Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

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Thread: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

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    GMI Staff Member Premium Member nadepalma's Avatar
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    Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain
    by Ronan Glon
    Monday, Dec 24th, 2012

    Ford has revealed that the pint-sized Ka is unlikely to be replaced once the second-generation model reaches the end of its life in a couple of years.

    Developed jointly with Fiat and built on the same Polish assembly line as the 500, the second-gen Ka is mostly sold in Europe so it doesn't fit into the American automaker's "One Ford" philosophy. To make matters worse, Martin Smith, Ford of Europe's design head, admitted that the company makes "absolutely no profit" on the city car.

    It would be extremely unwise for Ford's European arm to completely give up on city cars and the Ka will likely leave its spot to a slightly bigger model that will have more global appeal.

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    Last edited by nadepalma; 12-27-2012 at 09:04 AM.
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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    I think it's a bad move for Ford to drop the Ka (or that market if they continue but using another name).

    Since Fiat is with Chrysler, Ford might have to do a joint-venture with another carmaker but who could be the best candidate besides Fiat?

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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    As they said, they aren't making money on it. And Fiat is being an aho(e to Ford since getting in bed with Chrysler. Ford will just have to find another dance partner and there are many out there ...European, Japanese, Korean, and even GM/PSA. A car this small needs to be made in Mexico/South America or India and exported. Mexico has free trade agreements with 90% of world (NA, SA, Europe, SE Asia, Aus, etc) so that is a good place to look.

    I would like to see it for sale here in the US, even if it is just for a super cheap rental at the airport and for motor vehicle dysfunctional urban centers such as NYC/DC/Boston.

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    Ford needs to go alone and bring it back in house. They can go global with it then and increase capacity at their plants.


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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    Fords not making any money on it? Then end its deal as soon as possible. Why would a company go through the process to make NO money. Dump and run....

    It's all about making money..imo

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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    I wonder if PSA-Toyota are still working together on the next Aygo or if Nissan has another Micra in the works and would consider JV with ford as I assume these micro cars will be big in BRIC countries along with Europe

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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    Ford had a hit with the original Ka because it was novel and distinctive. It was cool, as city cars go. I half hoped they'd find a way to send it to the US.

    They totally bunted with this one, though. JV-ing with Fiat wasn't a bad idea, but the car they came up with looks like a shrunken Fiesta, not anything like the old Ka. Not anywhere near as distinctive or funky, either. I was as disappointed with the new Ka as I was with the new Renault Twingo.

    Ford needs to be in the city car market. But they need something distinctive and cool. Giving up on it doesn't seem right to me. Giving up on this particular car, especially since it makes no money for Ford, is right, though.
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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    What's the signal? ---> Ka-ka!

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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    How bout a JV with the Chevy Spark?...Ford could call it the Spork or Fark..lol

    I wonder how much work it would be to beef up a SA or Indian model like the Figo to meet EU/US safety standards. Probably easier to start from scratch.

    I do want to see the EcoSport in the US ASAP though! I suspect the Encore and the success I see with it will hasten the growth of baby CUVs in the US.
    Last edited by EcoBustier69; 12-27-2012 at 02:34 PM.

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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    Ford has done a lot of work with Mazda in the past, this would be a good partner for a product of this size. They may not make money on this model but it also introduces people into there products and if they could increase sales then maybe they could make money on them

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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    Ford's philosophy nowadays is "Make money or don't bother". They had enough from two decades of selling Escorts at a loss.

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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain



    edit
    and they should change the name to "Pod"...

    ...at least for the U.S., Boston in particular
    Last edited by 2b2; 12-27-2012 at 06:06 PM.
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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    Quote Originally Posted by ausrutherford View Post
    Ford needs to go alone and bring it back in house. They can go global with it then and increase capacity at their plants.
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    Now more likely that a revised subcompact architecture to be developed to cover a possible Ka replacement..

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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    This is very bad news for Fiat Auto Poland. First they were hit by the loss of the new Panda, then the head of Fiat Auto Poland (who had a long and distinctive career) died, then the layoffs because of the Panda Classic production end... This is very bad news for one of the longest-running Fiat plants outside of Italy and arguably (as Fiat said many times) one of the best, if not the best, in terms of efficiency and quality.

    Some of the guys who lost their jobs reportedly applied for openings at the nearby Opel plant in Gliwice to assemble Astras and Cascadas, but still, it is painful to see what was once the flagship of the country's automotive industry plunge so deeply into irrelevance

    I wonder how this "we are not making money on it" came about. They have next to no fied costs, they have all the control over pricing, and they've agreed with Fiat on how much they pay them for every car. I can't fathom who would have been so stupid not to do the math BEFOREHAND. I believe sb's not telling the full truth here, and we'll never know.

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    Re: Ford says Fiat 500-based Ka's future uncertain

    Quote Originally Posted by EcoBustier69 View Post
    As they said, they aren't making money on it. And Fiat is being an aho(e to Ford since getting in bed with Chrysler. Ford will just have to find another dance partner and there are many out there ...European, Japanese, Korean, and even GM/PSA. A car this small needs to be made in Mexico/South America or India and exported. Mexico has free trade agreements with 90% of world (NA, SA, Europe, SE Asia, Aus, etc) so that is a good place to look.

    I would like to see it for sale here in the US, even if it is just for a super cheap rental at the airport and for motor vehicle dysfunctional urban centers such as NYC/DC/Boston.
    They can keep production in Europe. Eastern European countries offer a smaller wage scale than places like Germany or France. I think that's why it's built in Poland. They could move production to a Balkan country or further East of Poland if Poland's wages are too expensive. However, their cost problems may not be wages but rather materials and the fact that they have to offer this at a low price point.

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