Side 'A' of the full
size clay model represented an extended version of the current
Bronco II with four doors - it was designated the Louisville
concept because the Bronco II was built in the Louisville,
Kentucky assembly plant. (50% of the components were C/O Bronco
Side 'B' of the same
clay model represented a four door vehicle with limo doors &
all new sheet metal (other than) the hood assembly &
radiator support assembly.
Side 'A' was a want
from the financial division & the manufacturing division ( a
low cost low risk vehicle that would replace the current Bronco
II build at Louisville.
Side 'B' was favored
by FD (Ford Division), LTEO (Light Truck Engineering
Operations), BEO (Body and Electrical Operations), and NAD styling
( it gave the space to improve the aesthetics of the
vehicle) B&AO ( Body and Assembly Operations) and most of
the remaining design & development activities.
We started out with a dual
program (designing for feasibility both sides of the clay model)
Following two months of
styling & engineering the CEO (of Ford Motor Co (Red
Poling), the Vice President of NARO (Lou Ross), Steve Ross's
father &the Vice President of Ford Division & Marketing,
reviewed the styling themes asking each engineering division for
further input, BEO had the largest portion of engineering
dollars investment. With no financial return, (we were a
liability to the program, because we didn't produce anything that
could be sold), i.e. All we could offer the program were
engineering papers & drawings, & you can not see
etc: I was asked by the brass, was it possible to reduce engineering
and design costs. I explained to the company
directors that BEO costs were based upon CAD, Computer Aided
Design & CAM, Computer Aided Machining& we were at the
optimum cost levels for body engineering.
At that point it was decided
to cancel theme 'A' and to commit our resources t theme 'B' with
the objective of having the design & manufacturing carried
out in Brazil.
Paranga in Sao Paulo was to
be the assembly plant & Ford Brazil SA would engineer the
vehicle with a NAAO team to be on site in Sao Paulo until Job #1
+60 days. I would be there to represent BEO which has approx
75%of the vehicles design/engineering content.
Within two weeks of the above
decision I was asked to go to Brazil & report on their
ability to carry out the design /engineering of all the 52 sub
systems that BEO was responsible for.
After a full week at Ford
Brazil I came to the conclusion that they did not have the
technical expertise to do the job. No CAD or R&D
capabilities, research and development.
Planning & Light Truck
Operations came down to Brazil the following week &
confirmed my conclusions. Brazil was eliminated for the UN46
program. Costs as well as engineering were also a major factor,
off shore costs, shipping & design, durability & testing
were all too far away for comfort from a program management
point of view.
On getting back from
Brazil I was told to go to Europe to see if they could
accomplish the task. I went to EAO (European Automotive
Operations) in England & Cologne, Germany & they were
certainly equipped to do the engineering, but they (EAO &
NAAO) wanted the vehicle to be assembled in Valencia (Southeast)
Spain. So once more back on the aircraft & Spain. Ford of
Spain was building the Fiesta Sedan. After a few days there the
NAAO team decided that once more costs were far too high for the
profit margin objective. With EAO out of the picture we now came
back to the U.S.A. & Louisville assembly plant. The governor
of Kentucky promised to provide $30 million for service roads
and improved infrastructure if Ford would keep the UN46 in
Lousiville for improved employment in the area. That was enough
for Ford's CEO to say yes to a USA designed & built vehicle.
"We could have lost it"