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Auto blogFri, 10 Jan 2014 15:44:00 EST
Ford marketing head honcho Jim Farley made waves at CES this week by telling show attendees, "We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you're doing it." according to a report by Business Insider. Farley continued by saying, "We have GPS in your car, so we know what you're doing. By the way, we don't supply that data to anyone."
Farley has since amended his statement, saying that Ford dose not, in fact, track its customers in their cars "without their approval or consent."
Apparently carried away with a hypothetical notion, Farley was attempting to describe how Ford might be able to employee aggregated user data for things like accurate traffic reporting and pattern spotting. A Ford spokesperson confirmed with Business Insider that its GPS units are not sharing the whereabouts of drivers, though there are a few on-board services that might do so. After opting in to the services (and presumably being made aware of any/all tracking and data collection), Ford's Sync Services Directions and Crew Chief software do, in fact, allow data collection as a means of improving both systems. Farley added that the opt-in data is not shared, even when being tracked.
The Ford Escort concept just unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show was created with the Chinese market in mind, but it's got people talking all over the world. Not purely fancy, the point of the Escort concept was to give Chinese buyers a preview of what they could expect to see in a Ford showroom in the near future. If Ford wasn't seriously considering the new Escort for other countries, a report in Auto Express indicates that the concept's reception has changed all that.
No less than the incoming chairman of Ford UK said "it could work in other places," bolstering the comments of "a senior Ford insider" who said the question of bringing the car to Europe to slot in underneath the Focus had been raised. That's a long way from anything of the kind happening, which would require Ford to figure out how to sell it for the right price and not torpedo the company reputation among Euro buyers. In any case, we'd be as intrigued as anyone if an Escort resurrection created the next 'who knew?' market segment of few-frills transportation offered by non-Asian carmakers.
The eagerly anticipated Ford F-150 has had its 2015 pricing announced, adding only a small amount to the pickup's total cost, despite its weight-saving aluminum body. The XL and XLT entry level models only see a $395 boost over the heavier, current-generation, 2014 truck.
The XL starts at $26,615 while the XLT rings up at $31,890. The increase for Lariat is up a similarly negligible $895, to $39,880. Going up the ladder, meanwhile, the leather-intensive King Ranch sees the biggest jump of the F-150 family, with prices increasing $3,515, to $49,460. Finally, picking up the top-end Platinum trim will cost an extra $3,055, with prices starting at $52,155.
The higher prices are being blamed not only on the aluminum bodies, which trim up to 700 pounds of body fat, but on increased levels of standard equipment. While we were expecting a price hike, the fact that the 2015 F-150's volume trims - Ford spokesman Mike Levine told Reuters that the XL and XLT alone cover 70 percent of F-150 sales - have had less than a $400 increase is hugely impressive.