Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: 2WD
Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States
The poor first quarter earnings of Ford and General Motors are having an effect all the way up the food chain. Both automakers struggled with recalls in the first three months of the year, and, according to The Detroit News, they have responded by increasing the percentage of bonuses tied to vehicle quality for salaried workers, including top executives.
GM announced that 25 percent of bonuses (up from 10 percent) for all salaried workers would be tied to its vehicle quality standards. The automaker revealed in its financial report that it spent $1.3 billion on recall-related repairs in the first quarter, and net income was down 86 percent.
Ford also increased the quality proportion of bonuses for about 26,000 salaried workers all the way up to CEO Alan Mulally from 10 percent to 20 percent. The company announced in its report that the amount paid out in warranty and recall claims was about $400 million higher than expected in the first quarter. Its net income fell 39 percent from the previous year. "The change reflects how critical quality is to our overall business," said spokesperson Todd Nissen speaking to Autoblog.
It's hard to think back now, but the same man overseeing the design of the 2013 Ford Fusion also presided over a rather lackluster period in Ford design, highlighted by vehicles like the Five Hundred and Freestyle. With the redesigned Fusion receiving high praise, J Mays tells Automotive News that he feels vindicated from criticisms suggesting he's not a daring enough designer.
When Mays took over as lead of design in 1997, he admits to having quite an ego ("My head would barely fit through the door some days. I've long since gotten over myself") and the workload to match. With the Blue Oval's portfolio full of premium brands like Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo at that point, along with the bread-and-butter Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models, Mays certainly had quite the challenge.
It was in the mid-2000s that Mays took over just the premium brands, and took on the new title of Chief Creative Officer. At the time, Mays endured some criticism for looking backwards to retro styling, rather than setting a new standard for American car design - criticism that Mays says he is free from with the all-new Fusion.
The story of the relationship between Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari is absolutely fascinating. The two great men of the auto industry had what appeared to be a burgeoning friendship until Ferrari pulled out of a deal to sell his company to Ford in the '60s. The latest car featured in Jay Leno's Garage is a 1952 Ferrari 212 Barchetta that tells the very beginnings of that story.
This Prancing Horse was a gift to Ford from Enzo when the two companies were first thinking about merging, according to the curator of the Petersen Automotive Museum. Ferrari really wanted to show off its best so instead of the 212's normal V12, this car was fitted with the larger 2.7-liter unit from a Ferrari 225. The car has been almost unaltered since then. It still wears its original paint, and it's tires date back to 1954.
The great thing about the Petersen is that unlike a lot of auto museums, the people there actually drive the cars and keep them in working order. Once on the road with Leno behind the wheel, this Ferrari really sings. Unfortunately, he can't open it up too much because the 60-year-old tires really hold things back. Scroll down to watch this amazing piece of automotive history and learn it's possible effect on the styling of the original Ford Thunderbird.