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Ford Going Upscale in Europe with Vignale Line

Automaker shows luxury options at Geneva Motor Show.

by on Mar.01, 2016

The new Ford Edge Vignale is part of the expansion of the maker's luxury efforts in Europe.

Ford is banking on the possibility that European drivers like well-equipped, luxury-level crossovers too as it expands its Vignale from one vehicle to five models in the months ahead.

The first entries in the luxury crossover line-up were introduced at the Geneva Motor Show: the new Ford Edge Vignale – the company’s first entry into the upscale SUV market in Europe – and the new Ford S-MAX Vignale.

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The automaker revealed earlier that it would move in this direction as it looked for ways to differentiate itself from the competition in Europe and remain profitable in the years ahead. In addition, revealed for the first time was the Ford Mondeo Vignale five-door model that will go on sale in 2017, and a concept version of a forthcoming Ford Kuga Vignale. (more…)

Ford Facing the “Squeeze” in Europe

But new President Jim Farley still sees reason to be upbeat.

by on Mar.10, 2015

Ford of Europe Pres. Jim Farley during the Geneva unveiling of the maker's new Focus RS.

Ford Motor Co. may finally be turning the corner after years of losses in its European operations. But while things are generally moving in the right direction, Ford’s new European President Jim Farley warns that the carmaker is facing what he calls the big “squeeze.”

The Detroit maker, like crosstown rival General Motors, has been struggling for years to turn things around in Europe. Though it had hoped to approach breakeven last year, Ford still posted a $433 million European loss during the final quarter of 2014, and $1.1 billion for the full year.

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It remains to be seen if it can meet its target this year. But there’s clear momentum, stressed Farley, during an interview in Geneva. “We’re going to make progress, despite the headwinds, in our financials.”

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Ford Offers Up More – But Not Everything – On New Focus RS and GT Supercar

Breaking Update: Ford confirms GT production will be limited to 250 annually for "several years."

by on Mar.03, 2015

The new Ford Focus RS will put out at least 320 horsepower and be built at one plant in France.

This story has been revised with updated GT production information, Ford confirming it will build just 250 of the new GT ultracars annually for a limited run.

Ford intends to take on some of the toughest competitors in the hot-hatch market when it launches an all-new version of the Focus RS for 2016. And after giving a select group of media a preview last month, the Detroit maker will be rolling out the five-door pocket rocket for public viewing this week at the Geneva Motor Show.

In a limited-access background session, senior members of the Ford performance and product development team offered some more background on the Focus RS – as well as the upcoming Ford ultracar, the reborn GT. But they continued to hold back some key details, apparently not wanting to give key competitors like Volkswagen, Honda and Subaru, a chance to prepare for what’s coming.

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“There’s quite a bit of fine-tuning that goes in right until the final hour,” stressed Jamal Hameedi, the chief engineer for Ford’s new Global Performance Vehicle unit. (more…)

Ford Grows New Tourneo Van Family

U.S. will see it as the Transit Connect Wagon.

by on Mar.05, 2013

Ford's new Tourneo Courier minivan.

Ford has been completely updating its people-mover family – what Americans prefer to call minivans – in recent months, and the latest version of the Tourneo Courier is making its debut at this week’s Geneva Motor Show.

Why does that matter to American motorists? Because it will land in the States bearing the Transit Connect Wagon badge.

“Tourneo stands for smart, do-anything vehicles that are designed for people who live life to the fullest,” boasted Barb Samardzich, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “However big your personal mission, we have a Tourneo people-mover that will help you squeeze the most out of every moment – whether that’s cycling with friends or a day with the kids.”

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Completing the updated Tourneo family and set for a European launch in the mid-2014 model-year, the maker contends the Courier will have a number of advantages over key competitors, including class-leading space, practicality, fuel economy and safety features.

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First Look: Ford B-Max

New “people-mover” coming to Geneva Motor Show.

by on Feb.03, 2012

The B-Max is the newest - and smallest - member of Ford's growing "people-mover" line-up.

While it may have walked away from the classic – and fast-shrinking — minivan market, Ford is betting big on the growing “people-mover” niche, with an all-new offering set to make its debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

The Ford B-Max will be the smallest in the fast-growing array of minivan alternatives from the Dearborn maker, slotting in beneath the C-Max, S-Max and Flex.

Geneva show-goers might get a sense of déjà vu when Ford CEO Alan Mulally lifts the covers next month.  A concept version of the Ford B-Max appeared on the PALExpo stage last year. This image offers the first look at the production version.

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Ford’s people-movers have, in general, delivered a surprising amount of room in a small package.  To further enhance the functionality of the new B-Max, the maker has removed the traditional B-Pillars between front and rear doors – they become part of the doors themselves.  With the reverse-opening latest of the rear portals that makes for a positively cavernous opening that eases the way if you’re loading in oversized cargo.

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