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Old 06-14-2000, 09:45 PM   #1
SCOOBYSHAG
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Post "The Aftermarket Conspiracy" starring Ford Focus

First off, I like the Ford Focus, and this is not a "Bash Focus" thread....

If you have read the latest SCC you would have noticed their cover car, a tricked out Focus. This car has been given everything; supercharger,intake,header,exhaust,cam gears,better plug wires,coil-over suspension,sway bars, etc.

SCC pulled a 15.9 in the 1/4!,a 7.9 0-60!, and a .88g (not that bad) on the skidpad. They compared the custom Focus to a bone-stock Civic Si which actually put out slightly better numbers. The price of all the aftermarket equipment puts the Focus well past the price of the Si.

So here is my question: Whay are all of the aftermarket tuner companies bending over backwards to get something out for this car? AEM even has a deal with Ford Motor Corp. which allows buyers to get an intake and exhaust straight from the factory! The car even comes with AEM badges.You can also get a Wings West body kit and aftermarket wheels from the dealer as well.

Why has none of these dealers came to Subaru? Or have they, and SOA just said no. This irritates me so bad. I guess these aftermarket "tuners" don't care so much for making performance as they do making a "buck"?

What ever happened to a company funding a project or idea because it had actual performance potential? I'm not saying the Focus has none, but from what I have seen I am not too impressed.

Sorry for the long post....what to do guys/gals think about this hypocricy(sp?)?
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Old 06-14-2000, 09:49 PM   #2
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It's because of the sheer numbers that are going to be sold. If you had a choice to make parts for a car that is going to be sold in a quantity of 15,000/year, would you pass it up for one that is sold at about 5,000/year? I think not.

Unfortunately, whoever made that supercharger kit for the Focus is a f*cking idiot. Who would spend THAT much money to gain that little in the 1/4 times? Ridiculous!
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Old 06-14-2000, 09:57 PM   #3
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The 1/4 mile times sucked due to all the extra weight it was carrying with teh fully tricked out Sony system in it. Remember it's a "Show" car that has the potential for some go.
Rich
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Old 06-14-2000, 10:33 PM   #4
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just a point.. why did not not use the SC on a high end focus.. say a ZX3 with 130 HP.. then it would have made a larger differnce.

maybe because of price.. oh well... we will have to watch this future escort replacement with interest...

SCRAPPYDO
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Old 06-14-2000, 10:43 PM   #5
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Why is Ford even bothering with the Focus the way it is set up now? Why not release the Cosworth model from the UK? Better yet if they won't bring the US a Cosworth because of Licensing then why not send us the Focus that was on Top Gear? It had a factory turbo, limited slip diff, 215hp, came with a stock bodykit and wasn't that expensive. Oh thats right why sell a decent car to start off with. It gets old seeing the UK guys playing with the real toys. Oh well back to saving for the Impreza's turbo.
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Old 06-14-2000, 11:23 PM   #6
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Scrappy,

It was a ZX3.

Maybe you meant why didn't they start with a cosworth?

[This message has been edited by AaronB (edited June 14, 2000).]
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Old 06-15-2000, 03:29 AM   #7
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Why no Cosworth you say?
Simple answer:
Ford would never sell something in the states that had the potential to beat its "OH MIGHTY GOD!" the Mustang. They are so proud of the V8 muscle car, what would they say about the "4banger" focus that will give it run? or blow away a contour svt? The mustang enthusiast's would probably all shoot themselves and Ford sales would plummet. Remember, like it or not the mustang is supposed to be a "American Icon" Their not about to tarnish that by selling some hot little "4banger" that will whip up on it.
I think they should it would be very refreshing but I doubt it.
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Old 06-15-2000, 05:02 AM   #8
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Ford, officicially my employer until Visteon is officially independent on June 28, sent out quite a few development cars to various tuners and suppliers around the country before the US debut. The goal was to have as much aftermarket momentum as they could get whe it was released. They are definitely listening, originally the ZX3 wasn't coming here. I think it may give the civic a run for its money. If a performance model ever comes out, I am quite sure it will underperform the Mustang, unless Budweiser goes out of business and mullets go out of style. The Focus is a good, inexpensive car, and as of now is the best selling car in the world. Folks like Jackson Racing (supercharger) will continue to make parts for such an easy sell. Heck, I plan to make some too.

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Old 06-15-2000, 05:39 AM   #9
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VOLUME, VOLUME, VOLUME!
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Old 06-15-2000, 06:06 AM   #10
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People seem to flock to whatever the industry tells them is popular. You could almost think of them as sheep traveling in a big flock. At least thats the only way I can explain the USV craze, the PT Cruiser fad and next the Focus craze. I just wish that a cars selling point wasn't its low price but the options available for that price and the performance of the car. Not whether or not it is popular or is cheap. I doubt Ford will even allow a Focus in the US that when modified is faster then the Mustang. Eventually Ford will have to let the Mustang Icon status go away. In my opinion Ford has been selling them simply because of the Mustang badge and not that it really is what it used to be. A fast, light weight, fair handling, mildly priced sports coupe. Then again with gas prices still on the way up we can almost bet they will all make serious changes when the gas price stays over $2.20 a gallon in the US.
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Old 06-15-2000, 06:32 AM   #11
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Yup, ford pushed the aftermarket for this car like crazy. They approached everyone working up deals, and pushing the likes of the ZX3.

The Ztech engine isn't bad. One reason the car got such crappy numbers is because it's gear ratio's suck. The ZX2 (same engine) runs equal to the Si, and with all those mod's would be a speed demon, for it's gear ratio's are better, BUT, it's gearbox sucked in general, prompting Ford to use the Contour's box in the ZX3. Someone is supposedly bringing over the European gearbox for the Focus to help with the gearing. All in all, it's not a bad car for an egg on wheels.
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Old 06-15-2000, 08:38 AM   #12
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I'd say the big reason for all the support is due to Ford themselves, not just the aftermarket companies. Ford has really been very active with the "import" aftermarket community lately to get more support for the Focus and take a bite out of that Honda pie. Ford has long been aware that they can expand their market share of a particular vehicle segment if there's a strong aftermarket following. It's a simple idea that works very well.

How many times have you talked to someone who was buying a Mustang for instance who was going to make a 500+ HP Supercharged street dominator out of it? Do they do it? Most likely not but the possibility is there in their mind which influences the buying decision. Hence Ford's reason to foster aftermarket support...it means more dollars in their pocket.

Subaru is doing some of this with their Subaru Performance Tuning (SPT) line of parts available through their dealerships. If you want to see even more aftermarket support for Subarus one of the best places to start is with Subaru themselves. Email or call SOA and ask about more aftermarket support for their vehicles. Use the same example about the Ford Focus if you want. They do listen to what we write/say so the more interest they see in this area, the more effort they'll spend on it. If they get 100 letters saying "The new cupholder in my 2001 Forester is great!" and 1 letter saying "I want more aftermarket support" then what do you think it's going to get up to the decision makers? "Everyone loves our cupholders", not "Some guy says wants more aftermarket support for his Impreza". So send letters, LOTS OF THEM! And remember, give constructive suggestions not complaints. That always works best.

Best of luck,
Trey
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Old 06-15-2000, 09:01 AM   #13
SCOOBYSHAG
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I guess it is Subaru's fault then?

The Impreza has been out for 3 years now and has definitely been proven as a worthy project car (just look at SCC). So I guess we haven't proven to SOA that there needs to be an aftermarket yet, right?

Yet, I bet the aftermarket comes flocking when the turbo Impreza comes over because I know that a lot of beloved Honda owners will be leaving there cars to jump on the bandwagon, which brings me to the statement that N/A made.

I also believe people tend to go towards whatever the industry tells them is popular.
Hence...the Honda Phenomenon!

Anyway I guess we are getting what we wanted....in the form of the turbo Impreza next year.
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Old 06-15-2000, 09:21 AM   #14
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Yes people at Ford have been very active with the aftermarket. There goal is to beat Honda with these little cars and hopefully in time it will release the SVT Focus to go against the Civic Si. We have many and I do mean many aftermarket companies that are investing a lot in the Focus. As for the numbers in the SCC article, many Focus owners in Club Focus were angry as to why the Focus did so poorly in the test and cost so much, Dave Coleman came and explained some of the confusion we had:

I was pointed toward this discussion by one of the list members and I must say I am surprised by the amount of confusion there is over what I thought was a fairly simple story. Let me attempt to address some of your concerns:

1: We are not biased toward Hondas. If anything, we are sick and tired of seeing the damn thins all day long and are quite happy to see Ford stepping up with some honest competition. In fact, we had a secret (at the time) meeting with Ford over two years ago where we convinced them to bring the three-door despite the fact that hatchback sales in the U.S. had dropped to near zero. But yes, we are biased against big V8 cars. We are very proudly biased there.

2: We did not baby the car. We were told that it could take whatever we threw at it, so we did everything we could to make it go fast. If I recall correctly we took more than ten runs to get the number we posted. By the way, the numbers we print are always an average of the best two runs. We test with a Stalker radar gun that automatically calculates a 1 foot rollout and measures speed as an average over the last 60 feet, just as the NHRA does. Our quarter mile numbers are therefore measured in a similar manner to most drag strips, but we do not use VHT or any other artificial traction enhancers.

3: The reason for the slow times are very clearly stated in the story. The car is 250 pounds heavier than stock. That is ten percent of the car's original weight.

4: Finally, a negative review of one Focus does not condemn all Focussses (Foci? What do you people do when you get more than one?) all Fords or all American cars. It simply means that car was not done as well as it should have been. Furthermore, I don't really consider that to be a negative review. I drove the car extensively, and I think Josh was honest and fair in describing the cars strengths despite some crippling weaknesses.

I realize that Sport Compact Car has only recently been striving to achieve the level of credibility of the big boys (R&D, CandD), so you may not fully trust us yet, but I assure you, we go to great lengths to be honest and fair when we test cars. The alternative is the standard tuner book's Bull**** happy review that says everything is great. When you spend $6000 on the car, do you want to be the one to find out we lied? I don' think so.


Dave Coleman
Engineering Editor
Sport Compact Car

Hopefully Subaru will also star having a lot of contact with the aftermarket and even do what Ford did, give out some Impreza turbo to the aftermarket before it’s release to the public.

ED
ZX3 order…


[This message has been edited by Rally Man (edited June 15, 2000).]
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Old 06-15-2000, 09:29 AM   #15
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I know my Subi isn't the fastest, but its quick. I have in my garage, a 2000 Ford Focus with a custom turbo kit. I had it on the Dyno last night. The car belongs to Fastrax Turbo Technology. It made 235HP at the wheels. Not bad at all. On the street, I could only get a good 3-5 cars on him and thats it. Now remember, This is just a bolt on turbo kit. Not bad.
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Old 06-15-2000, 09:52 AM   #16
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The big aftermarket manufacturers will always follow the numbers:

Focus April, 2000 North American sales: 24,742 units.

Impreza April, 2000 U.S. sales: 1,616 units. Add another 35 percent of U.S. sales to account for Canada (maybe too optimistic?) and you come up with 2182 Imprezas sold in North America in April, less than a tenth the number of Foci, which has only been in the market since October, 1999.

Yeah, we should all keep bugging SOA to cooperate with aftermarket suppliers, and be grateful for the great (and not-so-great) aftermarket suppliers we DO have. But you know you'll never see aftermarket support like there is for Honda and Ford. OTOH, your modded Imp will always be that much more unique!

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Old 06-15-2000, 10:11 AM   #17
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i believed the volume theroy until i started seeing parts for the s2000.. with something like only 2500 imported?
-jw
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Old 06-15-2000, 05:19 PM   #18
Trey
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Alex,

No, it's not entirely Subaru's fault for the lack of aftermarket support. I was trying to point out that some manufacturers go out of their way to get their cars into the hands of aftermarket tuners to help bolster the aftermarket availability for that vehicle. Ford has done such with the Focus and the aftermarket has responded. Sure they probably would have anyways but maybe Ford has helped them mature quicker than they would have otherwise by giving them more information.

I think you'll see Subaru do more of this when the new WRX comes out. I think(hope!) that's going to be a major turning point in the North American market.

It never hurts to let Subaru know you're out there though, wanting to see more performance/aftermarket support. It helps convince the people in Subaru who might be sitting on the fence over the issue and it motivates those who already know you want it.

Cheers,
Trey
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Old 06-15-2000, 07:43 PM   #19
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Trey...

Yeah, I see your point....Just want as much variety and competition as the other guys I guess...

Thank God I live by you!!!!

Finally some "Made in America" parts!
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