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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Musing on the Flex


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43 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   silvrsvt

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:58 PM

3. Phil Martens, who was Product Development VP, was death on the D3 platform. He absolutely hated it. Believed (with some justification) that it was over weight, over cost, and poorly packaged; wanted to isolate it in Chicago and then kill it. No team was allowed to examine any product that used the D3, and you could count on an extraordinarly severe beating for bringing it up even in a pre-program "what if" situation.


Thats VERY interesting...I though back when Ford bought Volvo, getting its hands on the D3 platform was one of the major reasons they bought them

6. As I said, I don't have any experts to talk with, but I have a suspicion that the CD4 also might not have the width flexibility to accomodate a next-generation Explorer. But I have no idea what a next-generation Explorer would really look like.....Will full-size utilities still exist? Will they also have to go through a downsizing? No idea.


I think they'll still be around...look at the sizes...the Taurus is still actually bigger then the Explorer by an inch or two in overall length. I'm not sure if you can shrink it down much more or you'll be infringing on the Edge, unless the Explorer becomes just a 3 row Edge down the road?

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#22 OFFLINE   silvrsvt

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:03 PM

^ thanks again for your perspective, Austin :thumbup:

&
fwiw
I saw an online document recently indicating
3Q 2014 Edge CD539
3Q 2015 Taurus D568
4Q 2015 Explorer U502(2)
all on CD4 offshoots


The CD539 is the S-Max and the u502 is the current explorer....take it for what its worth...can't find anything on D568

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#23 ONLINE   rmc523

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:17 PM

Good points. I do wonder how much hip points matter on a taller SUV/CUV though.

I did read somewhere that Land Rover is launching a 7-seater on EUCD (not sure of release date). They're pushing it as a complete soft-roader like the Evoque, but I wonder how it will be dimension-wise.


I remember reading something about that Land Rover - wasn't it supposed to be a 7-seat LR2 (obviously lengthened, etc)?

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#24 OFFLINE   Austin

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 06:29 PM

Thats VERY interesting...I though back when Ford bought Volvo, getting its hands on the D3 platform was one of the major reasons they bought them



I think they'll still be around...look at the sizes...the Taurus is still actually bigger then the Explorer by an inch or two in overall length. I'm not sure if you can shrink it down much more or you'll be infringing on the Edge, unless the Explorer becomes just a 3 row Edge down the road?



The primary reason for the purchase of Volvo wasn't the D3 platform. It was an understanding of how difficult it is to create a "near luxury" brand that was recognized world-wide, and the opportunity to achieve synergies and economies of scale by combining platforms and potentially manufacturing facilities between Ford and Volvo. Also, the culture of safety fit with where Ford was headed. After the purchase of Volvo, a huge effort took place to stich Ford and Volvo together. It ain't easy; everything from a consolidation and synchronization of forward model cycle plans to CAD/CAM software.

When the 500 was in pre-program, the team looked at several platforms, including an all-new platform and CDW. Finally chose P2/D3. Appointed a Volvo Chief Program Engineer. But even though the bones are very similar, there are not very many common parts between Volvo and Ford, and therefore a missed opportunity to get economies of scale on components.

Of course the real prize when Ford was collecting brands was BMW. Ford hired Wolfgang Reitzle in part for his inside relationships with the Quandt Family. Ford got Land Rover but not the big prize.

My thoughts are that Chicago remains the only D3 plant. Explorer plus refresh for a total cycle life of at least 8 years. Taurus PI set up for the long-term. Stays on D3, even if a new Taurus takes off from CD4; becomes vestigial sedan just like Crown Vic. Next generation too hazy for me right now, and probably too hazy inside Ford also; doesn't have to be decided right now.

#25 OFFLINE   ZanatWork

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:10 PM

I'm seeing Flexes all over the place, at least down here in New Mexico. Most are the first-gen, but as I'm not a big fan of the new nose, I don't blame the owners.

I hope the model continues on for a good long while. So many people buy SUVs, crossovers, etc. when what they really need is a good ol' wagon.


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#26 OFFLINE   jpd80

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:14 PM

The CD539 is the S-Max and the u502 is the current explorer....take it for what its worth...can't find anything on D568

D568 is not necessarily Taurus, everyone just assumes that it is....

Just like the Asian press just assumed that U375 was Explorer until it was pointed out to be T6 SUV

Edited by jpd80, 12 July 2012 - 08:18 PM.


#27 OFFLINE   NLPRacing

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:27 PM

The CD539 is the S-Max and the u502 is the current explorer....take it for what its worth...can't find anything on D568


There's a Ford employee on LinkedIn that lists his job as "Studio Engineer overseeing the Exterior CD539N (North America Sport Package) and the CD539C (China Sport Package). Coordinating between Exterior Engineering Groups and Studio Design Concepts for Feasibility." If CD359 is S-Max, I would be willing to bet that the next Edge will be a platform mate. FWIW, the Mondeo's code name is CD391 while the Fusion is referred to as CD391N. Interesting...

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#28 OFFLINE   papilgee4evaeva

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:54 PM

I remember reading something about that Land Rover - wasn't it supposed to be a 7-seat LR2 (obviously lengthened, etc)?


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#29 OFFLINE   sullynd

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:23 PM

the Taurus is still actually bigger then the Explorer by an inch or two in overall length.


An inch or two? The Taurus is longer than the FLEX in overall length, even though the Flex has a wheelbase which is nearly 5" longer!

#30 OFFLINE   jpd80

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 11:54 PM

6. As I said, I don't have any experts to talk with, but I have a suspicion that the CD4 also might not have the width flexibility to accomodate a next-generation Explorer. But I have no idea what a next-generation Explorer would really look like.....Will full-size utilities still exist? Will they also have to go through a downsizing? No idea.

S-Max is EUCD, has three row seating and its shoulder width dimension is around the same as Explorer/Territory.
I'm not suggesting that S-Max be used in place of those two SUVs but it could form the beginnings of a new CD4 SUV family.

There's a Ford employee on LinkedIn that lists his job as "Studio Engineer overseeing the Exterior CD539N (North America Sport Package) and the CD539C (China Sport Package). Coordinating between Exterior Engineering Groups and Studio Design Concepts for Feasibility." If CD359 is S-Max, I would be willing to bet that the next Edge will be a platform mate. FWIW, the Mondeo's code name is CD391 while the Fusion is referred to as CD391N. Interesting...

Now that's very interesting information, I wonder what the difference between the two styling packages will be.....

Edited by jpd80, 13 July 2012 - 12:10 AM.


#31 OFFLINE   silvrsvt

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 08:34 AM

There's a Ford employee on LinkedIn that lists his job as "Studio Engineer overseeing the Exterior CD539N (North America Sport Package) and the CD539C (China Sport Package). Coordinating between Exterior Engineering Groups and Studio Design Concepts for Feasibility." If CD359 is S-Max, I would be willing to bet that the next Edge will be a platform mate. FWIW, the Mondeo's code name is CD391 while the Fusion is referred to as CD391N. Interesting...


I noticed that yesterday when I was poking around for platform info....first time I've seen the C designator...though.

"Hell, there are no rules here-- we're trying to accomplish something."
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Ford Products owned though the years:
1986 Escort GT Race Red
1998 Mustang GT Dark Green Satin
2002 SVT Focus Satin Silver
2006 Mustang GT Tungsten Grey

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Future Fords:
20XX Explorer, Edge or Escape

 

199923.png

 

photo-thumb-15254.jpg


#32 OFFLINE   Austin

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 09:30 AM

There's a Ford employee on LinkedIn that lists his job as "Studio Engineer overseeing the Exterior CD539N (North America Sport Package) and the CD539C (China Sport Package). Coordinating between Exterior Engineering Groups and Studio Design Concepts for Feasibility." If CD359 is S-Max, I would be willing to bet that the next Edge will be a platform mate. FWIW, the Mondeo's code name is CD391 while the Fusion is referred to as CD391N. Interesting...


Studio Engineer is a job that can be invaluable to help with initial feasibility of designs. They can help keep the designers in check so they don't do something stupid/expensive, and they can help push the envelope on the engineering side for things the designers really want. I'm a little surprised with this rather limited job title for a Studio Engineer -- it looks like this person is just working on a trim package which isn't very tough and wouldn't normally be a full-time job. Usually their jobs are broader than just "Sport Package." They are much, much more important during platform changes, working in conjunction with Advanced Engineering (including Packaging Engineers) at first, and then with the Program Team later when one is formed (usually 36 months or so before Job #1).

Edge based on CD4 is a near certain bet. Don't forget that Ford promised CAW a new platform in Oakville during the last set of negotiations which IMO was pretty much a giveaway that CD4 in Oakville was going to happen.

My understanding is that there were battles inside Ford over S-Max being a replacement for Edge. I know that Ford NA won that round (S-Max would have been totally dorky and unsat for the U.S.), but I'm not sure what the tophat(s) will look like around the world. One, or more??

The country designations behind the program number are somewhat amusing. Ford used to use country codes, but discontinued the practice until recently it seems. Just shows that "One Ford" works up to a point, but there are local requirements (safety, emissions, features) that dictate some uniqueness by market. You need to keep those in check so they don't blossom out into a lot of uniqueness which can bring cost.

#33 OFFLINE   NLPRacing

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 10:59 AM

I noticed that yesterday when I was poking around for platform info....first time I've seen the C designator...though.


It's "C" for China, it's nice to see us export something to China, even if it's just a design.

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#34 OFFLINE   NickF1011

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 11:23 AM

Isn't the Edge already being exported to China also?
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#35 OFFLINE   Deanh

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:01 PM

I'm seeing Flexes all over the place, at least down here in New Mexico. Most are the first-gen, but as I'm not a big fan of the new nose, I don't blame the owners.

I hope the model continues on for a good long while. So many people buy SUVs, crossovers, etc. when what they really need is a good ol' wagon.

Im with you on the nose, they could have done away with a lot of the detailing which in my opinion is overly fussy. Headlights especially, DITCH ALL THE DAMN CHROME!
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#36 OFFLINE   Deanh

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:03 PM

An inch or two? The Taurus is longer than the FLEX in overall length, even though the Flex has a wheelbase which is nearly 5" longer!

dont get me started on my pet peeve "over-hangs"....
" Sizzler "...and 412hp is all you'll ever see from this engine.I'd rather have potential. The 5.0 is the very definition of being at death's door with no place to go. "Mettech"....Privately owned dealerships is so 19th Century.....Richard So, Dean, you gonna pull my words from your sig?. Sully (reg new Escape) Clearly, the Escape/Kuga/Vertrek/Fail will not sell in the same volume as the Escape does currently

#37 OFFLINE   Captainp4

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:07 PM

Though what everyone is saying is probably much more likely and feasible, I'd really like to see all of the "D" sized vehicles move to a flexible unit body RWD/awd platform.
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#38 OFFLINE   akirby

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:21 PM

dont get me started on my pet peeve "over-hangs"....


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#39 OFFLINE   Edstock

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:22 PM

OMG make it go away . . .

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#40 OFFLINE   jpd80

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 04:36 PM

The country designations behind the program number are somewhat amusing. Ford used to use country codes, but discontinued the practice until recently it seems. Just shows that "One Ford" works up to a point, but there are local requirements (safety, emissions, features) that dictate some uniqueness by market. You need to keep those in check so they don't blossom out into a lot of uniqueness which can bring cost.

I'm hearing the terms "global platforms" and "sustaining platforms" which sounds like even though Ford has gained significant scales of economy
with global platforms, they can't cover everything Ford wants to do.. So there will still have to be some sustaining platforms to fill in the gaps..
An interesting one is a vehicle for the BRIC group, apparently their large car needs are similar and justifies a unique project.

Edited by jpd80, 13 July 2012 - 04:39 PM.