Ford to retool U.S. truck plants to build Euro models

Ford to retool U.S. truck plants to build Euro models

Ford to retool U.S. truck plants to build Euro models

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Last month we reported that Ford would bring its European Kuga crossover and C-Max MPV to North America after the launch of the new Fiesta and next-generation Focus, and now latest reports claim Ford is set to retool its U.S. truck plans to build smaller passenger vehicles, including several European models. Ford is yet to confirm the details but said plant managers and local union leaders from across the U.S. will meet in Detroit this week and are expected to make an announcement next month.

The information was revealed by an inside source, who told The Detroit News that Ford was planning to revamp some of its truck plants to produce vehicles currently built in Europe.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally has also hinted at the possibility, telling reporters earlier that Europe is the best place to look as Ford’s U.S. division restructures its portfolio and operations. He also acknowledged that it would be too costly to import cars from across the Atlantic because of unfavorable exchange rates. "We can tailor the production to where we sell them," he told reporters.

Mulally also confirmed that the Fusion sedan and European Mondeo would be replaced by a single model for the next-generation, while other sources have revealed that the next Focus, due in 2010/11, could arrive in the U.S. in several variations including hatchback, sedan and cabrio models.

There’s another key reason to bring Ford’s Euro models to North America than just satisfying demand. A more fuel-efficient lineup will also help the carmaker meet tough new CAFE regulations rolling in over the next decade.
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Comments (14)
  1. YESSS!!

  2. You just knew this was coming! Also something you dont see in the press is the price of small cars in the U.S. Its a known fact that large SUV/truck sales uphold the loss in profits from small cars so with the decline of the profit vehicles is the price of the compact going to rise? Ulitmately it will have to, how do you think the European manufacturers make a profit at selling small cars?

    The Clinton News Network is going to have field day as to how unfair this is to the average American!!!

  3. yes, yes, yes. thank you lord. Ford has idled 4 plants in Windsor, Ontario.... 4 plants that used to build nothing but the biggest and baddest ford engines (351 Windsor anyone?). It would be nice to see some small engine production coming this way.

    Yes, absolutely the price of small cars is going to increase because everyone will want them, everyone will want to save money on gas, and the competition will be fierce, hence pushing the quality up. these are good days for small car lovers such as myself.

  4. The problem has been the perception that small cars must be cheap cars. How do you think the automakers can get around this? Better interior quality? More spacious interiors? Zippy turbo motors?

  5. jezz.. all three.. and more.

    fords been selling focuses like crazy because you cant get options like that on any small car besides the 3 series, and even then, sync is better in many ways.

    if you make a small car with an I4 turbo, available leather, nice interior (with a non plastic BS option), available satilite radio and navigation, touch screens, you name it,.. people like me will buy it. ive been looking for a chance to spend 40 grand on a compact hatch... and i still havent seen anything rise to the occasion.

    the other thing too.. with sub compacts.. make sure you can get a 300 lbs 6'5" man in there comfortably. the back seats dont have to work all the time. i would buy a subcompact hatch and use it as a strict 2 seater with a huge trunk, if i could. thats why ive been saying.. you need a 3 door variant on all sub compacts or else the only people who will buy them are little girls and nanas

  6. Screw Ford.......they should have doen this years ago. Giving us the crap and the Europeans always got the good stuff. Ford I am done with you forever. Same with GM.

    Did it bother anyone else that these two American companies sold their best products in Europe and Australia?

  7. Renton- It does not bother me one single bit since it was F150 trucks that I buy and still buy so if the quality drops on those then I will be upset.

  8. renton; your bitterness impresses me. ford has been in europe the longest and only in the last 10 years had started offering a different product in NA than in europe. The escort for the 20+ years that it was around was a global car. the contour was the same. don't see many contours and escorts around do you? face the facts. americans are retarded and do not know better. it comes down to the almighty dollar with every decision. why offer a superior product when your brand has a crappy image anyways?

    I use the escort as an example because I had a 96 escort and it was miles ahead of the neon and sunfire. It was used in WRC, and was well respected in europe. but to every import lover, it was just another american POS, and for anyone who bought it, and it happened to break, it was still an american POS, despite being designed and tested in europe.

    it's additudes like yours that are to blame for companies like the big 3 never being able to kill a negative corporate image.

    Say what you will, but if you tell me that you'd buy a 1.8L i4 diesel in a midsized car, I'd call you a liar. would you pay more for a ford focus than a mazda 3? again,.. product image.

    I'll be the first to admit that i have an unfair bias towards ford, and that it will take a lot for me to buy something besides a ford. but to blast a company for making a lot of their one product that has the highest profit margins, and is in rediculous demand is stupid. would you tell kleenex to stop making tissues? In a market where no one will pay good money for a small car, where the auto industry has been in decline for the last 7 years running, you tell me that you'd invest in weaker products.

    it's easy to blast the company today, but you have to realize that half of ford's revenue in the last 20 years has come from F150 sales, and only a small fraction of that revenue was reinvested into that product. the remainder went into funding other products, just to keep their name in that segment.

  9. @ Chris....I feel a bit fraction of what Renton mentioned because I feel Ford should have produced cars like the Focus based on the same global platform for N/A & Europe. Consumers that were in the market for a small car were eager to find a well styled compact cruiser that offered the amenities they later found in toyota and nissan products. The engines could have been swappable for something that would have worked well for N/A (ie strong I4 with opt turbo and a even more powerful yet efficient 6) while those that opted for a F150could have had their trucks (w/ conventional/ hybrid/E85 engines). Ford & GM have sat on the more fuel efficient engine technologies for decades). They are in a business for a profit surely, but a multi-billion dollar company surely had the foresight to predict the oil/fuel crisis our country is facing now. Give the customer the same products, options and services the leading brands (foreign) are giving and this story may have ended differently, in Fords case many of the products that could have saved the day were already in the european stable. Btw..I'm sure you're aware Ford has a sizeable stake in Mazda and their "3" continues to sell quite well. I'm just glad that Mullaly saw the light. It now appear Tracinda Corp is moving closer to calling even more of the shots at Ford in an attempt ensure it has a profitable product line.

  10. Renton, I had a 1996 Contour SE 5 speed. I bought it because it had an all aluminium 4 valve per cylinder V-6 (7000 redline) designed by Lotus engineering. The car was essentially developed in Europe. Pretty quick for 97 standards. Handled great with the tighter SE suspension. This was the same car available in Europe. I think it won Car of the Year there. But it bombed here. I loved it.
    But Chris is right in that the US has not cared for these cars, other than enthusiasts.

  11. Can't remember the contour being sold in Europe - I know it was not sold in the UK (I hcve seen some in Australia)- we had the Cortina up to 1982 then the Sierra (which was almost at the start a rebodied cortina) - Sierras came with 1.3CVH up to 2.3 V6 IIRC. Mondeo replaced this in around 1994/4.

    The EU MK3 escort was certainly different to the US spec one of the time as well - launched in 1980 and it went through to around 1989 before the MK5 came out. The MK 3 went from a 1.1 to a 1.6CVH - I had a 1.3 ghia for near on 18 years - great car - nothing like the yank version - check out wikipedia

  12. The only true Euro imports from Ford over my years were the Mercury Capri from the 70's, the Ford Fiesta, and the Merkur XR4Ti (the Sierra). The Contour was OK, but there were better cars for less money by then and they had already lost me.

    The Escort and Focus were just crap that shared a name. The Euro Escort was an amazing car that they could have had here, but chose to give us a POS.

    Absolute crap they were.

    OZ got the Falcon...we got stuck with what the Taurus and body on frame Crown Vic?

    Chris....don't blame my attitude for Ford's poor sales performance. Blame Ford's retarded product planners and shoddy construction for my walking away from them. Go ahead and spend your money on an inferior product. The Focus we get sucks compared to the Euro Focus. The Volvo hatchback is the only way to get the good Focus, which is too pricey and its a Volvo, which I would never drive.

    American cars suck in comparison to their Euro/Jap counterparts and I could care less if it puts UAW employees out of work b/c nobody wants them.

  13. With the dollar so low,it makes sense to build cars in the US and ship them to Europe; that's why European car makers are looking at building more plants in the US. For Ford it's even better because the plants are already here and have the capacity.

  14. Contour is to USA as Mondeo is to Europe. The 2nd gen Mondeo was never brought to USA

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