• May 25, 2010
2010 Ford Start concept – click above for high-res image gallery

While Volvo's fate isn't perfectly clear yet, it appears that everyone might have been best served by Ford severing ties with the foreign branches of its Premier Automotive Group: Aston Martin, Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar. True, Ford didn't get to fully benefit from the labor it put into the cars those brands are unveiling to accolades right now, but it spared itself the continued financial and brain drain on its core brands.

It was a drain that was also felt by the company's design arm, headed by J Mays. Referring to how thin The Blue Oval's design resources were stretched, Mays called the efforts "an inch deep and a mile wide." Part of it was that there were simply so many new models to keep track of, the other part being that so many of those cars had such vastly different requirements – an Aston couldn't look like a Lincoln, and even though an Aston could use Volvo's switchgear it shouldn't look anything like S80 or an XF.

Now the team can focus on wrapping the company's products and concept cars (like the Ford Start shown above) in the "Post-Kinetic" design language developed a few years ago. That, Mays says, is also easier because of Ford's rationalization of its platforms – something that also could not have been as completely without selling the company's PAG brands.



[Source: Ward's Auto]


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  • 24 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      platform and model globalization helps too. twice as much effort on 1 Focus rather than 1/2 as much on 2, or for the focus 90(europe)/10(US) or on the Fusion/ Mondeo.

      Go Alan
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford has done well with the main brand, a little less so with the luxury brand. But they have utterly failed with Mercury. It has no identity, nothing unique, and at this point, no future.

      Ford failed at their foreign acquisitions, and it was wise to sell them so they had any money to spend on the 'Ford' core.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You sure you weren't talking about Lincoln there?

        You pay an awful lot for tiny a bit of "LINCOLN" chrome and a new grille on an Edge, Fusion, or Taurus.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good news for Ford. Now they can focus more on throwing out a few more great cars….
      • 4 Years Ago
      They seem to have been mum on Mercury recently.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Funny, I thought Ford design was on a pretty good roll until I saw this angry bubble.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great news, now build that hatch so I can drive I yo my local Audi dealer and show them the sales they're missing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm so glad Ford dumped Aston, Jag, and Land Rover. They might be cool, but they are born losers, destined to always lose money. I would much rather that money have been spent here on Lincoln and Ford models.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @JMills

        Born Losers? Are you nuckin futs? Dude! They are legendary names! Yeah they were turning to shizat before Ford bought them but Ford brought them back to competitive quality. Aston has decades of style and power innovations, Volvo has decades of safety innovations and Land Rover has decades of off-road innovations. Far from losers!

        Even Rocky lost sometimes!
      • 4 Years Ago
      So you mean having 10290336 different brands ended up thinning out Ford's talent and forced them to not be able to concentrate on their core brands? No way!

      /s
      • 4 Years Ago
      form of flattery
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe Ford will now start manufacturing their fabulous dime-a-dozen concepts that they churn up day-in-day-out. When that happens, I'll be impressed and throw my dollar-votes at them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      K now they need to just kill Mercury and things will be even better!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Damn.

        Came here to make a Mercury joke.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wait, Mercury is still alive? Really? Looks like it died a couple years ago.

        Same with the regrilled Fords masquerading as "Lincolns" and dragging the heritage brand through the mud.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I couldn't agree with you more, Kill Mercury and build even better Fords and Lincolns
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hate agreeing with that statement. Unless Ford is keeping ultra mum on whats in store for the brand they should shut it down.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That is a gorgeous little hatch! Ford, please? I'd like one, hopefully at a cheaper price than the A1/500. Thanks!
      • 4 Years Ago
      yada yada yada... what a perfect excuse for your inferior designs of the past, such as boring Ford 500.

      While focusing on the core and having resources for now less number of projects help, it shows and proves, that their past design management was a failure!!!

      At least, they acknowledge and moving forward, things will be different. Good for them

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