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Ford Cuts Production of C-Max, Focus to Offset Oversupply

Maker introducing new Transit Connect Taxi to Hong Kong.

by on Oct.22, 2013

Ford is cutting production on the C-Max. It has a 122-day supply of the car: double the ideal number.

Ford Motor Co. continues working to balance its global business by implementing its first significant production cuts in more than a year while pushing plans to open a new market for Ford-made taxi cabs in southern China.

Ford officials said the automaker will temporarily stop producing the Focus and C-Max at the Michigan Assembly plant for two weeks this fall to reduce growing inventories. The assembly plant will be idle for the weeks of Oct. 28 and Dec. 16.

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Inventory of the C-Max, which has been hurt by challenges to its fuel-economy rating, has crept up to a 122-day supply, which is double what most automakers consider as a desirable. With the government shutdown unfolding, Focus started October with a 71-day supply. (more…)

Ode to the Lead Sleds

The meter expires on America's favorite taxi.

by on Sep.06, 2011

King of the Road. The Crown Victoria was a favorite with cab fleets, especially in New York.

The latest sales numbers saw a steady increase in demand for small cars and crossovers but there were a few anomalies.  Based on the sales of the Ford Crown Victoria you might have thought it was the hottest new product on the market.  Anything but.  Long beyond its original life expectancy the Crown Vic – the Panther platform to Ford insiders – is finally headed for the automotive rust heap.

Within days, the last Panther will have rolled off the assembly line at Ford Motor Company’s St. Thomas, Ontario, assembly plant. Through the 27th of August, the plant had produced 60,376 Crown Victorias, 10,390 Lincoln Town Cars and 165 Mercury Grand Marquis since the first of January 2011.

Last week, the production count was 1,724 Crown Vic—all to fill police or taxi orders—and 280 Town Cars. Not bad for a dead, but not quite gone, and certainly venerable, automobile family.

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Never heard of the Panther? That was the code name that Ford Engineering and Product Planning folks assigned to the all-new “down-sized big car” that went on sale in the fall of 1978 as a 1979 model. In those days, Ford gave names such as Panther, Fox and Wyoming to all-new designs under development. No one could have predicted then that the basic Panther design would endure through thick and thin for 33 years.


NY Approves Use of Nissan Altima, Ford Transit Connect Taxis

Makers also plan to test viability of pure battery-electric cabs.

by on Jul.22, 2011

The Ford Transit Connect will go into service on the streets of NY, next year, as will the Nissan Altima.

Fuggedabout about the “Taxi of Tomorrow.”  New Yawkers want to know what they’ll be hailing when they get off work today.  And, it seems, the list of vehicles going into the Big Apple’s taxi fleet is about to grow a bit larger.

Authorities at the New York Taxis and Limousine Commission, or TLC, have given their approval to Nissan to start striping yellow paint on its Altima sedan, while Ford has gotten the go-ahead for converting the Transit Connect van – which is already proving popular with taxi fleets in other parts of the country.

The new offerings will fill the void that’s opening up now that Ford has ended production of the long-running taxi-of-choice, the Crown Victoria.

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“For decades, Ford has been synonymous with New York City taxis, and we are pleased residents and tourists now will benefit from our next-generation vehicle,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “We have Transit Connect Taxis in service across the country, and people tell us they love its spaciousness and its fuel efficiency.”