Ford makes fuel efficient car, says US doesn't want it
« on: September 22, 2008, 03:24:29 PM »'t-Have

We used to mock my friend for his Ford Festiva L, which we called "The Festival." It was a goofy shade of orange and felt as flimsy as cardboard.

After all the mockery that Ford drew for those old models, how ironic that once they make a worthwhile one it's not for the US. Well then, let the mockery continue....
Quote from: PRR
Now, maybe you don't, or shouldn't, grab the ribbon for far-harpsichord, nor the hot condenser for snare-kissing... yet often we do.


Ford makes fuel efficient car, says US doesn't want it
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 04:07:18 PM »
Ford have been making semi-decent vehicles for years... and not shipping most of them to the US. Actually, even the 'Contour' was a decent-ish car, though made down to a price. The rest of the world called it "Mondeo".

Ford, GM and Chrysler are saddled with humongous Pension liabilities, which mean that out of every $20,000 car, something like $5,000 has to go to pay for pensions for retired US workers. Toyota, Honda, BMW and other companies who have built plants in the US don't have anything LIKE that level of obligation.

-SO that means that to put a car on the lot with a $20,000 price tag, Ford/Chrysler/GM has to make that car for under $15,000 JUST TO BREAK EVEN. -Toyota on the other hand, can spend $19,000 on making the car and still break even.

What's the pertinent result? Well, if you comparison-shop, the Japanese, Korean, European brands tend to have cars in EVERY price-bracket which are BETTER-MADE, and have REAL improvements (as opposed to Detroit's usual idea of "improvements": -Put some cheap leather in a cheaply-stamped-out GM pickup truck, and now suddenly it's a Cadillac... drop a body kit and some gaudy plastic onto an entry-level Chevy Canyon pickup base, and suddenly it's a Hummer "H3"...).

Detroit has been behind the curve for years. They've been fighting legislation which would make them make better, more efficient vehicles on the grounds that it would "stifle there ability to be competitive", when the Japanese, the Koreans and the Europeans have been getting on with it, recovering the development costs through overseas sales in territories where they've been FORCED to do it, and as a result, they're largely ahead in terms of development, 'productionization' and know-how.

So now Ford have got themselves into a situation where it would cost too much to import the (overseas-built) engines, where they haven't invested in technological production capacity, because they were for too long milking the cash-cow dry, and betting on being able to keep lobbying for industry protections.

Now they're doing what the British car industry did in the 1970's; with a "Buy Domestic" advertising campaign. -However, as has been oft-stated before, those who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them, and if they don't understand that the tumbleweed blowing across the derelict sites of the former British car manufacturing industry is a scale model of what will happen to them, then they deserve what they get.

unfortunately for them, as market share shrinks, the cost-per-vehicle to support and maintain their pension fund commitments will actually INCREASE, since the same amount will now be shared between FEWER sales... which will mean that they then have to sell $10,000 worth of car for $20,000... and that's a self-feeding downward spiral.

Right now, they're on the shallow front edge of a precipitous downward drop, and there's ONLY one way out. -Also unfortunately for them, the only way out is going to involve significant investment... right at the time when the credit market (from which they will have to borrow significantly) is tightening up dramatically.

-This COULD become a 'perfect storm' of pink-slips leading to mortgage defaults, leading to further credit tightening, leading to more pink slips... and so on.

Sounds like doom and gloom doesn't it? -Well I hope it never quite comes to that... but it COULD. -And the longer Detroit tries to wriggle out of making SERIOUS changes, the faster the whole thing spirals downwards. -If they leave it too late, they'll discover that the're going so fast that neither the brakes nor reverse gear no longer work when they finally decide to try what they've need to do all along.

I saw an advert on TV the other day; "Gas prices are UP... that means Hummer Prices are DOWN!!!"

-If that isn't a tacit admission that they've painted themselves into a corner with marketing, I don't know what is.

I just hope it doesn't all go where it could.

"A waist is a terrible thing to mind"
Quote from: PRR
Ah, but that was 1999; we don't party like that any more.


Ford makes fuel efficient car, says US doesn't want it
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2008, 04:27:57 PM »
We have a Chevy Suburban SUV, Ford Explorer SUV, Ford Lincoln LS,  and an old Dodge car.

I swear.... and told my wife, the next car we're buying will be a JAPANESE car (Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Acura, Lexus.)  

I'm sick and tired of quality problems of these American POS. I couldn't care less if all these American car companies go up in smoke.


Ford makes fuel efficient car, says US doesn't want it
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 08:43:50 PM »
they didn't want the electric car either


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