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Freeman Thomas - Ford never planned to build the Interceptor

Old 7/12/07, 08:49 AM
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Freeman Thomas - Ford never planned to build the Interceptor

http://www.autoblog.com/2007/07/12/f...e-interceptor/

Thomas told the Detroit News what he had been told at the Detroit Auto Show that the Interceptor concept was never intended to be developed into a production vehicle. When Alan Mullaly was told that after seeing the car and loving the bold design, he was dismayed. Based on the reactions to cars like the Interceptor and Lincoln MKR, Ford is now revisiting their designs and elements of cars like the Interceptor will appear in the future.
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Old 7/12/07, 12:24 PM
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That's dissappointing; here comes the Interceptor inspired Fusion with non-functional fender vents and all

Come on Ford, if you want me to turn GM than just say it already...

lame...
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Old 7/12/07, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by instigator311 View Post
That's dissappointing; here comes the Interceptor inspired Fusion with non-functional fender vents and all

Come on Ford, if you want me to turn GM than just say it already...

lame...
It's a good sign that Mulally was dismayed that production wasn't planned. There was a lot of angst early on that Mulally wasn't a "car guy". Apparantely that early assessment was incorrect...
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Old 7/12/07, 01:33 PM
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Making concepts and NOT building them/turning them into production autos doesn't make money.
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Old 7/12/07, 02:42 PM
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Looks like Interceptor will be just like 427. Another cool concept that never saw production.
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Old 7/12/07, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Star View Post
Looks like Interceptor will be just like 427. Another cool concept that never saw production.
Sadly yes but hopefully it will be the last!
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Old 7/12/07, 05:18 PM
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Mulally's a product guy, he knows good product and knows Ford doesn't have enough of it. Ford's tried car guys (Nasser) and non car-guys (everyone else), now its a product guy's turn.
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Old 7/17/07, 10:46 PM
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Huge mistake to not put the Interceptor into production. Even if we know it won't be exactly like the concept, they need this car. It's just not realistic to rely strictly on FWD Fusion and Taurus to carry the flag. Some people need/want larger V-8 powered sedans. With G8 just around the corner, it'll be a mistake to not do this. I predict strong sales for G8.
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Old 7/18/07, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Moosetang View Post
Mulally's a product guy, he knows good product and knows Ford doesn't have enough of it. Ford's tried car guys (Nasser) and non car-guys (everyone else), now its a product guy's turn.
Moosetang, you and I agree on quite a bit. But I don't think Mulally is the guy to turn Ford around, and would argue that Nasser's status as a 'car guy' is questionable at best. Fields should be running the show, and with rumours hinting that Mulally may already be falling out of favor I wonder if that wont very soon be the case.
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Old 7/18/07, 11:18 AM
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I think Mulallys effects are yet to be seen since product implementation takes quite a few years. And i think he is making good desicions that will benefits fords future.
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Old 7/18/07, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jsaylor View Post
Moosetang, you and I agree on quite a bit. But I don't think Mulally is the guy to turn Ford around, and would argue that Nasser's status as a 'car guy' is questionable at best. Fields should be running the show, and with rumours hinting that Mulally may already be falling out of favor I wonder if that wont very soon be the case.
I think many of those unhappy with Mullaly are responsible for the crappy management Ford's had over the past couple decades, and can't overrule Bill Ford very easily even if they do have a beef. Considering he's been at it less than a year, its pretty pathetically early to make a call anyway.

I'll give you that Fields is a very good guy, I've defended him pretty well since he came from Mazda. But I disagree that he'd be better than Mullaly at the top. For one, Ford needs a President of the Americas who knows his stuff, and has an eye for the market. Without Fields, who do you put there? For two, Ford's global product issues require someone with experience with global product issues. That's Mullaly all over. I don't think Fields has the experience or know-how to unify Global Ford as Mullay is, and without that unification nothing that happens to the NA market will last.
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Old 7/18/07, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Moosetang View Post
I think many of those unhappy with Mullaly are responsible for the crappy management Ford's had over the past couple decades, and can't overrule Bill Ford very easily even if they do have a beef. Considering he's been at it less than a year, its pretty pathetically early to make a call anyway.

I'll give you that Fields is a very good guy, I've defended him pretty well since he came from Mazda. But I disagree that he'd be better than Mullaly at the top. For one, Ford needs a President of the Americas who knows his stuff, and has an eye for the market. Without Fields, who do you put there? For two, Ford's global product issues require someone with experience with global product issues. That's Mullaly all over. I don't think Fields has the experience or know-how to unify Global Ford as Mullay is, and without that unification nothing that happens to the NA market will last.
I too think that Ford needs Mulally's knowledge of globalization. But after spending a bit of time trying to see what Mulally and Fields each really think about the issues, which isn't always easy since both have to live and work with decisions others have made, I think that his understanding of global synergy is the only truly outstanding quality Mulally brings to the table. I also think that his reliance on the same is arguably his biggest flaw, it's hnot the cure all he thinks it and it cannot be employed within the brand conscious car industry in the same way that it was under his watch at Boeing. Also, I'm not convinced that his grands cheme to make the Ford brand into one global brand that markets exactly the same cars, or very close to it, in every market is as good an idea as some seem to think it. I also doubt that Mulally's lack of understanding of the auto industry in general can be overcome since he seldom seems to acknowledge the same in any way shape or form.

Also worth noting is that Mulally's status as the saviour of Boeing has become questionable at best. Sure he returned the brand to profitability in the near term, but what did he do to the company to accomplish that? Boeing outsources the production of a surprisingly large percentage of major components like wings. While outsourcing may be commonplace in todays business climate a list of what is outsourced by the Boeing company is geninely alarming with the components that Boeing actually manufactures likely comprising a far smaller list than the items they now must outsource due to changes in the structure of the company. Many have accused Mulally of turning Boeing into an assembler of airplane components rather than a manufacturer of airplanes, and after some research they have an argument. Mulally may have sacrificed the long term viability of the company for short term profit, and this in an industry where people aren't nearly so aware of exactly who actually built what part of the machine.

Back to the reasons I suspect Mulally might be falling out of favor at Ford. Frankly much of the strategy we are just now starting to see from Dearborn sounds a lot like what Fields was saying the company needed to do back when it seemed a sure bet he would be CEO. This in turn means that a lot of what is going on doesn't sound like what one might expect of Mulally. Without question Mulally's thumb prints are there, as can be seen in news such as the Fiesta replacement coming to our shores virtually as is. And this could simply be an instance of a CEO listen to an up and coming young executive. But some ideas are just too counter-Mulally.

For example, even the thought of selling Volvo is the utter opposite of what one might expect of Mulally given his bend for pure numbers. While at Boeing Mulally streamlined the product line cutting the number of models drastically, and some may draw a parallel here. But in reality this is rather different since we are really talking about both eliminating outlets and customers for product through the loss of the Volvo brand and losing a largely integrated partner for platform sharing Selling Jaguar and Land Rover fits well enough since Mulally can't stand a bleeder and these two are attached at the hip. But Volvo, as it currently stands, should be his dream come true having integrated almost completely with Ford Europe in terms of platfomr and engines at this point. To put it simply this is effectively the de-internationalization of Ford in some ways which seems an odd strategy coming from Mulally. In fact at this point the possibility genuinely exists that we may have nothing but Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury left of the FoMoCo brand in very short order, and that sounds a lot more like what Fields was saying needed to be done to save the company than anything Mulally has mentioned.

Recent rumours from within Ford that we can likely expect future car development to exhibit less of Mulally's influence definately give cause for a raised eyebrow as well. This is of interest since, when Mulally was initially given the job, many surmised that he may have been brought in with the understanding that this would be a short term assignment with the likely mission being to groom a young Fields in certain areas and help cut some of the fat until Fields is ready to take over. This isn't too far fetched since Fields was obviously Bill Ford's chosen man for the job with rumours indicating that some members of the board felt Fields was too young for the position prompting Ford to look elsewhere for the short term. At this point I wonder if that isn't exactly what is occuring.
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Old 7/20/07, 04:20 AM
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Since Ford continues to keep their heads in the sand, I'll wait for the Impala SS.
GM isn't scared to make 400hp rear wheel drive sedans.
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Old 7/21/07, 12:04 AM
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Not much of a surprise, really.
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Old 7/22/07, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by jsaylor View Post
Fields should be running the show...


Originally Posted by jsaylor View Post
...with rumours hinting that Mulally may already be falling out of favor I wonder if that wont very soon be the case.
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