When Ford Division President Darryl Hazel was asked when the company's "Family Plan" would be coming to an end, he responded with, "That's a good question. I don't know." Then he accused the reporter of giving aid and comfort to the enemy. OK, I made the second part up. Regardless, the problem of how to transition back to "normal" pricing still remains for Ford, as well as GM and Chrysler. Ford has made no statement on pricing strategy for '06, but does note that the simplicity of no-haggle pricing appeals to many, and can often result in a customer that's willing to purchase more optional features. The big question looming overhead, though, concerns "pull-ahead" sales. Hazel says that he's not afraid of this, but maybe he should be. Other than the Fusion and the revamped Explorer, Ford doesn't have many new products debuting next year, and so there's little reason for a customer to hold out a few more months for an '06 model when they know they can get good pricing on a leftover '05.

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