Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stop it, Ford, just stop it!

For some reason, Ford has decided that the only way to get its cars noticed in the US is completely outlandish and ugly designs. This was true of the current Focus and Lincoln Navigator, and it's now true of the next Fusion, of which there is a freshly-released new shot of the front end.

With this new design, Ford is creeping ever further from its design leadership days, when the Taurus was strikingly set apart from in a positive way. 

True, Ford learned a painful lesson from the Five Hundred and Freestyle, two cars that could be considered styling black holes. Determined never to produce another anonymous car, Ford has swung wildly toward overwrought designs that beg for attention.
The lower bumper of this Fusion is actually heading in the right direction, borrowing some geometry from Ford's European Kinetic design language, which includes the gorgeous Mondeo (pictured).
But the huge chrome grille overpowers these cues, and throws the whole design out of balance. Ford's American design department is degenerating into the type of amateurishness that Hyundai and Kia has struggled for so long to overcome. Plain and simple, Ford needs a new director of North American design. Now.


mcniadh said...

What I like most about the Mondeo is the lower grille reminds me of the 1964 Thunderbird. That was one of my favorite Ford noses of all time.

The three-bar chrome grille could still be tastefully used if, like you said, it was much smaller and more subtle, like on the 1987 T-bird LX, where the upper grille is tiny and reserves the brand identity, and the headlights and lower bumper do all the work.

That's not to say Ford noses must be subtle. The 1972 Gran Torino was in your face and full of awesome. The new Fusion is no Torino.

Now I need to say something positive about Ford. I really like the Flex and the Taurus wagon. On those two cars, the big chrome grille is beautiful.

Christopher King said...

Flex is good.

Mustang is good.

A lot of other stuff, especially the small game, is not good.

Why Ford doesn't just run the Euro cars is beyond me. The Mondeo was always the shit. The Euro Focus should have come over.

Ford is so damn stupid.

I was for a time the Internet sales manager at Best Ford's Motorcycle division in Nashua, NH.