Ask me in early 2006 what I thought about the Ford Motor Company. Go ahead, ask. Well, I’ll tell you. Back then, I would have rather seen Ford go up in a ball of smoke due to some unfortunate “accident” that left the then 103-year-old-company gone. Finito. Kaput.
As with the other ‘big two’, Ford’s pre-Mullaly days were filled with greediness, incompetence and lack of quality all-around. But where there is darkness- they say- there is always light. As Ford found itself sufficient enough to succeed without the aid of Washington, the company changed direction, hired on former Boening big wig Alan Mullaly, sold its remaining shares of Jaguar, Land Rover and Mazda, and began to focus on something more real. Quality succeeds in the market; something that Chrysler and GM were struggling to retain a grip of themselves.
Since late 2006, with the implementation of a new “One Ford” global strategy, the company has narrowed its focus to three main aspects in its lineup: quality, efficiency and sportiness- most importantly in the brand staple Mustang.
First and foremost; quality. As the company struggled to retain American buyers to more successful, better qualified foreigners in the early 2000′s, the company shifted gears from whatever the hell they were doing before (managing Jaguar/Land Rover/Mazda) and introduced a hoard of new quality vehicles beginning with crossovers like the Edge and continuing on with small Euro-sourced cars, like the Focus and Fiesta.
Today- aside from some minor setbacks with the Ford MyTouch system- the overall interior and exterior quality of its vehicles has improved significantly. Better materials, better looking and overall just better things to drive.
Efficiency is another big key for future success with Ford. Cars like the Escape hybrid, Focus Electric and C-Max all limit the company’s carbon footprint. Even the ho-hum 3.7L engine alone provides impressive figures like a 31 mpg rating for the 300-hp V6 Ford Mustang.
Sportiness- or most importantly, the Mustang- since the early 60s, was the staple of the brand as a whole. Never in its history, has the Mustang ever been taken out of the lineup, mostly due to massively successful sales.
Unfortunately, while most of the vehicles in the current Ford lineup have breached the barrier of quality, efficiency, and performance (like the Focus ST) the Mustang has remained a bit sluggish and under-engineered; but for good reason. As rumors begin to spill of a smaller, more efficient Mustang, Ford execs want to assure that they don’t have a repeat of the Ford Mustang II, aka, the worst Mustang ever.
With the use of a smaller, more efficient EcoBoost 4-cylinder, Ford hopes that the Mustang will still maintain a sense of prowess in the sportscar market with close to 350-hp (more than Camaro and Challenger, mind you), without over-compromising to restricting mileage regulations both here and abroad.
So, while both Chrysler and GM have managed to pull from a near demolition in the early 2000′s thanks to the help of Mr. President, Ford has ditched its unnecessary assets, made some bold decisions on the top end, and overall has become a global force to recon with.
All in all, we’re excited to see where Ford will be moving forward. Aside from that, we can’t wait for the good ‘ol US of A to be back on top, where it should be.