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Ford is all but getting out of the Car Business


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Just had email from a friend who is a big Ford fan on this.  I think it comes down to demand and market share.  They can transfer populRity of Ford trucks into suv and crossover its a smart move.  Tougher, I think to sell sedans, most buyers go import on them.  

 

 

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3 hours ago, Mark Gregory said:

Never thought I would ever read a Headline like this in my lifetime . Here in Oakville , Ontario there is a huge plant which probably will be affected ?

 

Once again a headline designed to confuse and shock people.  What Ford is doing over the next several years is shifting production from regular sedans to CUVs (crossover utility vehicles) which are defined as having a unit-body car-like platform but with a taller utility style body (easy entry and exit) and usually all wheel drive.  Popularity of these has been growing for years as has profitability, and the popular Ford Edge CUV is (I think) made at the Oakville plant along with their Lincoln MKX variant.  Essentially this transition away from sedans has been happening for several years by popular demand and already happened at Chrysler who permanently eliminated all sedans smaller than their Challenger/Charger/300 in a similar move.  That said I disagree with the move and think ignoring sedans will hurt them down the road, Todd C       

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Yes, because I'm just positive gas will always be this cheap and will never, ever cost $5/gallon ever again. People will always want big, thirsty trucks. Great idea, let's bet the farm on that!

 

Bye Ford. Join Chrysler on the ash heap of history when your short-sightedness and inability to see past this quarter's profit statements burn you to the ground. It won't be tomorrow, and it may not even be soon, but it will surely happen. And everyone will stand around shrugging their shoulders wondering how this happened, how could we possibly have seen this coming?

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"Buddy, can you spare a dime?" Take your company public and you think the stockholder is your customer.

image.png.a6cd9f587e817e7cc0bab8f7eb9871cd.png

 

Last time I looked at a Ford they were unloading an odd little truck. And the window sticker showed it was a product of Turkey.

 

Most corporations begin to die 30 to 40 years after the death of the founder. I'd say they did pretty good.

Bernie

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4 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

I'm just positive gas will always be this cheap and will never, ever cost $5/gallon ever again.

 

Nudging $5 per gallon is where personal conservation kicks in. Of course, that $5 includes taxes, a big percentage. And people really do reduce cash flow to both the oil companies and the tax bin at that point.

 

The 3 major petroleum exporters in the world are Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States. You'd think "being held hostage by foreign oil cartels" we'd keep a little at home. Maybe hostage is a metaphor. Got me.

 

At one point I worked in a power plant when natural gas allotments were being enforced (rationed). We had dual fuel burners and switched to 100% oil. I think we burned oil for about three weeks and they found all the natural gas we needed.

 

Always remember, Indians never threw any tea into Boston harbor and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Bernie 

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Like i told my ford buddy, if you sell burgers & hot dogs, but 99% of your customers want only burgers, your likely done making hot dogs.

 

CUV is a car to most anyway.  I suspect, from younger, non historically minded perspectives, actually more attractive and youthful than sedans to many.  Madison avenue has more influence than auto history with a younger demographic.

 

You will still be able to get a Lincoln at least!

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2 minutes ago, 60FlatTop said:

 

Nudging $5 per gallon is where personal conservation kicks in. Of course, that $5 includes taxes, a big percentage. And people really do reduce cash flow to both the oil companies and the tax bin at that point.

 

Actually, the federal gasoline tax is currently 18.4 cents per gallon. State taxes make up the rest, ranging from a low of 23.5 cents to a high of 26.54 cents, depending on the state. The federal gas tax was last raised in 1993.

 

 If gas prices go up, taxes become a smaller and percentage of the overall cost to consumers. 

 

If gas goes to $5/gallon (nobody remembers 2006-2008?), even repealing ALL the gas taxes won't save Ford and their big trucks.

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23 minutes ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

Like i told my ford buddy, if you sell burgers & hot dogs, but 99% of your customers want only burgers, your likely done making hot dogs.

 

CUV is a car to most anyway.  I suspect, from younger, non historically minded perspectives, actually more attractive and youthful than sedans to many.  Madison avenue has more influence than auto history with a younger demographic.

 

Actually getting a CUV rather than a sedan is most popular of all with mature buyers.  Comparing the two the higher seating makes for easier entry and exit and older folks prefer that and have the money to pay extra to get the bigger vehicle. 

 

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I think its what others said here, they are changing their product line. Out with old models no being profitable or that they see soon being not profitable and in with new lines-hybrids? Electric? smaller cars?  Who knows.

 

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Sounds like a real shame. After all, Ford was starting to make some good looking cars again., such as the Taurus and Fusion. I'm holding on to my '01 Crown Vic as long as I can.

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I won't miss the sedans much  however as others have suggested Ford is possibly making a big misstep axing all the small gas sipping compacts and hatchbacks. I was raised with MG ,Triumph , .....Alfa and Lotus when I could afford it. I just don't get why all the soccer moms want to imitate Bus drivers with the current "tall" crop of transport.

  My daily driver is a Accent 5 speed 2 door hatchback, roughly 35MPG. It isn't fancy however I can afford to feed it  Gas in my area is currently about $2.60 Canadian  a Litre( about $4.70 US. / US gallon} , the highest in North America. People around here are thinking about bus passes, electric scooters and bicycles.  Except for truly wealthy people if this keeps up no one around here is going to be buying a SUV, Crossover or pickup. My brother in law bought a new Ford pickup last year. It's currently parked and he just bought a Focus. He would sell the truck but no one around here will touch it. His monthly gas bill was hitting $800.00.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Last time I looked at a Ford they were unloading an odd little truck. And the window sticker showed it was a product of Turkey.

They build em in Spain now. But the Transit Connect has at least always been built by Ford, it's not just some other brands vehicle rebadged a la Chevy

When I was in the industry no one ever asked for a Taurus that I can remember, and Fusions were generally for old people. The old saying, you can sell a young car to old people but not an old car to young people. Personally I don't care for that outcome as an owner of a Fiesta, and someone who likes luxury without all the technology, but Ford probably only made a few bucks on me and my crank window manual Fiesta....

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49 minutes ago, nickelroadster said:

They have got  to go with what sells.  If economy sells again, then they will start making more cars again.  Ford still did not declare bankruptcy and that is still a positive in my book.

 

Ford was merely in the right place at the right time in 2007, taking out huge loans before banks stopped making those huge loans. It wasn't because they were smarter or healthier, they just started borrowing before the others and therefore were able to secure capital. By the time GM and Chrysler tried to do the same, lending and capital loans had dried up because of the housing crisis and financial system crash, hence the bankruptcies and bailout (which, by the way, has been paid back with interest). Ford wasn't smarter, they weren't in better financial shape, they didn't have better product, they didn't have more pride, they just got lucky that they started the borrowing process a few months earlier than everyone else. They borrowed just as much, merely from different sources.

 

The problem with making economy cars only when there's demand is lead time. Even in today's world of fast prototyping, it's still 24-36 months to get a new product to market, depending on tooling time. Things will go to hell a lot faster than that, leaving Ford and Chrysler with showrooms full of giant trucks and V8 muscle cars and nothing to sell. They won't be able to borrow three years' worth of operating expenses to keep the lights on until they can literally rush something through the development process. And even if they manage to do so, how good a product do you recon it'll be at that point?

 

Toyota and Honda are thinking about what they're going to be doing in 2030. They have always taken the long view, which is why they often seem late to the party (see: big trucks and V8 luxury cars) but it's also why they are not left flat-footed when things go to pieces. Americans just can't seem to figure out how to plan past end-of-month bonuses and getting shareholders paid this quarter. And THAT is what will finally kill the domestic auto industry--their own short-sightedness and assuming that the way things are today is how they always will be. It nearly killed them in the 1970s, it will polish them off in the 2020s.

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5 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Actually, the federal gasoline tax is currently 18.4 cents per gallon. State taxes make up the rest, ranging from a low of 23.5 cents to a high of 26.54 cents, depending on the state. The federal gas tax was last raised in 1993.

 

 If gas prices go up, taxes become a smaller and percentage of the overall cost to consumers. 

 

If gas goes to $5/gallon (nobody remembers 2006-2008?), even repealing ALL the gas taxes won't save Ford and their big trucks.

 

FYI, here in Pennsylvania the state gasoline tax is 58.3 cents/gallon. Add in the Federal tax at 18.4 cents/gallon and Pennsylvania wins the award for the highest gas taxes in the USA at 76.7 cents/gallon. Hopefully at some point in the not too distant future all of the states and  the federal government come up with a plan to replace the state & federal gas tax per gallon with a different tax that makes sure that ALL vehicles including electric vehicles and electric tractor trailers pay their fair share to use the roads. 

 

 

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Actually, the federal gasoline tax is currently 18.4 cents per gallon. State taxes make up the rest, ranging from a low of 23.5 cents to a high of 26.54 cents, depending on the state. The federal gas tax was last raised in 1993.

Time for a fact check :

State taxes
State Gasoline tax (excludes federal tax of 18.4¢/gal) Diesel tax (excludes federal tax of 24.4¢/gal)
Oregon 31.12 30.36
Pennsylvania 58.20 74.70
Rhode Island 34.00 34.00
South Carolina 16.75 16.75
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@Matt one real factor w Ford is the family stocks. Going bankrupt would end Ford family control. I agree they got lucky w their finance situation but there is a family wealth and pride still attached to Ford that few other large American companies can claim and that was a factor from what accounts I've read.

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15 hours ago, poci1957 said:

 

Once again a headline designed to confuse and shock people.  What Ford is doing over the next several years is shifting production from regular sedans to CUVs (crossover utility vehicles) which are defined as having a unit-body car-like platform but with a taller utility style body (easy entry and exit) and usually all wheel drive.  Popularity of these has been growing for years as has profitability, and the popular Ford Edge CUV is (I think) made at the Oakville plant along with their Lincoln MKX variant.  Essentially this transition away from sedans has been happening for several years by popular demand and already happened at Chrysler who permanently eliminated all sedans smaller than their Challenger/Charger/300 in a similar move.  That said I disagree with the move and think ignoring sedans will hurt them down the road, Todd C       

 

I've been an SUV fan for the duration of our kids lives.  I got used to geting into a vehicle rather than falling into a vehicle that's sitting on the ground.  Once the kids grew out of the house I converted to a pickup, again for the same reason, getting out of a vehicle rather than picking myself up off the ground was preferred.  This nasty hobby of hauling dirty car parts also required the pickup.  Now that the limberness of youth has begun fleeting, my wife has also begun to appreciate a vehicle that sits higher.  Let's call it ADA for anyone over the over 40 crowd.  On top of that, I'll prefer to sit in a car that sits higher and drive 8 hours rather than fly in a seat that the airlines designed to accomodate a 12 year old sized body.

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16 hours ago, poci1957 said:

 

Once again a headline designed to confuse and shock people.  What Ford is doing over the next several years is shifting production from regular sedans to CUVs (crossover utility vehicles) which are defined as having a unit-body car-like platform but with a taller utility style body (easy entry and exit) and usually all wheel drive.  Popularity of these has been growing for years as has profitability, and the popular Ford Edge CUV is (I think) made at the Oakville plant along with their Lincoln MKX variant.  Essentially this transition away from sedans has been happening for several years by popular demand and already happened at Chrysler who permanently eliminated all sedans smaller than their Challenger/Charger/300 in a similar move.  That said I disagree with the move and think ignoring sedans will hurt them down the road, Todd C       

I feel it is a right move for Ford at this time.  The market has changed since the early 1990's when passenger cars were the norm. As of late, SUV's and light trucks command something like 63% of the market, and passenger cars only 37% of the market. Ford is still #1 with the F-series trucks.  The profit margin on passenger cars is very thin on economy models (as BMC/British Leyland found out), compared to X-overs and SUV's which have a much higher return on investment for the automakers.  Therefore, I can see Ford's reasoning over that decision.  Perhaps the reason people prefer taller vehicles is because their kids are now taller?


The SUV market is obviously too lucrative to be ignored by automakers who one would never expect to offer one, specifically, exotic/super-luxury car manufacturers, including Bentley, Maserati, Lamborghini, (although they did offer the LM002 much earlier.), and shortly, Rolls Royce.

Craig

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Since '72 I've always had at least one vehicle that has a hatch/tailgate (though have never had a pickup). Tastes change and the "hot hatches" are very popular today, besides having something that can be either a four seater or a two seater with a lot of luggage space makes sense, just comes in different sizes now and range from tiny to gigantic. I suspect the final straw is that a four door is more expensive to make than a two door.

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$0.62 tax per gallon here in Monroe County, New York State. Years ago we had signs on the pump that itemized the fuel cost and taxes. It is illegal, in the state, to post such a sign today.

I wonder what inspired that law and who it protects.

 

Actually, I would be in favor of the Supreme Court opening an investigation to find out who is responsible for taking the word "conniver" out of common use in the language. There are just so many instances where it is the most appropriate word, but appears to be suppressed.

 

Bernie

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It probably really doesn't matter to me what Ford is going to do with their product line up. I don't plan to ever buy a new Ford or for that matter any other vehicle. brand. They're all too expensive. I've found it way more cost effective to buy a good used vehicle for a fraction of the cost of a new vehicle. I haven't been particularly impressed with Fords of the last three decades although my Crown Vic has been above par. It seems to be built tougher and has been more reliable than any of the F series trucks I've owned or driven. Maybe the last two generations of F series trucks are better but I haven't had any first hand experience. The newest F series I drove regularly was a 98 and it was not very truck like and was downright ugly. I've driven a later model Superduty but it was like driving a bus because of how it handled.

I was in a Ford truck dealership a few years ago because my 94 F150 had a recall (imagine that). I had some time to kill so I walked the lot quite thoroughly. The least expensive F series truck was 25K and it didn't have much to offer. It appeared the average price was in the mid 30's. Most of he Superdutys were 50K and up. I couldn't figure how people could afford a new truck anymore at that time, never mind now.

I'm not sure what I'll replace my Crown Vic once it becomes unrepairable but I'm hoping that it won't be anytime soon. I like the car overall. I don't have to climb up to sit in it like my F150 nor do I feel like I have to step down either. It even has more legroom than the F150 and a better seating arrangement as well. It's almost as good as the 93 Silverado I once owned which I wish I never sold.

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I'm actually quite happy with my 18 mpg average. I actually average better fuel economy than my wife's V6 Acura SUV. My car is roomier and more comfortable. The SUV my have more cargo area but Crown Vic does have a huge trunk you won't find in any new car these days.

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This is going to be interesting.  I think Ford is just going with what sells and where they make the most profit.  I don't know if CAFE is still in the picture but not having small fuel efficient cars in the mix will make any government mandated target harder to hit.  I always thought I was a GM guy and a Buick guy in particular but having owned several Fords as drivers has swayed me to them.  My 1999 F250 Superduty with the V10 was an amazing tow vehicle.  My Ford based RV never faltered and gave many miles of happiness.  My wife's 2005 Escape Limited gave us 130,000 miles with no issues except for maintenance.   My current daily driver is a 2013 Lincoln MKX and it is probably the best vehicle I have ever owned.  The driveabiity along with the performance is only surpassed by the luxury.  It is probably a moot point for me as this Lincoln will probably be my last vehicle anyway.

 

I also liked Bernie's statement about corporations confusing shareholders with customers.  I worked for a large Telcom that that also forgot they were a company and focused on their stock performance rather than their customers.  They lost that battle badly.  The company was divested and sold while the CEO went to jail.  Too many companies are focused on how they perform on Wall Street and lose sight of how they do on Main Street.

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11 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

You guys are right. I don't know why my Google-fu was so far off.

 

Been in that same boat in the past that is why I tend to be careful about data from the internet. ?

 

Living in Pennsylvania with some of the worst roads and bridges in the entire USA and paying the highest gas taxes is a real PAIN. Then there is the PA Turnpike which according to some reports has to increase tolls EVERY YEAR for the next 26 to 39 years depending on what information you believe. Sadly the turnpike is required by law to give $500 million per year of their money to PENNDOT to  fix non-turnpike roads & bridges instead of PENNDOT being funded properly. Otherwise the gas tax in PA would be even higher than it is now.

 

10 hours ago, mike6024 said:

Our new Ford truck we have at work shuts the engine off at stop signs. Unbelievable.

 

One has to wonder that the long term impact of all that starting and stopping will have on the engine, starter, fuel pump, oil pump, A/C compressor, and other components. That would appear to require that the automaker use high quality parts which many modern automakers are not known to do.

 

11 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Ford was merely in the right place at the right time in 2007, taking out huge loans before banks stopped making those huge loans. It wasn't because they were smarter or healthier, they just started borrowing before the others and therefore were able to secure capital. By the time GM and Chrysler tried to do the same, lending and capital loans had dried up because of the housing crisis and financial system crash, hence the bankruptcies and bailout (which, by the way, has been paid back with interest). Ford wasn't smarter, they weren't in better financial shape, they didn't have better product, they didn't have more pride, they just got lucky that they started the borrowing process a few months earlier than everyone else. They borrowed just as much, merely from different sources.

 

BINGO, give this man a Gold Star. ^^^^ When it comes to the loans Ford secured back then it was all in the timing. I also remember reading any number of articles about how Ford was required to put up ALL of the assets it had at that time in order to secure those loans. Had things not turned out the way they did, Ford would have been no better off than GM was.

 

11 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

The problem with making economy cars only when there's demand is lead time. Even in today's world of fast prototyping, it's still 24-36 months to get a new product to market, depending on tooling time. Things will go to hell a lot faster than that, leaving Ford and Chrysler with showrooms full of giant trucks and V8 muscle cars and nothing to sell. They won't be able to borrow three years' worth of operating expenses to keep the lights on until they can literally rush something through the development process. And even if they manage to do so, how good a product do you recon it'll be at that point?

 

I agree that lead time to develop new economy cars would leave Ford Dealers hanging without product. Unless.. Ford is hedging their bets on this by not eliminating cars from their Lincoln brand. Should Ford Truck and SUV sales tank I would not be surprised to see Ford rebadge the Lincoln brand cars with Ford Blue Ovals and pass them off as Fords until they could develop new, actual Ford cars.

 

While I am not an expert on the CAFE Standards I do have to wonder about Ford's exit from the car market and it's impact on their CAFE numbers.

At one point in time I thought that automakers could use high MPG credits from small cars to off-set low MPG numbers on SUVs and Trucks under the CAFE Rules. If that has not changed, then Ford getting rid of small cars would appear to put more pressure on Ford for their SUVs and Trucks to make the CAFE numbers all on their own. If the CAFE Standards do not allow such credits and a vehicle has to stand on it's own to meet the MPG Standards then Ford dropping their cars would have no negative impact on the CAFE standards.

12 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Toyota and Honda are thinking about what they're going to be doing in 2030. They have always taken the long view, which is why they often seem late to the party (see: big trucks and V8 luxury cars) but it's also why they are not left flat-footed when things go to pieces. Americans just can't seem to figure out how to plan past end-of-month bonuses and getting shareholders paid this quarter. And THAT is what will finally kill the domestic auto industry--their own short-sightedness and assuming that the way things are today is how they always will be. It nearly killed them in the 1970s, it will polish them off in the 2020s.

 

Toyota's long term thinking is actually one of the reasons why they have been so very slow when it comes to engine and drivetrain changes in their Tundra pickup truck. Critics of the Tundra have hammered Toyota from not updating the 5.7L V8 and it's 6 speed transmission since it was introduced in 2007. The Tundra has the lowest MPG numbers in the 1/2 ton truck class. Toyota also realized a long time ago that trying to grab a big marketshare in the 1/2 ton truck class Tundra was not possible given Ford's domination nor was it in their best financial interest either. They also stayed out of the 3/4 ton and 1 ton markets because it did not make good business sense to do so. Toyota is happy to build 110,000 to 120,000 Tundras a year and sell every one of them and not have to worry about offering 10-20K in incentives to clear their inventory at the end of every model year. The Toyota Truck plant in Texas has been running at Max capacity building Tundra and Tacomas for a number of years now which has to make the Toyota bean counters and management happy.

 

Speaking of Tacomas, Toyota also has taken a long view on this model. When Ford and GM left the small truck market years ago they said the sales and profitability numbers were the main reason for leaving. Toyota stayed in this market virtually alone for years and built that market up in terms of volume and profits. Funny how in recent years GM and soon Ford are reentering this market and spending BIG $$$$ to do it.

 

Sadly many businesses that cannot think long term will cease to exist leaving only the long term players left playing the game. Higher gas prices, higher inflation and an economic downturn are only a matter of time. The only question will be which automakers will survive under conditions liker that.

 

Speaking of changes, the next generation of the Tundra could be VERY interesting when it comes out in a few years from what I understand. With recent production changes at the Toyota Truck plant it appears that Toyota intends to sell more Tundras and is increasing the plant's ability to make them while still more than meeting the sales demand for Tacomas.

 

The next 3-5 years in the automotive industry should be very interesting. Stay tuned.

 

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I'm not at all impressed by the auto-shut off feature on new cars now. I rented a Chevy Malibu two years ago and it had it. The rental company didn't warn me about it. It almost scared me the first time it shut off at a red light. I figured out right away what it but I didn't like it. I wondered about the future reliability of these things while I drove it. I did figure out how to get around it. I made sure I didn't press down on the brake pedal all the way so it didn't cut out at a light. It was a nice car but it had so many gadgets that I didn't care for. It was like a smart phone full of apps I never use and as a complicated to figure out without spending hours trying to read a manual. It was challenging to just figure out the A/C, radio and even lighting controls. I don't think it even started as simply turning a key.

I like simplicity. That's another reason I will never buy another new car and I will avoid buying anything used from this era in the future.

That's also why I'm a fan of most of the cars discussed on this site.

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10 minutes ago, Bleach said:

I'm not at all impressed by the auto-shut off feature on new cars now. I rented a Chevy Malibu two years ago and it had it. The rental company didn't warn me about it. It almost scared me the first time it shut off at a red light. I figured out right away what it but I didn't like it. I wondered about the future reliability of these things while I drove it. I did figure out how to get around it. I made sure I didn't press down on the brake pedal all the way so it didn't cut out at a light. It was a nice car but it had so many gadgets that I didn't care for. It was like a smart phone full of apps I never use and as a complicated to figure out without spending hours trying to read a manual. It was challenging to just figure out the A/C, radio and even lighting controls. I don't think it even started as simply turning a key.

I like simplicity. That's another reason I will never buy another new car and I will avoid buying anything used from this era in the future.

That's also why I'm a fan of most of the cars discussed on this site.

 

The auto shut-off does feel weird, doesn't it? I think it's especially strange to us in the hobby simply because we're so used to being vigilant to an engine's operation. An engine that mysteriously dies in traffic is our absolute worst nightmare around here!

 

I also agree that cars are getting too complex. I will probably replace my Cadillac CTS wagon in the next year or so, but I don't want a car with MORE computerized stuff so I'm holding off. Right now, the Cadillac sort-of starts with a key. All you have to do is put it in and turn it once and it starts itself, but newer cars just have buttons and you don't even need a key. There have been accidents because a driver didn't know how to shut off a push-button car in an emergency. We've had rental cars with remote fobs where Melanie was driving it with the fob in her purse, then I jumped in and drove to the store--when I came out, guess what? No fob, no go. Yet I was able to drive the car there without it. That's just idiotic. Since when did keys become too complex for drivers?

 

I'd also like to be able to decide when my headlights come on, but on the Cadillac, there's no real way to override it unless I turn it off manually every time I get in the car. And the headlights and instrument lights are not connected, so when I start my car in the garage, it thinks its dark so the dashboard goes dim for night driving. I'm usually most of the way to work before the computer wakes up and realizes that it's not dark and lets me see the instruments again. Forget changing the radio station, I can't see the screen, it's too dim. Just let me decide for myself, OK? This isn't helpful. At all.

 

That said, my wife drives a Suburban every day and even though her commute to our shop is only 3 miles each way, we're probably going to get another more thrifty car for her to drive daily. Driving that monster adds up, even with such short distances and with gas being cheap at about $2.40/gallon. Every little bit helps, and Ford is simply walking away from that entire idea. I hope it doesn't ruin them--gas won't be cheap forever, someone in management has to understand that.

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Auto shut-off, along with tire pressure monitors and back-up cameras are the latest manifestations of a decades-long involvement in vehicle engineering and design by the federal government. Average consumers are assumed to be unaware of this as auto maker's ads bugle these devices as no-cost features. How many thousands less would basic transportation cost without these things?

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My 2010 Accent was the first car I bought new and will most likely be the last I would even consider.  5 speed manual,{a 6 speed would have been nice my commute is 50 miles each way of largely highway driving} no electronic gadgets at all, roll up windows, no AC. So bare bones that even in 2010 it was hard to find . 99% of the Accent's that Hyundai  dealers had in stock had far more bells and whistles.  And at a far higher sticker price. I just needed; and was willing to pay for, a very basic commuter. The Accent was one of the few on offer.

 

Greg in Canada

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Our last new car, an '06 MDX, offered a back up camera as optional. There were two cars on the lot we looked at, one with, one without. We chose without because the camera feature was too distracting and we still had and have a habit of looking behind us when we back up. The camera also came with a navigation feature which I knew would get outdated because of the continual new roads getting added. I've also had less than accurate results from navigation systems. Google maps has worked fine in addition to my old Thomas Guide. I think this added technology would have added an extra 2-3K to the selling price. There are a lot of things the Acura has I can do without but you could not buy one without them. We could have bought a Honda Pilot, which was built on the same platform, for slightly less at the time and with less gadgets but we didn't like its looks compared to the MDX. My wife was going to be the primary driver and the Pilot was too truck like for her when compared to the MDX.

The current MDX model today with all the additional "technology" they come with now nearly costs twice as much as we paid in 2006.

By the way we did not even consider a comparable domestic model because of their poor reliability ratings at the time. I really did my homework and it paid off. We haven't had a lick of trouble in the nearly 12 years of ownership.

Edited by Bleach (see edit history)
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Rear cameras are great for parallel parking, if you still do that yourself! ?

You can tell if that is one or two inches left between your bumper and the car behind you. No more bump to park like in the old days....

 

And, you can choose to not look at it! Mirrors are still mandatory, although some interior rear view mirrors are cameras.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Frantz said:

They build em in Spain now. But the Transit Connect has at least always been built by Ford, it's not just some other brands vehicle rebadged a la Chevy

When I was in the industry no one ever asked for a Taurus that I can remember, and Fusions were generally for old people. The old saying, you can sell a young car to old people but not an old car to young people. Personally I don't care for that outcome as an owner of a Fiesta, and someone who likes luxury without all the technology, but Ford probably only made a few bucks on me and my crank window manual Fiesta....

Yeah, nobody give a d--n about older people, except if they can get their money.  If any of these companies had built a decent sized CAR instead of these gas guzzling SUV's and pickup truckes (a Buick Park Avenue for example, ugly but a truly great car) then trucks wouldn't necessarily have run off with the market.  It was all a plan.....a devious plan by Detroit big-shots to build a one-size-fits-all vehicle.  Young people today have no idea how great it was to come of age in the 1950's when beautiful, multi-colored cars, with multi-colored option interiors were offered.  The people running the car companies were babies in the 1950's if at live at all.  

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I'm interested to see how Ford will retool the Torrence Avenue plant here in Chicago - the local paper said that once the plant ends Taurus/Police Interceptor sedan production, it'll start making the 2020 Lincoln Navigator, with anticipated staffing to remain at the current levels (4,000 workers).  Also, they said that the stamping plant in the south suburbs will feel 'no immediate effect' on its 1,200 workers.

 

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Speaking of police cruisers, all law enforcement now seems to be going with SUV's, police, sheriff, etc. That is not to say literally all, without exception, but everywhere I look policing is being done in SUV's.

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"Although the overall bailout efforts turned a profit, the auto rescue did not. With Friday’s announcement, taxpayers were left with a $9.5 billion loss. Most of that came from General Motors, which paid back about $39 billion of the $49.5 billion invested. "

 

alot of diff thoughts on the bailout being paid back............... and with very little interest.......................

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