For Ford, 2009 Could Be the Company's Turning Point

Dec 31 12:48 2008 Matthew C. Keegan Print This Article

2009 could be a make or break year for the Ford Motor Company. Without the benefit of federal intervention, Ford could find that the going might be rougher than expected.

2009 will most certainly be the turning point for two automakers,Guest Posting General Motors and Chrysler, as they make use of billions of dollars of federal loan money, funds which could help each company compete in the months ahead.

A third automaker, Ford, isn't receiving federal funding but that doesn't mean that the Ford Motor Company isn't without its own challenges in 2009. In fact, with several new models on their way, Ford's position in the global automotive market could hinge on its newest releases.

Let's take a look at what Ford has planned for 2009 including which current new models could also bolster Ford's fortunes:

Midsize Triplets - The Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan are nearly identical midsize models sold by Ford, popular sedans first introduced in 2005. An upscale platform mate, the Lincoln MKZ, shares many of the same components with its siblings, but that car is geared to a much more limited market. Clearly, the Fusion and Milan are the bread and butter cars for Ford. In Spring 2009, the next generation Fusion and Milan will be released, new models which will include hybrid gas-electric cars in the mix, vehicles which will deliver an astounding 41 mpg in city fuel economy.

New Full Size Models - The Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable are finally receiving the overhaul needed to make these now full sized models that cars that Ford needs to burnish each brand's image. Though Ford hasn't released a pre-production mock up version just yet, the information about these two cars being shared suggest that both models will play an important part in bringing customers in. First introduced in 1986, the Taurus has had its ups and downs throughout the years, with the all new 2010 model expected to be the biggest "upper" in quite some time.

Ford Mustang - America's top selling pony car once again has some competition in the form of the Dodge Challenger and the Chevrolet Camaro. But, Ford isn't resting on its laurels with its hot coupe, bringing a redesigned 2010 Mustang to the market in Spring 2009. Expect the Mustang to continue to dominate the niche pony car segment, but not without a strong challenge from either GM and Chrysler.

Ford F-150 - Introduced in Fall 2008 as a 2009 model, the F Series pickup trucks are some of the most profitable vehicles sold by the automaker. Fortunately, gas prices have plummeted over the past several months, stoking demand for the perennial pickup truck segment favorite. Expect the award winning F-150 to continue to sell well as long as gas prices remain low.

Lincoln MKT - Just a few years ago, the Lincoln brand was basically dead in the water. At one time Lincoln competed with Cadillac for luxury car supremacy, but Ford neglected the brand in favor of its many foreign luxury makes including Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo. With only Volvo still around (and on the auction block) Ford has been pouring resources into Lincoln and has introduced several worthy models including the MKZ and its big MKS sedan. This summer, the MKT crossover will find its way to Lincoln, a state of the art beauty that will help the bolster the brand's image once again just the right vehicle to compete against the Cadillac SRX.

A wild card in Ford's recovery effort for 2009 are the fortunes of General Motors and Chrysler. Should either automaker file for bankruptcy, that move could impact suppliers, the same companies who provide key parts for Ford. The best laid plans of Ford could be scuttled should its competitors fail, something Ford doesn't want to see especially under these circumstances.

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Matthew C. Keegan
Matthew C. Keegan

Matthew C. Keegan is a freelance writer who resides in Cary, North Carolina. Matt is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport an aftermarket supplier of quality parts including camshafts and side steps.

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