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What makes a Ford a Ford? The question is simple, and a 105-year-old company should know how it wants its cars to look, feel, and drive: the resistance in the steering wheel, the spring in the seats, the rumble from the exhaust. But Ford is still struggling to find an answer. So on a blustery spring morning, CEO Alan Mulally and 25 top executives from the United States and Europe meet at a test track near company headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., to tease that question out, one component at a time.

As the executives cluster around a whiteboard, Mulally, dressed in a blue Ford windbreaker, sounds off on the first topic: the new transmissions for the lineup. These offer consumers the option of shifting themselves or letting the car do it automatically. The question is, Should Ford offer drivers buttons on the steering wheel or racing-style paddles behind the steering-wheel spokes? It is a small detail - each component costs about $25 - yet it produces spirited discussion.

Mulally wants to know how the gear changes will be signaled to the driver. Mark Fields, who runs Ford's car business in the Americas, worries about durability and warranty costs. More fundamentally, he questions whether drivers even want to shift gears themselves. "I'm concerned we're going in the wrong direction," he says. Jim Farley, newly recruited from Toyota (TM) to oversee global sales and marketing, is thinking about how the action will feel: "If the paddle shifter is well done, it could be a big advantage for us." After 30 minutes, the paddle shifters seem to be winning. But before the issue is resolved, the group moves on to the next topic: the electronic chimes that remind drivers to turn off the headlights or remove the ignition key.

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This car must save Ford...and will save it! The compact and subcompact car segment will be bigger in the near future, and Ford need to do a good performance in this area. Thaks God Ford can do it. The new american Focus show us that. And the next Fiesta will be a great hit.....
 

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Love the car, keep making these cars and buyers will come back. Especially with the reliability being soo much better..
 

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not overly fond of some of the inuendos in that article
so
here's another from Autoblog: Wan(t)a 'B' <title modified/corrected

"For starters, Americans have yet to shake their general distaste for hatchbacks (one reason Ford is developing a four-door Fiesta sedan aimed at the States). While B-cars tend to be good fun to drive, our preference for automatics works against that. Further, familiar small C-cars such as the Corolla, the Focus and the Chevy Cobalt tend to sell here on price. The price drop to smaller B-cars isn't significant enough, nor is the mileage improvement big enough, to overcome perceptions of cramped interiors or limited utility..."

None Of The Above applies or has ever applied to me
think I'm not the only one
& am thankful the current 'ill winds' are finally bringing cars-for-me more attention
yet
I'm not so selfish to want the mfgs to Only make cars-for-me
so
hope they synergize any benefits the latest 'small experiment' produces into all their vehicles
 

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The notion of [Americans] "general distaste for hatchbacks" has been proven wrong many many times. Most recent examples Focus ZX3 and ZX5 and the Mini Cooper.

I have no doubt that the Fiesta is going to need a game changer and a major success for Ford.
 

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The notion of [Americans] "general distaste for hatchbacks" has been proven wrong many many times. Most recent examples Focus ZX3 and ZX5 and the Mini Cooper.

I have no doubt that the Fiesta is going to need a game changer and a major success for Ford.

I agree, the Fiesta will be the "1986 Taurus" of the next decade. I´m sure the young people will step down from their Scions and Civics and buy the new Fiesta. I hope Ford incorporate the Sync, 6 airbags, ASC , and another features in a affordable band of prices.
 

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I agree, the Fiesta will be the "1986 Taurus" of the next decade. I´m sure the young people will step down from their Scions and Civics and buy the new Fiesta. I hope Ford incorporate the Sync, 6 airbags, ASC , and another features in a affordable band of prices.
I don't think it will be a step down though. I think it will be a step up, especially with the Sync system installed and push button start. Definitely a step up from those Scions or Civics.
 
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