Ford Announces Accelerated Product Plan
Ford Motor Company announced an accelerated product plan for its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury lineups with 70 percent new or updated vehicles by volume by the end of 2008. The plan included an all-new full-size crossover that will go on sale in 2008. It is based on the Ford Fairlane concept that was unveiled at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It has three rows of seating and will get about 23 miles to the gallon. Among other product plans is an updated Ford Focus expected in showrooms next year with a new interior and a more powerful engine, and the Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln Zephyr comprise the company’s offerings in the mid-size range. Mustang enthusiasts should watch for the return of the "Bullitt" in 2008. In fact, Ford's product plans call for a new derivative of the Mustang every year. An all-new F-Series Super Duty pickup will go on sale in early 2007, and an all-new F-150 will go on sale in 2008. Ford says to look for a new powertrain, as well as interior and exterior design enhancements. Ford also is accelerating plans for the development of several new small cars by leveraging the company's vehicle infrastructure in Europe and Asia. Ford has re-examined its entire cycle plan, and accelerated the development of other vehicles, such as the new Lincoln MKS flagship sedan to go on sale in 2008. To keep up with demand, Lincoln will also continue to offer the Town Car. The company says it intends to move Town Car production to the St. Thomas (Ontario) Assembly Plant. Ford announced that it will continue to make "major investments" on more flexible-fuel, diesel, hydrogen and hybrid powertrains. The company says two out of every three Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles also will offer fuel-saving 6-speed transmissions in that same time frame.