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Roland

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  1. Roland

    Focus ST

    Same short sighted blunder as before. Bleeding market share to focus on the cash cows. Last time around Toyota, Honda, and Nissan ate up ten points of their market share before they got the ship righted. What they found out the last time around was that abandoning segments takes them off people's shopping list. When a kid has to buy a Hyundai or Honda starting out he may never bother going to the Ford store when he decides it's time to buy one of those cash cows. When domestic manufacturers lose customers to these brands they are very difficult to bring back. Ford is throwing away customers that it may never get back.
  2. Roland

    Focus ST

    I've heard that all before. In five to ten years they'll be scrambling to bring back their passenger car line. Again. Fashions change and today's SUV or crossover is going to be tomorrow's mom van or station wagon.
  3. Just a year ago Ford was touting the fact that their sporty Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion models attract a younger, more affluent buyer that tends to opt for imports. http://www.torquenews.com/106/ford-focus-fiesta-and-fusion-sporty-models-attract-younger-buyers This whole misbegotten scheme has already gone off the rails. Ford is in a denial phase where they think the problem is the coverage. http://www.leftlanenews.com/ford-responds-to-criticism-over-passenger-car-plans-100492.html
  4. That was my thought. It's like watching one of those time travel movies where you keep going back to try to fix things but you find yourself powerless to keep people from making the same stupid mistakes over and over. Bottom line, if someone else can make cars profitably and Ford can't then they're toast eventually anyway. You can't keep running from segments because you can't make a buck there. And it doesn't take fuel prices to bring this little truck party to a crashing conclusion. Fashion can turn on a dime and this year's ultra-popular CUV could become next year's soccer-mom minivan. Pretty sad because my wife was really thrilled to "come home" to Ford for her new Focus ST. No way she'll settle for the mom-van version when it comes time to re-up. Ironically she fled there from Mazda because their car lineup has strayed to far from the "zoom zoom" nature that attracted us away from Ford in the first place. As for me, maybe I'll swap out my Ecoboost Mustang for the "Last of the V8s" memorial edition Mustang just before they toss that in the heap as well.
  5. But decoupling has provided such gems as the second gen US Focus - a car that I always saw as the second coming of the Tempo. If the objective was to suck the soul out of anyone who looked at or sat in one then it was a success.
  6. This is the image Ford is building for themselves. The message being delivered is that cars don't matter - it's all about trucks and SUVs. The distinction between SUVs and CUVs is meaningless in this context. You're making the case yourself, five new SUVs while their passenger car lineup dies on the vine. This is the eternal problem with old school American companies, constantly kowtowing to analysts. If Ford wants to be a tech company they should look at how some of the big tech companies treat Wall Street.
  7. Roland

    2019 Mustang Production Information

    Agreed. Not sure if this is a fine metallic like OF that really pops in the light. Based on the pictures I've seen NFG is a little too flat looking to be a good bright green.
  8. Roland

    Roland's EB Mustang

  9. Roland

    2021 Mustang on CD6

    Really? Mach1? It might be more accurate to tell people to be careful what they wish for. Cougar is probably dead because of the popular connotation. Falcon would be more appropriate for a performance electric SUV than Mach1.
  10. Roland

    2021 Mustang on CD6

    The risk is that if you become a niche product faster than your competitors you will lose market share in the process. Then, unless you have some compelling differentiator in your products you're going to be among the companies that are culled as things collapse and consolidate.
  11. 1.) Higher utilization of cars compared to regular personal cars Consumers don't care about higher utilization except where it benefits them. Higher utilization might reduce the cost but I've already pointed out that cost isn't the primary driver behind most people's transportation choices. Higher utilization also carries negative impact for consumers when we're talking about shared transportation. Interiors will have to be designed for high utilization by users with no ownership interest. You will enjoy the leavings of every user of that vehicle since it was last cleaned out. How many people do you think they'll have to employ regularly cleaning out these vehicles and who is going to do that work? Welcome to your new TAAS ride complete with automated hose-out interior. Enjoy the ride. Also, this is another case of what I mentioned - attributing benefits of automated vehicles to TAAS. Certainly TAAS would maximize utilization at a given time, but personal owners could also see increased utilization. Many families could combine two daily drivers into one, for example. Also, if owners want to maximize utilization, then they can simply keep a vehicle for it's entire useful life. By doing that they're utilizing 100% of the useful life of that vehicle and it makes little difference whether it spends 5% or 95% of it's time during that span parked. 2.) Much better service quality and frequency than public transit Here you make a good point, but it's about public transportation, not personal vehicle ownership. Given a choice between shared public transportation and TAAS, many consumers will choose TAAS because it overcomes the problem with almost all public transit - lack of direct access to a destination. Personal vehicles still provide better quality and frequency than shared transportation and will continue to do so in an autonomous vehicle market. 3.) Safer Automated vehicles may be safer, but TAAS isn't a requirement for that. In fact, with personal vehicles the consumer can decide for themselves how much they value safety and how much they want to spend on it beyond whatever is included with whatever shows up when they summon TAAS. 4.) Less expensive for customers Again, consumers aren't buying transportation on a least cost basis. They're buying on a best value basis where value is defined by their personal wants and needs. 5.) Encourage better urban design This is a mix of something consumers don't care about in their buying decisions and attributing autonomous vehicle benefits only to TAAS. Are you going to take away my parking space? I'll send my vehicle to park someplace else.
  12. These predictions of the end of personal transportation are generally coming from those who want that to be the outcome. They're putting a heavy thumb on the scale in order to sell that not only as desirable, but inevitable. Finally they can be rid of that annoying conveyance that takes people where ever they want to go whenever they want to go there, destroying our environment in the process. The biggest fallacy that they use to advance their agenda is circular logic. In their arguments, the benefits of autonomous vehicles will only accrue to transportation as a service (TAAS) users because TAAS will supplant personal vehicle ownership because of those benefits. They apply circular logic in a number of areas but that's the most common. Second, they misunderstand what motivates people's transportation choices. They focus largely on cost when it's value, not cost that motivates most people's transportation choices. It's utility, comfort, convenience, image, and enjoyment that people are paying for, not just transportation from point A to point B. Third, they do all of this reasoning from an extremely urbanite perspective. They need density to make their TAAS models work and they dismiss the poor, unwashed masses who live outside urban centers. If you read between the lines they really want those people forced into urban areas. I agree that it would be nice to have the roads cleared of all the idiots who aren't the least bit interested in operating a vehicle safely, but car people need to be careful about getting on board with this thinking. There's an agenda behind a lot of this and it has nothing to do with a future for vehicles that provide theutility, comfort, convenience, image, and enjoyment that you want.
  13. Oh, I've thought about it. If you read the stuff coming out of the think tanks that are pushing autonomous battery electric vehicles as the be all, end all solution, it becomes clear that their vision is really to eliminate personally owned and operated transportation. They're willing to allow for corporate ownership of ABEV vehicles but they expect that heavy regulation will turn that into defacto public transportation. The intent is to push an entire array of social engineering objectives by claiming that they are inevitable outcomes and therefore the government should begin passing laws and regulations to ensure that it comes to pass in the way that they desire. Here's an example from "rethinkX" which predicts the collapse of the ICE and personally owned transportation industry by 2030. http://www.rethinkx.com/press-release/2017/5/3/new-report-due-to-major-transportation-disruption-95-of-us-car-miles-will-be-traveled-in-self-driving-electric-shared-vehicles-by-2030
  14. Roland

    New to me Mustang

    Same experience here with my new '18 with summers. It's an Ecoboost with PP but I get to enjoy the GT experience right now. With cold weather and salt glazed roads I can break it loose at just about any speed with imprudent shifting or throttle application. I'm like junior weather man right now watching the forecast for opportunities to get my car out of the garage. No residual ice or snow? Check. Temperatures above freezing? Check. No significant chance of precipitation? Check. Time to roll out. I got a little weary of changing over tires with my Miata so I'll probably put on a set of Michelin Pilot Sport all seasons next fall.
  15. Just a note to say thank you again for your assistance and patience with my breaches of protocol. I was trying to hold out for an opportunity to get a decent picture with actual sunlight to highlight this gorgeous color, but we've had about ten minutes of sunlight since I got the car. This purchase was a double win for Ford. While I was wrestling the dealer for fair value on my trade my wife spotted a loaded '17 Focus ST that desperately needed rescued from the dealer's lot and she took that home a week later.
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