By on November 9, 2016

Robert_S._McNamara_and_General_Westmoreland_in_Vietnam_1965

November 9, 1960: Robert McNamara becomes president of Ford Motor Company just one day after John F. Kennedy is elected President of the United States.

He may have only held automotive office for a handful of weeks before becoming JFK’s Secretary of Defense, but McNamara’s legacy at Ford is everlasting. However, after saving the company from its own ill-planned and cannibalistic Edsel division, he later created an Edsel of his own in the Vietnam War.

(Read More…)

By on October 31, 2016

2015 Ford Mustang Flat Rock production

General Motors and the Ford Motor Company both saw U.S. sales declines in the third quarter, but GM was the only one achieving earnings that widely beat expectations. Still, which company is playing the game better is up for debate.

This could turn out to be an Ant and the Grasshopper situation if there is another economic downturn on the horizon. The ant-like Ford could be more ready for an economic winter, while the improvident Grasshopper Motors is left out in the cold with acres of unsellable vehicles — forced to eat its own legs for sustenance.

Of course, if there isn’t an economic downturn, Ford is going to look like a lame duck next to GM’s golden goose.

(Read More…)

By on October 18, 2016

Caterpillar truck, Image: Caterpillar

So, there’s an election on, and a certain candidate has made some high-profile, sometimes inflammatory comments about American manufacturing and jobs being sent south of the Rio Grande. That person’s name is Donald T. No, perhaps that’s too obvious. D. Trump.

The Republican nominee recently found himself in a cage match with Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields after accusing the automaker of sending its jobs to Mexico. But one manufacturer that Trump does favor, one that he invests heavily in and whose products he plans to use to build a certain wall, also has a “Mexican problem.” (Read More…)

By on October 11, 2016

2015 Ford Mustang Flat Rock production

Update: Added official statement from Ford.

Ford Motor Company is briefly shutting down production of the Ford Mustang at the car’s Flat Rock, Michigan, factory in a quest to avoid ballooning inventory ahead of the winter months, Bloomberg reports.

Year-over-year, U.S. sales of the Ford Mustang tumbled 32 percent in September 2016 in response to rapidly elevating incentives on the Chevrolet Camaro. As the Camaro outsold the Mustang for the first time since October 2014, Mustang sales fell to a 23-month low, causing inventory at the end of September 2016 to rise to an 89-day supply, up from 71 days of supply one month earlier.

The temporary idling at Ford’s Flat Rock facility will allow Ford to bring U.S. Mustang inventory down to more appropriate levels. 60 days of inventory is considered normal.  (Read More…)

By on October 3, 2016

2012 Ford Edge Limited Ecoboost-004

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into 380,000 Ford Edge SUVs after receiving a slew of complaints about doors that won’t latch.

The regulator’s probe increases the chances that Ford will add another crop of vehicles to its 2.4 million-strong door latch recall. Meanwhile, another NHTSA investigation targets reports of power steering failure in certain Fusion models. (Read More…)

By on September 21, 2016

Ford F150 assembly line

It seems as though you can’t turn around on the streets of Atlanta or the suburbs of Austin or the outskirts of Albuquerque without seeing a Ford F-Series pickup truck.

For 34 years running, Americans have registered more copies of the F-Series than any other pickup truck. A wide-ranging model lineup (just like its competitors) and top-selling rivals that split their sales between brands means Ford consistently and overwhelmingly sells more full-size pickup trucks than any other automobile brand in the United States. At the current rate of growth, Ford will sell more than 800,000 F-Series pickups in 2016, more than at any point since 2005.

While it’s impressive that Ford owns 30 percent of the American pickup truck market, perhaps the more daunting figure shows that 1 out of every 22 new vehicles sold in the U.S. is a Ford pickup truck.

But don’t be so easily impressed. Look northward, where the Ford F-Series is far more popular than it is in the United States. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2016

16 - 1986 Lincoln Town Car in Colorado Junkyard - photo by Murilee Martin

Ford’s electronic keypad is a delightful throwback to the days when drivers would proudly unlock their new Town Car by punching in a code on the window sill, or just below the door handle.

However, a Ford patent published by Autoblog raises the possibility that the automaker might do away with the time-honored feature. (Read More…)

By on September 8, 2016

2016 Ford Mustang GT

Ford Motor Company’s multi-model door latch recall, which started out relatively small earlier this year, is growing in leaps and bounds.

The automaker announced today that it has recalled another 1.5 million vehicles to prevent doors from flying open, nearly tripling the previous tally of 828,053, the Associated Press reports. (Read More…)

By on August 18, 2016

2016 Ford Focus EV Plug, Image: © 2016 Jeff Voth/The Truth About Cars

Earlier this year, Ford Motor Company claimed 100 miles of electric range was just fine, then turned on a dime and said no, no, that’s not right at all. 

The about-face on EV range came from CEO Mark Fields, who couldn’t have helped but notice the insane demand for Tesla’s Model 3 after it launched at the end of March. Now, the automaker wants to get serious about electrics with a two-car Model E line, Autocar reports. (Read More…)

By on August 12, 2016

2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve Hybrid

With your left hand’s thumb, scroll through the steering wheel-mounted controls and select Settings. Move up to Driver Assist. Proceed to Drive Control. Then select Comfort.

Now your 2017 Lincoln MKZ Reserve Hybrid is a good ol’ fashioned barge of an American car, with enough rear end float to make pregnant women seasick. Firm? Far from it. That dip in the pavement half a mile ago is still causing the rear occupants’ bellies to teeter-totter as the MKZ attempts to locate its equilibrium.

Pair this menu selection with a prod of the Eco button to the right of the central touchscreen and you now have a modern Lincoln that mostly ignores throttle input, steers with remarkable lightness, and turns potholes into pillows. That sounds like the perfect Lincoln for a customer base that has all but gone extinct.

Fortunately, the refreshed MKZ Hybrid does not need to be driven in Comfort/Eco mode. In fact, the 2017 MKZ is at its best when, as is often the case, Lincoln allows the MKZ to manifest its deep-seated Ford Fusion roots.

So why not buy a Ford Fusion instead? (Read More…)

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