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Ford debuts new transmission system to power next-gen hybrids

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51 minutes ago, akirby said:

My theory is people who buy cheap Explorers are bargain hunters who aren't brand loyal to start with and will go with the cheapest option next time.  Brand loyalty just isn't what it used to be - there are too many brands and too many options and not as much differentiation as there used to be.

Well heck, I guess there's no reason for me to replace my current 2014 200A 4WD Explorer with a fresh 2019 of the same configuration, better to let that vehicle sit on the lot. Foolish me for buying the 10-12 Ford products I have over the last couple of decades.

HRG

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49 minutes ago, HotRunrGuy said:

Well heck, I guess there's no reason for me to replace my current 2014 200A 4WD Explorer with a fresh 2019 of the same configuration, better to let that vehicle sit on the lot. Foolish me for buying the 10-12 Ford products I have over the last couple of decades.

HRG

There are always exceptions.   Would you buy a new base Explorer even with a modest price increase?  If so then you’re not in the group that was being discussed.

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15 minutes ago, akirby said:

There are always exceptions.   Would you buy a new base Explorer even with a modest price increase?  If so then you’re not in the group that was being discussed.

I guess it depends on your definition of "modest". Pricing out a 2020 200A 4WD XLT w/tow package, there's a little over $5K (15%) price difference, thanks to $3K incentives on the '19.

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1 hour ago, rmc523 said:

I'm talking about smaller cars/products, not Explorers specifically.  But I get your point.

I think it's actually the reverse for most buyers, that F Series is Ford's gateway vehicle and acts as a catalyst for other family members and friends to go buy smaller Fords. This concentration around F Series, the large Utilities and Explorer has been both the success and Achilles heel of Ford for the last 20 years...nothing has really changed and in fact, it feels like a Ford is doubling down on what makes money and shifting away from "empty volume" vehicles.

I just wish Ford hadn't written off Fusion and Focus so quickly and IMO, San Louis Potosi should have continued as the new production center for coming utilities while Hermosillo is kept for Focus and Fusion/Mondeo, C2 versions of these vehicles would have greater production efficiencies as well as right pricing with Mexican labor.

 

Edited by jpd80

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29 minutes ago, HotRunrGuy said:

I guess it depends on your definition of "modest". Pricing out a 2020 200A 4WD XLT w/tow package, there's a little over $5K (15%) price difference, thanks to $3K incentives on the '19.

But those incentive differences are temporary.  In a few months the 2020 pricing compared to 2019 pricing a year ago should only be about $2K more.

 

The point really was about cheaper vehicles in general (< $20K) and whether losing those buyers would hurt sales of more expensive vehicles later and I don't think so.  At least not enough to impact profits.

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20 minutes ago, jpd80 said:

I think it's actually the reverse for most buyers, that F Series is Ford's gateway vehicle and acts as a catalyst for other family members and friends to go buy smaller Fords. This concentration around F Series, the large Utilities and Explorer has been both the success and Achilles heel of Ford for the last 20 years...nothing has really changed and in fact, it feels like a Ford is doubling down on what makes money and shifting away from "empty volume" vehicles.

That's a good point.  We had explorers, expeditions, rangers and aviators so when it came time to buy a vehicle for our kids we naturally gravitated to a Focus.

 

The key here is to make products people love and are willing to pay for, not something they buy because it's on sale that month.  And all of the new Ford and Lincoln vehicles and the ones on the way we know about seem to fit that model.  The only vehicles not in that category today I would say are Fusion/MKZ and Flex (not because they weren't great vehicles but because they haven't been kept updated), Ecosport (old ROW design) and MKT (self explanatory).

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4 hours ago, akirby said:

 

Way to exaggerate guys.  We're only talking about raising the price a few thousand, not tens of thousands or 4 times the price.   And last I looked Explorer and Aviator were made in one factory so they can't close it.  There should still be plenty of volume to keep one plant busy even is sales drop a little.

my comments general...not Explorer specific...cars are getting damn expensive...you cant get absolute crap under 25k anymore, I fear this relentless pursuit of higher ATPs will eventually backfire. The higher an MSRP the smaller the market...all very fine and dandy to make a better product...just don't put it out of reach of people. leasing penetration will be going through the roof...which we have seen, has kicked Ford in the shorts several times due to unpredictable used car market swings...

 

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1 hour ago, Deanh said:

my comments general...not Explorer specific...cars are getting damn expensive...you cant get absolute crap under 25k anymore, I fear this relentless pursuit of higher ATPs will eventually backfire. The higher an MSRP the smaller the market...all very fine and dandy to make a better product...just don't put it out of reach of people. leasing penetration will be going through the roof...which we have seen, has kicked Ford in the shorts several times due to unpredictable used car market swings...

 

Preach on brother, I keep getting smacked down for saying the same thing 

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They still sell base models.  They still sell Ranger and F150 XLs.  Ecosport.  A new “affordable vehicle” on the way.  They didn’t get rid of affordable vehicles they just got rid of the unprofitable ones.

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8 hours ago, Deanh said:

my comments general...not Explorer specific...cars are getting damn expensive...you cant get absolute crap under 25k anymore, I fear this relentless pursuit of higher ATPs will eventually backfire. The higher an MSRP the smaller the market...all very fine and dandy to make a better product...just don't put it out of reach of people. leasing penetration will be going through the roof...which we have seen, has kicked Ford in the shorts several times due to unpredictable used car market swings...

It all stems back to this preoccupation with a set % return on revenue, Ford and GM chiefs stopped looking at the total amount of profit and started grizzling that the return is not "X"..so therefor, any model making X% product is then deemed a "loss maker" and is better ended than taking a slightly lower amount of profit.

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13 hours ago, Deanh said:

my comments general...not Explorer specific...cars are getting damn expensive...you cant get absolute crap under 25k anymore, I fear this relentless pursuit of higher ATPs will eventually backfire. The higher an MSRP the smaller the market...all very fine and dandy to make a better product...just don't put it out of reach of people. leasing penetration will be going through the roof...which we have seen, has kicked Ford in the shorts several times due to unpredictable used car market swings...

 

Thats why your seeing luxury companies offering all in one leases for consumers and leasing done correctly prob works out better for Ford and other companies, because the lessor pays for the deprecation of the product and Ford most likely double dips afterwards with selling it as a certified pre-owned car financed through FMC. I'm assuming that doesn't really do much for the dealerships profitability either. 

Not to mention many consumers are wrapped up too much into the monthly payment game, which also encourages leasing too. 

What is exactly considered affordable these days anyways?

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5 hours ago, jpd80 said:

It all stems back to this preoccupation with a set % return on revenue, Ford and GM chiefs stopped looking at the total amount of profit and started grizzling that the return is not "X"..so therefor, any model making X% product is then deemed a "loss maker" and is better ended than taking a slightly lower amount of profit.

 

But that's not really how it works.  You start with X amount of capital to spend each year and you have to decide which projects to spend it on.   Ford has new projects that promise a higher profit margin than some existing products so Hackett is simply prioritizing the spending to focus on projects with higher margins where possible.  

Note that 8% is not for every project/vehicle - that's the overall average.  Some will be lower than 8% and some higher.

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2 hours ago, akirby said:

 

But that's not really how it works.  You start with X amount of capital to spend each year and you have to decide which projects to spend it on.   Ford has new projects that promise a higher profit margin than some existing products so Hackett is simply prioritizing the spending to focus on projects with higher margins where possible.  

Note that 8% is not for every project/vehicle - that's the overall average.  Some will be lower than 8% and some higher.

Let's not forget on how important margin is. Nissan is crumbling in their push for sales with little (1-2%) to no margin in the US. My intuition says they will be killing the Altima and Maxima in the next few years. It's a balancing act with sales vs margin but 8% margin across the board gives you some breathing room.

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8 minutes ago, jcartwright99 said:

Let's not forget on how important margin is. Nissan is crumbling in their push for sales with little (1-2%) to no margin in the US. My intuition says they will be killing the Altima and Maxima in the next few years. It's a balancing act with sales vs margin but 8% margin across the board gives you some breathing room.

Exactly.   A 2% margin on a $35K vehicle is only $700.  If you have to put $1K cash on the hood you're losing money.

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On 5/20/2019 at 8:42 AM, jpd80 said:

And why shouldn't they as Toyota has made a lot of those patents free to use until 2030  (as of April 2019)

 

Having free access to those patents gives Ford a great opportunity to refine its power-split hybrid system (FWD). Toyota, Ford, and GM are the only automakers using this architecture currently.

Do you know if any Toyota patents apply to Ford's RWD P2 hybrid architecture? It sounds like Ford did most or all the design and engineering work on this system. The new Lexus RWD hybrids use a different architecture. It's a multi stage system that combines the power-split architecture using two motor generators (like other Toyota hybrids) with a 4-speed planetary automatic final drive unit to simulate a 10-speed transmission.

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41 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

Having free access to those patents gives Ford a great opportunity to refine its power-split hybrid system (FWD). Toyota, Ford, and GM are the only automakers using this architecture currently.

Do you know if any Toyota patents apply to Ford's RWD P2 hybrid architecture? It sounds like Ford did most or all the design and engineering work on this system. The new Lexus RWD hybrids use a different architecture. It's a multi stage system that combines the power-split architecture using two motor generators (like other Toyota hybrids) with a 4-speed planetary automatic final drive unit to simulate a 10-speed transmission.

Ford also did all their own engineering on their original hybrid system.  They used an Aisin eCVT but all of the engineering, design and software were done by Ford.  They agreed to do a license swap with Toyota because what they developed was similar to what Toyota had patented so even though it was original Toyota could have claimed infringement.

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3 hours ago, akirby said:

 

But that's not really how it works.  You start with X amount of capital to spend each year and you have to decide which projects to spend it on.   Ford has new projects that promise a higher profit margin than some existing products so Hackett is simply prioritizing the spending to focus on projects with higher margins where possible.  

Note that 8% is not for every project/vehicle - that's the overall average.  Some will be lower than 8% and some higher.

I suspect this goes to the reason that Ford apparently will produce the Fusion through at least the 2023 model - it can't find new products that will return better than the Fusion currently does. If Fusion continues to sell anywhere close to current volumes the next couple of years, I"m guessing Ford will bring a new Fusion to market by 23 or 24. Just conjecture on my part.

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14 minutes ago, Trader 10 said:

I suspect this goes to the reason that Ford apparently will produce the Fusion through at least the 2023 model - it can't find new products that will return better than the Fusion currently does. If Fusion continues to sell anywhere close to current volumes the next couple of years, I"m guessing Ford will bring a new Fusion to market by 23 or 24. Just conjecture on my part.

I think it has more to do with not needing the factory space.  I think some of the vehicles/projects they had slated for Hermosillo got pushed out thus they could continue Fusion production.  But since they're probably not going to invest in a significant update it will continue to be a low margin fleet queen.   Think about it - if someone who leases every 3 years bought a 2013 Fusion and a 2016 Fusion and is ready for a new 2019 vehicle - they'd be getting essentially the same exact vehicle they had for the last 6 years and most people want something new.  I still think Fusion is the best looking midsized sedan out there and it has all the features but that's just not enough to overcome the same styling for 7 years.

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7 minutes ago, akirby said:

I think it has more to do with not needing the factory space.  I think some of the vehicles/projects they had slated for Hermosillo got pushed out thus they could continue Fusion production.  But since they're probably not going to invest in a significant update it will continue to be a low margin fleet queen.   Think about it - if someone who leases every 3 years bought a 2013 Fusion and a 2016 Fusion and is ready for a new 2019 vehicle - they'd be getting essentially the same exact vehicle they had for the last 6 years and most people want something new.  I still think Fusion is the best looking midsized sedan out there and it has all the features but that's just not enough to overcome the same styling for 7 years.

If from here on they do the same thing they're doing with the 19, the emphasis will be on the hybrid over gas. 

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26 minutes ago, akirby said:

I think it has more to do with not needing the factory space.  I think some of the vehicles/projects they had slated for Hermosillo got pushed out thus they could continue Fusion production.  But since they're probably not going to invest in a significant update it will continue to be a low margin fleet queen.   Think about it - if someone who leases every 3 years bought a 2013 Fusion and a 2016 Fusion and is ready for a new 2019 vehicle - they'd be getting essentially the same exact vehicle they had for the last 6 years and most people want something new.  I still think Fusion is the best looking midsized sedan out there and it has all the features but that's just not enough to overcome the same styling for 7 years.

I don't get this one at all. If they are going to keep the Fusion in the rotation till 2023,  can they please put the 8 speed in there? At the very least,that is what they could do. It would lessen the blow that exterior/interior hasn't changed that much. This is like history repeating itself with the Fusion's predecessor the Taurus. 

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6 minutes ago, jcartwright99 said:

I don't get this one at all. If they are going to keep the Fusion in the rotation till 2023,  can they please put the 8 speed in there? At the very least,that is what they could do. It would lessen the blow that exterior/interior hasn't changed that much. This is like history repeating itself with the Fusion's predecessor the Taurus. 

Putting the 8 speed in would likely cost more than updating the interior, and have less return.  Most people don't care if their car has 6 or 8 speeds, and I doubt the fuel economy is going to be more than 1 or 2 MPG better with the 8, but they do want a nice interior.

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32 minutes ago, jcartwright99 said:

I don't get this one at all. If they are going to keep the Fusion in the rotation till 2023,  can they please put the 8 speed in there? At the very least,that is what they could do. It would lessen the blow that exterior/interior hasn't changed that much. This is like history repeating itself with the Fusion's predecessor the Taurus. 

8 speeds won't fix the problem.  They'd just be throwing good money after bad if they can't update the exterior and interior at the same time.

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55 minutes ago, fordmantpw said:

Putting the 8 speed in would likely cost more than updating the interior, and have less return.  Most people don't care if their car has 6 or 8 speeds, and I doubt the fuel economy is going to be more than 1 or 2 MPG better with the 8, but they do want a nice interior.

The Mondeo has the 8 speed for 2019. Not sure how much that would cost other than EPA testing to get it in there. It would help performance and FE. I agree the design needs updating but they did a slight refresh for 2019 and I don't understand why they didn't include the 8 speed. Especially since they did for Mondeo. The whole Ford rot on the vine strikes again. Doesn't matter why, it just does.

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26 minutes ago, jcartwright99 said:

The Mondeo has the 8 speed for 2019. Not sure how much that would cost other than EPA testing to get it in there. It would help performance and FE. I agree the design needs updating but they did a slight refresh for 2019 and I don't understand why they didn't include the 8 speed. Especially since they did for Mondeo. The whole Ford rot on the vine strikes again. Doesn't matter why, it just does.

That's what happens when you kill something then bring it back from the dead.  You've lost all the work that had been done on the updated model and it's too late to start over for just another couple of model years.

If they had done a proper refresh in 2017 then it would be easier to support drivetrain upgrades.  Without any visual updates the mechanicals won't matter.

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43 minutes ago, jcartwright99 said:

The Mondeo has the 8 speed for 2019. Not sure how much that would cost other than EPA testing to get it in there. It would help performance and FE. I agree the design needs updating but they did a slight refresh for 2019 and I don't understand why they didn't include the 8 speed. Especially since they did for Mondeo. The whole Ford rot on the vine strikes again. Doesn't matter why, it just does.

I didn't realize the Modeo got it, but yeah, like akirby said, it won't plug the hole in the sinking ship.

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