatar

        That’s FoMoCo’s first factory, on Mack. There’s a scale model of that factory in Greenfield Village. Ford’s second factory, on Piquette, is where they developed the Model T. The Henry Ford Company that became Cadillac after Ford’s backers turned it over to Henry Leland had its factory on Clark street and that became “Cadillac main”. When the Clark St factory was finally torn down in the late 1980s, the body drop section was salvaged and installed in the Detroit Historical Museum. Pics here:

        http://www.carsindepth.com/?p=9296

  • avatar
    Cammy Corrigan

    Uh-oh. Not everyone got the memo…

    http://www.autoblog.com/2012/08/31/ford-focus-is-companys-350th-millionth-vehicle-and-worlds-best/

  • avatar
    th009

    And if you include the same body styles (sedan and hatchback) for the Golf (ie Golf + Jetta) you get about 850K units, well beyond the Corolla.

    Calculating a “best-selling model” is a mug’s game at best since it’s so hard to define what a “model” really means.

  • avatar
    hifi

    Who cares who sells more? Seems to just be an ego thing for brands. The “Cutlass” was the most popular nameplate in the early 80s, and look how that turned out. The Focus is a really good car, and the Corolla is awful. So it’s really not really an even matchup.

    What I’d really be interested to know, is what is the average transactional price?

    • 0 avatar

      Why don’t you tell us? I bet a lot of people would like to know …

      • 0 avatar

        “Why don’t you tell us? I bet a lot of people would like to know …”

        What I can find on trucar.com…

        Average transaction price after all incentives and discounts
        2012 Focus – Cheapest model: $15,484 – Most Expensive model: $20,285
        2012 Corolla – Cheapest model: $15,881 – Most Expensive model: $18,091
        The 2012 Cruze beats them both – Cheapest Model: $18,343 – Most Expensive model: $23,405

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        People that will buy GM cars are a real asset. Not only can you sell them an old Daewoo Lacetti, you can charge them five grand too much for the privilege of getting shafted. Too bad there are fewer of them every year.

      • 0 avatar

        @CJinSD: What you are talking about? Which GM car is an old Daewoo Lacetti exactly? Don’t you pay more to get shafted for priveledge of owning Toyota, MB, BMW or Honda for that matter? If you are not happy happy about it – do not buy cars.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        True, its just a level of how much you get shafted from the different manufacturers.

        With regard to the Lacetti comments it saddens me to see GM turn Chevrolet into Daewoo North America. Sure the Cruze might be a great car and platform sharing is nothing new, please correct me if I am wrong but all Chevrolet car models will be Daewoo derived for the 2013 model year save the two Impalas (W and Epsilon II) and Camaro/Corvette. Just as it was a nice touch to add the RWD Catera in 2003 to Cadillac, but slowly Cadillac completely died and the entire line became the CTS/Catera and CTS variants until very recently. I’m not seeing any reason to buy GM cars beyond MY 2012, at least the 08-12 Malibu was pretty nice on the eyes.

      • 0 avatar

        What is wrong with Koreans designing cars? Daewoo does not exist anymore. It is Chevrolet now and is part of GM just like Opel. You do not claim that Opel designed cars suck just because were not designed by American citizens. or they do too?

        It is racist statement to say that Korean are not capable of designing decent cars. As far as I know Hyundai and Kia designs of late were praised and Samsung is killing competition everywhere around the world including Japan. Cruze most of which is based on Opel Astra BTW and has nothing to do with Lacetti or whatever is solid car and praised by reviewers also.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        There are a hundred years of good and bad attached to those brands, Daewoo is not Chevrolet and Opel is not Cadillac, its just that simple. If a manufacturer wants to build on its international success and introduce a foreign model to the US market, have at it. My problem with it is they have transformed time honored *American* brands into a front for foreign designs, which is exactly whats happened; its like Toyota backwards. If I want a Hyundai, I’ll buy one, and if I want a Chevrolet I’ll buy one… what I do not want is a second tier Hyundai wearing a bowtie… or a Tri-shield/Cadillac crest where the Lighting bolt should be. I have read all over TTAC how important branding is and I do agree, but what GM is doing is wrong. Use the brand goodwill you still have!

      • 0 avatar

        I agree with you but American brands lost the battle when American companies betrayed their own brands. You cannot call it other way when Bill Ford himself starved American icon known as Lincoln and wasted all resources on British brands. Meanwhile Toyota successfully built Lexus which beat Lincoln to replace it as a most sold luxury brand in US. It happened simply because Asians and Europeans pride themselves and their heritage and culture as a nation and Americans do not. Bill Ford did not have pride in his own company. He was more fan of Jaguar, Land Rover, Aston Martin than Ford or Lincoln.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Good points on Ford self destructing last decade. I’m not sure what Bill Ford/Jacques Nasser were thinking with their European escapades although Jaguar was acquired in late 80s long before them, and Land Rover actually carried a profit and still carries global brand cachet. Volvo was a clear boondoggle, and neglecting Ford/Mercuty/Lincoln cost them dearly.

        Lexus was wise in the 90s to develop their products they way they did, but Lexus in 2012 isn’t as impressive as they once were (Acura is also in this camp). I have to disagree though I think pride in one’s culture and country would still sell big in the US, although some of the executives of American firms may have lost this. GM/Ford would be wise to move in this direction with their product and marketing. If Cadillac and Lincoln actually built aspirational models again, cashed in on their rich heritage (instead of copying someone else’s or inventing a fake one), and pushed a pro-American stance in their marketing it could work. Bleeding market share is not a wise business strategy.

        There were decades where Cadillac Devilles and Lincoln Continentals were *the* cars to have here and in other nations, this despite Mercedes and BMW being available.

      • 0 avatar

        The problem with American CEOs and culture in general is that the cash is the king and everything else is secondary. Other organically developed nations may have greed also but are less capitalistic and more nationalistic in attitude. Germans, French or Japanese consider themselves superior compared to other nations including Americans. We were warned that our Japanese partners will treat us as second rate citizens and will not trust us (probably for good reason) – just warning so we lowered our expectations and be careful how we talk. They will not tell you that looking into your eyes but you will feel it in attitude.

        Betraying workers, brands, heritage, country for the cash? American CEO will do it without thinking twice. Can you imagine German or Japanese CEO doing that? American CEOs love talking about creating value for shareholders while ripping them off with insane compensations at same time.

  • avatar
    dave504

    I know it is physically painful for TTAC to see that the One Ford strategy is a smashing success, so again they have to resort to attacking every source and making up facts to keep the Toyota checks coming in.

    If you had bothered to read or maybe do a little journalism, you would have seen that the Focus is the best selling “single-car nameplate,” — a vehicle sold under only one name. This means that non-Corolla named variants don’t count. No need to take my word for it, this is from Businessweek – a source much more reputable than TTAC. Maybe you would have seen this if you weren’t rushing to get out the anti-Ford article at warp speed.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-08-31/ford-says-focus-tops-toyota-corolla-in-sales-citing-ihs

    IS there no depth TTAC won’t go to carry the water for Japan? I know that you have to dredge up every Corolla variant to ensure the proper level of anti-domestic reporting, but the truth is that The Corolla is an outdated piece of junk, the Matrix, Auris, and Scion XB don’t count using the single nameplate definition. (Might as well throw in the Corolla Pontiac Vibe as well.) Not to mention that Ford’s numbers don’t even count the US-spec Focus ST (just released – supply is very limited now, and there is a waiting list at all of my local dealers) or the Focus electric which has not rolled out to all markets. Also, if TTAC is going to throw out every car that shares a tire valve stem cap with the Corolla, wouldn’t it be unbiased to least mention the C-Max, Escape/Kuga or other Focus variants?

    • 0 avatar

      Please direct your anger and discussions of journalistic ethics at the Wall Street Journal. As for the C-Max, the Journal says:

      “And if Ford really wanted to get technical, it could say its C-Max model is just a slightly taller variation of the Focus. But at some point, the argument has to be cut off.”

      • 0 avatar
        dave504

        Once again you have not addressed the main point, which is that Bloomberg has found the criteria in question, namely “single-car nameplate” sales. Instead of slandering the WSJ, Associated Press, IHS and Autoblog, all you had to do was figure out how the sales were measured instead of attacking everyone else that might dare to show a Ford product in a slightly positive light. Your response is trite and says nothing that refutes Bloomberg’s conclusion, yet does again make mention of journalistic ethics at the WSJ. That’s rich coming from TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        Ltd783

        I think you’re still missing the point. You tell him to focus his anger at the WSJ, but this article clearly needs some reviews. From the headline, fail, fall flat, accusing Autoblog of obediently reprinting the article. There is clearly some bias on the part of the author. Dave brings up good points, you can’t crucify Ford for defining it as a nameplate, and then argue platform production numbers. All I see is that it could go either way depending on how it’s defined.

        And these constant attacks on other sources are very unprofessional. I read jalponik, Autoblog and TTAC every day, and I never see ad hominem attacks on their websites.To contrast, unprofessional material shows up here often. What about this author shutting down comments a few days ago about the racist VW review. He gets the last word in of “I have an Asian wife, and therefore I am the authority to decide what”s offensive to all Asians.” Very unprofessional. Continue reviewing cars, and quit trying to be the moral compass of the car blog community.

    • 0 avatar
      oboylepr

      For someone who is accusing TTAC of bias, your post is reeking with it. Also, if in your presumably expert opinion the Corolla is, as you put it, ‘an outdated piece of junk’ (no bias there) how come it is the best selling car of all time? The Ford Focus is a great car but it has an awful long way to go before it has earned the legendary status the Corolla has.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I for one care more about engineering than nameplates. So, the platform numbers are more interesting to me. Branding is a necessary part of business, of course, but it becomes useless in the long run, if it tries to ignore the engineering reality of the product.

      But, as someone with an engineering mentality, I find that comparing apples is important – and these press releases probably didn’t do much put their definitions in context. As marketers, they probably just presented the “win” whatever it was, and figured that most people wouldn’t care about the nuances. But the people who care and the people who pay attention (but who arent up to their ears in the professional side of automotive marketing) were left scratching their heads. Is that really what these marketers want THEIR reputation to be?

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        For platforms, VW’s PQ35 will pretty much have the top spot locked up. From Matt’s top 120 global cars I add up 1.25M units, and that doesn’t include cars like A3, Q3, Touran, Tiguan, Yeti or Toledo.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Dave, get a grip, else somebody will soon create a new user name “dave504_nonsense”… You’re showing more bias than a Firestone store ever did…

    • 0 avatar
      spw

      Ford fans simply cant win here – cars that our missing from that IHS report are ones that had to be included – for instance Auris. Auris is Corolla hatchback.

      As counting other models based on Focus/Corolla, you cant win… Toyota makes several million cars more per year and hence things like Rav4 are based on Corolla and even Prius is based on Corolla platform. But they are not counted here… only cars sharing most parts are – such as Auris and Corolla Verso.

      IHS is same company that called VW best selling car brand in 2009 and VW published it everywhere, and then at the end of the year it finished 3rd and claimed it will be first by 2018.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      “I know it is physically painful for TTAC to see that the One Ford strategy is a smashing success”

      WRONG!

      One Ford is nowhere near a success. Ford products are selling like garbage in europe, and now they t hink those same products will sell here. It’s so shortsighted.

      You cannot make one product and expect to sell it on every market you are in. Ford has tried it in the past…it didn’t work.

      Plus, the D3 failures (Taurus, MKTaurus, Flex, MKFlex, and the Explorer) are not part of one Ford, neither is the F-series, Mustang, The Edge/MKEdge, etc.

      It’s a plan that hasn’t worked for anyone.

      As for this latest Ford gaffe, it’s a lot like when the claimed that the Fusion Hybrid was the most fuel efficient mid-sized car.

      That was a lie as the Prius is the most fuel efficient mid-sized car.

      Ford loves to play games like that. They throw a lot of crap at the wall and hope they don’t get caught…

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Your examples are dead platforms. Your post is full of fail. Good try ol chap.

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        Actually, those vehicles/platforms are not dead at all. Not sure where you’re getting that.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Perhaps they should say One Ford where a vehicle will sell in many markets and North American unique for other products? As far as I can tell the Fiesta, Focus, Kuga/Escape,Transit, and C-max are world cars. The F series is exported globally and is a perennial top seller (cash cow) in North America. The current Mustang will perennially be a North American car.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “That was a lie as the Prius is the most fuel efficient mid-sized car.”

        Apples and oranges, there is no way in any plane of Earthly reality an egg shaped Prius is a mid-sized car, small or compact are more appropriate categories by far. Fusion is closer to the Taurus it replaced, but by no means is is a large car, I would classify it as midsize. I can’t speak for Prius C perhaps it it bigger and could fit in as a mid-size but I doubt it.

      • 0 avatar

        “That was a lie as the Prius is the most fuel efficient mid-sized car.”

        Wow, what Fusion is then – the most efficient full size car?

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        The EPA, who classifies automobiles here in the states, classifies the prius as amid-size car.

        Ford was FORCED to change their intentionally misleading marketing to say that the mediocre Fusion is the most fuel efficient mid-sized sedan.

        Again, Ford tried get away with misleading consumers and got caught.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        EPA = fail.

        Sorry its not as if they are an authority on anything intelligent. You can call an Fiat 500 a full size car till the sun goes supernova, it doesn’t make it so.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        It remains to be seen if “One Ford” is a success; same goes for GM as they have also switched to a “one-world” platform model.

        VW which had long carried the torch for that business model abandoned it and went with larger (and cheaper) products for the North American market.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        Have any of you ever sat in a Prius? The current generation’s rear legroom is very decent. Close to what you get in a Camry. Plenty of room in front as well.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Isn’t the actual 350M th designation just a little suspicious?

    After all, production data is not really that granular, and coincidently being able to promote the vehicle that “randomly” achieves this honor just happening to be the one that is sold in all markets around the world is a little unbelievable.

    I’ve no axe to grind against the Focus, heck it has things in it that I invented, however, I place little faith in such announcements because they seem so obviously contrived to provide max exposure for a single nameplate.

    A press release that said: “Yesterday, a part of the One Ford Team, in one of our plants built the 350M th Ford vehicle, a vehicle like all the others before it, and the millions to follow it, made to the best of our ability to provide quality, safety, durability, value, economy and the freedom to enjoy the great open roads on this Earth.”

  • avatar
    fli317

    Recently rented a Corolla. Forget about buying one. Will not rent another one. It had 7K miles, was all over the road, wobbly suspension, tranny constantly hunted for years and it had a buzzy motor. Good gas mileage though and good AC. Just no fun at all to drive. Believe it or not, would take some reliability issues. Just for the love of God, make a fun car to drive. Guess thats why I commute in a Nissan 240 everyday. That Corolla made me miss the 240.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Yup, I have heard the same from others who bought or rented a Corolla, a Civic or even a Focus.

      And in May 2011 we did look at all those and more, but chose to buy an Elantra for our grand daughter’s HS grad gift. Best for the money at that time IMO.

      Speaking from our own experience, her Elantra has been problem-free, while the Focus of one of her girlfriends had a rotten-egg exhaust smell from day one and the automatic headlight illumination system has a mind of its own. An isolated problem? Maybe.

      People who actually own a Late Model Focus should post their ownership experiences on this thread.

      In that class and size of car, I don’t know what would be a best buy today. I’m pretty well convinced that even though the quality of the domestics has gone up, the quality of the foreigners has gone down to where they are all about equally bad now. I’m not keeping that Elantra beyond the warranty expiration date.

      When it comes time to trade off my grand daughter’s 2011 Elantra (because of accumulated mileage commuting to college), I don’t know what to replace it with.

      Nothing of what’s out there in the market now, except another Elantra, appeals. But we won’t be able to get another Elantra at $15K out the door.

      Hyundai has jacked up its transactional prices across the board now that they have an excellent reputation in the market place. And I’m not paying $18K+ for a disposable commuter car. Someone else can inherit potential problems after the warranty expires.

      We’ll have to cross that bridge when we come to it, and cross our fingers when we do. The Focus and the Corolla may sell in large numbers, as does the Civic, but I don’t see any in that class now as a good deal for the money. Too many documented horror stories out there.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I will face a similar quandary in the small car segment HDC. Now that I live 3 miles from work the 163K on the Saturn doesn’t seem like much since I now only use it to putz around town now. Whenever my brother finally pulls the trigger on a new/new-used ride, I will be acquiring his ’02 SL with < 90K, so I am set for the interim. But I agree right now it's difficult to find value in the segment.

  • avatar
    86SN2001

    It’s been a rough couple weeks for Ford.

    First, their fundamentally flawed MyFord Touchy is getting some much needed attention, mainly from Consumer Reports.

    Second, the new Fusion has missed it fuel economy targets and can only muster figures that match some of the LAST generations of the competition.

    Third, it has been revealed that they have stolen fuel injection technology from a company called TMC.

    And fourth, it was revealed that Ford is the ONLY domestic manufacturer that owes the US Government money.

    Meet the new Ford, same as the old Ford.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford has drastically reduced its corporate debt, paying it off in multiples of billions of dollars at a time, reducing both debt and interest owed.

      I presume that if Ford is still carrying debt from its DoE loans that it’s doing to fiscally prudent thing and retiring more expensive debt first. You wouldn’t do any differently.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      And fourth, it was revealed that Ford is the ONLY domestic manufacturer that owes the US Government money.
      It’s at 4% interest, I’d be paying that off last; payoff the cheapest money last.
      Never mind the US Government owns hundreds of thousands of shares of GM. The Cubs will win the world series before the Government makes money off of sales of GM stock.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “And fourth, it was revealed that Ford is the ONLY domestic manufacturer that owes the US Government money.”

      The US Treasury is still underwater on its GM stock, did this fact get forgiven by an executive order from King Barry? Fiat was paid something like $1.3 billion to take Chrysler, while this is not actual debt, Fiat could earn some serious PR of they announced they would pay some of this back in the spirit of cooperation… fat chance of that happening but still.

      If one of the Japanese Big Three who have major production in the US got into similar financial trouble, do you really think either US state, US Federal gov’t (or the Japanese gov’t) would stand by and let major factories down south close?

      • 0 avatar
        86SN2001

        Regardless…Ford is the only domestic automaker that owes the US Govt. money.

        A point that cannot be argued.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        And let’s not forget, Ford Credit got more in bailout $$ than the old GMAC.

        And yes, the US treasury owns GM stock, but what other option was there due to credit markets having froze?

        If Ford Motor hadn’t been fortuitous in their timing, they would have been in the exact same position as GM and the US Treasury would have seen the same thing happen w/ their Ford holding (Ford stock has also seen a tumble since its high from 2011).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “And yes, the US treasury owns GM stock, but what other option was there due to credit markets having froze?”

        I agree there was little choice than to accept GM stock, but my point Ford may owe money, but GM and Chrysler also benefited.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    First, Ford didn’t borrow money from Uncle Sam, as GM and Chrysler did. So how is it that they owe the governent? As for Chrysler, ask Mr
    Marchionne about his loan. Paid back plus 19+ percent interest. Don’t know about, others can fill you in on that score.

    Transactional prices? Hyundai making out because they have a good reputation? Good. So does Camry and Accord, and they have had the lowest tranactional prices for several years, so that each can brag that they sold 400,000 units each year.

    Few people like Corolla rentals? Probably the reason why you got the Corolla is because you didn’t want the alternative which had three cylinders. You asked for it because you wanted something cheap to rent, and nothing wrong with that. We’ve all done that. I wouldn’t buy a Corolla for myself, but would be glad to rent one if I was on a budget.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The reality of the bailout is more complicated than that. While Ford mostly saved themselves, they lobbied hard for the bailout in order to preserve the health of their supply chain. I vaguely remember that they may have taken some sort of assistance (loan guarantees? Private financing with Uncle Sam as a cosigner). At least that what I remember.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      Ford ABSOLUTELTY DID borrow money from the US Government. $5.9 BILLION of it.

      And as of today, they are the ONLY ones that owe the US Government money.

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/03/where-are-those-doe-retooling-loans-anyway/

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/ford-loves-them-some-federal-loans-expecting-another-51b-doe-loan/

      http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/ford-nissan-tesla-first-to-dine-at-doe-bailout-buffet/

      • 0 avatar
        Loser

        So what is the problem? Do you understand the difference between bankruptcy and a loan? A loan means they will pay it back and the tax payer will lose nothing.
        Tax payers lost billions on the other two and will never see that money again. Chrysler may have repaid its loan but at a $1.3 billion loss. Until the government sells its shares in GM the total loss is unknown.

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        Ford took at least 5 Billion at 4 percent interest to retool plants to make more efficient cars. GM and Chrysler took money to keep the lights on and go through bankruptcy. 5 Billion at 4 percent? I’d be taking off early to go play golf in Grosse Point.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Ford Credit took more bailout $$ than the old GMAC and Ford execs have been on record that the Cash4Clunkers really helped Ford from going over the edge (at the rate Ford was burning what was left of their cash reserves, they had about a year and half left if the US auto market hadn’t improved).

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Ford products suffer from extreme quality variabilty across a given model. Case in point, the tranny on Ford Taurii. I have a 2000 Taurus beater I bought for the kids to drive. It has 205k miles on it with the original transmission.
    I know two co-workers who have had spontaneous transmission failures on their 2005 Taurii. One at 75k and one at 87k miles. The problem seems to be an under engineered spline on the torque converter. Ford has nas not steped up to the plate wtih either case. This does not inspire confidenc and I will probably remove the Focus from my list of potential replacements when I replace mhy current commuter appliance within the next year.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      You’re comparing two cars made half-a-decade apart, with cars made more than half-a-decade later, which are not even the same design? Really?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The design underpinnings were similar and the drivetrain need not have changed much (Taurus ran the mighty 3.0 Vulcan/4spd from 96-06). Sounds as if a supplier changed at some point or parts in the transmission were decontented vs their original design to save money.

      • 0 avatar

        I am not expert in this area but transmission supplied with Duratec engine called 4F50N were pretty well sorted out and could last for the life of the car. Some Tauruses with Vulcan engine were also equipped with 4F50N.

        But Vulcan also used AX4S transmission which might be the updated version of AXOD – troublesome 4 speed from previous generation of Taurus. I know torque converters on some Taurus models had issues – it is well known fact. But I would not recommend to buy Fords with Vulcan engine in any case. If the word “sucks” has any valid application – it is Vulcan engine – it is gutless and thirsty and belongs to 60s. Any I4 from any company was lighter, more efficient and faster than Vulcan. I have no idea why Ford did not use I4 on Taurus – they were so behind the competition – and we talking about bread and butter car here – no wonder they almost went bankrupt.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have yet to finish ‘Car’ by Mary Walton, but based on the three or so chapters I read I could see how Ford ended up with the Vulcan… the phrase design by committee comes to mind early on in the book.

        ‘AXOD’ brings memories of the awful ‘AOD’, wonder if the designs could have any relation.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah probably they said “Ford does not have decent four cylinder engine”. I do not know but they might be right. All Ford cared for were trucks. 2.4L engine used in Mondeo and Scorpio were V6. 2.0L used in Scorpio in Europe was a joke – very old and primitive engine and car did hardly move.

      • 0 avatar
        JerseyDan

        What about the twin cam 2.0 Zetec motor?, or the mighty YB found in the Ford Escort Cosworth, or the 1.7 4 cyl Ford Racing Puma engine?, or even the rev happy ZSG IE Ford’s 1.6L Zetec engine that powered the escort, Focus et al…

        you guys have a short memory. especially when the only decent 4 cylinder from Toyota was the ol’ 3S-FE or 3S-GE…..

        the scorpio was a very nice car you just had the Cheapo-special, you never drove the scorpio with the GBA V6 engine.

        rant over. PS: all engines referenced were in the 80’s – 90’s because apparently “Ford didn’t have good 4 cylinders”.

      • 0 avatar

        I do not know about Zetec but 1.6L would not move Taurus. As far as 1991 Scorpio goes it had three engines – 3.0L DOHC V6, 2.4L V6 and 2.0L 8 valve I4. Why Ford did not use these V6 engines in USA have no idea. They possibly did not care about US market or did not consider Americans picky enough. I had Toyota Carina II with 1.6L DOHC 4AFE and it had no power until reached 3000 rmp – yeah that is how much it had to make before you can engage clutch. It was light car compared with Taurus. And yes it was no fun to drive – you could turn it over easily if were not careful when changing lanes on highway – typical over-engineered Japanese Buick.

      • 0 avatar
        JerseyDan

        Yeah, Ford had and has tremendous engines and platforms BUT not all of them are available everywhere. this was due to Ford’s “fiefdoms” the exact failed concept that Mullaly is crusading against. he needs time the Fiesta was step one, the Focus was step 2 the Fusion will be step 3.

        the downfall of Ford is corporate politics and Mullaly is trying to eradicate it. he is not a saint, though, his obssesion with hi-tech electronics is a problem, a big one.

        will we see an OZ Falcon complete with the manly 4.0 straight 6, badged as the Crown Vic? chances are about 30%….

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “Recently rented a Corolla. Forget about buying one. Will not rent another one.”

    Easily the worst thing I’ve driven was a rented Corolla. I don’t care how reliable it is, it sucks to drive! Where’s the city bus?….LOL

    • 0 avatar
      lopro

      It’s the same with focus or any car in that segment. Reliability is a huge deciding factor for buyers of these vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Everything in “steerage class” sucks in the rental car category. Easiest way for anyone to bash a car is to say: “I’ve driven all the cars in the $19.95 category my rental car company offers and they all suck.” Well, duh! Upgrade your ride and/or your job.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    TTAC touts Toyota. Totally tiring.

  • avatar
    fli317

    Oh, the job is upgraded. Don’t know about you. But even as a car enthusiast and a driver, I don’t often have a enough time to ruminate over wether my rental makes the “steerage” class or not. Maybe you have more free time. And I disagree, a car of any value can be entertaining to drive. Don’t be confused by the propaganda from the auto manufacturers. My buddy has a car that he has paid over $100 k for and it’s not nearly as fun to drive. To each his own I suppose.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      I rarely ruminate about my rental car when I’m given the cheapest one they have. I am entertained when an underpowered car merges into and keeps up with interstate traffic. I have to respond to the e-mail for my itinerary. Co-worker and I where schlepping four foot long storage tubes ones time and travel didn’t understand why a Fiesta wouldn’t do.


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