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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/11/2007 at 17:55
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There was a discussion in another forum that mentioned Ford.  One of our forum members apparently works for Ford and he has mentioned some changes that are happening at Ford that should result in much improved products.

I figured this is a good opportunity to ask him (whatever he can tell us) about what is happening at Ford that is of interest to a consumer.

My family and friends have owned a bunch of different cars from many makers in the 15 years we've been in America.  That included 2 Chryslers, 3 Fords, 2 GMs, 4 Subarus, 5 Toyotas, 2 Nissans, 3 BMWs, 2 Mercedes', 3 Hondas.  Then there were quite a few others that I have had reasonable familiarity with

Trucks are of absolutely zero interest to me.  New F150 may be great, but I have no use for it.  My interest is primarily in compact to midsize sedans or hatchbacks and midsize SUVs/crossovers.

While nothing that we've owned is quite as crappy as the two Chryslers, the Ford and GM were up there as well (with a notable exception of a Corvette which shook itself loose almost as fast any Chrysler I've seen).  The American cars we've had were uniformly such god-aweful exercises in bad engineering and piss-poor quality control that we went over to Japanese companies and never looked back.  There was a short stint by some family members with German cars that drove great, but broke way to frequently (and cost a lot to fix).  Either way, unless there is no alternative I will not buy a German car.  So far, we've had the best experiences with Toyotas and Subarus. 

I have not even considered an American car the last few times we were heading to the dealership.

What is happening at Ford, that will make me consider it a viable choice again?

My wife will need a new car in a year or so and she likes the look of Mazda CX-9.  What can I expect from it?

Given similar quality, I will buy an American car rather than a Japanese one.

ILya
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first off mazada and ford interchange trucks the titan is an f-150 and i believe that ford is a truck company, and honda and toyotas are put together in indiana and ohio, ford missed the bus with the whole hybrid movement imo, and i'm sorry but you quit making your best selling car?????
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Mazda is owned by Ford.  Mazda and Ford trucks, are one and the same with different labels. 

Nissan Titan is an F150? I have not heard that before.  I am not aware of any partnerships between Ford and Nissan.  Are you sure?

I could not care less where Toyota and Honda put their cars together as long as the build quality remains good.

ILya
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god i keep thinking titan, now i can think of the damn name of the mazda truck, your right. im just saying that japanese cars are made here and usa cars are made in mexico.
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dodge, a tin can with tires they have a great diesel engine to bad the rest of the truck isnt up to the same standards. the problem with ford is they quit using the 7.3 the 6.0 imo is a pile. but other than that the super duty imo is a tough as they come, take the beating better than anything out there to bad the ride isnt near a smooth as a silverado.
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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

There was a discussion in another forum that mentioned Ford.  One of our forum members apparently works for Ford and he has mentioned some changes that are happening at Ford that should result in much improved products.

What is happening at Ford, that will make me consider it a viable choice again?


ILya

 

Let me address Ford as sometimes investor in that company.  I have held Ford stock and made a little money off of it.  I will not currently hold Ford stock. Here is the reason, when you read Ford's annual report you will see that the ownership of the company is Bi-polar.  Let me explain a little more.  The Ford family owns a major block of stock.  The family is being made up of fewer car people and more second and third generation trust fund babies who do not have to "work".  Those family members are more "Paris Hilton", than car design.  Their sphere of influnace tells then that they should use this giant company to change the the world for the "collective" good.  Thus screwing the rest of the share holders, by demanding projects that waste money. 

 

     

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/11/2007 at 19:33
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Thanks for moving this topic over here Ilya.

There is no doubt that in past years we have made mistakes in the American auto industry. We have misjudged markets and ignored others. Poor decisions combined with the realities of energy costs have hurt us tremendously. But the problem is much deeper than just that.

At Ford Motor Company we have been and always will be bullish on trucks. This hurt is in the last few years because of the rising cost of fuel. We did not diversify our car lines and when gas costs went up we were in the midst of redesigns on our sport utility and pick up trucks. We got caught with our pants down so to speak. This will not happen again.

Ford trucks will continue to have some of the brightest and best automotive engineers creating, testing and bringing to market excellent products. We have always strived to be the best. We cannot afford to let our guard down. Everyone wants to be us when it comes to trucks. We are number one in sales. This is not because we rest on our laurels but because we work very hard at it. The gas price increases came at a time when a major redesign was done on the Expedition. I have driven the new model and it far surpasses my wifeís older one. The stiffness of the chassis

and the new power train is the best of any full size sport utility I have been in. A test vehicle I drove with 5.4 gas engine averaged 19 mpg over 1000 miles. This is combined highway, city and off-road. I have said the 09 F-150 is an excellent product and I think it will sell very well. There are many improvements coming especially in power train. Regarding the diesel that RM talked about. That engine is being addressed as well.

The car is where we have shot ourselves in the foot. This, too, will happen no more. We came out with a winner with the Fusion. More can be seen how this car stacks up against some very strong competition at the Motor Trend Fusion challenge.

http://www.motortrend.com/cars/2006/ford/fusion/comparisons/ competitors.html?vehicle.fullTrimId =

Ford took this approach very seriously because they wanted to know what the consumer thought.

The results are quite favorable for the Fusion.

The Ford Five Hundred is going to be re-badged as the Taurus/Mercury Sable. Ford dealers told us that showroom visitors missed the name plate. There is brand identity with the name Taurus. This was the number one selling car for years until Ford stopped paying attention to it and let it die. I can tell you this is far more than a name change. The vehicle is being re-engineered. There are power train improvements, chassis, trim and body improvements that will make this an excellent competitor in the large car segment. Also, the Taurus X will be a three row seat wagon that is replacing the Freestyle.

The Edge is another vehicle that is doing quite well. Ford worked vary hard at bringing this vehicle to the hot cross-over market. I hope that what I am bringing up here is showing a pattern. We slipped on the car and cross-over vehicle market. We are applying every resource to add to this product mix.

Small cars are an area where we have some catch up to do, also. The American Focus is a different car from the European Focus. The Euro version enjoys good success and offers features that we donít have over here like a cabriolet. This will not continue to be. It makes no sense to have different platforms for similar cars being sold in similar markets.

This brings us to Mazda. Mazda is part of the Ford family of vehicles and we have a major stake holding in them. They are as much a part of internal bench marking as Toyota is external bench marking. Their small vehicle engineering is second to none. On the manufacturing side they are lean and smart. I would not hesitate to buy one of their cars if I was not a Ford employee.

I mentioned before that Toyota had a twenty year head start on continuous improvement and lean manufacturing. At Ford we have had about 5 years of lean manufacturing. I can tell you that from the factory floor all the way to the top, everyone is involved in having a say about making our company better. This has not been easy given that a lot of our work force has been around a while. I can say with confidence that if the old ways, of people in power, deciding to make unilateral decisions without the consent of those in the know, from the plant floor on up, there would be a major revolt. Decisions are made based on data, analysis and action plans. Everyone is a part of this and I am proud to be a part of this. Ford factory workers are second to none as is our engineers. If there is a problem, be it product or manufacturing, everyone at every level is expected to take part in correcting it. This is why the quality of Ford vehicles will continue to improve. The market demands it and we demand it of ourselves.

Ford has gone even further when talk of outside the box thinking goes. Our new CEO, Alan Mullaly, came from Boeing. He is an automotive outsider. Does this matter, absolutely not. Having a plan and the discipline to follow through with it is what it takes. He was involved in Boeingís transformation following 9-11. I think that with someone like him involved there will be even fresher ideas. You will here a lot of terms in the industry about common platforms, top hat engineering and acronyms up the ying yang. These are things that are changing our industry for the good.

There are other aspects of the American auto industry that are not within our control. Legacy costs have been discussed enough. What goes around comes around and the off shore companies that have trans-plants will have their aging work forces soon enough. I will not bash these companies, they make fine products and I believe in competition. I would prefer it be on a level playing field but that just isnít the way is. Toyota makes an excellent product and so do we. They donít have some of the baggage we do. We accept the challenge, our products and our processes are moving forward faster than ever. Thatís what makes us tougher, our cars and our trucks.



Edited by tahqua
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/11/2007 at 19:57
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Thanks for the reply, tahqua.

It will be interesting to see how these new Ford vehicles do in terms of reliability. 

I've driven every Mazda car and SUV on the market today (Subaru dealership where my car is serviced is adjacent to a Mazda dealership and shares a service center) and their driving dynamics are second to none.  Unfortunately, their engines are a major letdown.  Great chassis and very decent interior ergonomics, but powertrains leave me unimpressed, to put it mildly.  2.3 turbo four runs out of steam at higher RPM.  3.0 V6 has nothing at low RPM.  Non-turbo 2.3 four has no power and makes strange sounds.  Keep in mind that my daily driver is a bare bones Subaru Impreza with a 2.5 flat four engine.  It is a direct competitor to Mazda 3 and its 2.3 liter engine.  The manual shifter is pretty good, but the automatic hunts for gears incessantly.  Personally, I prefer stick shift, but for my wife I'll have to buy an automatic.

If memory serves me right Ford Fusion and Ford Escape use the same engines.  Not sure about transmissions, but probably the same also.

The new 3.5L V6 that Mazda put into CX-9, I do not have any experience with.  Similarly, I do not know if that is a new transmission either.

I'll be following the reliability data for Ford and Mazda closely, so we'll see how it goes.  Heck, if the 3.5 liter engine proves to be a better design and the reliability is there, I'll forgive Henry Ford his bankrolling of the Nazi movement and buy a Mazda CX-9 or Ford Edge for my wife.

As for Dodge/Chrysler, it is a German company now.  It will be a cold day in hell before it gets any of my money.

I like the way you view competition and the problems with Ford.  Do you mind me asking what you do for Ford?

ILya
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The Mercury Villager was a joint effort with Nissan. This product is long gone as will be any Ford minivan. The only collaboration we have with Toyota is in hybrid technology. 
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Originally posted by rootmanslim rootmanslim wrote:

Well you bring your bowtie or power poke out to my way at 7200'.
We'll hook my 6 horse (with the horses in it) slant up to those two and my Tin Can and make the run to Salt Lake and see who gets there. Obvious you have not driven a third generation Cummins.If I want a smooth ride I get in this

Yes Virgina it's an all wheel drive Hemi
When I need a truck I get in this (that's pulling a steel 2 horse, that loaded, grosses at 4800 lbs.)

That's a 2001 4x4 2500 Cummins with 65,000 hard miles and nothing replaced except the aftermkt Aluminum bumper and wheels and tires (those are Rixon 19.5s with 10 ply radials, as USFS roads eat up normal truck tires, also 10 ply special trailer tires on the trailer)

 

in case you forgot i lived out there for 20 years i know what pulling parley's canyon is like,i also know that the cummins engine makes more torque than the dodge drive line can handle under stress they snap like toothpicks, i worked on oil field trucks for years and years and the chevs never lasted, ford took a beating and kept coming back for more the chev rides smooth but isnt built to be pounded down the rough wash board oil field roads. 65000 isnt even getting that cummins any where near to broke in, i have a cummins in a truck that has 1.5 million miles on it, and to make it worse its a dump truck, so yes i know they make one hell of an engine, but dodge is a tin can.

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the 7.3 will pull my dump truck @ 51000 pounds so 4800 pounds worth of horse and trailer isnt jack in fact my boss pulls our skidsteer which weighs 5000 pounds and the trailer is about 1000 pounds everyday and at 250000 miles the old ford hasnt missed a beat is childs play, and i am not a ford fan, just know a 7.3 is far superior to the 6.0
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/11/2007 at 20:14
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they are very cheaply built, they sound like a soda can bouncing down the dirt roads
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/11/2007 at 20:22
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I work in manufacturing engineering. I work the bridge between product and manufacturing, metal stamping tooling, specifically. We have excellent communication between manufacturing and product, better than ever.
 Die stamping tooling is taking it on the chin, from the Pacific rim in particular. This isn't us against the Japanese either. Their biggest supplier, Ogihara, has just as big of concerns about Korea and China as we do. No one can afford to rest in this global economy. I have to add that the misconception that the Chinese are using cheap labor at the expense of equipment is wrong. Cheap labor, yes. But, they have state of the art die shops with the most modern five axis machining centers available.
I know the history on the Ford plants in Germany, also. It is a dark moment in Ford history. This is something we have to deal with.  With that said, Ford Motor Company has a very diverse work force and I am very comfortable with that.
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I do not think modern day Ford company is in any way responsible for Henry Ford's antisemitism.  I said that as a joke of a sort.  If Ford provides me with a reliable and well performing product I will buy it.

As for Chinese manufacturing, back when I was in telecom I spent a lot of time dealing with Chinese supplier (microoptics for the most part).  It is inda hit and miss with the Chinese.  Some know what they are doing, but some have a few things to learn.  One company claimed that they have a Class 10000 cleanroom.  When I went over there they had a window in that cleanroom that was wide open to the garden behind the building.

ILya
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i should just say that in as many auto accidents that i have been on in my 10 years of being a firefighter, any time a dodge pickup has been in an accident it was totally destroyed last fall a guy with a 2500 similar to yours hit a buick regal head on the front axle on the 2500 landed behind the rear axle and the regal was totaled but the guy in the dodge died, the guy in the buick walked away with two broken legs, i saw a chev 2500 hit by 5, 8 foot long popular logs heading for the paper mill at highway speeds and all it did was break a rim, air bag went off but the guy was fine

 

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That last part is pretty funny, ILya. I hope I didn't sound like I was getting sensitive. I have many books on Ford and they are good reading for me. There is a lot of history that is not good. The battle of the overpass with Walter Reuther by Ford security thugs being one of the more notorious stories as are the Nazi plants.
I started from the bottom as a cleaner, went into security, and became a tool and die journeyman through the apprenticeship. They have sent me through the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Michigan campus in Dearborn. I have been lucky and have seen a lot. I do want them to be a better company, warts and all. I am thankful to FoMoCo.
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It sounds like FoMoCo treated you well, tahqua, and you are responding with loyalty and dedication to your job.  I have a lot of respect for that.

ILya

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Thank you, ILya, I appreciate that. Good luck with your next car. They are getting better every day. 

Edited by tahqua
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I want to comment on my trucks.

1. The first was a 1997 F250 HD Power stroke regular cab 4X4.

I really liked this truck a lot, it had all the power I needed . I was getting 20.5 mpg with stock tires and when I would put 33-12.50s it would get around 16.7 mpg.

I ran it for 136,000 and other than the usual oil changes , tires ,ect I replaced 1-fan belt ,wiper blades, 2 batteries , brakes, a RABS sensor and that was it.

 

2. After I got married and a couple kids the old 97 regular cab wasnít cutting it so I got a 2001 F250 SD 4X4 Power stroke 4 door . It had 33-12.50s on it and it got 16 mpg . It had a lot of room in it and I liked the cup holder arrangement ,center consol , leg room , it was comfortable to drive.

I only kept it for 98,000 . It had some electrical problems and I had to replace a wheel baring/hub, water pump, wipers ,1 fan belt, 2 batteries, 2 head lights , brakes and 1 cam position sensor.

 

3. Last year I spotted a new 06 HEMI 2500 quad cab 4X4 HD bighorn , 6 speed for an excellent deal so I got it. I did not test drive it far enough. First this truck is very smooth riding and handles well, it goes through sand and mud very well. I have 15,000 miles on it now.

If it does not have a load in it, it is pretty fast but if you put a ATV or a big load in the back ( and this is only my opinion ) it is very disappointing .

It has stock tires and all I can get out of it without a load is 13.4 mpg.

When I pull 2 atvs on a little single axle trailer I only get 9.5 mpg at best. This is 400 miles of pretty flat highway/ freeway. if i go up big hills I am down to 4th at about 5000 rpm with the atvs.  there is a lot of things I like about the dodge but there is a lot of little conveniences I like about the ford better. I will  go back to a ford diesel next time! Soon I hope!

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Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

I do not think modern day Ford company is in any way responsible for Henry Ford's antisemitism.  I said that as a joke of a sort.  If Ford provides me with a reliable and well performing product I will buy it.

As for Chinese manufacturing, back when I was in telecom I spent a lot of time dealing with Chinese supplier (microoptics for the most part).  It is inda hit and miss with the Chinese.  Some know what they are doing, but some have a few things to learn.  One company claimed that they have a Class 10000 cleanroom.  When I went over there they had a window in that cleanroom that was wide open to the garden behind the building.

ILya

I guess I could have been more clear. The garden thing is funny. That is interesting reading about the various grades of clean rooms. Good info............



Edited by tahqua
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Originally posted by tahqua tahqua wrote:

Originally posted by koshkin koshkin wrote:

I do not think modern day Ford company is in any way responsible for Henry Ford's antisemitism.  I said that as a joke of a sort.  If Ford provides me with a reliable and well performing product I will buy it.

As for Chinese manufacturing, back when I was in telecom I spent a lot of time dealing with Chinese supplier (microoptics for the most part).  It is inda hit and miss with the Chinese.  Some know what they are doing, but some have a few things to learn.  One company claimed that they have a Class 10000 cleanroom.  When I went over there they had a window in that cleanroom that was wide open to the garden behind the building.

ILya

I guess I could have been more clear. The garden thing is funny. That is interesting reading about the various grades of clean rooms. Good info............



I understood what you meant.  I am not sure how familiar with cleanrooms you are, but here is a brief explanation of the standards:

The measure of the air quality of a clean room is described in Federal Standard 209. Clean rooms are rated as "Class 10,000," where there exists no more than 10,000 particles larger than 0.5 microns in any given cubic foot of air; "Class 1000," where there exists no more than 1000 particles; and "Class 100," where there exists no more than 100 particles. Hard disk drive fabrication requires a Class 100 clean room.

The company I was dealing with apparently got their lab certified to Class 10000, but then decided that they need some fresh air and put a window into the wall.  Imagine this picture:  I see a bunch of people in white coveralls that you have to wear in the cleanroom, with protective boot coverings, facemasks so that you do not breath on the parts, head coverings to preven loose hair from falling onto the parts and...  an open window to the garden exposing the whole lab to the elements.

My jaw dropped.  I have seldom laughed as hard as I did when tearing up the contract that I had planned to sign with them.

ILya
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My Ford experiences.

 

I owned my own concrete construction company for several years, before I got burnt out and went to work for a friend.

 

I started with a 1997 F-250 Power Stroke. Zero problems, great power, great truck. 80,000 miles.

 

Traded for a 2000 F-250 Power Stroke Lariat. I loved that truck!!

180,000 BRUTAL driving miles on it before I got rid of it.

ZERO problems.

 

I pulled skid steers, hauled broken slabs of concrete, 3 riding troweling machines at a time, up and down the damn road, all over the Carolinas.  

That truck averaged 16.9 miles to the gallon (by the computer.)

 

Traded for a used 2004 F150 w/ a 4.6.

Not real happy with that one.

Drove like a sports car, but it had several minor electrical issues that I couldn't seem to solve. 

Still was a good truck, but I think I missed "Big Whitey" my beloved 2000 F-250 so much, that I didn't give the '04 150 a fair chance.

 

Right now, I'm driving a company 2003 F-250 with a 4.9. 134,000 miles.

This is a great knock down, drag out pick up truck!! 

I have hauled God awful piles of fire wood from 50 miles away and further.

ZERO problems to date.

 

I'm a Ford truck guy!!

Even the high end trucks don't have all the Astro Geek crap, digital stuff on them.

ON/OFF...HOT/COLD....Simple design for dummy construction guys tear assing down the road.

 

Dodge pick ups???   

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The Cummins is a very good engine. The 6.4 Navistar that replaced the 6.0 is also a very good engine. Ford sells more diesel pick ups than Dodge and GM combined.

"Ford has sold 1.3 million diesel-powered F-Series pickups in the U.S. since 2001. On an annual basis, Ford sells more diesel-powered pickup trucks than Chevrolet and Dodge combined. Nearly three-quarters of all Ford Super Duty trucks are sold with the Power Stroke diesel.

Ford is engineering in even higher levels of quality into the new Power Stroke engine, and will continue to offer the industry's best warranty and roadside assistance package, which covers diesel engines for 5 years or 100,000 miles." More information is available @

 http://media.ford.com/ or  http://media.ford.com/newsroom/feature_display.cfm?release=2 3711

They can not afford to have engines like the 6.0 and the issue has been addressed.

As good as the Cummins is the Duramax seems to get along fine, without much fanfare, either.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/12/2007 at 19:46
pyro6999 View Drop Down
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OT TITAN

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30 years straight #1 selling truck in the world, hard to argue with that kind of history and i drive a bow tie.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/12/2007 at 23:27
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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As nice as the new Viper is, I'll take this thank you very much.....

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