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Kumar Galhotra, New President of Lincoln Brand

The Lincoln brand has been on a steady decline for quiet some time now, Ford needed to switch things up.  Kumar Galhotra, Ford Motor Co.’s top engineer, was named president of the Lincoln brand today, a new position that reports directly to CEO Mark Fields, in another management change designed to jumpstart sales at the luxury brand.

Jim Farley, executive vice president of global sales, service and marketing, has directed Lincoln since 2012, and will continue to oversee Ford’s sales, service and marketing operations, but will also have a role in Lincoln’s marketing and product plans, Ford said today.

“Now is the right time to have a dedicated global leader for the brand,” Ford spokeswoman Susan Krusel said today.

She said it was Farley who recommended to Ford’s board of directors that Lincoln get a “totally dedicated leader.”

Galhotra, 48, has been Ford’s vice president of engineering since August 2013. He will oversee all Lincoln operations worldwide, including product development; marketing, sales and service; and all team members under the Lincoln brand.

The change is effective Sept. 1.  Fields, who took the reins at Ford on July 1 after the retirement of Alan Mulally, said the move makes clear the company is “serious about Lincoln.”

“Now is the right time for the next chapter in accelerating Lincoln as a world-class luxury brand,” Fields said in a statement. “Kumar has more than 25 years of global product and business experience, including leading engineering for all of our Lincoln vehicles today. Being our dedicated senior Lincoln leader will serve our clients, employees and dealers extremely well going forward.”  Will this change in leadership help rebuild the brand?

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Ford Reveals Fuel Consumption for Six Vehicles

Ford came out today with revised fuel consumption for six vehicles after doing further testing and realizing they made a error in the original specs.

The decision was made after Ford identified an error through its own internal testing. The Ford and Lincoln vehicles that are affected by the fuel ratings change are the C-Max Hybrid, C-Max Energi, Fiesta, Fusion Energi, Fusion Hybrid, and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

Ford has estimated that close to 13,000 vehicles from the 2013-14 year have been sold in Canada (200,000 in the U.S.) under these erroneous fuel consumption numbers. Ford intends to rectify the problem with customers by compensating leased and purchase customers with a monetary gesture between the ranges of $125-$1,800.

The issue would be found in its “Total Road Load Horsepower” (TRLHP), a resistance level used in vehicle dynamometer testing. The TRLHP testing for some of their model didn’t match the values applied for the dynamometer testing.

After assessing the problem and going through the tests again, Ford notified the EPA on their newly-known data and provided them with the new fuel economy numbers for five of their vehicles, including one Lincoln. All of the other vehicles had no change in fuel economy. Further, Ford has now implemented an enhanced validation test to prevent this error from reoccurring in other future vehicles.  Ford has had a rough couple of months with the recall of last month and now the error in fuel economy.

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Mark Fields Becomes New CEO of Ford


The deal is complete, Ford Named Mark Fields to replace Alan Mulally as CEO starting July 1st.  Fields, currently Ford’s chief operating officer, had long been seen as Mulally’s heir apparent. He was centre stage at this year’s Detroit auto show unveiling the aluminium model of Ford’s best-selling F-150 pickup and a limited edition Mustang GT.

Fields, 53, is a Harvard Business School graduate who joined Ford in 1989 and ran its North American operations through the depth of the recession. Ford was the only major US automaker not to file for bankruptcy.

Mulally, 68, a long-time Boeing executive, was hired by Ford in 2006 to turn around a company making massive losses and facing declining market share. He slashed costs and mortgaged all of Ford’s assets in a move that allowed the company to steer clear of bankruptcy and government-ownership.

Fields becomes the second insider in recent months to take over one of the big American auto manufacturers. Last December General Motors named Mary Barra as its new chief executive, succeeding Dan Akerson, a turnaround specialist appointed by the US Treasury.  Will Fields be able to complete the turn around that Mulally started, we will have to wait and see.


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What Models to Pay Attention to at the New York Auto Show


With the majority of the big auto shows out of the way, all eyes are on big apple to showcase the top cars of 2014.  It is not the industry’s biggest or most important show, but it is perhaps the best-timed one. Next year’s gleaming new machines roll into Manhattan just as spring is blooming and buyers get ready for a summer spending spree.

2015 Ford Focus: Updating a top-seller is always a risky endeavor. A company that changes too much risks alienating its biggest fans, while not updating enough may cost some sales momentum. The Focus, meanwhile, is the bestselling car in the world, so the stakes could not be higher as Ford (F) rolls out its next iteration. What to look for: a very unusual engine. The new Focus is expected to have a six-speed stick shift—remember those?—and three cylinders that shut off entirely at stop lights.

2015 Dodge Charger: Most carmakers aren’t all that interested in making big, rear-wheel-drive sedans—unless they carry a luxury brand and command a lot of euros. That’s a major advantage for Chrysler Fiat as it looks to relaunch its Dodge Charger. It will have to be impressive, however, to catch the highly praised Impala that Chevrolet launched last year. What to look for: a design statement that will signal whether Dodge is angling for plush or performance.


These are only two of the cars that you should pay attention to at this year New York Auto Show.  There will be plenty more and we cannot wait to find what this years show has to offer.


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