AD #2460 – Ford Tries to Calm Dealer Fears, Hatchbacks Making a Comeback, Mid-Range Model 3 Orders Open

October 19th, 2018 at 11:33am

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Runtime: 7:10

0:27 Ford Tries to Calm Dealer Fears
0:57 Ford Launches New Ad Campaign
1:15 First Look at Shelby GT500
1:29 Ford GT Gets an Extension
1:51 Wall Street Yawns at Ford Announcements
2:33 Hatchbacks Making a Comeback
3:01 Tesla Taking Orders for Mid-Range Model 3
3:42 Continental Develops New Wheel Concept
4:51 FCA’s eTorque System Fuel Savings

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30 Comments to “AD #2460 – Ford Tries to Calm Dealer Fears, Hatchbacks Making a Comeback, Mid-Range Model 3 Orders Open”

  1. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I have stop/start on my XT5 and don’t mind the stop if it is fairly extended, like perhaps, at a stoplight or other occasion that lasts longer than just a few seconds; otherwise it is annoying. I find myself slowing much more slowly than I’m used to and I’m probably annoying to some drivers behind me, not to mention I don’t come to a complete stop at stop signs (if no traffic has a right a way) as the stop start stops when the vehicle is at a zero mph even if for less than a second. The XT5 does not have defeat button so these creative solutions must be employed. Referencing the hemi segment of today’s show, even at ten full stops for a minute and a half (doubtful/non typical), the savings are on the order of a pint of fuel and while a pint is a pint it still may not be that much (over the course of probably a non-typical day).

  2. Dan Says:

    Since you mentioned Ford and how the dealers are uneasy, I’ll repost this comment I made last week.

    Still can’t fathom the announcement by Ford earlier this year that they intend to cease production of all passenger cars with the exception of the Mustang. Several questions go unanswered.

    How do they possibly plan to meet the federally required fleet fuel economy standards if they are basically only selling trucks and SUV’s?

    This move will cause thousands of employees to be fired and factories to be shuttered. Where is the outrage from the employs and unions?

    If Ford will only keep one car line around why chose the Mustang? Sentiment aside, other ford models easily out sell it.

    Gas prices are already up again. What happens to Ford when the tide shifts back to more fuel efficient vehicles again and all they have to offer are thirsty SUV’s and pickups?? Last question. Is Ford out of their freaking mind!?

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That’s great to see that hatchback sales are picking up, though they are still very low.

    1 GM really needs to have a way to disable stop/start. Sales are being lost because of that. I wouldn’t want to use it, because it would increase the likelihood of needing to replace an expensive starter, just to save a small amount of gas. Of course, that doesn’t apply with systems like FCA’s 48 volt system with the belt driven motor-generator that turns all the time.

    From yesterday’s discussion:
    Here is some info on deaths/vehicle distance traveled. The U.S. does not come out very well compared to a number of European countries.

    You can sort the column of “road fatalities per 1 million vehicle-km.” There is no data for a lot of countries, but there is data for most western European countries.

  4. WineGeek Says:

    “Built Ford Tough” has a long term meaning to Ford truck owners. “Built Ford Proud” means what???? Hackett is doing real damage to an iconic and long lived brand. Chevy losing the “Apple Pie” tag line and going to “Find New Roads” has cost them now Ford is doing the same thing. Ford’s problem is long in the tooth models that lack modern safety features, lack of investment in technology, and poor product development. This is one time I think that the Wall Street analysts may be correct.

    By that way have you found any new roads in your Chevrolet lately?

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    4 Google maps took me on a new road a few days ago, but I was in my Toyota, not my Chevrolet.

    I agree on these tag lines, especially “Built Ford Proud.” What is that supposed to mean? The old one would make more sense than ever, since Ford is becoming almost exclusively a truck company.

    The Chevy one I remember is “baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet.” I think it was used mainly in the 1970s.

  6. Roger Blose Says:

    Hackett needs to go and a real car guy must come into Ford before it is too late. I am already looking at other brands to replace my Ford sedans when they age out. In the meantime, Ford keeps sending me Email after email pushing their SUV CUVs which I have no interest in. Several friends are following the same path. And Lincoln…no future flagship sedans will be the end for sure.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 I just found that there was a revival of that Chevy ad in 2015. I must not have seen it, or I’d remember it, since it features my particular Chevrolet.

  8. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I think Ford needs to keep tough and Chevy needed to keep, like a rock; Bob Seger song. BMW finally brought back, ultimate driving machine; remember, Joy, major flop.

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My dad always hated the “like a rock” ads, but I never knew why, unless he thought they were silly. I like Bob Seeger, so I liked the ads, even though I’m not a truck fan.

  10. XA351GT Says:

    Yeah right, What is Hackett smoking? How is he going to replace those vehicles with CUVs equally priced? The Fiesta starts at $14260, Focus $17950, Fusion $22,890. The Eco Sport is $19995 the Escape is $24105 and the edge is $29995. So how exactly will he replace the 14K Fiesta when the smallest CUV they have now is $20K??? I think he is blowing sunshine up their bums.

  11. Bishop Says:

    IMO, and from what I have heard from inside sources, most, if not all, of Ford’s current product line-up problems were caused by M. Fields.

    He was so concerned that the economy was going down the dumps when he was at the helm (probably a Stansberry & Assoc subscriber) that he axed, or delayed new product development and upgrades. You can start with the Ranger and Bronco . . . and go from there.

    Most of you guys are aware of the cycles that OEMs are bound to . . . so it is not difficult to see how critical path aberrations can cause huge problems that will snowball.

    I also do not think that Ford is done producing cars, and although it was not exactly smart PR to announce that they were done – when they did – as it turns out, they almost were ahead of the curve – when you consider what has happened to sedan car sales since. (in short, don’t believe everything that you hear/read – it’s easy to over-react in today’s world)

    I certainly have noticed how many other OEMs are announcing new sedans/coupes/etc that are being released lately. Wonder how those are going to turn out?

    Oh btw, I am not excusing any of Hackett’s miscues. What does irk me is the fact that CEOs / execs are not held to the same merit scale as any other employee. They get huge golden parachutes / severance payouts – even for doing a lousy job.

    I know most of you could produce a list of incompetent CEOs over the years that cost their corporations tons of money.

  12. Michael Says:

    Ford needs new ideas. The ranger should have been the F 100. Then make a smaller truck the ranger. Now you have two sizes to compete with the Jeeps. You would have a larger Bronco and a smaller on. Cuv are built off car platforms so why not alter how many sedans you built according to demand.No need for law offs and you are not caught with you pants down when the market shifts back to sedans.

  13. BobD Says:

    3 – On the 2019 Cruze, you have the ability to disable the stop/start. I assume the other vehicles will get it too. Personally I have no problem with it, but do agree the owner should have the choice.

  14. BobD Says:

    “Built Ford Proud” is a terrible slogan compared to the iconic “Built Ford Tough”. What is Ford thinking? Might as well say, “Built Ford Stupid”.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 The specific probable lost
    sale I know of was a Buick LaCrosse. My manual tranmission MINI has stop/start. It works fairly unobtrusively, but I leave it off to save wear and tear on the starter. With the MINI, if you turn off S/S, it stays off. You don’t need to turn it off each time you drive the car.

  16. Bobby T Says:

    #3, Kit, I’m not sure of this, but I think most stop start systems use an alternator/starter system with a belt for the reason you mentioned plus lower noise level. I worked on a start/stop system like this at Ford about ten years ago. That one didn’t go into production , but we rejected the idea of using the regular starter.

  17. Ron J Says:

    You don’t remember Dinah Shore singing drive you Chevrolet across the USA ! from the 50 s !

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 Most current stop/start systems, like GM and BMW use a regular starter, but more “mild hybrids” like the Ram trucks, using belts, will be coming on-line.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    GM had a mild hybrid system with a belt connected starter-alternator, but it was last used in 2016 or so (I think).

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 Correction. Buick still sells the “eAssist” mild hybrid with the 4 cylinder engine and belt driven motor/generator. The LaCrosse my friend didn’t buy because of the non-defeatable stop/start was the LaCrosse with the V6.

  21. bradley cross Says:

    Start/Stop should have a setting where you can specify the delay time. i.e. 1 second, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute.

  22. Chuck Grenci Says:

    19, Bradley
    Of this I agree, say variable (delay of S/S of at least one second); this would eliminate my biggest concern. I know making this system non-defeat able may look good to the EPA regulators as a fuel saver, I still think it should be operator adjustable. The GM 3.6 V6 (and probably other GM engines with this feature) uses a more robust starter, and when the cycle is stopped, the crankshaft and valves are stopped at specific locations to enhance a quick restart. This system actually is quite good and barely intrusive (still it is noticeable and annoying). There are a couple of ways to defeat the system but they are operator dependent and not as transparent as an off switch: setting the a/c to a chilly setting will most of the times defeat the function and shifting the tranny to manual mode (then back to auto) will defeat the system but what a pain in the neck.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My friend’s 2017 Camaro with the 3.6 doesn’t have S/S.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    2, 4, 6, 8, 11 I agree with most of your comments. Fields has been a lousy CEO but Hackett is even worse. I could not have imagined how bad he is. Behind both of these terrible choices is the worst of them all, Bill Ford. As long as he calls the shots, nobody should touch the Ford common stock.

    Ten years after GM and Chrysler’s bankruptcy, the domestics are still in poor shape. They foolishly invest (waste) billions in mobility and AVs instead of building SUPERIOR PRODUCTS. Not “Golden Mediocrity” Malibus and Cruzes, GM, they are and will be eaten alive by the Accords and the Civics. NOT eliminating 20,000 salaried jobs in the US, Ford, to appease the fund managers! NOT raising the white flag of surrender, Clueless Hatchet Hackett, and throw out the baby (Fusion, even Focus) with the bathwater (Taurus, Fiesta).

    The show says “Wall Street Yawns” at the Ford annnoucements? I would not even say that. It clearly gave the Ford stock, instead of a rise, the thumbs down, and it has reached multi-year lows! And no surprise. Morgan downgraded Ford because it… does not take decisive action fast enough? Hilarious. This is like saying Hitler failed because he was too lenient!

  25. BobD Says:

    The non-belt GM starters that are used in stop/start vehicles are more robust than regular starters and have synchronized engagement, so I think it is just speculation that their durability is compromised from more use. However, I do suspect they are a little more expensive than a standard starter to replace, if you did have to replace one.

    I do like the suggestion of being able to tweak the delay when you come to a stop. On my Cruze when I come to a stop sign, if I delay just a fraction of a second too long, it cycles. And if you have to wait on another car, it definitely will stop/start. At traffic lights and drive up windows/ATMs it works just fine.

  26. Larry D. Says:

    3 when I looked for traffic death stats myself yesterday, the Wiki article was the first I found, but I did not give the link here because, in the column that matters, first, the vast majority of the 200 or so nations did not have fatalities per 100 million miles data (or per billion km here), and second, the results are VERY MIXED. I guess if one has a preconceived idea, one can find one or two data points to support his hypothesis, but to make a blanket statement that the US is behind some itty-bitty European countries is the easy conclusion, but it does not show a significant difference.

    More importantly, nobody can use this data and claim that, if the US is doing worse than some Euro nations, it is because of the large SUVs here, per our discussions.

    First, large SUVs are a tiny segment of all SUVs and also as a % of the equally, if not more, unsafe picup trucks, often driven by far more irresponsible drivers than those that buy a large SUV to protect their families, instead of a minivan.

    Second, we know what is the cause of US traffic deaths. Drunk Driving was responsible for 1/3 of the 35,000 or so annual deaths, less so today, but more so if you include distracted driving. Not wearing seatbelts used to account for another 1/3, I also expect it to have dropped by today, and above all, Pitiful Drivers ed in the US and a careless attitude by many US drivers.

    Having said that, let’s use the table for some comparisons.

    The US has 7.1 deaths per billion km, and the next biggest advanced industrial nation, Japan, has even MORE, at 8.0!! I would expect japan to have LESS, since every time we see photos of the roads there, they are these awful traffic jams moving at 5 MPH, and of course it is far harder to kill anybody going slower than even… pedestrian!

    If you want to compare with the itty-bitty nations of Europe, OK. Sweden is much better than the US, at 3.5, half the rate. Yes, but Sweden is a HUGE land with a TINY 8 mill population, so if you drive along its roads, what will you hit? A raindeer at best!

    If you look at South Korea, by now a well developed, advanced industrial nation, it has DOUBLE ther US rate, at 15.6!!

    So my conclusion is, the data are very scarce, but the data we do have do not point such a gloom and doom picture, AND, more importantly, you will not gain a dam thing if you outlaw large SUVS, especially if their owners switch to those huge pickups with the 2 full rows of seats instead. You will make HUGE improvements, however, if you throw the book at distracted drivers, drunks, idiots who still do not wear their seatbelts, and, above all, triple, if not quadruple, the lessons in Driver’s Ed and the severity of the tests to get a license.

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    24 Regarding the traffic deaths, I would expect the countries not listing data to have higher rates than the U.S., and other developed countries. Jamaica, where it’s legal to drive drunk, and with a mix of RHD and LHD vehicles from all over the world, some of them tiny vans without seat belts, would not have good traffic safety. OK, that’s an extreme example.

    Germany, the UK, France, and Canada are not itty bitty nations of Europe, and they all have lower death rates/distance than the U.S. The UK has more than twice the population density of California, and about half the fatality rate of the U.S. No, I don’t know the specific death rate for CA. The high death rate for South Korea is a little surprising, but I haven’t been there, and don’t know what traffic is like. Could there be millions of small motorcycles mixed in with the cars and buses in the cities? That could partly explain it.

    I certainly agree, that to the extent the vehicle size disparity is a factor, the big pickups are obviously a much bigger part of it than monster SUVs, because of their numbers.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    26 It might not be what you expect.

  30. Bob White Says:

    Ford has real challenges right now and market cap keeps dropping now down the 32B. IMO, they are setting up the company to be bought out. The only thing missing in the VW empire is on the truck side and their focus is clearly on electric cars. I see VW ending up with both Ford and Tesla.