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Ford: Fusion News **ST Version Spied (page 12)**

Old 04-06-2004, 07:24 AM
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Ford: Fusion News **ST Version Spied (page 12)**

Ford can't use Futura name

Judge rules Pep Boys auto parts chain owns it

By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News


DEARBORN — Ford Motor Co. will have to come up with another name for its new mid-size family car sedan after a federal court ruled the Pep Boys auto parts chain owns the name “Futura.”

Ford hoped to revive the badge, which dates back to the 1950s, with next year’s rollout of the new sedan. Now the automaker will have to sell consumers on a new, yet-to-be-announced name.

The new car, to be built in Hermosillo, Mexico, is the eventual replacement for the venerable Taurus and is critical to Ford’s fight to regain U.S. market share.

But Philadelphia-based Pep Boys, which currently uses “Futura” on some of its tires, sued Ford over rights to the name. A U.S. District Court judge in Detroit recently ruled in Pep Boys’ favor, saying that Ford abandoned the trademark years ago with no intent to ever use it again.

It is the second time in less than two years that Ford has lost the right to use a famous marque from its past. Last year, the company was forced to change the name of its new 500-horsepower super sports car from GT40 to GT. A company that makes vehicle kits had laid claim to the name that Ford made famous in the 1960s with the GT40 racer.

The disputes underscores the challenge facing automakers searching for memorable vehicle names that will resonate with consumers who have more vehicle choices than ever. Many of the most attractive, most meaningful names are already taken. At the same time, the global nature of the auto industry means that companies have to worry about how vehicle names translate in foreign languages.

General Motors Corp. had to scrap the name LaCrosse for a new sports car last year after discovering the name also was teen-agers’ slang for masturbation in French-speaking Quebec.

Expect to see more trademark litigation such as this, said Michael D. Fishman, a Detroit-area trademark lawyer with Rader, Fishman and Grauer, which handles automotive industry cases in North America and Japan. “Trademark controversies have become more prevalent because competition has become greater.”

Under trademark law, it is assumed that the owner of a trademark has abandoned rights to it if it is not used for three consecutive years, Fishman said. The burden is on the owner to show that marque was not abandoned and that there was an intent to use it again.

With Futura, Ford failed to convince the court that the automaker had plans for the name all along.

While it’s unlikely that the now-unnamed Ford sedan will suffer lost sales when it launches next year, Ford still must deal with the “embarrassment factor,” said Burt Alper of California-based Catchword Branding, a consulting company that specializes in brand name development.

“It’s a big slap in the face to have to take something off the market like that,” Alper said.

Ford revealed the name Futura last year at the New York International Auto Show, although the car does not go on sale until next year as a 2006 model.

Such high-profile exposure, coupled with expectations that the car will eventually replace the legendary Ford Taurus as the automaker’s stalwart sedan, likely caught the attention of car buffs, Alper said.

“Those are probably the worst people to shake up like that,” he added. “They were expecting something. Now you’ve got to give them something else.”

Fiascos such as this underscore the importance of doing the homework when researching vehicle names, a process that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, Alper said.

Ford has no plans to appeal the Futura decision, said spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes. But the automaker will work to ensure that other names from its past, such as Continental, don’t fall by the wayside.

Volkswagen AG’s ultra-luxury brand, Bentley, has been selling a Continental since the early 1950s — about 10 years after Ford’s Lincoln brand introduced its Continental. The two cars coexisted — albeit in different markets — until 2002, when Lincoln phased out its Continental because of poor profit margins.

“It’s an important and historical marque for Ford Motor Co. and we don’t plan to abandon it,” Vokes said, offering no specifics about how it plans to protect the name.

Meanwhile, Ford — in keeping with its strategy to christen all Ford brand products with a name beginning with “F” — must come up with another name for its new midsize car.

Records with the United States Patent and Trademark Office show Ford has registered names such as Finalist, Faction and Four Hundred.

“Maybe they should call it Famous,’ ” Alper said, “because (the lawsuit) put it on the map.”


You can reach Eric Mayne at (313) 222-2443 or [email protected].
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Old 04-06-2004, 08:39 AM
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Well there arfe a bunch of words that start with F. How about a Falker?
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Old 04-06-2004, 08:55 AM
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Re: Ford can't use Futura name; Pep Boys owns it

Everyone knows the Taurus line, should of just kept that.


Originally posted by kansaiwalker1
General Motors Corp. had to scrap the name LaCrosse for a new sports car last year after discovering the name also was teen-agers’ slang for masturbation in French-speaking Quebec.
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Old 04-06-2004, 11:41 AM
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That's rediculous.
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Old 04-06-2004, 11:06 PM
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Well, there's no FUTURE at FORD for the idiot who missed that little detail
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Old 07-19-2004, 09:32 AM
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Ford Futura renamed Ford Fusion

Monday, July 19, 2004


Ford Futura is renamed Fusion

By Brett Clanton / The Detroit News


DEARBORN — Goodbye, Futura. Hello, Fusion.

Ford Motor Co., after losing a naming rights battle with auto parts chain Pep Boys, seller of Futura brand tires, has renamed its upcoming midsized sedan “Fusion,” company sources told The Detroit News.


The automaker has been quietly telling dealers of the change and is expected to reintroduce the car as early as this week.


Ford announced the Futura name at the 2003 New York International Auto Show, explaining the five-seat sedan is aimed squarely at midsize sedans such as Toyota Camry.


In April, a federal court ruled Philadelphia-based Pep Boys had a better claim to the moniker. Last year, Ford also lost the right to call its 500-horsepower supercar the GT40 when a vehicle-kit maker stepped forward with the same label. A newly named Ford GT launches this summer.


The Fusion name fits in with the Ford brand’s strategy of beginning the names of its cars, minivans and crossover vehicles with the letter F. The Mustang and GT sports cars are the exceptions.


The Fusion will arrive in showrooms next year.
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Old 07-20-2004, 10:51 AM
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ford failure
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Old 07-20-2004, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Infamous425
ford failure
Funny thing is that this is the second such mistake for Ford's marketing folks. Heads truly need to roll with that department. The other one of course was the GT (40).
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:12 AM
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:26 AM
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It looks just like 90% of ford's lineup.
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:30 AM
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Source: AUtoweek
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan Martin
It looks just like 90% of ford's lineup.
I think it looks good.
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Old 12-09-2004, 04:32 PM
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too much like caddy cts!
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Old 12-09-2004, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gavriil
I think it looks good.
Me too, much better than the 500.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:08 PM
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Oddly enough... I like it.
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Old 12-09-2004, 07:10 PM
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I wonder how much it'll cost...I like the styling so much I'd buy one, if the price was within my reach.
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Old 12-09-2004, 10:00 PM
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Looks like a watered down version of the 427 concept car.
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Old 12-09-2004, 11:52 PM
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looks like they took the lights from a mountaineer to put on there
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Old 12-10-2004, 12:05 AM
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not bad, id hit it over the 500
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Old 12-10-2004, 12:52 AM
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Originally Posted by kansaiwalker1
Looks like a watered down version of the 427 concept car.
Exactly, I like the look. If Ford puts a decent engine in it, they will have a winner.
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:47 AM
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Nice. If the engine and price is right, it may give the Camry and Altima a run for it's mone. I'd take it over the Malibu and maybe the G6. It bridges the gap between the Focus and the 500 nicely.
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Old 12-10-2004, 10:50 AM
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Is it me or is the Fusion just the Euro Mondeo with a different nose?
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Old 12-10-2004, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by charliemike


Is it me or is the Fusion just the Euro Mondeo with a different nose?
If it was, what's wrong with that? The Mondeo is supposed to be one of Ford's best products. The Fusion share's it's plaltform with the Mazda 6, and upcoming Licoln Zephyr. Mercury also gets a version (ofcourse). I don't know if the 6 shares much with the Mondeo or not. But this styling seems to be Ford's new global direction, so may be that's all the share in common.
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Old 12-10-2004, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by titan
If it was, what's wrong with that? The Mondeo is supposed to be one of Ford's best products. The Fusion share's it's plaltform with the Mazda 6, and upcoming Licoln Zephyr. Mercury also gets a version (ofcourse). I don't know if the 6 shares much with the Mondeo or not. But this styling seems to be Ford's new global direction, so may be that's all the share in common.
Sorry, I didn't mean that it was a bad thing. In fact I'd be thrilled.

But I would have thought we'd have heard something about it.
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Old 12-11-2004, 06:26 PM
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I'll wait till I see the interior, if its the same interior that they now have in all their cars, bleh, if they went the whole 9yds then good.
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Old 12-14-2004, 10:10 AM
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Spy Shots: 2006 Ford Fusion - - by Brenda Priddy - - Source: The Car Connection





Car enthusiast Richard Smith of Chicago stumbled upon a photo shoot for the upcoming Ford Fusion at Millennium Park in the Windy City. Chicago police and private security guards kept spectators at a distance, but Smith managed to snap a few pictures as he quickly passed by.

Sharing a chassis with the Mazda6 and the upcoming Lincoln Zephyr and Mercury Milan, Ford's newest mid-size sedan will arrive for the 2006 model year. Although the chassis began with the Mazda6, the track has been widened and the suspension components are different - so this is actually considered a separate platform.

Codenamed CD338, the Fusion (previously referred to by a number of different names including Futura and Ford Four Hundred) will be front-wheel drive, while the upscale Lincoln version will be available with all-wheel drive. Power will come from a new aluminum 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, with an optional 3.0-liter DOHC V-6 available. A hybrid version to compete with the Toyota Camry and Honda's Accord will be available in 2007 for the 2008 model year.

The Fusion is expected to make its public debut in early January and will be built in Mexico along with its siblings.
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Old 12-14-2004, 11:29 AM
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Not sure I like the look of those taillights...
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Old 12-15-2004, 03:31 PM
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Don't like them (the tail lights). I think they're hoping for the success Nissan had with Altima (which don't look as after-market to me)... but the car's styling is to conservative. I like the front though.
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Old 12-15-2004, 08:22 PM
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i like it!
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Old 12-15-2004, 10:45 PM
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The more I look at it, the more I think it's a Euro Mondeo.

Gav, any idea if that's true?

If so, I hope they use the ST220's interior ... teh hotness
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Old 12-16-2004, 12:22 PM
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I like Ford's Euro line-up... even the Euro fuckus looks good.
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Old 12-17-2004, 01:09 AM
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front kinda look like a mondeo plus a new STS
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Old 05-12-2005, 09:21 AM
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Will "Jennifer" like the Ford Fusion?

Forbes.com

Ford: We Sell Cars, Too

Joann Muller, 05.23.05


Like GM, Ford is getting socked by slowing sales of big sport utilities. So it's scrambling to design a lineup of stylish new passenger cars.
If Ford Motor is going to overcome a precipitous drop in its most profitable segment--sport utilities--it desperately needs to win over people like Jennifer. She's a 32-year-old teacher in Austin, Tex., married and thinking about starting a family. Stylish but practical, she shops at stores like Target and Banana Republic.

"Jennifer" isn't real--she's a fictional customer conjured up after six months of market research, including the infiltration of consumers' homes by packs of snooping Ford engineers. Ford hasn't seen the likes of Jennifer in its showrooms for years. It's been focused on truck buyers while Jennifer and her friends buy imports like the Honda Accord.

But come this fall Ford is counting on Jennifer to buy its new Ford Fusion, a midsize sedan that will cost $18,000 or so. The Fusion--and an array of car-based derivatives it spawned--represents Ford's strategy to climb back into the passenger car segment (in which its U.S. market share has fallen from 22% a decade ago to 14%). If it doesn't work, Ford will be stuck in the same boat as General Motors: pinning its hopes for a comeback on its big sport utilities, a market segment that at the moment is crumbling.

"We're not trying to hit a bunch of home runs," concedes Ford Chief Executive William Clay Ford Jr. "We need to hit a bunch of singles."

The shift away from SUVs has been "quite breathtaking," says Ford, who says his company underestimated how quickly sales of its once-hot Explorer and Expedition SUVs would deteriorate. Sales of both vehicles are down more than 25% so far this year, one reason Ford's overall U.S. market share tumbled to 17.9% in the first quarter. After forecasting a North American profit of $1.5 billion in January, Ford now says it will be lucky to break even in its home market this year. (Rising commodity and health care costs are also to blame.)

Ford executives are under no illusions that an $18,000 sedan will plug the loss of the huge profits SUVs generate. Deutsche Bank estimates Ford's gross profit (before fixed costs like labor, tooling and health care) averages only $5,400 on a midsize passenger car, which is $6,000 less than the comparable figure for a midsize SUV. So that's why the company will build up to 800,000 midsize cars and car-based crossovers off of one common chassis, saving billions in engineering costs. Fusion is the first of ten new Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models that will share a modified chassis borrowed from Mazda, Ford's Japanese affiliate. The Lincoln Zephyr and Mercury Milan sedans also debut this fall, followed next year by two crossovers, the Ford Edge and the Lincoln Aviator. Other derivatives, including coupes, convertibles and wagons, are under consideration.

Right now there's a gaping hole in Ford's car lineup. The Taurus, once America's bestselling car, hasn't been a hit since 1995, and production is expected to end early next year. About 80% of them now end up in corporate and rental fleets. The entry-level Focus overcame a spate of early recalls to enjoy reasonable success. But Ford says 10,000 Focus owners defect to other brands each year because it doesn't offer an attractive step-up model. The much-larger $23,000 Ford Five Hundred and its crossover mate, the $25,000 Freestyle, have been gaining momentum after a slow start last fall, but even Bill Ford admits their plain-vanilla styling is too conservative.

Ford doesn't want to make that mistake again with the Fusion. Its original--and safe--design mimicked the leaders in the midsize car segment, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. But in focus groups during the summer and fall of 2002 the car drew ho-hums from consumers. Around the same time, Ford designers finished their work on a striking new concept car, the Ford 427, that was being prepared for the 2003 auto show circuit. Insiders loved it, so in December Ford officials did the unthinkable: At the last minute they ripped up the Fusion's design.

Its bland front end was ditched and replaced with the 427's signature three-bar chrome grille. That change threw off the rest of the car's design, causing changes that rippled all the way to the rear taillights. Such upheaval would typically lead to huge delays and costly overruns. But the Fusion was the first Ford vehicle developed with advanced 3-D digital software that allowed engineers to instantly make the changes and simulate how the manufacturing process would be affected. The result is a bolder, more athletic design. It's no Chrysler 300, but at least the Fusion has personality.

Will Jennifer like it? Focus groups showed there was an opportunity for a midsize sedan aimed at people aged 25 to 39 who are single or newly married and very focused on their social lives. Visitors went to consumers' homes--and even peered into refrigerators and closets--to get insights into their interests in music, technology and fitness, says Dean Stoneley, Fusion's former product marketing manager.

Conclusion: Jennifer wants to look good but cares less about what's under the hood. So engineers made upscale features like charcoal-black leather seats and chrome wheels available even with the smallest four-cylinder engine. She does a lot of do-it-yourself projects, so the Fusion comes with rear seats that fold flat with one flip of a switch. And she's active and doesn't want to carry around a bulky key fob, so the automated door lock buttons were integrated into the key.

Who knows? Maybe there are 800,000 people like this.
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Old 05-12-2005, 09:26 AM
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If it drives like the 6 its based on I don't see why it won't sell. It looks pretty sharp too.
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by dom
If it drives like the 6 its based on I don't see why it won't sell. It looks pretty sharp too.
It Fusion's a good looking car, inside and out. The only downside is the engine... Ford needs to get that 3.5L Duratec ASAP, and put it in this car, the 500, etc. Design wise, though, I'd take the Fusion over a Camry, Accord, or Malibu anyday.
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:06 AM
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at least Ford is trying to wean itself off of the SUV addiction and start to market cars instead of just trucks.
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Old 05-12-2005, 01:50 PM
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Pics you guys are talking about?
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Old 05-13-2005, 03:51 AM
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I'd hit it if it came with a 6MT.
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Old 05-13-2005, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Moog-Type-S
at least Ford is trying to wean itself off of the SUV addiction and start to market cars instead of just trucks.
to that
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Old 05-13-2005, 05:36 AM
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G35 rip-off?

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