Ford Retools for Small Cars, Drops SUVs

In a dramatic sign of the profound transformation under way in the auto industry, Ford said today it will invest $550 million to retool its Wayne, Mich. assembly plant to produce fuel-efficient compact cars and electric-drive vehicles. The plant formerly made Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigators SUVs.

“We’re changing from a company focused mainly on trucks and SUVs to a company with a balanced product lineup that includes even more high-quality, fuel-efficient small cars, hybrids and all-electric vehicles,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “As customers move to more fuel-efficient vehicles, we’ll be there with more of the products they really want.”

The cornerstone of Ford’s strategic plan is to leverage global assets to bring six world-class small cars to the American market by the end of 2012. The company plans to introduce its next-generation Ford Focus global small car in 2010—and a battery-electric version of the Focus—in 2011. The Focus electric car is being developed in partnership with Magna International, a major global parts supplier.

Ford’s product plans also include a next-generation hybrid vehicle and a plug-in car in 2012.

From Swords to Ploughshares, From SUVs to EVs

In total, Ford is converting three truck and SUV plants to car plants—Michigan Assembly, Cuautitlan Assembly in Mexico, and Louisville, Ky. “This is about investing in modern, efficient and flexible American manufacturing,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “It is about fuel economy and the electrification of vehicles.”

Along with the physical transformation at Michigan Assembly Plant, the UAW and Ford are working on a framework for higher levels of productivity. “The UAW is a key partner in enabling us to build these world-class vehicles competitively in the United States,” said Joe Hinrichs, group vice president, Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs.


  • Skeptic

    Will it last? Or will they give in and go back to Expeditions if fuel prices stay low?

    At least they aren’t begging for cash.

  • Lakecntyboiler

    Well, it only took two American car companies going into the crapper to convince one of them that what America really wants are fuel efficient, well made cars. Not monster SUV’s that most of the people who drive them cannot even park.

    I certainly hope this is a long lasting view of the market place, and it may be the thing that could keep one American car company in business.

  • Paul Beerkens

    I might end up buying American some time in the future. Never would have expected that. Hopefully Ford can pick up the Volt when GM goes bankrupt.

  • Dom

    Skeptic said “Will it last? Or will they give in and go back to Expeditions if fuel prices stay low?”

    Give in to whom?? Oh, that would be the consumers that forget about $4 gas and want monster suvs again… Hmm… better hold out and not make what the consumer wants…
    I’m more worried about the US car buyers than the automakers personally. If people keep buying smaller vehicles, great, but if gas stays cheap for a prolonged period I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if the suv comes back in force…

    But good for Ford, I’m glad they are doing well.

  • Happy with the Choice

    My wife and I need to replace two cars this year, and having seen (not yet driven) the Ford Fusion Hybrid were VERY impressed with the comfort of the power seats!
    If only it were a hatchback or wagon and had auto-crash through an operator (think “OnStar”).
    The new Prius is still an option, though.

    It seems to me car designers are still overlooking our buying group – the 50+ crowd (We are about 60). We could care less about extremist environmental issues, but NEED safe, comfortable cars with lots of luxury options – with the the best possible mileage in case of shortage – we lived through the first gas crisis.

    And we are best able to pay for the privilege – within reason.
    (Better a Ford or Toyota than a Lincoln or Lexus)

  • Joe

    Ford is the next car for me, not only do they make great cars, they are not puppets of the government, like GM. Way to go and not take Bail-out money.

  • GreenEngineer

    We could care less about extremist environmental issues

    Because of course it is extremist to believe that resources are finite, or that the Earth is not an infinitely-large toilet

    but NEED safe, comfortable cars with lots of luxury options

    “need”…”luxury options”

    Can you say ‘unclear on the concept’? lLxuries != needs

  • GreenEngineer

    Give in to the urge to maximize short-term profits at the expense of long-term viability. Like GM and Chrysler have done (and Ford, until recently). Like Toyota notably did not do.

    The writing’s on the wall, people. We ignore it at our peril.

  • Shines

    Because of course it is extremist to believe that resources are finite, or that the Earth is not an infinitely-large toilet… GreenEngineer talk about an extremist statement. Nobody is saying anything about resources being infinite nor that polution isn’t an issue. Global warming being an environmental threat on the other hand is debatable. Funny how the’re calling it climate change instead of warming… but back to the subject
    I think their point is, wanting a fuel efficient car is noble for the sake of efficiency regardless of the environmental impact. I believe a truely efficient vehicle would be “green” because of its efficiency.
    I like Toyota, but must point out that the Tundra and Sequoya are “maximize short term profit” vehicles…

  • Samie

    Ok one should be skeptical of this, is it PR? If Ford retools we should ask ourselves if this is due to tougher regulations in the near future or the fact that Ford may still need some money. No longer can the domestics make the excuse that boasting fuel economy hurts business. This is the right time to set aggressive regulation before like others said if fuel prices remain low and we return to steady growth that spells trouble for making more fuel efficient vehicles as the dumb look at me crowd gets sucked into riding tanks again (that is if credit goes back to being loose).

    Happy with the Choice
    Hybrid Camry and the Focus are excellent choices for you and may I say older folks who want comfort and style with a more conventional looking type of vehicle. If luxury is where your at wait a few years the Lexus is out but I suspect more luxury brands will offer “real” hybrids in the near future….

  • steved28

    Wow, people really buy into that OnStar bull$hit? Have you ever seen an accident so remote that you, or another passing motorist, did not call it in? I think you need the extended warranty too.

  • Shines

    Samie, I suspect you are right that this is mostly PR. But I think the economy is not going to get better as fast as many people hope. Many Americans want bigger vehicles because they can afford them and the fuel needed to move them. I thiink Ford sees the writing on the wall – fewer people willing to spend $25K+ on a new car and have fuel economy < 30 mpg when fuel is $4 – $6 a gal. If govt. (and automotive) marketing convinces folks it is un-American to drive a big gas sucking vehicle for personal use that might help sales of more expensive hybrids and electrics.

  • FamilyGuy

    Happy with the Choice: I very much like my Nissan Altima Hybrid. It has all of the luxury that my Wife wanted (Navigation system, heated seats, sunroof, Bluetooth) and had the good MPG that I wanted. On my last refill, the car’s computer said 38.1 MPG for over 500 miles of driving.

    And there’s nothing wrong with wanting luxury with good MPG as long as you’re willing to pay for it. Let’s be clear, luxury and good MPG can go together, but don’t expect luxury and value to be in the same car. We looked at the smaller cars with good MPG numbers, but couldnt’ find the bells and whistles that my Wife wanted. She makes the bacon and I don’t mind getting her a car that she likes to drive. The Altima doesn’t have prestige as a luxury car, but it is sweet!

    It’s good to see Ford making this product line change. More choices in hybrid cars. The consumer isn’t always right. I agree with Lakecntyboiler that lots of SUV drivers can’t even park them. Just because people want them, doesn’t mean that they should be made if it continues to damn us all and the entire planet. I wonder if these SUV drivers who really don’t need them are the same people who took on home loans over their heads and burst the credit bubble? Like I typed earlier, the consumer isn’t always right. Oil, hence gas, is a finite resource, it is changing the climate and we all need to live here.

  • Max Reid

    Does it mean that Ford is closing Expedition and Navigator, if so it will join Trailblazer, Envoy, X9-3, Durango & Aspen.

    Time to say goodbye these SUV’s. Anyway big CUV’s like Flex and Traverse are there.

    I dont think gas prices will go down. Already it has gone upto 2.11 with oil prices rising parallely.

    It will a good decision to rollout Focus EV, even more important is reducing the price of their hybrids and increasing the sales.

  • sean t

    Happy with the Choice,
    From the Collins Dictionary:
    Luxury (n): A luxury is somethingexpensive which is not necessary but which gives you pleasures.

    So don’t say “NEED safe, comfortable cars with lots of luxury options”. They just don’t make sense. Go for a Lexus/BMW/Mercedes/whatever then.

    It’s a great move from Ford anyway. I think I’ve criticised top leaders of GM enough. Now they’ve gone, I wish new GM leaders can revive the company.

  • Charles

    It is a very bad and incorrect observation that Ford, GM and Chrysler did not build the vehicles that Americans wanted. According to autoblog.com the Ford F-150 was the best selling vehicle in 2008 (for the twenty third year in a row), and the Chevy Silverado was number two. The Chevrolet Impala, Malibu and Cobalt have been in the top 10 some or all of the last three years. The Big 3 Detroit auto makers were building vehicles that Americans were buying. GM was number one, and Ford number two in sales for many years.

    The Big 3 made many mistakes, but not building the trucks and SUVs that Americans were buying would have been suicide for them. What the Big 3 did with the profits from selling the large vehicles was a huge mistake. Ford went on a buying spree. Why on earth did Ford buy Jaguar, Land Rover and Alston Martin is beyond me. Ford starved its own R&D for Lincoln, Mercury and Ford to get the quality of Jaguar and Land Rover up to average. This was a mistake. It would have been much cheaper to put the Jaguar money into Lincoln and have made cars that would out sell and out profit Jaguar. The following should be posted at all Ford board meetings: “Never buy a company that has a bad quality reputation!”. The Mazda and Volvo purchases could be a good deal. Ford got the Fusion and European Focus platforms from Mazda and the new Taurus platform from Volvo. I also think that Volvo provided some of the hybrid technology.

    The Big 3 put their R&D money into the vehicles that were making the most money. Seems like the right thing to do at first glance. This practice ended up making the Big 3 first and foremost truck/SUV companies. This was not a problem when gas cost $1.00-$2.00 a gallon and the economy looked good. The problem showed up when gas prices got to $4.00 and when the economy tanked the problem was not survivable for GM and Chrysler.

    In some ways Ford got lucky. Ford was in the worst shape of the Big 3 a few years ago. In 2006 Ford hired a non-car guy named Alan Mulally away from Boeing to be their new CEO. Ford was already into a restructuring and Muallay wanted a big war chest of cash and credit to transform Ford. Ford lined up as much credit as it could in 2006 and 2007. With money in hand Muallay started Ford down a path to building vehicles that Consumer Reports would recommend. This seems like the obvious thing to do for the long term, but was a new practice for any of the Big 3.

    The much used analogy of the Big 3 and dinosaurs needs to be modified a bit. The Big 3 are not like dinosaurs because both are old, slow and stupid. The dinosaurs evolved into very specialized feeders and when their food source died off, their fate was sealed. The Big 3 were feeding only on large vehicles. When demand died for large vehicles, the Big 3 died, or came really close. The Big 3 need to remember the saying about putting all of your eggs in one basket.

    So is Toyota so much smarter. No way to know. Toyota has put a lot of R&D into large profitable vehicles, but also kept up R&D for cars and hybrids. This was the smart thing to do, but why did Toyota do it. I think at least part of it is that Toyota’s protected home market is for cars, not trucks. Japan is a very large market, that the Big 3 do not compete in. Toyota has to keep its cars at the leading edge for the Japanese market. This worked out really well for Toyota when the US market started looking like their home market.

    Now you ask why the GM and Ford do not have nice small cars here, but do in Europe? GM and Ford do sell some nice small cars in Europe, but those same cars have not sold at a profit in the US. Ford is about to try again for at least the forth time. The 1981 US Escort was very close to the European Escort. After a while the US version departed from the European version and both versions sold well in their respective markets. Ford tried to sell the Mondeo here as the Contour between 1995 and 2001. The car sold well in Europe, but not in the US. The first version of the Focus for the US and Europe were also close to the same car. The European version sold well, the US version just OK. When an update was needed, Europe got a newer better car, the US got a little new skin. The next US Focus and our first Fiesta in a long time will be very close to each other. I hope Ford can pull it off with these two cars. Ford also tried to sell two low volume European cars in the US, the Merkur Xr4Ti and Scorpio. The five year experiment did not make enough profit to continue.

    As GM, Ford and Fiat, oops I mean Chrysler need to be competitive across all or at least more vehicle types the US government could do a lot to help in term of regulations. If we could get together with Europe, Japan and Korea to have more uniform safety and pollution regulations that would help level the playing field. CAFE is a bad way to get to low pollution and good MPGs. The summer of 2008 showed us that the quickest way to change consumer behavior is to raise the price of fuel.

    Boy did I go off the deep end. This has sure turned into a long rant.

  • Charles

    < < Wow, people really buy into that OnStar bull$hit? Have you ever seen an accident so remote that you, or another passing motorist, did not call it in? >>

    Yes, there was a car that ran off of I-95 and into a creek in North Carolina a few years. It was not found for days. With that said, it is so rare that it will not be part of my decision for my next car.

  • Earth inheritor

    Happy with the choice,
    you said “It seems to me car designers are still overlooking our buying group – the 50+ crowd (We are about 60).”
    I’m glad you’re happy with your baby boomer life that guarantees your whole life has been rosy. You’ll be dead before we run out of oil or suffer the extreme effects of global warming. You won’t have to see the suffering that those who will inherit your earth will experience.
    I hope you’re still happy with your choices.

  • hybridgreg

    I think by the comments of many here that fuel efficient, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles have become more than a way of moving forward into the future. These technologies have become political footballs and that is unfortunate. I do not see how hybrids can not be both efficient and luxury at the same time.

    The political climate that tried to equate hybrids with “not wanted” cars was dead wrong. I remember listening to Rush Limbaugh a couple of years agao, as he told his audience that he played golf with a Ford VP and was told that hybrids were a “fad” technology that will soon die. Yet, even today, he puts down these new technologies as “vehicles that nobody wants”. I do not understand why there seems to be a need to put down attempts to make everyone’s future brighter. OK, maybe someone does not think that these new vehicles will succeed. What I do not understand is why some people fine it necessary to attack, belittle and berate the noble attempts by pioneers to make life better. What do they gain? What do they lose if we make more fuel efficient cars? How are they harmed if someone else likes these cars… for whatever reason? It seems to me that if we can all just refrain from stereotyping all these technologies and work together to guide some new technologies to maximize the chances of their success, we all win.

    So, I did not intend to get on a soap box, but I hope everyone gets the politics out of these new cars and views them for what they are… new and exciting examples of what might be the beginning of an OPEC free economy. What really got me interested in this technology, in 2000, was the chance to make those middle eastern and tin horn dictator fascists…feed their oil to their camels and llamas. To me, that is getting the politics totally out of our energy equation and back into our own domestic control. Call me an dreamer.

  • Charles

    A few articles ago dieselfan and I got into it over large SUVs and Trucks and energy policy. We disagree about how to get to energy independence, but not the need to get there. I feel that dieselfan is much more conservative then I am. I also feel that dieselfan is a thinking person that has the best interest of the US at heart. We still disagree about policy, but not the need for a real energy policy that moves the US to energy independence.

    Rush and his ilk are the worst type of conservative. The type that will not change even when all evidence points to the need for change.

    You should support hybrids and other fuel saving vehicles for many reasons. My list follows in order for most to least important:
    1) Reduce CO2 to help reduce global warming.
    2) Reduce other pollution.
    3) Energy independence so we can keep more of our money, and keep it out of the hands of people who do not like us.

    You may not agree with all three reasons, but only an idiot would disagree with all three. Rush plays the idiot to perfection. I guess it helps his bottom line.

    There are also many ways to move the US to energy independence. This is where politics come into play.
    1) You can raise CAFE standards.
    2) You can raise fuel taxes.
    3) You can institute a mileage tax.
    4) You can give incentives for buying hybrids and/or alternative fueled vehicles.
    5) You can take over GM and force them to build high MPG cars.
    6) You can treat CO2 as pollution.
    7) You could ration fuel.
    8) You can have a personal carbon cap and trade system.
    9) You can make mass transit free.
    10) I am sure there a lot more.

    I do not think that anybody would agree with all of the above. I definitely do not endorse all of them. As a country we need to adopt a comprehensive energy policy. It will be a fight and not just because the energy company lobbyists will fight it tooth and nail. There are real differences about how to get to energy independence, but only idiots do not think there should be one.

  • joeomni

    cars will get smaller as gas goes up. it is simple. that is why Europe has small cars. that is why cars are getting smaller here in the US.

    we could price fix gas at $4 and retool from there because of the long retooling time line. invest the margin money in in car tech. then slowly lower prices on gas each year as we come closer to 100 mpg.

  • lindsey

    What about the 100 mpg Hummer by Raser Technologies and will be made available to all SUV manufactures. This is what America really wants, not some small tin can that cannot pull a boat or take a great road trip with lots of camping gear.

  • Samie

    Nice comment Charles

    But.. bit more is involved in the story about GM & Ford and Chrysler
    For years the Big 3 controlled the market, GM wanted to control everything, paying off congressmen to keep regulations lax, trying for years to lobby for high import tariffs on foreign cars until guess what Toyota and others got smart and started to locate plants in the South. And speaking of control, flood the market with a billion different vehicle brands that really come from the same platform. Eg some GMC and Chevy Trucks are different only because of marketing and a few different features or styling. The same could be said if Fiat increases shares in Chrysler and GM, not smart in the days of simplified branding… This takes away focus and R&D into targeted brands and you spend more on marketing. This could be said for Cadillac as other folks like BWM offered higher quality vehicles through focus and development w/c eroded GM’s luxury market. Your overall quality and general attitudes about all your vehicles declines also when markets where shifting to smaller cars GM Ford and Chrysler couldn’t adjust and ignored it. If you put all your eggs in one basket you will get burned as they did also restructuring of factories, dealer agreements, and labor contracts should of happened years ago as foreign companies gained more market share and had the ability to save a lot more in production costs.

    Now back to GM they are losing the PR battle, how many people who buy a Camry actually look at a Malibu? Not many, but they should and would be surprised at this great car. But that’s the kind of uphill battle they face, so its not just consumer preferences of a few models here and there but the whole product line….

  • Toots McGillicutty

    Americans think backwards. If prices of gasoline go down, then SUV demand may go up???

    What if gas prices do stay low? Why do Americans want to squander the chance to save a little money?

    I am all for alt-fuel cars…but not because of the dicey data we are being force fed on the environment. Forget about the environment crap for a second and let’s focus on the economy.

    If Americans would just take advantage of low fuel prices…buy economical cars…and use the money they saved to jump start small businesses…or heaven forbid…invest it for their future or retirement…then maybe we wouldn’t be so leveraged and suffering from a credit crisis.

    America is in trouble because we leveraged ourselves to the hilt. Big cars+ big houses = big debt payments. How about practical cars + practical houses + practical purchases = practical and manageable debt.

    I like Fords direction…but not because it saves the environment…I don’t buy that bunk just yet…but because it’s a practical solution to helping harness in some really bad purchase decisions people made.

  • Actually looks things up.

    “What if gas prices do stay low.”

    So. your’re saying that we are in a permanent Great Depression? They’ve already gone up 50% so far this year from the January historic low, or did you not notice?

  • steved28

    “America is in trouble because we leveraged ourselves to the hilt. Big cars+ big houses = big debt payments. How about practical cars + practical houses + practical purchases = practical and manageable debt.”

    Nail
    Head

  • Samie

    “Americans think backwards. If prices of gasoline go down, then SUV demand may go up? What if gas prices do stay low? Why do Americans want to squander the chance to save a little money?” aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa………….. what?

    The Economics…….
    Are you referring to the trade deficit? Reducing consumption and increasing market assets (saving) & at the same time Asian countries increase expenditures and imports? Or are you referring to the the screwed up bankruptcy laws & financial and leaning practices? Oh whatever country your from you probably had banks or investment packages like a 401K that invested in same dumb hedge investments. So lets not try to paint it just an American problem other countries have the same types of consumer and investment habits, eg. the U.K.

    People need to reduce spending habits yes and be responsible for their actions but you need to look at the financial institutions that help feed these habits as they want people to carry considerable debt and feed on poor people as they finance those payday cash scams, shameful debt agencies, for profit debt counselors, untruthful home loan packages, and credit card agreements. Sorry for the rant and I’m not telling the whole economic story but its a bit more complicated then what was said….

  • Toots McGillicutty

    Samie,

    That’s the point I was making. But have we evolved into lemmings that we can’t say no the payday cash scams, shameful debt agencies, untruthful home loan packages and credit card companies that give us “everything you want to be”…(but gave us everything we didn’t want to be…In Debt!!!)

    I am American born and from a conservative midwest upbringing. To me, my dads words of wisdom…”live within your means” is the mantra we all should live by. I didn’t listen to those words until I was well into my 40′s and paid the price. Luckily, I am in great health and have kids young enough to pass those words of wisdom to.

    Come to think of it, we are somewhat a lemming society. We see an ad for a Escalade and the beautiful girl in it, we buy the Escalade and cruise around town looking for that elusive beautiful girl. But are we seeing the big picture?

    Is it really worth it to stretch our budgets to the max just to own a half SUV/half appendage to make us feel worthy? Same with those houses families across America bought with 100% financing that they had to work two jobs to keep up with the payments. Is that he American dream? Is that even a life to aspire to? Or is the American dream living somewhat stress free, with enough money to save for our kids education, a comfortable retirement and enough free time to actually enjoy the life we were given by our parents? I choose the latter…I live the latter…and I am a better person because of it….so are my kids.

  • JJSpawn

    Happy with the Choice maybe you haven’t stopped in at a dealer yet but the Hybrid Fusion most definitely has that “Onstar” auto call feature. It works thru your paired blue tooth phone. So yes it may use a few of your anytime minutes but at that point your mins generally are not as high of priority as your own safety.

  • David

    Of course, each of those items above has it’s debating points…

    1) You can raise CAFE standards.

    Though you have to do it right to have an effect without crippling manufacturers.

    2) You can raise fuel taxes.

    Would be interesting if the $0.04 original gas tax had kept up with inflation.

    3) You can institute a mileage tax.

    Too much “Big Brother” for this country. The fuel tax does the same thing (raise money and promote fuel efficiency).

    4) You can give incentives for buying hybrids and/or alternative fueled vehicles.

    Which we do in a backhanded way – expiring tax credits.

    5) You can take over GM and force them to build high MPG cars.

    Because we all know how well government-directed manufacturing works.

    6) You can treat CO2 as pollution.

    Are you ready to pay your “body tax”? We breathe this stuff out!

    7) You could ration fuel.

    Maybe if a World War started you would get a ‘buy in’ to this.

    8) You can have a personal carbon cap and trade system.

    So we could have more market speculators profiting? I still want to know where the money is supposed to come from and where it’s supposed to go.

    9) You can make mass transit free.

    Speaking as one who rode Boston’s MBTA for years (and still occasionally do), if you do that, ridership will plummet because homeless will use the subways as their home and bathroom. Invest more in mass transit and make it attractive, fast, efficient and, most important of all, make it go where people want to go and you’ll see ridership soar.

  • Marcio

    Humm.. That’s the best thing an American car maker could do. Never too late. From the three big, one has filled for chapter 11, the other is dying for more cash just to keep afloat and Ford maybe the one to come out from this crisis in a better condition…

  • Samie

    Sorry Toots McGillicutty I assumed you were from another country, too often you hear how its all America’s fault but that’s not the case. You sound like a great person some people put their own interests over say saving money and going on a fun family vacation or sending their kids to Europe to get some different life experiences, agree living life matters more than spending everything on a car or house but this is America and not all people have the same values as you or me……..

    I agree with you people need to be more responsible and yes I grew up in the Midwest too so I know the work mentality and conservative ways people have up there maybe it is all that damn snow people have to deal with and that salt that ruins the underside of everyone’s cars…. I think there are reasonable people but some get caught up with”keeping up with the Jones” There is no required class in all Highschools that teaches people how credit works and budgeting so some grow up not really understanding. I think to say all people should live within their means is like saying everyone should check tire pressure and go 55mpg to save fuel, that just doesn’t happen. My point was the credit bubble was egged on by the financial industry and even to this day not enough congressmen and women have the guts to make major reforms to the shady practices that go on in our credit system so don’t think its only the Reps. its also Democrats that can’t say no to the hand that feeds them.

  • Matt110

    Ford still has a Truck/SUV plant in Kansas City, Missouri

  • Toots McGillicutty

    Samie,
    You seem like a good guy too. Good post….and you are right to an extent. Yes, the greed merchants pushed their products and the materialistic populous bought them.

    Yet, despite that we as consumers continue to break all of the rules of practicality…but that doesn’t make it right or excuse us from the ruin that has been caused by all of this “got to have it now” mentality.

    Ok, I admit, we all have been brainwashed to “keep up with the Jones’” by Madison Ave. In reality, the Jones’ really don’t exist…they are a mythical family invented by the ad agencies, and marketing departments of our nations retailers and consumer product companies.

    A Hummer doesn’t make you an adventurer and the 21st century version of Sir Edmund Hillary…a Rolex doesn’t make you a better timekeeper or determine your intelligence or success…a big house doesn’t really turn you into the king of your own castle….in fact…a large home and the larger mortgage payment that accompanies it only adds to the stress of everyday life and dulls our pursuit of happiness.

    Our economy will straighten out, when we straighten up. We still can buy necessities…lot’s of them as a matter of fact…but does it have to have Prada’s name on it? Life will go on if we all accept the fact that we don’t need a perceived better brand name of this or a karat of that.

  • sean t

    Most people still confuse what they need w/ what they want.

  • Darnel

    I, like most people, know what I want. I really wanted to be able to buy an new Expedition in a few years. I know that it is not what I need, but I love them. I know that by the time I would be ready to buy one there would probably be twice the choices that there are now, but I love them. I know they get absolutely despicable gas mileage, but I love them. I know that they are hurting the environment, (if you believe that emissions from vehicles are the only way to hurt the environment) but I love them. I know that an suv the size of the Expedition is truly a beast of burden that is meant to tow boats and small houses and I would never utilize it to its utmost capacity, but I love them. I know that they are big enough to accidentally wipe out a fleet of Smart cars if it got away from you, but I love them. I know all this… and more. That doesn’t keep me from wanting to own one. I want what I want. I want an Expedition. What I really want is for Ford to build a better Expedition. I want Ford to put the money in to developing maybe a hybrid or EcoBoost on the 4.6L. I want Ford to be bold enough to build a car that could outsell the Mustang. I want Ford to be viable, but I also want them to build cars that anyone would actually give a crap about. What good is it to make a profitable car that is not “likeable” enough to beat out competition. In my eyes their new strategy actually makes me less interested in buying something from them, because there will be much less difference between Ford and every other car maker. I used to work at a Ford dealership for 2 years. I saw the introduction of the Edge, and I was not, and still am not, impressed. I’ve seen the Flex, and I am just as sure as the first time I saw it, that Ford is just tossing up hailmarys. I am glad they finally did something with that Focus. Go and look at the 1998-2007 Focus. I know what I want. I don’t want a Toyota Pukus. I’m glad that hybrid and ugly are at least attempting to distance themselves. I was convinced that a new Expedition would be in my driveway one day. I just hope that somewhere, somehow, “Big is Beautiful” is plotting its return. Next time in a leaner, more fuel efficient fashion that will let it stick around longer. Maybe Ford will see fit to bless us with an Expedition for the future. I guess I will just do what I always do with the news. I’ll tune in for a bit, then tune it out. Good luck Ford. Hopefully in the future, you will remember all the lessons you learned since ’95.

  • Uncle B

    The world has moved on from the ‘American Dream’ circa 1960′s paradigm! No more beehive hair, painted ladies, smoky jazz bars and easy sex, the pill took care of that! No more dirty old men, thank you Viagra!, The world has changed and left the SUV, and big two-tone land cruiser cars behind too! Now we need practical, fast cheap transportation, to and from train terminals. Bullet trains, with computer developed schedules will replace much of the highway cruising done in the fifties and sixties, the new Asian breed of executive travels by telecommute to his factories on reliable software from India (Microsoft may you rot in hell for the damage your greed has done to the Americas). Jet travel is being reduced by redlining corporate interests, Even the Military is into fuel economy! Ford is right in line, and flexible and as an American manufacturer is right out front, looking to solve the immediate problems of customers with reasonably priced solutions! That’s what it is all about folks! Sell a better mouse-trap, and Ford never forgot this, even when SUV’s were “in”, they sold the biggest and the best, now, economical is “in” and they will come to market with the cheapest, most economical possible, and if the market swings again, Ford will . . .

  • H. L Bundy

    I just skimmed thru every message posted here, and not even one of the writers mentioned, “WE HAVE TO STOP USING SO MUCH OIL IN ORDER TO GET OUR AMERICAN SOLDIERS OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST.” Every car/SUV/Truck made in America or Mexico, or Canada under the name Ford or GM should have a Flex-fuel engine. America should face up to the mistake it made trying to make ethanol out of corn, and drop the large tariff on the ethanol made in Brazil using sugar cane. We could reduce the use of oil by 80% if all our cars could use ethanol, and we could get plenty of ethanol if we would stop ‘protecting’ the corn ethanol producers.

    If GM can sell Volts next year, they can sell them now. Why are they stalling? If Ford has an electric car in Europe, I want one right now, and will buy it right now. But, “No!” I believe the closest thing I am ever get to a plug-in is a Prius.

    Nissan is going to have its Leaf on the sales floors long before the Volt hits the market. I hope the Chinese ‘Volt” is sold in America next year. I’ll tell GM, Ford, and Chrysler now. I am going to buy the first one I can, so GM, Ford, and Chrysler better stop dragging their feet.

    None of these Auto manufacturers has ever done a thing to actually help progress. Without governmental edicts, especially from California, our cars would still be getting 10 miles to the gallon, and the emissions would have us all dying by the thousands. I give no kudos to Ford, and even less to the other two. Obama needs to say to GM, “Sell the Volt now!!!!!! We will cover your screw-ups”