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Auto blogSat, 14 Jun 2014 11:30:00 EST
Don't look for a tremendous shifts in automotive market share over the next three years because it might not be coming. That's at least according to the annual Car Wars report by John Murphy, from Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research.
In the report's analysis of automakers' market share from 2013 to 2017, it predicts only small changes among the major companies. Ford and Honda see the biggest positive effect with an estimated 0.5 percent increase in their shares over the next three years; to 16.2 percent and 10.3 percent respectively. On the flip side, European automakers and Nissan are expected to lose 0.2 percent each to fall to 8.3 percent and 7.8 percent each respectively. The rest of the industry is predicted to hold steady as it is now.
The biggest loser in that prediction might be Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles. The report certainly throws a wet blanket on its plan for significant gains in market share. Murphy told The Detroit News that the company's goal was "almost unattainable."
Ford has combined multiple steps into one with its commercial vehicle configurator, which allows users to choose, design and place orders for the Transit, Transit Connect, E-Series vans and F-Series Super Duty trucks.
The most interesting part of the new configurator is a fairly robust design tool. Users are able to choose paint color and wrap the vehicle, and then create their own graphics. No materials are needed - Ford provides numerous background textures, text boxes, plenty of shapes and 20 categories of images including floral, construction, plumbing and skylines. Self-created designs or images can be uploaded to the system as well.
We played around with the design tool a bit and uploaded our own image to create the Autoblog Podcast Live van you see here. Feel free to check out the configurator and make your own design.
William Clay Ford, retired vice chairman of Ford Motor Company and the last surviving grandchild of company founder Henry Ford, died this morning after a bout with pneumonia. He was 88.
Ford spent 57 years with his grandfather's company, joining the board of directors in 1948 before graduating from college. Ford also held a position as chairman of the design committee, as well as the chairman of the executive committee and vice chairman of the Board of Directors during his tenure with the company. In a 2013 Detroit Free Press story, retired CFO Allan Gilmour said Ford had an eye for design, and was once able to pick out when a fiberglass model of a Ford Contour was asymmetrical, off by an inch on one side. He retired and assumed the position of director emeritus in 2005.
"My father was a great business leader and humanitarian who dedicated his life to the company and the community," said Bill Ford, Jr., Ford's current executive chairman. "He also was a wonderful family man, a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him, yet he will continue to inspire us all."