Drive Type: 4x4
Number of Cylinders: 8
Trim: Rock Crawler
Asheville, North Carolina, United States
Lincoln fans might want to give incoming Ford CEO Mark Fields a pat on the back for having a hand in saving the brand from the chopping block last year. He's among the people spearheading the rejuvenation of the division away from its stodgy image to appeal to younger customers.
According to two unnamed sources speaking to Bloomberg, CEO Alan Mulally was ready to kill Lincoln last year. Following the slow production ramp-up of the MKZ combined a with a costly ad campaign, Mulally was frustrated and openly suggested dropping the brand. However, Fields and Jim Farley, Ford's marketing boss, convinced the CEO that the brand was worth saving. They also created a plan to prevent similar problems for new models in the future.
It seems that one part of the strategy may involve waiting until new models are at dealers before starting a big ad campaign for them. Lincoln global director, Matt VanDyke, recently told Autoblog that the division is holding off on a full marketing push behind the new MKC crossover to prevent the supply problems that plagued the MKZ last year. Its big offensive begins in the fall when the CUVs are at all of the dealers and consumers are at home watching more TV. VanDyke also told Bloomberg that Fields, Farley and Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, have more direct oversight over new product launches now.
General Motors isn't the only Detroit automaker posting falling profits in the first quarter. Ford just released its Q1 2014 financial data, and it reported a net income of $989 million, down $622 million from Q1 2013. The drop is partially blamed on higher warranty and recall expenses than the company had anticipated.
Financially, Ford suffered a rough quarter almost across the board. Its pre-tax profit of $1.4 billion was also down $765 million from a year ago. Things were even worse in the North American market where operating profit fell significantly to $1.5 billion, down from $2.392 billion in Q1 2013. However, its global revenue ticked up slightly to $35.9 billion, from $35.6 billion in this period in 2013.
Ford admitted that it spent about $900 million on expenses that it hadn't planned for during this quarter. According to Reuters, the company paid about $400 million in additional warranty and recall costs in North America. The automaker didn't explain why the costs were so much higher than expected. However, in the last three months, Ford has had several recalls, including on the 2001-2004 Escape for rust, Explorer for its steering, Edge for its fuel line and others.
PickupTrucks.com has gone and thrown the latest batch of half-ton pickups into a cage match to see who would come out on top. The site put the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, 2013 Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan through a battery of tests. Those included 0-60 miles per hour acceleration, 60-0 mph deceleration, fuel economy, a hill climb, and payload and towing. They even threw the rigs on an autocross course to evaluate overall handling. Each truck was given points based on how it scored in each evaluation.
Who came out on top? Somewhat surprisingly, the 2013 Ford F-150 walked away with the gold, though fewer than 50 points separated first and fourth place. Head over to PickupTrucks.com to read the full evaluation and the final results. You may be shocked to see exactly where some of the segment's newest additions placed. You can also watch a video on the test below.