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]