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  • Report: No aluminum for Chrysler Ram before 2020 [View news story]
    To be fair, the Ram truck does have that 8-speed transmission, which is believed to be responsible for the 2 mpg advantage they have over the GM and Ford equivalents. In this case Ram has the clear lead.

    The rumors (Google) have it that Ford and GM are working together in a sort of joint venture, one which was based on their work together on the current 6-speed transmission that both use. In the new effort, GM is said to be responsible for developing the 9-speed for cars and crossovers, and Ford is responsible for the 10-speed for trucks and SUVs. Prototypes are supposedly expected to be on the road in 2015, if not already, and available for production in 2016 for the 2017 model year.

    The point is, GM and Ford are a couple of years behind Ram when it comes to having more than 6-speed transmissions, and Ram's 8-speed is a bit of a competitive advantage when it comes to fuel economy.
    Aug 23 03:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • F-150 Will Be The Major Growth Driver For Ford [View article]
    Perhaps around Thanksgiving? But who said there is a delay?

    Ford has been saying "Available late 2014" and "in the fourth quarter" since the reveal. http://ford.to/1pDK0lM
    Aug 22 02:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: No aluminum for Chrysler Ram before 2020 [View news story]
    Even with the fuel efficient engine upgrades in the last 2 years, which earned the Ram 1500 back-to-back Motor Trend truck of the Year awards, the Ram body and chassis is still essentially a 2009 vintage design.

    Given the roughly 6 year truck development cycle, as seen in Ford's 2009-2014 run on F150 and Chevy's 2006-2013 run with Silverado 1500, it could be inferred that the Ram is due for a redesigned 1500 for the 2016 model year. And that it is too far along in development for that and that it is too just late to "go back to the drawing board" with aluminum body panels and chassis components until at least 2020 or whatever.

    That being said, if Ram sales collapse under Ford's presumed superiority, and Fiatchrysler's profits with it, then surely Fiat will go into emergency mode and get something going a lot sooner than 2020.
    Aug 22 02:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford preps for Mustang launch in right-hand drive markets [View news story]
    "mid to upper 20's (highway)" would be consistent with Ford presumably targeting the meeting or beating of the Ram 1500's 25 and 28 mpg (highway) for the 3.6L V6 HFE gas and the 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel respectively.
    Aug 22 01:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • F-150 Will Be The Major Growth Driver For Ford [View article]
    "Chrysler has the best fuel economy with 26 MPG highway and 29 MPG for its two models, Ram 1500 HFE and Ram 1500 EcoDiesel."

    Important clarification / correction - according to the EPA, Fiatchrysleram's 1500 gets 25 and 28 mpg (highway) for the 3.6L V6 HFE gas and the 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel. http://1.usa.gov/1ohT223

    The source link in the article states that Ford would have to hit 26 and 29 mpg with the new F150, in order to challenge the Ram 1500 for the title of most fuel efficient pickup. http://bit.ly/1ohT35Y
    Aug 22 10:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford preps for Mustang launch in right-hand drive markets [View news story]
    It would seem like a 360 hp class 3.5L V6 EcoBoost Mustang should slot very nicely between the 310 hp 2.7L I4 EcoBoost and the 435 hp 5.0L V8. Actually I sort of thought Ford was already doing this - i had to look it up to see that they were instead using the old 300 hp 3.7L with no turbocharger to be the V6 entry. Bummer.

    Anyway part of the problem is that Europe places hefty taxes on engine cylinder counts, and engine displacements in half-liter increments, so the 2.7L I4 is far more sensible than a 3.5L V6. But for the US? Bring it on!
    Aug 21 05:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford: Geared Up For Strong Second Half Of 2014 [View article]
    No: Ford hasn't said officially. Yet. But we have some whispers, clues and hypotheses. The current F-150 with the 3.7L V6 gas engine tops out at 17/23/19 in city/highway/combined respectively. But as always your mileage will vary depending on vehicle configuration, and how you drive it and use it. We can only really compare certified EPA fuel economy numbers though. The big important number is the 23 mpg highway though.

    When the New F150 was revealed in the Auto Show circuit, the whispers and hints were that Ford was targeting up to 30 mpg, although it wasn't clear what exactly that might require in terms of powertrains and body configurations. Ford and GM are supposedly working on 9-speed and 10-speed transmissions, which are expected to aid fuel economy, not sure when though. Meanwhile Fiatchrysleram already has an 8-speed, while GM and Ford are currently at 6-speeds.

    It is no secret that Ford would covet the title for "most fuel efficient pickup" on the market, when putting the new F150 on sale. Which is perhaps why they have not yet said anything official yet - they don't want to give the competition a specific target to beat yet. The current Ram pickup has the title for fuel efficiency, with 18/25 mpg (city/highway) with the 3.6L V6 gas engine and 8-speed transmission, and 28 mpg with the 3.0L V6 Diesel (also 8-speeds).

    Which means that Ford would need to be hoping to achieve at least 26 mpg highway, and maybe 29 mpg to beat the diesel.

    Speculating now, the 26 mpg bogey should be within reach with just the weight reduction and the (presumably) more efficient 2.7L V6 engine. Adding the 10-speed transmission (tbd) might be enough to get them into the 29 mpg range. The wild card is (maybe) Ford's 3.2L I5 Diesel that is in the new Transit van. If that engine were eventually added into Ford's F150 lineup, along with the weight reduction and 10-speed, then that could well get Ford into the 30+ mpg range. But this is all speculation.

    The very good news is that Ford should shortly - as in within a month or so - be revealing the official EPA Fuel Economy numbers, and then the debates can begin in earnest.

    Of course there are many here who will loudly declare Ford is lying, and provide anecdotal "proof" that they always lie, and blah blah blah. Yes, Ford and the EPA have recently (in the last year) revised some of Ford's vehicle mpg calculations, especially with the hybrids, apparently due to an unintended error in the testing methodology, and therefore they "lied". So be it. We can only go with what Ford and the EPA say, unless and until it is proven wrong.
    Aug 21 04:44 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford halts sales on limited number of Focus and C-Max cars [View news story]
    Probably earth. As it turns out, Automakers sell their automobiles exclusively to their Dealerships at wholesale, and they report their revenues, sales, and earnings which tracked to those wholesale transactions, not subsequent retail sales to consumers.

    It is the dealerships that re-sell those vehicles for whatever they can get, based on the manufacturer suggested retail price (window sticker). It is all about the automotive dealership franchising laws.

    In any case, Ford books their revenues, sales, and earnings based on wholesale shipments to dealers, not retail deliveries to consumers. For recalled vehicles that already shipped to dealers, those are booked.

    The point is, the problem was discovered, probably in random sample testing, after some vehicles were sold and shipped to dealers, but before they were sold and delivered to customers.
    Aug 21 03:09 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Ford to introduce new hybrid model [View news story]
    In Europe, the C-Max has been sold as a minivan with a variety of small gasoline and diesel engines since 2003; and it comes in 2 sizes - with two rows of standard seating, and a third row of seats in the larger "Grand C-Max", which also comes with sliding doors.

    Anyway C-Max was brought to North America as a hybrid-only version, in refitting it with the same hybrid powertrains that were being developed for the new Fusion Hybrid and Energi. The C-Max Hybrid and Energi are supposed to be "going global" on overseas markets soon, if not already.

    Presumably Ford means to launch an entirely-new line of vehicles which, like Toyota's Prius line, have exclusively hybrid powertrains globally.

    Given the ever-increasing CAFE requirements for fuel efficiency, Ford and all automakers need to work hard to generate those numbers.
    Aug 21 12:31 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Report: Ford to introduce new hybrid model [View news story]
    By "pure hybrid" - the summary really means "dedicated hybrid" - as in a vehicle line that is available in hybrid-only versions.

    By comparison, Ford's current C-Max is a hybrid-only powertrain in the North America market, but also comes in straight gasoline and diesel engine versions in the rest of the world. It was meant to mimic the Prius principle that Toyota uses in North America, and to introduce Ford's hybrid system globally as an option in existing vehicles.

    At the end of the day though the C-Max interior and chassis design were modified to accommodate the heavy Hybrid system (most notably the large, high voltage battery) in providing for safety and crashworthiness requirements. But interior space and comfort was necessarily compromised - especially in the rear seats and cargo hatch area - not to mention the weight balance and handling.

    Apparently Ford means to remedy that problem in the next compact car platform, from which the next generation Focus, C-Max, Escape/Kuga/MkC, etc., would come. But one wonders what the new vehicle line might be called. Perhaps they will leverage the "Energi" name they already use for the plug-in hybrid powertrain - it sounds pretty cool.
    Aug 21 10:27 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford recalls 83.2K vehicles due to roll away risk [View news story]
    Tennis - Did you try clicking the hyperlink in the article? It goes to CNBC. You can also Yahoo or Google 'Ford Recalls' and select the 'News' tab and get a whole selection of headlines from many media sources to peruse.
    Aug 20 10:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford preps for Mustang launch in right-hand drive markets [View news story]
    Fair enough. The customer for a front-weighted FWD Fiesta RS or Focus ST, or anything from the Asian Drifting crowd, is not by any means the same as that for the RWD Mustang muscle pony car. And Fiesta and Focus are huge sellers in Europe. We'll concede that point.

    That said, the reception from the crowds during the unveiling of the 2015 Mustang in Geneva was, to say the least, enthusiastic. Ford should not have much trouble selling them.
    Aug 19 05:36 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford: Geared Up For Strong Second Half Of 2014 [View article]
    Once again, you don't seem to understand that the share price naturally fell proportionately with the revised earnings expectations into February, on a nearly constant P/E.

    Back in early December 2013 Ford was expected to earn $1.85 per share in 2014, which would set a target price in the $18.50 to $22 range in 2014 on a current P/E of 10-12.

    But in mid-December Ford told the Analysts that they Ford had to invest billions into new product globally, and to deal with the European economy, and South American currency problems, and that 2014 earnings would be lower than 2013's $1.62 actual.

    The analysts settled on $1.35 for 2014, which suggests a 2014 share price target in $13.50 to $16.00 range. The January slide back to $14.40 was at a P/E of 10.67 - and all a perfectly normal and natural correction. It was completely predictable.

    The only thing that has since been pushing Ford up and past the hypothetical $16 upper limit (at a current year P/E of 12) in mid-year is the long term shareholder anticipation of nearly $2 per share in 2015, and a share price in the $20 to $24 range in 2015. The forward P/E (based on 2015 earnings) is still about 9 - well below the normal 10-12 range, which is why the trend line has been edging up by roughly 50 cents per month since February, and it is why it should continue roughly on that pace as the year runs out.

    People that actually "deal in charts" professionally (and know what they are doing in understanding trends and statistics and the underlying factors that drive the trends and "noise") can see and understand this just fine, even if others don't.
    Aug 19 10:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford preps for Mustang launch in right-hand drive markets [View news story]
    Well, it seems you missed out on the very important point the 2015 Mustang goes to an all new IRS setup, specifically designed for "those markets [that] are used to very well handling cars", not to mention the handling enthusiasts in the Mustang's traditional North American market. The front suspension is new as well, and the weight distribution is 52% to the front.

    Google it.
    Aug 19 10:38 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ford: Geared Up For Strong Second Half Of 2014 [View article]
    The point is, if Ford's earnings double, and the cash flow along with it, then Ford share prices should rise proportionately on a reasonable P/E ratio. That ratio depends on other fundamental factors like debt exposure, unfunded obligations, assets to liabilities, shareholder equity, and dividends.

    Think of P/E as what it does: it is essentially the number of Years of current net Earnings that would be required to buy back all the shares. During the dot-com bubble era it was not unusual for companies to ride on a P/E of 30 - that is it would take 30 years to buy out the "debt" to the shareholders. Rather like a mortgage on a new house.

    Anyway some within Ford, including former President & CEO Nasser, thought Ford should be at a P/E of 30 - as Dell was at the time. Which was the inspiration for Ford in buying up the suite of European luxury brands to form the Premier Automotive Group. Ford managed to inflate itself from around $12 up to the $30 range - and then the magic balloons started popping because fundamentally the equity just wasn't there to support it.

    At the end of the day, long term investors tend to control the share price trends over time, while day traders and profit generating robots control the daily and weekly swings. The long term investors have been supporting the slow and steady rise from $14.50 in February to $17.50 now - roughly 50 cents per month. The daily and weekly swings up and down a dime or quarter or so from that trend line are the speculators trying to capture a fast buck, sometimes getting a little ahead of themselves and quickly selling the peaks, buying the dips. Which is perfectly normal as fluctuations go, if hard to understand by novice investors and onlookers, especially if it seems out of synch with the daily news.
    Aug 19 05:50 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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