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iamweasel

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  1. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    I would be curious to see how many of Ford's 650/750 sales are gas motors vs diesel. That is one advantage Ford has vs the others as, just like with glider kits, there is a good chunk of the population who will do anything to avoid the cost & issues with diesel aftertreatment systems. In addition to that, Ford needs a new cab BAD. It's no coincidence that Freightliner and International dominate Class 6-7 and they both offer significantly better cabs than what Ford and PACCAR offer. In addition, there are so many options/advanced features on some of these trucks that Ford just doesn't offer. Ford just can't come anywhere near the others on the number of buildable combinations and specific options/layouts the others offer, which makes body builders prefer the FTL/INTL trucks in a big way. Ford's advantage is up-front cost and a gas motor option. That's it...there is really nothing else that Ford offers that is better than the competition.
  2. iamweasel

    Those poor explorers..

    Ford's insurance doesn't cover this. The transporter or whoever owns that train is who's insurance will cover it, so this is actually a great thing for Ford. Ford probably didn't even own those vehicles at that point. If these were production Explorers that left the plant as soon as they leave the plant grounds a dealer owns them. The transport/train insurance company will pay the dealer for the Explorers, and then the dealer will pay off this unit on their floorplan and immediately order a replacement Explorer. Again, good news for Ford. I remember when this happened and everyone inside Regent Court was excited. That was 2,000 immediate re-orders we knew were coming... https://www.autoweek.com/news/a2094286/lost-sea-volvo-takes-biggest-hit-wake-car-carrier-sinking/
  3. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Ford needs a new cab if they want to get serious in class 8. That F650/750 cab is just not going to cut it. I feel claustrophobic whenever I get into one of those, while Freightliner and International (amongst others) have nice wide and tall cabs with plenty of belly room, too. (Not to mention way better visability and hosts of options that Ford does not offer.) Now if we're just talking a "baby 8" tandem axle F-750 with their current powertrains then yeah, I think that should be do-able , but that is such a limited market that it may not be worth the effort for Ford.
  4. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    The HN-80 stuff was a little before my time in the truck division (I started in Marketing & Sales and worked there in the 90's) so I don't know all the details on that, but I will say the heavy truck group was always a bit of a cluster. Many decisions were made without the proper analysis (i.e. don't ever let Marketing people do business cases!) simply because it was easy to "trick" people in the company with overly-optimistic analysis due to so many people not understanding the heavy truck business. As far as the pass-through costs on the EPA07/10 stuff, if you used Cummins then yes, some of those costs were pass-through but every OEM still had to do their own testing and certifications which cost a lot of money. Plus, even if Ford bought a Cummins system there is still a lot of Ford-specific wiring and DEF-system related parts that needed to be developed, etc. Plus the old school wiring and electronic wasn't going to get it done, either. Daimler estimated it would have cost $600 million to do a refreshed cab for Sterling that would have met the EPA 10 requirements and given that, they decided to shut it down. (I do think some of that $600M was for a new dash, etc, so not 100% of that was EPA10 related.) As far as Hebe and the guaranteed buybacks.....100% true. He would buy market share with that kind of stuff - that's all he was ever good at. One of the worst execs I have ever encountered (not to mention he was a first class jerk) and I cannot comprehend how he snowballed so many people into thinking he knew what he was doing. Salespeople loved him, because he helped move the metal, but aside from that he was a disaster. For supposedly being such a good sales guy he certainly didn't know how to sell a product - he only sold them on price.
  5. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    They referred to that as losing adjacency sales. I did a big study on that and my conclusion was that most people that owned F-650/750's also had a bunch of other light duty Ford trucks, but those companies who were strictly class 6-8 rarely bought Ford 650's and 750's products. That meant if the 650/750 were gone, it really wouldn't have impacted the F-550 and below sales. It was fairly conclusive but of course nobody in Marketing wanted to believe it. I do believe there is some merit to the adjacency sales argument between classes 1-3, and maybe you can throw class 4-5 in there, too, but class 6-8 is a whole other type of buyer. The only reason Ford does any meaningful volume with the F650-750 now is due to the gas engine offered which many people desire to avoid the emissions equipment on the newer trucks. Freightliner dealers have been begging Daimler for a conventional gas engine for the M2 but they never got it. (PS, if your company is running diesel M2's I would strongly recommend they start using the DD5/DD8 engines. They are far superior to the Cummins B6.7/L9. Cummins has gone downhill over the last 10 years....)
  6. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    I think Daimler spent the money on a franchise that was going to die on it's own, so those up-front costs plus all the costs while owning the Sterling brand, added up to a heck of a lot more money compared to just making a new hood for the upcoming M2. (Which you are right, the FL's were the models in the 90's and the M2 came in 2002 I believe.) Even now, the M2 cab is a legacy cabover cab hence the rounded interior floor.....but that does allow them to package the batteries under the cab, yet still above the fuel tank for a nice clean back of cab setup. I worked for Ford (mostly in the Truck Division) in the 90's and 2000's and the Ford Heavy Duty and F-650/750 programs were huge money losers. (Daimler didn't know this, of course, LOL.) With the upcoming EPA07/EPA10 emissions changes on the horizon there was no way Ford was going to invest what we necessary to meet those requirements on a heavy duty line that was already bleeding money as it was. The only reason the F-650/750 made it until today is because the marketing folks swore up and down if they pulled those trucks away from Navistar's evil grip they could make money on them. (As well as ditching the expensive Allison/Cummins options for a lower cost in-house powertrain.) Even now, given the numbers I saw I just don't think the F-650/750 makes money, and even if they do, it can't be enough to really justify keeping around. Ford's biggest arguement to keep those trucks afloat is because they think they'll lose F-250-550 sales if they don't have the F-650/750 , which I totally disagree with. The Ford HD dealers HATED Hebe with a passion. Hebe was a clown, and amazingly so many people trusted him to run their businesses. (Ooops!) They tried that separate franchise stuff not only with Acterra but the short-lived Bullet/360 as well, in addition to Detroit, and everything else they could put restrictions on. They spent all that money to buy the Ford HD product, but then did everything possible to piss-off the dealers that were supposed to sell those trucks for them. (Then they wondered why those Ford Sterling dealers would not stock Acterras/360's/Bullets yet had a yard full of F650/750 / LCF's / F-450/550. Hell everyone knew the LCF was a piece of junk but it was priced way better than the 360 and Ford was so much easier to deal with.)
  7. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Well Hebe (at least publicly) was as much of a defender of Internationals "advanced" (**cough**cough**) EGR system as anyone, so that was not a good look for him, either. He did want the vocational dealer network, though, but they could have easily done that without paying all the money for the Ford trucks. I mean heck, even today Freightliner's vocational model that essentially replaced the Ford/Sterling trucks is the 114SD which is simply a M2-106 with a different hood/engine. That's all they needed to do back then but didn't trust the Freightliner dealers to sell & stock vocational units. They also made the Western Star 4700 eventually, too, to handle the premium end of that 9-liter/13-liter vocational market. The Acterra was a flop simply due to the pricing being so much higher than the M2. It made no sense......and the M2 had a bigger, nicer cab. Back then the Sterling folks tried to run it separate from the Freightliner folks, and they didn't compare notes, so that's what happened.
  8. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Oh boy, Hebe.....there is a blast from the past. I, and most others like me who dealt with him, hated that guy. Darn near destroyed the two biggest truck makers (Freightliner and International) almost on his own......he was all about sales no matter the cost, didn't care about quality, resale value, or anything else. As far as when Daimler bought the heavy truck division from Ford and turned them into Sterling, that ended up being a terrible investment for Daimler and Hebe was the driving force behind that mistake. They ran Sterling for 10 years before they had to shut it down with a fire sale in 2008......
  9. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Daimler has a whole host of engineers / R&D staff both at the Detroit Diesel facility in Redford and their Co-HQ in Portland, Oregon. (Powertrain folks are in Detroit, while cab and chassis engineering is done in Portland.) All the Marketing & Sales folks are based in the other Co-HW in Fort Mill, SC. As far as the DD5/DD8 engines, I cannot say for sure who really designed those. (US or Germany. ) Daimler is very secretive about that and given those engines launched in Europe first is possibly an indication that Germany had the lead on those engines, but...... I do know that on the "big block" motors when it came time to replace the Detroit Series-60's and Mercedes engines in 2008, that the US folks were the lead on that entire project for the world. (Simply due to the fact that the Series-60 engines were far superior to the Mercedes engines.) Given that, the DD13/DD15/DD16 were designed by the team here since Series-60's were not used overseas that much and they didn't have the knowledge to handle a new successor to the Series-60. Europe's duty cycles are different (not as much long-haul) so the MBE motors were just not designed to handle that and "run hot" all day like we do here in the US. So today they use the same engines worldwide but in the US they are branded Detroit and in Europe they are still branded Mercedes. Aside from some minor tweaks they aren't two different engines anymore.... So my point with all that is even though the DD5/DD8 launched first in Europe its not a given that Europe was the lead on those engines. I just don't know and Daimler makes it seem like everything was designed here but you know how that goes.
  10. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Lots of talk about 5/6 cylinder engines and small engine bay space, and you mention the 5.2 4 banger which to me is the best option here. (The 4 banger part, not the Isuzu part...LOL.) Ford just needs to peek down Telegraph Road to find an awesome example of a medium duty 4 cylinder engine. 5.1 liters, up to 240hp/660 torque, B10 life of 410K miles, oil change intervals every 35,000 to 50,000 miles depending on duty cycle, etc. https://demanddetroit.com/engines/dd5/ Can't be too hard to reverse engineer that one, right?
  11. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    https://freightlineradsaem.azureedge.net/content/dam/enterprise/documents/3846-detroit_mid-range_engines_broc-2020-02-07.pdf
  12. During my time at Ford in the 90's and 00's we had numerous issues with Goodyear. They were just not quality tires for the most part, and on the purchasing side they were a bunch of hard to work with jerks. (Constantly trying to re-negotiate after the supply agreements were signed, threatening to withhold tires from the plant if we did not agree, amongst other things.) With the Firestone fiasco and then Goodyear issues it really forced us to look at other brands. Don't know how this Ford/Goodyear relationship is now, though. On the P415 program I worked on (09-14 F-150) we even had to bring Hankook into the mix which I hated. They were cheap (both in price and quality) but we needed something for the lower end XL's and STX's to save a few bucks. Like with this Bronco / Goodyear Wrangler discussion we didn't make Hankook take their name off the tires but we did ensure only black outline letters were used. We would not put white outline letters of "Hankook" on our all-American F-150.
  13. I'm in the market for one of these for my wife. I was hoping this would be "it" for her. (I have two 2 cars and my wife has one so we've decided to get at least one SUV in the garage.) For me, the issues I have with this product are: Styling - Don't like the big plastic C-Pillar - worst design feature on the vehicle. - The front end is a little to rounded for my tastes but straight-on it looks good. - Don't like how the infotainment screen sticks-up over the air vents. That little storage area below it seems useless, anyway, so just push the screen down and make it all flush. Trims: - Completely agree the lack of the 2.0L in the lower packages stinks. - Lack of premium sound system in lower packages stinks, too. - Also do not like the black roof - I prefer body color roof. Why even bother with a gray roof option on Badlands??? That will look bad with anything else but the matching gray body paint IMO. For us, Big Bend with the 2.0L engine and B&O sound system would have been perfect. Would adding the 2.0L engine there just make it the same price as Badlands, anyway? Maybe....but lack of colored roof on Badlands is a bummer and I don't want to get black. (I'm liking the silver color with silver roof. I prefer easy to keep clean colors for my wife's vehicle, and we both hate white cars. LOL.)
  14. iamweasel

    New light & medium duty news

    Yep....Daimler is no longer running Freightliner and Western Star as separate brands like they used to. They are going to make them more complimentary going forward where Western Star is the premium vocational brand and Freightliner is the on-highway / medium duty brand. They are certainly not giving away Western Stars right now. They are the most expensive truck out there.
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