Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
Future Products: Europe - Ford's austerity drive casts doubts on future PAG products
By MARK RECHTIN
Gone but not forgotten:
The Jaguar F-Type roadster.
The Volvo S80 flagship with a V-8.
The $15,000 Land Rover, which insiders call the "Landie."
A new rear-drive luxury platform for Jaguar and Lincoln.
All were on the development wish list at Ford Motor Co.'s Premier Automotive Group when Wolfgang Reitzle oversaw the unit. All are now dead, delayed indefinitely or under pressure as Ford's budget-cutters seek to make vehicle lines profitable. Some of those decisions contributed to Reitzle's departure in April; others came in its wake.
Ford Motor CEO Bill Ford has handed down an edict that all vehicle lines must be profitable on their own. Gone are the days when niche or halo products contributed to corporate image but were harmful to the bottom line, subsidized by huge profits from Ford trucks.
Hence, lower-volume cars must find ways to turn a profit. That means more sharing of componentry with mass-market vehicles. It also could mean carrying over existing platforms when the time comes for a redesign.
Aston Martin swears that its aluminum space frame will be exclusive to the brand.
But with Jaguar's extensive use of aluminum for the XJ sedan and XJ coupe, there is discussion about using some of Aston Martin parts.
On a more mass-market level, the re-engineered Ford Focus platform is expected to be the basis for everything from the Volvo S40 and V40 to the Land Rover Freelander.
Meanwhile, the Jaguar S-Type, along with the Lincoln LS, will make do with a re-engineered platform.
And more product changes could be on the horizon with the return in May of Allan Gilmour as Ford Motor CFO.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....