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: AutoNews: Kuzak: Ford will cut average vehicle age

01-24-2008, 12:57 PM
Kuzak: Ford will cut average vehicle age

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co.'s product development mantra will be fresher, faster, simpler, Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development, said today at the Automotive News World Congress.

Ford will update its vehicles with major face-lifts, technical improvements and other changes in three-year cycles, Kuzak said. The changes will be ones that customers notice, he said. They will be aimed at keeping vehicles fresh and drawing consumers into Ford and Lincoln Mercury showrooms.

By 2009, the average age of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles will be reduced 35 percent, bringing the average age of the automaker's vehicles in line with the best in the industry.

Many of the updates will be design-driven, Kuzak said. " One way to differentiate yourself and bring people into the showroom is with great design," he said. " You don't design for the masses; each vehicle has a target audience."

Kuzak also said Ford is working to reduce the number of its global platforms and engine architectures. In a presentation to auto analysts last week at the Detroit auto show, Kuzak said that by 2012, about 70 percent of Ford's global volume will be built on eight platforms.

Ford is also driving the cost out of its product development system, Kuzak said. The company is relying on more powerful computers to design and test virtual vehicles and components, which reduces the need for expensive prototypes.

On other topics, Kuzak said:

The Ford Verve small car has been generating enormous buzz at the Detroit auto show and will change perceptions about small cars when it arrives in 2010. But there's no chance that the car could be brought to North America sooner.

Ford's EcoBoost performance and fuel economy engine system will be used on 43 nameplates in North America by 2012 and account for 500,000 units of volume. Worldwide, EcoBoost could be on as many as 750,000 units per year by 2012.
When used with an electronically shifted manual gearbox, EcoBoost could improve fuel economy by 20 percent and pay for itself in 30 months.

Ford will continue rolling out the Sync infotainment system on Ford vehicles and updating the software. Coming improvements include a 911 emergency calling feature and real-time traffic information. Kuzak said Sync's goal is to make using electronic devices such as cell phones and music players " seamless between the home and the car."

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01-28-2008, 12:24 AM
I've seen a number of posts on various forums from people who either 'don't get it' (imho)
or want a different form of kaizen/continuous-improvement

just hope Fomoco finds a way to
get the message across,
get most-everybody on board,
manage to have what's needed most at the moment be the improvements they're bringing out...

(did that make sense?)

01-28-2008, 10:41 AM
man, its about time. Think of the poor ranger!!

01-29-2008, 11:48 PM
there's a chart from TheConference in the .pdf linked in the Homer Thread (
that shows the forecasted avg. ages for Ford & Lincoln models thru 2011