Weak US Dollar Weakens Ford and GM Import Prospects (No Ford Mondeo For YOU)

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,775
    Likes Received:
    1,655
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Small Car, Small Profits

    [​IMG]

    By RICK KRANZ | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS
    AutoWeek | Updated: 02/14/07, 2:03 pm et

    CHICAGO - It seems crazy at a time when the dollar is so weak against the euro. Yet General Motors will go ahead with a plan to sell Europe-built Opel Astras as Saturns starting later this year.

    In the past, GM would have never considered such a thing.
    The business case would have been unjustifiable for GM Europe, the supplier of the vehicles. Those weak dollars earned in America would not have amounted to much when converted into European currency.

    But that was GM old think.

    "In the old days of running the corporation regionally, we probably would not have done the program," said GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, at the Chicago Auto Show.

    Lutz says GM now thinks globally.

    So GM looked at the plan - rebadging the Opel Astra as a 2008 Saturn Astra - from a global standpoint and approved it. The Astra arrives at Saturn dealers late this year and will be positioned at Saturn's lowest priced car, starting $2,000 to $3,000 above the 2007 Ion, which starts at $13,480, including shipping. Ion production ends in March.

    "We just had to tell ourselves this (car) avoids a ton of investment," Lutz said. "It gets us a highly competitive car into the Saturn showroom with minimal delays for the easy federalization that we had to do.

    "The profitability isn't great," he admitted, "but profitability is there, which is a tough trick to do on a small car. The reason it is profitable even at a low margin is because of the investment avoidance."

    -----

    Ford’s best midsizer isn’t sold here—yet

    [​IMG]

    By JULIAN RENDELL
    AutoWeek | Published 02/13/07, 3:08 pm et

    Ford Taurus and Ford Mondeo are two names rarely written in the same sentence. So it must be an accident of fate that Ford’s most significant sedan nameplates on opposite sides of the Atlantic are being revitalized in the space of a week. While the Taurus was the car that saved Ford Division in the mid 1980s, the sharp-handling Mondeo did the same for struggling Ford Europe a decade later.

    Ford has provided this preview of its third-generation Mondeo ahead of the car’s public premiere at the Geneva show in March. And though Ford’s position in Europe is much stronger than it was in 1993, the Mondeo still has to make a big impact in keeping with its role as the company’s third best-seller in Europe, behind the Focus and Fiesta.

    The main challenge for the new Mondeo is to claw back sales in a market segment shrinking as Europeans shift allegiance to upmarket models like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. As an illustration of this fundamental shift in European tastes, just look at the comparative sales figures: Last year (admittedly the last year of production for the second-gen model), Mondeo sold 142,800 cars in Europe; the 3 Series 287,704. In its heyday in the mid-1990s the Mondeo outsold the 3 Series three to two on average.

    Acknowledging this new competition, Ford has put a stronger emphasis on design with the new Mondeo, the new model clothed in “kinetic design” body panels, as seen on the Iosis concept, Galaxy minivan and S-Max crossover, Europe’s Car of the Year.

    Under the skin is an all-new platform, called EU-CD, that’s also the basis for the minivan and crossover, but more significantly shares technology with the Volvo S80/V70 and Land Rover Freelander to cut costs.

    Bigger, wider and higher than the outgoing Mondeo, Ford’s midsize sedan fights back with a combination of more space allied to a sharp-driving, yet compliant-riding chassis, previously the Mondeo’s main competitive edge.

    A 2.5-liter 220-hp turbocharged five-cylinder borrowed from Volvo is the performance flagship in a seven-engine range featuring three diesel and four gasoline engines.

    If the car ever ventured into the U.S., the 2.5-cylinder, along with the 2.3-liter 161-hp four mated to a six-speed auto transaxle, would be the likely choices.

    At this moment, though, a Mondeo for the U.S. is only a pipe dream. Although new Ford CEO Alan Mulally has made encouraging noises, there are practical difficulties: Meeting U.S. crash and exhaust emission regulations; fitting the Mondeo into the range alongside the similar-sized Fusion/Milan; and making a profit in America on a car built in Europe when the exchange rate makes $1 worth only 0.77 Euros.

    The smart money is on the next-generation Fusion to merge with the Mondeo program, forming a common platform that can be built and sold worldwide.
     
  2. SirLumina

    SirLumina New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Messages:
    43,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Fucking Hot, CA
    Yeah Ford NEEDS the Mondeo and the Euro Focus, their cars are atrocious here.
     
  3. Mugatu

    Mugatu Ask me about market research. OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2001
    Messages:
    245,192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Holy shit that Saturn is fugly.
     
  4. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,775
    Likes Received:
    1,655
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Weak US dollar makes turning a profit on them hard. This is going to affect the Pontiac G8 too. GM is already considering shifting production of it to Canada.
     
  5. Rommel

    Rommel friends forever

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2001
    Messages:
    36,867
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    /yourself now
    I hear alot of foreign governments are diversifing their currency reserves away from the dollar right now and buying more euro's. The weak dollar they say is said to continue.
     
  6. whatrick

    whatrick New Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    7,534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    locomotion
    yet the sack riders still pontificate that the economy is doing just peachy. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Grimey

    Grimey New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Messages:
    55,016
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    In for a slow death of Ford :bowdown:
     
  8. mucky

    mucky .

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Messages:
    44,972
    Likes Received:
    0
    Weak dollar is a poor excuse that they spent millions on redesigning that UGLY new US-spec Ford Focus and retooling the plants for it too, when all Ford had to do was just carry over the specs from the Euro Focus and retool the US with that instead. Fucking Ford, I thought they had a glimmer of hope last year with the new Mustang and the Fusion seem decent, but now they're fucking clueless, especially reviving the shitty rental status name of the Taurus.
     
  9. mucky

    mucky .

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Messages:
    44,972
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here's another thing I don't get. Just a few months ago, GM and Ford were crying over the weak yen to the stronger dollar and how they can't compete with Japan on it. Now they're complaining about the opposite spectrum about the weak dollar to the stronger Euro because they can't import them over. Damn it, just a lot of pisspoor excuses IMO.
     
  10. DCyamaha

    DCyamaha O-line found

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Messages:
    20,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    anytown, usa

    record low unemployment, stock market thruogh the roof. but weak dollar.


    sounds like the economy is doing alright to me.
     
  11. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,775
    Likes Received:
    1,655
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Neither is complaining really, but GM is citing it as a reason to shift production of Opel and Holden models to the US and Canada. Ford is citing it as a reason they probably won't import any of their foreign products.
     
  12. mucky

    mucky .

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Messages:
    44,972
    Likes Received:
    0
    For the ford reason, again, this should've given them a better excuse to manufacture the Euro-spec Focus in the USA instead of that ugly crap they're selling next year.
     
  13. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,775
    Likes Received:
    1,655
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    GM exports many US models now and the weak dollar is very beneficial for that. But if you like their foreign products, well, too bad. Ditto for Ford.
     
  14. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,775
    Likes Received:
    1,655
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    Would it be Contour and Focus part deux though? :hs:
     
  15. Girth

    Girth ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Messages:
    71,418
    Likes Received:
    107
    Location:
    Houston
    The ford is sexy... the Saturn is not. I still wouldn't drive either one. :)
     
  16. matrix243

    matrix243 My body, is ready.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Messages:
    18,866
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Calgary
    crash tests and emissions are nothing.
    american designers would rather see the company ran into the ground then to copy a foreign design. sad really.
     
  17. matrix243

    matrix243 My body, is ready.

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Messages:
    18,866
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Calgary
    atleast gm had the balls to bring the gto/monaro.
     
  18. August Burns

    August Burns New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,435
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cook County
    its more the bean counters at ford and poor management bringing them down. They have probably looked at at bringing euro models over. oh and im sick of this trishield GM sackriding.
     

Share This Page