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Spotted This on Another Site...<P>USA: Ford earmarks $US5-6 billion for Volvo - reports<BR>28 Jun 2002 <BR>Source: <A HREF="http://www.just-auto.com" TARGET=_blank>http://www.just-auto.com</A> editorial team<BR> <BR>Ford plans to invest $US5 billion to $6 billion in Volvo over the next four years to add up to five new midsize vehicles to its range, expand factories and boost US sales by over 50%, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and reports elsewhere.<P>Coming hard on the heels of last week's rumours that Ford was planning to sell the Swedish marque, reports in the WSJ and the British car magazine Autocar have emphasised the new products on the way and the engines and platforms they will share with other new products such as a redesigned Ford Focus and a replacement for Mazda’s 323 called the 4.<P>"Ford has high expectations for us," Volvo spokesman Olle Axelson told the WSJ, adding that the investment showed Ford's "good faith" in Volvo's potential.<P>A big chunk would go towards new or redesigned products based on the ‘P1X’ programme which could spawn five new mid-size vehicles. The WSJ said the platform basis was most likely that developed by Mazda for its new 626-replacing 6; Autocar talked of a new Focus-size platform and replacements for the current S/V40 ranged dubbed S50 (a saloon primarily aimed at the US) and V60 (a taller wagon, possibly with 4WD derivatives aimed at European buyers).<P>Axelson confirmed to the WSJ that two of the five new Volvos would replace the S and V40, which have been slow sellers in the US despite prices starting in the low $20,000 range.<P>He added that the expanded product line would be supported by expanded production with manufacturing facilities enlargened to produce 600,000 units a year between factories in Sweden and Belgium, up from 425,000 last year.<P>Volvo transferred its 50% interest in the Dutch NedCar factory, where the current S/V40 range is built alongside the similar-under-the-skin Mitsubishi Carisma, to Mitsubishi in 2001.<P>The plant will stop building Volvos next year, replacing them with additional Mitsubishi models and the planned four-seat Smart car.<BR> <BR>
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Evolvo:<BR><B> a replacement for Mazda’s 323 called the 4.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE></B><P>I wonder if the Protege name will be changed to just '4'. The 626 name is being changed to '6'. Sounds like Mazda is going alphanumeric style.<P><B> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Autocar talked of a new Focus-size platform and replacements for the current S/V40 ranged dubbed S50 (a saloon primarily aimed at the US) and V60 (a taller wagon, possibly with 4WD derivatives aimed at European buyers).<HR></BLOCKQUOTE></B><P>S50 and V60? HUH? Someone on that editorial team has their wires crossed... <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif"><P>-Drew
 

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Apparently, Ford is referring to the platform as C1 and C1+. It's a modular platform, much like what VW has planned for thiers as well. Components will allow ford to build cars from as small as the Focus to as large as the Galaxy minivan replacement (about the size of the first generation Honda Odyssey). <P>At Volvo, Car Magazine, is suggesting that this platform structure will play home to the S40 and V50 (we knew this) but also the next generation S60.<P>I assume Haldex will be the AWD system they allude to, as they've been hinting at their system being readily available in a Big 3 product anyway (Focus?). <P>I know this platform was planned for the next Gen Mazda 3, but I wonder if a version of it is what the current 6 is based on now? I know the 6 is not on the current Mondeo platform, and I also know the next gen Mondeo will be based on C1. <P>I think the next gen Jag X-type will be on the smaller version of the DEW RWD platform that currently hosts the S-Type and Lincoln LS. That shortened smaller version will also host the Mustang.
 

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I think we are witnessing the death of automotive car companies. Everything takes from a parts bin under one ownership now. The name Volvo or Jaguar will soon be a marketing sales pitch only <IMG SRC="http://www.swedespeed.com/ubb/frown.gif"><P>
 

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Hmmm, that's a mixed bag. If you look at Jaguar pre Ford, they were a car company building much older platforms and using older technologies. The XJ was getting old and the XJS hadn't aged well.<P>Now they have a 3 sedan line and a pretty well designed coupe/cabrio that shares platform components with an Aston Martin.<P>The Jag motors in the S-type and the X-type use Ford engines, but fully tuned by Jag and are all more powerful than their Ford/Lincoln brethren. Jaguar, for one IMHO did pretty well in the bargain. The X-type needs some work, but it's not a bad start. It'll take a while though to have it compete with the BMW and the Audi which are totally on their game.<P>Volvo's another story. We'll see about the S60 replacement, but as far as the 40 series replacement with the 40/50 series, I think that'll be an improvement. The current car is getting older and I think there's more technology on the next gen Focus.<P>Auto companies have gotten very good at differentiation between brands. VW really showed that it can be done better than the Big 3 badge engineering of the '80s and '90s where a new grill and different taillights was about as far as you got.
 
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