Ford's One Ford strategy dictates that vehicles be as common as possible around the world. While the E-Series has been the top selling large van in the USA for years, it was basically a North America only product. The European Transit van was completely different. Also, the American E-Series never had the breadth of product choices that the European Transit had. Now that has changed with the American-made Transit about as complex as the European model.
The 2015 Lincoln MKC hit Lincoln dealerships in June 2014 and promises to be the 2nd volume entry for Ford's premium brand after the award-winning Lincoln MKZ. Lincoln is the top brand in AutoPacific's 2014 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research and the MKZ and MKZ Hybrid are the winners of their product categories. The MKC is joining a booming market for smaller crossover SUVs and, based on our brief drive of the vehicle, should do very well in AutoPacific's 2015 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research..
GM's 2015MY Full Size SUVs are an excellent evolution of the full size SUV genre. General Motors did not plow much new ground here, but updated and upgraded the products substantially. They are immediately identified as General Motors' SUVs. They look capable and purposeful. They are very serious about being able to do everything they are asked to do and more. Good job.
Big Bronco to Compete With Chevy's Popular Blazer In the late 1960s, Ford Motor Company was competing in the sport utility market with the first generation Bronco a hardcore vehicle designed to go off road in a big way. Today, these 1st Gen Broncos are coveted by off-roaders all across the nation. At the same time, General Motors was thumping Ford with its Chevrolet Blazer SUV. The Blazer was a two door derivative of the four door Chevrolet Suburban and sold in impressive numbers. Ford had nothing to match the Blazer, but in the early '70s began a program to develop a strong competitor to the Blazer.
For this last Holiday Card, I included a non-holiday photo of an vehicle I worked on in my youth at Ford - the Ford Carrousel concept and asked who could identify the vehicle. A few who were working at Ford at the time correctly identified it, but all misspelled it. The prototype used an unusual spelling of Carrousel with two "Rs". Many though it was Hal Sperlich's MiniMax concept from the late '70s at Ford, or a prototype of an early Chrysler minivan. Nope.
Has the 2014 Auto Show Season been a bust so far? Well, with the exception of the all new Ford F-150, there has not been much to justify all the fabricated hoopla at either the North American International Auto Show in Detroit or the Chicago Auto Show. You can almost count the significant new news on one hand. In order of importance to the United States market and their manufacturers
In AutoPacific's annual survey of new car and light truck buyers, eleven of the top twenty vehicles whose drivers want simpler, easier to use technology are Fords or Lincolns. Six are from Toyota or Lexus. One is from Cadillac. One is from BMW. One is from Audi. If you have been paying attention to Ford's standings in Consumer Reports ratings and other customer satisfaction measurements, you undoubtedly have heard Ford's and Lincolns ratings have dropped precipitously since MyFord/LincolnTouch was introduced.
Only 37% of hybrid owners are extremely satisfied with power and acceleration compared with 40% of small car owners. This might be expected since these products are biased toward maximum fuel economy usually at the expense of spirited driving.
The 2015 Ford Edge is designed to be sold globally and especially targeted at China and the USA. It is based on the front wheel drive platform of the hot-selling Ford Fusion. It retains the dimensions of its predecessor but adds an inch of wheelbase. The styling is sportier than before with the new Ford hexagonal grille treatment, more muscular bodyside graphics and a faster backlite. At a glance, it is still obviously an Edge.
Porsche is broadening its line adding a compact crossover SUV (XSUV) beneath its highly successful Cayenne SUV. The Porsche Macan is named after an Indonesian tiger. Not so unusual since the Cayenne is named for a pepper and Cayman after an alligator. While Porsche purists may cringe that the brand is adding one more vehicle line that has four doors, the Macan will add volume to Porsche around the world and add greatly to its already heady profits. Limited to only 50,000 units a year from its Leipzig, Germany factory, the volume will be split roughly one-third for the USA, one third for the EU and one third for the rest of the world. With the USA limited to "only" about 15,000-18,000 units per year dealers can hold out for nice profits especially in its early years.