For Sale By:Dealer
Interior Color: Red
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: REAR
Number of Doors: 2
Exterior Color: Red
Anna, Illinois, United States
YouGov's mid-year Brand Index rankings of America's best perceived brands has been released, and Ford has found its way to the top. The Dearborn, Michigan based manufacturer beat out online shopping giant Amazon, The History Channel, and home improvement superstore Lowe's, to take the top spot.
Ford jumped from sixth overall in 2012 to first for 2013, but those that have been watching these rankings shouldn't be hugely surprised. Ford was rated the best perceived automotive manufacturer by the same organization last year. The Blue Oval's success on the overall brand rankings is made all the more impressive by the complete lack of other automakers on the list.
YouGov (that is, survey respondents) cited Ford's first quarter of 2013 business, which saw an increase in market share and the best earnings recorded in over 10 years. Successfully launching the Focus and Fusion (pictured) and keeping them fresh in the minds of consumers has also contributed to Ford's best overall score.
Ford brought in $5.7 billion in net income during 2012, which is around $307 million less than one year prior. Even so, the automaker closed out 2012 with the highest pre-tax profit for a single quarter in nearly 10 years, earning $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter thanks largely to a higher-than-average truck mix in the US. That's a jump of $577 million over 2011. Likewise, that translated into fourth quarter income of $1.6 billion. All told, Ford set a full-year pre-tax profit record in 2012. But that doesn't necessarily mean everything is rosy in the land of the Blue Oval.
Like every other manufacturer, 2012 saw Ford get hammered in the European Union, where a deep economic recession continues to drive down consumer confidence. The automaker lost more than $700 million in Europe, and saw full revenue of $26.6 billion in 2012. That's a decline of $7.2 billion compared to last yea. Ford says the market for new vehicles in Europe has contracted to 13.5 million units, the lowest number in 17 years. You can read the full press release below for more information.
The second-generation Ford Transit Connect is almost upon us, and to get work- and family-oriented customers ready for the new model, Ford has launched a configurator for both van and wagon versions. Both body styles will go on sale early next year with the base TC Van starting at $22,000, but customers wanting side windows and rear seats will have to pony up at least an extra $3,000 for the TC Wagon.
Ford is definitely looking to get back into the family van business with the 2014 TC Wagon offering three available trim levels, two engines and the choice between five- and seven-passenger seating (with two wheelbases). Like many recent Ford products, a fancy Titanium trim level is offered, and opting for it will cost you - this trim starts at $29,000, and we were able to spec it out with a panoramic roof, tow package and front and rear parking sensors for a little over $33,000.
Businesses looking for a small, fuel-efficient work vehicle now get more options on the TC Van like the choice of split, hinged rear doors or a liftgate (with or without glass), a long wheelbase ($1,000) and Ford's CrewChief vehicle tracking system ($925). Fully loaded, this van is still costs less than the fullsize E-Series. On both Van and Wagon, the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine is a $795 option, but it is only offered on short-wheelbase models and Ford has yet to release power or fuel economy specs yet. With the standard 2.5-liter engine, the TC will get up to 21 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.