By on September 16, 2019

Image: Ford of Europe

As it restructures its European business and rejiggers its lineup for greater sales, Ford believes a new product push will reverse the trend of tepid volume. The automaker has already culled certain slow-selling products, promising more SUVs and putting much effort behind its crossoverized “Active” small car variants. Now, electricity will do the rest of the work.

The Blue Oval plans to introduce eight electrified models on the continent this year, with nine more arriving by 2024. Within a few years, Ford predicts sales of purely gas and diesel models will take a backseat to its green offerings. (Read More…)

By on September 4, 2018

Image: Ford of Europe

Over the weekend, the future of Ford’s Mondeo midsize sedan (and wagon) looked as bleak as that of its U.S. Fusion twin. Britain’s Sunday Times, citing anonymous sources, claimed the automaker was poised to ditch the Mondeo, as well as a crop of other models, in an effort to shore up its sagging European operations.

Not so, claims Ford, though the murky timeline for the Fusion’s demise has us wondering if this reprieve for the Mondeo stands to be short-lived. (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2018

Ford Escape Titanium badge logo, Image: Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company has a lot invested in Europe. While the continent spent decades operating facilities under the lose leadership of Ford of Britain, Detroit acquired direct ownership in 1950. From there it extended its influence dramatically, buying up established European manufacturers near the close of the 20th century. But things haven’t always been good; economic hardships have been par for the course and things haven’t been easy in a long time.

Presently, Ford makes around $75,000 in profit for each of its employees in the United States. In Europe, that number is about $4,300 per worker. While we’re sure that makes domestic line workers feel entitled to a small pay increase, the point is that the profit margins across the pond are pretty slim for Ford.

However, unlike General Motors, the company doesn’t want to abandon the region. The automaker says it’s taking a renewed interesting in figuring how to keep profits up and is avoiding any speculation that it might duck out of Europe entirely. But let’s revisit its hardships over the last decade so we can establish a framework for why Ford is having a rough go of it.  (Read More…)

By on October 5, 2017

2017 Ford Focus S sedan - Image: FordRarely does one hear an automaker point out that the next generation of a popular product is headed downmarket.

Even when a vehicle is repositioned in a lower end of the market, “downmarket” is the last word you’re going to hear out of an auto executive’s mouth. Instead, automakers up the value quotient, cater to the demands of discerning buyers, or find new production efficiencies we can pass on to the customer.

More often, automakers tout their new product as a move upmarket. So it is with Ford Motor Company’s fourth-generation Focus, according to Jim Farley, formerly of Ford of Europe and current head of Ford global markets. “It goes upmarket in exactly the same way as the new Fiesta,” Farley says.

Also like the new Fiesta, the 2019 Ford Focus will spawn an Active variant. Subaru Crosstrek here we come? (Read More…)

By on August 30, 2017

2017 Ford Fiesta Vignale - Image: FordRemember Antonella?

Antonella was a 28-year-old Italian, living in the heart of Rome in the latter part of the last decade, who needed a nimble and stylish Ford.

Antonella has changed. Antonella has more money. She no longer lives with her parents. She has, say it politely, aged, though she’s “still very expressive,” Ford of Europe’s design boss George Saridakis tells Automotive News Europe. Since Antonella changed, the Ford Fiesta for which she was created (or vice versa) has also changed. Ford of Europe now hopes 10 percent of Europe’s Antonellas will choose the upmarket Fiesta Vignale.

What about Antonella’s cousin, Amy in Cleveland? Ford probably hopes she’ll buy a 2018 EcoSport. But if we’re going to be honest about Amy (a TTAC creation), we all know Ford’s inadvertently pulling her into the leftover 2017 Escape she’s been eyeing, the one with a $2,500 discount and interest-free financing over 84 months. (Read More…)

By on July 27, 2017

2015 Ford B-Max - Image: FordIt’s a question parents don’t ask often enough: are is our children learning?

More commonly queried: why not are our doors all is sliding? Furthermore, why is minivans are not mini?

Ford gave it a five-year whirl, slapping sliding doors on the side of the Fiesta-based B-Max. But according to a report in Romania’s Automarket, production of the Romanian-built B-Max ends this fall.

Are is our automakers learning? (Read More…)

By on May 22, 2016

Jim Farley, Image: Sam VarnHagen/Ford

Motor Trend, a part of the “TEN: The Enthusiast Network” machine, grabs the marketing attention of automaker C-suites in ways that this humble blog can’t — and won’t.

Using its clout, you’d think Motor Trend would dig up the goods when given the chance to sit down with Ford’s main man in Europe, Jim FarleyYou’d think wrong. Instead, Motor Trend offers up this stunning, 530-word game of interview softball.

(Read More…)

By on January 23, 2015

17 - 1989 Merkur Scorpio Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNow here’s a rare one: a 1989 Merkur Scorpio. While the Merkur XR4Ti (a rebadged Ford Sierra XR4i) sold well enough that most of us have seen one, the other Merkur— a rebadged Ford Scorpio— flopped miserably and sank without leaving much of a trace. This ’89, which I found on Half Price Day in a Denver yard, is the first Scorpio I’ve seen anywhere in at least five years. (Read More…)

By on June 11, 2014

02 - 1966 Ford Taunus Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinLast week, I left the Return of the LeMonites 24 Hours of LeMons and went straight to Sweden for a car-freak field trip with Dr. G.D. Yo-Man. Surströmming, runestones, black metal, and, of course, junkyards full of weird (to Americans) European cars. Bloms Bilskrot, located in Söråker, boasts what must be thousands of cars from the 1940s through the 1990s, and the inventory extends well into dense forest where decades-old trees grow through engine compartments and plants grow on mulch on car roofs. Today’s Junkyard Find was located in the less wooded part of Blom’s, so I didn’t have to climb over any fallen trees in order to photograph it. (Read More…)

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