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Flex Into the Future

Old 11-08-2008, 11:45 PM
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Default Flex Into the Future

Survival of The Big Three
So we have been glued to news about automaker survival. The subject of the 25 billion in loans for fuel efficient car technology keeps coming up. Americans demand such cars when gas is $4 per gallon. Gas is now less than three dollars. It will go up again but when? Who knows but that is not important. Car makers need the ability to shift production quickly. Offering a fuller line of cars but having the ability to build what is selling. I know Chrysler is flex capable what about Ford and GM? Am I missing something or just crazy but is flex not essential to the future of The Big Three?
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:53 AM
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Default RE: Flex Into the Future

I do know that GM has almost half of their vehicles Flex capable, from the Tahoe, Avalanche and thucks. But I havent seen that many from Ford with the possable exception of the aptly named Ford Flex.
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:37 AM
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Default RE: Flex Into the Future

The issue isn't so much that GM and Ford do not make fuel efficient models, the issue is they put no effort into their fuel efficient models. You cannot look me in the eyes and tell me the Focus was given the same level of effort that Ford put into the Mustang or F-series. You cannot tell me that GM put the same level of effort into the Cobalt as they put into the Silverado or Malibu. Chrysler's problem was that they abandoned the segment altogether and their replacement did not have the level of effort that Dodge has put into the Ram.

Now having said this the Cobalt and Focus still sell well, the issue is they are not very profitable. The issue is they need to figure out a way to make these cars more profitable without cutting on the already poor quality. They need to offer Mercury and Buick variants except this time, do more than make it look uglier and add ridiculous amounts of fake chrome. They need to put in an effort that will make people actually want to buy a car of this size. They need to improve the comfort level, cut down on the noise level, offer interior that is just as good if not better than their larger models, has all the options of the larger models, features the industries best technology (six speeds only, GDI), performance versions hopefully with AWD to compete against the Evo to prevent them from being viewed as lame, and still gets excellent fuel economy.

Flex fuel isn't the answer unfortunately. If it was the Big Three wouldn't be in this mess. Ford has quite a few actually. The Crown Vic, new F-series, Expedition, etc. Before this they had one with the older Taurus, Ranger 3.0L, Explorer, etc.

Dodge has it with the mid-sized version of the 2.7L, the 4.7L V8, the 3.3L offering in the minivans.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:05 PM
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Default RE: Flex Into the Future

Thanks for the opinions. I should have been more clear what I meant by Flex is flexible manufacturing. Like the new modern Chrysler plants that allow building of very different models on the same line with very short down time.
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