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Thread: Ford using Volvo platforms for two new models

  1. #1
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    Default Ford using Volvo platforms for two new models

    Ford builds a Volvo?

    It looks like Ford really wants to "be" Volvo. They've taken two Volvo ideas, and designed absolute crap of designs for them, and guess what? Even though the concept is good, the "Ford Styling Department" insists on turning out pure crap, and there has been such an outcry, that Ford is back to the drawing board on both models even before they're introduced. Don't hold your breath, these are the same people who "adorned" the new Volvo engine compartment with plastic, which is one step up the intellectual ladder from pondering one's navel.

    Ford appears to recognize success, but doesn't seem to know how to get there. Their design department is dangerous. If I were a stockholder, I would be crying for an overhaul right there.

    Ford seems to have discovered that you can't just take a popular Volvo platform and add crap to it, and it will sell. Somehow they just don't get it.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/article....rticle_id=8523
    Here is a perfect example of taking a new concept, and working overtime to make it look like a ten-year-old product.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/article....rticle_id=8533
    And of course, when I saw this quote, "The plastic looks bargain-basement, not up to par with the competition", I just cringed. My Grandfather owned a Ford dealership, I'm a Ford fan, and I've owned seven (7) Volvos, so I'm pulling for these guys. Although the post seems negative, I am VERY GLAD Ford came to their senses on the design issues, but royally hacked that they allowed the present designs to go so far. "Mundane" would be a polite way of saying what needs to be said.

    September 21 Dow Jones Newswires report the Ford 500 (and the new Freestyle) are both being restyled even before they are introduced to the showrooms. The reason was “widespread criticism” of the design. (No word as to whether these vehicles will have the engine compartments “styled in plaaastic”)
    Last edited by Mr. P; 09-21-2004 at 10:13 AM.
    Central USA

    2004 Volvo 2.5T AWD XC90, Ash Gold, Taupe, 7-seat

    Too many other cars to list.

  2. #2
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    Default Ford Freestyle

    Are you judging the cars based purely on exterior styling?

    From the article, it sounds like they did a great job with the Freestyle. Compare it to the XC90:

    • Functional third row (for adults!)
    • Lower weight
    • Significantly lower cost ($10,000!)


    They leveraged Volvo's work to create a vehicle that doesn't compete with the XC90, but does fill an important market niche. I'm sure it'll be a popular car.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. P
    Ford builds a Volvo?

    It looks like Ford really wants to "be" Volvo. They've taken two Volvo ideas, and designed absolute crap of designs for them
    Mr P, I enjoy yur posts very much, but haven't quite worked out whether you are an "extremist" or throwing in "wobblies" to see what come out. I do much the same but back off a bit when the discussion gets heated (I'm basically lazy and mindful of the "protesting too much syndrome"). It's also difficult to translate figures of speech and attitudes to "humour" - quite apart from the spelling - across the pond, but anyway here goes:-

    I can see from your signature that you are an enthusiast, looking at your properties list (BTW where in Tennesee do you get to drive two boats), heavens knows how you store them all...

    I digress.

    You and me (sorry, I) have possibly similar backgrounds (I'm fishing here -), in that we have owned some excellent bits of hardware in our time, and it pains to see how everything gets dumbed down, and it's incredibly frustrating.

    Pity, therefore the poor designer, in order to earn his bread he has to please his management and come up with new ideas, but is constrained by the bean counters who won't let him get too outlandish.

    Soo the poor mutt has to look at what's in his compan(ies) pantry. Aha, the Volvo division has a good platform, let's use that to build our XXX on. The idea for XXX doesn't really fit the Volvo platform.

    Never mind the mockup and digital realisations look good; let's go to the next management level and see what they say....

    Somebody leaks (??controlled leak) the concept to the public - response - Ugh!! (In this case the vehicle in question IMO doesn't look too awful). Back to the drawing board.

    What I am trying to say is that you and I are in a tiny minority; we like Volvo (for safety and a lot more besides). Minority 1. We hanker after "what could be". Minority 2.

    So our influence is small (1) and even smaller (2). What seems to sell nowadays is "spin", hyperbole, and promises of technology.

    People don't by product on what are the "right" reasons, they buy on how they are influenced by fashion, perceived "value" and "whatever". These three items change minute by minute, and in truth are probably incalculable..

    So you and I get wound up by what appears to us to be "daft" designs and the like.

    I wouldn't work in a design team for "all the tea in China".

    I suppose the secret is to publish the sensible view of "what should be" and see what comes back - but not to get rattled when the returning comments hammer you.

    It would be wonderful if manufacturers asked "our" opinions first before embarking on some enterprises. They won't, of course, because we are a miniscule minority, and its the majority who buy product.

    Never mind "we" have
    Porsche
    Aston Martin
    Jaguar (?)
    to console ourselves....


    End of rant.

    Keep the coments coming; feel free to shoot me down. It's what makes this board such fun.
    Mike.

    Mine: XC 70 Sport 2009 D5 Inscription Electric Blue.
    VNS, DSTC and 4C, BLIS, LDW ventilated leather ACC; Yummy.

    All gone now - XC70 MY 13 SE LUX Flamenco red - goes better than the '09 even with its "Polestar plus" upgrade. I justy miss the PCC...


    Hers: V60 Flamenco Red 215HP D5 (like above XC70 spec)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbsumer
    Are you judging the cars based purely on exterior styling?.
    Pretty much so, concept is great, styling is "ohhhh sooo Ford" and basically sucks. At 10-k cheaper than the XC90, it's going to be one cheap piece of plastic on that motor. lol Ford needs a winner, and it looks like on BOTH vehicles, they worked overtime to make them both look like a ten year old design. Am I wrong? What do you think? Haven't you seen that SUV ten or fifteen years ago already????



    Quote Originally Posted by Carbsumer
    They leveraged Volvo's work to create a vehicle that doesn't compete with the XC90, but does fill an important market niche. I'm sure it'll be a popular car.
    I hope it's a popular car, as the concept is great. However, leave it to Ford to put a "pure crap" body on a great platform, and then spend millions forcing it down our throats for a ten year model run (a la Taurus).

    Thankfully
    Thankfully, Ford stockholders and the general public had an outcry that stopped them cold in their tracks.

    Hopefully
    Hopefully, Ford will "get the lead out" and take a que from Volvo's Bauhaus style, and forget the stylized world of Toyz-R-Us, and put a decent, clean, and gimmick-free design on this great platform.

    Mr. P
    Central USA

    2004 Volvo 2.5T AWD XC90, Ash Gold, Taupe, 7-seat

    Too many other cars to list.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. P
    Pretty much so, concept is great, styling is "ohhhh sooo Ford" and basically sucks. At 10-k cheaper than the XC90, it's going to be one cheap piece of plastic on that motor. lol Ford needs a winner, and it looks like on BOTH vehicles, they worked overtime to make them both look like a ten year old design. Am I wrong? What do you think? Haven't you seen that SUV ten or fifteen years ago already????
    Haha (Re: the plastic).

    I had to look up more pictures of it to decide whether I liked the exterior styling...

    Big Freestyle Pics

    So yes, I agree, it's a wicked ugly car. No, I can't even call it ugly. The Pontiac Aztek was ugly. This car is just bland. Which is ironic, because the whole point of SUVs (to most people) is to provide a more stylish alternative to more-functional-but-boring-looking wagons and mini-vans. This car manages to be boring looking without providing the clearance of an SUV, the capacity and functionality of a mini-van, or the efficiency and versatility of a wagon.

    Anyway, I asked because you said you didn't like the "design". To me, the design (from what I know of it) seems fine, because it accomplishes the designers' goals of meeting the needs of their target audience. The styling, on the other hand...
    2004 Black XC90

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbsumer
    Haha (Re: the plastic).

    I had to look up more pictures of it to decide whether I liked the exterior styling...

    Big Freestyle Pics

    So yes, I agree, it's a wicked ugly car. No, I can't even call it ugly. The Pontiac Aztek was ugly. This car is just bland. Which is ironic, because the whole point of SUVs (to most people) is to provide a more stylish alternative to more-functional-but-boring-looking wagons and mini-vans. This car manages to be boring looking without providing the clearance of an SUV, the capacity and functionality of a mini-van, or the efficiency and versatility of a wagon.

    Anyway, I asked because you said you didn't like the "design". To me, the design (from what I know of it) seems fine, because it accomplishes the designers' goals of meeting the needs of their target audience. The styling, on the other hand...
    to me "design" is a totaly integrated system, and "styling" is something you do to "decorate". Therefore, I always have high respect for good designers who do a through job, and disdain for "stylists" that kind of do a "hit and run" adornment, and then run off to the next "opportunity".

    Mr. P
    Central USA

    2004 Volvo 2.5T AWD XC90, Ash Gold, Taupe, 7-seat

    Too many other cars to list.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrueBlue
    Mr P, I enjoy yur posts very much, but haven't quite worked out whether you are an "extremist" or throwing in "wobblies" to see what come out.

    I can see from your signature that you are an enthusiast, looking at your properties list (BTW where in Tennesee do you get to drive two boats), heavens knows how you store them all...

    I digress.

    You and me (sorry, I) have possibly similar backgrounds (I'm fishing here -), in that we have owned some excellent bits of hardware in our time, and it pains to see how everything gets dumbed down, and it's incredibly frustrating.

    Pity, therefore the poor designer, in order to earn his bread he has to please his management and come up with new ideas, but is constrained by the bean counters who won't let him get too outlandish.

    Soo the poor mutt has to look at what's in his compan(ies) pantry. Aha, the Volvo division has a good platform, let's use that to build our XXX on. The idea for XXX doesn't really fit the Volvo platform.

    Never mind the mockup and digital realisations look good; let's go to the next management level and see what they say....

    Somebody leaks (??controlled leak) the concept to the public - response - Ugh!! (In this case the vehicle in question IMO doesn't look too awful). Back to the drawing board.

    What I am trying to say is that you and I are in a tiny minority; we like Volvo (for safety and a lot more besides). Minority 1. We hanker after "what could be". Minority 2.

    So our influence is small (1) and even smaller (2). What seems to sell nowadays is "spin", hyperbole, and promises of technology.

    People don't by product on what are the "right" reasons, they buy on how they are influenced by fashion, perceived "value" and "whatever". These three items change minute by minute, and in truth are probably incalculable..

    So you and I get wound up by what appears to us to be "daft" designs and the like.

    I wouldn't work in a design team for "all the tea in China".

    I suppose the secret is to publish the sensible view of "what should be" and see what comes back - but not to get rattled when the returning comments hammer you.

    It would be wonderful if manufacturers asked "our" opinions first before embarking on some enterprises. They won't, of course, because we are a miniscule minority, and its the majority who buy product.

    Never mind "we" have
    Porsche
    Aston Martin
    Jaguar (?)
    to console ourselves....


    End of rant.

    Keep the coments coming; feel free to shoot me down. It's what makes this board such fun.





    Great post, thanks. I guess I'm an extremest, sheesh, lol.
    In any case, don't count on Jaguar much longer, get a load of this:




    Monday, September 20, 2004
    Jaguar is being forced to reshape the company under Ford ownership, according to a company news release.

    Speaking on behalf of Jaguar, Jim Padilla, Ford's chief operating officer and chairman of its automotive operations said “the actions we're taking...while difficult, are absolutely necessary to set Jaguar back on the right path and ensure a strong and sustainable business for the future." In automanufacturingspeak, that’s not good news.

    Jaguar is part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, which also includes Volvo, Land Rover and Aston Martin. It reported a pretax loss of $362 million in the April-June second quarter, after posting a profit of $166 million a year earlier. One must ask, how can a company go from a profit of $166 million to a $362 million loss in one year, by essentially keeping the product line the same????????????????

    Ford’s restructuring of Jaguar includes, but is not limited to the following:
    • Introduction of a diesel engine in the XJ range.
    • Introduction of an all-aluminum XK sports car. The all-aluminum XK, codenamed X150, will go on sale in early 2006.
    • Closing down the classic Jaguar plant at Browns Lane, England.

    As part of its restructuring plan, Ford is pulling Jaguar from Formula 1 at the end of 2004.

    Ford, which owns Jaguar, will sell also sell off its Cosworth engine subsidiary.
    "Jaguar's presence in Formula One has been a valuable marketing and brand awareness platform particularly outside our main markets of the U.S. and the U.K." Joe Greenwell, Jaguar chairman said in a statement, "However it was our collective view that it is time for Jaguar Cars to focus 100 percent on our core business."

    Jaguar, whose drivers are Australia's Mark Webber and Austria's Christian Klien, is seventh in the F1 championship with 10 points.
    In 82 F1 races, Jaguar has only had two podium finishes — third place in 2001 and 2002 by Eddie Irvine 3 and has led only two out of 7,500 contested.

    Of particular note to Volvo fans, is the selling of the renowned Cosworth engine subsidiary. With Jaguar ailing, and Cosworth available, Ford made a decision to send the business to Yamaha. This decision was obviously made by the accounting department, sadly. When it comes to overhead cam injected V8 engines, Cosworth has about as much design savvy as anyone. Too bad we didn’t get a Cosworth designed, Jaguar built, DOHC injected V8 in the XC90.










    As for working on a design team, I've been on great teams before, I've lead them before, I've won awards, I've lead teams that have achieved excellence without selling out, and I understand the politics and reality of design. That's why I think Ford needs a kick in the rear. They continually miss the mark, and it's really hard to remain a fan. Somehow I get the feeling the head designer is someones nephew, cousin, son, or lapdog? How else could he hold a job designing products that took those many millions of dollars of persuasion to sell?

    As for the reasons people buy what they buy: Just remember, Ford is a master at selling products. They have a vast machine set up to do so. They can sell you sand by the sea side. Therefore, even though the Taurus was a hit for what, four years on top of the US market, Ford put millions and perhaps billions behind the sales effort. That's a heck of a lot different than having a product people are lined up to buy, because its a good one, and a good looking one.

    I recently rented one from HERTZ. I drove it from Syracuse NY to the St. Lawrence River area, and back. It was a total piece of junk. I had to get out and LOOK at the tires, because I actually thought I had a flat tire, it wandered all over the road. No wonder the Japanese automotive industry sees the US market as such fertile ground.


    As for driving boats in Tennessee, we have lots of water here, it's like an inland highway system. We can get to the Great Lakes, and we can get to the Gulf of Mexico (two ways). I boat primarily on the Cumberland River, which connects to the Ohio, and then onward to the gulf via the Mississippi. I frequently lock up into some of the lakes east (upstream) of Nashville where th4 water gets more clear each lake you hop, including Old Hickory and Cordell Hull. We have beautiful land-locked lakes in the TVA system, including Percy Priest, Dale Hollow, Center Hill, all near Nashville. Just West of here we have the "Land between the Lakes". Lots of places to go boating in TN, and we keep the big ones in the water all year long.

    Thanks for the therapy, I needed it.


    regards,
    Mr. P
    Central USA

    2004 Volvo 2.5T AWD XC90, Ash Gold, Taupe, 7-seat

    Too many other cars to list.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbsumer
    Haha (Re: the plastic).

    I had to look up more pictures of it to decide whether I liked the exterior styling...

    So yes, I agree, it's a wicked ugly car. No, I can't even call it ugly. The Pontiac Aztek was ugly. This car is just bland. .

    "Bland" is a polite word. Stronger words need to be expressed in the Ford board room, however. I'm beginning to think Ford just can't come up with fresh material. Time to shake the cage, eh?

    Ford will spend untold millions on marketing, promo, incentives, to sell a bland product. They do it all the time. Quite a big difference from building a product people really want.

    Also in the accounting department, sigh, here we now see Ford ready to sell out Cosworth, and stand by and watch Jaguar go onto hard times, pull their racing program, when in fact, a corporate decision could have been made to inject badly needed production, jobs, and cash infusion by assigning the V8 project to Cosworth and Jaguar. Instead, Ford elected to send the money, and the contracts, to Yamaha, when they could have sent it to one of their own divisions. That, IMHO, is not how you build a dynasty. It's how accountants can run wild.



    Mr. P
    Last edited by Mr. P; 09-21-2004 at 01:16 PM.
    Central USA

    2004 Volvo 2.5T AWD XC90, Ash Gold, Taupe, 7-seat

    Too many other cars to list.

  9. #9
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    Cool


    Here’s a typical Volvo interior, this one being in the XC90. Form follows function. No gimicky oval theme, just good solid egronomics, great use of materials, and nice forms and shapes.


    Here’s the new Ford Five Hundred interior, sure looks a lot better than what they previously put in the Taurus. Looks like Ford took a lesson from Volvo, eh?

    Mr. P













    And for those of us who don't have enough plastic in our lives, and want more, let me suggest this company who is doing plastic to match the OEM factory colors.

    http://www.suvxccessory.com/xccessory/swds-1497br.html#


    Not sure if it’s real wood or synthetic wood, but hey, if it’s fake wood, that’s even better!!! Right??? lol



    This product actually looks pretty well done, and might be purchased for a "selective" application in the event it is, in fact, "factory grade". One thing about it, "it's plastic"

    Since it's plastic on top of plastic, I suppose it deserves a look. Yes, it will still "function" like plastic, it can be wiped down. I will add color to an otherwise austere interior, which may brighten up some people's outlook on life. Since it's probably a clear coat over a color base, or perhaps even real wood, I suspect scratches in the clear coat will become noticed over time. So I guess we now have the choice, is it going to be that Bauhaus austere plastic look, or can we get a bit of flash now? All of this is tounge-in-cheek, in case you're wondering.

    regards, Mr. P
    Last edited by Mr. P; 09-22-2004 at 10:11 AM.
    Central USA

    2004 Volvo 2.5T AWD XC90, Ash Gold, Taupe, 7-seat

    Too many other cars to list.

  10. #10
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    Mr P,
    Many thanks for the reply, I hope I gave you some amusement; no outright criticism meant.

    Now that I have a profile of "where you're at" it will help in understanding wht you are saying.

    As to boating, I show my ignorance of your geography, I was confusing TN with the next State over - to the East...

    I envy you - lots of connecting large waterways. All we've got a varying degrees of ditches to boat on!

    Now I'm relaxed, I'm coming round to (some of) your ways of thinking, and the polite ding-dong between you and Carbsumer seems to be getting the best out of both of you. Great fun watching from the sidelines. Just don't get angry, please,because that always detracts from the real message.

    Have fun,

    Mike.

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