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Old 11-13-2008, 05:11 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Ford plans new model onslaught to fight sales slump





Quote:
General Motors announced last week that it would be delaying development work on several new models to help cut costs in the near term, but Ford has a different idea for future success. Rather than cutting back, Ford is betting its future on its ability to design a new generation of must-buy vehicles.

Meetings on the subject of what to do to prevent the current slide from progressing into bankruptcy have been underway for the last six weeks, reports The Detroit News. The outcome is the plan to create new cars rather than cutback and rely on existing models.

"We're only going to be in business if we create products that people really do want and value," said Mulally.

Part of the package for the future includes finding ways to make more money off small cars in the U.S., as the company already does in Europe. Recently renegotiated contracts with the UAW will help toward that goal, but there are still the issues of materials prices, American demand for features and power and the low price floor of small cars in the U.S. conspiring to erase profit margins.

Still, Ford is confident in its plan to move forward on the strength of new products. Cutting costs without offering something new doesn't make sense to product development leader Dennis Kuzak.

"Outstanding products are the heart of any turnaround of our business and its future success," said Kuzak. "The whole intent from the beginning was to protect the product plan and the capital spending and engineering that goes with it and look for every other element of cash that isn't directly tied to the products."

To generate that cash Ford will be cutting $8-$9 billion in expenses via restructuring, a 10% salaried payroll cut, and reduction in executive bonuses. ]Advertising ]budgets will also be reduced. The sum of all these cuts, together with asset sales and drawing on the company's Ford Credit financial agency, will help put the Blue Oval's balance sheets back in order - if all goes according to plan.
http://www.motorauthority.com/ford-p...les-slump.html
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:12 PM   #2
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Job one is........GET rid of that razor blade front end.

They could do it though.Bring some of that stuff from Europe over to start.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:35 PM   #3
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It is just horrible that it took them this long to try.

That front end works on some cars and is just strained on others. I never really understood the whole "Corporate face" thing. When it is done well, like BMW, I still feel it makes everything look too much the same. When it is done poorly the company just makes some awful looking cars.
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:29 PM   #4
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I'm really pullin for ford. If they manage to fix the hideous looks and make their incoming entry level cars cheaper, they'll get what they want.
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Old 11-13-2008, 06:47 PM   #5
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This is 2 days in a row now that makes me think that Ford is actually in better shape than GM.

Cutting back on new, better, more competitive models is NOT the answer. If there is going to be a slow down in sales, you want to make sure that your cars are the most impressive.
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:17 PM   #6
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"Internet time" is so, so much faster than "automaker time."

So frustrating, it feels like we've been watching these models creep towards us for years. Well, I guess we really have...
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longinus View Post
I'm really pullin for ford. If they manage to fix the hideous looks and make their incoming entry level cars cheaper, they'll get what they want.
I don't even think it is a matter of making them cheaper, it is just making them a better value (more mileage and safety) and adding creature comforts (bluetooth and a nice sunroof) that people used to driving five ton SUVs now can't go without when they decide to downsize.

The Mini brand has proved this point and is the only brand that is really thriving in this market. Simple things you don't think about much and take as a given option at least, such as heated seats or bluetooth, need to be available in the next round of small cars from American manufacturers.

Just because people want to go smaller and more fuel efficient doesn't mean that people are shopping in the bargain bin. That has been GM, Ford, and Chrysler's problem the whole time, thinking they can get away with selling ****e in this segment.

/rant
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:03 AM   #8
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If its an onslaught they want, I got the easiest fix ever....bring over everything from the foreign markets, completely rape Volvo and Mazda--rebadge it all, and sell it at a lower price point. Problem solved.
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