Drive Type: Automatic
Model: Crown Victoria
Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
"We certainly have that ability. We're studying it very, very closely." Those are the words of Jim Farley, global head of sales, marketing, service at Ford. The investigation Farley is referring to is the possibility of selling the company's new EcoSport crossover in America.
The diminutive Fiesta-based EcoSport was developed for emerging markets like Brazil and, more recently, China, but it apparently may have a future in the States, where it would form a new entry-level rung below the Escape in Ford's already robust crossover stable. Ford has big plans for its tiny CUV - Farley tells Automotive News that the EcoSport is only available in 10 countries right now, but by 2017, its distribution will have mushroomed to 62 countries. At the time the second-generation model launched at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show as a 2013 model, Ford said the EcoSport would eventually be sold in nearly 100 markets worldwide.
The Brazilian- and Indian-assembled EcoSport is available with a variety of gasoline-powered engines, but the 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost giving 118 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque would seem to be the powertrain of choice for America, as it was recently confirmed for the stateside 2014 Fiesta.
With a new boss at the helm, Ford is looking at new ways to improve its vehicle launches in North America to prevent recent issues that have popped up with models like the Lincoln MKZ, Ford Escape and Ford Fusion. Speaking with Automotive News, Ford's new president of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs, revealed a few ways the automaker plans to avoid early build issues such as the engine fires on certain 2013 Escape and Fusion models and months-long delays for customers to receive their MKZs.
It sounds like the root of the problems may have been Ford's relationship with suppliers compounded by the fact that the product surge came on the heels of the recent industry-crippling recession, and in the AN article, Hinrichs says improvements are being made to reduce problems during the launch of new or redesigned models. Three such improvements that were implemented during the first quarter of this year including more rigorous quality comparisons, better use of computer technology to catch major problems sooner and hiring engineers to work closer with suppliers.
In a show of generosity in mid-August, Detroit's business leaders donated $8 million to the Police Department and Fire Department in order to buy 100 new police vehicles and 23 EMS ambulances. But now officers have discovered - and complained - that the police vehicles have glaring safety issues, Deadline Detroit reports. It is not made clear what models of the fleet vehicles - which include police versions of the Ford Taurus, the Chevrolet Caprice and the Dodge Charger - are affected by the safety issues.
Officers reportedly have complained that the Plexiglass partition separating front-seat officers and back-seat prisoners is easily breached, and that the front passenger seat is installed too close to the dashboard. Prisoners who manage to writhe out of their handcuffs can bend the Plexiglass and reach into the cockpit, and sitting too close to the dashboard can render airbags more dangerous and make officers more vulnerable to injury in a crash.
Mark Diaz, president of the Detroit Police Officers Association, received the complaints and reportedly said the vehicles would get safety updates addressing the issues. But Deadline Detroit reports that it checked some of the offending police cars and, as of the last few days, they hadn't been updated.