It was nowhere as close as the presidential races taking place in Iowa. Nor does it have the level of importance that goes with a presidential caucus.But when we asked you to let us know which automaker has the most to prove in 2007, you made it clear, by a long shot, that Ford is the automaker on the hot seat. Forty seven percent of you who voted yesterday chose Ford over GM ,Chrysler,Toyota ,BMW and the Smart car.
Why? In general I heard from many people who say the same thing: Enough promises, give us cars and trucks we will love. Angela may have summed it up best when she wrote, "Why can't Ford put forth more economical, mechanically stable, sleek modeling, "greener", and just all around knockout cars? Doesn't Ford want to please us and give us what we want--what we NEED?"
It sounds simple, but actually achieving this will be tough for Ford. Ford (as well as GM and Chrysler) are building higher quality cars and trucks with fewer "major" problems. It['s also rolling out more crossover's and small sedans that get better gas mileage. The request for sleek models is the tough part.
Aside from the Mustang, there's little in the Ford family to get your heart racing. Yes, the Fusion and the new Mercury's are more attractive looking cars. But I think more and more people are craving edgier looks like the Edge, and the Flex, which comes out next year.
I do think Ford will get there. And yes, I think it will take a big step toward proving itself in '08. But the skeptics remain, including Jim who told me, "Ford has made so many mistakes since 2000, it will be a miracle if it survives in its present shape.
Without Volvo and Mazda engineering it probably would have been downsized to a truck only company by now." Thanks for voting everyone. Watch for the final 2007 auto sales number Thursday afternoon.
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