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Ford Adds 26K Full-Size Transit Vans to Previous Recall

Water intrusion problem impacting vehicle's electronics.

by on May.02, 2018

Ford is recalling 100K Transits in North America for a water intrusion issue.

Ford Motor Co. announced the expansion of an existing recall on its full-size Transit vans. The automaker is adding 26,000 more vehicles to the action, bringing the total number affected to just under 100,000 units.

The newly added vehicles to the initial recall, which occurred last October, were built between 2014 and 2017, the company said. These vehicles were not included in Ford’s prior action due to an identification error of certain configurations of the vehicle population.

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In affected vehicles, water intrusion into the module may result in rapid flashing of the turn signals, loss of the instrument cluster display, loss of heater and air conditioning controls, and loss of multimedia including radio, screens and SYNC system, Ford said.  (more…)

Ford Develops Tech Allowing Blind to ‘Feel the View’

Vibrations, audio feedback let blind "see" outside by touching the window.

by on May.02, 2018

Ford's "Feel The View" prototype converts pictures to vibrations that can be transmitted to a window allowing the blind to "see" outside the car.

Ford Motor Co.’s investing big in mobility ventures, but it’s latest “mobility” innovation named “Feel The View” may be among its most impressive.

The company developed a prototype car window that works in concert with another device that converts outdoor scenery at any given moment into a black-and-white picture that is then changed into vibrations of differing intensities allowing blind passengers to discern the world outside of the car “looks” like at that moment.

Innovation!

The system was designed by Ford Europe in Italy and GTB Roma, in collaboration with Aedo – a local start-up that specializes in devices for the visually impaired. (more…)

Car of the Year? Even Honda Accord Falls into a Black Hole as Sedan Sales Continue to Wither

Slumping sedan sales putting a chill on spring sales.

by on May.02, 2018

It may be new for 2018, but U.S. buyers have had only a tepid response to the latest Honda Accord.

Few recent product launches generated more buzz than the debut of the 2018 Honda Accord. Long one of the U.S. market’s best-selling nameplates, the 10th-generation sedan quickly racked up a slew of awards, including North American Car of the Year.

But despite all the rave reviews, Honda is struggling to retain momentum for the Accord. American motorists purchased just 21,751 of the sedans in April, a 19.3% year-over-year decline. And even when adjusting for the fact that April 2018 had two fewer sales days than the year before, the dip was 12.5 percent. And Honda isn’t alone. The completely redesigned 2018 Toyota  Camry, a Car of the Year runner-up, suffered a 5.0% drop in volume in April.

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“They’re both brand new vehicles and award winners, but I’m not sure that has any impact now,” said Joe Phillippi, head of AutoTrends Consulting. “Consumer tastes are changing. Everybody wants SUVs and CUVs.”

(more…)

Ford Board May Vote Next Week on Purchase of Abandoned Detroit Train Station

Purchase could anchor massive new urban campus.

by on Apr.30, 2018

The 18-story Michigan Central Station was once the world's tallest railroad depot.

Ford’s board of directors could vote next week on the widely rumored acquisition of Detroit’s long-abandoned Michigan Central Station, according to the great-grandson of the automaker’s founder Henry Ford.

If completed, the purchase would revitalize what has, for decades, served as a symbol of the Motor City’s long slide into urban decay. It would also serve as an anchor for what, according to some sources, could soon become a major campus for Ford’s mobility services efforts.

Breaking News!

The carmaker’s board “has been briefed” on the negotiations for the Michigan Central Station, and the possibility of a “big redevelopment” effort in Detroit’s southwest corner, according to board member Edsel Ford II, son of former Chairman Henry Ford II. “It doesn’t need a vote, but it requires a buy-in,” according to Edsel Ford, who spoke to reporters during a ceremony in downtown Detroit on Monday.

(more…)

EPA Reportedly Wants 25% Cut in Fuel Economy

Revised Trump plan would freeze CAFE at 2020 level.

by on Apr.30, 2018

The EPA's mileage rollback is coming just as gas prices start to surge. Critics warn automakers of a backlash if the numbers reach previous highs.

The EPA and NHTSA are expected to propose cutting the current federal fuel economy mandate by nearly 25% while also revoking the State of California’s ability to set its own tougher standards.

Embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has repeatedly signaled a desire to roll back the rules set under the Obama Administration that current target a fuel economy average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Reports based on sources at the environmental agency indicate that would drop to 41.7 mpg, the figure that the phase-in of the Obama rules would have reached by 2020. There would be no further increase, under the proposal, until 2026.

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That has triggered an outcry from consumer and environmental groups, but an even more controversial piece of the EPA draft memo would forbid California from taking steps on its own to effectively neuter the rollback. Under current law the state can set tougher tailpipe rules than the EPA and other states can adopt California’s guideline, something that could effectively require automakers to stick with the current CAFE rules.

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Ford Earns $1.7 Billion in First Quarter

Automaker accelerating efforts to cut costs.

by on Apr.26, 2018

Ford CEO Jim Hackett said the company is accelerating is cost-cutting measure and expanding their scope.

Ford reported first-quarter revenue of $42 billion and net income of $1.7 billion, or 43 cents a share, beating analysts estimates by 2 cents a share. The revenue result was a 7% increase while net income reflects a 9% increase over year-ago results.

However, the company’s pre-tax profits were $2.2 billion, a 14% drop compared with last year’s result, which was attributed to commodity price increases and unfavorable exchange rates.

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The 9% increase in quarterly profit can be almost entirely attributed to a drop in the automaker’s effective tax rate to 9% from 28.6%, Ford officials said. (more…)

And Then There Was One: Mustang. Ford Cutting Cars by 2022

Updated: Ford not only automaker shifting from cars to trucks, sport utes and crossovers.

by on Apr.26, 2018

In less than four year, these will be the only cars you can buy from Ford.

(This story has been updated to include comments and details on shifting product plans at General Motors and other manufacturers.)

The Mustang will be the last survivor.

That’s according to Ford Motor Co.’s new plan that calls for the elimination of all cars, except the original pony car, by 2022.

Industry News!

What’s left will be nothing but profit centers, or at least potential profits, as the company focuses on what consumers are really buying these days: trucks, sport-utilities and crossovers. Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed the plan during the company’s earnings call. (more…)

Japanese Surge Reveals Broader Jump in Auto Imports

Rising numbers from Japan, Mexico, Korea, China challenge Trump 

by on Apr.20, 2018

Demand for the latest version of Nissan's Rogue has contributed to an increase in imports from Japan.

When Toyota and Mazda open a new assembly plant in Alabama in 2021, it will become the latest in a growing array of automotive plants Japanese manufacturers have set up in the U.S. since the mid-1980s – yet despite investing billions in their American operations, Japanese manufacturers have also been increasing exports to the U.S. from their home market factories.

The number of Japanese-made vehicles imported into the U.S. rose almost 10% during the first quarter of 2018. And Japan wasn’t alone.  Auto imports, as a whole have actually been on the rise, whether from Korea, Europe or Mexico, the latter country shipping about 7.5% more vehicles to the U.S. in March than the year before – despite Pres. Donald Trump’s high-profile push to bring more auto production back to the States.

Trade News!

“Japan sends us million and millions of cars, and we tax them virtually not at all. And we don’t send so much product because we have trade barriers and lots of other things,” the president complained during a news conference this week while standing alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

(more…)

Walking a Tightrope: Ford Trying to Please All with New Mustang Variants

The original pony car continues to draw new fans.

by on Apr.18, 2018

The Ford Mustang is celebrating 54 years, and the current best-selling sports car in the world intends to remain so.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

You can’t stand still in the muscle car market. What’s hot today could be all but forgotten tomorrow. That’s something Ford Motor Co. learned when rival General Motors brought back the Chevrolet Camaro in 2010, delivering a sucker punch to the long-dominant Ford Mustang.

Since launching an all-new version of the Mustang to mark the nameplate’s 50th anniversary four years ago, Ford has retaken its crown as king of the pony car hill. It has now been the world’s best-selling sports car for three years in a row.

More Than Just Headlines!

And Ford is determined to maintain that lead with a series of Mustang variants set to come to market during the next 18 months. That includes not only the latest version of the GT500 but a first-ever Mustang hybrid. (more…)

Mustang: World’s Best-Selling Sports Car for Third Year in a Row

Exports to Asia and Europe pushing pony car to the top.

by on Apr.17, 2018

The Ford Mustang is the world's best-selling sports car three years running.

When the Ford Mustang turned 50, the automaker decided it was time to see just how popular the pony car was, and it began selling one of America’s first muscle cars globally.

Turned out to be a fine idea.

Industry News!

Now that the Mustang is about to turn the big Five-Four, it is also celebrating its third consecutive year as the best-selling sports car in the world, according to IHS Markit. Global Mustang registrations in 2017 totaled 125,809 cars, according to Ford. (more…)