By on October 23, 2013

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Ford Motor Company’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan will be idled for two weeks to reduce inventories of the Focus and C-Max. The plant will close for a week at the end of this month and then for another week in the middle of December.

 

The Focus started October with a 71 day supply, slightly over the 60 day supply that’s considered ideal in the North American market, while C-Max inventories have ballooned to 122 days supply.

“We expect to take approximately two weeks of downtime at our Michigan Assembly Plant starting this month, as we continue to match production with demand,” said Ford spokesperson Kristina Adamski in a statement.

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51 Comments on “Ford to Idle Michigan Plant for Two Weeks Due to Growing Focus and C-Max Inventories...”


  • avatar
    thornmark

    Note to Ford, Mazda builds better Mazdas than Ford does.

    In crucial market segments the Mazda – 3, 6 and cx5 – seem to occupy the space the Focus, Fusion and Escape – seek to occupy.

    And they do it far better. Little wonder Ford relies so heavily on fleet sales.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      The sales number speak otherwise thornmark!

    • 0 avatar
      EX35

      I’m not so sure about that. I find the Escape and Fusion ride far better than their Mazda counterparts. Better powerplants and fit and finish too. Their only downside is that they are too expensive.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Yet the Fords sell far far more often. Maybe Ford does it better? Or are consumers just not as enlightened as you?

      Brown, diesel yadda yadda…

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      thornmark, I agree with you that each of those Mazdas is a better product than the comparable Ford. I say that with certainty based on test drives of the CX-5 and Escape, and with slightly less certainty but plenty of support from the buff books, this website, Truecar and others I trust for the 3/Focus and 6/Fusion.

      Unfortunately, as others have pointed out, the market hasn’t seen fit to reward Mazda with comparable sales. In fact, many of the the best-selling cars in those segments are heavily-discounted cr@p from Toyota and Nissan. For whatever reason (including, in my opinion, a failure to consider amortized cost over the life of a vehicle rather than just the up-front sticker), sales volume is driven by too many factors other than product.

      So, while Mazdas are fantastic vehicles, I doubt they’re causing problems for any of the big players in the segment.

    • 0 avatar
      sketch447

      “Note to Ford, Mazda builds better Mazdas than Ford does”

      True enough. IMO, Ford wouldn’t be in such good shape today without Mazda’s help. Ford cribbed huge engineering know-how from Mazda in the 1990s. The Escort, the Focus, and especially the Fusion (and its platform-mates) would never have existed if Ford hadn’t been peeking over Mazda’s shoulder for so long….

      I drive a 2012 Fusion, which is essentially Mazda-designed. I am very pleased with the quality.

      The Ford-Mazda divorce is one of the greatest business travesties around. Ford basically used Mazda, then cast her adrift.

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        Actually, while it left Mazda in financial trouble, it also allowed Mazda to cast aside all that Ford stuff they were supposed to use. The Focus still drives like the previous gen Mazda3. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, the CURRENT gen Mazda3 is both more athletic and more composed. SkyActiv-DRIVE vs. PowerShift DCT, no contest. And Ford’s former-MZR 4-cyl engine versus SkyActiv, come on, really?

        Ford wasn’t peeking over anyone’s shoulders, Ford basically had Mazda designing all their small cars, their entire 4-cyl engine line, and parts of their midsize line. And now that Mazda’s gone, Ford might have themselves a serious problem.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I would say the Focus is a step above the previous 3 and the new 3 is a step above the Focus. I found the last gen 3 harsher and less composed than the current Focus.

          • 0 avatar
            SV

            bbtal40dtw: +1

            The Focus is a good car, and is more comfortable and quiet than the previous 3, and probably still has better NVH than the new one. But it’s not quite as fun to drive (in regular trim) and not quite as fuel-efficient. And the Powershift is no match for the SkyActiv auto.

            Not too worried about Focus sales softening either, it’s been out for more than 2 years now. A facelift is a year away at most (assuming it follows the Fiesta’s lead) which, along with a fresh marketing push, will keep it in good shape until the next-gen.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    1. Tone down the blingtastic styling on the Focus.
    2. Cut prices 10%.
    3. Lengthen C-Max by 5 inches.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I wish the Grand C-Max was coming over here. Or the S-Max. For now, we’ll just have to do with the Transit Connect Wagon.

      As much as I say I want a diesel S-Max or Grand C-Max, I’d probably go all American and buy an Explorer Sport or Durango R/T instead. I tried to wait for the Transit Connect Wagon, but used MKT prices were just too good. If I’m going to drive an ugly vehicle, I better like it.

      • 0 avatar
        nguyenvuminh

        I’m with you on the Grand C-Max. I was really looking forward to that model coming to the US to compare against the Mazda5, based on Ford’s announcement in 2011. Then Ford changed their mind and brought over the C-Max instead.

  • avatar

    What? This is blasphemy! Fleet sales! Ford is going down the tubes. Fleet sales!

    Now, let’s do it like GM. Just keep churning out product…120 days of inventory? NO PROBLEM! Slap massive rebates on the hood, offload any way you can…they count towards “production”, right?

    Demand fluctuates for any product, good, bad or indifferent.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    I can’t stand the dashboard of the Fiesta. It’s gawdawful. As for the C-max? The name sounds like one of those herbal supplements for men.

  • avatar
    bryanska

    How can the Focus be a class above the Fit and yet feel much more cramped?

    Answer: giant dashboard and center console, low roof, small side windows.

    What happened to the original perfect Focus???

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    This is probably smart. The Focus is getting long in the tooth, and after the redesigns of the Corolla, Forte, and Mazda3, they really need to refresh the thing. Get a 1.5L or 1.6L EcoBoost, Fix Or Replace DCT, adjust the styling to more closely resemble the Fusion and Fiesta, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      EX35

      long in the tooth? have you even driven the “new” Corolla?

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        Nope, I’m far from their target market so there’s really no point. But the 2014 spanks the Focus in rear legroom, and overall white-bread-ness, while the Forte spanks it in HP, and the Mazda3 spanks it in fuel economy and zoom-zoom. Ford needs to refresh the vehicle to keep from falling too far behind.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Golf clap on the Fix Or Replace DCT. lol

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Its probably dead eventually. Only the Fiesta and Focus have the DCT. Ford decided not to put it in the Escape. The 1.0L Fiesta won’t have the DCT, and Ford is working with GM on an 8/9 speed automatic for cars. The DCT powershift has been more trouble than its worth, and Ford will kill it.

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        Lol: http://assets0.ordienetworks.com/images/GifGuide/clapping/golf-clap.gif

        Yeah, it’s too bad Ford’s giving up on the DCT, but they were going the wrong way with it anyway. If you’re going to make it act like an automatic, why not just make a frigging automatic? Instead they made a DCT that doesn’t hold a gear at redline, doesn’t have a manual gate, and basically doesn’t act like a DCT. No one outside of VW is having any luck with the things here though.

    • 0 avatar
      supremebrougham

      Last month I was considering buying a new car. I checked out the Civic, Focus, Cruze and Corolla. My favorite by far was the new Corolla! Why? It felt the most refined. The Civic wasn’t bad, and I rather enjoyed the engine in it, but dash still takes some getting used to. The Cruze had some nice touches, but just didn’t fit me right. Plus, I’m still a bit leery of long-term GM durability. The Focus wasn’t bad, but it felt cramped inside, and some of the parts felt sub-standard. That said, if I decide to buy a new car, it will most likely be either the Focus or Corolla. I only throw the Focus in because I can get a Ford discount through family and I like the dealer. But the Corolla is my favorite new car.

      Ultimately, I decided that I like being debt-free, so I’ll keep my now teen-aged Olds going for a while yet…

  • avatar
    Wacko

    Is the C-Max for sale in canada, cause I have not seen one yet?
    And no I don’t go to my local ford dealer(bad experience with them)

  • avatar
    brettc

    I thought the C-Max was selling pretty well recently. Could this be a result of Ford’s “we don’t know the real fuel economy numbers” problem coming back to bite them? As for the Focus, too much ugly and too much money in my opinion. Although it does look better than the old model. But still overly cartoony and chromey.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      I would wonder the same thing, although one of the best ways of knowing is how the C-Max’ main competitor, the Toyota Prius V, is selling.

      As to the Focus, maybe Cruze fleet sales are the culprit.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Both the Prius V and C-Max had big sales drop offs in September. The Prius V went from 3900 in August to 2400 in September. The C-Max went from 3000 in August to 2100 in September. Both had their worst sales months since being introduced in the US.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    gas is too inexpensive again, just let the administration keep annoying Saudi Arabia about Iran and Syria and soon enough people will be buying less F150 and more C-max

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Five years ago, we got 100k barrels of oil daily from North Dakota’s Bakken formation. This month, the production topped one million barrels/day. Texas oil production has increased over 1 million barrels/day, and the Eagle Ford formation, much bigger than Bakken, is just coming online. Meanwhile, Canada is our largest foreign supplier, delivering nearly half our much reduced imports, with Mexico kicking in another million barrels/day. The time isn’t far off when all our oil sources will be from North America. Saudi Arabia dreads the shale oil development, because dumping the 8 million barrels/day America used to import into the world market will cause prices to crash.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I always read: “Wait till the European Focus get here, it’s gonna kill the competition” Well it got here and so what? where are them numbers? Oh, and I think Cruze has something to do with that!!

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @Volt230
      My mother has a Michigan built Focus. It is nothing like the Focuses we get here in Australia or what my niece drives in Paris. The looks are similar, but that’s about it.

      The build quality on her Focus is simply poor. It wouldn’t sell in Australia or Europe to well either.

      Just because a vehicle is ‘imported’ into the US and built there doesn’t mean it’s the same.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        What specifically is worse in the Wayne, MI built Focus? The 2.0L NA engine is pretty much North America only and they most likely cheap out on suppliers here more than anywhere else.

      • 0 avatar
        SV

        According to Ford the US Focus is 80% the same as the EU model, the main difference being, I’d imagine, the powertrain. I have doubts that the US model is assembled very differently. A few poor panel fits here and there do not a different car make.

        For what it’s worth, my ST is assembled quite well.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          The US Focus is of poorer quality.

          The interiors look like something the UK would have thought fantastic in the 80s. The quality of materials used in the interior are subpar.

          The secondary areas are poorly finished. Rust is forming on a 12 month old vehicle.

          As mentioned panel fit isn’t the best.

          The US Focus is a poorly built sister of the European or the Focus we receive.

          • 0 avatar
            dixiehwy25

            You’re right, Al. I was all primed for the original Focus after reading on it’s debut in CAR. However that award-winning euromobile was translated into loss leader basic transport by the time it got here. The back story is that having been burned by the lackluster sales of the Contour (Mondeo), and a need to replace an ancient Escort, Ford had the Focus replace them both in the US. We had a base model at work for a while. Nice little car to drive, but plasticky/cheap- nothing like the Euro version, It left us after I got stranded when the ignition switch became immobile. The tow truck driver told me that was endemic in early Foci here, and Ford did a recall.

            Ford’s done better in translation since Mullaly’s drive for “World Platforms”, but I reckon bean counters still hold more sway here.

            Now my sister’s Flex is really nice…

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    If I were Ford, I’d allocate some of the over-produced C-Maxes as service loaners. They are just really nice everyday cars. I agree with Dave M. that the car could use an additional 5 inches; though yesterday I parked my car in the garage without putting away the lawnmower. It is natural for C-Max sales to be seasonal. The MPG goes down in the winter. My last taken was just shy of 47 MPG. My current tank (with a cold front) is 45 indicated, probably 43 actual. The dead of winter may bring high 30s. Horrors!

  • avatar
    sketch447

    Ford likes to sell A LOT of Focuses (Foci?) at big discounts. This enables Ford to sell more trucks and still meet CAFE. It worked well for years because the Focus had cool styling and superior dynamics compared to its competitors. And decent quality too.

    But the small car competition is very fierce now. Every manufacturer offers a superb small car. The Sentra, Corolla, Civic, Cruze, Elantra….they all do pretty much everything at least as good as the Focus.

    Two competitors have been hurting the Focus: the Cruze and the Elantra. Both look much more upscale than the Focus.

  • avatar
    lightbulb

    Looks like the chickens are coming home to roost. With all the lies about the c-max mpg, then the continuous infamous issues with the dct and ford sync, its no surprise sales are down on these cars. The focus and c-max could be great vehicles if ford would spend more time in r&d to work out issues before they release Them.

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      But the Focus had been on sale in Europe for a long time b4 coming here, you would have thought they got all the bugs out before coming here, specially with their premium price


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