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]