For Sale By:Dealer
Number of Cylinders: 6
Drive Type: RWD
Sub Model: 2-DOOR SEDAN
Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Blue
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
According to a report from Reuters, Ford is shelling out $750 million in a severance deal that will see the automaker close its facility in Genk, Belgium. The automaker reached this deal with the 4,000 hourly workers employed at the plant last week, which means the company will pay out an average of $187,500 per worker.
Ford is still negotiating with the 300 salaried workers at the factory, which currently produces the Mondeo sedan. All told, Ford expects to lose around $2 billion in Europe thanks in no small part to the region's ongoing economic downturn, and two more plants are scheduled to be shut down in Europe this year. The company will log its $750 million payout under "special items" for this quarter.
As you may recall, Ford took a similar path in the US back in 2009 when the domestic market took a spill. Back then, the company shelled out around $50,000 per employee with at least one year of experience, plus either $25,000 toward a new car or an extra cash payment of $20,000. It would seem the cost of closing plants in Belgium is a much harder pill to swallow than in the States...
Remember when Ford launched the totally new Explorer in late 2010, and people were skeptical about how the now-crossover would fare, after ditching its traditional SUV roots? Well, we're several years in, and I think we can assuredly say that Ford made the right decision. Sales are better than ever (in fact, May was the current Explorer's best month yet), and the crossover is finding its way into the hands of a whole host of new Ford buyers.
A wholly refreshed Explorer is still forthcoming, but to keep its strong-selling crossover fresh, Ford is offering a host of improvements for the 2015 model year, including the attractive appearance package available on the XLT trim level, pictured above. Outside, the pack gets you goodies like 20-inch machined aluminum wheels, black bodyside cladding and roof rack rails. Contrasting Magnetic Metallic accents are found on the grille, mirror caps and liftgate appliqué, and there's an "Explorer" hood badge and body-colored door handles. Inside, there are new Miko suede inserts in the seats, and the package includes the automaker's Sync connectivity with MyFord Touch infotainment.
Elsewhere in the Explorer range, the Class III trailer tow pack is now standard on the Sport, base models get new 18-inch aluminum wheels, and there are three new colors on offer: Bronze Fire Metallic and Magnetic Metallic.
Last year in Monterey, we met GTR1 for the first time. Galpin Auto Sports pulled the wraps off its Ford GT-based supercar, powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.4-liter V8 good for a whopping 1,024 horsepower and 739 pound-feet of torque. The thing was totally custom-made and reportedly took some 12,000 man hours to create. And there it sat on the Pebble Beach grass, $1,000,000-plus price tag and all.
This year, the Galpin was back, albeit with one big change. That twin-turbo engine? Gone. In its place, a 5.4-liter V8 with a 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger bolted on, delivering an astonishing 1,058 hp and 992 lb-ft of torque on 110-octane fuel. 0-60? 2.9 seconds. Top speed? Somewhere above 225 miles per hour.
"Some things to keep in mind: no stability control, no traction control," were the only warnings given by Galpin's Brandon Boeckmann before taking me on a quick spin in the supercar. And after having my eyes thrown into the back of my skull a few times, laughing hysterically and trying to regain full use of my hearing after my ear drums being bombarded by the apocalyptic roar behind me, Brandon pulled over and said it was my turn, if I was ready to take the wheel.