Engine:2.0L 121Cu. In. l4 GAS DOHC Naturally Aspirated
Number of Cylinders: 4
Trim: SE Hatchback 4-Door
Number of Doors: 4
Drive Type: FWD
Mount Ulla, North Carolina, United States
It seems that the hard winter in much of the country has been as rough on some Fords as it has on many people. The Blue Oval is recalling roughly 434,000 vehicles in two separate recalls, and one of them partially caused by the salt used to melt the snow on roads.
The first recall covers 385,750 2001-2004 Escape models in the Midwest, Northeast and Canada because a subframe could rust and eventually fail. This is partially due to the road salt used in those areas, and about 349,000 of the affected vehicles are in the US. To remedy the problem, dealers are installing a reinforcement cross brace on the frame to strengthen them. There has been one crash caused by the failure but no injuries. According to The Detroit News, this is not the first rust-related recall for Ford. It estimates the company has repaired over two million vehicles since 2010 for problems on vehicles related to the iron oxide, including the rear wheel wells of the Freestar minivan.
The second recall covers 48,950 2013-2014 Ford Fusion, Escape, C-MAX and Lincoln MKZ models because welds in their seatbacks don't meet National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards. The fault affects the front seats, and the sub-standard welds joining the setback to the recliner could increase the chance on injury. There have been no reported injuries or accidents caused by the problem, but there are 42,972 affected vehicles in the US and 4,744 in Canada.
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.
As predicted, Ford has reported that its first quarter of 2013 was a resounding success overall, with a pretax profit of $2.1 billion ($0.41 per share), and a net income of $1.6 billion ($0.40 per share). In fact, Ford made a pretax profit of some $2.4 billion in its home North American market, with that total number being pulled down by losses in South America and Europe. That gaudy North American profit is the strongest result by the automaker since 2000.
Ford's companywide profit for Q1 was down $147 million from one year ago, while the net income number marked an increase of $215 million year over year. Overall, this is Ford's 15th-consecutive profitable quarter.
The bad news from the European market was even worst in Q1 2013 than it was last year. Pretax losses of $462 million - on revenue of $6.7 billion - represented a year-over-year change of -$313 million. In South American, the company reported a loss of $218 million, down from a slim profit of $54 million in Q1 2012. The news was better for Ford Asia Pacific Africa, where a $6 million pretax profit in 2013 showed a year-over-year gain of some $101 million when compared to losses in 2012. Scroll down to read Ford's full press release.