Sunday, October 09, 2005

I want to lodge a complaint

I was bored, so I decided to play with the build and price feature on the Ford web site. And again ran afoul of the corporate bullshit machine. Why do auto manufacturers insist on limiting what vehicles you can get a manual transmission on? Why if you want one option, must you get 3 others?

Just an example, I was looking at the Fusion and Mustang, but the Mustang was the one that pissed me off more, so that's what my rant is going to be about. I was building a V6 Mustang Convertible and spec'd the Premium package, fine but as soon as I checked the Pony package, they told me that it's only available with the automatic transmission. Now how fucking stupid is that? Do they assume that people who drive convertibles don't want to shift for themselves?
The Coupe with Pony package doesn't have such a restriction, and the order guide that I downloaded from the internet doesn't mention this. Is this a recent change by Ford?

With rising gas prices, a Mustang buyer who opts for the V-6 in his convertible and then wants the top of the line, can't get a manual trans. What fool thought that up?

This is just one of many situaitons where the manufacturers have limited our choices unfairly. Maybe someone in the market for a sporty convertible will look elsewhere, maybe at the Pontiac Solstice? The same is true of Mazda and every other Ford partner ( as well as all manufacturers). Don't get me wrong, I know the days of ordering the top of the line motor in a stripper are over, and that building potentially orphan cars is unwise, but shouldn't a buyer be able to special order a car the way they want?

As you can tell, it's been a slow weekend for me posting, nothing really inspiring me so far.


Dotty Gale said...

Maybe the chassis mods required to stiffen up the convertible preclude the use of the manual transmission.

I'm just guessing.

Dotty Gale said...

I take it back. I appears that the only thing that prevents a manual transmission from going in the Pony Package are the following features:

- Unique Pony Grille with Chrome Bezel and Fog Lamps

- 17" Premium Painted Cast Aluminum Wheels

- Pony Front Fender Badges

- Carpeted Front Floor Mats with Unique Brushed Chrome "MUSTANG" Badge in 2006MY Interior Colors

Can you get those from the Part department? You shouldn't have to but I would think you could make your own Pony Package with a V6 Convertible.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a mistake... there is no functional reason not to offer the 5-sp with the pony package.
I stopped by a dealer just now to look over pony package cars in hopes of seeing a 5-sp manual model, but didn't. There wasn't a 5-speed manual anything (base, Pony, GT) in the lot. But, the pony package cars are very handsome. A very worthwhile addition.
I've driven a bunch of 2005s with autos... and I wouldn't go near one. That tranny shifts very poorly... the same tranny in an LS works much better. Sometimes I just don't understand Ford!
Side note: if you look at my site at the pics of the upcoming 3.5 DOHC engine, you'll notice that the only pic Ford has ever shown has a rear wheel drive version of the engine. No doubt about it. *Very* interesting...


Big Ford Fan said...

Jeff, thanks, I'll take a look. Wonder what that could be for? Mustang? Probably not.

Big Ford Fan said...

Dotty Gale, I'm sure Jeff is right, it may be something to do with the website. I hope Ford isn't stupid enough to not offer a manual trans on the Mustang Convertible.

And yes, I'm sure that you could buy the parts and put them on yourself. But sort of defeats the purpose of ordering a car.

Dave. T said...

The answer is NO! no one buys mustang v6 convertibles in a 5-speed! This has long been the case. So consequently ford doesn't make many. Many are also sold to rental car companies. All those are autos. This is not a mistake, this is a business decision from Ford. Car companies see manuals as "enthusiast" offerings and sell like 8% (it's some small number that always surprises me not sure the exact %) of domestic models in manual. That's why they don't seem to "care" about your complaints.

Big Ford Fan said...

Dave, you may be right, but the ordering guide doesn't say that you must get an automatic with the convertible. So I'm hoping I can get my Mustang equiped as I like or it's off to Pontiac for the Solstice