Did Ford miss its target?

I used to think J Mays was a hot shot designer. I’m beginning to question that after looking at the Ford Five Hundred.

better than the Taurus…
500 is a replacement for that, and often picture look different than a real car!!

It is better than the Tarus, I guess when in doubt, copy a bunch of other stuff. It’s a shame there is like zero origionality to the design.

Take away the refined design, gracefull proportions, and great detailing and you’d have something close to the ford 500

Check out how close the shape of the side glass mimmicks the a6

These are the tailights from the Mercedes S-class sedan, gee, seems similar to the ford.

i think that mays is a nice guy except he’s stuck between his retro ideology, ford’s budjet problems and competition.

ford needs to reshape its structure towards a brand that is more recognized for its efficiency than all these small production type efforts. ford focus, and 150 are probably the only models that can carry those traits. the rest fall short.

they either can’t comeup with it or are too restricted in manufacturing or too many brands they have that conflict with sales. i think the latter is the best explanation. so they go ahead with something like 500 so that it might fill a gap somewhere. it must be so cheap for them to make it that it beats every other alternative.

I think the most exciting vehicles right now are coming out of the US. Not necessarily the best vehicles, certainly not the prettiest though. The Ford 500 falls into this category.

I hope that the 500 follows up it’s copycat exterior by copying the interior quality of VW, not just the aesthetic. I also hope that Ford decides to have the suspension tuned properly. Of note, the NA Focus finally gets the Euro suspension (50% stiffer). Although it is curious why NA gets a facelift and Euro gets a new car…?

At GM, the Malibu is most significant US vehicle in a decade. The interior, while not to Euro standards, is a far better interior than any GM car I can recall. And, with the introduction of a rear sunroof and sliding rear seat in the MAXX, it innovates on the usability side. The Malibu also features a suspension set up from GM Europe’s Vectra/Saab 900 (although they have tuned in the traditional GM body lean). The only place the Malibu really left me hungry on the spec sheet was in the engine compartment where GM insists on using the stone age 3800, push rod V-6. If the engineers at GM are so gifted as to make that engine pass emisions and get reasonable gas milage, I wonder how great a proper DOHC V-6 would be?

At Kraisler, we have the 300. In one swoop, the company redefined NA cool…amazing.

I’m not sure who the target market is for that car. Seventy year old Buick drivers? Rental Car companies looking for a non-offensive midsize? Police departments and cab companies?

This is a huge step backwards in automotive design.

I think the Ford Freestyle is by far the most blend and boring car on the market today.

My mom’s 95 VW polo looks more advanced than that.

Yeah, definitely better than a Taurus, but the Five Hundred still uses the same underpowered noisy engine.

Is this retro 90’s

Hah that made me snarf my orange juice! :laughing:

Fords problem is that it has no cash.

it was forced to sell shares in order to finace a potential disaster involving exploding tyres on a 4x4.

Its now in the process of a buyback scheme. hence the lack of dosh.

If you want further confirmation ask the 400 Landrover designers about to loose their jobs in an “internal restructure”.

Even further proof can be found by checking their credit listing - very close to “junk stock”

Ford = F**ked - not even jay retro/futurist" mays can save them.

:laughing:

Land Rover has 400 designers to let go? Maybe they realized they only need one to style up a brick, and that their best looking ride was designed by Design Works, pre Ford ownership.

Also all that financial stuff doesn’t = rip off the Passat, maybe I’m just not familiar with that accounting formula.

BTW Gerry I thought you spelled your name like this: Gerry McGovern

Apparently Ford did not miss its target! My instructer from Ford said it’s selling like hotcakes… It’s not the appearence that Ford is trying to sell, but the interior and features offered that people love. I guess until you reach the age which Ford is trying to hit, and being in one of the cars, you won’t be able to appreciate it.

The seats are 6 inches higher, and back seats are even higher, which gives people the sense of elevation like in an SUV. It also helps the elderly get in and out of the car easier. It’s supposed to be boring.

My Mom got a loaded Accord last year, and the last time I was visiting i gave it a spin, I gotta say, I was pretty impressed, of course I am getting old. But, and maybe this is generational, if you had to pick between bland non-oofensive styling, wouldn’t you go Accord over the Ford? Is it the American car factor?

My dad on the other hand can’t figure out why anyone would want a ‘gangster’ car like the Chrysler 300, which I think is the best American sedan design in a long time (even though it is a rip of the Bently and it doesn’t have very good surface development, at least they sponged off something very aspirational)

But to whom? Consumers or bulk “fleet” purchasers? (ie. Rental car, taxi, police-cruisers.)

I have a hard time believing that Ford saw enough purchasing power to niche the elderly market.

[quote="yo"My dad on the other hand can’t figure out why anyone would want a ‘gangster’ car like the Chrysler 300, which I think is the best American sedan design in a long time (even though it is a rip of the Bently and it doesn’t have very good surface development, at least they sponged off something very aspirational)[/quote]

That’s what I mean. If the car appeals to you as a young designer, then there must be something wrong.

We should start an auto critique discussion in the transportation forum every week, this seems like fertile ground.

Like Cow says, if the car appeals to young designers, it must be wrong. Let’s look at the top selling cars in the US: Accord, Camry, Taurus, Civic. Are any of these really that great in terms of design?

Ford tried to push the boundaries with the last Taurus and quickly fell from first to third and has been unable to regain that lost ground. Remember the jelly bean Taurus? Of course who didn’t know that the round thing was ending then?

Accord is interesting in the front. I think it is telling that they inspired themselves from Insight. I think they were trying to associate the Accord with technology, seeing as the Accord was designed near the end of the dotcoms. The rear is totally uninspired. As a car, it’s great, my folks have one too. I wouldn’t mind driving one either. But as design, it’s no Bugatti Royale.

Camry is blah. The new '04 headlamps are a nice change though.

Civic is blah. They took the old Civic and sucked any energy out of it. Another car I would drive, but it’s not rockin’ my world.

This leads me to wonder…what are we comparing the 500 to? When compared with the bunch I just described it suddenly looks half way decent. Sure it’s not original…whatever that is. Sure it lacks some of the detail definition that only yo and I would notice. But it’s cheap (relatively), comfy and big.

Good point man. But I think they have beat the Japanees cars you mentioned in terms of being derivative and uninspired.

I’m with you on the accord, its like they spent all their time on the front end, the coupe has some nice lines, but the back end graphic has that same triangular tailamp theme that only been done a million times!

Have you checked out the back end of the upcoming A4 - looks like the current Civic Sedan with better form! Too many cars are designed in a parking lot!

Maybe you should post a new thread in the trans section each week around a new vehicle, car or otherwise.

Good point man. But I think they have beat the Japanees cars you mentioned in terms of being derivative and uninspired.

I’m with you on the accord, its like they spent all their time on the front end, the coupe has some nice lines, but the back end graphic has that same triangular tailamp theme that only been done a million times!

Have you checked out the back end of the upcoming A4 - looks like the current Civic Sedan with better form! Too many cars are designed in a parking lot!

Hey YO,

I think the original 500 concept was even closer to a Passat. The side view looks almost identical!!! damn, they even copied the VW signature door hadels. BTW, now VW/Audi is shifting away from their 90s all rounded forms and this thing is taking the left overs. That’s sad. This is pretty much a US passat with a new Focus face.

Also I noticed the 300C has very similar treatment as the RR designed by US designers: the placement of the headlamps, the big rounded fillet on the side of the hood, etc etc… Maybe what they are doing is making cheap versions of EURO cars that are not that accessable to the average buyers.

Hey, is it possible that the marketing people gave the designers some photos of the current Passat and said:“Hey, draw something like this, please…” hehe