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.


Anonymous said...

I want alot , I want The Dodge Slingshot , even better I want the Dodge razor, I want Ford to give me fun cars. Give me a rwd 2dr coupe with 4 or 6 cyl's thats fun and gets decent mpg. give me a fwd 4cyl targa/cabrio that's fun and gets 45mpg.

Give me more HP , better mpg , better handling, don't make me have to go aftermarket give me the fun out of the box .

Give me the Edgy styling of the concepts.

Most important give it to me sooner than later.


mwd said...

i would like to see:
1. reflex
2. that red truck on the webpage
3. the bronco concept
4. hybrid f-150
5. diesel f-150
6. remodeled 500
7. sportier freestyle (with a name like that it needs to more sportier than a station wagon)

currently own: 2005 f-150 screw lariat

Shawn said...

Let s...first of all, what I want from Ford is to develop the existing vehicles or take them out of circulation. No amount of shinny new Mustang is going to overcome the piles of Focus, Crown Vic, Ranger and Taurus next to it. A smaller line up of new vehicles is always better than a big line up of fleet ready cars.

Second, hybrid technology is just mental masturbation. It makes no economic sense to invest heavily in a transitional technological fad. Make some concepts here and there for the greenies to ****off to, but forget about production hybrids.

Finally, no more 5 year development period from concept to production…Move the darn thing to the showroom floor. When you hit the jackpot with a design in Asia/Europe, you have to be able to capitalize on it in the world’s biggest auto market. It is no longer "Asian" or "European" market...It’s a global market place. You must be able to adjust and take advantage.

NLPRacing said...

Here's my dream Ford line up, in addition to what they currently have. Also, almost every vehicle would have an SVT version, a Hybrid version and diesel & gasoline engines.

1) Fiesta (3, 4 & 5 door versions)
2) Reflex (2 door sporty coupe)
3) Ecosport (4 door SUV type)
4) Focus (based on C1 with 3, 4 & 5 door versions)
5) Focus Max (kind of like the Mazda5)
6) 4Trac (to replace the Ranger)
7) F100 (midsized truck based on the new SportTrac with a 6' bed and 56 F100 styling)
8) Bronco (based on the 4Trac, 4wd only with solid axles front & rear, a true Wrangler competitor)
9) Galaxie (new full size 4 door sedan to replace the Crown Vic with the styling from the 427 concept)
10) Econoline (Replace the E150 with one based on the Expedition chassis and update the E250/E350 with Euro Transit styling and options)

The Fusion, FiveHundred, Edge, F-Series, Expedition, Explorer and upcoming Fairlane all seem to be headed in the right direction.

ericgp said...

The UK Ford Escort ST would get me into a showroom without hesitation. A 1.4l or Diesel Focus would get me into a showroom. A Sport KA would most definitely get me into a showroom, and finally the Fiesta as it is currently sold in Europe, would get me into a showroom.

Big Ford Fan said...

BobZoom, your wish for a rear wheel drive 6cyl coupe is granted, go to your Ford dealer and pick up your Mustang as soon as your credit check is completed.

But seriously, I do know what you mean, something like a re-imagining of the Ford Capri, a sporty little rear wheel drive coupe. And then you want a Ford version of the X1/9 or Del Sol?

MWD, welcome to a new commentor, I like your list, the red truck you point to is the new Ranger concept that should go into production globally in the future. Hopefully, a crew cab will come to these shores.

Shawn, always good to hear from you, and I can see you aren't a fan of Hybrids. Well Ford leads that technology (among the domestic brands) and people seem to be calling for them, so don't be upset when 250,000 Ford Hybrids roll off the line. I'm hoping for the Diesels too.

Art of NLP, glad to finally have a name for you, good list. I don't know about the F-100 though, as trucks get biggger, the Ranger would fill that spot. But maybe they've damaged the Ranger name enough to allow a switch. Another Retro truck could be a bad idea, the Chevy SSR sat on lots, but maybe as limited production unit built on a new Ranger/F-100 chassis. Ford says they want to take chances, this could be one that would pay off in the short term. I especially support the Galaxie remake, a new RWD platform, maybe based on the Ausie Falcon, with IRS and styling based on the 427 concept. I think it would be a winner. As you can see by the later post, you've inspired me to agree and comment on the idea of an SVT version for many models.

Eric, I think everyone would like to see that Euro Focus ST and many would appreciate the Fiesta, especially that ST. I like the Ka, but don't see it selling in the US any time soon. But if Ford is willing to take some chances ????

Me, it's obvious I want the Reflex, and I want it bad.

Chuck Smith said...

that reflex concept is pretty nice.

i hope it goes into production.

Anonymous said...

Ford should do more to promote the Ranger XLT which nowadays doesn't get the attention it deserves in Europe ... I had a hard time ordering one even at the European Car show last week 2006 !

Big Ford Fan said...

Anonymous from Europe, in the future please initial comments, it makes it easier to respond. It was my impression that at least in the UK, the Ranger was the best selling truck. Not that Europe is traditionally a large pickup market.

Chuck, I'd like to see the Reflex also, even if it didn't sell in large numbers like the Mustang, it could be a boost to Ford's image. And if it shares components with the upcoming "B" segment car (Fiesta/Mazda 2 ?) costs could be kept within a reasonable area.

Anonymous said...

O.K. for the Ranger in Great Britain, check and see that the Ranger is available in 5 versions while in Belgium on there's only the XLT 4 doors but no problem as I need a 4-doors but the car doesn't get the attention... All other Ford vehicles on 2006 show came with free GPS and/or iPod but the most expensive of all, the Ranger XLT didn't.
Also pitty to see that the F-150 isn't available in Europe nor is the Freestyle :-(

Anonymous said...

we want a new V8 Ford capri over here in the uk! gotta be rear wheel drive like the old ones mind!

Anonymous said...

-Bring that australian falcon over here, espescially the fpv versions, and the xr8/xr6, restyle 'em a little bit, if you have to have that three bar grill on everything and you're good to go. Tjat fairlane they sell down there would be a good replacement for the crown vic, bring it over here as the crown vic, and do a supercharged version
-the ute, that should come over here to, don't forget the performance versions, maybe they should bring the xr6, and the V8, forget about the base inline six version, sell about 30-40 thousand a year, at around 30 grand base

-They need to be that fairlane concept, as much as minivans are hated, you can not say they are not practical nor usefull, that thing looks good, and it doesn't seem like a van, but it will offer all the functionality. It needs to have sliding doors.

-Ford should be a sporty all american brand with awesome handling, well balanced cars, they should be modern, but build on their heritage, don't get rid of old names. but stay true to thier spirit