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Car Talk

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
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9,759
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34
Regarding Ford phasing out most of their cars: they are still keeping the Edge, the Flex, and the Escape which are basically car platforms and they will still have their Lincoln Continental which I believe is selling pretty well not to mention their Navigator which is selling for more than $100k on average and just required another shift to be added! I really liked this version of the Taurus and was sort of surprised every time I looked at its sales numbers and saw how poorly they did My sister had a 2015 Taurus for a couple of years and it was so comfortable to drive or ride in. The Fusion was a nice car for its price when it was introduced but Ford never really spent any resources on major overhauls or design updates on that line. I was actually surprised that it had not been killed off earlier, I think the only thing that kept it going for so long was fleet sales.

Ending the Fiesta sort of puzzles me. Sure, it doesn't really make any profit and isn't a particularly big seller but by killing off that and the Focus, Ford is essentially giving up on the entry-level market entirely. The Escape is relatively inexpensive but it's still a big jump up from the Fiesta price-wise. I wouldn't be surprised if Ford revisits the end of the Fiesta sooner rather than later or brings over one of their similar sized cars from one of the foreign markets.

FWIW, my grandpa worked for Ford for years and years and retired from them shortly before his death back in the early '80s. Every new car my mom or dad has had since they were married (54 years ago this past Wednesday!) has been a Ford and we still qualified for my grandpa's A-Plan discount up until 2016 when that year's UAW contract got rid of it for dead retirees.
 

Bubba

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Messages
4,880
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29
With apologies to WSU MUP Student's late grandfather, the worst car anyone in my immediate family ever owned was a Ford Granada ('76 or '77). That thing was a complete POS.

I'm not a brand loyalist with cars - I've owned (in order) Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Saturn, Jeep.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
19,398
Points
43
Most of my life, I have purchased GM products. However I would be open to most other brands.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
9,759
Points
34
With apologies to WSU MUP Student's late grandfather, the worst car anyone in my immediate family ever owned was a Ford Granada ('76 or '77). That thing was a complete POS.

I'm not a brand loyalist with cars - I've owned (in order) Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Saturn, Jeep.
Oh, make no mistake my parents owned some duds in all those Fords, including their 1995 T-Bird, a 1989 Ranger, and an Aerostar from some time in the 1980s. My dad also had a brand new 1966 Mustang Fastback that he bought right off the trailer at the dealership (they were so hot they were literally being sold before they could even be unloaded) that he said was a total POS after about a year or so. He ended up trading it in for a 69' Country Squire wagon which he claims was the absolute best car he ever had.

As for myself, I've been pretty loyal to Jeep over the past 15+ years, but really just loyal to the Jeep Wrangler. If another brand made something similar (that I could remove the top and doors from) I'd be open to considering it.

Since I've known my FIL, he's had brand new cars from Cadillac, Ford, Lincoln, Jeep, and Mercedes. He and my MIL get new cars every couple of years and they seem to get something totally different each time. I know in the grand scheme of things that really isn't that strange but up here in Detroit it definitely seems a little odd to have no real brand loyalty (FWIW - he collects classic Fords, particularly the Model A and Model T but also has a '65 Mustang and a Grand Torino being restored but has no such loyalty to Ford for his daily driver).
 

Suburb Repairman

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31
Ending the Fiesta sort of puzzles me. Sure, it doesn't really make any profit and isn't a particularly big seller but by killing off that and the Focus, Ford is essentially giving up on the entry-level market entirely. The Escape is relatively inexpensive but it's still a big jump up from the Fiesta price-wise. I wouldn't be surprised if Ford revisits the end of the Fiesta sooner rather than later or brings over one of their similar sized cars from one of the foreign markets.
I think Ford is making a mistake, and that they are ignoring next generation buyers. Sure, you hear stories that millennial and whatever generation after that are not purchasing cars as much. This is largely a myth. And I think they are making a huge mistake in not having an urban hatchback (though they are keeping some Focus crossover that I've never heard of). Maybe this Focus crossover is supposed to fit that niche. They really need an equivalent to a VW Golf in their lineup--a high-quality hatch available in multiple trims with good interior volume & tight handling. We're a Katrina and a geopolitical crisis away from $5 gas again. SUV economy has improved, but not THAT much. I think a big part is Ford simply being unable to effectively market their sedans, and its inability to produce a product superior enough to foreign alternatives with established track records to be successful. They should have been able to claim more market share... look at what Hyundai managed to do.

Ford's SUVs are also not all that great. I've driven the Escape and the Explorer, and did not come away impressed with them compared to foreign alternatives. The Explorer in particular feels bloated for what it is.

I trust the market research of foreign car brands far more than American car brands. When Honda & Toyota start pulling triggers, then I'll think there's fire to accompany the smoke of declining interest in cars/sedans. American car brands have been saved through bankruptcy and government bailouts in the not-so-distant past. While the story was always about their pension obligations, etc., the real story was their abject failure to adapt to markets due to chicken taxes on foreign competitors. Foreign car brands have always been more strategic in their investments & product rollouts in the U.S.--they have more to lose due to import challenges and some limited demand for American-oriented product lines in other countries.

A friend of mine has a modified Fiesta that is pushing close to 400 horsepower. That thing is a hoot to drive, and by his explanation modifying it was not all that difficult.
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
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6,079
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26
As for myself, I've been pretty loyal to Jeep over the past 15+ years, but really just loyal to the Jeep Wrangler. If another brand made something similar (that I could remove the top and doors from) I'd be open to considering it.
I'm a Jeep fan myself. I've owned a Wrangler and XJ and enjoyed both. I've had my XJ for almost 10 years now and it's fairly reliable. I sold the Wrangler years ago, but I miss it. I might start looking for another one (probably a TJ). The new Jeeps have largely gotten away from what made them so fun. Too many creature comforts now.
 

Doohickie

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1,842
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27
The Fusion was a nice car for its price when it was introduced but Ford never really spent any resources on major overhauls or design updates on that line.
Huh?





I think Ford is making a mistake, and that they are ignoring next generation buyers. Sure, you hear stories that millennial and whatever generation after that are not purchasing cars as much. This is largely a myth.
My view (as evidenced by my son's Fiesta purchase) is that millennials are buying cars, but not as a status symbol but more as a "checking the box." I need to get around and public transit sux, I guess I need a car. Now how can I spend as little as possible on a car? I'll buy the smallest, cheapest car I can find (he even sought out one that had manual crank windows). It's not a status purchase, it's a utility purchase. And yeah, fewer of them are making the utility purchase due to the advent of ride sharing, etc. Why by the cow when you can buy a gallon of milk when you're thirsty?

look at what Hyundai managed to do.
Yep. I bought an Elantra in 2005. At that time they were just entering respectability in the car market. It was a fantastic car for the price. I've watched their offerings evolve over the years and generally every generation is much better than the previous one (the notable exception being the 2007 Elantra, which had awful generic styling compared with the previous and subsequent generations). They also have done a decent job of offering variants, such as a hatch/wagon (depending on model year) version of the Elantra. If Ford wants to figure out how to do it right, they should emulate Hyundai (who emulated Honda starting about 20 years ago).

Moderator note:

~Gedunker
Please use the multi-quote tool [#+] in the lower right corner to quote multiple replies. It makes reading the threads much easier. Thanks.
 
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WSU MUP Student

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Messages
9,759
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34
There were some changes to the exterior design but changes to the powertrain and suspension as well as some interior tech-type stuff just did not keep up with changes in the industry in that market overall. If you look at the specs for something like a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry or even a Chevy Malibu from 2008 to one from 2016 they changed pretty substantially during that time, the Fusion not so much. Ford has always had a problem with running a platform into the ground before without any major changes before the end up ending production. This is what happened to the Aerostar and the first iteration of the Taurus before they finally just stopped production. The Escort didn't fare much better for much of its production history but still remained in the line-up because Ford needed an entry-level vehicle.

One of the primary reasons the Mustang remains relevant (even if it doesn't have the raw power of a Dodge Challenger or a Chevy Camaro or the sexy lines or awesome performance (for its price) of a Corvette) is that Ford introduces a total redesign of it every 10 years or so. I think if Ford were more willing to do that with vehicles like the Fusion or the Focus they would have better luck with them.
 

dw914er

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1,367
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18
I think Ford is making a mistake, and that they are ignoring next generation buyers.

I trust the market research of foreign car brands far more than American car brands. When Honda & Toyota start pulling triggers, then I'll think there's fire to accompany the smoke of declining interest in cars/sedans.
I have mixed opinions on the Ford decision. The reality is that their sedan sales have been struggling for awhile, and it probably didn't make much sense to keep them on the dealership lots or make the investment necessary to compete with other marques. One of the writers for Jalopnik had a good post about the decision:

Take the Fusion: at its arguable peak in 2014, Ford was moving as many as 30,000 or more of these a month in the U.S., according to GoodCarBadCar. Last month it sold about half that—16,103. The numbers are about the same for the Focus, which in 2017 could barely crack 15,000 sales a month most of the time. Ford hasn’t sold more than 5,000 Fiestas a month since March of last year. The Taurus, a once-great American nameplate, hasn’t even crossed the 4,000 mark in over a year.
The did not have very strong numbers, and even the foreign-based automakers are struggling. Hyundai is losing annual sales (and profitability, too), and even Honda, with the arguably class-leading Accord, is having subpar sales. Granted, part of the Accord's woes is the lease incentives that Honda is offering, but the United States sedan market is much more difficult compared to where it was; the CUVs are what are selling. My antidote is that wife didn't want a sedan, she wanted an CUV, and ended up with a Forester. We know other younger families (fellow millennials) that have been drawn to similar types of vehicles.

Luckily, Ford will still have sedans in production. If the market makes a shift, they can re-federalize their existing production.
 

Doohickie

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One of the primary reasons the Mustang remains relevant (even if it doesn't have the raw power of a Dodge Challenger or a Chevy Camaro or the sexy lines or awesome performance (for its price) of a Corvette) is that Ford introduces a total redesign of it every 10 years or so. I think if Ford were more willing to do that with vehicles like the Fusion or the Focus they would have better luck with them.
Actually, many car companies do a six year cycle (with a facelift after three years). The Mustang, assuming they get it right, tends to have "classic" styling which means you don't mess with the basic body shape and you can get away with a longer cycle. Same with Camaro and Challenger.

The Taurus you can tell is still based on the Ford Five Hundred platform that came out before the old Taurus production was stopped, so you are right- they don't update enough.

Luckily, Ford will still have sedans in production. If the market makes a shift, they can re-federalize their existing production.
Actually this could be the silver lining to the announcement, since I believe their Euro offerings are generally better than what they've sold in the US. The Fiesta and Focus are basically Euro models already. If a small car is needed in the US, they've done this before. (In fact the original Fiesta from the 1970s was German built.)
 
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AG74683

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6,079
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26
My view (as evidenced by my son's Fiesta purchase) is that millennials are buying cars, but not as a status symbol but more as a "checking the box." I need to get around and public transit sux, I guess I need a car. Now how can I spend as little as possible on a car? I'll buy the smallest, cheapest car I can find (he even sought out one that had manual crank windows). It's not a status purchase, it's a utility purchase. And yeah, fewer of them are making the utility purchase due to the advent of ride sharing, etc. Why by the cow when you can buy a gallon of milk when you're thirsty?
Frankly, I don't see how the average millennial can even afford a new(er) car. Housing costs are through the roof and most of us have massive student loans we'll be paying off for decades. I don't think it's that us millennial's only want cheap cars and don't care about the "status", it's that we simply cannot afford it. The other issue that's going to really hurt in the next 30-40 years is that millennial's don't know how to save money for the long term. 401k's, Roth IRA's, long term savings accounts, etc. are all basically another language because no one teaches that stuff anymore. I know that a major down payment on a car is not currently in my budget, so everyone is going to these crazy long 72-84 month finance agreements just to afford it.
 

WSU MUP Student

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9,759
Points
34
Yep. I bought an Elantra in 2005. At that time they were just entering respectability in the car market. It was a fantastic car for the price. I've watched their offerings evolve over the years and generally every generation is much better than the previous one (the notable exception being the 2007 Elantra, which had awful generic styling compared with the previous and subsequent generations). They also have done a decent job of offering variants, such as a hatch/wagon (depending on model year) version of the Elantra. If Ford wants to figure out how to do it right, they should emulate Hyundai (who emulated Honda starting about 20 years ago).
I don't think there has been another brand in my lifetime that has managed to improve their quality and styling (and thereby grow their market share) more significantly than Hyundai. Kia is giving them a run for their money but they haven't been around in the States long enough so they just don't have the track record that Hyundai does. One of my neighbors traded in his BMW 5 Series last year for a Hyundai Genesis last summer and says he cannot believe the level of quality and workmanship in his Hyundai.

I remember being at the first North American International Auto Show here in Detroit that Hyundai presented at back in the 1980s and the quality and styling of the vehicles they showed basically had them laughed out of Cobo Hall. IIRC, they came back for another year or two and then sort of backed off entirely on new production for the North American market in order to do some more market research and improve their engineering. When they made another push here in the 1990s you could see the improvements and it showed in their sales. I think now they have a stated goal of overtaking FCA for North American sales figures by 2025 and if they can improve their offerings in the SUV market (is the Santa Fe an SUV? A crossover? A station wagon?) and do something in the light truck market, they might have a chance.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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I'm actually surprised/not surprised Ford's ditching the Focus in the US.

Surprised - the latest generation Focus is a great body and capacity design with great fuel economy, but the 2012 I had did suffer from a weird auto trans lag shifting from 2nd to 3rd at low revs.

Not Surprised - the new EcoSport appears to be designed to take the Fiesta/Focus spot in the lineup, so...
 

Doohickie

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Frankly, I don't see how the average millennial can even afford a new(er) car. Housing costs are through the roof and most of us have massive student loans we'll be paying off for decades. I don't think it's that us millennial's only want cheap cars and don't care about the "status", it's that we simply cannot afford it. The other issue that's going to really hurt in the next 30-40 years is that millennial's don't know how to save money for the long term. 401k's, Roth IRA's, long term savings accounts, etc. are all basically another language because no one teaches that stuff anymore. I know that a major down payment on a car is not currently in my budget, so everyone is going to these crazy long 72-84 month finance agreements just to afford it.
See, my son was smart, he dropped out of school. So he doesn't have debt (other than his car note). Of course, he also has limited earnings potential but basically he lives modestly. He is making some changes to increase his income but it will probably take a while before that comes to fruition.

As for the bolded, no one ever taught that stuff ever.

I don't think there has been another brand in my lifetime that has managed to improve their quality and styling (and thereby grow their market share) more significantly than Hyundai. Kia is giving them a run for their money but they haven't been around in the States long enough so they just don't have the track record that Hyundai does. One of my neighbors traded in his BMW 5 Series last year for a Hyundai Genesis last summer and says he cannot believe the level of quality and workmanship in his Hyundai.

I remember being at the first North American International Auto Show here in Detroit that Hyundai presented at back in the 1980s and the quality and styling of the vehicles they showed basically had them laughed out of Cobo Hall. IIRC, they came back for another year or two and then sort of backed off entirely on new production for the North American market in order to do some more market research and improve their engineering. When they made another push here in the 1990s you could see the improvements and it showed in their sales. I think now they have a stated goal of overtaking FCA for North American sales figures by 2025 and if they can improve their offerings in the SUV market (is the Santa Fe an SUV? A crossover? A station wagon?) and do something in the light truck market, they might have a chance.
KIA is owned by Hyundai; they share platforms. Rio = Accent; Forte = Elantra; Optima = Sonata, etc. They have similar running gear and floor pans but totally different styling philosophies. Even before Hyundai bought out Kia, they shared a lot on platforms, going back to the early 2000s. (When I bought my Elantra in 2005, the Spectra had a lot in common with it in terms of parts. The previous generation of Spectra shared nothing with the Elantra I believe. The Rio prior to 2005 shared nothing with the Accent and was rated the worst new car in America. For 2006 and beyond it was based on the Accent platform.)

I don't know if you noticed, but Hyundai recently introduced the Kona which seems to be going after the Jeep Cherokee based on its looks.
 
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dw914er

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18
I'm actually surprised/not surprised Ford's ditching the Focus in the US.

Surprised - the latest generation Focus is a great body and capacity design with great fuel economy, but the 2012 I had did suffer from a weird auto trans lag shifting from 2nd to 3rd at low revs.

Not Surprised - the new EcoSport appears to be designed to take the Fiesta/Focus spot in the lineup, so...
That generation of the focus was plagued with reliability issues; the automatic transmission is awful. My wife had the generation of focus before that that she got new, and while it was decently reliable, I have no idea why* she purchased the Focus over something like a Civic. We sold it recently for the Subaru.

*The reason why is because her family has consistently purchased Fords over any other brand. My point was to emphasize that the Focus would not have been my pick, had I been in the picture at the time.
 

kjel

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I have mixed opinions on the Ford decision. The reality is that their sedan sales have been struggling for awhile, and it probably didn't make much sense to keep them on the dealership lots or make the investment necessary to compete with other marques. One of the writers for Jalopnik had a good post about the decision:



The did not have very strong numbers, and even the foreign-based automakers are struggling. Hyundai is losing annual sales (and profitability, too), and even Honda, with the arguably class-leading Accord, is having subpar sales. Granted, part of the Accord's woes is the lease incentives that Honda is offering, but the United States sedan market is much more difficult compared to where it was; the CUVs are what are selling. My antidote is that wife didn't want a sedan, she wanted an CUV, and ended up with a Forester. We know other younger families (fellow millennials) that have been drawn to similar types of vehicles.

Luckily, Ford will still have sedans in production. If the market makes a shift, they can re-federalize their existing production.
I had an '07 Impala that was a solid daily driver but was looking for a more flexible ride after having a second child and purchasing a home. I test drove many CUVs and researched reliability and resale values. Ultimately I settled on a new 2014 Subaru Outback which I've owned nearly 4 years. It's an excellent car and comfortable to drive. I plan on keeping it for the duration.

Frankly, I don't see how the average millennial can even afford a new(er) car. Housing costs are through the roof and most of us have massive student loans we'll be paying off for decades. I don't think it's that us millennial's only want cheap cars and don't care about the "status", it's that we simply cannot afford it. The other issue that's going to really hurt in the next 30-40 years is that millennial's don't know how to save money for the long term. 401k's, Roth IRA's, long term savings accounts, etc. are all basically another language because no one teaches that stuff anymore. I know that a major down payment on a car is not currently in my budget, so everyone is going to these crazy long 72-84 month finance agreements just to afford it.
They really can't. My oldest daughter is a HUD certified housing counselor and works with people who are purchasing their first home. In high cost areas, you can have a car payment or a mortgage but not both especially when you have student loan debt. She and I share the Subaru, she rides to work with me in the morning and walks a block to the train station to go to her office. She has a house payment, but it's a vacation home that we're renovating and will occasionally rent out. I agree that financial literacy is sorely lacking and it is not just millennials.
 

AG74683

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I don't think there has been another brand in my lifetime that has managed to improve their quality and styling (and thereby grow their market share) more significantly than Hyundai. Kia is giving them a run for their money but they haven't been around in the States long enough so they just don't have the track record that Hyundai does.
Kia and Hyundai are basically the same company. The Hyundai Motor Group was formed in the late 90's when Hyundai purchased 51% of Kia's stock. IIRC, this was largely forced by the Korean government as Kia was going bankrupt. Ford tried to buy them but failed. Hyundai still holds around 33% of Kia. Kia started selling cars in the US around 1994 (1986 for Hyundai).

I've been impressed with both companies, and both still remain affordable even today. My mom drives a '04 Sportage and I like it quite a bit.

As for the bolded, no one ever taught that stuff ever.
I think parents used to, particularly those who suffered through the Great Depression.
 

Maister

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Moderator note:

split from RTDNTOTO...don't look so surprised.
 

Whose Yur Planner

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There were some changes to the exterior design but changes to the powertrain and suspension as well as some interior tech-type stuff just did not keep up with changes in the industry in that market overall. If you look at the specs for something like a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry or even a Chevy Malibu from 2008 to one from 2016 they changed pretty substantially during that time, the Fusion not so much. Ford has always had a problem with running a platform into the ground before without any major changes before the end up ending production. This is what happened to the Aerostar and the first iteration of the Taurus before they finally just stopped production. The Escort didn't fare much better for much of its production history but still remained in the line-up because Ford needed an entry-level vehicle.

.
Yeah, the jump from 2006 Camry to the 2017 Camry was pretty drastic, and not just the tech, though the tech is nice. The cars look completely different. Plus my car can flat out move. Again, I just wasn't that impressed with the American sedans and I refuse to buy SUV or truck.
 

Maister

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My view (as evidenced by my son's Fiesta purchase) is that millennials are buying cars, but not as a status symbol but more as a "checking the box." I need to get around and public transit sux, I guess I need a car. Now how can I spend as little as possible on a car? I'll buy the smallest, cheapest car I can find (he even sought out one that had manual crank windows). It's not a status purchase, it's a utility purchase. And yeah, fewer of them are making the utility purchase due to the advent of ride sharing, etc. Why by the cow when you can buy a gallon of milk when you're thirsty?
This sounds like me.
Guess I led the way for the generation of millennials that followed. I'm a trailblazer. A pioneer. A visionary....shall I go on?
 

Doohickie

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This sounds like me.
Guess I led the way for the generation of millennials that followed. I'm a trailblazer. A pioneer. A visionary....shall I go on?
Our "big family car" when my kids were growing up was a Ford Escort wagon. We moved me, the wife, two kids, a golden retriever and a cat 1200 miles in it (along with enough stuff to live the first month at our new place). When they were in high school we bought a Taurus, easily the biggest car I'll ever own. My daily driver these days is a Fiat 500, and even that's starting to feel big to me.
 

mendelman

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That generation of the focus was plagued with reliability issues; the automatic transmission is awful. My wife had the generation of focus before that that she got new, and while it was decently reliable, I have no idea why* she purchased the Focus over something like a Civic. We sold it recently for the Subaru.

*The reason why is because her family has consistently purchased Fords over any other brand. My point was to emphasize that the Focus would not have been my pick, had I been in the picture at the time.
I got the 2012 Focus hatch on a 3-year lease and chose the Focus, because my FIL is a Ford retiree and we got a Z-plan discount. I traded a 2000 Taurus wagon on the deal too, which was plagued with constant ignition coil failures.

In hindsight I should have gotten the Nissan 4-door hatch Versa that I was considering at the same time. It was slightly cheaper and a bit less powerful, but it didn't have the '4 tire stickiness' the Focus did when I put them through their paces on the test drives. The Focus' wheels all stayed in the ground in some back road curvys whereas one of the Versa's rear wheels would lift. Not really the ideal. You know what I mean, Mr. 914. ;)
 
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michaelskis

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Moderator note:

split from RTDNTOTO...don't look so surprised.


8-! :-c














I was thinking about this on my way into work this morning and I wonder if part of the reason that FORD will be doing away from several models is the ability to re-tool some of the factories in preparation for the transition to producing autonomous vehicles. Afterall some dealers will be releasing cars that don't have steering wheels as soon as next year. Personally, I love the idea of a autonomous vehicle IF it still allows for a manual mode where I can drive when I choose to.
 

WSU MUP Student

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KIA is owned by Hyundai; they share platforms. Rio = Accent; Forte = Elantra; Optima = Sonata, etc. They have similar running gear and floor pans but totally different styling philosophies. Even before Hyundai bought out Kia, they shared a lot on platforms, going back to the early 2000s. (When I bought my Elantra in 2005, the Spectra had a lot in common with it in terms of parts. The previous generation of Spectra shared nothing with the Elantra I believe. The Rio prior to 2005 shared nothing with the Accent and was rated the worst new car in America. For 2006 and beyond it was based on the Accent platform.)

I don't know if you noticed, but Hyundai recently introduced the Kona which seems to be going after the Jeep Cherokee based on its looks.
I did not know that about Hyundai having such a large stake in Kia but that would explain why Kia's quality has improved on track with Hyundai's over the last decade or so. It would also make it more feasible that Hyundai would be planning to overtake FCA in sales since you would be able to include multiple nameplates.

Speaking of Korean automobiles in America... does anybody remember Daewoo? I had a friend in the Marine Corps who bought one back in 2000 or 1999 or so and it was absolutely the cheapest feeling and lowest quality vehicle I had ever ridden in. He drove that thing back and forth from The Bronx to NC nearly every weekend and after being stranded somewhere in Virginia for about the 5th time in a few months I think he just abandoned it there.
 

Maister

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I did not know that about Hyundai having such a large stake in Kia but that would explain why Kia's quality has improved on track with Hyundai's over the last decade or so. It would also make it more feasible that Hyundai would be planning to overtake FCA in sales since you would be able to include multiple nameplates.

Speaking of Korean automobiles in America... does anybody remember Daewoo? I had a friend in the Marine Corps who bought one back in 2000 or 1999 or so and it was absolutely the cheapest feeling and lowest quality vehicle I had ever ridden in. He drove that thing back and forth from The Bronx to NC nearly every weekend and after being stranded somewhere in Virginia for about the 5th time in a few months I think he just abandoned it there.
I remember Daewoo's but never drove one. The worst make/model of car I ever drove was probably an AMC-Renault "Le Car" during driver's ed.



which occurs to me looks disturbingly similar to another notorious vehicle that followed in its wake a couple years later:



Looking at pictures of Yugos always breaks my heart as it reminds me of the exchange student I went to high school with during my senior year. She was from Yugoslavia. Found out years later she had been killed during their civil war.
 

Doohickie

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27
Speaking of Korean automobiles in America... does anybody remember Daewoo? I had a friend in the Marine Corps who bought one back in 2000 or 1999 or so and it was absolutely the cheapest feeling and lowest quality vehicle I had ever ridden in. He drove that thing back and forth from The Bronx to NC nearly every weekend and after being stranded somewhere in Virginia for about the 5th time in a few months I think he just abandoned it there.
They're owned by GM, known as GMDAT I think (GM Daewoo Automotive Technologies or something like that). The Chevy Cruze was designed by them. The Aveo was a Daewoo-built car and it evolved into the Sonic. I don't know for sure but I think the Spark may also be a GMDAT car.
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
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I remember Daewoo's but never drove one. The worst make/model of car I ever drove was probably an AMC-Renault "Le Car" during driver's ed.



which occurs to me looks disturbingly similar to another notorious vehicle that followed in its wake a couple years later:



Looking at pictures of Yugos always breaks my heart as it reminds me of the exchange student I went to high school with during my senior year. She was from Yugoslavia. Found out years later she had been killed during their civil war.
A buddy of mine in college had a Yugo. They were interesting cars at best.
 

Veloise

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Messages
5,601
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28
....
which occurs to me looks disturbingly similar to another notorious vehicle that followed in its wake a couple years later:


....
No discussion of the Yugo can not include a mention of the Mackinac Bridge.

Ford's better ideas:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2017/01/09/mark-fields-ford-motor-co/96321984/

https://www.foxbusiness.com/features/bill-ford-thinks-his-company-lacks-vision-and-2

https://www.wsj.com/articles/bill-ford-on-the-future-of-transportation-we-cant-simply-sell-more-cars-1404763769

http://fortune.com/2011/05/17/bill-ford-looks-ahead/

I've always liked Bill, even before I met him at his mom's birthday party contra dance at Greenfield Village some 20 years ago.

Hey mods, what happened to the "no sequential posts" rule?
 

AG74683

Cyburbian
Messages
6,079
Points
26
I've always really wanted a Lada, specifically the 4x4 3 door or even the Bronto. The Bronto costs like 10k brand new, and I'm pretty sure "camo" is a factory color. They also make a 5 door stretched model. The thing hasn't changed much since 1977, and they are freaking EVERYWHERE in eastern Europe.
 

Planit

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Messages
11,877
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37
I've always really wanted a Lada, specifically the 4x4 3 door or even the Bronto. The Bronto costs like 10k brand new, and I'm pretty sure "camo" is a factory color. They also make a 5 door stretched model. The thing hasn't changed much since 1977, and they are freaking EVERYWHERE in eastern Europe.
Import one - as long as its over 25 years old.
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,588
Points
22
I'm actually surprised/not surprised Ford's ditching the Focus in the US.

Surprised - the latest generation Focus is a great body and capacity design with great fuel economy, but the 2012 I had did suffer from a weird auto trans lag shifting from 2nd to 3rd at low revs.

Not Surprised - the new EcoSport appears to be designed to take the Fiesta/Focus spot in the lineup, so...
The problem with your Focus (and with all the others with that transmission) is that Ford tried to save money by remaking a standard transmission into an automatic. That was dumb! It doesn't shift correctly and they've since had multiple recalls trying to fix the problem.


About a year and a half ago, when I needed a vehicle with good gas mileage, I went with the Focus ST2. The hatchback makes it easy to haul things and the larger engine gives it the horsepower I wanted. Plus it only comes in a standard transmission so it avoided the issues with the automatic trannies. Problem: rated at 32 mpg (highway), it actually gets 25 on a good day. And with the stupidly small 12 gallon gas tank, I stop at the gas station far too often for my liking.

Now, I should mention that I come from a long line of Ford people. I can honestly count 9 Fords currently being driven by my immediate family members. And I wanted an American vehicle. But I'm disappointed that this Ford didn't live up to my expectations. And also disappointed that instead of improving their sedans, they're just discontinuing them.

*Did I ever tell you about my 1988 1/2 Ford Escort that got 50 mpg even when it was 8 years old!? Now if I could find one of those today, I'd seriously consider making it my daily driver!
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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*Did I ever tell you about my 1988 1/2 Ford Escort that got 50 mpg even when it was 8 years old!? Now if I could find one of those today, I'd seriously consider making it my daily driver!
No you haven't, but I'm not surprised. Those escorts and right to the last gen (ending in 1999/2000) the cars were great new and used for a long time.

When my wife and I got married, I had a 1999 Escort wagon with a manual and my wife had a 1998 Mercury Tracer 4-door sedan. The Escort was Ok, but it always sounded/felt like the engine was going to come off some mounts. The Tracer, though, was a great little, bulletproof car. The only issue was at ~100K miles the alternator died, but that was an easy fix. We would have had the Tracer much longer, except I killed it in slow speed accident when I rear ended a Grand Cherokee. And right after we had decided to save money by dropping to simple liability insurance. :r:
 

Doohickie

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Bear in mind that the Escorts were pretty underpowered. My 95 Scort Wagon had a whopping 88 horsepower. My "microcar" Fiat 500 has 105. So yeah, I can see hypermiling in an Escort.
 

RandomPlanner

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Messages
1,588
Points
22
Bear in mind that the Escorts were pretty underpowered. My 95 Scort Wagon had a whopping 88 horsepower. My "microcar" Fiat 500 has 105. So yeah, I can see hypermiling in an Escort.
As a teenager driving one of my first vehicles, I didn't notice that it was underpowered. Smart on my parents' part to put me in something that I thought had power but was pretty much a dog! It was cute though.
 

Doohickie

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To be fair, it felt peppy. They must have gotten the gearing just right. I think when it shifted up to the next gear it was close to the power band (i.e., you'd feel the kick).
 

The Terminator

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21
Wandering around the Mt. Hope section of the Bronx on my break, a random older gentleman standing by his blue Ford Fusion approached me and asked if I knew anything about cars. I was like "yah!" and he proceeded to tell me all about how the local Bronx Ford stealership was refusing to honour a recall on his '14 Fusion - despite it being an open active recall (https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2018/RCMN-18V167-0684.pdf), the Stealership was claiming they didn't need to replace the part because his car was fine. turns out that some '14-'18 Fusion models have a faulty steering wheel attachment bolt that can cause freeplay on the wheel.

I gave this gentleman numbers to three different local Ford stealerships, the BBB and NYS Division Consumer Protection and coached him on how to deal with unhelpful service advisers and their managers and how to not let them do or charge for any other work to the car besides the open recall. I hope things work out for him.

Dealerships just plain Suck.
 

The Terminator

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Last week Leonys Martín of the Tigers hit an absolutely massive HR after fouling one off his sack
. Now that's what I call testicular fortitude!



We went to the playground after work as we do most Fridays but a wind storm earlier in the day had sent a large tree crashing down on the baby swings and destroyed them. :( My daughter didn't even notice though since somebody had left one of those plastic Little Tykes cars there. She played in it for nearly 40 minutes straight and cried when I had to pry her out of it to head back home.





A few minutes before we left the playground though I heard the telltale sound of an ice cream truck coming up one of the side streets. The playground was pretty busy and all of the parents immediately stopped and turned to find the source of the music and sure enough an ice cream truck turned slowly onto the street and proceeded to go past very slowly and turn down the next block. After 9 years in the neighborhood, this is only the second time I saw an ice cream truck come through and the other time was shortly after we moved in. Of course I had no wallet with me so I couldn't partake. :( Hopefully this will become a more frequent sighting in the area.





Yay indeed. They were delicious. The sugar on the Peeps quickly caramelized into a crispy glaze similar to the top of a crème brûlée. The first couple I made, I just ate the toasted Peep but then my daughter tried one in a s'more and it was fantastic.

Is that toy car vintage? I had the same Fisher-Price Cozy Coupe (a 1992 model that was bought new for me) but in blue! It was a well optioned car, great on gas, had a moon roof, manual windows, ergonomic interior, had a cool horn and was very reliable since there was no motor, transmission or drivetrain to worry about :p I outgrew it by 1997, and last drove it in 1999 - but I was a little too tall for it by age 8. It was passed down to my sister, but she didnt drive it too much, she preferred her N64 to going outside. We sold the car for like $25 to a consignment shop in 2001 when both of us got to big to wheel around in it.

Now, 26 years later, my real grown up car is a Volvo 240 of the same model year. Its nice to maintain an ethereal connection to the past.

Moderator note:

Maister: this is a discussion about cars so we'll just move this post to 'Car Talk'. Mkay. Thanx
 

Maister

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62
Is that toy car vintage? I had the same Fisher-Price Cozy Coupe (a 1992 model that was bought new for me) but in blue! It was a well optioned car, great on gas, had a moon roof, manual windows, ergonomic interior, had a cool horn and was very reliable since there was no motor, transmission or drivetrain to worry about :p I outgrew it by 1997, and last drove it in 1999 - but I was a little too tall for it by age 8. It was passed down to my sister, but she didnt drive it too much, she preferred her N64 to going outside. We sold the car for like $25 to a consignment shop in 2001 when both of us got to big to wheel around in it.
Yeah, but you must admit the suspension on that model left much to be desired.

These were my wheels circa 1969:

 

WSU MUP Student

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Messages
9,759
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34
Is that toy car vintage? I had the same Fisher-Price Cozy Coupe (a 1992 model that was bought new for me) but in blue! It was a well optioned car, great on gas, had a moon roof, manual windows, ergonomic interior, had a cool horn and was very reliable since there was no motor, transmission or drivetrain to worry about :p I outgrew it by 1997, and last drove it in 1999 - but I was a little too tall for it by age 8. It was passed down to my sister, but she didnt drive it too much, she preferred her N64 to going outside. We sold the car for like $25 to a consignment shop in 2001 when both of us got to big to wheel around in it.
I wouldn't be surprised if this one was roughly the same age as the one you had (you are right that it was Fisher-Price and not Little Tykes). I flipped it over while we were there because I wanted to see if there was a date stamped somewhere on the plastic underbody because it definitely felt 20+ years old but still in great shape.

People in the neighborhood around this playground always leave a bunch of toys there each spring and summer. I think they like to clean out their garage and "donate" the items to the parks. A lot of times it's just junk but this playground has a pretty big sandbox so there are also a ton of Tonka Trucks and other earth moving equipment, most missing a wheel or some other piece. There are also enough shovels and buckets in the sandbox that every kid in a 10 block radius could probably show up at the same time and each have one of their own to play with. This car was definitely one of the cooler things that people had left behind. Hopefully it doesn't disappear.
 

Super Amputee Cat

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I'm actually surprised/not surprised Ford's ditching the Focus in the US.

Surprised - the latest generation Focus is a great body and capacity design with great fuel economy, but the 2012 I had did suffer from a weird auto trans lag shifting from 2nd to 3rd at low revs.

Not Surprised - the new EcoSport appears to be designed to take the Fiesta/Focus spot in the lineup, so...
I never got into the later-design Focus. I think the best years were 2004-2011, but they have had much more reliability problems beginning in the 2012 model year. I used to have a 2006. Wish I still had it but it was too much to own two practically brand-new cars at the time (I also had a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan which I bought new and still own)
 
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Super Amputee Cat

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*Did I ever tell you about my 1988 1/2 Ford Escort that got 50 mpg even when it was 8 years old!? Now if I could find one of those today, I'd seriously consider making it my daily driver!
I had a '93 Escort (part of the Second Generation Escort) which ran from the '91 to '96 models years. I think the second generation was the best for the Escort. Most of the reliability problems that plagued the 1981-90 models had been worked out. It had a manual transmission and could get 40MPG on the highway.(if you really got 50, that is just unreal) What was nice is that you could just downshift instead of using the brake on icy or snowy roads. It was a two-door hatchback and if you put down the rear seats you could but anything back there. It had more cargo room, defacto, than some small SUVs.

But when the 3rd generation came out in '97, I think it was a step down. It just looked like any other '90s econobox and that unique styling it once had was lost.

I had that car for 15 years, longer than any other car I've ever owned. I'd love to get another but it's impossible to find one with a manual transmission with low miles and without a lot of rust around the wheel-wells in this climate.
 
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arcplans

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I had a '93 Escort (part of the Second Generation Escort) which ran from the '91 to '96 models years. I think the second generation was the best for the Escort. Most of the reliability problems that plagued the 1981-90 models had been worked out. It had a manual transmission and could get 40MPG on the highway.(if you really got 50, that is just unreal) What was nice is that you could just downshift instead of using the brake on icy or snowy roads. It was a two-door hatchback and if you put down the rear seats you could but anything back there. It had more cargo room, defacto, than some small SUVs.

But when the 3rd generation came out in '97, I think it was a step down. It just looked like any other '90s econobox and that unique styling it once had was lost.

I had that car for 15 years, longer than any other car I've ever owned. I'd love to get another but it's impossible to find one with a manual transmission with low miles and without a lot of rust around the wheel-wells in this climate.
I am inheriting my dad's 93 Ford Escort Sport LX. It has 228K on it since my mom is moving. It has been well maintained and garage kept for the last 10 years. He put new tires, new suspension, new alternator, and a new starter system before he died (he paid a mechanic for the work since he was no longer able to do much work). It will actually be nice to have to commute to work so I can garage keep my new to me 2015 Honda Accord EX-L which has less than 30K miles on it (i have put about 12K since i got it in May of last year) and have a practice car for my daughter who turns 15 in 3 years.
 

The Terminator

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I am inheriting my dad's 93 Ford Escort Sport LX. It has 228K on it since my mom is moving. It has been well maintained and garage kept for the last 10 years. He put new tires, new suspension, new alternator, and a new starter system before he died (he paid a mechanic for the work since he was no longer able to do much work). It will actually be nice to have to commute to work so I can garage keep my new to me 2015 Honda Accord EX-L which has less than 30K miles on it (i have put about 12K since i got it in May of last year) and have a practice car for my daughter who turns 15 in 3 years.
Is it Manual?
 
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