Tag: Ford

By on November 17, 2015


Ford unveiled Tuesday its refreshed 2017 Ford Escape complete with two new-ish engines and a slew of new technologies, including stop-start, that could help the crossover catch the best-selling Honda CR-V.

The base Escape still comes equipped with a 2.5-liter four, but Ford replaced its 1.6-liter turbo four with a 1.5-liter turbo four that produces the same power in higher trims. The outgoing 1.6-liter engine was the subject of at least two different recalls, including an incorrectly installed fuel line and overheating problem that could potentially cause fires.

A 2-liter boosted four from the Edge will also be available in the Escape. That engine produces 245 horsepower and will be available in SE and Titanium trims. (Read More…)

By on November 17, 2015


Like the song says, I always feel like… somebody’s watching me. But rarely are they as obvious as this old Taurus I spotted north of Columbus, Ohio over the weekend.

What’s going on here, B&B?

(Read More…)

By on November 16, 2015


Like Randy Newman, automakers love Los Angeles this week as the industry descends on Southern California for two days (really, one-and-a-half days) to showcase their latest and greatest.

Automakers are lining up to show off their wares Wednesday (Cadillac is a lone exception for Thursday) so we’ll reuse our tuxes without dry cleaning for two days, we guess. We’re animals.

We’ll be on the floor live Wednesday to cover everything we can, but in the meantime, here’s a primer to whet your appetites for the show.  (Read More…)

By on November 16, 2015

Kansas City Assembly Plant

Ford workers in Kansas City voted down a proposed contract between the automaker and the United Auto Workers, the local union reported on its Facebook page (via Automotive News). Kansas City produces many of the company’s profitable F-150 trucks.

According to the final tally, 54 percent of union workers and just over 50 percent of skilled trades workers voted against the proposed deal. The defeat was the first major setback for the company, whose workers in Wayne and other plants overwhelmingly voted to approve the deal. Last week, several hundred workers at Ford’s axle plant voted against the proposed deal.

Workers in Kansas City threatened to strike last month when it said Ford wasn’t negotiating in good faith with workers at that plant. (Read More…)

By on November 16, 2015


Detroit automakers may be betting high-profit SUVs and trucks are a better fit for their domestic plants as those automakers shift production away from cars to make room for larger, high-margin vehicles.

Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will largely shift production of their cars to Mexico and bring more trucks and SUVs to North American facilities, according to their contracts with the United Auto Workers,  Automotive News reported.

The report consolidates production planning schedules included in UAW contracts with domestic automakers, which shows automakers’ plans to move some of their cars to Mexico or overseas. Of the Big Three, General Motors will sell the most domestically produced cars in North America, including the Malibu, Impala, Sonic, Bolt and Volt, although the small-car plant recently announced a slowing production schedule. Ford will still produce the Mustang and Fusion at its Flat Rock plant in Michigan.  (Read More…)

By on November 15, 2015

Michigan Assembly Plant Launches C-MAX Energi Plug-in Hybrid

United Auto Workers in Wayne, Michigan initially approved their four-year contract with Ford last week, signaling the first major victory for the the tentative deal, Automotive News reported.

Bill Johnson, who is UAW Local 900 president for the facility, told Automotive News that 81 percent of production workers and 83 percent of skilled trades workers approved the contract. Under terms of the contract, Wayne would likely see production of a new pickup for Ford — likely the Ranger — and new SUV, which could be called a Bronco, in exchange for production of two cars going to Mexico.

Under the deal, Ford workers would also see pay raises, a $10,000 signing bonus, annual bonuses and $700 million in plant improvements under terms of the deal.

(Read More…)

By on November 15, 2015

Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle at Mcity

It’s not quite “Vanilla Sky,” but Ford is testing its autonomous vehicle tech at the University of Michigan’s Mcity, a 32-acre fake city with weirdly placed fire hydrants and fake hipster bookstores, and no one around.

The automaker announced Friday that its Fusion Hybrid was managing the testing grounds’ lanes, turns, roads, intersections, lights, without one artificial bumper bent or curbed wheel — allegedly.

(Read More…)

By on November 13, 2015


If you happen to live somewhere in the United States where radio waves can be transmitted and/or received, you’ve no doubt heard of the “Friends and Neighbors” sale that is going on Now At Your Local Ford Dealer. It sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn’t it? Employee pricing for everybody!

Not so fast, my friends.

Like nearly everybody on God’s Green Earth, I qualify for X Plan pricing at Ford. It’s how I effortlessly purchased/leased my Flex and my Fiesta ST. X Plan is Ford’s code for supplier pricing, and it’s typically about four-percent higher than invoice. It also limits the documentation fees that dealers can charge, which can be insane in some states.

Can better deals be negotiated? Certainly. However, for a low-stress car buying experience, it’s hard to beat. You simply walk into a dealership, they print off the X Plan price, you give them your certificate, and you walk out half an hour later with a new set of keys.

Ford also has pricing for actual employees and their immediate families, called A Plan, which is a little bit better than X Plan but it follows essentially the same guidelines. All that’s required is proof of employment and a PIN code you generate from Ford’s employee site.

So wouldn’t you think that “an inside deal for everyone” would be A Plan, or at least X Plan? You’d be somewhat right, but you’d be mostly wrong. Here’s why.

(Read More…)

By on November 12, 2015

2016 Ford Focus RS

There may be a quicker one coming.

That’s if you believe what Autocar reported Thursday. According to the British publication, Ford engineers in Europe are already be whispering there could be a lighter, quicker version of the 2016 Ford Focus RS coming. Engineers are reportedly aiming for a sub-4 second 0-60 run.

The increased performance won’t come by way of a bigger engine however — the laws of thermodynamics in cramped spaces preclude a bigger bolt-on snail, apparently — but rather the ol’ Colin Chapman route: adding more lightness. (Read More…)

By on November 12, 2015


Babies are tough. Bosses can be tougher. But the indisputable boot camp of bare knuckled stress inducers has to be a young dog that hasn’t been given the care, love, and discipline it needs and deserves.

Not even the Volkswagen Passat W8 I bought last year can compare to the ball busting doled out by an 8-month-old female boxer named Luna, a hyper-cute animal that ruthlessly channeled all of my inner Cesar Millan this past weekend, and defecated it right on the carpet.

(Read More…)

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