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Auto blogMon, 19 May 2014 08:00:00 EST
There is a showdown brewing in the medium-duty truck segment next year as Ford prepares to launch its all-new, in-house engineered 2016 F-650 and F-750. It finally marks the end of the Blue Diamond joint venture between Ford and Navistar and, making the two entities direct competitors instead of partners.
Ford announced the end of the joint venture in an investor report in 2011, but it didn't reveal the new F-650 and F-750 until the NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, IN, in March. Unlike the current, Mexican-built models, the new generation will be built in Avon Lake, OH, starting in mid-2015.
The challenge from Ford comes during a rough patch for Navistar. The company had a $248 million loss in the first quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal, and its medium-duty truck market share is currently down to 26 percent, from 36 percent in 2011. Building the previous-generation Fords brought in about $400 million a year to Navistar, according to the WSJ. To take on its former partner, Navistar plans to offer its International brand of medium-duty vehicles with more engine and transmission options to customers. It even struck a deal with Cummins to put its diesels in some of the models.
Horsepower may steal a lot of headlines, but the always-more-complex torque figure is often a critical one for both the workingman and the motoring playboy. The measure of rotational force represents the twist that can liquefy one's tires or haul one's horse trailer. Good stuff.
It follows then, that as with the horsepower-to-weight list that we assembled for you a few months ago, a list of cars that offer the most pound-feet with the fewest pounds to carry, is an interesting one to break down. Sure, there's a big difference in how the torque is applied from a turbocharged six-cylinder in a Swedish luxury sedan and a massive heavy-duty truck's turbo-diesel. But being the car/stat geeks that we are, we think it's kinda neat that those two vehicles rank near each other where torque and weight intersect.
As with the horsepower list, we've given you figures as pounds per every one pound-foot. Again broken down into broad price categories, we've got a mixed bag of 2014 and 2015 models here, too. Every effort has been made to select the most up-to-date prices and specs, and we've also to omitted some '14 cars that won't be re-upped after the ongoing yearly changeover.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally has made the short list to take over tech giant Microsoft, lending further credence to rumors that the 68-year-old former Boeing exec would ditch Dearborn and move to Redmond.
The report comes from Reuters, which claims that alongside Mulally, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and three candidates from within Microsoft are on the short list to succeed Steve Ballmer at the company's helm, although previous reports claim the Ford exec is the number one candidate. Mulally is currently working without a contract, although Bill Ford seems to believe that he isn't likely to depart. Despite this belief, Ford was quoted just last month talking about the depth of talent on the Blue Oval's executive team.
"There is no change from what we announced last November. Alan remains fully focused on continuing to make progress on our One Ford plan. We do not engage in speculation," said Ford spokesman Jay Cooney.