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Everything posted by ice-capades

  1. Priority codes only apply to unscheduled orders. Once the order is scheduled, priority codes have no function. Ford has substantially increased its attention to quality control issues and has been holding produced vehicles for additional inspections, repairs to identified issues, software upgrades, etc. in order to reduce issues that have to be addressed at the dealership level and to reduce the related expenses. Your Dealer has 24/7 access to the VINView reporting system which provides the latest status updates including vehicle location, shipping release notifications, rail car carrier and rail car number, dealership ETA, etc. The VINView system provides the latest information available and is more accurate and timely compared to Ford e-mail notifications. Within the past few days, Ford announced a major shipping release for F-Series vehicles. As such, your Dealer should have updated information on your vehicle very soon.
  2. I'll have to disagree a bit with @akirby on this one. It goes well beyond borderline incompetence! The GSM shouldn't have asked the Fleet Manager for advice as the fleet order process is completely different from the retail order process, with priority codes that indicate a requested production week and a lot of other differences. And a GSM that doesn't know about the new retail order priority codes, how to contact the Ford Zone Manager, about retail order priority codes and reprioritizing at the regional level, etc... inexcusable!
  3. This afternoon's gas prices in Hamden, CT (New Haven)  $3.37 Regular (Cash) @ Gulf  $3.55 Regular (Cash) @ Citgo
  4. There was a time, May 1977, when I was driving from LA to Las Vegas to meet friends in the entertainment business that I worked with. I left LA early in the morning for the 300-mile drive to Las Vegas and kept seeing billboards for 24-hour Denny's restaurants and decided to stop for breakfast at one advertised near the Nevada border. I took the exit ramp which was long and found as I got closer that the restaurant was closed. As such, I continued back onto the highway towards Las Vegas. Little did I know that a CHP (California Highway Patrol) followed me and pulled me over after getting back on the Interstate to Las Vegas. I had my cruise control set, was driving in the right-hand lane and was not speeding as I had plenty of time to spare to make it to Vegas to meet friends. I was driving my new 1976 Mercury Cougar XR-7 with CT plates, and he stopped me because he thought I was "casing" the restaurant or any other convenient location. He was also suspicious because I was driving a new car with CT plates. I gave him my CT Driver's License, Registration, Insurance Card and Ice Capades identification but he still issued me a citation. Not fun considering the situation and I had little choice but to pay the citation fee.
  5. Ford EV Battery Plant in Michigan Has Smaller Footprint https://fordauthority.com/2024/04/ford-ev-battery-plant-in-michigan-has-smaller-footprint/ Facing legal challenges and bad reviews from local residents – even though it isn’t open yet – not to mention questions from lawmakers, the under-construction Ford EV battery plant known as BlueOval Battery Park Michigan has faced its fair share of adversity since it was originally announced. On top of that, falling demand for all-electric vehicles prompted FoMoCo to scale back billions in planned EV investments and push back the launch of two models, all while also cutting back its planned workforce at BlueOval Battery Park Michigan from 2,500 workers to 1,700 and dialing back planned production from 35 gigawatt hours to 20 annually. As such, the future Ford EV battery plant will also have a smaller footprint than originally expected when it’s completed, according to Bridge Michigan. As it continues to tweak its electrification strategy in a changing market, Ford remains committed to BlueOval Battery Park Michigan, which was originally expected to cost around $3.5 billion to erect. Now, The Blue Oval is looking to trim around $1 billion off that sum. Of the 2,000 acres at the Marshall Area Jobs, Opportunities, and Recreation Campus (MAJOR) where the future plant will be located, the facility will now take up around 500 acres – down a bit compared to the previously planned 730 acre footprint. This represents a 30 percent reduction in size that means the future Ford plant will only take up around a quarter of the total MAJOR site, much of which is located on the southern portion of that property near Marshall. Meanwhile, the developer of the site – Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance (MAEDA) – will retain control over the northern portion of that land. This means that Ford has changed its plans since November, when it originally announced that it was scaling back the size of BlueOval Battery Park Michigan from 950 acres to 730. That space also includes a planned conservation easement on the Kalamazoo River, which will remain in spite of this cutback. When completed, the land will house a 1.2 million-square-foot production building – roughly one-half the original planned size – though a 600,000-square-foot packing plant will be located next to it, along with a battery disassembly building and a disposal warehouse.
  6. If, repeat if, this information is accurate, I'd have trouble believing that any Dealer having a 2025 Mustang GTD available wouldn't use an ADM to increase their dealership's profit on such a specialty vehicle. My dealership had a new Ford GT years ago it did not sell until the right customer was willing to pay a price well above the MSRP.
  7. Dealers Will Get $15K For Every 2025 Ford Mustang GTD Sale https://fordauthority.com/2024/04/dealers-will-get-15k-for-every-2025-ford-mustang-gtd-sale/ The 2025 Ford Mustang GTD debuted back in August 2023 as the most hardcore pony car ever conceived, a machine that is quite literally a race car for the street – as well as one that, in many ways, is more serious than its track-only counterpart, the GT3. Thus far, The Blue Oval has faced tremendous demand for the 2025 Ford Mustang GTD, which may prompt it to extend the planned 2,000-unit production run of that ultimate model, as Ford Authority reported last October. As Ford Authority exclusively reported last month, applications for the 2025 Ford Mustang GTD are slated to open up in Q2, and when they do, it seems as if dealers can make a tidy bonus for selling them as well, according to a bulletin recently seen by CarsDirect. Interestingly, Ford has done away with invoice pricing for the Mustang GTD, and will instead invoice the new pony car at MSRP. This means that dealers “will receive a flat payment of $15,000 upon successful delivery,” according to the memo, which could be a way to deter markups on the $300k machine. Regardless, dealers are still free to set their own prices, which means that markups are still likely to happen. Regardless, the 2025 Ford Mustang GTD will also come with a special concierge service that’s designed to “create a convenient, seamless, and customized experience for both customers and dealerships,” according to the memo, which “is in place to assist the dealer in providing the specialized attention that customers expect.” This makes sense given the GTD’s sky-high price tag, coupled with the fact that it’s slated to become the fastest road-going pony car ever built. Ford plans to lap the legendary Nürburgring in less than seven minutes with the new GTD, a goal that seems achievable given its extensive use of carbon fiber and aero tricks, coupled with the 800 horsepower output from its special supercharged 5.2L V8, a near 50:50 weight distribution, and a host of suspension upgrades including a short-long arm front setup, an integral link pushrod and rocker arm rear suspension, and inboard Adaptive Spool Valve shock absorbers and coil springs.
  8. And as far as I know, the "Right Turn on Red" laws are after a stop, not just to slow down and continue. Defensive driving these days means just that. You can't trust other drivers to do what they've indicated. I never pull out because an oncoming car indicates with their turn signals that they're actually going to turn! And never just relying on traffic lights to move because of the large volume of drivers that run the lights. And seeing how many drivers are talking on their cell phones, as they're running red lights, because their conversations are more important. And in the majority of cases, they're not even aware that they were responsible for almost causing a serious accident.
  9. No question that FordAuthority.com often generates posts that are clickbait. At the same time, they do post news that appears newsworthy and posted before other online sources. Back in the 70's, obviously long before the Internet, we relied on the print publications such as Motor Trend, Car & Driver and Road & Track for information. Back in the day, I found that Motor Trend provided the best information on the Big 3. Now I often wonder if any of the classic publications are still around as you rarely see them in the media.
  10. There was a time years ago, late 1980's I believe, that I was able to attend a Ford Performance training course that was held at the Meadowlands complex in New Jersey. It was a half-day, hands-on course conducted by Bob Bondurant and his team with most of the training being one on one with a Bondurant instructor. The cars used were Mustang GT's and Thunderbird Turbo Coupes as part of the course involved anti-lock braking. The Mustang's didn't offer ABS at the time but was standard on the Thunderbird Turbo Coupes. All cars were automatics, tuned identically and driven in 1st gear to simulate a higher driving speed. For the ABS portion, the cars were driven at speed onto a simulated skid pad which was a long, large heavy duty vinyl tarp bolted to the pavement and flooded with soapy water to simulate a slippery surface. You'd drive the Turbo Coupe onto the skid pad, hit the brakes hard and stop the car before reaching the end of the skid pad. You'd do the same with the Mustang GT, without ABS, and learn how to control the car and also stop before reaching the end of the skid pad. Other parts of the course included throttle steering, slalom course and other related driving techniques. I was in an Aerostar with Bob Bondurant driving a slalom course where he started off slow and kept increasing speed until he got to the point at maximum speed, getting a wheel off the pavement, and never hitting a cone. It was a fun day and very educational.
  11. I can see it now. The legislatures will set forth a training process that dealerships must conduct, with the vehicle buyer prior to delivery, regarding the safe and legal operation of the vehicle. At the time of delivery, the buyer must sign an agreement disclosing that they were provided with the mandated training, in order to protect the dealership from potential litigation. It'll just be more paperwork to be signed at delivery. In CT, a customer signs more paperwork to purchase or lease a vehicle than that for a real estate transaction.
  12. That was my understanding also, that the only joint ventures were for the battery plants.
  13. Low-Cost Ford EV Platform Will Directly Compete with Chinese https://fordauthority.com/2024/04/low-cost-ford-ev-platform-will-directly-compete-with-chinese/ Earlier this year, Ford revealed that it was shifting its focus away from larger, pricier all-electric vehicles and toward smaller, lower-cost models, based on consumer preferences and global trends. At that time, we also learned that a skunkworks team led by a former Tesla executive had been working on a low-cost Ford EV platform for the past two years already, one that will underpin a handful of future models starting with a crossover slated to launch in 2026 with a $25k price tag. However, this future low-cost Ford EV platform won’t just do battle with rivals in the U.S. – rather, it’s also seemingly aimed at potential Chinese competition as well, according to Ford CFO John Lawler. “Yeah. I think ultimately we have to compete head-to-head with them,” Lawler said at the 2024 Bank of America Automotive Summit. “And that’s why I think we raised the alarm bell on it I think before anybody else did. We started talking about it. And that was a big impetus to why we’ve gone ahead with the small platform in California, our skunkworks project, because we knew we would need to compete there.” Ford CEO Jim Farley noted that – amid fledgling sales – the automaker needed to reboot its strategy in China, and has since shifted from creating models specifically for that market to producing existing vehicles locally. However, that market is also arguably the most competitive in terms of electric vehicles right now, spurred on by government subsidies and loads of competition. That means Chinese EVs are not only plentiful – but cheap – in some cases, with price tags of less than $10k. As such, Farley has previously stated that he views those models are more of a threat to the automaker’s business than mandates – sentiments echoed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Marin Gjaja, COO of Ford Model e.
  14. Next Gen Ford F-150 EV Will Be Built at Wholly Owned Plant https://fordauthority.com/2024/04/next-gen-ford-f-150-ev-will-be-built-at-wholly-owned-plant/ We’ve known for some time now that the next-generation Ford F-150 EV – which may not continue to use the Lightning name – will be built at the under-construction BlueOval City complex in Tennessee. There, the automaker is currently planning on operating just one production plant for now – rather than two as originally expected – though it’s also teaming up with South Korean battery maker SK On to operate a joint-venture EV battery plant nearby as well. However, the next-generation Ford F-150 EV will be built at a wholly owned FoMoCo plant – not a joint-venture facility, Ford Authority has learned. That facility will officially be called the Tennessee Electric Vehicle Center, as the automaker just revealed for the very first time. After hearing that news, Ford Authority reached out to Ford for clarification on this particular topic, and the automaker indeed confirmed that the Tennessee Electric Vehicle Center is in fact 100 percent owned and operated by The Blue Oval, and is not part of the joint venture. FoMoCo also confirmed that this facility will be used to build all-electric trucks in the future. It is worth noting that the next-gen Ford F-150 EV may also be built at the Dearborn Truck plant and Rogue Electric Vehicle Center, as Ford Authority previously reported. As part of its recent decision to push back some planned EV investments and focus on smaller, cheaper models – as well as offer a hybrid powertrain across the entire Ford Blue lineup by 2030 – production of the next-generation Ford F-150 EV and Ford Explorer EV for North America were recently delayed as well. This means that the new EV pickup won’t enter production at the Tennessee Electric Vehicle Center in 2025 as originally planned, but now, that process is slated to begin in 2026, while the Explorer EV will enter production in 2027 rather than 2025. Nicknamed “Project T3” (for “Trust the Truck”), this next-generation EV pickup will reportedly benefit from the automaker’s under-development low-cost EV platform. Ford CEO Jim Farley previously described its styling as something like the Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars franchise “with a porch attached,” and also added that it will be a superior offering compared to the Tesla Cybertruck.
  15. Ford Backed Group Says Public EV Charger Distribution Uneven https://fordauthority.com/2024/04/ford-backed-group-says-public-ev-charger-distribution-uneven/ The topic of EV adoption – and how to speed up that process – has remained among the most hotly contested and controversial ones in the U.S. (and the entire globe, really) for some time now. Thus, it’s not terribly surprising that the Ford-backed lobby group Alliance for Automotive Innovation has been quick to speak out against proposed ICE bans, even though it also produces a lot of pertinent data related to EVs and what needs to happen for those types of vehicles to find a foothold in the marketplace. In its most recent Get Connected Electric Vehicle Report, the lobby group outlined why the existing public EV charger network is inadequate, and also, noted that the distribution of that same network is uneven, to boot. With the distinct lack of EV charger infrastructure remaining a big barrier standing in the way of growth in that segment – and prompting Ford to team up with Tesla to give its EV owners access to the expansive Supercharger network – the Alliance for Automotive Innovation isn’t just pointing out the obvious here, which is that current infrastructure is lacking, but also, it notes that existing chargers are heavily concentrated in select areas as well. In fact, out of the 3,100+ counties in the U.S., a whopping 983 – or 31 percent – had zero public charging ports at the conclusion of 2023, which is down slightly from 39 percent in 2022. A total of 90 counties just installed their first public charger last year, and one-third of all available such units in the U.S. are located within the top 25 counties right now. Additionally, even though there were 33,023 new public EV charger locations installed in 2023, 12 percent of U.S. counties didn’t add a single one, and 40 percent added 10 or fewer. Meanwhile, a third of all those new charging ports were added in one percent of all U.S. counties, and 20 percent of those ports were installed in California alone.
  16. Ford EV Partner EcoPro Delays Plant Investment Amid Pivot https://fordauthority.com/2024/04/ford-ev-partner-ecopro-delays-plant-investment-amid-pivot/ With Ford shifting its focus away from larger, pricier EVs and toward smaller, cheaper ones, the automaker also recently announced that it’s pushing back the planned launch dates for the North American Ford Explorer EV and second-generation Ford F-150 EV – which drew the ire of the Canadian union Unifor. Of course, Ford isn’t alone in this regard, as several other automakers and even battery makers have dialed back similar plans in the face of weakened demand for all-electric vehicles as well. Now, that list has grown to include cathode material company and Ford EV partner EcoPro, according to The Korea Times. Back in March 2023, another Ford EV partner – South Korean battery manufacturer SK On – announced that it planned to team up with EcoPro and Chinese battery materials producer GEM to erect a battery precursor plant in Saemangeum, South Korea, which was expected to churn out around 50,000 tons of precursors annually – a compound mixed with raw materials such as nickel, cobalt, and manganese that account for more than 65-70 percent of the cost of cathode materials – when it came online this year, which is enough to supply the production of roughly 300,000 105 kWh batteries for electric vehicles per year. Now that Ford has scaled back its EV ambitions, EcoPro has also announced that it’s postponing a planned $87 million investment in EcoCAM Canada, a joint-venture that was aiming to open a cathode plant in that country as well. This means that production at this future facility now isn’t expected to begin until 2027, a year later than originally planned. According to this report, EcoPro CEO Song Ho-jun stated this decision on a call with shareholders roughly one week before Ford revealed that it was pushing back production of the Explorer EV, which is slated to occur at the Oakville Assembly plant in Canada. “The establishment of the joint venture between SK On, Ford, and EcoPro is expected to be delayed a bit,” Ho-jun said.
  17. Well said. I'm just waiting to see what comes out of this skunkworks program and hoping it doesn't get bogged down with layers of management interfering.
  18. Based on Ford's history, my concern is that this so-called "skunkworks" is going to be another program that gets bogged down with little to show for it, and at least for now is nothing more than a smoke and mirrors scenario. We'll probably never know, but I'm hoping that really is a viable and worthy program and not something that got sold under the "Ford has a better idea!" theme. I'll reserve judgement until we know more or see some actual results that are productive overall.
  19. With Ford building new plants for BEV vehicle production such as Blue Oval City, at some point Ford is going to find itself with excess production capacity. With BEV production plans being delayed, it'll be years probably before Ford can identify and commit to future production commitments at existing plants. Why Ford includes plant production commitments as part of its UAW contract is beyond me. The Flat Rock Assembly Plant has been the subject of speculation for years including the plant limitations regarding vehicle height. It's been the home for Mustang production for years, and for Fusion and Continental for limited years, but its history is focused on Mustang production. Potential plans to remodel Flat Rock will have to consider Mustang production interruptions unless Mustang production is moved to another facility which is doubtful.
  20. Commentary: New EVs Go for Used Prices at Vegas Auction https://www.reviewjournal.com/opinion/opinion-columns/victor-joecks/victor-joecks-new-evs-go-for-used-prices-at-las-vegas-auction-3029019/?utm_campaign=widget&utm_medium=topnews&utm_source=opinion&utm_term=VICTOR JOECKS%3A New EVs go for used prices at Las Vegas auction Las Vegas Review-Journal_2024-04-05_Opinion_New EVs Go For Used Prices At Vegas Auction.pdf
  21. REPORT: Ford Edge Production Continuation Wasn't Possible https://fordauthority.com/2024/04/ford-edge-production-continuation-wasnt-possible-report/ Back in the fall of 2020, Ford and the Canadian union Unifor reached a new contract agreement containing terms that went far beyond the typical pay raises and improvements to benefits. In fact, this new deal set in motion some major changes for the automaker’s Oakville Assembly plant, which at the time produced two vehicles – the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus. This new deal laid out plans to retool the plant for the production of all-electric vehicles in the future, and since then, production of the redesigned 2024 Nautilus has moved to China, while Edge production is slated to end later this month. Given the fact that The Blue Oval just announced that it’s delaying the start of Ford Explorer EV production at Oakville from 2025 to 2027, many wondered why Ford Edge production wasn’t extended, but it seems as if such a move just isn’t possible, according to a new report from Automotive News. According to this report, Unifor workers at the Oakville plant received a memo informing them that FoMoCo “did extensive study into the possibility of extending” Ford Edge production at the facility following its decision to delay production of the forthcoming North American Explorer EV. However, it ultimately came to the conclusion that – due to “supply case constraints and emissions requirements” – that it was best served to continue its plans to begin retooling the plant in Q2 of 2024. According to the memo, this delay “allows us to improve vehicle quality and benefit our customers by leveraging emerging battery and other technologies.” In the meantime, it’s unclear what workers at Oakville will be tasked with doing for the next couple of years, though Ford did note that it “will work with Unifor to mitigate the impact the launch delay will have on its workforce at Oakville.” “We value our Canadian teammates and appreciate that this delay will have an impact on this excellent team,” Ford CEO Jim Farley added. “We are fully committed to manufacturing in Canada and believe this decision will help us build a profitably growing business for the long term.” Regardless, Unifor wasn’t exactly pleased with this delay, as Ford Authority reported yesterday. “Unifor is extremely disappointed by the company’s decision. Our members have done nothing but build best-in-class vehicles for Ford Motor Company and they deserve certainty in the company’s future production plans,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “I want to be very clear here. Our members can be assured that we will push the company to explore every single possible opportunity to lessen the impact of this decision on them and their families.”
  22. It's never a good sign when a customer's e-mail to the sales manager generates no reply. All orders submitted to the USOB (Unscheduled Order Bank) will show "Unscheduled/Clean" status as long as there are no errors in the order. Dealerships that have a Fleet Manager are usually large enough to justify the position and do not usually get involved with retail orders. Sales Representatives are not usually experienced enough with the retail order process to provide accurate information. As such, you should deal directly with management and go as high as you need to in order to get the proper level of attention and action. If the Fleet Manger is now managing your order and refuses to contact the Ford Zone Manager regarding reprioritizing your order, you need to talk to the General Manager or Dealer Principal regarding the mismanagement of your order. A reply of "That's just the way it is" is not acceptable. Your order is recent enough that I'd seriously recommend considering placing your order with another dealership.
  23. I was very fortunate to have, because of my position as Advertising Manager and managing the new vehicle inventory for nearly 35 years, the ability to drive whatever vehicle I chose as a company "Demo" with few exceptions. I drove Thunderbirds for years, since we were one of the top 10 Thunderbird dealerships known as "Birdland". I then drove a Probe GT and then a few Taurus models until going back to a Mustang for about 20 years until I left the dealership. During that time, I drove mostly Mustang GT's but also drove every Mustang model available based on what was available in stock. At our dealership, Demo's were driven until they were sold. Since I managed the new vehicle inventory, it wasn't difficult to make sure that there was a potential "back up" Demo in stock. Even so, there were times when we'd sell my Demo and other Mustangs in stock in a short period of time and my choices for a new Demo were limited. As such, over the years I drove every Mustang model including coupe/fastback, convertibles, automatics, manuals, all powertrains, base and premium, etc. No doubt, driving a Mustang GT was very enjoyable, but there was a point that my GT Demo was sold, and I had no choice but to drive a Mustang EcoBoost which was equipped with the #101A Equipment Group, 10-Speed Automatic, Enhanced Security Package, Safe & Smart Package and Navigation System. I ended up going back and forth between EcoBoost and GT models for a few years but just couldn't help but be impressed with the Mustang EcoBoost models overall. The EcoBoost performance was better than that of GT's from years ago and the GT pricing by comparison made it harder to justify driving a GT. Simply put, the Mustang EcoBoost models are a great value at a much more reasonable price compared to a GT. The Mustang GT pricing keeps rising a lot, and will go a lot higher, limiting its potential customer base in the North American market. And going forward, Ford will price the Mustang GT's as high as they can... for all the market will bear.
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