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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to focus on Cars because that is the asian strength and the big 3 weakness.

Ford needs more product, alot more product. the days of one model selling in huge volumes are gone, the new relity is that this is an age of Parity, the differnce between most vehicle is subjective, no one makes a bad car anymore. One must become focused on the market's needs and exploit market trends. lower more profitable volume matched with flexible platforms and Flexbile manufacturing.

My lineup
<ul type="square">

Cars
Fiesta: 3 door and 5 door
Focus: sedan, wagon, 3 and 5 doors, coupe, cabrio, and coupe convertable.
Futura: Sedan, Hatch, Coupe, Wagon, and coupe convertable.
427/Falcon: sedan, and (wagon)?
500: Sedan
Fairlane: sedan and wagon

sports cars
mustang: notchback, convertable, Fastback, hardtop convertable.
Tbird: hardtop convertable, coupe
Forty Nine: coupe convertable
GT: ? GT

MPVs
C-Max
Freestar: SWB and LWB
Transit: SWB, MWB, LWB, and 3 heights, line of gas V8s and Diesel I4s and V6s FWD and RWD.
Transit Connect: SWB and LWB, 2 heights.

CUV
Fusion:
Futura CUV:
Freestyle:

SUV
Eco sport:
EX: softtop 2 door.
Escape: 3 door and 5 door, sport trac
Explorer: 2 door, 4 door, sport trac
Exepedition: 2 door bronco and 4 door
expedition XL: 4 door and sportrac

Pick up
Courier: FWD and AWD.
Ranger: regular, super, and crew cab.
F-Series: as is.

Ford Diesel
Focus: 2.0 TDCi
Futura: 2.0 TDCi
Fairlane: duratorq 2.7 V6 TDCi

C-max: 2.0 TDCi
Windstar: 2.7 V6 TDCi
Transit: 2.0 and 2.7 FWD 2.7 TDCi, 4.5 and 6.0 powerstroke.
Transit connect: 2.0 TDCi

Futura CUV: 2.0 or 2.7 TDCi
Freestyle: 2.7 TDCi

Escape: 2.0 TDCi
Explorer: 2.7 TDCi
Expedition: 4.5 powerstroke
expedition XL: 4.5 and 6.0 powerstroke

Ranger: 2.0 and 2.7 TDCi
F Series: 2.7 TDCi, 4.5 and 6.0 powerstroke
[/list]


This is a relitivly cheap, but expansive lineup

It uses only 6 Unibody platforms( B???, C1, Futura, 500, D2C and Transit) and 2 Truck platforms (F-Series and explorer).
 

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Wow man, you really put some thought into that.

Personally, I think the asian tide will fade now the the US buck has weakened. The problem is that european and asian automakers have enjoyed a huge price advantage because of the strength of the US dollar through the 90's. that has changed now and though the big 3 are weakened by loses because of it so long as they can put out decent lineups they should make back some of that ground without too big a change in lineup.

i would like to see more of a VW approach to product launch where you get a better range of engine choices within a model. imagine, a Focus with an optional diesel, turbo, and V6 just like the jetta, beetle, and golf. that would rock. hell, imagine a turbo taurus. where's the halo when you need it (or at least want it).
 

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multiple compacts and a halo compact are FAR more important than the three wnat to believe. Fiesta, focus, and a focus GT (or whatever). Win brand loyalty now, watch them buy a 50 k expedition in 7-10 years. They have to think frigign LONG TERM

build a "Ford YOuth" with propaganda and fast, relatively inexpensive sport compacts...dammit.
 

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multiple compacts and a halo compact are FAR more important than the three wnat to believe. Fiesta, focus, and a focus GT (or whatever). Win brand loyalty now, watch them buy a 50 k expedition in 7-10 years. They have to think frigign LONG TERM

build a "Ford YOuth" with propaganda and fast, relatively inexpensive sport compacts...dammit.
That goes with what I've been trying to say in these threads....
Also,
The ONE thing missing in Biker16's original Lineup, is the "Focus GT" with the features I recommended in that thread a couple weeks back.
 

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hey does anyone have figures for how impreza and lancer sales (regular models only) boosted after introduction of WRX and EVO? Just kinda curious...it's one of the two factors that would corroborate with the brand loyalty theory.

Focus GT would be nice. I'm dreaming of one...or how cheap a Mach 1 i hope will be when i'm shopping replacements...mmmm TORQUE
 

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The reality of it is brand loyalty isn't what it used to be. It has less to do with "the brand" and more to do with quality and price when buying a car.
 

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BTW, does anyone when Ford "bet the farm" on a radical new car design, called the Taurus?

The original Taurus was extremely radical (expensive and risky) at the time. I know that Ford is having financial trouble at the moment, but maybe it's time to come out with a product that redefines a segment.
 

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I know that Ford is having financial trouble at the moment, but maybe it's time to come out with a product that redefines a segment.
Well Ford back then was in much worse shape. They and Chrysler almost went out of business back in 1982. At least Ford has 26 Billion to use for product development this time around. But also they don't have the same level of competition they have now like they did back then. Ford saving grace will be the new 2004 F-150 and if it sells well Ford should buy itself some time to survive and hopefully the new Futura and Five Hundred will continue the roll they started with the new Ford GT.
 

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The reality of it is brand loyalty isn't what it used to be. It has less to do with "the brand" and more to do with quality and price when buying a car.
But also people are brainwashed into thinking that all imports are better then their american-built nameplates. They won't even consider getting a Ford, GM or whatever since they think oh if I get an Import its automaticly better.

Thats the problem that is faced by the Domestic automakers....they can lose a customer just over one bad vechicle they might buy...I'm sure that other makes have the same problem but its just that one time can ruin their image because of this brainwashing.
 

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The reality of it is brand loyalty isn't what it used to be. It has less to do with "the brand" and more to do with quality and price when buying a car.
But also people are brainwashed into thinking that all imports are better then their american-built nameplates. They won't even consider getting a Ford, GM or whatever since they think oh if I get an Import its automaticly better.

Thats the problem that is faced by the Domestic automakers....they can lose a customer just over one bad vechicle they might buy...I'm sure that other makes have the same problem but its just that one time can ruin their image because of this brainwashing.
Well stated.

I think Biker16's faux Ford lineup has too many cars, though. It'd be too costly to make so many variations, I'd assume. Then again, I might be wrong. I think that companies need to keep their lineups simple. For instance, I think having the ZX5, ZX3, and the Wagon bodystyles are kind of counterproductive – they're too similar. It'd be interesting to know if the ZX5 steals Wagons sales or visa versa.

Also, to be competitive, I think the "Big Three" need to learn from the Japanese. Let's just use the 1996-’00 Civic as an example. The build quality on these cars is very solid. Tolerences are very tight, the powertrain is smooth and refined. The interior is Spartan, but it's all there and the ergononmics are good. The engines are almost bullet-proof and the resale is high.

Why can't the Big Three replicate this? I know that they are capable of doing it. If the Japanese can do it, why can't Ford (or others)? Why didn't my Focus have the reliability of my Civics (I've owned three of them)? Why did the body panels not line up at tight? There's no reason for this stuff – America needs to get stricter with its quality control. They need to concentrate on refinement. I mean really – excluding the Escort GT and Probe, which was powered by Mazda, why did it take Ford until the introduction of the ZX2 to put an OHC, 16 valve engine in their small cars? The answer is because some people were still willing to buy an eight-valve engine that had lackluster performance compared to the multivalve engines that the Japanese were producting in the mid-to-late 1980s. However, I think that Ford saw that it was losing sales to the imports and needed to change.

I still don't think that America is too serious about the small car market. I do believe that the Focus is the best attempt yet, but just about eveyone outside of the Focus community believes that Foci are recall and problem prone. Ford didn't do such a hot job at launching the Focus in 2000 which was another strike at the U.S. small car segment. The SRT-4 is a fast car, but reliability will really be the key to it's long-term reputation. And, Neons, in general, aren't known for their reliability, refinement, or longevity.

The bottom line is that I know that America can produce an excellent, world-class small car. I think they should take a Civic or a Corolla and study the way it was bolted together; the interior, and the engines and take notes. I just don't know why they don't and why they can't seem to project the "right" image. Look at VW – their ads are great! I truly believe their ads sell cars. I know VW isn't at the top of reliability ratings, but I know they're very popular cars. It's an image – and while it's not 100% of the car, it does help.
 

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The Big 3 don't need to disect a Civic; they already know how to build a smart, durable car. They're in trouble now, at least in large part, because they created a market segment which is high on image and 'me too' and low on quality and efficiency. That segment? Like I even have to mention it. Just as US motor fuel prices push $2 per gallon and at least a few otherwise clueless 'sheeple' are acknowledging that driving around suburban Dallas in a 3 ton 4X4 to pick up the dry cleaning isn't just expensive, but less than responsible, Nissan and Hyundai and others are offering fresh, efficient cars with cache, decent build quality, and attractive warranties. Ford and GM and DC have made their beds and now they're having to sleep in them. Quick profits can be very expensive profits.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
multiple compacts and a halo compact are FAR more important than the three wnat to believe. Fiesta, focus, and a focus GT (or whatever). Win brand loyalty now, watch them buy a 50 k expedition in 7-10 years. They have to think frigign LONG TERM

build a "Ford YOuth" with propaganda and fast, relatively inexpensive sport compacts...dammit.
That goes with what I've been trying to say in these threads....
Also,
The ONE thing missing in Biker16's original Lineup, is the "Focus GT" with the features I recommended in that thread a couple weeks back.
Mike didn't get into product specs but one lesson to learn from the SVT is that americans need Auto boxes.


Well stated.

I think Biker16's faux Ford lineup has too many cars, though. It'd be too costly to make so many variations, I'd assume. Then again, I might be wrong. I think that companies need to keep their lineups simple. For instance, I think having the ZX5, ZX3, and the Wagon bodystyles are kind of counterproductive – they're too similar. It'd be interesting to know if the ZX5 steals Wagons sales or visa versa.
Your thinking is what most think. why have your own models compete against each other?

It a valid question, the issue is one of manufacturing, If you build the ZX3 ZX5 and Wagon with the same tooling, in the same plant you lose very little by making them all. All focus use most of the same parts, in a flexible manufacturing system, you could change the mix of vehicle on the fly, losing no volume to meet market demand. the focus Wagon is sold because it has no major competition and sells at a premium Vs the other focus styles. I would only stop selling any model if it's price wasn't making money. I would reduce Focus sales if I could make more money on each car sold.

The key to small car profitablity is manufacturing efficency you can build the fiesta in the US and not lose you shirt. It is oosible with efficent manufacturing. Ford makes the Fiesta in Germany in 16 Hours compared with the taurus's 17.5hours and the US Focus's 24 hours.

I would build the C1 focus variants, Fiesta, fusion, C-Max, and maybe Transit Connent in one plant. this plnt would be designed to build cars in <17 hours. You would reduce the cost of low volume models with a high volume plant, the premuim models would support econimies of scale for the non premium models and add value to the plant. Produce a low cost product. This would just the beginning.

Flexible plants require far less investment to retool for new models, just <30 million Vs up to 200 million. you could design and produce new variants of platforms in 12 months and depending on the variant, less than 80 million for a minor variant. That works out to only $400 per vehicle.

With Diesel variants commanding a premium over Gas models, and AWD over FWD, you increase the average profit of each platform, making the C1 platform, and BXX platform more profitable.

This is my thinking for the NA C1 Focus

Sedan 120,000
Wagon 40,000
ZX3 30,000
ZX5 60,000
premium focuses
Coupe 30,000
Cabrio 20,000
Coupe convertible 20,000
C-Max 50,000

With the fiesta and fusion the new loss leader. (I hope for a small profit)
the Focus sales would be allowed to fall while the price increases and profit per vehicle increases.

this will:
drastically increases resale value
makes C1 affordable for NA.
 

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The reality of it is brand loyalty isn't what it used to be. It has less to do with "the brand" and more to do with quality and price when buying a car.
But also people are brainwashed into thinking that all imports are better then their american-built nameplates. They won't even consider getting a Ford, GM or whatever since they think oh if I get an Import its automaticly better.

Thats the problem that is faced by the Domestic automakers....they can lose a customer just over one bad vechicle they might buy...I'm sure that other makes have the same problem but its just that one time can ruin their image because of this brainwashing.

I don't buy that theory, I personally have tried to convince several older friends of my mom to buy an Accord (which is about as American as you can get without being one of the Big 3).

These people buy GM sedan after GM sedan. Their whole families do, and have nothing but trouble. They ask for my recommendations, I recommend a car that is reliable, safe, and a good value: the Accord...they won't even take a test drive.

Right back to the GM dealership they go.

I'm sure it's different in various parts of the country...but here in the Midwest the gray 4-door American-made sedan rules.
 

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maybe in metro areas people dont' ahve so much of hte brand loyalty. But take a look in my garage, or any of hundreds in Lubbock. ANd you'll see a bevy of american cars, usually all hte same make. In my neck of the woods, owning an import is grounds for lifelong ridicule, hell, even being seated in one is pretty bad.
 

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They can't just offer those cars here, they have to build them just like they do in Europe. Quality plastics and Quality work.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
They can't just offer those cars here, they have to build them just like they do in Europe. Quality plastics and Quality work.
Its more complex than that, in europe Ford make ~3 million cars in 6 factories, those cars share alot of part alot of europe only parts. to use those europe only part in the US where they would only be used on one model is expensive, you A: import those parts B: make them here, and lose economies of scale.

The solution for the C1 Foucs is to become more american large parts that cannot be shipped must be made here those parts must have commonality with other north american products, for economies of scale.

My solution would be a C1 focus platform with an Futura based interior and mechnical systems. I.E. HVAC, electrical systems, IC, seats and door modules. Those would make more sense to be share with other US models than other C1 models. It sounds Expensive to Design a custom interior for the US C1 but For NA it may be wise to note where we have the most to gain, in parts sharing.

I would use a NA C1 archtechture as a basis fo a NA Fiesta, fusion, C-max and Escape. the idea would be to carryover the futura's 800,000 unit muscle to the small car sector. adding another 600,000 units to share parts with, even greater than C1s 800,000 units.

An NA C1 would have to be simpler and productable for NA. Europeans build more variants of each car than in North America, their cars are designed to be built for over 40 different markets, thus the C-Max has 45 microprocessors for modular adaptation for many differnet markets. We only have 3 markets here, our multiplexing focuses on one powerful CPU controling many different Functions.

There all sorts of things that are differences between here and there. Ford NA doesn't control FoE, they can't make them do things in a NA sort of way.

This issue is complex, there are fundemental differneces between europe and the US. th primary one is that there isn't a european supply base in North America. I believe that C1 is flexible enough to be americanized but it must be done right.
 

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exactly how much does the fiesta (B?) platform share wtih the C1/C170? I think they share suspension subframes. Engines (at least the duratec 1.6). Anything else?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
exactly how much does the fiesta (B?) platform share wtih the C1/C170? I think they share suspension subframes. Engines (at least the duratec 1.6). Anything else?
not really parts but archetecture.

The subframe is based on the focus, the Seats may be based on the focus, The engine mounting system is from the focus, the assembly is almost the same as the Focus.




It is possible to build both in the same plant. The Fiesta plant can make the Focus too.
fiesta


C-max
 
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