AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Ford’s all-new Tourneo Custom Van spearheads the company’s commitment to refresh its commercial vehicle lineup by 2014 and will go on sale in Europe and other global markets starting this year. The production model will make its official debut at the Birmingham Commercial Vehicle Show next month.
The Tourneo Custom will be available in eight- or nine-seat configurations along with short or long wheelbase variants. The short wheelbase version measures in at 195.7 inches, while the long wheelbase is 210.2 inches.
Powering the Tourneo Custom is Ford’s 2.2-liter Duratorq four-cylinder with three different power configurations, 99, 123, and 153-hp. The 2.2-liter is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and has auto start/stop to help it deliver around 34-mpg on the U.S. cycle.
“The bold new Tourneo Custom signals the start of a revolution in Ford’s commercial vehicle range,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe. “It’s a fantastic-looking people mover – inside and out – and offers outstanding day-to-day, real world practicality as well as being great to drive.”
The Tourneo Custom is built on a new Ford global platform, blending car-like handling dynamics with enhanced ride comfort and reduced noise levels while remaining a functional package.
Ford of Europe did not announce any pricing. Despite the announcement that the Tourneo Custom won’t be heading to the U.S., there’s still a chance the company may employ some of those changes in North American commercial vehicles in the future.
GALLERY: Ford Tourneo Custom Van
Ford has released the results of a survey conducted across Europe on the most popular car colors by nation. And to the surprise of absolutely no one (and the delight of the German carmakers), the most universally popular colors were…white, black and silver.
No bright hues like the hot-pink Focus above. And no British Racing Green in Great Britain or Syracuse Orange for The Netherlands—the most popular colors there are blue and cream, interestingly enough. And further defying stereotypes, the Italians prefer cream as well over red, while the Irish eschew their St. Patrick’s green for silver. Brighter colors go as far as the Czech Republic and Romania, which prefers blue, and Sweden, which loves orange, presumably to find their cars in the snow.
The data will help Ford plan accordingly in what colors to sell in countries, meaning that they will be taking a page from their ancestor Ol’ Henry’s playbook and offering a plethora of colors for the customer to choose, so long as they are black.
Ford’s European headquarters in Cologne, Germany has been raided by German officials as part of an investigation into a kickback scandal by the German prosecutors office.
While Ford itself is supposedly not the target of the investigation, employees at Ford have been implicated in the scandal, and Ford, as well as the German government are working to target these individuals.
Employees allegedly favored companies looking for contracts in exchange for “material advantages”.
[Source: Auto Observer]
Rolling off the assembly line at Ford‘s plan in Cologne, Germany yesterday was the six millionths Fiesta model – a Vision Blue Sport edition intended for a German customer. Show above next to an original Fiesta, this seventh-generation model celebrates 31 years of production in Cologne, with Fiestas dating back to 1976 in Europe.
In total, more than 13 million Fiestas have been sold, with other manufacturing plants in Europe (located in Valencia, Spain; Ford’s Dagenham plant in the United Kingdom, and the Saarlouis plant in Germany between 1976 and 1980) making up roughly the other half of all models produced.
It took Ford 10 years to sell the first one million Fiesta models, but the current model has already sold 750,000 units in just 18 months.
Ford has just begun Fiesta production in Nanjing, China and Rayong, Thailand, with the first model set to roll out of the Ford Cuautitlàn Plant in Mexico (destined for the North American market) in the next few weeks.
According to recent statistics, the Fiesta is poised to break into the Top 10 best selling cars of all time, with the Chevrolet Impala currently in 10th place with 14 million units sold. Ford already has three of the Top 10 spots, with the Model T, F Series and Escort.
The current Fiesta is set to go on sale in North America this summer, powered by a 120-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder. Ford rates the car’s fuel economy at 29/38-mpg (city/hwy) for the manual, and 30/40-mpg for the six-speed automatic. Pricing starts at $13,320 for the sedan and $15,120 for the hatch. See our review of the new Fiesta by following the link below:
Official release after the jump:
With Ford just about ready to launch its new Fiesta in North America, the American automaker is celebrating the car’s success overseas where it has just surpassed the perennial top seller, the VW Golf, to become Europe’s best selling car. While Ford somewhat erroneously reported last week that it had topped VW in overall sales, these new numbers for the Fiesta come from an independent source: JATO Dynamics.
Ford sold more Fiestas in March than VW sold Golfs, bringing it into the lead in year-to-date sales as well. In March Ford moved 68,630 Fiestas – an impressive 11,785 more units than VW managed with the Golf. The sales increase for March is a staggering 25.8% jump. The year-to-date total is now 140,496 Fiestas compared to 135,048. And it’s not like VW is suffering either, with VW’s year-to-date Golf sales up 10.4 percent.
The VW vs Ford rivalry looks to be one that will continue throughout the year and we’ll be sure to keep an eye on monthly and quarterly sales totals.
[Source: JATO via Carscoop]
Ford has just announced in a glowing new press release that it is the number one automaker is Europe for the month of March. Can that really be true? What about Volkswagen, Fiat and Peugeot? Last time we were in Europe we didn’t see all that many Fords. Well, as it turns out our friends over at TTAC has similar skepticism and decided to do a little research, only to uncover that Ford’s public relations department seems to be playing fast and loose with the semantics of the issue.
TTAC staff went and looked for the March European Automobile Manufacturers Association (also known as ACEA) numbers for March, but they hadn’t been tallied yet. Still, taking a look at February’s numbers it’s easy to see what Ford has done.
In February Volkswagen topped the list with a 20.4 percent market share. In second place was PSA Group with 14.9 percent and then Renault with 11 percent. Ford is listed as fourth with 10 percent. Now Ford is claiming a total of 192,500 vehicles sold in March, an impressive 16.1 percent increase. But even then, 16.1 percent of 10 percent market share won’t get you anywhere close to VW’s dominant 20 percent. So what’s goong on here.
Simple, Ford is sticking its numbers up against VW’s numbers, not VW Group’s numbers. And if you recall, VW owns not only Audi, but also Seat and Skoda and Porsche and Lamborghini and Bentley and… well, you get the point.
Now some might argue that as Ford is really just one brand in Europe (if you exclude Volvo) then the comparison is a fair one. Regardless, we thought this overly glowing press release deserved a little “perspective.”
[Source: Ford and TTAC]
Official release after the jump:
Ford has just released the latest model to be based on its global C architecture, the Focus Wagon. Looking quite a bit like the Focus hatch, it’s a bit larger with more cargo room. It also represents the European launch of the MyFord Touch system.
A range of gasoline and diesel engines are available, but it doesn’t matter much as Ford has no plans to bring the wagon to North America and if itthat decision ever changes it will get the 2.0-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder set for the Focus sedan and hatch. With the new focus sedan and hatch as well as the C-Max and Grand C-Max MPVs, the wagon now represents the fifth of 10 Focus-based models. We expect a coupe to add to that list as well as a crossover to replace the Escape.
While not all 10 models will be available in all international markets, Ford says the Focus Wagon is a great example of how its cost-saving One Ford strategy can be adapted to meet regional needs.
GALLERY: Ford Focus Wagon
Official release after the jump:
New 2011 model set to debut at Frankfurt Auto Show
Ford has just released several images of the 2011 C-Max, which is set to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in just over a weeks time. While not currently scheduled to go on sale in North America, there is a strong possibility that this new compact multi-activity vehicle could eventually cross the pond.
The C-Max is based on Ford’s new global-C platform which underpins the upcoming Focus. As a more family-oriented vehicle, the C-Max could compete in a growing segment on this side of the Atlantic that includes the Kia Rondo and Mazda5. Recently Ford sold off much of its share in Mazda, essentially cutting the Japanese automaker loose, but by doing so Ford gave up its foothold in MAV or MPV segment.
Set to go on sale in Europe mid-way through 2010, the C-Max will be available with a new turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine featuring direct-injection.
GALLERY: 2011 Ford C-Max
Ford is not yet disclosing much about its new Euro-market model, but the 2011 C-Max will be powered by a new 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. Like the larger EcoBoost powerplants available in Ford’s U.S. products, that means that the little I4 will be equipped with turbocharging and direct-injection for better power and fuel efficiency. No output figures for the engine have been released yet, but we suspect Ford will release horsepower and torque numbers (and further information) when the car rolls out in Frankfurt later this month.
Those wishing to purchase the C-Max will have some time to think about whether they’re interested in plumping for options like the promised blind-spot detection system or the semi-self parking feature, because the model isn’t slated to hit EU dealer forecourts until the second half of 2010. As this five-seater isn’t slated to come to the States at all, the rest of us will just have to slake our curiosity on the high-res images below and the press release after the jump.
Official release after the jump:
Ford is reportedly working on a four-door coupe for the European market and it’s not unthinkable that this stylish sedan could make its way to the U.S.
Based on the Mondeo mid-size sedan, this new model would help build brand image – something Ford of Europe is starting to do more of as it becomes more profitable. The model will be released alongside sedan and wagon versions of the next Mondeo when it debuts in 2012.
Apparently the new Mondeo will be more of a world-car platform, much like the upcoming Focus and Fiesta, both of which will hit U.S. shores soon.
Currently the car would only have one competitor in the U.S. marketplace, the Volkswagen CC, but as brands like Acura see the potential in the four-door coupe, perhaps by 2012 Ford will have several reasons to bring over its four-door coupe Mondeo.
And even if limited sales in North America prohibited building the car here, there is still a possibility that it could be assembled in Europe and shipped to North America. The added price would then be passed on to the consumer by badging the car as a Lincoln.
There is a definite possibility that Ford’s European Ka microcar could make its way to dealerships in North American in the next few years.
A new second-generation Ka was just launched in Europe in 2009, using either a 68hp 1.2-liter gasoline engine or a 74hp 1.3-liter diesel engine. At just 142.5-inches long, the Ka is roughly the size of a SMART fortwo.
While Ford has never been interested in bringing over the Ka before, the Fiat/Chrysler merger may change all that as the automotive partners plan on bringing a Chrysler-branded version of the Fiat 500 microcar to the U.S. – a move that could happen in as little as 18 months.
Not only would Ford want a piece of the microcar segment, but its Ka is actually based on the Fiat 500 chassis as well.
A big issue in bringing the car over would be pricing and while a Fiat 500 might be able to fetch a price roughly equivalent to a SMART, a Chrysler or Ford vehicle would have to be much closer (if not under) the $10,000 mark.
There is also a possibility, suggests an article in the Detroit Free Press, that both Chrysler and Ford could team up on the manufacturing of both vehicles, having them built in the same assembly plant in order to minimize costs. If that were to happen, the car would most likely be built in Mexico, where both Ford and Chrysler already have plants.
The whole idea does seem far-fetched, especially in a country that loves big cars, but times are changing and Chrysler has made it clear that a version of the Fiat 500 is slated for U.S. roads.
Ford already has plans to bring the European Fiesta to North America, where it will compete in the ever-increasing sub-compact segment.
[Source: The Detroit Free Press]