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…)

By on July 28, 2016

2017-Ford-Super-Duty-Pickup-Transformable-Cupholder-1

Has a nation ever been thirstier? Are we so blessed with beverages that we now assume every occupant of a vehicle is double-fisting it?

The answer, it seems, is “yes.” Otherwise, Ford wouldn’t roll out a center console cupholder sporting four drinky holes. If the Waltons and the Brady Bunch were real, instead of being forever trapped in the ’70s, they’d weep (with joy) at the sight of it. (Read More…)

By on July 28, 2016

ford logo

Ford Motor Company says its profits dropped 9 percent in the second quarter, and warns that leaner times are coming.

Net income, global market share, and earnings per share all fell, but the automaker’s financial news wasn’t all bad. Still, Ford plans to do some cost cutting as the red-hot new vehicle market cools off in North America. (Read More…)

By on July 28, 2016

2014 Lincoln MKT

It seems so recent that the degree to which I detested the Lincoln MKT was off the charts. Few vehicles more sorely offended me.

The Lincoln MKT’s styling, it seemed to me, suggested that its designers wanted the MKT to appear as though it had a head cold; that its swollen sinuses were infected. The MKT’s taillamps were warnings to keep you away from its contagious front end. You, too, may end up with a runny nose if you come into close contact. “Dual exhausts are simply more orifices through which germs can flow,” I said in 2010. I joked that the MKT was perfect for people with small noses who wanted to make up for their nasally challenged status.

But I’m a changed man. I now look at the MKT’s styling, which I still consider to be hilariously awful, as a selling point. Wrapped around this spectacular package is bodywork so outlandish that it makes the Ford Flex seem downright normal. Also, the MKT is Canadian-built, like me. Then there are MKT sales. Always abysmal, MKT volume now barely appears on radar, meaning you can drive a luxurious, powerful, family hauler and never see yourself coming the other way.

This is the anti-Grand Caravan. This is perfect. What was I thinking? (Read More…)

By on July 11, 2016

2017 Ford Fusion Sport

Even with an all-time first-half U.S. sales record, Ford’s SUVs and crossovers huge year-over-year gains weren’t enough to counteract the significant losses in Ford’s car lineup.

And that’s where the Ford F-Series steps in.

Overall Ford Motor Company sales rose 4.4 percent in the first half of 2016. At the Ford brand, specifically, every passenger car nameplate produced fewer sales than during the same period in 2015. (Read More…)

By on July 8, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Camaro

After TTAC delved into the details of the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro’s gradual decline last month, General Motors reported the worst sales month for the Camaro since November 2014.

June 2016 sales of the Chevrolet Camaro fell to a 19-month low. With only 4,969 sales — a huge number by the standards of most sporting cars but a 40-percent drop compared with the Camaro’s five-year June average — U.S. Camaro volume fell below 5,000 units for just the second time in the last 18 months.

Newly launched this past winter, the latest Camaro’s sales have fallen well below the totals achieved by the six-year-old fifth-gen Camaro in its final — and worst — year on the market. In the first-half of 2015, GM reported 42,593 U.S. sales of the Camaro, a 9-percent year-over-year drop. Yet one year later, the new Camaro is down 14 percent to 36,834 units, a drop of 5,759 sales. (Read More…)

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