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Last week any future cooperation between Ford and Mazda seemed unlikely after Ford president Mark Fields announced the two companies would no longer share platforms. Now company execs on both sides are reasserting a "long-term partnership." Both Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi have been in talks to discuss future collaborations.

News of a separation between the U.S. and Japanese automaker came as little surprise, as recently Ford sold off much of its stake in Mazda, reducing its portion of from 33 percent to just 11 percent. The partnership is the longest running in the auto industry, dating back to 1979. Initially Ford benefited tremendously from Mazda's Japanese technology and work practices, however, more recently, Mazda has been the benefactor, as Ford propped it up when an effort to take on Honda and Toyota in the mainstream auto business failed.

"Our strategic alliance will remain intact," said Mazda's VP of manufacturing Masaharu Yamaki. Ford execs weren't quite as strong worded with Ford CFO Lewis Booth quoted as saying that, "The strategic relationship continues. The business relationships continue. And they continue on the basis that they've always continued. Where it works to the benefit of both companies, we do things together, and where it doesn't, we don't."

Ford's business plan has seen it sell off its shares in other automakers and it is currently looking to find a buyer for Volvo. This plan is in many ways the reason that Ford avoided bankruptcy as it not only created a huge influx of cash, but it did so at the perfect time, when the luxury brands it sold off (like Jaguar and Land Rover) saw massive sales declines. There is still an unwillingness to set Mazda entirely free, however, as Ford relies on the Japanese automaker for some of its most important products: the mid-size Fusion being based on the Mazda6 and the sub-compact Fiesta based on the Mazda2.

"We're still dependent on each other," said Ford's global product boss Derrick Kuzak. "You cannot change that overnight."

Still, as Kuzak suggests, Ford is looking to separate itself from Mazda and despite all the reassuring words of a partnership between the two companies, Ford isn't recanting on its "no platform sharing" statement. And so while there are still opportunities for the two automakers to work together on certain products, Mazda isn't sitting around and waiting for Ford. Recent reports have suggested that Mazda has begun a partnership with Toyota that will see Prius hybrid technology go into use in a future Mazda3 model.

More: Report: Ford and Mazda Agree to Continued Partnership… But for How Long? on AutoGuide.com
 

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Recent reports have suggested that Mazda has begun a partnership with Toyota that will see Prius hybrid technology go into use in a future Mazda3 model.[/b]
Mazda will have to change it's catch phrase from Zoom-Zoom to Snore-Snore.
 

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How long until Ford realizes that everything successful they have (except the F-Series) in the US market is based on a Volvo (Taurus/Flex), Mazda(Fusion/Edge), or Jaguar(Mustang is loosely based on S-type/XF chassis)?

Maybe Ford is too embarrassed to admit it.

Looks like Ford has a plan for failure.
 

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QUOTE (jb606 @ Dec 21 2009, 06:43 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1624517
Mazda will have to change it's catch phrase from Zoom-Zoom to Snore-Snore.[/b]
A CX7 with a hybrid electric motor added on the 2.3LT would be sweet dude... your city MPG would rise instantly and you still have all that power when you need it... look at the Lexus hybrids, some of them are bastard fast!
 

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QUOTE (BigBen @ Dec 22 2009, 01:29 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1624738
A CX7 with a hybrid electric motor added on the 2.3LT would be sweet dude... your city MPG would rise instantly and you still have all that power when you need it... look at the Lexus hybrids, some of them are bastard fast![/b]
When Mazda comes out with a plug-in hybrid I might get excited. Think about this combo; RX-8 body/suspension and Tesla Roadster drivetrain. An electric motor is kinda like a Wankel sans the gas and oil.

I apologize in advance if I've upset and Rotary/RX-[7,8] fans.
 

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QUOTE (Spazdog @ Dec 22 2009, 10:19 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1624731
How long until Ford realizes that everything successful they have (except the F-Series) in the US market is based on a Volvo (Taurus/Flex), Mazda(Fusion/Edge), or Jaguar(Mustang is loosely based on S-type/XF chassis)?

Maybe Ford is too embarrassed to admit it.

Looks like Ford has a plan for failure.[/b]
lol.

I'm guessing you're choosing to ignore the rest of Ford's 100+ year history?

I think they'll be fine. Ford's already moving the Fusion to the next Mondeo platform. CD2 is going to be used for the Focus. Rumors still persist that the next Mustang will share a platform with the Australian Falcon.

Oh, and speaking of the Mustang, people talk about the new 2011 because of the 306 horse 3.7 or the 412 horse 5.0, not because its loosely based on a Jag platform, especially one that underpinned an unsuccessful model ( S Type ).
 

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QUOTE (Tripod @ Dec 30 2009, 05:04 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1626173
lol.

I'm guessing you're choosing to ignore the rest of Ford's 100+ year history?

I think they'll be fine. Ford's already moving the Fusion to the next Mondeo platform.[/b]

Actually, I've paid close attention to Ford's history.

The last time they used a Mondeo:

CONTOUR FAIL

They tried to sell a Fiesta in the US too:

FIESTA FAIL!
Yes, Fiesta. Not the Festiva (which is actually a Kia)
They actually sold more Courier pickups (made by Toyo Kogyo aka Mazda) than they did Fiestas in spite of the fact that the Courier was quite nearly as much as a base model F-100

They tried to sell a Capri in the US:

CAPRI FAIL!
They sold more Mustang IIs in two years than they did German made Capris for it's entire production run. Toyota sold more Celicas on a year to year basis and nobody wanted to buy that "Jap crap" back then.

I'm not going to bag on the XR4Ti...It's actually a pretty cool car. But an utter sales failure. Merkur is the shortest lived marque in recent history

So basically, Ford is going back to the well that continues to poison them. They keep trying to sell their European market cars here and they keep coming up failures.
 

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QUOTE (Spazdog @ Dec 30 2009, 07:33 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1626335
Actually, I've paid close attention to Ford's history.

The last time they used a Mondeo:

CONTOUR FAIL

They tried to sell a Fiesta in the US too:

FIESTA FAIL!
Yes, Fiesta. Not the Festiva (which is actually a Kia)
They actually sold more Courier pickups (made by Toyo Kogyo aka Mazda) than they did Fiestas in spite of the fact that the Courier was quite nearly as much as a base model F-100

They tried to sell a Capri in the US:

CAPRI FAIL!
They sold more Mustang IIs in two years than they did German made Capris for it's entire production run. Toyota sold more Celicas on a year to year basis and nobody wanted to buy that "Jap crap" back then.

I'm not going to bag on the XR4Ti...It's actually a pretty cool car. But an utter sales failure. Merkur is the shortest lived marque in recent history

So basically, Ford is going back to the well that continues to poison them. They keep trying to sell their European market cars here and they keep coming up failures.[/b]
EVERY auto magazine in this country is on record clamoring for Ford to bring its European models here. Automobile Magazine did an article titled "Cars We Need Now"....on the cover? Fiesta, Kuga and C Max.....Hmmmm...I wonder why?
GM imports Opel models and the response is very positive. Imagine Saturn before the Sky or Aura or even the Astra.
The new Fiesta, like the Focus ( that HAS been successful here ) is HIGHLY praised in Europe. I should know, I've got family over there, the Fiesta is very, very popular. I myself have driven one, there is very little wrong with the Fiesta, and it is much better than the Fit. In terms of looks, the 2 isn't nearly as good looking. Only the 3 door model looks decent to me. Over here, the Fiesta Movement gathered over 80,000 'hand raisers', people very interested in purchasing the car.
Speaking of the Focus, I think its popularity speaks for itself....The car's been on the 10 Best list, its been a 10 ten best seller in the US, etc. etc.

Talking about models from the '70s and '80s or even early '90s does not make your case. Ford is not the same brand in Europe that they were back then.
 

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QUOTE (Tripod @ Dec 31 2009, 04:44 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1626381
Speaking of the Focus, I think its popularity speaks for itself....The car's been on the 10 Best list, its been a 10 ten best seller in the US, etc. etc.[/b]

Are you talking about the US market Focus or the European market Focus?

The US market Focus has been panned by virtually all of the automotive press. It is nowhere near the Civic, Corolla, Mazda3, Rabbit/Golf, SX4...only the fact that there is a Cobalt and a Caliber allow Ford to save face on this one.

And as far as the sales figures of the Focus? Enterprise has got to rent something.

I'm just saying European Fords have a history of failure. Even when they are good (ie: XR4Ti) If they do sell, Ford has a history of screwing them up (Mondeo, Focus)

By comparison, the Courier, Probe, and early model Tracer enjoyed success. (B-series, MX6, 323)

It might be US carmakers in general, not just Ford. Chrysler couldn't sell 1.5 liter Hillman Avengers (Cricket) in the United States during the '73 Oil crisis. But they did sell lots of Mitsubishi Galants (Colt)
Chrysler later took a French Simca hatchback, added a Volkswagen engine and made a fairly successful car. It was in many ways as good or better than the Mark I Golf. It didn't take long for them to screw it up though and add their own K-car engine and screw the suspension up.

I do remember Saturn before the Sky, Aura, and Astra. The Saturn L-Series was an Opel Vectra. It had a bad history of timing chain failures in the L200 and the L300 had that horrible weird 54° V6 Opel engine that plagued the Catera. (I don't know if the Opel Vectra and Omega are as shitty as the L-series and the Catera were.)
 

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wow.....really?

Might wanna do a little research on that one...lol


The Focus was on C&D's 10 best list in 2001. The SVTF was on it in 2002. The SVTF beat out the Honda Civic Si in comparison tests. Consumer Reports called it best sporty car in 2003 or 4...I forget the year. The newest Focus enjoyed HUGE sales during the C4C sale, and is rated to be a really good car.

The Focus in NA and Europe was the same car until 2005.

Here's just one article for you...

DEARBORN, Mich., August 1, 2008 – Ford’s redesigned Focus continues to surprise auto industry watchers and customer alike with strong sales, revenue growth, fuel economy and industry-first technology.

While Ford and industry sales experienced a double-digit sales decline in July, Ford Focus sales climbed 16 percent versus a year ago. Year-to-date, Focus sales were up 26 percent, compared with industry-wide small car growth of approximately 9 percent.

Focus has surprised in areas other than sales:

* Transaction prices – Year-to-date, Focus transaction prices have increased $750 per unit compared with a segment-average increase of $100. Customers are purchasing more equipment, including Ford SYNC, and higher series levels.
* Fuel Economy – In an independent test conducted by Edmunds.com called the Gas-Sipper Smackdown, Focus achieved 37.5 mpg on the highway. Focus has EPA highway fuel economy of 35 mpg – better than the smaller 2008 Honda Fit and 2009 Nissan Versa SL.
* Cool Technology – Focus was named one of Kelley Blue Book’s 10 Coolest New Cars Under $18,000 based on its safety, fuel economy, interior size, comfort, technology, fun-to-drive and the “decidedly subjective coolness factor.”

“Focus continues to surprise and delight customers throughout the country, but the bombshell is in Texas, where Focus retail sales have almost doubled,” said Jim Farley, Ford, group vice president, Marketing and Communications. “If we can increase small car sales in Texas, we can increase them anywhere.” Year-to-date, Focus retail sales were up 91 percent in Texas and 46 percent nationwide.

Total Ford, Lincoln and Mercury car sales were up 8 percent compared with a year ago. Consistent with industry trends, crossover vehicles – which include Ford Escape, Edge and Flex – were down 8 percent. Sport utility vehicles – such as Ford Explorer and Expedition – were down 54 percent, and trucks and vans – including Ford F-Series and Econoline – were down 18 percent.

Overall, Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle sales totaled 156,406 in July, down 13 percent versus a year ago; year-to-date sales totaled 1.265 million, also down 14 percent. Ford estimates industry-wide sales were down 11 percent year-to-date.

“We expect the second half of 2008 will be more challenging than the first half as economic and credit conditions weaken,” said Farley.

Ford’s full-year industry sales forecast is a range from 14.0 – 14.5 million vehicles (including medium and heavy trucks). The first half sales rate was approximately 15 million.
 

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QUOTE (triplejumper18 @ Jan 2 2010, 09:49 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1626875
My fiancee has a 2003 Focus and my friend's wife has a 2004 Focus. They suck absolute balls.[/b]
Agreed. The suspension systems are terrible.

What surprises me is the Europeans rave about how great the Focus is there. They must use a different suspension setup that actually works in countries that still care about vehicle performance. I've heard the SVT Focus also handled nicely.
 

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lmao....


You guys really should do some research first....The suspension on the Focus is the one thing all magazine testers agreed set the bar in the class....back in 2001....In fact its been so good that even though the platform that underpins the car is 10 years old now, it still competes.


Oh, I have a 2003 SVT Focus, one of 4 Focuses I've owned ( 3rd SVTF, none of which ever had any mechanical issues despite me beating on them ). It outhandles my Mazdaspeed 6. Also, a 75,000 miles.....hard, autocrossed miles...Its seen the inside of a Ford dealership once, for a leaking thermostat housing. My 51,000 mile Mazdaspeed 6 has had

1) New turbo and exhaust manifold
2) New front axles, front diff housing and all seals...twice.
3) New clutch
4) ECU reflashed....twice
 

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QUOTE (Tripod @ Jan 2 2010, 07:47 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1626866
wow.....really?

Might wanna do a little research on that one...lol


The Focus was on C&D's 10 best list in 2001. The SVTF was on it in 2002. The SVTF beat out the Honda Civic Si in comparison tests. Consumer Reports called it best sporty car in 2003 or 4...I forget the year. The newest Focus enjoyed HUGE sales during the C4C sale, and is rated to be a really good car.[/b]
In 2001 perhaps. But that model was far from perfect It is the second worst Ford in reliability (Fordproblems.com)

In May of 2008, the Focus was in a 8 car comparison in Car and Driver. It finished dead last. Behind the Scion xD. Behind the Suzuki SX4. Dead freakin' last.

If you've driven a Mazda3S and a Focus SES, you should know that they are not in the same league. I will give the current US market Focus credit for being better than the Cobalt and Caliber. But at least the Caliber and Cobalt can be purchased in ass-kicking mode with 260 (or more) horsepower.

But I've driven all three and to suggest that they are as good as the current Mazda3, Integra, or Civic is insanity.

The current Focus is far from a driver's car. It's gadgety "Sync" and variable color interior lighting are it's best selling points.
 

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The cars that Ford sells in Europe have no connection with the crap they sell here for the most part.

The European Ford vehicles are very highly regarded for their very good suspensions, power, economy and hopefully they will be bringing some of that over to the U.S. soon and stop wasting boatloads of money making different, watered down vehicles just for the U.S. market.

The current Focus RS is actually quite a brilliant car, even if it doesn't quite keep up with the STI's and Evo's.

See it here!
 

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The sales speak for themselves Spazzdog. Obviously the magazine is taking its frustration with the redesign of the Focus out on Ford, and rightly so. I don't think its all that wonderful either, but Ford's already announced that the European Focus and the NA Focus will be the same car, with the NA concept to be shown here this month at NAIAS. The Euro Focus is a great car, and just as mentioned, the RS is amazing. Thought it doesn't quite keep up, a FWD car 'hanging' with a couple AWD legends like the Evolution and STi is quite a feat in and of itself.

I travel constantly for work, and have had many, many different kinds of rentals, including new Focuses, Fusions, Malibus, a few Corollas, Altimas, Goddam Cobalts ( lol ) and a couple Dodge products, and by far the Fords outclass 'em. I've also had new 6's and one of the first 2010 Mazda 3's that hit the lot. They were OK too, but I honestly felt that the Fusion was a better car than the 6.

As far as the Mazda 3 goes. I whip them ( non MS3 ) at the autocross all the time with my Focus. there's a 10 HP difference between them. I know the C1 platform is better than C170, but the way the SVTF handles surprises most people. I honestly enjoy driving it more than my MS6 most of the time. The steering response is just night and day.
 

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"We're still dependent on each other," said Ford's global product boss Derrick Kuzak. "You cannot change that overnight."
Translation: We're bed partners...for now.

The way I see it (unfortunately) is Ford is in it as long as it needs Mazda for platforms and such. After that, all bets are off. It's ashame, really. Ford pimping Mazda out there to help them with platform and drivetrain stuff and then letting them go in the end. Say what you will, but I think Ford effectively made out on the partnership at least as much if not more than Mazda did. Oh, well.
 

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QUOTE (Tripod @ Jan 4 2010, 06:31 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1627139
The sales speak for themselves Spazzdog. Obviously the magazine is taking its frustration with the redesign of the Focus out on Ford, and rightly so. I don't think its all that wonderful either, but Ford's already announced that the European Focus and the NA Focus will be the same car, with the NA concept to be shown here this month at NAIAS. The Euro Focus is a great car, and just as mentioned, the RS is amazing. Thought it doesn't quite keep up, a FWD car 'hanging' with a couple AWD legends like the Evolution and STi is quite a feat in and of itself.

I travel constantly for work, and have had many, many different kinds of rentals, including new Focuses, Fusions, Malibus, a few Corollas, Altimas, Goddam Cobalts ( lol ) and a couple Dodge products, and by far the Fords outclass 'em. I've also had new 6's and one of the first 2010 Mazda 3's that hit the lot. They were OK too, but I honestly felt that the Fusion was a better car than the 6.[/b]
In Europe, the Fords work. (sometimes...the 80+ Escort was a bad car in both markets. It sold well in both markets but not even the Mazda B-chassis could help the CVH engine)

Historically, they've translated badly to the US market.

If it works this time, more power to them. To me it's a foolish move for Ford to discredit their current fortune from Mazda and Volvo platforms and return to a plan that seldom works.

And as far as the Fusion vs Mazda 6? I have to disagree. I've rented a couple of Fusions and it's an adequate people moving appliance, but not a driver's car. It is quieter than my 6 but it feels like the springs were originally intended for a very soft version of the Taurus. I sometimes forget this and pitch it into a cloverleaf. I'm rewarded with Buick LeSabre-like body roll and the howl of tires followed by 5 minutes of trying to pull the mousefur seat covers out of my ass pucker after my close encounter with planting Fusion into an embankment.

And the gear selector. WTF is up with that thing? "1" doesn't hold the car in 1st or 2nd for that matter. The gear selections in a Fusion are Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Don't even think of trying to pick gears for yourself. No manual gate. My mother in law's Hyundai XG300 has a manual gate. It can barely get out of it's own way and let's face it, no one that drives an XG is worried about selecting the proper gear coming out of a corner

Goddam Cobalts. I agree. What a miserable freakin' car to rent. I mean, I'll ask if I can upgrade to a Kia Spectra if they try to rent me a Cobalt. Key word: upgrade.
 

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QUOTE (Spazdog @ Jan 4 2010, 09:11 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1627338
In Europe, the Fords work. (sometimes...the 80+ Escort was a bad car in both markets. It sold well in both markets but not even the Mazda B-chassis could help the CVH engine)

Historically, they've translated badly to the US market.

If it works this time, more power to them. To me it's a foolish move for Ford to discredit their current fortune from Mazda and Volvo platforms and return to a plan that seldom works.

And as far as the Fusion vs Mazda 6? I have to disagree. I've rented a couple of Fusions and it's an adequate people moving appliance, but not a driver's car. It is quieter than my 6 but it feels like the springs were originally intended for a very soft version of the Taurus. I sometimes forget this and pitch it into a cloverleaf. I'm rewarded with Buick LeSabre-like body roll and the howl of tires followed by 5 minutes of trying to pull the mousefur seat covers out of my ass pucker after my close encounter with planting Fusion into an embankment.

And the gear selector. WTF is up with that thing? "1" doesn't hold the car in 1st or 2nd for that matter. The gear selections in a Fusion are Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Don't even think of trying to pick gears for yourself. No manual gate. My mother in law's Hyundai XG300 has a manual gate. It can barely get out of it's own way and let's face it, no one that drives an XG is worried about selecting the proper gear coming out of a corner

Goddam Cobalts. I agree. What a miserable freakin' car to rent. I mean, I'll ask if I can upgrade to a Kia Spectra if they try to rent me a Cobalt. Key word: upgrade.[/b]
Praise for the 2010 Fusion has been rather widespread.

I've not driven a new Fusion that had any of those characteristics. I've had about 6 different examples to date, in various cities. The new car also has a six speed automatic with a manual gate. Last week I had a 3.0 V6 Fusion, and it scooted pretty good :) The automanual works pretty good too, shifting is smooth.
 

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QUOTE (Tripod @ Jan 6 2010, 08:00 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=1627632
Praise for the 2010 Fusion has been rather widespread.

I've not driven a new Fusion that had any of those characteristics. I've had about 6 different examples to date, in various cities. The new car also has a six speed automatic with a manual gate. Last week I had a 3.0 V6 Fusion, and it scooted pretty good :) The automanual works pretty good too, shifting is smooth.[/b]
You got a V6 Fusion, which does have the manual gate, stiffer suspension, and larger tires. The usual rental/fleet Fusion, the SE 4cyl, does exhibit the characterists listed above. And what's up with that cheap-ass mousefur upholstery?

If they could take the interior of the new 6 and the exterior of the new Fusion and put them together, the car would be almost perfect.
 
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