By on April 27, 2018

For a country that looks at its southern neighbor’s gasoline prices with lust and envy, you’d think small cars would make up a greater share of the vehicle mix. Well, they don’t. Canadians like their crossovers, pickups, and SUVs even more than Americans, and Ford’s future product lineup shows it.

It seems like just yesterday you could walk into a Ford dealer and check out a stingy and unsafe Aspire, before the hungry salesman upsold you on an Escort (or perhaps its sporty ZX2 sibling). Then there was the Contour, Taurus, and Crown Victoria to consider.

Those days are gone, and under Ford’s new truck-centric product plan, which ditches the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus, Canada won’t even get the crossover-ized Focus Active hatch. It’s a Mustang or nothing for small car lovers.

Apparently, we’ve made our bed and now need to lie in it.

News of this change comes by way of Autofocus, which quotes Ford Canada communications manager Christine Hollander as saying Canadians just don’t buy enough cars to warrant the model’s introduction.

“The car segment in Canada has been declining steadily since 2012 and now makes up just 33 percent of the overall market,” Hollander said. “Going in the other direction, SUV and crossover sales have been growing steadily since 2012 and now account for about 44 percent of all vehicle sales in Canada. And that trend of car sales declining as more consumers choose SUVs is expected to continue. So, we are focusing our efforts on vehicles customers prefer.”

It’s your fault, Greg in Moncton, and yours too, Crystal in Trois-Rivières. The only passenger car to crack the top 10 in monthly sales volume in Canada is the Honda Civic, positioned far below the best-selling Ford F-150. The best-selling Ford car last month was the Focus — in 39th place, according to GoodCarBadCar.

Canadians apparently prefer compact offerings from Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Honda, Kia, Subaru, Chevrolet, and Volkswagen before they turn to the Blue Oval for a small car. As for the Fusion, which disappears south of the border, too, the BMW 3 Series is more popular in the Great White North. Hell, the Canadian-market Nissan Micra moved more metal last month. It’s a grim country for cars.

My neighbor already owns an EcoSport.

[Image: Ford]

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72 Comments on “Hilarious: Canadians Can’t Even Buy a Focus Active Under Ford’s New Plan...”


  • avatar
    thegamper

    I am not enjoying new Truck world that is being foisted upon us. Maybe a self inflicted wound….I blame you guys…I never had a Truck or SUV as my daily driver.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      It’s sure good for my wallet though. Between the endless C/SUVs and the death of the manual transmission they are removing all temptation for me buying new cars. I would, but if they won’t sell me what I want there is literally an infinite variety of cool older cars out there I can drive.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Do they have that many places to surf in Canada, anyway?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      There are a few places to surf off of Vancouver Island. Tofino comes to mind but one needs a wet suit.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Lou,
        Until the orcas eat you. Sharks seem to bite our surfy dudes on a regular basis.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @Big Al from Oz – I’ve never heard of a killer whale attack on a human. The theory for sharks attacking surfers is that from below they look like turtles.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            I was joking about the orca’s or killer whales.

            As for surfers and sharks, I don’t know. I’ve heard they confuse us with seals.

      • 0 avatar
        la834

        Habitat 67 in Montreal isn’t just the world’s greatest multiunit residential structure ever, but also boasts surfing in its backyard courtesy of one of the world’s best standing waves in the St. Lawrence river. Here is a short clip of a girl riding it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3Paoqps3BY

        (and a few more nice long rides:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83uMX5_YfhI

        .

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Duke – You beat me to it as I just wrote:

    Ah, it’s OK, I don’t think there is a lot of surfing going on in Canada.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I as just thinking that the focus active was the first desirable ford in a long time. But thanks ford for saving me from the inevitable reliability problems….

  • avatar
    scott25

    Almost as ridiculous as the fact the Regal TourX isn’t sold here, which seems tailor-made for Canada.

    The reason the Focus doesn’t sell here is because it’s garbage. It sold well until 2012-13 when the early adopters of the current-gen got burned badly by the transmission and other problems. The old ones were mega-popular and relatively bulletproof.

    • 0 avatar
      mjg82

      The TourX not being available here is such a piss off. I know people are flippant when they say they’d buy a car if it were available, but I 100% would replace my ’15 Optima Turbo with the TourX. It would even soften the blow of letting my ’95 Roadmaster Estate go, which is an approaching inevitability that I’m still ignoring.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    It wasn’t that long ago that the Fusion was the best selling mid-size car in Canada.

  • avatar
    idesigner

    Ford are a bunch of MORONS!
    I’ve always liked the Focus hatch, its just the back seat didn’t make any sense compared to the competition. Why would you do that!
    Build the right proportion car with a tranny that doesn’t shutter and they will come,cause the design language was right on.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    IIRC, small cars do well in Canada because the bulk of the population live in places like Vancouver/lower mainland or Toronto/GTA. As @scott25 has pointed out, you make junk and people will stop buying.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Lou,
      I agree with you, Ford need to do something about the way in which is does cars. To be honest the aluminium F-150 (Coyote powered) I had in the UAE was very average in build quality.

      Maybe one day you Canadians will break the apron strings you have attached yourselves with to the US with the motor vehicle industry.

      The Canadian taxpayers have literally forked out billions to keep the Detroit Iron dream alive.

      As I’ve been stating for years now something is going to shift in the US vehicle manufacturing industry. I just hope it doesn’t fail because of decades of p!ss poor decision making on all sides from Unions, Detroit 3 and Government (who are only appeasing the lobbiest).

      GM and Ford in Australia aren’t doing that well. They seemed to only profit “in country” when handouts and protection was given. This is quite worrying in the way that the US manufacturers operate and can only operate, with handouts and protection.

      GM and Ford are not as competitive in mature markets as their European and Asian peers are. This is also worrying.

      China is the only bright light for Ford or GM, but Ford has dropped 30% recently in China. In China, because the market is new and fresh and the consumers jump at anything you could put wheels on a turd and it would most likely sell in enough numbers to be viable.

      To keep US manufacturers alive, maybe they should just become engine builders. Chrysler, Ford and GM do build decent engines (overall). Ford can’t obviously build gearboxes, even my Ford built 6spd manual sh!t itself after 30 000km.

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    “It’s your fault, Greg in Moncton, and yours too, Crystal in Trois-Rivières.”

    I live in Moncton and Greg is my father, oddly enough… I can tell you that Civics, Corollas, and Elantras rule the roost here. There are a large number of trucks and CUVs of course, but it seems like every second vehicle is a small car. The sales charts may be different if you break it down by region.

    Either way, I’m a Ford fan and currently own two of them. That will be changing when it comes time to replace my CAR with another CAR.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    You know, I sit here watching and “listening” to the comments of dismay regarding the decimation of the ‘Murican and Canuckistanian vehicle markets with a grin on my face.

    Well, maybe having a free auto market isn’t that bad after all.

    Choice lives on outside of NA.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      What does Canuckistanian mean?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        It implies Canada is a third world country.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          28-Cars-Later,
          Almost correct.

          It’s an endearing term generated in the US to describe their better off neighbours to the north.

        • 0 avatar
          redapple

          Canada is partially a 3rd world country.
          23% of its population was born in the 3rd world.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Really, wow didn’t realise things had got that bad. Explains Treadeau I suppose.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            1st, 2nd, and 3rd world are cold war terms. 1st world means capitalistic countries aligned primarily with the USA. 2nd world are countries aligned with USSR now Russia and 3rd world is what is left over.

            As far as immigration goes, “modern” countries need immigration because birth rates are too low. IIRC one needs a birth rate around 2.1 per couple and we (Canada) are currently at 1.6 per couple.

            Canadian statistics indicate that immigrants (when compared to “traditional” Canadians) are more likely to have a post secondary education, are less likely to be on social services, and more likely to start a business.

            One must be cognizant of that fact that everyone “immigrated” to North America. Some just showed up earlier than others.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Third world has been replaced by least developed country. Basically poor and under developed. Also irrelevant that just because there was immigration hundreds of years ago we should just keep importing large numbers. Adapt to modern circumstances, rather than just doing something because it has been done in the past.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @mike978 – Yes. Third world has changed to mean underdeveloped.

            Canada’s immigration point system tends to do a good job of “letting in” immigrants that are a net benefit to the country. The influx of refugees is different and may be problematic in the medium or long term.

            As far as “importing large numbers”, the evidence indicates that Canada isn’t allowing enough immigrants “in” to meet the growth demands of the country. Immigration numbers have been scaled back due to political pressures.

            My comment about immigration to North America goes much further back than 100 years. Canada just celebrated its 150th year last year. I made that point just so that people are made aware of the fact that all of our ancestors were immigrants at one time or another.

  • avatar

    Ford is suddenly the worst American carmaker.

    Ford sucks…….

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      akear,
      You might be correct, but Ford might become ‘Murica’s best truck maker, but that new Ram looks great. The new Silverado looks like something a child would buy as a Tonka toy.

  • avatar
    Groovypippin

    As a guy who sells Mazdas in Canada, I just want to say…Thanks Ford! Are cars a shrinking segment? Sure, but we still sell tons of them, particularly Mazda3s. Gas prices are going through the roof here on the west coast and a lot of people driving around in full sized trucks in particular will soon be beating down our doors and begging us to switch them out because they literally cannot afford to drive them.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      Mazda already got a boost when they discontinued the manual Focus, and will again when the manual Cruze goes away. Mazda, Honda, and VW are going to be last stronghold for the manuals, which people actually buy in Canada

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    “We’re abandoning 33% of the market to put all our attention on the 44% of the market”.

    This must be driven by bean counters.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    It’s a bit sad, really. I recently drove a Fusion as a rental while my vehicle was in the shop after a minor accident. It was fun, for a middle of the road sedan, looked sharp in black, had a lot of nice features, and didn’t handle too badly at all. It was drastically improved over the earlier Fusions, in my opinion, which I was not impressed with.

    I see the appeal of SUV’s, as I’ve owned a couple. But I think what killed the sedan, aside from SUV’s and crossovers becoming more accessible (read: less truckish) is the fact that, for a while, cars from Ford, GM, and Chrysler were so dull from the early 00’s on. The Taurus was boring to look at, boring to drive, and had a crap interior. The Impala decided to look just like it a bit later, and Chrysler? I don’t even recall a memorable car. Oh wait! The Intrepid, which was also unfortunate, even if slightly less boring to look at. If you go smaller, the Focus was…just okay. Maybe looked a little more exciting, but wasn’t really. Chevy had the Cobalt and I thought it sucked (the Cruz is much better), and Chrysler..again…what’d they have? Wasn’t the Neon anymore, was it? PT Cruiser? Yeah…no. So, there’s part of your answer, because for me, that’s how it was. “If this is what cars are gonna be for now, I might as well get an SUV. Hey, this SUV is great for hauling crap!”

    Don’t push someone away and get mad if they end up liking where you pushed them to.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      MWolf,
      I rented a Fusion in Vegas a few years ago, it seems reasonable. I think Ford (and GM) really need to look at the quality of their interiors with the NA produced vehicles.

      My mother in New Jersey buys Ford Focus’es, she’s had 3 since 2007. Her last one was in 2016. I can say that the interior of the Michigan built Focus is poor in relation to our older Sth African and Thai built Focus’es. The nicest interior for a Focus is my cousin’s daughters Focus in France.

      Ford seem inconsistent with quality. The Asian’s aren’t and to a lesser degree the Euro manufacturers.

      • 0 avatar
        MWolf

        Exactly. The early 2000’s Tauruses I had experience with had door panel inserts that just peeled off after a bit. One was a friend’s, one was a roommate’s. One had engine issues, the other had electrical In contrast, the I had an Explorer that held up well inside and lasted almost 200,000 miles before major failure, so they can do it, but they just don’t all the time. You’re right.

        I’ve had GM’s too. Little more consistent, but they go overboard with the cheap plasticy feel, evenin more expensive cars. Their failures usually consist of 100 little problems that develop over time until you simply unload it, rather than replace the window switches, buttons, sensors, find out why that one bulb keeps blowing out, etc.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    If at first you don’t succeed, run like hell!

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The Ford Family and their lackey Jim HACKett throw up the white flag and reinforce many decades of conventional wisdom that U.S. Or near-U.S. based vehicle manufacturers JUST. CAN’T. EVER. COMPETE against their JAPANESE, GERMAN, KOREAN, AND SOON, CHINESE COMPETITORS.

      ULTIMATE AND EPIC BLUE OVAL SURRENDER AND BRAND VALUE DESTRUCTJON IN REAL TIME SPONSORED BY INCREDIBLE SHORT-TERM, GROSSLY OVERPAID, COMPLETELY INCOMPETENT EXECUTIVE RANKS.

  • avatar

    Yeah Ford is probably making a big mistake on ditching cars (except the Mustang) for the Great While North, and the decline could be traced to the troublesome Powershift transmission, aging platforms etc.….
    Small cars do sell here, but Canadians are increasingly buying vehicles larger than they need (usually via 72 month loans) and shunning those better suited to their budget, requirements etc.
    Anecdotal of course, but in suburbia it’s became okay to buy 3 row SUV’s and full size trucks to go to the mall, take kids to school etc. and the usual excuse offered is due to hockey equipment.
    Sure, it’s amusing to watch them struggling to park their Canyonero’s between the parking lines but WTF gas is now on average $1.35 a litre (about $5.00/g.) in this country.
    Allocating a significant amount of cash just for go-juice is nuts IMO, but many of my fellow Canuckleheads seem to disagree and content to purchase overstuffed barges (while they bitch about high gas prices.)

    • 0 avatar
      Groovypippin

      Blame car seat and stroller manufacturers as well. As someone who sells cars for a living I see terrified first time parents come in with these ridiculously gigantic rear facing child seats that barely fit into a F-150 Crewcab because they have been told their baby will die unless they buy one that big.

      Will these car seats fit in a compact car? Nope. Will they fit in a compact SUV? Believe it or not, if the parents are tall, the answer sometimes is still no. Is there any cargo room left in the truck or hatch of a compact car once they have have loaded their insanely large $1,000 baby stroller in the back? Nope. Is there any room left in the back of a compact SUV? Not much.

      • 0 avatar

        Car seats,never thought of that, but come to think of it my SO has friends with a toddler, and the combination car seat / stroller / luggage carrier they use is HUGE!
        It absolutely dominates their Forester along with all the other crap they (and other parents) carry around these days just in case little Johnny or Jenny’s mind wanders……

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        Car seats are an issue. You’d think a backseat that accommodates a six-footer sitting behind a six-footer would be fine for a rear-facing car seat, but nope. Ours weren’t the Protekt-UR-Spawn Gigantor5000 model, but if I was any taller our Jetta Sportwagen wouldn’t have cut it.

        I swear when the kids don’t need to be carted around anymore I’m going to go buy a Fiat 500 Abarth just because I can.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I understand why Ford is cutting the cars but having driven a company 2014 double clutch automatic Focus I remain completely unimpressed. Uncomfortable seats, slits for windows, crappy interior, and transmission that shifts like its on its last leg. I would pick a Mitsubishi Mirage over that Focus. The C-Max I was impressed with but it is destined to die. As for Ford trucks I am not a full size truck owner and never will be–don’t need something that big. I like the Colorado/Canyon but I am not in the market to buy one now. As for sedans I doubt I will ever own one after having the CRV which sits a little higher and is easier to get in and out of. I really don’t care that much for Fords especially the newer models with mismatched trim, door seals that come off, and ok interiors. I prefer the GM vehicles which don’t seem to have those issues but even then when it came to buying a new vehicle we bought a Honda CRV. If Ford and FCA went away I would not be that upset, I will most likely buy another Japanese or maybe a South Korean vehicle–most of them are American made and have more American parts than most American brands. I agree that the US manufacturers are not as competitive in a global market and I doubt most of them will be except for China. My prediction is that GM becomes a Chinese company, Ford survives but just as a truck and suv company, and FCA is sold off in parts to the Chinese and Indians with Dodge and Chrysler left to die. I just cannot get that upset about UAW workers and overpaid CEOs who manage to get a bonus for screwing up and causing a corporation to die.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jeff,
      I don’t see what you see! It’s harsh.

      I see the Big 2 Ford and GM becoming more and more US centric as their global operations shrink.

      GM and Ford in China will eventually succumb to competition as the Chinese market matures and the Chinese turn to EVs.

      What amazes me is how no one really looks at what’s driving the people to buy what they do. It’s not just CUVs and SUVs are new. These styles of vehicles have been around since the 50s.

      I think CUVs should be regarded as cars and not trucks for starters, as with most SUVs.

      The best way to define a car is a vehicle that is designed to carry 8 or less passengers, irrespective of construction.

      Outside of the US if anyone ever described a PT Cruiser as a truck would be laughed at for being simple.

      But, as I’ve been stating regulations and controls placed on the vehicle market determines much of it’s makeup, along with affluence and infrastructure quality.

      I use the old East German Trabant as an example (extreme) if a particular type of vehicle is promoted by tariffs, restraints, regulations and subsidies that will be the vehicle people buy.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    If gas prices go through the roof, Ford will bring the Focus back..it will just be made in China. Moving Focus production to China might get a few volcanic tweets from Trump and we can’t have that!!! That is my guess. Sergio killed cars not just because he saw the crossover onslaught…he moved SUV and Truck production to he US because it is the only place he can make a profit in a Union environment. He could have moved the tooling of the Dart and the 200 to Mexico but the ends didn’t justify the means. The Dart and 200 didn’t sell when the incentives were removed.

    The future includes hybrid small SUVS. So small cars may go extinct. Sad. However, I am in the minority. What the majority wants the majority gets at this moment in time. I really don’t get the small SUV craze. A lot of them are jacked up hatchbacks with a 8K surcharge.

  • avatar
    Tiberius1701

    Mr. Mulally, Ford needs you back….badly.

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      …and do what, exactly?

      Alan “One Ford” Mulally was decisive in cutting well loved but low margin/slow selling vehicles that required investment to keep up with government regulations, think the compact Ranger, E-series vans, and Crown Victoria/GM/Town Car.

      If he was still in charge he would still cut the dead weight and move on.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I don’t know if 500,000 annual units in the US is deadweight. If so they were doing something wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          TwoBelugas

          you mean 500k units of low margin fleet heavy cars that will quickly incur crippling CAFE mpg penalties without massive re-investment or expensive electrification that will add further thousands to the cost in segments that have been trending down for most of the last decade?

          You are right, it’s not just dead weight, it’s more like an extra large pair of cement shoes.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            The new Focus (and Fiesta) are designed in Europe and meet those standards with all the R&D paid for. So should have been easy to bring them over to the US and show some discipline like Honda and Mazda either regards rental sales. Not difficult fir a now less than full line manufacturer.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I have read numerous comments regarding both Ford and GM on not having cars available if the fuel price rises. Fuel prices have a large impact on vehicle sales.

    So, where will these vehicles come from? Ford and GM will import them if required.

    One issue that hasn’t been raised which was a talking point a few weeks ago is why no one buys US Big 2 vehicles in overseas markets.

    Trump has been snivelling and whining about the lack of US vehicle exports blaming all but the US. So, what will the US offer the world in trade now?

    BMW and Mercedes Benz seem to be flying the Stars and Stripes for US exports better than the Detroit crowd.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      That’s just dumb. If The Big 3 built their fullsize pickups/SUVs in Europe for some stupid bizarro reason, they’d dominate Europe’s exports.

      All Trump wants is a fair shake. Raising USA tariffs to the European import duties would be “fair” with anyone 1/2 way reasonable, giving US vehicles and equal opportunity, as “equal” as possible with European mind numbing regs and fueling prices.

    • 0 avatar
      Len_A

      That post is just plain ignorant. Ford exports plenty of Explorers, Mustangs, Lincoln MKC’s and F-150’s, etc. Just google Ford’s Australia, South Africa, South America, and Middle East sites, and see for yourself.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Lenny,
        I don’t know which one of you two made the most ignorant comment. Out of the vehicles you selected only the Mustang is making money for Ford.

        The US built SUVs are more expensive than their Asian competitors in Australia and are not worth a mention. The Everest is the only SUV worthy of a mention here.

        Ford Australia’s biggest seller is the Ranger. The Ranger is 60% of Ford Australia,s sales! The Mustang 10% of Ford Australian sales.

        Ford doesn’t have a top 3 selling SUV across all the SUV segments (read the link below).

        The Ford Falcon was in the top 5 sedans ………… with 2 sales at number 5!

        The Mondeo (Fusion in US speak) Sold 170 (approx) to 1400 Camrys.

        The Focus is the 10th selling best small car at 516 and Toyota sold 3 300 Corollas.

        I really believe you need to have some knowledge of a subject prior to engagement in a debate. Using half cocked BS to support a Ford paradigm you have makes you look a fool.

        F-150s are grey imported into Australia in very small numbers by private individuals, not Ford.

        The US manufacturers are struggling to compete in global markets as effectively as their peers. This is simple, all you need to do is interpret the data that’s easily available.

        The US manufacturers are struggling in mature markets with the US the only bright light with large pickups and the related spin off SUVs.

        Detroit had better want change for their very own survival.

        The link;

        http://performancedrive.com.au/australian-vehicle-sales-february-2018-vfacts-0521/

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–You don’t see what I see? How come you have commented that your mother has owned Focuses with crappy interiors. True China will go to EVs but GM is in a better position to offer those than Ford. Also GM has been gaining sales and has most of its growth in China. Buick itself would probably not even exist if it wasn’t for their popularity in China. GM’s future is China and if GM faces another bankruptcy it could end up as a Chinese corporation. FCA’s value is Jeep and Ram. For now FCA is profitable but another bankruptcy could lead to a sale of Jeep and possibly Ram with the rest being scrapped. I could be wrong and I hope I am wrong but I don’t see FCA surviving another bankruptcy.

    As for crossovers, they are not cars even though they share platforms. They are different enough from cars and from trucks to be classified as different. Agree that the PT Cruiser is not a truck but to get around the EPA that is what it was classified as. Also agree that Ford and GM could import cars if they need them but that is going to happen anyway with Ford importing the next Focus. I don’t see much being done until after President Trump leaves office whether that is in 3 or 7 years from now. The Big 2.5 don’t want the tariffs to restrict importing vehicles except they want the protection for the full size trucks from the Chicken Tax. Chicken Tax will eventually go away and the protective tariff rhetoric will eventually go away but it might take a change in Presidents. Eventually everything changes.

    I don’t believe in Government bailouts and loans to sustain an industry which is what has happened with GM and FCA. Ford did not get the bailouts but they did get Government loans for making fuel efficient vehicles in the US (a form of bailout). I myself was reluctantly in support of the loans because of the number of jobs that would have been lost but I still have doubts if it was the right action. I don’t believe there is the support for another round of bailouts if things go wrong for the automobile industry.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Sorry, Jeff,
      I should of had more clarity in my comment. I was speaking about the final result for the Big 2. I thought it was harsh.

      As for interiors, GM and Ford fail here.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–Maybe I am harsh. I just see most CEOs in American based corporations as being overpaid and incompetent. Most corporations are run with short-term gains at the expense of long-term sustainability. I don’t fault Mr. Hackett for this because he was hired to bring Ford back into profitability. I do see the Big 2.5 going the same direction that got them into trouble in the past. Ford itself just narrowly escaped the bankruptcy in 2008. Ford sold off Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Aston Martin to keep from going underwater. Eliminating Mercury also was a good move. My concern is the over dependency on the F series trucks which is a concern I have about FCA and GM. The market can shift and all of the sudden there is a glut of trucks.

    I believe GM is moving in the direction of becoming more of a Chinese corporation. The largest growth for GM is in China and eventually as the Chinese become more of a dominate economic power GM could become Chinese which could happen quicker if GM goes thru another bankruptcy. FCA has been in trouble for years. In 1979 Chrysler had to go to the Government to get a bailout to stay in business which under Iaccoa was paid back in full. Then it was the Daimler merger which left Chrysler in shambles. There is not a lot of room in a highly competitive auto market for making mistakes. I agree with you about the protection afforded by the Chicken Tax but I am also concerned about an auto industry that gets bailed. I believe bailouts make an industry more likely to fail if they continue to repeat past mistakes. The US auto industry is different than the British auto industry in that the British Government ended up owning it but the similar in that the dependency on the Government gives industry little incentive to change. I could be wrong but I am concerned.

    The US is a waning economic power. We have to realize that there are other emerging economic powers and that countries like China because of their sheer size will bring changes in what type of vehicles we drive and even the design of the vehicles. China will influence what type of movies we watch and what type of clothes we wear. All of this will happen over time. Our corporations have to be adaptive to these changes.

    Sorry if I came off as negative but I believe that as a country the US needs to be more adaptive to change. Just because a corporation has been around a long time doesn’t guarantee their survival (ie Woolworths, Montgomery Wards, Toys R US, Radio Shack, and other corporations such as Sears, Penny’s, and Navistar that are just barely staying in business).

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      Look what happened to the UK motor industry. It doesn’t end well.

      The volume manufacturer Rover was sold to BMW, who cherry picked what they wanted (4×4 tech, MINI), then discarded and withered within 5 years.

      Land Rover was spun off and was sold off to Ford, who licenced the Rover name to ‘MG Rover’, for a while they actually could’ve produced Rover cars themselves but sold the name back to Land Rover.

      The remains, MG, were sold to Chinese SAIC, who for a while had a token CKD line in the UK, but are now importing fully.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–Maybe I am harsh. I just see most CEOs in American based corporations as being overpaid and incompetent. Most corporations are run with short-term gains at the expense of long-term sustainability. I don’t fault Mr. Hackett for this because he was hired to bring Ford back into profitability. I do see the Big 2.5 going the same direction that got them into trouble in the past. Ford itself just narrowly escaped the bankruptcy in 2008. Ford sold off Volvo, Land Rover, Jaguar, and Aston Martin to keep from going underwater. Eliminating Mercury also was a good move. My concern is the over dependency on the F series trucks which is a concern I have about FCA and GM. The market can shift and all of the sudden there is a glut of trucks.

    I believe GM is moving in the direction of becoming more of a Chinese corporation. The largest growth for GM is in China and eventually as the Chinese become more of a dominate economic power GM could become Chinese which could happen quicker if GM goes thru another bankruptcy. FCA has been in trouble for years. In 1979 Chrysler had to go to the Government to get a bailout to stay in business which under Iaccoa was paid back in full. Then it was the Daimler merger which left Chrysler in shambles. There is not a lot of room in a highly competitive auto market for making mistakes. I agree with you about the protection afforded by the Chicken Tax but I am also concerned about an auto industry that gets bailed. I believe bailouts make an industry more likely to fail if they continue to repeat past mistakes. The US auto industry is different than the British auto industry in that the British Government ended up owning it but the similar in that the dependency on the Government gives industry little incentive to change. I could be wrong but I am concerned.

    The US is a waning economic power. We have to realize that there are other emerging economic powers and that countries like China because of their sheer size will bring changes in what type of vehicles we drive and even the design of the vehicles. China will influence what type of movies we watch and what type of clothes we wear. All of this will happen over time. Our corporations have to be adaptive to these changes.

    Sorry if I came off as negative but I believe that as a country the US needs to be more adaptive to change. Just because a corporation has been around a long time doesn’t guarantee their survival (ie Woolworths, Montgomery Wards, Toys R US, Radio Shack, and other corporations such as Sears, Penny’s, and Navistar that are just barely staying in business).

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Isn’t it more that Western Canada loves trucks and Eastern Canada loves small cars? Because as a native of Maine (the Canadian Riviera), a state that is absolutely FLOODED with cars from Eastern Canada every summer, I can assure you that almost none of them are larger than a Fusion, and most are tin box economy cars. Now maybe they own a truck too and just never take it out of town, but I doubt it. Even down here in God’s Waiting Room where there are tons of Canadian snowbirds you rarely see trucks with Canadian plates unless they have a fifth wheel in the back. But I suppose to own two homes you might have to sacrifice a bit.

    Western Canada (meaning west of Quebec) of course is where all the money is up there. But can anyone in Ontario afford a truck given the insane housing costs in Toronto and Ottawa? But then I imagine the Canadian tar patch and all that farm country is paved with manly men driving manly trucks with their hockey gear in the back.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      As soon as you leave the cities in Ontario the traffic is 80% trucks, compact cars, Caravans and Wranglers. Crossovers are most of the other 20%. PickupTrucks are even more dominant on the roads here than the parts of US I’ve been to, and that’s reflected in the sales percentages

  • avatar
    mikey

    I live in the Eastern end of the G.T.A … A 1950’s era 900 sq. ft. bungalow will fetch you $450 K. Buyers from the more central GTA will scoop up such a home within hours of going on the market. Homes in the $600 -$750K range , may take a week or two to sell.

    As consequence, people are shoving everything they have into housing. At the end of the day there is not a whole lot of money left over for transportation needs. Commuters need economical, reliable, smaller vehicles.

    I’m not sure about the U.S., but I do think Ford Canada is making a massive mistake. If fuel prices continue to rise, I see the Civic knocking the F150 out of first place.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Mikey,
      Australia is more or less in the same boat with realestate. Sydney and Melbourne.

      From what I can gather is our car markets are similar, except you live under the shadow of the US. So we drive a huge amount of little economical pickups.

      I know you are a card carrying union guy, but I believe we need change, a restructuring on how we live and do business.

      Manufacturing is becoming more like agriculture, very few will be needed to produce. Manufacturing unions need to come on board more. Rather than trying to save jobs unions should put that energy into re-education, realeducation, not some lifestyle enhancement.

      I’m nearly 60 now and there will be huge changes in our society by the time I reach the pearly gates.

      The West needs a plan and it seems the US has none and want to live in the past with the UK. Maybe the EU is moving in a better direction.

  • avatar
    geo

    I drive an old Focus wagon and I love it. The wife dislikes the cheap feel of the interior. Too bad we’ll never see the Active here.

    Anyhow, if it’s the legacy costs that are hindering Ford from making a profit on cars, maybe they would have been better of taking the bailout in 2009.

    Much of the goodwill generated by refusing the money was just squandered on the PowerShift transmission anyhow. Many Focus buyers have likely been “moving up” to an Accord or Camry rather than a Fusion because of the miserable experience they had.

    In 2012, it felt like the new Focus, Fiesta, and Fusion was the beginning of a wonderful new era for Ford; a clean slate. Ford had the country’s attention and admiration at the beginning of the decade, and what they did with it sickens me. They’ll never have another window like that again.

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    I wish (affordable) small cars didn’t all have such insipid engine choices.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @mikey–What you have said about affordable housing is true. It is hard for many especially younger people starting out to own their own home and pay off student debts. It is hard to be interested in the latest and greatest car or truck if you are barely getting by financially.

    I don’t believe it is fair to blame unions for all of the problems with the auto industry. Over paid executives and focus on short-term profitability at the expense of long term sustainability. Also most vehicles do not have the whoa factor in that the vehicle is so attractive and desirable that you just have to have it. True today’s vehicles are safer, cleaner, more efficient, and overall more reliable but many have the appeal of a toaster especially with the choice of colors both exterior and interior wise. Additionally many new vehicles are bought by older buyers which include me. Again this gets back to what I stated previously about younger peoples ability to afford new vehicles. Its not that many younger people don’t want to its that they have other financial obligations.


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