Though the F-150 rules over Truck Mountain and North America with an aluminium fist, Ford marketing boss Jim Farley told reporters in a meeting that crossovers are driving his employer’s sales growth all over the globe.
As Ford’s newest F-150 dons an aluminium crown in place of steel, the usurpers waiting to take the throne of Truck Mountain are running to secure their own supplies of the lightweight metal.
U.S. sales of full-size trucks slid 4.5% in January 2014 as the two leading manufacturers of pickups reported falling sales of all their big trucks.
Typically the slowest month of the year for new vehicle sales, this past January should be no different, as the U.S. auto industry generated 32,000 fewer sales than it did one year ago. Although minivans, commercial vans, and the vast SUV/crossover segment all expanded, passenger car sales plunged, year-over-year, and truck volume declined, as well.
In a speech given to an Economic Club of Chicago luncheon held in conjunction with the Chicago Auto Show media preview, Ford Motor Company’s president for the Americas Joe Hinrichs criticized Japan and Toyota in particular for benefiting from currency manipulation. Hinrichs said Ford would “urge Congress to oppose a TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership currently being negotiated.] if it does not include strong currency disciplines.”
Toyota is an old family firm. Ford is 111 years old. Chevrolet celebrated its centennial not long ago. Mercedes-Benz traces its lineage back to the 19th century. Though not 100 years old like those companies, Honda has been around for more than a half century. In Consumer Reports’ latest brand perception survey, Tesla Motors, a relative neophyte car company barely a decade old, has elbowed its way past Mercedes-Benz for a spot in the top 5 automobile brands assigned points for quality, safety, value, design and technology. The results are based on a poll of 1,578 vehicle owners. CR had earlier named the Tesla Model S electric car as among the very best it has ever tested.
Tesla jumped to 5th in the survey, up from 11th last year and follows Toyota, Ford, Honda and Chevrolet in that order. (Read More…)
Our friends at Motorbeam in India snagged these live shots of the Ford Figo, aka the sedan version of the next Ford Ka and EcoSport. Designed as a world car to be sold in BRIC markets, the Figo is officially a concept, but is as production ready as a concept gets. For more, check out Motorbeam editor (and TTAC contributor) Faisal Ali Khan’s take on the Figo.
TTAC was the first to bring you news of the F-150′s move to aluminum construction, the 2.7L Ecoboost and the delays with the aluminum body panel production. And now we’ve got another bounty of information about upcoming engines, transmissions and other technology for the new F-Series trucks and their full-size SUVs.
Though a Ford Motor Co. executive told the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in New Orleans that repair shops would need factory certification to work on the new aluminum bodied F-150 pickup truck, in a report by Karl Henkel at the Detroit News, Ford now says it will not require service center and repair shops to be certified if they they want to do body work on the new F-150. However, Ford will have a voluntary training program, and those businesses that do participate will be certified and be able to use that certification in advertising.
Own a Ford dealership with a repair shop? Should your mechanics and body repair crew desire to the ability to repair the new aluminium F-150, then prepare to seek certification with a substantial price tag.
I love your blog. Its been an invaluable resource in my efforts to purchase a car. I have a pretty long daily commute and I’m a bit of a greenie so I’m really interested in purchasing a hybrid. I’ve looked at a number of models including the new Honda Accord hybrid but I’ve hesitated in buying the model I really wanted – the Prius – because of reports of acceleration and braking issues. Do those issues still persist? (Read More…)
The rumors have it that the new Ford Ka will be on sale as of March this year. Production of the old Ka has come to a close as the Zetec Rocam engines have also been terminated (and thus the old Brazil-market Fiesta is probably dead as well). At launch, the new Ka will come exclusively with a 1.5 Sigma engine and a 1.0, three cylinder, EcoBoost-based engine. Rumors have it that it will be the most powerful 1.0 engine in Brazil and will thus have to provide around 82 ponies.
With the first month of 2014 sales nearly wrapped up, we’ll soon get our first look at how the Jeep Cherokee has fared, following the initial shipment of delayed units. Much has been made of the Cherokee selling 10,000 units in November and 15,000 units in December: it was a great storyline for Chrysler to promote in the run-up to NAIAS, and one for the hometown media (in both Detroit and Toledo) to rally around. Left out of the cheerleading was the fact that these figures accounted for the 25,000 units reportedly sent to dealers in one fell swoop. Can you say “pent up demand”?
But even if the Cherokee continued to sell at that pace – say, 15,000 units per month as an optimistic projection, where would that place it in the larger picture of the small crossover segment?
Last week, Ford’s Global VP of Marketing and Sales, Jim Farley, told a panel discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that Ford has access to data on its customers’ driving habits via the GPS system installed in their cars. “We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone,” he said. The next day Mr. Farley adjusted his statement to avoid giving the wrong impression saying that the statement was hypothetical and that Ford does not routinely collect information on, or otherwise track, drivers through their GPS systems without those drivers’ consent and approval. That approval comes from turning on and opting into specific services like 911 Assist and something called Sync Services Directions, a system that links the GPS system to users’ cellular phones. So that’s that, right? (Read More…)
For the first time in more than a decade, new car sales in India have failed to post a year-over-year increase. Instead, a sharp drop in sales spells bad news for carmakers with heavy investments in that important developing market.