Ford To Develop Unified Global Design Language: Kinetic or Bold?
Motoring Channel Staff - 8/November/2007
Ford Fusion - 'Bold' American Design
Ford Kuga - 'Kinetic' European Design
Ford's new Focus ST500 has been unleashed
in the UK, which adds red Recaro racing seats
Melbourne, Australia — As
Toyota continues to dominate the sales charts in Australia, Ford's head
of global design is hoping that a unified global approach to car design
will result in greater success.
in Australia, Toyota outsold the combined totals of both Ford and GM
Holden in third and second places respectively thanks largely to the
addition of the new Kluger SUV. This is the first time this has ever
happened and will be alarming news for both companies.
Australia and GM Holden will both be displeased upon hearing this news
but both companies are currently experiencing a lot of pressure in
their domestic market of America which never helps.
truck sales have traditionally accounted for a large majority of sales
for both Ford and GM (Ford's F150 truck was once the best-selling
vehicle in the US) in North America, but as the price of crude oil
surpassed $100 in recent days, any vehicle that has a large engine and
drinks lots of fuel is going to experience a downturn.
cost of running a vehicle is now taking its toll on drivers and small
cars are becoming the primary battlefield for many car makers.
issue that Ford has faced in last few years are its two divergent
design philosophies. Ford of Europe has its 'kinetic' design DNA which
is most obvious in the Ford Mondeo and upcoming Ford Kuga, while Ford's North American design DNA is far bolder with less subtlety.
Australia's upcoming Falcon, expected to hit the road in March 2008,
has been styled to incorporate some of Ford Europe's modern 'kinetic'
design cues but because North American exports may be on the cards for
the new Falcon, it will still retain a touch of the muscular, tough car
design that appeals to American buyers.
Even so, Ford's group
vice president of design and chief creative officer, J
Mays, has recently gone on the record and said that Ford has to, and will, evolve
its various design themes into one unified global design language
in the future. At present, for example, there is an American Focus and
European Focus which have different designs.
Speaking to Automotive News, Mr Mays said that the change won't be drastic but that "Everyone's
focus will be slightly shifted."
Mays has indicated that the evolution of the American and European Ford
design philosophies won't happen for at least another six years. Expect
to begin seeing some of the new designs as concept cars at motor shows
in 2012, with production models using the unified design language
unlike BMW or Audi, whose entire vehicle ranges are recognisable from
30 yards, Ford's chief of design has been talking up a new direction
that would combine both the European and America design philosophies.
There would be some regional differences according to Mr Mays, but they
would be minor.
The goal being that a Ford would be a Ford
no matter what continent you were on. We're hoping the European
'kinetic' theme is adopted on a global scale because it's just so
appealing, and it will be interesting to see where Mr Mays takes Ford
in the next four to six years.
transformation of the Ford brand globally, that, without a doubt, is
the number one challenge," said J Mays who added that the sales of Land
Rover and Jaguar would help fund this new global design push.
main man, CEO Alan Mullally, has previously stated that the Blue Oval
needs a global design language which would both allow more parts and
platform sharing across its manufacturing plants and be more efficient
to market and sell, and now it seems the troops have adopted his
Though Ford's design guru J Mays didn't say exactly
when the unified global design language would make itself felt on new
models, we predict it will begin happening early in the new decade.
Asian car companies like Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai are making ever
more progress on the global sales charts, the traditional leaders like
Ford and General Motors are doing a lot of soul searching to find the
right moves to get back in on the action.
New Turbo Focus
Ford's Focus tears up the World Rally Championships, the Blue Oval is
rumoured to be preparing a WRX STI rival in the form of an all-wheel
drive Ford Focus RS, powered by either a normally aspirated V6 or
a turbocharged 4- or 5-cylinder engine. If Ford takes out the WRC this
year, it will likely produce a hard core Focus to celebrate, but as of
now it has released the Focus ST500 in the United Kingdom.
Powered by the Focus ST's (badged the Focus XR5 Turbo
in Australia) 5-cylinder turbo petrol engine, which develops
more than 166kW (225hp) @ 6100rpm and 320Nm of torque @ 1600rpm, this
new ST500 model gets a unique black exterior with body stripes, red
leather Recaro sports seats and matching interior, ST500
badging, xenon headlamps, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, rain-sensing wipers and solar-reflect windscreen.
- Ford Mondeo (Road Test)
- FPV F6 X (2008)
- Ford Fiesta XR4 (Road Test)
- Ford Kuga Concept (2007)
- Ford Focus Diesel (Road Test)
- Ford Focus XR5 Turbo (Road Test)
- Next-Gen Ford Falcon in Detroit (2008)
Fiesta Zetec (Road Test)
Fiesta XR4 (2007)
Mustang Giugiaro Concept (2006)
- Holden Commodore vs Ford Falcon (Road Test)
- Ford Territory Turbo (Road Test)
- Ford Falcon BF MkII (2006)