California Autos Examiner

Monday, July 27, 2009

Ford future cars and product plans: 2010 and beyond

One-off Mustang AV-X10 'Dearborn Doll'

Recently I have covered Ford's entire 2010 lineup in a three part series. You can read the story by clicking here for Part I, Part II and Part III. I have also covered the Future of Lincoln, 2010 and beyond. You can read the Lincoln post by clicking here. Now attention turns to Ford, what can we expect to see over the next few years.

View the slideshow below for a look into Ford's European vacation inspired future.

The big news for 2010 Fords were the amazing number of refreshes that its cars received. The Fusion, Mustang and Taurus all became much better cars for the 2010 model year. Turkish made Transit Connect compact van has also arrived on the scene. EcoBoost also became available in the 2010 Taurus SHO (standard) and Ford Flex (optional). The Explorer Sport Trac may cease to exist in 2010.

In 2011 the European Ford Fiesta (summer 2010) and Ford Focus (late 2010) will arrive on the scene. The cars will be fine tuned for American's, but still pack a lot of Euro flavor. The Fiesta will be available in sedan and five door hatch configuration and it is this author's belief that the Focus will arrive with the same configurations as well. Automotive News is forecasting a sedan and three door hatch for the Focus, but I believe this is incorrect. Ford officials have made it clear to me that they feel that three door hatches would not generate enough volume to warrant sales in America. The Focus could begin assembly in late 2010 and thus arrive at dealerships in early 2011 as a 2012 model. Also in 2011, the Edge will receive a refreshing, likely with EcoBoost offerings. The Ford Explorer will also attempt to become relevant once more, moving from body on frame to lighter unibody construction. This former sales champ has lost its way as consumers shunned fuelish, heavy SUVs. Ford would dearly love to have the Explorer return to the top of the sales charts. The F-Series Super Duty will get a refreshing with a reworked exterior and interior improvements (how's that for vague?). Ford may kill the Crown Victoria and Ranger pickup in 2011 as well, however, both of these models seem to be invincible, so those dates are tentative at best. Ford just gave the Ranger an extension by equipping it with safety gear to live on past 2010 and the "little pickup that could" has done very well for the Blue Oval. Ford may elect to bring an Australian developed small truck here to the U.S. to keep the Ranger franchise alive.

The small Ford Ka is as if yet still unlikely for this market, however the fact that Ford's partner, Fiat, will be assembling the Ka's sister vehicle the Fiat 500 in North America must be very tempting to Ford. It would seem to be a very cheap way for Ford to offer the Ka to Americans. Don't count the Ka out! The excellent Ford Mondeo will not be making the trip but the next generation Fusion will likely be merged with the Mondeo. Likewise, the attractive Ford Kuga will not make it to the States until the Escape is ready for a do-over. Look for a Focus based people mover, likely the next generation European Ford C-Max, to make its way into our lineup. There a no big changes, other than EcoBoost, for the likes of F-150 and Expedition. That does't mean Ford doesn't have a few tricks up its sleeve to keep these models fresh, it's just that we don't know about them. At some point the Econoline will give way to the global Ford Transit van, the wet dream of Ford executives for decades, but the timing for that changeover is still unclear.

Whew! That's a lot of product! As you can see, Ford is relying heavily on Ford of Europe products and platforms. The automotive press have long begged for these excellent products to make it our way, but in the past Ford has stubbed its toe. It's doubtful that Ford will fail this time around.

In addition to the slideshow below for a look into Ford's European vacation inspired future, you might also be interested in these photo galleries:

2010 Ford and 2010 Lincoln photo gallery

2010 Ford and 2010 Lincoln photo gallery (Part II)

2010 Ford and 2010 Lincoln photo gallery (Part III)

Lincoln and its future

Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus

For more info: Information for this report comes from other articles written by the author and Automotive News.
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