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Ford Ranchero for Sale
Auto blogThu, 30 Jan 2014 13:00:00 EST
Ford is making a big bet on aluminum with its new 2015 F-150, and it's possible that the decision will hurt the company financially, at least in the short term. After earning a record $8.6 billion in 2013, the Blue Oval does not expect to set another record in 2014. According to Automotive News, that's "largely attributable to F Series," says Bob Shanks, Ford's Chief Financial Officer.
To retool for the new F-150, Ford will idle its Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan for 11 weeks and the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri for 2 weeks. "3 of the 13 overall weeks occur during what normally is our summer shutdown timeframe," said Mike Levine, Ford Trucks Communication Manager, in an email to Autoblog. The extra 10 weeks will be preparing for the more aluminum-intensive construction for the trucks and will mean over 2 months of no F-150s being made. For comparison's sake, Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne just confirmed that the 200 plant in Sterling Heights, MI will be down for 30 days to retool for the new model, but obviously there are many more F-150 production variables than for the midsize sedan.
Levine notes that Ford is already running three shifts at both plants, and says the automaker has plans to ensure that there is adequate supply of the full-size pickups during the retooling process. The company does not want to suffer a shortage of the vehicle that accounted for 31-percent of its 2013 US sales and an even bigger percentage of its profits.
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 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.