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Auto blogThu, 23 Jan 2014 18:32:00 EST
Customers are a commodity in the automotive industry, and like any other commodity, automakers trade them back and forth. Only nobody wants to give up their customers - just to keep the ones they have and try to attract others.
That's what the Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards are all about. Every year the industry research body names the automakers, brands and models that manage to keep their customers coming back for more - and attract buyers to switch from other makes. Ford usually does pretty well, but this year it rose above even its own track record.
Not only did Dearborn win the Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer award, but also the Overall Loyalty to Make. Ford also took the African American category, and the F-150 was named the top full-size half-ton pickup in customer loyalty. Ford COO Mark Fields (pictured above) accepted the awards and gave the keynote address at the awards ceremony.
Ford took in $2.6 billion in pre-tax profits in the third quarter of the year, making for a record trio of months that saw the Blue Oval's year-over-year earnings increase by $426 million. The earnings are being attributed not just to improvements in North American sales, but sales around the globe.
Revenue was up 12 percent, to $36 billion, although net income took a hit, dropping $359 million to $1.3 billion. Ford was dinged with $498 million in pre-tax charges, which are being blamed for the drop in net income.
The news has boosted Ford's hopes for full-year results, bumping it's total profits up past $8 billion, according to Automotive News. The Dearborn, MI-based manufacturer is still expecting a loss in Europe, although it's forecasted less than the $1.73 billion it burned in 2012. In fact, according to CFO Bob Shanks, Ford's European losses dropped by 51 percent year-over year, a huge improvement for the brand.
Ask and you shall receive. Remember that previous report suggesting that the 2015 Ford Mustang getting a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, and that it would be sold in Europe only and not the United States? Well, according to Road & Track, the rumor is only partially true - The Mustang will get the engine, but it is indeed coming to America.
Additionally, according to RT, the 3.7-liter V6 will continue to serve as the base engine, and since it offers up a stout 305 horsepower in its current form, it's likely that the 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost will produce a bit more than that. At the top of the range, the Mustang GT will continue to soldier on with a V8 engine, which should continue to send over 400 horsepower to the rear wheels.
Finally, while we agree 100 percent with RT's heartfelt request for a paddle-shift automatic, we certainly expect that the EcoBoost 'Stang will be offered with a manual transmission as standard equipment. This is a Mustang, after all...