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Auto blogTue, 25 Sep 2012 16:30:00 EST
It's hard to think back now, but the same man overseeing the design of the 2013 Ford Fusion also presided over a rather lackluster period in Ford design, highlighted by vehicles like the Five Hundred and Freestyle. With the redesigned Fusion receiving high praise, J Mays tells Automotive News that he feels vindicated from criticisms suggesting he's not a daring enough designer.
When Mays took over as lead of design in 1997, he admits to having quite an ego ("My head would barely fit through the door some days. I've long since gotten over myself") and the workload to match. With the Blue Oval's portfolio full of premium brands like Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo at that point, along with the bread-and-butter Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models, Mays certainly had quite the challenge.
It was in the mid-2000s that Mays took over just the premium brands, and took on the new title of Chief Creative Officer. At the time, Mays endured some criticism for looking backwards to retro styling, rather than setting a new standard for American car design - criticism that Mays says he is free from with the all-new Fusion.
Now that the curtain has closed on Mercury, Ford Motor Company will redirect all of its marketing dollars for the oft-overlooked brand to the Blue Oval's luxury outpost, Lincoln. In speaking to Automotive News, the chairman of the Lincoln National Dealer Council, Bob Tasca, Jr., said, "You'll see a lot stronger presence in the advertising of Lincoln in 2011."
Lincoln spokesperson Christian Bokich reminded AN that the automaker is "preparing the way for seven new or significantly refreshed vehicles" that will be launched over the next four years, and the largest ad blitz in 2011 will focus on the refreshed MKX crossover, as well as the MKZ sedan and its hybrid counterpart. Following that, Lincoln has plans to launch a completely overhauled version of its Navigator SUV, an all-new C-segment vehicle and the overhauled 2013 MKZ, which Tasca says will be "strikingly different from its Ford Fusion sibling."
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req. | Image: John Neff/Autoblog/AOL]Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments
Ford has announced a recall of certain Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan vehicles after an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A total of 128,616 2010 and 2011 models equipped with steel wheels may have been manufactured with wheel studs that could crack and split over time. If that happens, the vehicle may experience a wheel separation.
According to The Detroit News, the company is aware of a total of 30 wheel separation incidents, one of which occurred on the front of the vehicle. Even so, no injuries have been reported as a result of the defect.
The problem apparently stems from the fact that the mounting pads on the vehicles' steel wheels may have been faulty from the factory. In addition, the wheel mounting face on rear disc brakes may not have been installed properly. Ford will inspect the rear disc face and replace them as necessary. In addition, the company will replace all of the vehicle's wheel studs free of charge. Head to the NHTSA website for more information, and click past the jump to view the full recall notice.