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Ford Now a Solid 2nd in Europe

Product-led revival.

by on Sep.12, 2011

Ford will introduce the new Evos Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The launch of a flood of new vehicles is paying off for Ford Motor Co. as its European turnaround efforts take hold. At the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show the maker will reveal an assortment of new products and concept vehicles that should reveal whether it can continue to gain momentum.

The maker is earning a steady improvement in sales and market share in Europe – strong demand in  Germany for the Focus and C-MAX helping Ford increase sales 19.3% in August to 72,200 vehicles, while  its share rose 0.8 percentage points to 8.2% for the month, Ford’s best August share performance in Europe since 1998.

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Ford is now the number-two best-selling brand in Europe behind Volkswagen for the year-to-date. Through the first eight months of the year, Ford European sales have grown 2.8% to more than 1.05 million units.

“We had a very strong August compared with a year ago and compared with the rest of the industry, which is a testament to our strengthened product lineup,” said Stephen Odell, Ford of Europe’s chairman and CEO, on the eve of Ford’s IAA Frankfurt Motor Show media preview.

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First Look: Ford Evos Concept

Ford puts on a new face.

by on Aug.31, 2011

Ford will introduce the new Evos Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Automotive journalists may hate the phrase “design language” due to its prevalence in the industry, but there’s a reason so many designers, executives, and PR people use it. Most automakers are looking to create a unified theme throughout their brand, hence the use of “design” as a “language.” Ford is no different – and the new Evos Concept shows that the maker is switching dialects.

Take a peek at Ford’s consumer Web site and look at all the similarities between the company’s vehicles, particularly those introduced or redesigned in the past few years. Or think for a second about the company’s “One Ford” mission, which aims to streamline product variation across global markets, thus reducing costs.

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The Evos Concept will introduce Ford’s newest design language at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. The name, the maker confirms, suggests this is an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary shift.  But the impact, if the show car is any indication, will still be significant.

The Evos concept looks like a two-door sports coupe but offers four gull-wing doors. While those doors and other high-zoot concept features likely won’t see production (more on that in a bit), and it’s unclear if the Evos itself will ever roll down an assembly line, the takeaway here is that the concept reveals the basic design cues that most Ford vehicles across the globe will share in the coming years.

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First Look: Ford Vertek Concept

“A not so subtle hint at where we’re headed.”

by on Jan.10, 2011

"A hint of what's to come," much of what you see in the Ford Vertek concept vehicle will reappear in the next-generation Ford Escape.

While you won’t see the new Ford Vertek concept vehicle roll into your local showroom anytime soon, it’s more than the typical fantasy-in-chrome show car.

The prototype, making its debut at the Detroit Auto Show, this morning, is “a not so subtle hint at where we’re headed,” suggests Ford’s global design chief J Mays.

And what that means is that a significant number of styling cues from this SUV prototype will reappear on the next-generation Ford Escape due to launch later this year.

The Vertek underscores the changing nature of the compact SUV market.  When Ford first launched its Escape, just over a decade ago, buyers wanted vehicles that maintained traditionally boxy ute styling.  Today, competitors like the Toyota RAV4 have been adopting a more rounded, “cute-ute” design language.

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