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> General Chat > TIME TO RANT..... What Was Ford Thinking!!
Are Escapes Better With XLT Cladding?
This poll is closed.
Escapes Look Waaaaay Better with the Cladding! 158 49.53%
I like the striped down/NO Cladding look 32 10.03%
Ford's design penny pinching has got me considering other midsize SUVs 35 10.97%
Raise the price $14 and leave the cladding on Ford! 61 19.12%
Take a CHILL PILL people! 'Scapes are Awesome either way! 33 10.34%
Total: 319 votes 100%
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Spork
Platinum Member

Registered: Feb 2002
Location: Texas, USA
Posts: 549

Angry Time To Rant!: $#%!! What Was Ford Thinking!!

Ok I've just about had enough of Ford nickel and diming our "Great Escapes"! I just read 3 different posts here that seem to be confirming that Ford has decided to take the cladding trim off of the wheelwells on the 2003 Escape XLTs. Our SUV's look MUCH better with the wheel cladding and what in the #$%&!! can this be saving Ford to do this? Escape XLT's are costing upwards of $24,000 and $25,000.00. I can just imagine some bookworm accounting bean counter at Ford saying

quote:
"We can save like 3 dollars per vehicle if we take the wheel cladding off....and no one will notice... and $3.00 X 200,000 sales mean we'll get $600,000(!!!) more profit!...."

And while I'm ranting... what is up with them removing the nameplate stuff from the sides of the 03's???


I can't imagine that there is any other reasoning behind Ford removing the wheel cladding on XLT's other than penny pinching (in the worst way!). Ford, you've got some great products out here, STOP trashing them with these boneheaded bean counter moves!


What d'yall think? Do XLT Escapes look better/tougher with the wheel cladding or what?


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Spork is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 03:37 AM
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2k2Tribute
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Registered: Jul 2002
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 546

Can someone please post a pic of the two? I haven't seen an '03 yet..


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2k2Tribute is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 03:42 AM
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mikepro
Ooh La La! 1000 Posts !!
The Humpin' Hula Award

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 999

I definitely like the cladding over the wheel wells better myself. I think it gives it a tougher truck look. Maybe they should have kept it, at least for the 4x4. But, the reason the didn't is exactly what you stated. By deleting the badges and emblems they will save a couple of million dollars. That's really important to them with their recent financial performance.

Look on the bright side - the weight saving will probably get you .001 MPG better fuel economy!


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mikepro is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 04:30 AM
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DanO
Outfitter

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: Mentor, OH
Posts: 30

I am definitely not an authority on this subject, but I like it both ways. I have seen both now, and can't really say which one I like better. I hadn't even noticed that the cladding was missing, when I purchased mine. It wasn't until someone posted a message on this board that I realized the difference. This is because I don't personally believe that it changes the appearance all that much. The thing I did notice was the lack of badges, which does make it look a little bare, but we all know that those badges aren't necessary. Many cars and trucks don't have them.

I think the problem is that there weren't many (if any?) changes to the exterior for the first two production years that many people have grown attached to the Escape looking a certain way. I honestly do like that there is a little change, because I want to be able to distinguish between model years, like you used to be able to do with most cars. Now, it isn't so easy, and sometimes, it is just a difference of exterior paint offerings. I do still think that my 2003 looks aggressive and stylish, but if it had the cladding over the wheels, I wouldn't have cared either.

I don't have a photo of a 2002, but here are a few photos of my 2003 XLT:

http://www.pbase.com/danowens/2003_ford_escape


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DanO is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 06:04 AM
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danno
Platinum Member

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Northern Ontario, Canada
Posts: 965

The look reminds me of the Explorer XLS - bare.


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danno is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 06:42 AM
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UALCE04
Platinum Member

Registered: Dec 2001
Location: Maryland
Posts: 551

The 2003 Mountaineers (Mercury Explorers) dont have the wheel lip cladding and to me it always looks like its missing something.

Haven't seen the 2003 Escape's but I'll assume the same...


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UALCE04 is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 08:38 AM
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sixpin299
2nd Gear

Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Metro-Detroit, Michigan
Posts: 250

I liked it better with the body cladding on, but I'd like to see it painted instead of molded-in-color. I think it gives it a nice two tone look, but molded in coloring just looks cheap. A nice gray painted finish with a good clearcoat would finish off the look in my opinion.

Just remember, whatever Ford does to the Escape, it will still be 100% better than the Aztek.


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sixpin299 is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 05:15 PM
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RG5626
Uber Escapist

Registered: Jan 2002
Location: California
Posts: 188

I thought I read somewhere around here that all of the 03's would have painted cladding. Was that only on the Midnight edition?

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RG5626 is offline Old Post 08-13-2002 10:20 PM
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bananaescape
2nd Gear

Registered: Aug 2002
Location: Clovis, Ca
Posts: 216

I love my 01 Escape and I just notice though that Ford seems to have been as cheap as possible with the building materials! Its been very very reliable and i wouldn't trade it for anything- but the little truck rattles its way down the road!


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bananaescape is offline Old Post 08-14-2002 01:21 AM
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Doble Saulton
Platinum Member

Registered: May 2002
Location: Hudson Valley, NY
Posts: 880

Haven't had any rattle problems, but it is correct that there is no wheel molding on the rims. We just looked at 2 today and it does look like it is unfinished a little bit, but it isn't too terrible and maybe if enough people whoop and hollar then it will come back next year as an option, for those who do like it.

Just my .2 cents - Hell I'll give it to Ford so they can afford the CLadding.

Glad with My '02


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Doble Saulton is offline Old Post 08-14-2002 04:17 AM
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sugarboystef
2nd Gear

Registered: May 2002
Location: CANADA
Posts: 165

Wow,that's funny.
I was checking out the pics of the 2003's...and I couldn't figure out why it looked so funny....it was the missing cladding!!!

Just as you guys pointed out

Ford will do whatever it can to cut costs and put more money into their share holders pockets.

They have done the same thing with Mustangs(I am a stang freak!)

Take notice on 99-03 mustangs that their is no passengers side keyhole on the door anymore...just a handle. A whole $3.00/car into Henry's pocket.

After 1998, they got rid of the engine compartment light ,also on mustangs. This way when you break down at night you can't see a frigging thing. Oh ya,they saved what, $0.29 for a bulb and wiring.

In 1999, the mustang also lost a strut tower brace that was present on the 96-98's. Ford decided that you could live with increased cowl flex/shake and looser suspension. He saved about $13/car.

The list goes on people...but old Ford has the upperhand...WE KEEP ON BUYING FORD.


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sugarboystef is offline Old Post 08-14-2002 05:24 AM
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greyboy
Managing Editor

Registered: Oct 2001
Location:
Posts: 4299

Unhappy I CAN'T VOTE !!

Sorry, no option for me. Color me wierd, but I like Escapes in ALL configurations. For those who need total economy, the base XLS looks fine for what it is and does. For peeps who wanna throw on a brush guard and a safari rack etc, the wheel molding helps with the Off-Roadie look. If you want a more street racer/custom look, then the XLS OR XLT without the wheel molding, IMHO, is the way to go. Of course it all boils down to personal taste, but this is my story and I'm stickin' to it.
Like I said, I have no bias when it comes to OUR FAV. little SUV. ('cept that MWB is probably the best color and NannerMan is a Yeller bigot) JK, I love ya man !!


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greyboy is offline Old Post 08-14-2002 07:31 AM
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ctgrant
2nd Gear

Registered: Jul 2002
Location: Arizona
Posts: 287

I can only assume that the same has happened to the Tribute. But, in my defense, I dont care what Ford or Mazda do the 2003 model line. I have mine with the cladding, I like it. To heck with the rest of them, I got mine "before" they got ugly!!!

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ctgrant is offline Old Post 08-14-2002 09:33 AM
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Run8secs
1st Gear

Registered: Nov 2001
Location:
Posts: 129

Re: Saving pennies....to lose DOLLARS!

quote:
Originally posted by Spork


"We can save like 3 dollars per vehicle if we take the wheel cladding
off....and no one will notice... and $3.00 X 200,000 sales mean we'll
get $600,000(!!!) more profit!...."




Ford is being penny wise and pound foolish. This accounting savings thing assumes that taking the cladding off will not lose any sales, and I'm sure it will. And unlike multiplying the small savings per truck by the total sales over a year (200,000) to get the $$ savings just think if just 40 people don't buy an Escape because of the styling change that is $880,000.00(!!!!) dollars in lost gross revenue (assuming an average price of $22,000 per XLT Escape-- 40 X $22,000= 880,000). The 880,000.00 is more than the $600,000 and that's just assuming that they only lose 40 sales out of 200,000! Obviously, the profit loss would be less since sales aren't pure profit, but you see the point here... it doesn't take many lost unit sales to wipe out the savings that Ford thinks they might get by shaving off something so inexpensive as the cladding pieces that really have a large effect on the looks of Escapes.

Somebody is going to figure out a way to sell these cladding pieces in the aftermarket and we will buy them like crazy and that profit will go to the aftermarket manufacturers, not Ford. Really dumb move here Ford.

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Run8secs is offline Old Post 08-14-2002 10:07 AM
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