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Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ? 

 

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 Post subject: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:13 pm 
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It is being billed as the great white hope, but Ford dealers are worried the new four-cylinder Falcon could become the great white elephant.

With Australian buyers abandoning the traditional Australian six-cylinder and flocking to smaller, more fuel efficient cars, the “EcoBoost” Falcon is designed to give buyers small car economy with large car space and power.

The car will be officially launched to media today and will use just 8.1 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, only a fraction more than the most popular vehicle in Australia, the Mazda3 small car.

The four-cylinder version is the last throw of the dice for the Falcon, which has seen annual sales slump from a peak of more than 80,000 in 1995 to less than 20,000 last year.
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An LPG version of the car has flopped, while improvements in the fuel consumption of the six-cylinder model have failed to lure more buyers.

And some sections of the Ford dealer network appear unconvinced the new four-cylinder model will be enough to halt the slide for the home grown big sedan, or the seven-year decline of the brand itself in Australia.

Increasingly frustrated by Ford’s slide down the sales charts, dealers appear to be losing faith in Ford management and its ability to launch new vehicles. Employees also reportedly voiced their frustration at a recent sales briefing at the company’s Broadmeadows headquarters.

Dealers contacted by Drive say that while there is interest in the new car from fleet customers, there is little private enquiry for the car.

“The interest from a fleet business point of view is reasonably good ... the problem is that Ford’s had good product but it doesn’t sell. So is this another one and why is this going to connect any better than anything else, particularly in the Falcon segment which is going backwards at a rate of knots?” one dealers says.

He’s unconvinced fuel economy is the biggest problem for the Falcon.

“I don’t think it’s the issue to be quite honest. Ford has to become a sexier brand to drive, it’s got to connect with buyers,” he says.

Another dealer agrees.

“It’s not just fuel economy, there’s no doubt about that. It’s a broader thing.

“Whether it’s styling, lack of practicality, trend, fuel economy stigma. Whatever it is there’s that move away [from large cars], which is industry wide, it’s not brand specific.

Much is riding on the EcoBoost Falcon.

Ford has gone from being an established part of the big three to slipping behind importer Mazda, into a cut-throat battle with Hyundai and Nissan for market share.

Such is the importance of the four-cylinder Falcon, Ford scotched its original plan to charge a premium for the four-cylinder engine, which is slightly less powerful than the six-cylinder version.

A dealer says the Falcon name is not the drawcard it once was in Australia.

“I hope it is very well received and people will probably say it is a great car, but will anyone buy it? What’s different?” he says.

“After a while you wonder, particularly with something with the name Falcon on it, what’s going to make people sit up and get up out of bed and go and want to buy it?”

Some dealers are more optimistic.

“It sounds like an exceptional product,” one says.

“We don’t see a huge pent up demand but hopefully it will be a slow burner, people will start seeing it and think it’s a pretty good solution,” he says.

Much of the frustration in dealer land appears to be with Ford’s marketing efforts.

“They’ve got a bad habit of launching a product and getting the price points wrong, then three or four months later trying to correct and get it going,” a dealer says.

“Ford hasn’t for a long time connected with the retail buyer. They don’t listen to the dealers and they don’t have the money for marketing.

“Their product range is now better than it has been for 10 or 15 years, but from a marketing point, they’re bloody hopeless.”

Those sentiments are reflected in an industry report by respected research firm Nielsen, where dealer satisfaction with Ford Australia ranks below average.

Asked to rate their overall satisfaction with Ford, its dealers gave an average score of 5.4 out of 10 - putting Ford fifth last out of 26 brands.

The other two local manufacturers, Holden and Toyota, both ranked above average.

Importer Mazda topped the charts.

But some dealers remain upbeat about the prospects of a Blue Oval revival.

“Dealers are still very confident about Ford and where it can go, even though the market share doesn’t look all that pretty,” he says.

The EcoBoost Falcon might not be the great white hope, but it’s a step in the right direction, he says.

“I don’t think there is a silver bullet. It’s part of a whole heap of things that Ford is slowly getting right that will help.”

Source: smh.com.au

 

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Quote:
“Their product range is now better than it has been for 10 or 15 years, but from a marketing point, they’re bloody hopeless.”


Now ain't that the truth!

 

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:11 pm 
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Definitely the marketing that's let them down. my 06 fairy returns 10l/100km and I wouldn't expect anything less for a car of it's weight, size and safety.

The problem is the generation of 'want it alls' that want a new car that uses bugger all fuel that they can plug their ipod into and some bluetoothed shiznit for under 20k. That's basically all that matters these days apparently.

That and unfortunately fuel prices do suck the big one. I can't see how a 4 cylinder motor in a 6 cylinder body will help though, Toyota failed that project ages ago. The b series power plant had a lot to live up to with the higher weight what will they do for the 4pot?

 

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:35 pm 
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I worked for Ford in the early 90's, there was talk back then of a 4 cylinder Falcon, i recon its about time cause people still need a larger car to put the Kids in, the luggage for holidays, imagine doing this in bubble car like a nissan micra, as for the EcoLPi being a faliure, it didnt help that this current
Labor Government hiked up the tax on LPG & reduced the rebate on Buying/Converting a gas car,
if they really wanted to save the planet their would be incentives to use LPG as we have a s**t of it, they recon will last up to 400 years, just another example its not about clear air, its about scrounging as much as posibble off the worker!

P.S. I agree with you also Low_ryda, everyone wants a car that can reverse itself surf the net, wake them up when they doze at the wheel & make a coffee for them for under 20k.
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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:58 pm 
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so if this is what people are looking for red baron and low ryda, why is falcon still making a big heavy car with f**k all creature comforts sought out by the potential buyer?

perhaps falcon has their market segment ill defined. the segment they present to died back in the early 90's, and they havent adapted. people these days are expecting more for their dollar, tech savvy, have more information to make informed choices, and have more green awareness. why then would they want a big car that offers less technological adaptivity than a cheaper rival, and uses more fuel than said rival? also families are shrinking in size, they dont need a big car anymore. back in the day, some one would say, dad had a falcon, we had fun in it as a family, i want that aswell. now people can research anything and everything to do with cars, and expect returns from handing over their coin. therefoe, i think to garner more sales, falcon needs to stop relying on the misty eyed family member growing up and identifying with the name, and instead be new and innovative. be a market leader in creature comforts, bring out the new technology others want to copy. also create an image the up and coming buyer can identify with. right now that image is rice burners being souped up, and as a result p platers want a wrx or lancer. where are the falcons in the movies and tv shows exemplifying how good they are?
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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:47 pm 
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Just read a review in the Sunday Times, they said it handled better than the normal falcon and got 6.9L/100 on the highway, it was a positive review with the only criticism being the lower quality interior.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 11:32 am 
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Thought it may be appropriate in here...

New Ford Falcon 4 cylinder advert from Ford Australia...

I found it rather funny and more appealing than the older adverts!

Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00jyd-p- ... e=youtu.be

 

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:26 pm 
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omg.. is the ford marketing team a pile of todlers?.. what a lame add. :roll: :roll: :|

 

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:32 pm 
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I couldn't believe my eyes last night. I saw a Ford ad on TV that featured not one but TWO six cylinder Falcons. XR6 sedan and ute.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:43 pm 
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Benny D wrote:
omg.. is the ford marketing team a pile of todlers?.. what a lame add. :roll: :roll: :|


Considering their last adverts were rather crap or non existent, this one was rather funny and informative.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:18 pm 
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It is rather funny, a little slow off the mark tho, maybe cut the first 5 seconds.... Being funny might make people remember it, and go to a ford dealer to test drive one.

It makes me want to find out more about the Ecoboost falcon. Sadly I'm not in the market for a new falcon, I'm not the person the add needs to appeal to.

Now all they need to do is create similar add's for the rest of the falcon range, but not as long as this add.

Cheers

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 12:15 am 
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I learnt more about frog secretions and aphrodisiacs than the new falcon in that add. Still better than the facebook and snow adds though.
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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 10:49 am 
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Well booked myself in for a test drive tomorrow.

Going to test the G6 Ecoboost, that's all they had apparently, I wanted to test drive an XT but oh well. After that I am hoping to be able to test drive the I6 version...XT or G6. Preferably G6 for better comparison.

Will let you know how I go.

 

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Fri May 04, 2012 2:33 pm 
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evxr6 wrote:
I couldn't believe my eyes last night. I saw a Ford ad on TV that featured not one but TWO six cylinder Falcons. XR6 sedan and ute.


Yeah, I was in disbelief at what my eyes were seeing. Falcons....on a TV ad?!

 

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 Post subject: Re: Will the new 4cyl Falcon fly ?
Posted: Sat May 05, 2012 3:10 pm 
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So I took the G6 for a drive, both 4 cylinder Ecoboost and 6 cylinder (non-turbo).

I'm just comparing mainly engine performance, everything else is pretty much the same.

While I was waiting for the sales rep to organize for a drive (15mins even though I booked it in) I had a look at the car. The engine bay was pretty spacious...I think there was about a 6" gap between the thermos and the belts...so belt changes would be a damn breeze. Interior is the same as any brand new car...however they do seem more plastic like and tacky...not as sturdy as the older cars. It did look nice though. Space saver wheel, can't upgrade because the alloy wheel won't fit, gayness. Everything else is pretty much norm.

Engine performance. I took the 4 cylinder-T for a drive first, straight out of the showroom floor...literally. Throttle response, excellent, power delivery was really smooth without turbo lag. Had enough oomph to take off from the lights and was speeding before I knew it. It is quite, as with most new cars, front end seemed light (as you'd expect) and seemed more well balanced. Performance was there but still not as good as a six cylinder. After a short around the block squirt, we took the exact same model but 6 cylinder for a drive. As soon as he started the car up, I could tell the difference in noise level. In the cabin, you can't hear the 4T, but with the six, you can hear it...not sure if there is any difference in firewall insulation or it's just because the six fills up the engine bay more...2 cylinders would increase cabin noise. The 6 was surprisingly less responsive in pedal feel. With the 4 cylinder as soon as you tap it, it accelerates, while the 6 cylinder takes a bit of time. I'm not sure why but it just was. Compared to my 6, mine is more responsive. I have found the front end of the 6 to be heavier and you can feel it in comparison...but that's expected.

Overall, the 4T was smoother to drive with enough poke to have a bit of fun. However it does lack initial torque for those who want to feel more pull instantly. I'm not sure how towing will go with a 4, but I'd imagine it'd be worse than the 6. The 6 obviously has more torque, better yet, down low, so more oomph feel and probably better for towing. Both had the 6 speed with smooth gear changes.

I was quite surprised...if it was my daily driver that doesn't tow much, I'd get the 4T. If it's my weekend driver with towing...6 cylinder wins that. So it just depends on what you're going to use the car for.

Can't really compare fuel consumption...didn't take it for a long enough drive. Instant fuel consumption was similar.

On both cars, for some reason, a RSS warning came on...not sure what that meant/was...

I know not a really detailed response, but with lack of distance driven and lack of driving new cars, I can't really say they are bad cars. However after driving my car home, I like the poke more on my car, but damn the ride is horrid in comparison.

 

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