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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Farley’

Ford’s Farley Apologizes Over Spying Flap

Says he misspoke; automakers aren’t tracking where you drive.

by on Jan.10, 2014

Jim Farley, Lincoln's brand boss and the global marketing chief for parent Ford Motor Co., is backtracking from recent comments where he said the maker was tracking driving information.

With Americans already worked up over the idea that the federal government’s National Security Agency is spying on their e-mails and phone calls, it’s likely little surprise that Ford Motor Co. Global Marketing Director Jim Farley touched off another furor this week when he told an audience at the Consumer Electronics Show that the automaker is tracking their travels thanks to their in-car navigation systems.

“We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it,” Farley said at the huge Las Vegas convention where he served as one of the headliners. The good side, he added, is that “We don’t supply that data to anyone.”

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Small comfort. Make that no comfort. With the NSA spy scandal still a matter of headlines, Ford’s apparent use of Big Brother-style technology didn’t sit very well, generating its own flurry of stories – which the Detroit maker is now trying to back away from. In a follow-up interview on CNBC, Farley apologized and backtracked away from his comments at CES.  (more…)

Ford to Re-State Fuel Economy as EPA Preps Revised Mileage Testing

Maker to acknowledge gap between sticker and real-world numbers.

by on Aug.15, 2013

Ford is about to re-state the fuel economy rating on C-Max Hybrid - and the EPA may follow with changes in its own testing and labeling procedures.

Ford Motor Co. will announce significant revisions to the fuel economy rating of its C-Max Hybrid later today, an estimated 10% reduction reflecting the gap between what has been posted on the “people-mover’s” window sticker and what most buyers are getting in real-world use.

Ford has been taking some hits for the fuel economy ratings of several vehicles, especially hybrid models, and now faces several lawsuits from disgruntled owners. But it is far from alone. A number of makers have been criticized – and occasionally sued – for what critics have called unrealistic and overly optimistic ratings.

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Manufacturers like Ford, in turn, have pointed the finger back at the Environmental Protection Administration, the federal agency overseeing mileage testing and approved mpg ratings. The EPA is expected to follow Ford’s lead by announcing on Friday that it will revise the way it determines fuel economy for vehicles – particularly hybrids, which frequently deliver lower real-world numbers than motorists were led to expect. (more…)

Lincoln Launches New Black Label Collection

“Higher level expression” debuts at Pebble Beach Concours.

by on Aug.15, 2013

Lincoln introduced two Black Label models, like the MKZ, at an event at Pebble Beach, Calif.

This story has been updated with new information.

Aiming to rebuild its credibility in the hotly competitive luxury car market, Lincoln is pulling the wraps off a new line of limited-edition products it has dubbed the Black Label Collection.

Black Label models will feature “ultra-premium” exterior and interior design “themes” specifically crafted for individual models like the Lincoln MKZ and the upcoming MKC compact crossover. But all Lincoln models eventually be offered with at least several of these customized packages.

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They will be paired with special services and support, meanwhile, including what Lincoln boss Jim Farley dubbed a “traveling trunk show,” with salespeople calling on potential buyers “at their home or office or favorite restaurant,” rather than requiring customers to come to showrooms. (more…)

MKZ Back on Track – But Lincoln Still Has Problems

New sedan gains momentum – even as the rest of the line-up slips.

by on May.31, 2013

Jim Farley, Lincoln's brand boss and the global marketing chief for parent Ford Motor Co.

It’s the classic good news/bad news situation for Lincoln this month.

On the positive side, after a painfully slow start due to production snags, the luxury marque’s new MKZ is finally gaining momentum and should set a record for the nameplate when May’s final numbers are tallied. The bad news?  As Lincoln gains ground, the rest of the luxury brand’s line-up has been slipping.

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“We’ll have the best month ever with the MKZ,” predicted Jim Farley, head of the Lincoln brand and the global marketing chief for its parent Ford Motor Co.

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Lincoln Readying Potentially Major Re-launch of MKZ

Production finally approaching “launch levels.”

by on Apr.02, 2013

The new Lincoln MKZ is now at "launch levels."

With production of the new Lincoln MKZ finally approaching “launch levels” after a costly delay in the production of the critical new luxury sedan, parent Ford Motor Co. is studying just how extensive a re-launch will be needed to put the 2013 model back on the radar for potential buyers.

The Lincoln MKZ was supposed to serve as the foundation for the revitalization of the long-struggling luxury brand. But even as the first of the sedans began rolling into showrooms late last year, Ford decided to curb production, worrying that the MKZ could fall victim to the same snags that resulted in quality problems and recalls for other new 2013 models, such as the Ford Fusion sedan and Escape crossover.

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The problem, admitted marketing chief Jim Farley, is that the carmaker went ahead with a major nationwide marketing campaign, including several costly Super Bowl spots, even without product in the showroom. That left dealers unable to serve potential buyers – some of whom are still waiting while others likely switched to competing brands.

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Ford Wants New Way to Measure Mileage

Consumers “confused” by and “tuning out” current, misleading numbers.

by on Mar.27, 2013

Jim Farley, global marketing chief at Ford Motor Co.

If you’re like most motorists, you’ve struggled to reconcile the numbers in those endless automotive ads with the actual mileage you’re likely getting day-to-day.

The reality is that the current EPA fuel economy rating system doesn’t work, and American motorists are both “confused” and “tuning out,” according to Jim Farley, global marketing chief at Ford Motor Co. That’s especially true when it comes to hybrid vehicles, which can be extremely sensitive to variations such as weather, road conditions and personal driving style, he added.

So, a new way of calculating mileage that gives motorists a real idea of what to expect is necessary, said Farley, in his keynote speech at this year’s New York International Auto Show.

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“It is confusing how we express fuel economy,” he declared, adding that the official federal ratings “really aren’t relevant. We need to help customers understand their personal fuel economy.”

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Ford Races to Reverse Damage from Indian Ad Fiasco

Several Indian ad execs fired, broader shake-up likely.

by on Mar.27, 2013

One of three controversial "ads" for the Ford Figo that have created a global image nightmare for the Detroit-based automaker.

Anyone attempting to measure the damage from a series of ads produced by Ford Motor Co.’s Indian ad agency showing women bound and gagged and tossed in the trunk of one of its Figo hatchbacks only had to catch the opening remarks by the carmaker’s global marketing chief Jim Farley at the 2013 New York Auto Show.

Farley shifted gears before going into his prepared remarks as the show’s keynote speaker to issue a direct apology for the three Internet ads that have generated a worldwide controversy and, according to various Ford insiders, caused significant damage to the maker’s global reputation.

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Insisting he was “shocked” by the ads, which were “not authorized” by Ford, Farley issued the latest in a series of apologies, proclaiming that Ford is “very regretful,” and “taking the matter very seriously.”

That translates into the firing of several members of the advertising team at Ford’s global partner, WPP, with other dismissals highly likely, sources later told TheDetroitBureau.com.

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Ford Focus Expected to Be #1 Best-Seller for 2012

Maker expects U.S. sales to top 2.2 million.

by on Dec.31, 2012

The Ford Focus appears to have toppled the long-running global best-seller, the Toyota Corolla.

Ford Motor Co. expects to sell 2.2 million Ford brand vehicles in the U.S. when sales numbers are totaled for 2012. It will make this the second straight year Ford has topped the 2 million mark. Ford is also the only automotive brand to top 2 million U.S. sales since 2007 – and the only auto brand expected to surpass that mark in America this year.

In addition, the Ford Focus is expected to remain the best-selling global vehicle nameplate, based on the latest available R.L. Polk new vehicle registration data through September, toppling long-time sales king the Toyota Corolla.  Meanwhile, the Ford Fiesta is on track to be the best-selling global B-car.

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Ford is also the only automaker with three vehicle nameplates in the global top 10 – Focus at number 1, F-Series at number 4 and Fiesta at number 5 – based on the latest available Polk new vehicle registration data.

That would position Ford as the leader – if year-end data holds course – in two of the global market’s most critical segments. And the B- and C-car segments are posting significant growth in the U.S., as well.

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Forward Into the Past for Newly Renamed Lincoln Motor Co.

Old name for a newly updated brand.

by on Dec.03, 2012

Lincoln launches its name change -- and the new MKZ -- with a new multimedia campaign.

What difference does a name make? No, that’s not the beginning of an essay on Shakespeare, though Ford is hoping a new name for its long-struggling Lincoln brand will make it smell as sweet as a rose.

The Detroit luxury marque is taking a step forward into the past by reviving the name it first had back in 1922, the Lincoln Motor Co.  Ford officials are hoping that the subtle change – which it plans to heavily promote as part of a new multimedia ad campaign – will help signal the broader changes coming at Lincoln, starting with the launch of the new MKZ sedan.

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“Befitting this new chapter in the life of Lincoln we are making a complete new start in every aspect of consumer communication to emotionally welcome our new target customer into our brand,” said Matt VanDyke, Director of Global Lincoln Brand.

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Ford to Add High-Performance Fiesta ST Model

A "distinctive growl" - and more power than a Mini Cooper S.

by on Nov.27, 2012

Ford will get into the hot hatch market with the launch of the 2014 Fiesta ST.

Ford plans to power up its new 2014 Fiesta subcompact.  Barely a week after announcing it will add a new 1.0-liter version of its EcoBoost technology to the updated Fiesta line, it now says it also will add a sportier ST version to rival the likes of the Fiat 500 Abarth and Mini Cooper S.

The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST will bring the sportiest version of the Fiesta to the U.S. market from Europe, where the ST designation was first introduced. Ford has also launched an ST version of the larger Focus model. It will be powered by a 197-horsepower, 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine.

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“There’s a big opportunity” to appeal to young buyers who aren’t interested in the conventional American definition of a muscle car, which would be a larger product like the Ford Mustang powered by a more fuel-hungry V-8, explained Jim Farley, Ford’s global marketing czar.

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