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iamweasel

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  1. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Must have missed that I guess. Can't recall last time I've seen a new-ish Ford tractor....either way, still a waste of time for Ford to deal with that.
  2. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Here is where I will push back on what you said: "My point was from a current plant utilization perspective, any unit you push out the door at OAP (assuming priced correctly) improves profitability." That is not necessarily true. To make ONE tractor, it takes A TON of money to bring that configuration to market. To justify the up-front cost you have to make enough variable profit on each unit, and sell enough of them to recoup that investment plus whatever profit % you want to make. The first units out the door are actually money losers. You hope to start making money on the back end, but given the low profit #'s on 650/750 that's tough to do varations that may have very little volume.
  3. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    As someone who oversees A LOT of single axle tractor sales to beverage companies, a Ford beverage tractor would be a waste of time. The cab is too long (nearly a foot longer BBC), the inside is too small with terrible ingress/egress, has terrible visibility and a much wider turning radius than most of the competition. Nobody would buy it.....that may be harsh but that's the truth. Ford knows what limitations they have with that cab and their dealer network so their product offerings reflect that.
  4. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Except that's not true when the Maverick is loaded with NAFTA parts and the Camry is loaded with foreign parts. Can't just focus on final assembly. For every final assembly plant, there are hundreds of supplier plants supporting it. (And don't reference any AALA calculation, either, as many of the foreign OEM's use to inflate their domestic content percentage.)
  5. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    There are police cars, and there are cars with lights on them. Two different things.
  6. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Well, the 6.0/6.4 issues were not "diesel" issues, those were Ford/Navistar issues. (i.e, bad design...) Diesels keep running at lower and lower RPM's, so not sure where your RPM comment is coming from. What matters is where the peak torque is, and while Ford has been slower to downspeed their engines other engine makers have been lowering the RPM's needed for years. For instance: Ford's 6.7 = peak torque @ 1800 RPMs Cummins B6.7 = peak torque @ 1600 RPMs Cummins L9 = peak torque @ 1200 RPMs Detroit DD5/DD8 = peak torque @ 1200 RPM's Ford is a little behind the times when it comes to engine efficiency in this regard. At 1200 RPM the 6.7 is only generating 550/ft-lb torque which is well behind what Cummins & Detroit can do.
  7. Agree 100%. The only time I heard or saw Ford literally put the brakes on a program was when I was on the 2009-14 F-150 and they stopped us cold for 3 months, and delayed the Job #1 date by 6 months. That was absolutely the right decision back then and the only reason it got done is because the PD Chief at the time, Derrick Kuzak, would not take no for an answer. They need to do this more often when things aren't on-schedule. Part of the reason they did it on the F-150 is since obviously that's the flagship program and means so much, but also due to the fact we just changed PD Chief's at the time. Kuzak just took over PD from Phil Martens at the time (the worst PD Chief I ever seen) and saw how we were basically spending $1.5 Billion on a new program with carry over engines and a exterior design that didn't look any different than the outgoing model. It was a joke..... That first meeting with Kuzak is still vivid in my brain. We had an initial meeting with the new boss (Kuzak) in the design studio to review the program status, etc. He was just a few minutes late, so he rushed to the table and apologized and told us to start going through the presentation. As I'm going through it, he says "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I thought there would be a model of the new truck here for me to look at, where is it?" The Chief Engineer sheepishly says "Derrick, it's right over there" pointing to a painted clay truck 20 feet away from us. He didn't notice it because it looked just like the current model. LOL.....Derrick says "That's what I'm getting for $1.5B! You've got to be kidding me!" Then the Chief Engineer (in as nice of a way as he could) told him how Phil Martens is the reason for that and if it was up to him we'd do this a lot differently. Derrick said enough with the presentation - he doesn't need to see any more. Lets come back in 7 days and you tell me what you want to do and how much it will cost. We came back a week later and told him we wanted $1.8B and need to delay Job #1 by 6 months, showed him what we wanted to do different, and then he approved it. Was one of the craziest weeks of my life as we scrambled to get everything together. But the point is, he had the stones to stop things cold when off track. He did not care about the backlash from his bosses or the board, he knew it was the right thing to do. Ford needs more people who will do something like that and not worry about the politics.
  8. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Hearing the same re: Cali. It's one of the reasons my company (who is based in CA) went on an aggressive buying spree to get into other markets to lessen their dependence on CA. The running joke is they need us non-CA regions to keep growing so we can carry the load in the future......
  9. Ford's launches have been horrible for years.....yes this may have been worse than most for Ford, but that isn't saying much. Again, discipline in their PD process is needed if they truly want to improve initial quality. (And accepting the cost consequences that may happen if you delay a launch or postpone a part change to the next opportunity.)
  10. The Focus problems were known internally, and that should have never gone forward, no doubt. With the other items, those problems were not known at the time. Could one guess that these rushed things would lead to more problems later? Sure, and that is definitely something that Ford needs to address. This kind of thing has been an issue for a long time and I agree with you here, but the Focus tranny issues are a completely different animal. (Proceeding with a known issue versus rushing things forward without known issues at the time.)
  11. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Right now, on the DTNA side we are being told heavy duty truck prices may go up $20,000-$30,000 from 2026MY to 2027MY when these regulations go into effect. Medium-duty may be less but it will be big based on what Cummins is telling them. (At that point, DTNA will cease producing the DD5/DD8 as they have shifted to spend medium duty engine development money on more electric/fuel cell R&D. We will still have Detroit heavy duty engines for 2027MY.) If that holds true, and they can't find a better solution to minimize the cost hit and all the additional sensors/wiring needed, DTNA believers there will be a huge "2007-like" pre-buy in the market in 24CY/25CY. (Like what we saw in 2006CY/2007CY.) Between that, and their demand expectations for the next couple years, they are warning us we may not come off allocation anytime soon. We'll see....
  12. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    In our area, A LOT of customers require Cummins so they match the rest of their fleet. That's a pretty big deal to many, especially large fleets and municipalities who do not want to train their technicians on several different engines.
  13. Certainly there is some of that, yeah, and I get that, but that Focus trans issue was the exception, not the norm. That dual-clutch tranny was done because they had to shave MPG's to save CAFE penalties, and would not have been such a bad idea if they actually used a decent design. (More like the other dual clutch autos out there.) So they screwed up the design and then took the stupid-factor another step by forcing it through knowing of the potential issues. Just dumb.... But aside from that I don't know of that many decisions made for short term gain if they **knowingly** think it will negatively impact product quality. I do think too many people get "sold" on certain things by suppliers or engineers claiming they can do something, and then in reality it doesn't work as intended. They need a little more discipline/structure to really "trust but verify" certain things before mass production starts. Ford has always made too many post-deadline or running changes which led to a chaotic environment during the product development process that I believe impacted vehicle quality.
  14. I was specifically referring to the parts on a vehicle, which in the end is what really makes the most impact on long term vehicle quality. I don't know enough about the process to determine plant headcounts / line setups / ergonomics, etc, to comment on that part of things. That being said, final vehicle assembly is so good these days, with all OEM's, that "mistakes" when it comes to what happens at the plant rarely impact long-term vehicle quality. (And yes, I have worked in a final assembly plant - proud alum of Michigan Truck Plant, now known as Michigan Assembly I believe.) My first job at the plant was to review every single warranty claim on a vehicle that was filed before the truck turned 90-days old. We called them 3MIS meetings. (3 months in service.) At the time, most of the claims within the first 90-days were thought to be assembly issues, and anything after that was thought to be a parts design/supplier issue. On the claims under 90-days, we shared our findings with the engineering team in Product Development on anything that we believed to be a parts design/supplier issue. On the other hand, anything over 90 days that was thought to be an assembly issue was sent to us for review. (So we could change things on our end if needed.) Generally speaking, what we found was: Roughly half of the claims within 90 days were due to something that happened at the plant, and half were due to a parts design/supplier issue. (Usually stuff like wires not hooked up correctly, loose parts due to broken fasteners/clips due to improper installation, water leaks due to improper robot sealing, etc.) As far as the claims sent to us that were on vehicles over 90-days old, most of it was the same nickel & dime things I mentioned above. In many cases, we'd call the customer to ask questions and we'd find out the problem was there from the beginning, they just didn't bother taking the vehicle in for service until after the 90-day mark. We never found a major issue with these claims that would be something that would make the vehicle blow up in 3-4 years or anything like that. Usually those types of catastrophic failures were due to a parts design/supplier issue.
  15. Ultimately, engineering **is** who makes the final decision, specifically the Chielf Engineer/Program Manager, but they are typically smart enough to use a team approach/consult with all impacted parties before they cut things, but at the end of the day they make the call. If they try to cut something that the marketing folks insist they must have, then those marketing folks "appeal" the ruling up the chain on their side and then the "supreme court" (ie, the PD chief) will handle the appeal. But nowhere along the way do finance people assigned to product programs start making decisions on what to cut on a given car or truck. That was my point.
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