Ford takes a chance by replacing the Econoline with Euro Van!

After decades of dominating the commercial van market Ford is taking a huge risk by killing the best selling Econoline Van and replacing the workhorse with the Euro Transit Vans! Obviously the E-Series neded a redesign but will Ford leave some commercial consumers wanting more than what the Transit will deliver? If that indeed happens there will be openings for competitor to snatch some new sales from former Econoline buyers.

From StraightLine.com:

I think we all have an Econoline story. I know at least one person in this office learned to powerslide in a modern one. Another would consider selling his child for a first-generation, flat-nose pickup version. And I don’t know how many families I knew growing up in New England that needed every one of those seats to haul the kids to school.

But, all things must end and the body-on-frame, big-engined Econoline (now E-Series) is set to be replaced by 2013 by the full-size Ford Transit.

The New Transit will be built in the same Kansas City Assembly plant where the F-150 is built, but Ford is injecting some $1.1 billion into it for the new production. “The new Transit will be the smartest, most fuel-efficient way to move cargo or people,” said Tim Stoehr, Commercial Truck Marketing Manager for Ford.

Read the full article.

  

Ford riding the new popularity of hatchbacks!

Here’s some news on smaller cars from From the Detroit Bureau:

Hatchbacks are hot at Ford Motor Co. and the maker’s new Evos Concept – which officially debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week – suggests that even more 3- and 5-door models are in the works, according to the maker’s head of global product planning.

Long considered unacceptable to U.S. motorists, hatchbacks are gaining ground fast with younger buyers and influencing even older motorists to take another look. That convinced Ford to go with a 5-door design for the Evos Concept which introduces a new look that “will become increasingly familiar” to the company’s customers around the world,” said product czar Derrick Kuzak.

“The (hatchback) body style is becoming increasingly popular worldwide and especially in North America,” Kuzak told TheDetroitBureau.com, in sharp contrast with years past.

Where hatchbacks were offered on past-generation Ford products sold in the U.S., said the product chief, they accounted for perhaps 20% of total sales. Now, Kuzak noted, “It’s just the opposite,” hatchbacks generating 60 to 70% of demand for models like the 2012 Ford Focus and 2011 Ford Fiesta.

Check out the full article.

  

Ford Teases Frankfurt Concepts

The Frankfurt Auto Show is rapidly approaching so automakers are already trying to build buzz for their debuts. Ford is no exception. Not only are they touting their largest display to date, but also four new vehicles. Not many details are known, but one is a concept and the other three are production models. One production model is forecasted to be the Focus ST. The performance Focus is slated to debut with a 240hp eco-boosted 4 cyl, and the looks to match the performance. However, details of the Focus ST have been widely known for some time, so Ford must have something really exciting up their sleeve on the concept side.

I’m placing my bets on either a Focus coupe/Capri remake. A coupe version of the Focus is the missing link in the lineup so it is logical addition to have debut. It would probably compete with the wildly successful VW Scirocco that we don’t get here in the states.

On the other hand, the Capri is a much-loved icon in Europe, and has been long heralded to make a return. Additionally, in July, Ford debuted a Falcon concept in Australia , so a performance concept for Europe is not completely unfounded. It’s a long shot, but if they could make a RWD compact like the old Capri, for the price of a Focus, it would be heaven. All these debuts are slated to go global, so hope for the best because we will get them too. Stay tuned for September’s Frankfurt Auto Show

  

Ford’s Mulally lays down the law with big forecasts!

From AutoNews.com:

DETROIT (Bloomberg) — Ford Motor Co. said growth in Asia and increasing demand for small cars will boost global sales 50 percent to 8 million vehicles annually by 2015 as the automaker switches gears from restructuring to expansion.

“Growth is a new skill to learn for us,” Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth said today in an interview in New York. “We’ve been good at restructuring businesses over the last decade. Growth takes practice.”

CEO Alan Mulally told investors today that the automaker expects that by 2020, 55 percent of vehicle sales will be small cars and a third of sales will be in Asia, Booth said.

“Fifty percent is a large number,” Mulally said of the growth target on Bloomberg Television today. “But it’s off a tremendous foundation we have laid to support that.”

Ford executives, on a tour of Wall Street today, also said:

• Total Automotive debt will be reduced to about $10 billion by 2015, down from $16.6 billion at March 31, 2011 and from $33.6 billion at the end of 2009.

Read the full article.

  

It’s time for your annual check up. In your car!

From AutoNews.com:

DETROIT (Bloomberg) — The black Ford Explorer had a warning for the test driver at the lab in Dearborn, Mich.: “It is important for you to recheck your blood glucose now.”

The driver’s blood-sugar reading was 81 milligrams per deciliter at 6:32 a.m., the robotic female voice said in the prototype demonstration.

When he replied that it has fallen to 71, close to where he can have lightheadedness or blurry vision, the car instructed him to take some glucose tablets and check again after 30 minutes.

Then it signs off: “Have a nice drive.”

For Ford Motor Co., medical monitoring is the next key to a burst of car sales. About 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day and 26 million Americans have diabetes.

Read the full article.

  

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