Friday, March 10, 2006

Ford Ka news at AutoBlog

There's a piece on AutoBlog, that links to a story at AutoExpress, about the new Ford Ka and it's Fiat 500 platform mate. There's a mistake in the AutoBlog piece, can anyone tell me what it is? I've talked about this before, not in the best light either. Check my previous post here; Dumb move


Anonymous said...

I am not too verse about the GM-Fiat or the Ford-Fiat deal, but I believe GM tried to buy up Fiat, and restructure it, while all Ford is doing is collaborating on a single model..

or am I wrong?..

If I am not, cooperations like this are very common in Europe... and Ford has benefitted from them in the past..

While the C1 development was all inhouse... it was practically a JV of tree different companies with very different product goals..and it worked like a charm

But I a waiting to see on your response.. if you are right, this is a dumb move.


Big Ford Fan said...

Igor, you're not wrong, General Motors did make a bid to guy Fiat, and then backed out at the last minute. When they backed out of the purchase, Fiat was then entitled to a $2Billion pay out, as a penalty. I'm not sure what GM's plans were, actually I don't think they knew what they were planning either. GM wanted a bigger presence in Europe, even though they own Opel, Vauxhaul and Saab.

Ford is developing a common platorm, and possible joint production with Fiat for both of their super minis. That would be the Ka and the 500. Now if this was almost any other company, it would be a great idea. Many companies do this. My personal opinion, is that Fiat will be the only one to benefit from this. Fiat's reputaion for quality is very poor. And joint production would mean the quality of any Ford product suffer.

The Focus C1 platform was a joint development between Ford and Mazda (who Ford owns a controlling interest in) and later was modified for use by Volvo. Now it looks like the C1 or a variation of the C1 will be shared even further. There were stories of the next generation Land Rover Freelander being built on the new platform. Mazda and Volvo have different names for the platform, but it's a Ford initiated design, always intended to be shared.

I see any connection to Fiat as too risky, considering their reputation of low quality and their shaky fiscal situaiton, despite the $2Billion from GM.

Ford has cooperated with PSA (French owner of Peugeot and Citreon) on powertrains for years, and with Nissan on platforms. It's not the sharing of a platform, it's the partner that bothers me.