Ford product plan pushes technology, fuel economy, safety
Mulally guided Ford’s product philosophy.
- 2012 European Automakers: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Volkswagen
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- 2012 Ford Product Plans
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Under CEO Alan Mulally's leadership, Ford Motor Co. has a simple product philosophy: Deliver vehicles that have leading-edge technology, get good fuel economy and are safe and fun to drive.
Although Ford's market share has slipped slightly with the post-quake resurgence of Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., the true measure of the success of Mulally's strategy is only now coming into full view. Redesigned versions of the Fusion and Escape, second and third behind the F-series pickup in Ford's U.S. sales, are coming to market this year with much fanfare. They succeed outgoing vehicles that sold well even in their last year on the market. How well these new versions sell will help determine whether Mulally's efforts to save the company and reinvent it were worth the risks.
The Fusion and Escape embody the thinking that high-tech features shouldn't be exclusive to luxury vehicles. Features such as active park assist, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot warnings will be available in vehicles wearing the blue oval.
Ford went through some rough patches with its MyFord Touch interactive infotainment system, which cost the company hard-won gains in quality surveys. But the company took steps to fix the problems. It will take a while to see whether those fixes have succeeded. But Ford is not backing off its technology push.
Meanwhile, the Lincoln luxury brand will try to distinguish itself from the Ford brand with its own suite of technologies and distinctive styling.
Here is a guide to Ford's plans for the 2013-15 model years, according to Ford and industry sources.
You can reach Bradford Wernle at firstname.lastname@example.org.