The Truth About Cars » ford mondeo http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:44:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » ford mondeo http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Ford Modifies Mondeo, Will Sell Locally Built Edges In Effort To Double Chinese Market Share by 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/ford-modifies-mondeo-will-sell-locally-built-edges-in-effort-to-double-chinese-market-share-by-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/08/ford-modifies-mondeo-will-sell-locally-built-edges-in-effort-to-double-chinese-market-share-by-2015/#comments Fri, 30 Aug 2013 15:41:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=503073 As part of it’s effort to double its market share in China by 2015, Ford today introduced to Chinese consumers a version of the midsized Mondeo sedan that the company says has been revised specifically for that market. Ford currently has about a 3% market share in china. The Chinese Mondeo starts at 179,800 yuan […]

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Click here to view the embedded video.

As part of it’s effort to double its market share in China by 2015, Ford today introduced to Chinese consumers a version of the midsized Mondeo sedan that the company says has been revised specifically for that market. Ford currently has about a 3% market share in china. The Chinese Mondeo starts at 179,800 yuan ($29,400) and the company said that it expects to sell between 70,000 and 110,000 units annually in a segment led by Volkswagen and General Motors (and those companies’ Chinese partners). The Mondeo has never sold more than 70,000 since it went on sale in China in 2008.

After doubling production capacity in China and increasing the number of models it sells, Ford has seen a 50% increase in the number of vehicles they sell in China for the first seven months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012.

Concerning the Chinese Mondeo, a Ford spokesman told Bloomberg, “We do see ourselves with this vehicle as being a volume player that appeals to a range of different people. There are unique requirements that a customer has that perhaps U.S. customers or European customers haven’t, so it’s our job to make sure that from an appearance, craftsmanship perspective, that all of those things are able to be taken into account.”

To decide on what changes the Mondeo would need to appeal to Chinese consumers, Ford says that it did three years of market research involving over 700 potential customers. Some of the changes that research prompted are LED headlights and giving rear passengers control over the audio system as well as front seat positions. Chinese consumers also apparently like round taillights as those have replaced the more C-shaped rear lamps on the Mondeo in other markets.

In addition to the news from Ford out of China, Reuters says that sources in the company revealed that the Edge crossover will be brought to China, starting in 2015, after the CUV is redesigned. Ford had previously announced that the Edge would be sold in Europe. While Ford’s North American operations will supply the Edge to Europe, the Chinese versions will be locally produced.

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The new Edge will be built on Ford’s new CD4.2 architecture that will also be the platform for redesigned versions of the S-Max and Galaxy, neither of which will be offered in the U.S. Earlier this week, Ford released photos and information on a new S-Max concept to be shown at the Frankfurt auto show next month.

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Volkswagen Delays Passat As Europe’s Woes Hurt D-Segment Sales http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/volkswagen-delays-passat-as-europes-woes-hurt-d-segment-sales/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/06/volkswagen-delays-passat-as-europes-woes-hurt-d-segment-sales/#comments Tue, 11 Jun 2013 20:37:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=491660 The next generation European-market Volkswagen Passat will be delayed until at least the end of 2014, as Volkswagen follows an industry-trend in Europe of neglecting their slow-selling D-segment cars. Europe’s economic crunch has led to a sharp contraction in new car sales, and D-segment vehicles are among the hardest hit. Ford is delaying replacing the […]

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800px-VW_Passat_2.0_TDI_BlueMotion_Technology_Comfortline_(B7)_–_Frontansicht,_1._Mai_2011,_Ratingen

The next generation European-market Volkswagen Passat will be delayed until at least the end of 2014, as Volkswagen follows an industry-trend in Europe of neglecting their slow-selling D-segment cars.

Europe’s economic crunch has led to a sharp contraction in new car sales, and D-segment vehicles are among the hardest hit. Ford is delaying replacing the Mondeo with the car we know as the Fusion, until late 2014, while other cars like the Honda Accord are on the chopping block for Europe.

According to Just-Auto, the next Passat will be based off the MQB modular architecture, but with sales of D-segment cars moving so slowly, VW sees little reason to introduce an all-new car in such a slow market. Where VW is really hurting is in the mid-size crossover segment, which is the main culprit behind slowing sales of large sedans. Buyers are opting for crossovers like the Nissan Qashqai, which is roughly the size of our Rogue, rather than a mid-size sedan – and Volkswagen doesn’t really have a competitor in that segment, save for the relatively unpopular (in North America) Tiguan.

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Ford 1.5L Ecoboost Is Actually A Four Cylinder http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/ford-1-5l-ecoboost-is-actually-a-four-cylinder/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/ford-1-5l-ecoboost-is-actually-a-four-cylinder/#comments Fri, 12 Apr 2013 12:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=484456 Well, we were wrong. Turns out the 1.5L Ecoboost engine is a four-cylinder engine, but the intent remains the same. According to Reuters, it offers a way for Chinese buyers of the Ford Mondeo to get a tax break due to displacement. Meanwhile Automotive News reports that the 1.5L engine will be offered alongside the […]

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Well, we were wrong. Turns out the 1.5L Ecoboost engine is a four-cylinder engine, but the intent remains the same. According to Reuters, it offers a way for Chinese buyers of the Ford Mondeo to get a tax break due to displacement.

Meanwhile Automotive News reports that the 1.5L engine will be offered alongside the 1.6L engine in the 2014 Fusion, until the 1.6L is gradually phased out. Power numbers should be similar to the 1.6L, but the engine will be lighter, thanks to changes like an exhaust manifold integrated in the cylinder head. This should also result in better fuel economy compared to the 1.6L engine.

In Europe, there will still be a 1.0L 3-cylinder option, and Ford apparently still believes that more power and displacement can be wrung out of the three-cylinder engine. We’re just not going to get a taste of it – yet. In Europe, where CO2 levels still matter, the 1.0L and its 125 grams of CO2 per kilometer, are a welcome addition.

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SUV Sales Outpacing Family Cars In The UK http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/suv-sales-outpacing-d-segment-in-the-uk/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/02/suv-sales-outpacing-d-segment-in-the-uk/#comments Wed, 27 Feb 2013 16:24:47 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=479316 Just as McDonald’s resturants successfully introduced themselves into food-conscious Europe, another American-derived invasive species could be entering and killing off the native fauna. At a briefing for the launch of the Ford Kuga (aka our Escape), Ford’s Alex Gallagher told Just-Auto that SUV sales are far outpacing sales of D-Segment cars, or what we call mid-size […]

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Just as McDonald’s resturants successfully introduced themselves into food-conscious Europe, another American-derived invasive species could be entering and killing off the native fauna.

At a briefing for the launch of the Ford Kuga (aka our Escape), Ford’s Alex Gallagher told Just-Auto that SUV sales are far outpacing sales of D-Segment cars, or what we call mid-size cars in North America. Europe’s D-segment includes not just sedans, but also hatchback and wagon variants as well.

Over the last 5 years, sales of SUVs have more than doubled, to 250,000 units annually, eclipsing D-segment sales for the first time last month. Despite SUVs being primarily thought of as an American product, Gallagher cites the Nissan Qashqai and Juke  as the driving force behind the switch to SUVs. Last month, the Qashqai and Juke ranked 5th and 9th respectively in a top 10 list dominated by small B-segment hatchbacks. In 2012, the 6th place Qashqai outsold the 13th place Vauxhall Insignia (the top selling D-segment car) by roughly 13,000 units, and outsold the Ford Mondeo and VW Passat (the second and third place D-segment cars) by a 2:1 ratio.

While SUVs were once derided as vehicles for farmers, mobsters or over-indulged housewives (at one time being labeled “Chelsea tractors, after the tony London neighborhood) the newest crop of SUVs are more in the dreaded crossover template than anything else. Despite the accepted binary dynamic whereby wagons= good and crossovers=bad, the much maligned two-box vehicles have won high praise from both critics and consumers on the continent. Even Chris Harris went ga-ga for the Dacia Duster, praising it for its simplicity and calling it “the most significant new motorcar launched in the past decade“.

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Review: 2013 Ford Fusion SE 1.6L Ecoboost (Video) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/review-2013-ford-fusion-se-1-6l-ecoboost-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/12/review-2013-ford-fusion-se-1-6l-ecoboost-video/#comments Sat, 22 Dec 2012 14:00:08 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=470078 The 2013 Fusion is a critical car for Ford. Despite the rise of the Koreans, an Americanized Passat, refreshed GM and Chrysler products and a dip in Fusion sales between the 2012 and the all-new 2013 model, the Ford is still the fourth-best-selling mid-size sedan in America. Michael was invited to a regional Ford event […]

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The 2013 Fusion is a critical car for Ford. Despite the rise of the Koreans, an Americanized Passat, refreshed GM and Chrysler products and a dip in Fusion sales between the 2012 and the all-new 2013 model, the Ford is still the fourth-best-selling mid-size sedan in America. Michael was invited to a regional Ford event in September where he revealed his opinions, but what most readers seem to recall is Derek’s proclamation that the 2013 Fusion is a “gamechanger.” To answer the question once and for all, Ford tosses us the keys to the volume-selling SE model with Ford’s recall-beleaguered 1.6L Ecoboost engine for a week.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Exterior

No, this isn’t Aston Martin’s new mid-size four-door entry, although you could be forgiven for making the mistake. The new design is as shocking and striking as the old Fusion was bland and boring. Making your mass-market car over-styled is risky, but despite the Fusion’s rump being less daring than its schnoz, it manages to avoid looking cartoonish like the Sonata. The Aston mini-me styling is refreshing in a segment where “restrained” and “slab sided” are the mantra of the day. The new Accord is elegant for sure, but the large green house screams family sedan. The current Camry attempts to meld an edgy nose with refrigerator flat door panels. Even the stylish (in comparison) Altima looks far less exciting. Styling is subjective and I usually avoid commenting on design directly, but the 2013 Fusion is an exception. This Ford is quite simply the best looking sedan in America under $50,000.

Interior

What do the 2013 Fusion and the unloved 1995 Contour have in common? They are both Ford Mondeo world cars. (Thankfully that’s all they have in common.) After years of designing one sedan for America and one for the rest of the world, the company’s “One Ford” strategy put the Mondeo and Fusion back into the same breeding program. I’m not sure what Europe gets out of the cross-breed, but Americans will benefit from a level of refinement, parts quality and European design hitherto unknown to the Blue Oval on our shores. On the flip side this also means the Fusion’s interior is a study in black with most of the interior looking like it was carved out of a single piece of black plastic. Opting for the tan cloth or leather interior won’t avoid the black dashboard, but it does make the interior look warmer. Sadly this color option is limited to the Fusion S and SE only as the Titanium trim comes only in black.

Our Fusion tester impressed with buttons and parts-bin parts that felt more premium than the competition thanks especially to an all-new steering wheel. While the new tiller doesn’t get soft split-grain leather like the new Accord, Ford’s new button arrangements are easier to use, easier to reach and feel better built than the wheel in the C-MAX and Escape. Speaking of buttons and controls, our Fusion tester showed no signs of fine scratching on the control surfaces, a problem that the Altima, Accord and Camry all suffer from, despite having far more miles on the odometer than the Japanese trio we tested.

Front seat comfort is excellent although a step behind the 2013 Honda Accord which has the most comfortable seats in the segment. Unlike some of the competition, Ford’s tilt/telescoping steering wheel provides a large range of motion making it easy to accommodate drivers of different heights. The Fusion’s driver’s seat is 10-way powered in the SE and Titanium models and sports an optional three-position memory system (standard on Titanium) to speed driver swaps (or keep your better half from complaining). As you would expect, the passenger doesn’t get the same kind of seat-love with your choice of manual or 4-way power adjusting.

Rear seats are as low to the ground as any in this segment and far less bolstered than the front thrones. In a family sedan this is more a feature than a problem since it makes the middle seat a more pleasant place to spend your time. Despite the sloping profile I was able to fit my six-foot frame into the middle seat without issue, although the 2013 Accord offers noticeably more room in the rear. Because of the differing ways that manufacturers measure rear seat leg room, I recommend you take your whole family with you shopping, stuff them all in the car and see how comfortable everyone is at the same time. Want to know more about the seating and cargo room? Check out the video review.

Infotainment & Gadgets

All models come with the basic SYNC system which offers USB/iDevice and Bluetooth phone integration. As you would expect, power windows and door locks and a perimeter alarm are standard, but few will be buying the base S model since there are zero options. This makes the $23,700 SE model your real starting point with standard XM satellite ratio, six speakers, a power driver’s seat, auto headlamps, body-colored mirrors and the keyless entry keypad that’s been a Ford hallmark for ages.

We also need to talk about My Ford Touch, because if you want to check pretty much any other option box on the Fusion, MyFord Touch needs to be selected first. Want dual-zone climate control, a backup cam, blind spot monitoring, auto headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a 120V outlet, cross traffic alert, etc? The $1,000 MFT option (standard on Titanium) includes the 8-inch control screen in the dash, two 4.2-inch LCDs in the gauge cluster, dual-zone climate control and the backup camera. When MFT landed in 2010, the software had more bugs than a bag of 5-year-old flour. Thankfully, this latest version of MFT is more responsive and less problem prone. The competition has caught up however, with the Altima, Toyota and Honda systems delivering excellent USB/iDevice integration and basic voice commands without the lag and occasional software hiccups. Despite the system’s still-present flaws, MFT is still the sexiest system in this segment and the only one that brings the partial LCD disco-dash to the table. If you want the best in factory entertainment, you should know the 12-speaker Sony branded audio system is only available in the more expensive Titanium.

Automotive gadget dissemination follows a predictable path. The snazziest gadgets, safety features and entertainment concepts are first released by the big players in the luxury segment like BMW, Audi and Mercedes in their most expensive models. The next stop on the technology train is inevitable the mass-market sedan. It therefore shouldn’t surprise you that the Fusion can be had with an impressive list of options from an automated-parking system to adaptive cruise control and an innovative lane departure prevention system. Unlike most of the LDP systems up to this point, the Ford system doesn’t apply the brakes to one side of the car to get you back on track – it simply turns the steering wheel. The system is both slightly creepy and very effective. With the ability to apply more force to keep you in the lane than competing systems, the steering input feels more like a hand on the wheel than a gentle suggestion. If safety is your shtick, it’s worth noting that the Fusion and Accord scored well in the new IIHS small-overlap test while the top-selling Camry and Prius V “are the worst performers of the midsize group.” according to the IIHS.

As options lists go, the Fusion has more gadgets on offer than any of the competition – but it comes at a cost. The Fusion tops out at a fully-loaded AWD price of $38,170, $4,760 more than the most expensive Camry, $3,693 more than the Accord, and $5,730 more than a top-level Altima. As you would expect in such a cut-throat segment, comparing apples-to-apple,s the Fusion is priced very close to its top three competitors.

Drivetrain

Compared to the competition, the Fusion has an oddly extensive powertrain lineup. There are four different engines, three transmissions, two hybrid variants and FWD or AWD to choose from. The base 2.5L four-cylinder engine and 6-speed automatic are largely carried over from the previous Fusion and good for 175 horses and 175lb-ft of twist. This is the sole engine in the Fusion S and base engine in the Fusion SE. We’re told by Ford that most 2.5L Fusions will be headed to fleets.

Next up is the new to America (and thrice recalled) 1.6L turbo direct-injection Ecoboost engine available with or without start-stop technology and with your choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmissions. Proving yet again that turbos are the replacement for displacement, the 1.6L mill produces more power (178HP) and more torque (184lb-ft) at lower RPMs than the 2.5L while delivering 2 more MPGs in the city and 3 more on the highway.

The sporty option is the 2.0L direct injection turbo which takes the place of a V6 in the Fusion SE and Titanium. With 240HP and 270lb-ft of plateau-like forced-induction torque, you’ll never miss those two cylinders. Should AWD be on your must-have list, be ready to shell out $32,200 because it’s available only on the Titanium. Before you complain about the cost of admission, keep in mind your only other mass-market mid-sized AWD option would be a Subaru. Last up is Ford’s redesigned 188HP hybrid system sporting a 2.0L Atkinson-cycle engine, a Ford-designed hybrid CVT transaxle and your choice of regular hybrid or plug-in battery packs. With this much variety appealing to different shoppers, check back with us when we get our hands on the 2.0L Ecoboost and hybrid models.

Drive

The Fusion impressed during the photo shoot and looked unstoppable on the printed spec sheet but none of that would matter if it felt like a wet noodle out on the road. Despite having a decidedly American-sized 112.2-inch wheelbase, it’s obvious Ford’s European division took the lead when it came to the chassis. The result is a ride that is incredibly composed, tight in the corners and as communicative as anything with electric power steering. The surprises continue when you shift your right foot over to find linear brake feel, absolutely no Taurus-like brake fade and short stopping distances.

In an interesting twist, the 6-speed manual is available in the 1.6L Ecoboost equipped SE for the same price as the automatic. As you would expect, this is the same 6-speed transmission found in the Fusion’s Euro twin and has a distinctively German engagement and overall feel. Clutch feel is top-notch as well comparing with the liked of the VW Passat and Jetta. In addition, rowing your own doesn’t have a feature penalty allowing you to still check the self-parking and lane departure prevention option boxes. Don’t get too excited, you can’t get the stick with the 2.0L turbo and AWD and if you opt for MyFord Touch you get a tiny digital tach that’s practically useless. For shame.

The 1.6L Ecoboost engine is fairly smooth and quiet on the outside and, thanks to a dedication to sound proofing, almost unnoticeable on the inside. What you will notice however is the broad torque curve of the diminutive four-banger when passing or hill climbing. During a short drive with the 2.5L engine I was constantly annoyed by the transmission’s up-shift happy nature, but despite the 1.6L’s tranny being programmed the same way it didn’t bug me as much. Why? Because all 184lb-ft are available at 2,500RPM and, thanks to the hair-dryer, 90% of that twist is available from 1,500-5,700RPM. This broad torque curve makes the 1.6L Ecoboost Fusion feel faster than it is with our run to 60 completing in 7.9 seconds, about 9/10ths off my gut estimate. This is considerably faster than the Passat and Malibu but not as fast as the Accord and Altima with their efficient CVTs.

Our tester came with the optional ($295) start/stop system which Ford claims is good for a 10% improvement in city driving and results in a 1MPG improvement in the Fusion’s EPA scores bringing the 1.6L SE up to 24/37/28 MPG (City/Highway/Combined). Ford touts the system as smoother than BMW’s 328 start/stop system and they are right. Of course the reason has as much to do with the smaller displacement as the positioning of the engine (transverse vs longitudinal). The way a transverse engine and the vehicle’s suspension interact when cranking is just different. If you live in a particularly hot climate, don’t expect start/stop to save you much as the engine has to stay running to power the A/C. Unlike our stint in the C-MAX, our Fusion beat the EPA combined score by half an MPG over nearly a thousand miles of mixed driving. With excellent fuel economy, dashing good looks, a quiet cabin, good driving dynamics and the longest option list this side of luxury sedan, the Fusion is not just a viable alternative to the competition, it truly is a game changer. The only problem is the pesky (and seemingly frequent) 1.6L engine recalls. Is that enough for me to take the Fusion off my list? Probably not, but I’d buy the hybrid or the 2.0L Ecoboost model anyway.

Ford provided the vehicle, one tank of gas and insurance for this review

0-30: 2.6 Seconds

0-60: 7.9 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 16 Seconds @ 88.5 MPH

Average Fuel Economy: 28.5MPG over 960 miles

 

2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Side, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Wheels, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Side 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Rear 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Rear, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Rear 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Engine, 1.6L Turbo, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Engine, 1.6L Turbo, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Engine, 1.6L, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Engine, 1.6L Turbo, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Trunk, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Trunk, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Dashboard, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Center Console, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Rear Seats, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Rear Seats, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Infotainment, MyFord Touch Controls, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Gauges, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Gauges, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Interior, Gauges, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes 2013 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost 1.6, Exterior, Front 3/4, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Ford Still Mum Regarding Genk Plant Closure http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/ford-still-mum-regarding-genk-plant-closure/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/ford-still-mum-regarding-genk-plant-closure/#comments Fri, 14 Sep 2012 18:47:28 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=460421 Union leaders met with Ford officials last week during Ford’s Amsterdam extravaganza, and when the topic of closing the Genk, Belgium plant was raised…nothing was said. Genk, which employs 4,000 workers and builds the Mondeo and S-Max minivan, is looking like the next victim of European overcapacity. With the new Mondeo now a world car, […]

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Union leaders met with Ford officials last week during Ford’s Amsterdam extravaganza, and when the topic of closing the Genk, Belgium plant was raised…nothing was said.

Genk, which employs 4,000 workers and builds the Mondeo and S-Max minivan, is looking like the next victim of European overcapacity.

With the new Mondeo now a world car, the door is open for alternate assembly locations – such as the United States or Mexico. The car has already been delayed by six months. Supplies and workers are getting nervous. Speaking to Reuters, union chief Luc Prenen said

“We asked about the rumours (of plant closure)…They said they could neither confirm nor deny them.”

Ford officials were equally evasive, stating that “…It’s too soon to provide any specifics about our plan for Europe.” But with European car sales at their worst in nearly two decades, and Ford bleeding money in Europe, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to find out that Ford packed up and left Genk.

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Ford Product Blitz Includes 3-Cylinder Mondeo, More Wagons, Mustang For Europe http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/ford-product-blitz-includes-3-cylinder-mondeo-more-wagons-mustang-for-europe/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/09/ford-product-blitz-includes-3-cylinder-mondeo-more-wagons-mustang-for-europe/#comments Thu, 06 Sep 2012 16:55:19 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=459188 Ford unveiled a number of new products at its European dealer meeting in Amsterdam, including new crossovers and an all-new Mondeo powered by a three-cylinder engine. Ford executives discussed numerous products at the meeting, including: EcoSport: A new small crossover, based on the Fiesta platform, and intended to rival the Nissan Juke. Originally developed for […]

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Ford unveiled a number of new products at its European dealer meeting in Amsterdam, including new crossovers and an all-new Mondeo powered by a three-cylinder engine.

Ford executives discussed numerous products at the meeting, including:

EcoSport: A new small crossover, based on the Fiesta platform, and intended to rival the Nissan Juke. Originally developed for Brazil and Latin America, this second-generation model will be a world car, powered by the 1.0L 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

Mondeo: It’s almost the same as the upcoming 2013 Fusion, thanks to Ford’s OneWorld platform sharing strategy (and the whole “economies of scale” thing) but there are numerous under-the-skin differences, the biggest one being the 1.0L 3-Cylinder engine, which will not be offered Stateside. We will also miss out on a wider range of gasoline engines, diesel powerplants and two body styles; a five-door hatchback (similar to the previous Mazda6 hatchback) and a wagon.

Transit: The Transit will come to our shores as a replacement for the Econoline, and as competition for the Sprinter and the Nissan NV. The gaping maw will shroud an undisclosed diesel engine as well as the 3.5L Ecoboost V6 in America. Europe, predictably, gets all kinds of powertrain options.

Mustang and Edge: No photos or details were released, save for the fact that both cars will be sold in Europe when they get redesigned. The Mustang, obviously, will face stiff competition from all the wonderful sports cars we aren’t entitled to in North America, while the Edge will compete against vehicles like the Hyundai Santa Fe in Europe.

Fiesta: A new look and a new 3-cylinder engine are the big changes for the Fiesta.

Photo courtesy Ford/AutoExpress Photo courtesy Ford/AutoExpress Photo courtesy Ford/AutoExpress Photo courtesy Ford/AutoExpress Photo courtesy Ford/AutoExpress

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Ford Plant Could Be Next On Europe’s Chopping Block http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/ford-plant-could-be-next-on-europes-chopping-block/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/ford-plant-could-be-next-on-europes-chopping-block/#comments Fri, 20 Jul 2012 21:45:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=453625 Ford last closed a plant in Europe a decade ago, when its Dagenham assembly plant was shuttered, but the Blue Oval may be forced to do it again. Faced with excess capacity and mounting losses on the continent, Ford needs to trim some fat. According to a report by Bloomberg The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s assembly […]

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Ford last closed a plant in Europe a decade ago, when its Dagenham assembly plant was shuttered, but the Blue Oval may be forced to do it again.

Faced with excess capacity and mounting losses on the continent, Ford needs to trim some fat. According to a report by Bloomberg

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker’s assembly plants in Southampton, England, and Genk, Belgium, may be vulnerable.

The Southampton factory is apparently running at less than one-third capacity, and built fewer than 30,000 Transit vans last year. The Genk plant builds the Mondeo – an important car for Ford, but one that is cursed with a small market and a declining customer base. Europe’s already volatile economy is hardly the place for a pseudo-upscale sedan like the Mondeo, as well as the S-Max crossover and the Galaxy minivan (which did have a slight uptick in sales this year).

Ford isn’t the first automaker trying to shed capacity, with Opel and PSA undertaking plans to shut down underperforming factories. And they probably won’t be the last either.

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2013 Ford Mondeo Delayed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/453119/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/453119/#comments Tue, 17 Jul 2012 17:48:29 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=453119 The 2013 Ford Mondeo, aka our 2013 Fusion, was supposed to hit UK showrooms around this time, but the launch has been pushed back to September, so Ford can work out some quality-related bugs prior to its on-sale date. AutoExpress spoke to a Ford representative in the UK, who told the publication that the Mondeo […]

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The 2013 Ford Mondeo, aka our 2013 Fusion, was supposed to hit UK showrooms around this time, but the launch has been pushed back to September, so Ford can work out some quality-related bugs prior to its on-sale date.

AutoExpress spoke to a Ford representative in the UK, who told the publication that the Mondeo would be delayed so that Ford could “work through various issues to ensure a robust and high-quality launch”. Specifics weren’t given by Ford, but WhatCar, quoted another unnamed Ford spokesman as stating

‘We have a complex global vehicle programme, and we have to sort issues with the vehicle’s robustness and quality that would not be met with the original timings,’ he continued.

The European Mondeos are all sourced from Ford’s Genk, Belgium assembly plant. In the mean time, the tried-and-true current Mondeo will be produced to supply the market.

There’s been no indication that American-market Fusions will be afflicted with these sorts of problems (yet), but that doesn’t mean Ford hasn’t learned from the issues that affected the initial months of the Fiesta and Focus. Hopefully, they paid attention and learned from past transgressions. The importance of the Mondeo in Europe can’t be overstated, and a botched launch would be disastrous, perhaps more so than the DN101 Taurus kerfuffle was for North America.

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Ford Fusion’s Debut Makes The Lincoln MKZ Redundant http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/ford-fusions-debut-makes-the-lincoln-mkz-redundant/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/01/ford-fusions-debut-makes-the-lincoln-mkz-redundant/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2012 22:29:50 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=424657 The next Ford Fusion is set to debut at next week’s North American International Auto Show, and while details are still embargoed, the blokes at Auto Express have given us a preview of the next Mondeo. Which is essentially the next Fusion. (Edit: Here’s a “leaked” look at the car) We can’t tell you specific […]

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The next Ford Fusion is set to debut at next week’s North American International Auto Show, and while details are still embargoed, the blokes at Auto Express have given us a preview of the next Mondeo. Which is essentially the next Fusion.

(Edit: Here’s a “leaked” look at the car)

We can’t tell you specific differences between the Fusion and Mondeo, but suffice to say that a certain mechanical bit that rhymes with “weasel ” will not be available. The Fusion will be a game changer in the segment, and we can confidently say that without indulging in any sort of PR-fueled hyperbole. The competition is simply going to get blown out of the water by Ford’s new midsize.

Given the new Fusion’s introduction, and the requisite hype for a new Lincoln concept previewing the MKZ, we can’t help but ask, why bother. Again, we’re not making any specific comments on how nice the new Fusion’s interior is, or how sophisticated its drivetrain and tech features are, but one need only look at the new Focus or Escape to see that the Blue Oval brand has a ton of “premium” features.

Lincoln’s prestige is negligible to say the least, and MKZ sales are in the toilet. What will the new car, said to be substantially different from the Fusion itself, really offer that will justify the price premium and steal sales away from other brands? Apparently, the “…greenhouse, sheet metal, luxurious interior, powertrain tweaks and technology will be the things that distinguish Lincoln…” going forward, but that doesn’t sound too different from the current way of doing things. And certainly not different enough to effect real change.

What else can Ford do to improve Lincoln’s sales? Not even product placement in rap videos worked.

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i-Flow; Do You? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/i-flow-do-you/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/02/i-flow-do-you/#comments Sat, 13 Feb 2010 03:29:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=345238 Hyundai is leaking this rendering of their i-Flow concept ahead of next month’s Geneva Motor Show. In the cycle of car shows, this looks like one not to miss. Periodically, Hyundai shows something new that is spot-on. Additional leakage available for downloading on the i-Pad.

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Hyundai is leaking this rendering of their i-Flow concept ahead of next month’s Geneva Motor Show. In the cycle of car shows, this looks like one not to miss. Periodically, Hyundai shows something new that is spot-on. Additional leakage available for downloading on the i-Pad.

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