Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Henry Ford II, saving the legacy of Ford Motor Company

In the middle of World War II, Edsel Ford, the man who saved Ford Motor Company from is own father's destructive capricious nature passed away in 1943 from a rare form of stomach cancer. His oldest son was in the Navy, and by order of the government was released and sent back to Ford Motor Company. His grandfather Henry Ford I had resumed the presidency of the company in name, while his man Harry Bennet actually ran things in Dearborn.
At one point, things were so dire at Ford, that the government tried to persuade Charles Sorenson, a long time Ford executive, who had been forced out by Henry I and Harry Bennet to come back and run the company for the government, so production of vital war materials would be continuos. Harry Bennet had so poisoned Henry I against his own grandson, that he held little power at Ford. That is until his mother and grandmother both pressured the old man to fire Bennet and allow young Henry II run the company.
And while many though of Henry the "Deuce" untried and unproven, he did just that. Remarkably well actually, because he recognized his own shortcomings and brought in the right team of managers to get things done in a modern way. The Whiz Kids they were called. And in 1946 Ford was the first domestic automaker to bring out new models after the war.
Not like his grandfather, nor like his father, Henry II was his own man. And brought Ford Motor Company through some of the toughest and most prosperous times the industry would see.
Here's a bit I found online, in 1967 Ford's Lincoln Mercury division had built prototypes called XR7S which became the production model XR7 and in 68 the Cougar Eliminator. The one pictured here was one driven by Henry II himself, and later bought by a Ford Employee who last showed it publicly in 1980. I wonder if this car still exists today?

I'm continuing reading Douglas Brinkley's book about the history of Ford, the family and company.

Reflex obsession

I've been obsessing over the Reflex, ever since I first saw it online. I love the styling and proportions of this car. It has such potential. Now the concept car for the show, has a 1.4 Diesel Hybrid powertrain driving the front wheels, and an electric motor driving the rear, with solar panels in the roof to help rehcarge the batteries. Other unique characteristics are the scissor doors and third seat. Now honestly I don't think many of these features will or should come to market.
I'd like to see this car come to market with the styling changed as little as possible. But loose the scissor doors and solar panels. Give me conventional doors and a moonroof instead. Loose the third seat, give me storage bins in it's place. A Hybrid powerplant, is not needed, in a car that with the right petrol or diesel engine could achieve 40 mpg or better and have decent performance. All wheel drive is not needed either. Give me a 1.5 gas or 1.6 Diesel engine driving the front wheels through a manual transmission. Rear wheel drive would be great, but the availalbe front wheel drive platform exists now, and that's when I want this car, NOW.
Give me a usable hatch, not a useless trunk, and keep those lines intact. This is a car that Ford could build on the European Fiesta platform quickly if they wanted. If they want to "drive American inovation," drive it with this. Prove to the world that Ford can come out with a small sporty economical car without having to wait 5 years.

I want mine in LeMans Blue, with white stripes up and over and down low on the rocker panels. I'd like a nice leather interior in black with A/C, moonroof and a decent stereo. It should handle well, be comfortable and get at least 35 mpg. With that big grille, put a turbo and intercooler in there with direct injection for more power too. I know that's asking for a great deal, but here's my last requirement, give it to me for under $25k, make the turbo optional if you have to, in order to get me that price.

Am I crazy? Or does this seem like a reasonable expectation?

Unlikely friends you would think, Geroge Washington Carver and Henry Ford

With all that has been written about Henry Ford's Anti Semitism, you would assume that he is a biggot right? Wrong, his Anti Semitism aside and possibly discussed another time, Henry Ford was actually a very open minded, forward thinking and liberal man. This painting shows Henry Ford with George Washington Carver, the famous Agricultural Scientist and inventor of among other things Peanut Butter. Born the son of slaves the year after Henry Ford, Dr. Carver shared many interests and a friendship with Henry Ford. Both were keenly interested in agricultural chemistry, including bio fuels and alternative sources for rubber and plastic.
George Washinton Carver passed away in 1943 and Henry Ford in 1947, but until the end of their days, they remained friends and both worked in a field that we are revisiting today.
The Ford Family and Company still to this day donate to Tuskegee University where Dr. Carver did much of his research and taught.

Henry Ford, was a proponent of African American workers, never allowing segregation in his plants and always having the same pay and benefits regardless of race. I was also surprised to learn that ol' Henry was a supporter of the Sufrage movement for women's equality. It is my belief that despite his almost self destructive ego, at heart Henry Ford was a good man. His Anti Semitism, may have been born more from ignorance and frustration than actual experience.

But in the end, Henry Ford was one of the best friends African Americans had in the Industrial world.

World Car?

Henry Ford's dream of a "Universal Car" was realized for a time with the Model T. A car that sold globaly, and was built globally. But with the introduction of the Model A in 1928 something changed. European buyers were no longer flocking to Ford dealers, they were buying smaller Austin 7s and DMW Dixies. Ford needed to adjust to fit the market. Europeans wanted smaller more fuel efficient vehicles and despite Henry Ford's thiking a Ford Model A was not a "World Car." Governmental interferance and taxes actually resulted in the yearly tax on a Model A to be more than that of a Rolls Royce. So in 1932 Ford introduced a new car for Europe the Model Y. Smaller and with lower tax fees, it helped Ford survive in the new reality of the European car market. So Ford in the US and Ford Europe started to function as unique entities, both wholey owned by Ford, but with different missions. High fuel prices, smaller roads and lack of parking required that European Fords be smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient. Larger roads, longer distances, cheaper fuel and easier parking allowed US cars to grow and not stop. Today what we consider a "compact" car would actually be more akin to a midsize car in Europe.
It's amazing that you look at Fords in Europe and if you didn't see the blue oval badge, you wouldn't recognize it as a Ford. With few excpetions, European Fords haven't translated to the US market. I would guess that the Cortina was the first Euro Ford imported to the US in the 60's, and then the Capri in the 70's. And in the 80's Ford tried the "World Car" game again, with the Escort. The Escort had been a Euro model for about 15 years at the time, but it was not going to be imported this time, it would be built in the US, based on a European design. And unlike the Fiesta before it, it sold well. The US Escort was close but not exactly what the Euro version was, being larger and heavier, but it was a great start. The Escort was around for almost 20 years, before being replaced by the Focus, the Euro replacement for the Escort. Again built in North America, and altered to meet US Safety and Emisions standards.

With gas prices going up and down so drastically over the last year, talk has been that we need smaller more efficient vehicles. And word has been that Ford may again tap it's European model lineup. I look forward to this, but hope that some of these will be built here in the US.

Just a quick list of Fords that have been imported; Anglia, Cortina, Capri, Fiesta, XR4Ti (Sierra - UK) Scorpio (Granada - UK ) and just designs; Escort, Mondeo (Contour/Mystique) Focus.
I think it's correct that importing a design to be built locally has always allowed acceptance from US consumers, more than actually importing the vehicle.

What European Fords would you want to see here? SAV, Galaxy, Focus, Mondeo, Ka, Fiesta, Fusion, Transit ????? Does it matter to you where it's built?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Freedom of Choice vs Loyalty to your job.

Last week, there was a report about a Ford Plant manger directing employees who drive non Ford (or partner) Vehicles to park in the lot across the street from the plant, the UAW agreeds.
The reactions I'm reading online and I'm getting from talking to friends are mixed. On some level people disagree, because as they put it " you should have freedom of choice." But what about Loyalty? It's common to hear about Corporate Responsability, in this case, their responsability to employees in the way of wages, benefits and retirement. But doesn't an employee have some responsability towards the company? If you work for a company, you shouldn't leak confidential trade secrects, right? If you derive your livelyhood from that company, you want to work towards it's sucess, right? So tell me, what is the motivation of a Ford/GM/Chrysler employee to buy a vehicle made by a competitor? There was the one employee quoted in the original newspaper article saying he bought a Chrysler because he got a better deal, more "bang for his buck." I find that a difficult one to swallow. It's common knowledge that each manufacturer extends "employee discounts" and I had read recently that UAW employees recieve a voucher worth a further $1,000 towards the purchase of a new car. I'm sure that employees also qualify for better than average financing rates.

You want Freedom of Choice? Go right ahead, drive your Hyundai, Honda, Toyota or whatever to your job at Ford/GM/Chrysler. But when things get bad, and you end up on a picket line, or even worse unemployement line, then don't bitch that the company let you down. You have a responsability to the company, it's a two way street my friend. You let the company down.

If I had my say, any UAW member who drove a car made by non-union plants would be kicked out of the union. Many unions have conditions for "Membership in Good Standing" and this could be one. And any employee (union or not) of my company who bought a competitors car would find himself on the wrong side of the fence. Loyalty counts for something. I would expect employee peer pressure to help keep this in check also. After all, your co-worker who drives the Honda, is taking food off of your table.

And you can delude yourself with words like freedom of choice, and your "right to spend your money," but when the chips fall, it's your ass that's going to be out of work, not mine. Ideals are nice, but reality bites you in the ass. And the reality is if you don't support your company, they don't need to support you.

Mark Tapscott wonders if improved quality could be responsible for lower sales at Ford and GM

Mark Tapscott discusses whether Ford and GM's increase in quality could actually be hurting their sales, because people hold on car longer. But I think people keep cars longer because of the increased costs. What do you think? Head on over to Tapscottbehindthewheel, new link at side.

Mark also does the "Carnival of Cars" Blog round up. I've been fortunate to be featured on past posts. Another good resource for interesting blogs.

Lincoln's Alpha Numbeic naming lands them in court, as Honda sues to preserve MDX

Now excuse me if I laugh, but this is just perfect. After Lincoln unvieled their new Aviator, oh I mean MKX, Honda apparently took issue with how close the new Alpha name was to their own MDX. I mean come on, I don't think calling the "Mark X" but spelling it MKX is going to hold water in court. They should have stuck with the Aviator name, and as for the MKS "Mark S", try something else.

New S80 over at AutoBlog

I love when you see these articles. Apparently someone at Volvo goofed and released this picture of the new S80 before the Geneva Auto Show, where it was supposed to be unvieled. I like it, no surprise there, I liked the old S80. The new Volvo look is a huge improvement of the old boxy boring style. Head on over to AutoBlog to see the rest.

Clarify wishes for "non-anonymous" posting and new links

I have a couple of new links, that I will be adding to the sidebar and wanted to explain how I find links (or they find me) and what criteria I use to determine if I add them. Like many of you I surf the net ( does anybody still use that term?) and find interesting pages. Sometimes I'll use Google, others I will check the links on sites that I've found and sometimes links find me. Such is the case with 2 new links;
  • Tapscottbehindthewheel
  • and
    * Link removed after review

    Now it's not necessary for the site to be exclusively Ford (although that would be great) it just has to be Auto related and interesting. So if you know of a site, or even better you have one yourself, that you think would be an appropriate link for my page, let me know.

    Hi, just a quick not on my wishes that people not post "Anonymous" comments. I'm not suggesting or requiring that you register with Blogger. I can understand that people may see that as an inconvenience. All I'm asking is that when typing your comments into the box, you end with an "Idnetifier" such as initials or a nickname. The reason is simple, I like to responsd to comments, and it's easier to direct my response to comments with some sort of identifier. It can be the URL for your webpage or anything you want. Just as long as I can direct responses to you.

    Friday, January 27, 2006

    You drive what you build or you park across the street!

    A Plant Manager at the Ford River Rouge plant has decided that if you work there and drive a non Ford (or partner) vehicle, you can park in the company lot across the street and walk across to your job. The article linked above says that this is only at that one Ford plant and not a company directive, but that Ford Corporate supports the decision, as does the UAW.
    The Rouge was the largest facility of it's kind anywhere in the world, built in the 20's and still in operation today.
    They build Ford F-150 trucks there.
    And if you work here, you should drive a Ford (or partner vehicle)
    Hell, this seems like a no brainer to me. And actually I remember reading an article about a similar policy at a Chrysler plant last summer. What's the hardship here??
    One Ford worker and UAW member who didn't want to be identified, said he drives a Chrysler vehicle, because he gets a better deal on them. I don't buy that excuse and can't understand the rational of this type of worker. Especially now, with plant closings on the horizon, how could any Employee, especially a UAW member not support the company they work for and in turn their own job. And to the ones who say "they can't tell me what to drive!" You're right, they can't tell you what to drive, it's a free country, but they can tell you that you don't work there anymore.

    I think part of the criteria for laying off union workers should be what they drive, not just seniority. If you don't have the enlightened self interest to support your own company and union, you don't deserve the job, simple as that. If you want to drive a Toyota or Honda, go work there.

    I've often harrased employees of mine that drive Japanese trucks, because we are a Union shop. How dare they drive a vehicle that is not Union built? It's like a Butcher who doesn't eat meat or a producer who doesn't watch TV, because he feels it's trash. If you don't support your industry, and in the case of UAW workers your Union, then don't work there.

    In this case, all they have to do is walk across the street. If it was up to me, they could keep on walking.

    For once an article by Jerry Flint that I won't pick apart.

    Over the last few months, I've enjoyed picking apart commentaries by Jerry Flint of Forbes, when he discusses Ford's future and past mistakes. But my heart isn't in it, and much of what Jerry is saying I agree with. Click the link and read what he has to say. I of course reserve the right to pick at this later on, like so much leftover Thanksgiving Turkey.

    SVT for every Ford?

    Art of NLP Racing.com has a request in the "What do you want from Ford" comments, for an SVT version of every Ford Model. And when I first read it, I was sceptical, I mean wouldn't that dilute the concept of SVT? And then I thought about it and realized that of course it would, and that would actually be a good thing. As it is there are no current SVT models, the last ones being in 2004 (Focus, Lightning and Cobra.)

    But let's take a look at the SVT series in a different light. Let's look at it from GM's point of view. After all, wasn't it the SS Chevy models from the early 60's that started the whole idea of performance versions of multiple models within a company's line up? And they're doing it again. But unlike Ford, they're not limited production runs with highly inflated prices. From the Cobalt to the Malibu and Malibu Max, then up the ladder to the Impala and Monte Carlo, and then the truck guys get the Trailblazer and Silverado, all is SS (Super Sport) trims. Each model has performance and appearance upgrades from the model they're based on.
    Ford is no stranger to this game either, with the SVO Mustang, SHO Taurus, Turbo and then Super Coupe T-Birds, then the SVT Cobra Mustang SVT Contour and SVT Lightning truck, and finally the SVT Focus.

    So if Chevy can offer an SS version of almost every model they make (Aveo and Corvette don't have SS Versions, although Corvette does have ZO6) Why couldn't Ford??

    Currently the only peformance options for a Ford model are aftermarket tuners like Saleen and Roush through select dealers, and their performance upgrades consist primarly of spoiler packages and bigger springs and wheels. Not the balanced factory performance packages like SVO, SHO or SVT.

    And when I said "diluting the SVT concept" would be a good thing, I meant it. In the past SVT models were only available through select dealers, who reigned over large territories and charged premiums over MSRP as they doled out product to the lucky few. But Chevy's plan is to offer SS packages on most models through all dealers in their network and at reasonalbe prices. And while it's easy to scoff at a Chevy SS, there's one for any budget and some of them are respectable performers.

    Maybe Art has a point, rumors have been that there will be 5 new SVT models when they return to dealers and I know from talking to several dealers, that they will be available through any Ford dealer, no longer the exclusive network. The 5 new models are said to be the Shelby Mustang GT500, SVT Sport Trac Adrenaline, Focus, Fusion and Lightning, but only the Shelby Mustang and Sport Trac are certain.

    Ford could actually learn from GM's model at Chevy and their customers could benefit. I've had my comments on Roush and Saleen in the past, and can't beleive that Ford allows them to be sold through their showrooms, or that fools would pay $57K for a Roush Mustang or $27k for a Saleen Focus N2O.

    Thursday, January 26, 2006

    What do you want from Ford? What would draw you into a Ford dealer?

    Ford has shown some interesting concepts over the years, many of which never get built. But some do, and go on to be either flops of fads. Every once in a while like the Mustang and Taurus they become cars that define their segment, and the competition chase them.
    Ford Motor Company made the Automobile accesable for the common man almost 100 years ago with the introduction of the Model T (1908) and sells various models all over the globe. Few companies have the brand recognition that Ford Motor Company has. It's trucks have been among the largests selling vehicles in the world, the F series for 29 years, the Ranger for 16 years. The Transit commercial vans are known the world wide.
    Ford may not have created some segments of the market, but hey have refined and dominated some. The Pony car segment is named after the Mustang, even though it wasn't the first of it's kind to market. SUVs were available before the Explorer, but none sold in the numbers Explorer did. Ford has the ability to pull it together and regain market share and profitability.
    Many companies hire market research companies and they form focus groups, recently there was a story in the press where one such group was looking at a preproduction Fusion, and until they were told it was a Ford, they had thought it was something new from the competition. Ford's image has been getting stale as their models have not been updated as quickly or sucessfully as competitors. Some of their new models lack passion, the biggest complaint you hear about the Ford 500 is about it's image and styling.

    So here's a question I don't think I've asked before, What do you want from Ford? What kind of new models or features would bring you into a Ford dealer? Is it styling? Do you want more performance? Do you want better efficiency? Do you want bigger or smaller? Alternative energy? Make a wish list of what you want and post it to comments.

    This is especially for those readers that don't drive a Ford now, but also for devoted Blue Oval Fans. Pretend that Ford is listening, let me know what you would like to see in a future Ford line up. Not limited to just Ford, but Mercury, Lincoln, Mazda, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Astin Martin also. Primarilly for the US market, but even if you'r not from the US, what would you want for your home market?

    I've spent the last 10 months telling anyone who will listen what I want from FoMoCo, now it's your turn. Commentors should remember to ID themselves with at least initials, as Anonymous posts will not be published. I've read and discussed here, that Ford and other manufacturers hire consultants to scan web pages, including blogs to see what consumer trends may be. Now it's your turn to sound off. If you want to see Diesels in passenger vehicles or Hybrid trucks, now is the time to comment. You never know? And in the least you will have vented some of that frustration.

    Head on over to Jalopnik to vote on which is the best American V8

    Over at Jalopnik their running a poll on which is the "greatest American V-8." Two of the contenders are, The original Ford Flathead V-8 (1932-1953) and the Windsor V-8 that powered Ford cars (including Mustang) and trucks for over 30 years.
    Now I wouldn't want to influence anyone's vote, but let's remember who produced the first widely available V-8. Hell Chevrolet didn't even offer a V-8 at all until 1955, the first Corvete had an inline 6. And while Chrysler's Hemi was an impressive motor for racing, Ford's Windsor family of engines 221-400 cu in, was far more prolific and sucessful in all types of racing right up to today.

    Freestyle to survive, at least for the short term, AutoBlog article and link

    Finally some good news for the Freestyle. Rumors and reports were that the FreeStyle Crossover, based on the 500 sedan ( and Volvo XC-90,) was going to eliminated because of lackluster sales in it's first year. Despite favorable reviews and outstanding safety ratings, the FreeStyle did not skyrocket up the sales chart. But if you head on over to AutoBlog, you'll see that the FreeStyle will survive at least long enough for a facelift in 2007.

    I've commented on the Freestyle extensively and think it's one of the best in it's class. And I like the styling. The interior is class leading in comfort and configurability. Hopefully a minor facelift and the new 3.5 V6 will help sales pick up.

    AutoBlog article "Reflex and Fairlane to part of Way Fordward?"

    Interesting article over at AutoBlog, apparently Mark Fields mentioned the Reflex and Fairlane concepts (clay models of each flank him in picture) as part of the Way Forward plans at Ford.
    Here's the much circulated picture of the Fairlane concept, the CUV which is rumored to be replacing Ford's minivan. There are aspect to like and dislike about it and we'll know more when a production version is revieled at a future autoshow.
    More important to me and possibly to Ford is the Reflex compact sport coupe. I wouldn't expect to see a Diesel Hybrid with electric motor driving the rear wheels or the solar panels in the roof to assist recharging the batteries. But I love the styling and could appreciate a front wheel drive version with 1.5 or so liter I4.
    I absolutely love the styling and can see this in my driveway. I'm thinking a blue or green one with a moonroof, leather and nice stereo. I'd love a Diesel, but a peppy little gas engine will do, as long as I can expect at least 30 mpg on the highway (prefer 40 mpg.) And since I'm dreaming a 6 speed manual would be nice too. I like the hatchback, keep it glass and make it functional. Price it around $22k well equiped, I don't care what the base price is, I wouldn't buy it stripped. I don't care about the scissor doors, conventional doors will do fine. But don't loose those lines, this car looks fast standing still.

    Here's my pledge to Ford, build what I want and I'll buy it, and I think others would too. Believe it or not, I would actually buy this over a new Mustang. I like the styling that much.

    I even like the name Reflex, it would be a nice departure from those damn F names. And the only down side is that now that damn Duran Duran song is running through my head. Oh well, as much as I try to forget the 80's they keep haunting me. Hey! There's an idea, use that song in the ads for the car, maybe even dust of the members of Duran Duran for a concert or something. Or even better, have a new group do a cover of the song. Get the young people and older people like me. This car just makes too much sense the more I think of it.

    Ford are you listening????? I want this!

    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    Desiree Cooper of the Detroit Free Press, must have had a Brokeback breakdown

    I found this over at Jalopnik, apparently Desiree Cooper writing in the Detroit Free Press, is suggesting that Ford become the "Brokeback" brand. This of course being a refference to the movie Brokeback Mountain, about a long enduring relationship between two gay cowboys in Wyoming from the 60's to the late 70's. Now this is the first article I can remember reading that Cooper has written, but there are several problems I have with it.

    First her overdrawn stereotypes are bordering on racism, when she says that Cadilac was the brand of the black middle class. I'm sure many African Americans drove Ford, Chevy, Buick, Volvo, whatever their tastes. And just stupid when she asserts that VW was the "symbol of peace and love." I think Desiree has been sitting in the back of a microbus smoking too much weed. Civil rights workers drove many different vehicles, as did war protesters. I mean really, how many dirty hippies could you really fit in a VW Beetle? Some of them went to those rallies in Mom and Dad's Delta 88.

    While I agree that Ford ultimately took the right course in the latest clash with the AFA, I don't believe any one brand should be the "Brokeback" brand. That in itself is offensive towards gays and everyone in general. Yes market to the gay community because of their potential buying power, and to the black and latino communities, as well as asian and middle eastern. You don't devote a brand to any one group! You don't even devote a model to any one group.

    I look at this in the same light as the article a few weeks ago, saying that Mercury is the new Chick Flick brand. You try and sell your vehicles to all groups, and yes you use marketing targeting each group. You have ads on BET directed toward an Urban Hip, primarily African American group, but the same vehicle can be advertised on CMT toward the Counry Western, primarily white group, as well as on Bravo toward the more afluent Suburban Liberal and Fox News toward the more Conservative consumer. Trying to aim a brand or model towards too specific a group or market is short sighted and can alienate potential buyers from other groups.

    And to try and peg any brand or vehicle as the "Gay" car is ignorant of the gay community and the overall population. All people are unique, as are their vehicle needs. Not every gay person drives a Subaru, Saturn, Volvo, Jaguar, Honda or Ford. Like any other consumer a gay consumer is going to buy a vehicle that fits their budget and needs.

    And what about Chevy Desiree? After all, that's what kind of truck the guys are leaning against, or didn't you know that? Bottom line, no one manufacturer needs to be the "Brokeback" brand, they need to build more interesting cars, that anyone would buy gay or straight. I realize these writer have to pump out the pieces in order to get paid, but come on, between this and the chick flick Mercury article, I wonder why they bother.

  • Mercury article

  • Comments to carefully moderated on this one, so stick to the context or it won't be published.

    CX7 and Edge not the same, I and others are corrected

    There had been a comment from a reader on an earlier post from a reader who said that I was mistaken when I said the new Mazda CX7 was built on the same platform as the new Ford Edge. Well that reader was correct, partially anyway. The new CX7 is built on a unique chassis, that is closest to the Mazda 5 minivan.
    The Mazda 5 compact minivan, is based on Mazda 3's C1 platform which is the European Ford Focus platform. But the CX7 isn't purely Mazda 5 based. According to the article linked at AutoBlog, it's a unique blend of 3 & 6 chassis and engines.
    The rear suspension is C1 based, like the Mazda 3, Euro Focus and Volvo S40( V50 & C70)
    But the engine, trans and front suspension are from the Mazdaspeed 6. Even if the engine has been detuned by about 40 hp.

    And before you start saying "Joe doesn't have a clue" remember that I wasn't the only one saying it, most of the mainstream automotive press was saying it too. So my only fault is passing on bad information.

    But this leaves another question, if the rear suspension is from the Mazda 3 C1 platform, what AWD system is being used? Is it the same as the Mazdaspeed 6 or the Volvo S40/V50 ? I know the Mazdaspeed 6 uses the rear axle from the RX8, where will the CX7's be sourced from?

    I know there are some Mazda guys out there, anyone want to fill us in??