Ford wants new models to take on Honda Accord, Toyota Camry

Article by Christian A., on May 1, 2012

Ford Motor Co. is implementing a new strategy for 2012 that will have the automaker launch mid-sized sedans and crossovers that rival the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry units. Ford’s global marketing chief Jim Farley refers to 2012 "Ground Zero for the American garage." What this means is that Ford is launching redesigned versions of two of its top three sellers this year into very competitive segments.

Those visiting its showrooms will be shown the redesigned Escape crossover and Fusion mid-sized sedan as a one-two strike to achieve sales. There are risks with this strategy.

The present Escape and Fusion have both set sales records of about a quarter million units in 2011 even if last year marks their last full year in production. Ford will replace these conservative top-sellers with sleek untried designs. Instead of V-6 engine offerings from both vehicles, Ford will be exclusively using four-cylinder powerplants.

Two EcoBoost engine options will be available for all vehicles, proof of just how much the market values fuel economy. Ford is hoping that U.S. consumers will like vehicles that have sporty, firmly sprung, European ride and handling characteristics.

During an interview at the Escape media launch, Farley said that Ford is optimistic about its plan to launch two hot-selling vehicles in 2012. He said that it’s “very rare” for automakers to change its best products in the same year but this is actually what many brands are doing right now.

Majority of Ford’s rivals are launching new entries in at least one of the two segments in 2012. The latest arrivals include the Chevrolet Malibu sedan, Honda CR-V crossover and Camry. Later this year, the Accord and Nissan Altima will arrive. Hyundai will also launch a redesigned Santa Fe crossover and new Elantra variants later this year.

Looking at the dimensions of the 2013 Accord Sedan and the 2013 Accord Coupe, both from Honda, there is no question that when compared to the previous models, they are seen as more compact. Even if this is the case, certain dimensions in the interior have been enhanced in order to improve not only the legroom but even the legroom.

Thus aside from being able to have better driving dynamics, handling that is more responsive, and an athletic look, the 2013 Accord is also able to offer enough space. On the exterior, it is clear that the new Accord has experienced a redesign and this can be observed starting with the tip of its bumpers in the front and all the way to the exhaust finishers in the rear end.

Changes include major elements including the aerodynamics, the use of glass and sheet metal, and even the unit-body. On the inside, various features have been redesigned. In fact, even the electronic and safety systems were revised. Reinvented too are the components of the chassis, the engines, and the transmissions.

For Honda, the release of the 2013 Accord, both the Sedan variant and Coupe model, signals the start of the ninth generation of the midsize car that is one of the brand’s best-sellers. The Accord was first released 37 years ago and the newest generation shows that it has better equipment and reveals excellent performance, more sophisticated, and classier, compared to other models to come from this range.

For the 2013 models in particular, the feel of craftsmanship and luxury is brought to new heights. The different equipment is fitted as standard and the vehicle dynamics is considered as the best in its segment.

With more than 30 straight years of being manufactured in the U.S., the new models will be made in two facilities, both located in Ohio. Honda however assured everyone that even if there are indeed comprehensive generational changes, both the 2013 Accord Coupe and the 2013 Accord Sedan will continue to have the unbeatable combination of passenger convenience and comfort, handling, performance that makes it fun-to-drive with its safety and security features and excellent value for money.

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