• Jul 14, 2008



Back when it was virtually guaranteed 20% US market share, Ford would redesign its vehicles every five or more years. The Ford Ranger, Focus, and Crown Victoria changed even slower, with mostly only new lights and grilles. When competitive pressures started to put the Blue Oval into an anaconda death grip, that once guaranteed share began to shrink. To battle those competitive forces, Ford is looking to do a major redesign on its vehicles every three years from now on. Ford design director Peter Horbury told Automotive News that minor styling changes just aren't effective, and that future redesigns will include changes to everything but the doors, roof, and glass. That leaves bumpers, hoods, trunks, lights, quarter panels and front and rear facias as some of the items that can be refreshed in a much more timely fashion.

Horbury claims the Dearborn, MI automaker listened to the press with regard to styling changes, which emboldens us to ask for more. We'd like a twin-turbo four-pot Mustang, a plug-in euro Focus, a 40 mpg F-150, a seat on the board, and free Mondeos for all.

[Source: Auto News (subs req'd)]



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  • 42 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      IMPORT ALL EURO FORDS TO AMERICA- LIKE SATURN IS DOING TO OPEL AND TA-DA! WE'RE ALL HAPPY!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes Saturn sales are down, but everyone knows it's not because of Bad Design. It's because they're still in the realm of "Ewwww-Saturn.", and they're not open to new ideas.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes! Actually, Mercury would be perfect as Ford's Saturn. They could keep all the US designs and have all the Euro designs be Mercurys.... win-win.
          • 6 Years Ago
          Aha! Nick, you could be on to something. Maybe Ford could bring back the Merkur brand?

          OK, maybe not.
        • 6 Years Ago
        re:IMPORT ALL EURO FORDS TO AMERICA- LIKE SATURN IS DOING TO OPEL AND TA-DA! WE'RE ALL HAPPY!

        Seems like a nice idea, but Saturn sales are OFF, probably due to poor brand identity. Remember the Cadillac Catera? (OK, it was crap, but hardly anyone bought one anyhow)

        U.S. cars need to LOOK like U.S. cars to sell well -- note the Chrysler 300. American taste is not going to change due to blog posters liking Opels or Mondeos. What keeps people going back to the showrooms is a Mustang looking like a Mustang, a Cadillac looking like a Cadillac, etc.

        Once you go to the unfamiliar or generic look, why shouldn't people buy Korean or Chinese??

        THE TRICK is to somehow get the brand image to encompass the European looks, or modify those cars for manufacture here.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Aha! Nick, you could be on to something. Maybe Ford could bring back the Merkur brand?

        OK, maybe not.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree! Saturn sales are down because of the "gross... A Saturn" image of the brand. People are embarrassed to be seen in a Saturn! That's a major problem. Saturn's prices are way too high given the fact that the owner has to bear with being seen driving a Saturn around.

        I say introduce the Holden or Opel brand here in America and do so in the way the BMW brought MINI over... Without listing MINI all over their websites and linking all the brands together. The domestics link their brands together way too much... So when one brand faces a bad image, that image spreads throughout all the brands. Introduce a new brand that seems like a completely new brand and bring out the European cars under that new brand (without uglifying all the cars with bad grills, etc.)
      • 6 Years Ago
      "We'd like a twin-turbo four-pot Mustang, a plug-in euro Focus, a 40 mpg F-150, a seat on the board, and free Mondeos for all."

      Boy, if Ford could do that right now, America wouldn't even consider Toyotas.

      Well except for a few who will cite "resale value", but seriously, pass up a free Mondeo? You're friggin' nuts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      By the way where is the 3 bar Ford corporate front end????
        • 6 Years Ago
        That is the American design language. Ford's current design language for their European vehicles is "Kinetic Design" and I believe "Kinetic Edge". This is probably the best design theme they've had, but they're already moving away from it.

        I would say 5 years is good enough. Anything other than that and your products look stale. Even under a 5 year design plan, a vehicle produced in 2010 may look considerably older than a vehicle produced in 2013. A few simple minor changes would suffice just fine until a full-refresh. I think it's unnecessary money, considering this design language, at least in the United States, will be easily one of the best aesthetically on the roads. I'm an import guy and even I'm not blind to that. Toyota's still pretty boring, Honda doesn't quite have any direction and Mazda's either great or not-so-great depending on who you talk to. The next Taurus looks pretty sexy compared to the current Malibu (or anything else in the class, frankly), and we've all pretty much been in agreement Ford should've brought the Euro Focus over a long time ago.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The picture with this story tells everything. The design exercis ( one can only assume that is what it is) needs to be on Ford's lot yesterday not three years from now. Nice looking vehicle.
        • 6 Years Ago
        How come half the guys in the photo are jaw jackin' and not working. No wonder it takes five years to bring out a new design!

        Anyone know why they let the Lincoln LS rot and did not refresh it? That was a seet ride for the few years it was around.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Daniel: I can't tell you why they let it whither and then killed it, but I share your lament. I owned an 02 (Getrag manual - FTW!) a still have an 04 for the wife and love 'em [especially the 02 -sniff!- I hated losing it, but getting an 06 CTS-V helped with the pain].

        I was exactly the buyer Lincoln was supposed to be looking for: late 20s, upwardly mobile, diggin' the Lincoln brand and lving their rwd sedan. Then suddenly -poof!- no more LS, now it MKS/Z/Q/whatever. Glad I'm a caddy fan now. My next car with be the 09 CTS-V (the 06V will be the hand me down to the wife when she retires her LS). I've left Lincoln and, finally, stopped feeling sorry for their stupid decisions.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's the new Fiesta: out next month.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let's hope they're serious about doing actual *redesigns* and not just *re-styling*. What Ford does NOT need is another North American Focus... an "all new" car that's the same car they were selling 8 years ago underneath the skin.
      • 6 Years Ago
      While you're at it, bring back the Mazda MPV. The US needs a great medium-sized minivan, and don't try to sell me that a crossover is as useful.....
        • 6 Years Ago
        You mean like the Mazda 5?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Planned obsolescence.
        • 6 Years Ago
        automotive designs used to be just this fast just a few decades ago, sometimes they changed yearly. Of course, during that same time we also saw product cycles of 15-17+ years for certain vehicles...
      • 6 Years Ago
      thats a sexy compact!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I like how now that they've sold Aston Martin, they want to ruin the Aston Martin grill by putting it on their economy cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      How come half the guys in the photo are jaw jackin' and not working.

      Beacause it's a "staged" photo. Geeez

      3 year cycle=welcome back 50's and 60's
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wasn't this announced some time ago or am I alone no this? Let me go look!

      Okay here it is!

      Ford reduces time between styling changes to three years
      Posted Jun 16th 2008 4:58PM by Jeremy Korzeniewski
      http://www.autoblog.com/2008/06/16/ford-reduces-time-between-styling-changes-to-three-years/


        • 6 Years Ago
        The Japanese started doing this, when... The early 80's?

        I'm amazed that the Europeans (ex: BMW, 6 yr cycles) have gotten away with this for so long, but even they'll have to catch up with the Koreans and Japanese in their turn-around soon...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, I know... It's a slow news day.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Gah. Great... We'll be getting Ford-style rhinoplasty every three years. So basically whenever they decide to have a new "brand" look they'll slap a new nose and butt on?
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