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Auto blogThu, 24 Jan 2013 17:15:00 EST
The imposing commercial truck above has a feature that might be surprising to most Autoblog readers - a Blue Oval emblem on the front. Here in North America, Ford simply doesn't play in the eighteen-wheeler sandbox, but that doesn't mean that the Dearborn-based automaker is absent in the heavy hauling space in other parts of the globe. In fact, Ford presently fields two completely different big rig ranges under the Cargo moniker - one a product of an Eastern Europe/Turkey joint venture, and another from Brazil. But that's about to start changing with the advent of this new cab-over model seen here.
Unveiled in São Paulo, Brazil, this new generation of Cargo is perhaps the largest physical embodiment of CEO Alan Mulally's "One Ford" global streamlining strategy. Instead of multiple models, company engineers have developed a new single truck that it says will better meet the needs of truckers in all markets. Designed to compete in what's known as the "extra heavy-duty segment" elsewhere in the world, this Cargo was developed jointly by Ford engineering teams in Brazil, Turkey and Europe.
Specifics remain hard to come by (read: unreleased), but Ford is promising an all-new engine enabling hauling capability of up to 56 tons while still returning excellent fuel economy. Ford's global Cargo lineup will henceforth consist of a dozen models, but Ford tells Autoblog has no plans to bring this hot and heavy-duty action to North America.
Judging by the destruction the Oklahoma City area experienced earlier this week, residents are going to need a lot of help in coming months. Fortunately, a number of automakers - including General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Honda and Toyota - have stepped up to donate money, supplies and vehicles to aid in the recovery and rebuilding processes.
Here's a quick rundown of which automakers have pitched in and what each contributed so far:
Ford Motor Company has donating $250,000 and a Transit Connect to the American Red Cross, and it will match all other donations made to the Red Cross (up to $250,000) using a special URL tied to the latter's website (link here). Additionally, its local Oklahoma dealers have thrown in an extra $150,000 for the United Way and the automaker will be offering an extra $500 toward the purchase of a new Ford vehicle.
The Ford F-Series has been America's best-selling truck for decades, but along with the good comes the bad, apparently. In addition to being popular with consumers, the Highway Loss Data Institute notes that the F-Series Super Duty has risen in popularity among thieves. Based on its new study, the four-wheel drive crew cab F-250 Super Duty has topped the list for the country's highest rate of insurance theft claims, knocking the Cadillac Escalade from the top spot - a distinction the luxury SUV has held since this annual report was first established in 2003.
To reach its findings, HLDI looks at theft data from the previous three model years (in this case 2010-2012) to determine the frequency of claims for a particular make and mode,l as well as the average payment per claim. As the report points out, the claims aren't always for the theft of the entire vehicle - they can include components (say, wheels and tires) or property taken from the vehicle. At seven claims per 1,000 insured vehicles, the F-250 is six times more likely to suffer a theft claim than the average vehicle.
The Cadillac likely dropped from the top of the list to sixth due to additional theft-prevention features including a steering wheel lock and inclination sensor for the alarm, but GM's other fullsize trucks and SUVs still occupy eight of the list's 10 spots. Some of the least stolen vehicles with below-average loss payments include the Lexus HS250h, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V and Dodge Journey. Head on over to the HLDI's website for the full list that shows the most and least popular vehicles among thieves from 2010 through 2012.