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Ford Motor Co. has admitted what we saw coming for some time. The New York Times just ran a story saying Ford has announced that they fully expect Toyota to take over as number two behind General Motors. At least in America. Perhaps not unexpected, but it still sounds weird to hear that Ford won't be #2. To put this in perspective, Ford has been number two since the 1920s! And if that's not enough, Ford says the projections show they think that third place might be their permanent new slot. Apparently The Way Forward means taking one step back, which if that's what it takes to return to profitability, then so be it.
Back in September Ford speculated that its market share would hit a low of 14-15% allowing Toyota to surpass it. With the death of the Taurus and the decline in sales of light trucks, Ford has certainly been hurting. Conversely, it seems that Toyota can do no wrong with buyers, despite product that some consider boring and increased recalls with uncharacteristic lapses in quality. But things aren't looking any better for Ford. The new Tundra should be out in February, which will only increase Toyota's market share according to most analysts. Although we expect the Dodge Ram to be the truck that suffers most from the Tundra's arrival, eventually relinquishing it's No. 3 spot to the Japanese pickup over time.

[Source: Reuters via The New York Times]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ford can clearly be a solid #2 (or even a #1) if they just show some leadership by bold product development and then build exciting cars that reflect their passion for the art. Remember when the original 1964 Mustang was launched - that was leadership! How about the 1963 1/2 Galaxie 500 427 Fastback that went on to dominate NASCAR - that was leadership! The first Explorer, the original Bronco, the great Lincolns of the past, the Mercury Marauder and the NASCAR Montego (David Pearson's #21 Purolator Merc) all of these showed leadership and they were not timid about being out front with in-your-face American products. Ford acted like a winner and it was a winner!

      They can recapture the swagger if they just turn their great concept cars into real products - Ford Reflex, new Retro Bronco, Ford 427, Lincoln MK IX, Lincoln Contenintal, Mercury Messenger and also bring the European Ford stuff here like a Mercury Mondeo, new Focus etc.

      Just friggin go for it!
      • 8 Years Ago

      and the ALMIGHTY CONSUMER will BUY THEM, and at LIST PRICE TOO, you will not have to slash $8k from an 07 model, you total failures!

      Imagine if the US dollar was STRONG, how WORSE it would be for the onetime Big 3 and current BIGGEST LOSERS!

      Imagine how many more cars and trucks the IMPORTS (and NOT just the Japanese, but the GERMANS, that have OBLITERATED the LUXURY MARKT that once was a monopoly of Caddy and Lincoln) and even the KOREANS for gawd's sakes, would sell, if they could sell them at the resulting much lower $ price!
      • 8 Years Ago
      The formula is simple, Ford has to build better cars that lead their class and excite people. The new Mustang was an astounding success, and Ford seems to have no idea why given they way they carry on.

      Ford simply can't build cars that are "good enough" or on par with the competition. They have build cars that make the Camry and Civic look and feel inferior. What's more frustrating is that they build better cars in other markets. Ford knows what it takes to build a succesful small car....they should know the Mazda 3 inside and out by now. The Euro Focus was built on that platform....why can't the NA Focus be just as successful as the Mazda 3 and take away Civic and Corolla sales? An inferior product gives you inferior results.

      Another example is the new Mondeo. My wife saw it in Casino Royale and thought it was beautiful. She was surprised when I told her it was a Ford. Then she was annoyed when I told her it was only for Europe. Instead we get the Fusion and Five Hundred. Competent cars sure....but not class leaders and certainly nothing to get the blood going. The Mondeo had nice sculpted lines and looked like it could do damage to the Camry if given a chance. Yet Ford won't sell it here.

      The true "way forward" for Ford is dangling right in front of them and its as if they don't even see it. Yeah, unions play their part. Having to throw thousands in cash on the hood of each car you sell will hurt your bottom line no matter what your costs are. Its old news that you don't make any money in this business competing on price....build a better product and people will pay the full sticker for it. Its that simple.

      And yes, I know that the new Focus in 2010 will be based off the European Focus. That's grand, let's hope Ford is still in business by then. By which time the next Corolla will be out and a new Civic only a couple years away. They'll arrive just in time to be competitive with the outgoing generation again. Bold moves? Slow moves is more like it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Aasdfpwn you are a coward if you were so brave you would use your real name. America is not communist nation nor is it fascist nation.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Competition is good. Ford and GM have made crap for too long and I think they'll probably both turn it around if they can solve their remaining problems, (workers that cost way too much for what they do) The nice cars are beginning to be rolled out. Ford's main problem was milking successes for way too long. SUVs, F150, It's a shame what happened to the Taurus.

      Give us what we want, when we want it, and we'll buy. At least the people with open minds will.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Why does it sound like Ford has just given up being no more then nice player here in the US?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Aasdfpwn- What better prices? From most of the examples that I have looked at Toyota has been more expensive than Ford and even less choices. So whats your next excuse for being ignorant?

      2006 Toyota Truck Tundra 4X4
      SR5 Double Cab
      MSRP $29,950

      2007 Ford Truck F-150 SuperCab 4X4
      163-in. WB XL Styleside
      MSRP $26,615

      2007 Toyota Camry
      LE V6
      MSRP $23,340

      2007 Ford Five Hundred
      SEL FWD
      MSRP $22,980
      • 8 Years Ago
      If people who blind to the facts, then let it be. Ford's problems are'nt with Toyota. They are with them selves. You can't keep making junk, and expect America to keep buying it. If they lose that #2 spot, it's because of product. Remember folks, they left our country, we did'nt leave them. Toyota keeps employing more Americans then all of the big three. Go big Red
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think this quote sums it up quite nicely,

      "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over [or, in this case, pushed to 3rd] if you just sit there."
      -Will Rogers
      • 8 Years Ago
      Imagine how many more cars and trucks the IMPORTS (and NOT just the Japanese, but the GERMANS, that have OBLITERATED the LUXURY MARKT that once was a monopoly of Caddy and Lincoln) and even the KOREANS for gawd's sakes, would sell, if they could sell them at the resulting much lower $ price!

      Ivan, you had better check your numbers. Cadillac alone is selling more cars than all German makes combined. The CTS from 2002 to now, has sold over 250,000 copies. I seriously doubt that the three best selling German models have combined for those numbers.

      Ford is completely lost, can't help but feel bad for them.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Let's not dramatize this folks... Ford still has the best-selling vehicle in the US (the F150) for like 30 years running, a solid hold on the commercial truck/van market, and profitable businesses in other world markets.

      Although they have a LOT of work to do in the NA consumer market, the company is not going to shut its doors anytime soon.
      • 8 Years Ago

      "projections show that company officers believe Ford will permanently fall to third place as soon as January."

      A word to the "Company Officers"

      Can your coporate bullshit slogans, like "Way Forward"
      Stop crying in your beer
      Stop making "projections"

      Most importantly:
      Get you head out of your ass, and kick some ass. This is about WINNING, for the moment it's not about profit, it's not about the stockholders, it's not even thinking about the competition, for the moment, screw um. The game at the moment is numbers, got that? Numbers, that's what they are playing on.

      Man do you guys need to read the "Art of War"

      So Bill Ford led you in the wrong direction, get over it.

      Hell, people here talk about your quality, OK open the purse strings, take some hits over the long term,

      150,000 drive train warranty
      be really different, go a 100,000 miles on the WHOLE car to the original owner.
      Yeah and screw the whiners here, slap some money on the hoods or even offer a guaranteed trade in price. Eat some crap in the long run, but don't just lay down and cut a deal to rental fleet. Get creative

      The item in question at the moment is NUMBERS. Got that? NUMBERS!

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