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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A little off-topic maybe, but worth a closer look:

http://www.at.ford.com/news/cn/Pages/Ford'sglobalCEOrevealsnewFordFigotargetingIndiamarketandexportsales.aspx

Ford Figo is the result of a significant Ford investment commitment to expand its plant near Chennai for volume production as a small-car centre of excellence regionally.

“Our exciting new Ford Figo shows how serious we are about India,” Mulally said. “It reflects our commitment to compete with great products in all segments of this car market. We are confident the Ford Figo will be a product that Indian consumers really want and value.”

Sharing key elements of Ford’s kinetic design language with vehicles like the globally renowned Ford Focus, Ford Mondeo and the Ford Fiesta, Ford Figo features a fresh, contemporary shape that will be a distinctive alternative to traditional brands in this segment. The design language conveys a dynamic spirit of energy in motion.

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Erm, really?



Looks remarkable similar to:



And the front is mk7 Fiesta-ish, bolted on a mk6 body:



So now we know where the tooling of the previous model Fiesta is sent to! (India)



Well, the '74 mk1 VW Golf/Rabbit is still being used today in South Africa as the VW CitiGolf!
 

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Quite honestly the North American Market needs to see cars like this as well. The small car segment will take off once fuel prices begin to climb yet again. If Ford were this serious about the North American Market as they were others cars like this would be coming over in the next three years or less.
 

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Even though I'm a fan of small cars, the KA is just way too small even for me.
 

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At least we are getting the new fiesta, in whatever form it may come, over the figo. Even the name reeks of awful.
 

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Quite honestly the North American Market needs to see cars like this as well. The small car segment will take off once fuel prices begin to climb yet again. If Ford were this serious about the North American Market as they were others cars like this would be coming over in the next three years or less.
I don't think it makes fiscal sense for Ford to sell a Fiesta as a premium B car then a smaller, yet still B car in the Figo in the US. The small car segment is poised to grow, but not in the dramatically rapid manner that would make two nearly identically sized cars profitable in a segment that has rarely ever been profitable for the US auto makers.

Obviously Ford is serious about the North American market, they are addressing the segments of the market where they can profit while maintaining their strongholds. Ford is attempting to not only be profitable but also be recognized for quality, well assembled products. It makes no sense to offer a "premium" hatch in the Fiesta then a Figo that would be obviously less expensive and have the reputation of being a cheap, less than quality car. It hurts the brand something like GM has had plenty of experience with in the past.

Ford is a comprehensive player in almost every segment, but to race to the bottom of the market just because others are competing there is not good business. So Ford may not have anything to compete with $10-13k cheapos, but the impact it would have on regaining their quality reputation effort would be worse than the sales/profit they are currently losing to that market.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I don't think it makes fiscal sense for Ford to sell a Fiesta as a premium B car then a smaller, yet still B car in the Figo in the US.
It makes no sense to offer a "premium" hatch in the Fiesta then a Figo that would be obviously less expensive and have the reputation of being a cheap, less than quality car.
The Figo (aka mk6 Fiesta) isn't a smaller car. Also quality-wise it's not a lesser car than the mk7 Fiesta. It's just a bit more boxy.

The mk6 has been raced quite successfully in its days, there even was one in the Pikes Peak rally this year:


Wouldn't you want to own one of these?
 

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I'm almost surprised that the old MK6 Fiesta didn't make it here years ago. It should have . Ford would have had a jump on the Honda Fit for sure, and the MK6 Fiesta is every bit as good as the Fit if not substantially better when it came to out of the box handling.

This is where Ford and GM screwed themselves during the past decade or so...they had FANTASTIC ROW small ( and medium) car products... Mondeo MKII ,Fiesta, Focus MKII, Ka...GM with the Opel Astra, Corsa, and Vectra, and yet they simply refused to bring them here in a timely fashion. For all the money the overpaid execs got they were incompetent in their jobs causing their companies to FAIL eventually.
 

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Ford should have had a B sement car here a LONG time ago. Ford would have had something to sell aside the Focus when fuel prices took a climb.
 

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Until 1.5 years ago, the market for a B-segment car was very slim and considering Ford would have had to source anything of respectable quality from Europe, the cost-benefit analysis didn't work. What people seem to refuse to give Ford credit for is designing this Fiesta from the beginning, and before small cars were "cool," with intentions of bringing it to the US. It has taken quite a while, but they've also had to retool a plant and deal with substantial market challenges beyond their control in the past year.

It's easy for people to sit on their computers and condemn some of the largest corporations in the world for being blind or stupid for not doing exactly what they deem to be right, ignoring the advantages of hindsight or facts vs. opinion. Many of the same people that think Ford should have had B-segment vehicles in the US all along also think Ford was foolish to so strongly embrace the SUV trend without realizing the profits from such products allowed for the development of practically all of the Ford lineup.

As for having a B-segment vehicle here long ago, the dismal Aspire/Festiva from Korea. When gas prices spiked, the Focus was one model that greatly profited and had huge increases in sales. The problem with trying to fit a B-segment vehicle below the current Focus is that the price point would demand another Asian sourced product that lacks the corporate image Ford has invested so much in developing. The Fiesta will now slot in with substantial overlap of the current Focus in order to allow the Focus to move up a bit in its price point.

Changes cannot be made overnight in the auto industry. I do not claim to know or understand anywhere near all that occurs, but it's a lot easier to criticize from the outside. I'm beginning to understand Mark K.'s thoughts and frustrations with this forum. Every opportunity to complain about past incidents with Ford is taken while no credit is given to where they are now. GM's Opels-nee-Saturns were by no means sales and business successes regardless of what the media and enthusiasts may think. And to group Mulally and Ford's leadership with bankrupt GM's is insulting and replete with drama.

As I've said before, Ford doesn't make a lot of the decisions I would like to see such as offering a diesel in any car and the F-150, increasing the availability of manual transmissions on trucks and the sport models, and much more. Nevertheless, I understand the risks involved in such actions and can set my wishes aside enough to recognize and congratulate Ford for their strengths.
 

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Until 1.5 years ago, the market for a B-segment car was very slim and considering Ford would have had to source anything of respectable quality from Europe, the cost-benefit analysis didn't work.
Problem with that comment is that the MK6 Fiesta WAS being sold in Latin America and built there as well from what I can recall!!!!!

Honda Fit was here several years ago as was the Toyota Yaris.

Again if you were looking to the future (especially considering all the huge compensations the top brass in the Ivory Towers were getting there is NO excuse not to have had enough intelligence to see the looming crisis coming, none! . This applies to those at GM, Toyota, and Chrysler as well. The problem was that GREED clouded the eyes of those at the top. Instead of them accepting that they would have to increase volume sales of smaller profit margin vehicles to meet reasonable profit expectations the top brass were hooked on huge bloat mobiles that were top profit margin money makers..in the end it blew up in their greedy faces...None of the US based auto makers top brass were SMART enough to have the vision that even a little peon (their potential customers) like yours truly had.

It seems clear to me, increasingly so, that a small, well connnected group of elites are the only ones that seem able to get the top exec positions at such companies whether they have the ability and talent to deserve them or not. The old boy network is alive and well in the modern business world.

It is also apparent that these individuals are rarely in touch with their potential customers, who unfortunately have to pass on the caviar, expensive estate, pleasure yacht, and county club membership.


No pass given to the top brass considering their supposed compensation and abilities. NONE whatsoever!!!!
 

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Greed drives every top brass to ignore the future and concentrate on the present. Nissan, Toyota, and others had the intelligent forsight to offer small B Segment cars that got excellent fuel milage. Having been around the world, having studied up on what other countries get. The NA market is the ugliest market period aside for Ford of Brazil. I've seen what everybody else gets, Ford of NA doesn't even come close to what others get in the terms of quality and choice in a car. As Golf has said, its all about the money and profits. I figured Ford would have learned its lesson after losing so much money and sales to Japanese Automakers when Gas was at all time record highs. So far I'm not seeing much. Having driven nearly the entire Ford Lineup of cars, trucks and SUV's most of Ford's quality and devotion goes to their trucks.
 

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I agree with just about everything azulejost said, with the caveat that Ford's previous leadership under Bill Ford was, while well-meaning, generally clueless and inadequate in light of the crises that have followed.

But Bill had the foresight and humility (unlike anyone in charge of GM at the time, or now) to realize he wasn't up to the job in these extraordinary times and that an outsider was needed to give Ford the focus (and Focus) required to survive; with Alan Mulally I think it's pretty clear Ford has done a near-complete 180 from where they were even 5 years ago. The Mk6 Fiesta wasn't originally designed for US sale; you can thank Mulally for making it available to us Americans in any form at all. For any of the resultant changes and delays that have been necessary and indeed unavoidable because of the decisions made well into the development process of that car, you can place all the blame you want on Mulally's predecessors. They were the ones who watered down the Focus, kept the Taurus soldiering on far past its prime while the Mondeo dominated the same segment elsewhere, produced a warmed-over Escape while the Kuga beat all crossover rivals in Europe, and kept the Fiesta from Americans for nearly thirty years.

The Ford of today is a far different and much improved company from the Ford of the Focus Mk1 era, and any errors that were made with that program have more likely than not been noted and learned from - painfully. You can bet the American-spec Fiesta will reflect this new culture - it'll crush the competition, regardless of whether or not it has rear fog lights.
 

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I agree with just about everything azulejost said, with the caveat that Ford's previous leadership under Bill Ford was, while well-meaning, generally clueless and inadequate in light of the crises that have followed.
I do appreciate reenforcing my previous observations about much of the top brass at least up until the crash and burn of the US auto makers.... I agree that Mulally is a bit better than the rest of the US top brass crowd, but it seems to me that considering the wholesale major changes in the US spec Fiesta (not required by DOT or EPA) that the lesson of the MKI Focus has not been learned to the degree that it should have been. I undrstand that coroprate culture is slow to change and I believe that we are seeing that fact in the case of the US Fiesta....It also is a tell tale sign that a small closed group of priviliged elites are always at the top (not just the CEO position but the other top 2% of corporate execs) and many times they appear (and PROVE) to have neither the talent for the job or the actual ability to perform on the job. Until this changes the problems will persist.


But Bill had the foresight and humility (unlike anyone in charge of GM at the time, or now) to realize he wasn't up to the job
I don't see any foresight there...... he clearly wasn't getting the job done, at least he DID step down when it was do or die for the company!

with Alan Mulally I think it's pretty clear Ford has done a near-complete 180 from where they were even 5 years ago. The Mk6 Fiesta wasn't originally designed for US sale; you can thank Mulally for making it available to us Americans in any form at all.
Sad to see that in what...over 40 years, Ford has had only ONE competent set of top management execs in North America...that is horrendous and inexcusiable...it speaks of cronyism in a major way.

For any of the resultant changes and delays that have been necessary and indeed unavoidable because of the decisions made well into the development process of that car, you can place all the blame you want on Mulally's predecessors. They were the ones who watered down the Focus, kept the Taurus soldiering on far past its prime while the Mondeo dominated the same segment elsewhere, produced a warmed-over Escape while the Kuga beat all crossover rivals in Europe, and kept the Fiesta from Americans for nearly thirty years.
Which begs the question why doesn't Ford go after the monies paid to the former incompetents who ran the company into the ground the past few decades or so?

The Ford of today is a far different and much improved company from the Ford of the Focus Mk1 era, and any errors that were made with that program have more likely than not been noted and learned from - painfully. You can bet the American-spec Fiesta will reflect this new culture - it'll crush the competition, regardless of whether or not it has rear fog lights.
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I do think Ford is in better shape than in a number of years BUT their situation is still fragile until sales of cars once again tops 13 million units /yr.

Problem is that one of the lessons Ford Dearborn SHOULD have learned is to SWEAT the details and not underestimate the potential customer. Ford claims they are also looking for new customers that have been previous import owners..The small details are REQUIRED to capture the hearts and pocketbooks of such customers. Some of the replies to legit concerns on this site reeks of the arrogance that put Ford on the bubble in the first place.
 

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Not climbing as of now
Until the people STOP losing their jobs and these folks are once again employed gainfully the demand for oil will stay fairly static...the only exception to this rule is the troubled USD that may still allow oil to climb higher, which I think it will.
 

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I do appreciate reenforcing my previous observations about much of the top brass at least up until the crash and burn of the US auto makers.... I agree that Mulally is a bit better than the rest of the US top brass crowd, but it seems to me that considering the wholesale major changes in the US spec Fiesta (not required by DOT or EPA) that the lesson of the MKI Focus has not been learned to the degree that it should have been. I undrstand that coroprate culture is slow to change and I believe that we are seeing that fact in the case of the US Fiesta....It also is a tell tale sign that a small closed group of priviliged elites are always at the top (not just the CEO position but the other top 2% of corporate execs) and many times they appear (and PROVE) to have neither the talent for the job or the actual ability to perform on the job. Until this changes the problems will persist.
I don't see how the fact that the car is being changed more than you would like reflects a lack of talent or insulated culture. If the car were being, say, completely restyled inside and out I might agree with you, but as it is the changes are far from "wholesale major" ones and are on the whole necessary for US production.

golf strom said:
I don't see any foresight there...... he clearly wasn't getting the job done, at least he DID step down when it was do or die for the company!
He had the humility to know that he was incapable, due to ingrained habits or corporate intrigue or whatever else, of running a major car company successfully. Can you say the same of Rick Wagoner, who should have been fired 5 years ago?

golf strom said:
Sad to see that in what...over 40 years, Ford has had only ONE competent set of top management execs in North America...that is horrendous and inexcusiable...it speaks of cronyism in a major way.
Unfortunate yes but irrelevant to the topic at hand. Ford has a strong executive management now, and that's what matters.

golf strom said:
Which begs the question why doesn't Ford go after the monies paid to the former incompetents who ran the company into the ground the past few decades or so?
Really, Ford has far, far better things to do than go after the (already spent) salaries of dozens of executives over 30+ years. Who exactly would they get the money from anyway?

golf strom said:
I do think Ford is in better shape than in a number of years BUT their situation is still fragile until sales of cars once again tops 13 million units /yr.

Problem is that one of the lessons Ford Dearborn SHOULD have learned is to SWEAT the details and not underestimate the potential customer. Ford claims they are also looking for new customers that have been previous import owners..The small details are REQUIRED to capture the hearts and pocketbooks of such customers. Some of the replies to legit concerns on this site reeks of the arrogance that put Ford on the bubble in the first place.
On the contrary, the fact that Ford is taking the time to give the car a grille similar to the Fusion's and Taurus' and giving it a seat that will more comfortably fit Americans means that they are "sweating the details," and want to have a product that both integrates smoothly into their overall lineup and appeals as much as possible to the intended market.

Furthermore any stumbles made by the Mk1 American Focus upon its launch and subsequent production run were not because of the fact that the rear turn signal wasn't amber or the bumper and grille were different to the European model, but because build assembly was shoddy and durability was poor. Ford's record of late shows that their reliability is generally very excellent, and I would expect no less of the Fiesta. That was the major pitfall of the American Focus; if it had been as dead-reliable from the start as the Fusion or the '08 Focus (and if the Mk2 Euro Focus had been sold here instead of the half-assed facelift we really got, something which is unlikely to happen again), it would have been a success comparable to that of the original Taurus.
 

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The fact is they're changing the car to look like the rest of the ugly line up on the North American Market.
 

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The fact is they're changing the car to look like the rest of the ugly line up on the North American Market.
In the end that comes down to personal opinion. I think the Fusion and Taurus are top in the class for looks, but the Focus is very blah. Either way Ford's looking out for their long-term image, and having a coherent lineup is one of the most important parts steps to having a strong image. Besides the American Fiesta's grille is rather similar to the Mondeo's....

I shouldn't even try arguing with you guys. You're just mad Ford isn't bring over every single little microscopic detail over from the European car, and in the end are missing the big picture. Regardless of whether the Grille or door panels or taillights are 100% identical to the EU Fiesta, the one we get here will still be a great car and will sell very well.
 
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