Ford To Refresh Models Every Three Years
If the refreshes go as well as the Five Hundred to Taurus redo, it may not make a Hell of a lot of difference. But it probably will. This website has constantly derided The Big 2.8 for letting popular (and unpopular) models wither on the vine, as their transplanted competition raced one or two or even three (four?) steps ahead with newer, shinier, better versions of existing products. So we're happy to report that FoMoCo's global product chief Derrick Kuzak put his hand on a stack of Automotive News' [sub] sales stats and swore by all that is saleable that his employer will now be "carrying out a product cadence that calls for change at three-, six-, nine- and 12-year markers." And Derrick's he's not weaselling, either. "At every one of those milestones, every one of our products, (we will make) a change that is marked and recognizable by the customer." Yes, well, that assumes consumers can identify Ford, Lincoln and Mercury's anodyne models in the first place– never mind their updates. But we quibble. Clearly, Ford CEO Alan Mulally's desire to emulate Toyota continues apace. Which is just as well; the clock is ticking.
When Ford closes the Twin Cities assembly plant, that'll be the end of the Ranger, and Ford has nothing to replace it with. The Crown Vic is strictly a fleet vehicle now, and both it and the Grand Marquis are scheduled for extinction. What does Ford plan on replacing both with? Nothing. The Taurus (nee 500...what a horrible name, what was Ford thinking?) isn't selling worth a hoot. I have yet to see ONE print or TV ad for it and the Sable, nee Montego. Rebates are heavy on the Fusion here in LA LA Land...ergo, sales are sliding, so it's the same old sad story...paying ppl to buy them. The Big Three gave away the passenger car market 20+ years ago. Their chances of getting it back are twofold: Slim and none. Stick a fork in Ford...they're done. Several months ago, Alan Mulally said as much when he was quoted as saying..."Ford is in a race against time." Refreshed or not...I say again...how will Ford pay off that multi-billion dollar loan, when next to nothing is selling? Ford needs to refresh all right. Get rid on the bean counter that is Alan Mulally, and put a car guy back at the helm, Lee Iacocca might just be available. Mebbe he can work the miracle that Ford must have in order to stay in the carbiz.
"BuckD : January 28th, 2008 at 1:30 pm Forget all that, isn’t the Taurus a pretty darn good car now? It may be, but looking at one makes me nod off as though I were in my high school civics class after lunch. Seriously, could their be a more mundane-looking vehicle of recent vintage on the road today? At least the Sebring has the distinction of being astonishingly ugly." Ah yes... but Toyotas are every bit as boring. And most of America seems to like boring... as long as it includes reliable. I have no problem if that brings Ford enough business to become healthy and strong again. Just as long as there are enough vehicles sprinkled throughout the lineup to please enthusiasts like me.