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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ford’s folly: What is America missing?

Ford Ford RS
Ford Ford RS
Ford is seen worldwide as a deeply American company. Since its foundation in 1903 by Henry Ford, the company has been a by-word for American capitalistic ideals and innovation. 
 
Through the company’s history, the products have taken on social meaning, more than mere conveyances, with cars like the Model T, the F-Series pickup truck, and the Mustang. All these names have a ring of Bald Eagles and mom’s apple pie.
 
Yet, something suspicious lurks behind the shiny, pro-USA exterior. Ford would have you believe that as a consumer you are getting the best they have to offer, but this is not the case. There are vehicles being produced, bearing the Ford emblem, which we cannot buy here in the United States. 
 
Shocking, I know, but it’s the truth.
 
To make matters worse, it’s been this way for a long time. The story goes back to 1932 when Ford’s subsidiary in Britain designed a small, affordable car for mass production in England. This Model Y (or Ford Köln in Germany) was the first Ford car designed and built for sale outside the U.S. and it never came across the Atlantic. It marked a shift in the dynamic between Ford Motor Company and its subsidiaries. 
 
As American cars became larger and more powerful, Europeans felt out of touch. Their concerns focused more on space and fuel, so they designed small economy cars for themselves. 
 
Following this came a flurry of vehicles which never saw the light of day on our shores: The Pilot, the Anglia, the Cortina, the Escort, and the Capri, to name only those designed by Ford of Britain. 
 
The more eagle-eyed among the readers may notice these last two were available in America, but this is a misconception. The Capri and Escort which were available to Americans bore only two resemblances to their European counterparts: a name badge, and a Blue Oval. 
 
As most car enthusiasts and historians could tell you, a car built in the ’70s in England will not be the most desirable, or reliable, since the workforce at that time spent more of their days holding picket signs rather than engineering anything. In this case, missing out on European Fords may not be such a disaster. However, since 2010 Ford has produced four cars which have made me sick with envy.
 
First, the Ford Focus RS. Produced in 2010, this hot hatch looked like the best thing Ford could bring to America. Because it’s fast, fun, fuel efficient, and practical, they could have taken on the Golf GTI and possibly won. Don’t despair yet, this disappointment may be short-lived, as there is talk of another RS coming to America in 2016. If sources can be believed, it will sport a turbocharged 2.4EcoBoost with other 300rwhp and an AWD system — which is down-right awesome.
 
Second, the Ford Ranger: a compact pickup and little brother of the F-series. The Ranger was the perfect utilitarian vehicle for those of us who don’t need a two ton towing capacity. It had optional 4wd and a range of perfectly serviceable (if uninteresting) four and six cylinder engines. It had enough room in the bed to move a sofa or to hold a mattress for the drive-ins. 
 
It was a useful, affordable small truck which is no longer offed in America. Declining sales over the last 10 years has led Ford to eliminate the Ranger from the American lineup, no doubt believing that the F-150 will be good enough for any of us. 
 
Third is the Ford Falcon. Originally produced in the United States, the Falcon can be seen as a cousin of the Ford Taurus. However, the Falcon has one trick that the Taurus could never quite match: a powerful V8. This car started life as a mini-Mustang coupe, but quickly developed into a family sedan, and it brought the engine along with it.
 
Normally fitted with a Ford 5.0L or 5.4L block, the high-end models are powerful muscle cars unmatched by any sedan on the road. The reason they’re not sold in America? They’re primarily right-hand-drive, difficult to import from Australia, and they’ll damage Mustang sales. 
 
Finally, word has just come across the University of Massachusett’s Boston auto desk concerning the most outrageous decision Ford has made since the Mustang II. They have released information on an SUV slated for production, with an all-new suspension and drivetrain setup based on the (Non-USDM) Ranger. Perhaps the most exciting news is the mention of an optional 6-speed manual and the possibility of a 2.0EcoBoost or a five cylinder diesel!
 
To keep everything under control, it has electronic terrain management systems, 4wd systems, and traction control. This beast is called the Ford Everest, and it will be on sale sometime in 2015. And where will it be sold? Nearly everywhere in the world, apart from North America and Europe.