• Jun 6th 2006 at 8:25AM
  • 22

A favorite adage of the particularly deadline-oriented is, "80 percent on-time is better than 100 percent late." The idea behind it is that you'd better turn something in when it's due, even if it's half-assed. Good thing for Ford that turnaround guru Mark Fields isn't so deadline-oriented.

Among the delays and cancellations, Automotive News says, are the following:

The Ford Mustang will get a mid-cycle refresh a year later than planned in 2009.

SVT has pared its future offerings down to just two (confirmed, anyway).

Mercury's Freestyle-like crossover has been killed (again).

Automotive News also reports that Fields has pushed off a Fiesta-like subcompact positioned below the Focus for two more years in the interests of making sure it has bold, American styling. The drawback to that is the fact that similar vehicles made by Nissan, Honda and Toyota are already on the market, but Ford's take on it is that European styling and bland little boxes just aren't design cues that work in the U.S.

[Source: Automotive News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      #7: I agree that no one is going to buy a POS whether or not it is 'agressively styled' or 'European styled'. A POS is still a POS in any clothing. The Focus is doing well in Europe because it's a good car there, the Focus isn't doing so well here because the NA version is an ancient watered down design with crappy build quality. I see no real evidence that Ford actually understands why people don't like their cars.
      • 9 Years Ago
      gbh, I think Ford is saying...'maybe we should step back to make sure we ARE relevant'. Dumping old models in the market to fill the hole while they design something new would likely cause more harm than good. The car nuts will slay them for bringing outdated models from overseas as a new US product. As they would be spending tons of money on launch advertising, all the car mags would be raking them over the coals for old crap and rightfully so. I think this is a wise decision. Only time will tell if they are right for doing this.
      • 9 Years Ago
      So basically Ford's "bold move" is to pathetically announce more delays & cancellations. A bold unsubstantial presentation as usual.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Yah.... those european traits that americans hate so much, the reason we don't get the new Focus RS/ST, or the Australian Falcon RWD Sedans.

      The Ford car lineup is a joke to anyone not completely wedded to buying only Fords. The Five Hundred is the biggest joke of them all. What an ugly boring car.

      The Fusion is decent looking (not great) but doesn't have anything substantially new about it over the grandad tempo and father contour before it. Pure grocery getter.

      Freestyle is going nowhere, especially considering established models like the Volvos and Subaru Outback.

      Aside from Ford's answer to the "fit is go", what "Bold Moves" does this say Ford has?

      An honest sport sedan... (not a one-off mid engined Five Hundred GT-R... joke, could never be built and sold) and a Mercury version of the mustang, with a MUCH more plush and modern interior, modern bodywork and an actual rear suspension, as in Independent, would be a start. Look toward the Iosis and Reflex concepts, and the Ford Falcons from down under.

      The problem is not "too European for american taste", it is that they have no grasp on what "American Taste" is. But then neither does GM...
      • 9 Years Ago
      I personally think this is a good move. Love to see an SVT Fusion as well. Always thought the Contour SVT was interesting. I do think it's better to deliver a better designed product later than deliver junk on time.

      I think GM would be wise to spend more time on design than they have in the past as well. It seems like they are starting to think that way but, turning something as large as GM, Ford takes a lot of space/time. Hopefully it will be quick enough to keep them in the hunt. I'll admit to being someone who used to bash GM. Now that they are on the ropes, I find myself starting to pull for them (and Ford/DC). Design will lead the way.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I agree with gbh,
      A company the size of Ford should have a more detailed future view of their products. Example how long was SVT in the air until they finally announced a decision, and then changed again after. It's one of the largest automakers in the world, with gawd knows how much in market research, and you have to "step back" to decide if you're relevant. I'm not an analysts, this is just an average Joe Shmoe view, but it sounds like EXCUSES. Two years to make sure it has "Bold American" styling??? Sorry, that's not cutting it, they will be coming to the table late.....

      A favorite adage of the particularly deadline-oriented is, "80 percent on-time is better than 100 percent late." The idea behind it is that you'd better turn something in when it's due, even if it's half-assed. Good thing for Ford that turnaround guru Mark Fields isn't so deadline-oriented.

      That still doesn't mean it's not going to be half-assed, basically FORD has no room for mistake, their subcompact has a one shot chance.
      • 9 Years Ago

      A diesel - a small "sport" ute - Sub 20K Price range-

      It would be a killer vehicle! - PLEASE FORD - Come to your senses and make this Rough N Tough, affordable, MPG consious, "Green," SUV!

      Thank you... I've counted to 10 and said my piece.

      • 9 Years Ago
      We've heard this sort of talk many times before. The proof will (or won't) be in the products.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "...Ford's take on that is that European styling and bland little boxes just aren't design cues that work in the states."

      Well, they are half-right, bland styling NEVER works for any car manfacturer. But European styling? If European styling doesn't work, how does Ford explain the styling of Volvos and Jaguars? Ford's Ka, a car several people would like to see here, needs a redesign (it is 10 years old) maybe that's why it wouldn't sell. The StreetKA is 5 years old, as is the Fiesta. Bring these cars up to date for Europe and "possible" sale in the 'states. Hell, is this "European styling doesn't work" supposed to be the excuse for why the U.S. Focus has evolved into such a bland little box with it's "Americanized styling"....that also doesn't seem to be working.
      • 9 Years Ago
      More excuses. No results until, well, we don't really have a timetable...

      You would have walking papers on your desk within hours in any other scenario. It boggles the mind that anyone accepts these preposterous non-defined "plans" from upper management. The message from stockholders and board members should be rather simple: Fix it or we find someone who can.

      Instead of a new generation of Mustang in 2009, it'll be a 'refresh'. Deliver 'bold' small car styling? - great goal. Meanwhile, if the Aveo can sell, then Ford could sell the Ka while it works on something 'bold'.

      Though none of this is really 'news'. These stories are minor variations on the same theme of the past 30 years from the big2. Ford and GM will always be around - selling trucks and fleet cars. Beyond that, they just keep making themselves less relevant every day.

      • 9 Years Ago
      The Five Hundred doesn't sell because it's styling is "too European"? It seems too "Crown Vic" to me. The better-selling Fusion looks more European to me, as does the Five Hundred's close cousin the Volvo S60. In any case, it sounds like we'll be getting more aggressively-styled cars from Ford.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I still think the Mercury's coming because it's far better than the current Freestyle, even if not the boldest design. I also don't see why Ford would need the Edge, Freestyle, and Fairlane (if it's still coming?).

      One other thing, why not use some of the smaller Fords from Europe (like the Fiesta) to fill the gap until the new design comes along? The problem with the 500 isn't that it's "Euro", but that it's too bland for most to appreciate it (I actually like the Merc version). Their true Euro designs, it seems to me, would do better than they perceive.
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