Model: Other Pickups
Jason Vines, former head of communications at Ford among other automakers, is accusing the Blue Oval of bugging his company phone and his car during the Firestone tire recall for the Explorer in 2001. The allegations have come to light in Vines' upcoming book What Did Jesus Drive? Crisis PR in Cars, Computers and Christianity.
According to The Detroit News, which has an advance copy of the book, Vines (pictured above) claims that after leaving the company, someone with security within Ford advised him that he had been bugged around the time of the recall. The allegations don't stop there, though. Vines further contends that he might not have been the only one to get this treatment, noting that then-general counsel John Rintamaki also believed he was being listened to.
According to The Detroit News, even if it had been a company phone, recording Vines without his knowledge still would have been a felony under Michigan law.
Ford has made an art of deeper-than-normal midlife updates since the 2010 Fusion, a strategy that has allowed it to keep models looking fresher in showrooms for longer without needing full redesigns. Instead of slight touchups to light fixtures, new paint colors and perhaps new wheel patterns, Ford has been digging deeper, with significant sheetmetal changes and very different front-end looks, along with an increased emphasis on new in-car technologies to keep models vibrant. Other automakers are following this trend, and Ford itself is continuing on the path with this new 2015 Focus Sedan.
There's a handsome new SE Sport Package that includes a firmer touring suspension, modest body kit and 17-inch wheels.
We first saw this sleek Aston Martin-like nose fitted to a Focus at the Geneva Motor Show last month, but Ford only showed the new look on the five-door hatchback - this is the first appearance of the sedan, which will bow at next week's New York Auto Show. The front end treatment is the same, with a new hood, new headlamps incorporating LED accents, a different grille shape and a completely revised lower fascia that does away with the 2014 model's controversial triangle-shaped corners and gaping intakes. The rear gets a new two-piece, laser-brazed trunk lid with new taillamps, but the overall look is quite similar to last year's car. In any case, the refreshed look brings the Focus sedan more in line with the design of Ford's other recently reworked cars, including the Fusion and Fiesta.
The massive 57-car SEMA showcase by Ford ranges from obvious aftermarket-friendly models like the Mustang, to the not so obvious ones, like the Transit Connect and cute-as-an-explosive-button Fiesta ST. Ford plucked several Fiesta STs for SEMA duty, and we were on the show floor today to get a closer look at some of them.
First up is the striking COBB Tuning and Tanner Foust Racing Fiesta ST (above) finished in a black-and-gray digital camouflage, much like that used in the military, and is meant to raise awareness for the Pat Tillman Foundation. COBB also fitted a three-inch exhaust and a cold-air intake. A new shift knob, carbon-fiber hood and a Kicker stereo round out the mix of upgrades.
MRT got its hands on a Fiesta ST and created a car inspired by Forza Motorsport 5 (below, left). Featuring a two-tone paint job and more performance upgrades than you can shake a stick at, this Fiesta ST is one of the cooler compacts at Ford's stand. A high-performance exhaust system, along with a complimentary COBB induction system, allows the ST to breathe better, while an H&R coil over suspension and Steeda brakes help it stop and turn better than stock.