Ford today reported that sales of Certified Pre-Owned vehicles grew 29% in 2012 versus 2011, an increase that the company credits to a thorough overhaul of the CPO program.
Recent changes include a 12 month/12,000 mile comprehensive warranty and six years/100,000 miles of powertrain coverage for Ford-branded vehicles, while Lincoln vehicles get six years/100,000 miles of comprehensive coverage. Previously, CPO cars were covered for just three months or 3,000 miles. The CPO program now includes inspection of new technologies such as MyFord Touch and blind-spot monitoring. Despite the added costs of the additional inspection, Ford told Autoblopnik that both profits and dealer traffic are up.
“A robust CPO program keeps more vehicles in the dealer network,” says John Felice, general manager for Ford and Lincoln sales. “It improves residual values, enhances dealer profitability, brings more customers to Ford and Lincoln lots, and ultimately results in lower vehicle costs for consumers.”
Ford says that a strong CPO program is vital to increasing new-car sales as well, as these programs are often the first exposure to the brand for many buyers and could lead to a longer relationship.
“Fifty-five percent of these customers are new to the Ford and Lincoln brands,” explains Todd Fites, national CPO sales manager, for Ford, “and research shows that a new CPO customer is twice as likely to come back and buy a new Ford product in the future.”
Special correspondent Mark Wreckedem contributed to this story.
As the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire prepares to film its fourth season, Ford has announced that it is cancelling its product placement agreement with the Emmy award winning show.
“We had contracted with the producers of the show to have Ford vehicles prominently placed in every episode,” explained Ford spokesplacer Sid Deet. “The presence of Ford products resulted in a great deal of additional showroom traffic immediately after the show aired. Unfortunately, most of those customers were interested in driving the vehicles they saw on the show, and were disappointed to learn that the Model T has been out of production for eighty-six years.”
“The exposure from the show has produced a lot of foot traffic,” said Heywood Jablome, owner of Impossible Ford in Corona, California. “But when they find out we no longer have the cars they saw on the show, they get really pissed. I’ve instructed my sales guys to push them towards the Fiesta, but once we tell them the price is $260 per month, instead of $260 all-in like the Model T, they walk. Usually to a Hyundai dealership.”
According to Deet, the original product placement deal was meant to promote both the company and its founder, including a mention in the show’s premiere of Henry Ford’s first book, The International Jew: The World’s Most Foremost Problem.
“That one met with more backlash than we expected, so we had to drop it,” said Deet. “It’s a shame, because we had a real corker of a plot centered around the third volume, Jewish Influence in American Life. It’s a brilliant book, but just like soy car parts, high wages, and the Ford Service Department, the country still isn’t ready for some of Mr. Ford’s more radical ideas.”
“J is the tenth letter of the alphabet,” said Scott “Full” Monty, Ford’s Head Chief Guy of the Internet, who by contract must be quoted in all online stories about Ford.
Deet says that while Ford is disappointed that the Boardwalk Empire tie-in did not work out, they are looking at other product placement opportunities, including PBS’ Downton Abbey and BBC’s Doctor Who.
Photo © HBO – everything else © Autopnik
by Otto Blopnik
Ever since the Ford Fiesta was foisted on the US market in 2010, something about the car hasn’t set right with us, and we’ve never quite been able to put our finger on it until now: The engine.
We like the Fiesta because it brings so much originality to the market, what with its European-inspired driving manners and upscale interior. But what’s up with that engine? 1.6 liters? Four cylinders? Seriously, Ford, how derivative can you get?
For 2014, Ford has found a way to set the Fiesta apart from the mainstream: The new 1-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine. This is a motor that truly stands out: Three cylinders instead of four, and one liter instead of one-point-six. Finally, some originality!
Of course, making such an original engine work on American roads has required some serious engineering ingenuity. The EcoBoost engine is fitted with direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and a quick-spooling turbocharger to make up for its small displacement.
And boy, does it work! The 1.0 EcoBoost is rated at 123 horsepower — nearly identical to the 1.6 (which is still offered as standard for ordinary uninteresting people). Torque is slightly higher, and while Ford hasn’t announced EPA fuel economy estimates, they say the 1.0 EcoBoost will deliver “40+ MPG”, which we take to mean 41, which is nearly identical to the 40 MPG highway rating from a 1.6 liter Fiesta SFE.
In other words, Ford has been able to excise one entire cylinder and thirty-six cubic inches — and come up with a motor that does the exact same job as the base-model engine. Now that’s impressive! We knew you had it in you, Ford.
The 1.0 liter EcoBoost engine will be available as an extra-cost option on the 2014 Fiesta, and as an added bonus, it will only be available with a manual transmission, so the 90% of American drivers too lazy to drive properly won’t be buying it. Good, we say. The 2014 Fiesta also sports Ford’s new Aston-ripoff grille and the available MyTouch Ford system, a real boon for those of us who can’t stand the drudgery of being able to change the radio station without having to stare at a screen and wonder what the fuck menu we’re supposed to be using.
Look for the 2014 Fiesta at your Ford dealership in the coming months, before it comes looking for you.
Lincoln, the former luxury division of Ford, has renamed itself the Lincoln Motor Company, a move it says will instantly transform the brand into a relevant player in the luxury field.
“Lincoln was known as the Lincoln Motor Company until 1922, when it was taken over by Ford,” said Frank Footer, the new PR chief for the new Lincoln Motor Company. “We think it’s time to get back to our roots. We don’t want people to think of Lincoln vehicles as gussied-up Fords. In fact, we don’t want them to think of Lincoln as part of Ford at all. Frankly, we don’t know who these Ford people are, and we wish to hell they’d stop coming into our offices.”
Lincoln celebrated its rebirth by revealing the all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ, which is based on the Ford Fusion except we’re going to pretend it isn’t, at New York’s Lincoln Center, where they also previewed a series of ads featuring formerly-living president Abraham Lincoln. The luxury
division company also announced plans to move their corporate headquarters from Dearborn, Michigan to Lincoln, Nebraska. All Lincoln dealerships will be rebuilt with Lincoln Logs, and employees have been asked to delete their Facebook accounts and use LinkedIn instead. Buyers will get a 10% discount off MSRP if they pay for their car entirely in $5 bills.
The Lincoln Motor Company was founded in 1917 by Henry Leland, who also started Cadillac. Named for the beloved president who was tragically shot in the head, the company lasted just five years before going bankrupt, when its assets were purchased by Ford. Edsel Ford, son of founder Henry, had grand visions for the brand, but was ultimately quashed under the thumb of his overbearing father. Lincoln was never able to achieve the success of Cadillac, and even struggled to compete with Chrysler’s marginally-relevant luxury division, Imperial.
“We’re going to pretend a lot of that didn’t happen,” said Footer.
Autoblopnik polled consumers at the Los Angeles Auto Show about Linclon’s self-reinvention.
“Lincoln Motor Company? Never heard of them,” said Sid Viscous of LaBrea, California. “Say, are they any relation to the people who make the Lincoln MKT? I sure hope not, because that thing is fucking hideous.”
“I just got rid of my Lincoln MKS,” said Alfred Finkentitz, assistant professor of grouting and spackling at Pasadena Community College. “Damn thing was in the shop two, sometimes three times a month. I swore I’d never buy another Ford product as long as I live. But now that Lincoln has changed their name to the Lincoln Motor Company, I will definitely consider one of their vehicles.”
As the industry prepares for the first major auto show of the 2013 season, automakers have gleefully announced their plans for the show’s press preview days.
“Mazda is going to have the loudest pre-press-conference music in the history of the Los Angeles Auto Show,” said spokesbraga Jeremy “Bev” Irons. “We’ve got an all-new 600,000-watt sound system with 155 speakers, one for every victim of the 1933 Long Beach Earthquake. Believe you me, when the our press conference begins, every Angeleno from Simi Valley to Seal Beach is going to know it.”
Toyota issued a pre-show press release saying it plans to debut a new billion-watt lighting system that, according to spokesbulb Moe Tehterball, “will make the California sun look like a guttering candle.”
Tim Gogetter, spokesman for Infiniti, said Nissan’s luxury division was planning a unique entertainment spectacle. “Remember those dancers we had for the G37 Convertible reveal that everyone said were really annoying? Well, they’re back — only this time, we’re going to set them on fire.”
Ford remained tight lipped about their LA show plans, but Autoblopnik was able to get the story from a junior PR staffer, who spoke on the condition that we not tell his boss he tried to sell us a bag of oregano before realizing we were journalists.
“So, like, we’re going to have this animatronic Mark Fields, and it’s going to look exactly like him, except it’ll have, like, two or three hairs out of place. And the animatronic Mark Fields is going to start doing the press conference in Mark’s voice, and just when people in the audience are all like, ‘Whoa, dude, like what’s up with Mark Fields’ hair?’, the real Mark Fields is going to come out on stage and be all like ‘I don’t think so!’ and then he’s going to shoot the animatronic Mark Fields with a bazooka, and it’s going to explode and flash drives with the Ford press kit are going to rain down, like, everywhere. I don’t get it, but my boss says that anything having to do with Mark Fields’ hair will get like a thousand stories on Jalopnik and The Truth About Cars, so, like, whatever, dude.”
When asked what new vehicles and concepts would be appearing at the show, none of the company representatives with whom we spoke had any comment.
Ford Motor Company announced the opening of a new design studio exclusively for the Lincoln division, which it hopes will help with the turnaround of the ailing luxury brand.
“We’ve spend months trying to identify the primary challenges facing Lincoln,” said brand spokesguy Sid Deet, speaking on the condition that we write at least one Ford story without mentioning that Henry Ford was a batshit crazy racist. “One of the key opportunities we recognized is that our cars are fucking hideous. Once we identified that issue, we went fact-questing for the root cause, and we realized that Lincoln has no design studio. In fact, it has no design staff whatsoever. Frankly, we’re not even sure who designed the current Lincoln models, although we did catch one of the night janitors with clay under his fingernails.”
Deet says the new 40,000 square foot facility has been decorated to look “like a loft apartment,” which the company hopes will make it easier for designers to put in long hours.
“If it looks like home, we’re hoping they won’t notice that they never actually go home,” Deet explained. “They”ll have video game consoles, as many Ho-Hos and Ring Dings as they can eat, and even private ‘intimacy rooms’. But not for same-gender sex. Henry Ford understood that homosexuality was all part of the Zionist plan for world domination. You have to watch that with designers. A lot of them are homos.”
“Henry Ford had seven siblings,” said Ford’s King of the Social Internet, Scott Monty-Cristo, who does not like to be left out of online stories about Ford.
The new facility marks the first time in over 50 years that Lincoln has had its own design studio.
“We opened a dedicated Lincoln design studio back in the mid-1950s,” said Deet, “and the first thing they produced was the 1958 Lincoln. We were so horrified that we burned down the studio, killed the designers, and deported their wives and children. We’re hoping things will go better this time, but we’ve got an angry mob with torches and a Ford corporate jet standing by, just in case.”
© Autoblopnik — Hat tip to Autoblog
Look out, Prius v!
C-Max will defeat you like
Contour di– oh, wait.
- Model/price as tested: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL, $29,940
- Powertrain: 2.0 liter hybrid, 188 hp, front-wheel-drive
- Fuel economy: 47 MPG city/47 MPG highway
Autoblopnik attended a press event for an entirely different car, but then we saw a C-Max on the street and decided to write about it instead because it’s funnier.
Ford today issued a press release saying that it had reached its goal of sending out 15,000,000 press releases.
“This is a remarkable achievement for the Ford Motor Company,” said Ford spokeschief Sid Deet. “At the end of 2009, when we set this monumental goal, we were sending out the industry standard of one, maybe two press releases every month. Now, we can claim to send out more press releases than any other automaker, domestic, foreign or Japanese. If that’s not ‘Going Further,’ I don’t know what the hell is.”
Ford’s massive press release project started out as a plan to reduce the negative publicity surrounding the then-new Taurus and Taurus SHO.
“We figured if we could flood the journalists’ e-mail boxes with useless press releases, their computers would bog down and they wouldn’t be able to write that the new Taurus was ugly and had less back seat room than the old one,” said Ford’s Vice President of the Internets, Skip Monty-Hall. “But then we thought, if ol’ Henry Ford could turn out fifteen million Model Ts, we could put out 15 million press releases. What a great tribute to a great man.”
Sources tell Autoblopnik that Ford also considered publishing a newspaper that blamed the Jews for our current economic crisis as a tribute to Henry Ford, but the idea was vetoed by the company’s accounting department, citing “our dependence on privately held banking interests.”
“We’ve seen research saying that if you send more than one press release a week, the media just ignore you,” said Monty-Hall, “but that’s just bullshit. Come on, dude, these are automotive journalists. They drive cars and eat steak for a living. It’s not like they have real jobs.”
Ford’s heavy promotion schedule has put a strain on the automotive media, which has had to hire extra workers just to deal with the flood of press releases.
“We get a couple hundred Ford press releases a day,” said Jacob Bourne, recently hired at Automotion.com. “Most of them are useless, like this one, which is about how Mark Fields saw a cloud that he thought looked like an elephant, but then he decided it looked more like a castle. But every once in a while they slip in something newsworthy, like telling us that they do actually intend to build the Ford Focus RS someday instead of just sending out press releases about it. So we have no choice but to read all of them.”
In an effort to put a definitive end to the Camaro vs. Mustang horsepower race, Chevrolet says they are working on a new Camaro that produces one million horsepower.
“After we introduced the Camaro ZL1 with 580 horsepower, Ford responded with the 650 horsepower Shelby GT500,” said Chevrolet spokesrepresentative Monte Carlo. “We had no choice but to make a definitive response that would put Camaro at the top of the heap where it belongs.”
Carlo said the new high-horsepower Camaro will be powered by a variant of the 6.2 liter supercharged LSA engine found in the current Camaro ZL1. Asked how the company planned to get one million horsepower from the engine, Carlo said, “We plan to leverage the technology developed by our business partner, the U.S. Government, which has a long history of developing superior transportation technology. There was the Saturn V rocket, which developed over 38 million horsepower on alternative fuels, not to mention the 100 MPG carburetor that OPEC doesn’t want you to have. We’re pretty sure they can help us get the LSA to a million horsepower, and in a much shorter time frame than we could do on our own. Then all we need to do is pick a few meaningless letters to use as a model name, and it’s good-bye Mustang.”
“I guess Ford shouldn’t have been so quick to turn down federal funding,” Carlo added.
GM says the million-horsepower Camaro should be ready to go on sale early in the 2015 model year. Asked how development of the million-horsepower engine was progressing, Carlo said, “To be honest, we haven’t really started on it yet. We’re sort of having trouble getting the government to return our phone calls. Still, we’re confident we can deliver the product on time. You should see the tape stripes we’ve developed for this car. They are bitchin’.”
In response to GM’s announcement, Ford issued a statement saying they are working on a new Mustang that will deliver “somewhere in the neighborhood of a billion jillion horsepower. And unlike the Camaro, you’ll be able to see out of it. Pthpthpthpth!!”
Former General Motors marketing chief Joel Ewanick granted an exclusive interview to Autoblopnik in which he said he is going to take some time to decide on his next career step, but is eager to return to the automotive industry.
“When you’ve worked as many jobs as I have in such a short time, sometimes it’s good to take a break and get some perspective,” the Wharton graduate told Autoblopnik from his office at the Boeing Aircraft company, where he was just one hour into his new job as Vice President of Marketing for the Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer. In that time, Ewanick had already doubled the number of aircraft orders he generated at European rival Airbus, which had employed him as Director of Sales the previous afternoon.
“General Motors is one of the world’s great companies,” Ewanick said, breezing out of his office to accept a job as chief of marketing for Pepsi-Cola, where he increased overall market share by seven percent before being hired away for the rest of the afternoon by Johnson Wax. “Yes, it was harder to get things done than it was at Hyundai, or Nissan, or Porsche, or Home Depot, or Black & Decker, or Wal-Mart, or Pep Boys, or the State of Idaho, or even Dell, though maybe not as tough as General Dynamics or Burger King or Weyerhauser. Still, it’s cool to say you worked at General Motors, even when you’ve headed up marketing for companies like US Shoe and Dunder-Mifflin and Kroger Markets and been head of research for Corning Labs and DKNY.”
During a break for dinner, which he spent turning down positions at RJR Nabisco (“I hate smoking,” Ewanick explained) and Target (“Homophobes”) and briefly taking over as the Prime Minister of Uganda, Ewanick said he would love to work in the automotive industry again, and that he has had “productive talks” with Mazda, Ford, Chrysler-Fiat, Kia, Fisker, Honda, Volkswagen, BMW, Suzuki and Audi, some or all of which he planned to work for in the next week.
“The goal is to find a company where I can settle down for a good long time,” he told us as he contemplated a job offer from NBC-Universal and designed a sneaker that lets you jump to the moon. “Like maybe a month.”
As the sun set behind the picture window of his new office at 3M, which hired him just as our interview was drawing to a close, Mr. Ewanick leaned back in his chair, invented a kind of toothpaste that doesn’t make orange juice taste terrible, and picked up a picture of wife and children.
“These guys are all that really matters,” he said, pausing to wipe away a tear and cure cancer. “The people who love you. That’s what is really important.”