I spent 22 years at Dearborn Proving Ground and PDC, now it's all going away to make room for new bldgs. I have a suggestion: FIX THE CARS AND TRUCKS YOU SOLD, FIRST, then GIVE BACK ALL YOU STOLE FROM US RETIREES, before spending millions (if not BILLIONS) on new bldgs. that you don't need. Spend money rehabing or repurposing the Design Center and the rest of Product Development. Then, when the economy recovers, do what is necessary (and ONLY that) in the way of new construction. Put money in the bank. Shore up BAD DESIGNS/VEHICLES out in the public now, fix what YOU KNOW IS BAD, get yourselves back in the good graces with the public, FIRST!
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I used to work in Performance Test Engineering. In 1992, with the roll-out of the Mustang Cobras getting close, someone in Engineering decided it was time to save a few pennies by cheapening up synchros and shifter forks. When we started our standing-start accel tests (quarter mile), we had shifters locking up in 2nd gear on about the 2nd or 3rd run (8 runs needed for a complete test). We were accused of beating on test cars; when it was shown there were parts failing, you'd have thought Ford would have moved to FIX the issues. Nope. They didn't get it. This took the heat off of us techs doing the testing, but the problem was never resolved, at least that we heard of. Sounds like "same old, same old", to me. Ford has other transmission issues, in at least 2 other vehicles being litigated at present. Never could figure out why the Glass House thinks bad publicity costs much less than the costs of litigation and settlements, as in the Pinto debacle, or the Explorer tire fiasco/rollovers.
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