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Posts Tagged ‘Ford Focus’

Ford Set to Double Mexican Production

New plant could handle planned “Prius-fighter.”

by on Feb.08, 2016

Ford CEO Mark Fields is trying to find ways to reduce production costs of small cars and upcoming battery-electric models.

Ford Motor Co. will more than double production in Mexico, according to several reports, by both adding a new plant and increasing production in the Latin American nation.

The maker reportedly expects to put the focus on hybrids and smaller cars that are hard to economically justify building in the U.S. market. That includes the Ford Focus and C-Max models currently being produced at a suburban Detroit plant. But could also include a planned “Prius-fighter” meant to take on the popular Toyota hybrid.

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Ford had earlier indicated plans to shift production of the Focus and C-Max but declined to comment on the latest reports about Mexico.

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Ford Moving Two Key Models from Michigan to Mexico?

Maker confirms move but insists it has not decided on final location.

by on Jul.09, 2015

The 2016 Ford Focus.

(This story has been updated reflecting comments by Ford.)

In a surprise announcement, Ford said it will move two key models from a suburban Detroit assembly plant to another factory when they’re redesigned in 2018. There has been widespread news reportage indicating the Ford Focus and C-Max models will be shifted to Mexico, but the maker has said a final production site has not yet been determined.

The news come shortly after Ford announced it would drop a third shift at the Michigan Assembly Plant due to weak sales of the products built there, including the Ford Focus and the C-Max.

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The announcement also precedes by barely two weeks the start-up of quadrennial contract talks between the second-largest Detroit automaker and the United Auto Workers Union. That has at least one well-placed labor source wondering whether the decision, more than three years ahead of the actual move, might be a bargaining ploy.

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Ford Cuts Shift, 700 Jobs, at Key Michigan Plant

Cutbacks spread as American motorists shift from small cars to SUVs.

by on Apr.24, 2015

The Ford Focus has been losing momentum despite receiving some updates for 2015.

Weak passenger car sales have prompted Ford Motor Co. to eliminate a shift at a Michigan assembly line that builds compact and battery vehicles, including the Focus and Focus EV.

With gasoline prices dropping to their lowest level in years, demand for SUVs has been rising while prompting a sharp slide in sales of smaller and alternative-fuel vehicles, like this built at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. The announcement, which will impact 700 Ford workers, comes on top of General Motors’ decision to temporarily idle production of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid at a plant nearby.

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“Ford will be working to redeploy affected hourly employees (affected by the cuts) and they will be considered first for southeast Michigan opportunities as they become available,” the automaker said in a statement.

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New Ford Focus Anticipates Spin-Outs

Compact model predicts problems before they occur.

by on Feb.09, 2015

Ford adopts a new version of electronic stability control when it launches the 2016 Focus.

Anyone who has had to face driving on snowy roads this winter knows what can happen when you hit a patch of black ice, especially when you’re going into a corner or trying to stop.

Ford Motor Co. claims to be launching a new version of electronic stability control that not only intervenes once a car begins to spin, but which “can predict a spin before it even begins.“

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“By recognizing scenarios that can lead to a potential loss of driver control before oversteer has developed, the enhanced transitional stability system is setting the recovery process in motion quicker than ever before – resulting in smoother, more refined control,” says David Messih, Brake Controls manager, Ford North America.

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Ford Teases New Focus RS Before February Debut

Flagship performance compact will be offered in the U.S. for first time.

by on Jan.22, 2015

Ford officials said a performance edition of the Focus, the RS, would be coming soon. Now we get a glimpse.

At an end-of-the-year briefing at company headquarters in Michigan, Ford officials confirmed that the maker would be launching an all-new version of the high-performance Focus RS. They just didn’t bother to say when or where.

With the release of the first teaser video of the new RS, Ford has at least confirmed that the new model will make its world debut on Feb. 3. And while it still isn’t revealing what’s under the hood, it appears the new RS will live up to expectations for some serious muscle – some estimates running as high as 400 horsepower bursting from a 2.3-liter turbocharged four.

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The video shows an undisguised Mk3 Focus RS blasting around Ford’s Lommel Proving Grounds in Belgium, performing some aggressive drifts that have raised questions about whether the compact model will maintain its front-drive layout or, for the first time, switch to an all-wheel-drive configuration. (more…)

Ford Slashes Global Product Platform Count

Fewer platforms but more new products.

by on Jan.19, 2015

Ford's new CEO Mark Fields with the 2015 Edge, one of many new models based on Ford's global platforms.

Hoping to improve its efficiency, driving up margins and driving down costs, Ford has been pushing to eliminate as many regional product platforms as possible. And it’s found ways to go further than originally planned, according to the maker’s CEO.

It will now use just eight separate platforms for its global product line-up, said CEO Mark Fields, during an appearance at an industry confab in Detroit. That’s barely half as many as it had at the beginning of the new millennium, when Ford’s North and South American, European and Asian operations functioned as virtually autonomous entities. And it’s one lower than the goal the maker had set for itself by 2016.

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“That yields tremendous benefits to improving the rate at which we introduce new vehicles,” noted CEO Fields during his comments at the Deutsche Bank Global Industry Conference.

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Ford Focus Gains Traction in China, But 191K Recalled Due Fire Risk

Cracked fuel lines lead to second action on vehicles.

by on Sep.05, 2014

Ford is recalling more than 191,000 Focuses in China due to a fuel line leak that could lead to a fire.

Despite being late to the sales party in China, Ford has been making up for lost time, especially this year as the company – led by the Focus – is expected to sell more than 1 million vehicles.

The automaker, which earlier this year claimed the Focus was the best-selling nameplate in the world, saw its August sales rise 9% with the Focus being the catalyst for that.

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However, the good times may have come to a screeching halt today – one day after it announced its strong sales last month – with the news it is recalling more than 190,000 Ford Focus sedans built from 2009 until now due to fuel leak problems. (more…)

GM Invests $50 Million to Keep Compact Cruzing

Chevy Cruze faring well in tough market segment

by on May.02, 2014

At 46 mpg Chevy Cruze Turbo Diesel is one reason why the car is selling well in the very competitive segment.

With the next generation Cruze making its debut in China last month, General Motors has committed to building the next generation Cruze for North America in its big assembly complex in Lordstown, Ohio.

GM said is investing $50 million for a new flexible Trim Shop and upgrades to the Press Room at the Lordstown Complex for the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan.

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“This investment will enhance our customer responsiveness while providing our team with the tools and processes needed to be the best at building the next generation Cruze,” said Lordstown Plant Manager Bob Parcell. (more…)

Ford Escort Makes its Return in Beijing

No plans for U.S. revival.

by on Apr.21, 2014

Ford revives the Escort for the Chinese market.

One of Ford’s most familiar – and longest running – nameplates is about to make its return, the Detroit-based maker unveiling an all-new Escort during the Beijing Motor Show.

For those who might have already forgotten, Escort was Ford’s once-popular compact, introduced in 1968 in Europe and 1981 here in the States. It continued in production through 2002, when it was replaced in Europe by the Focus which followed across the Atlantic a year later.

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The new Chinese Ford Escort will serve to fill a gap in the compact, or C-segment of that country’s booming automotive market – which now accounts for 25% of Chinese car sales — and the automaker hopes Escort will deliver some added momentum in a bid to catch up to rivals like General Motors and Volkswagen. Ford was a latecomer to the Chinese market but has experienced spectacular growth there over the last couple years.

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Ford, Toyota Continue Scrap over Small Car Sales

Japanese maker claims victory by just 906 Corollas.

by on Apr.15, 2014

Toyota is claiming the Corolla was the best-selling nameplate in the world in 2013.

The Battle of Worldwide Budget Sales continued today. Less than a week after Ford touted the Focus as the world’s best-selling nameplate, Toyota is saying not so fast.

The debate over the best-selling car in the world has gone back and for between Ford and Toyota for a few years now with Toyota claiming the Corolla has been the top dog. However, Ford has countered that Toyota pads its numbers with variants of the Corolla that really bear little resemblance to the maker’s entry-level model.

Playing it Safe!

However, this year may be different. (more…)