Buy by Jan. 1, or bye-bye fleet break!! Dealers hustle as tax plum nears end!!

(Excerpts from Automotive News | December 2, 2013 – 12:01 am EST by Larry P. Vellequette)

Big tax breaks for many buyers of commercial vehicles are scheduled to expire at year end, so we at Berge Ford Fleet are scrambling to get the word out to small businesses to buy now.

The tax breaks, part of federal stimulus legislation spurred by the recession, dramatically front load the depreciation schedules for many large assets, particularly for vehicles of more than 6,000 pounds, such as heavy-duty Ford F-Series pickups, and work trucks.

Mitchell Dale, owner of McRee Ford in Dickinson, Texas, said one customer who runs a fleet of about 50 vehicles was scheduled to replace two pickups; instead, he bought seven.

He bought five additional vehicles so he could take advantage of the tax benefits” because his accountant told him to, Dale said. “It is clearly stimulating some business on the commercial side.

The tax breaks available this year can mean first-year depreciation of as much as $46,000 on a $60,000 heavy-duty pickup if a customer takes delivery before Dec. 31. (See table, Page 34.) The extra depreciation can reduce business tax bills by lowering taxable income.

The deduction under Section 179 of the federal tax code applies to businesses that buy or lease $2 million or less worth of equipment in 2013. Most vehicles of more than 6,000 pounds that are used for business are eligible for 100 percent of the depreciation. But any vehicle used for commercial purposes can qualify for some benefits.

These tax incentives can be very powerful in the first year of purchase. For Berge Ford Fleet, the challenge is making sure customers are aware of the advantages of shopping before year end.

Depreciation booster: Section 179 deduction dramatically boosts first-year depreciation for a $60,000 commercial vehicle.

Depreciation method 1st-year amount

Regular $12,000 

Section 179 $46,000

2014 Ford Fusion: The Machine to Beat!

2014 Ford Fusion: The Machine to Beat!

In this humble midsize machine, such advanced engines are a huge achievement for Ford’s manufacturing process. It is also great news for buyers because it means there is a Fusion at every price level. The Hybrid and Energi plug-in models are well and good, but the real styling, tech and handling bang for your buck goes to the humble gasoline engines in the range.

The Fusion is a fantastic sedan, and materially superior to the Accord and Camry in almost every way. This is no empty praise; driving a Fusion is one of the best ways to get all the latest style and tech of the luxury brands, for barely half the price of their cheapest models.

The Ford Fusion is becoming one of the biggest hits for any American automaker who dares tussle with the best-selling Accord and Camry. A grunty and quick EcoBoost triple-cylinder 1.5-liter joins the engine and drive layout choices for 2014, which now reaches seven variations — an unprecedented total for any Americancar starting at just $22,000.

So this handsome Ford runs a three-banger in 1.5-liter EcoBoost specification? Will it have the speed of a lawnmower and the engine note of a go-kart? Nope and nope. This is a potent engine, with much more power at all revs than the base 2.5-liter, four-cylinder. It’s also quite affordable to produce, so will hopefully take a larger percentage of Fusions than the pricier EcoBoost engine options.

Lastly, AWD is on the table with the top-spec 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Larger wheels look terrific, like they were milled from a solid block of aluminum, some swanky comfort and active safety tech, and a few new colors round out the Fusion’s updates for the new model year.

All this sounds good, but buying a Camry can be done blindfolded over the phone: are all these choices a recipe for confusion on American dealer lots?

Since becoming fans of the Fusion this summer with our Fusion Hybrid and Energi tester models, we’re happy to keep the Fusion rocking the sales charts.

Even so, the gasoline choices are fantastic for keen drivers: the manual box 1.6 EcoBoost or the 2.0-liter AWD are arguably even better vehicles for their lack of electrified tech.

Still looking quite classy and expensive, the 2014 Ford Fusion’s exterior gains a few new colors for the Titanium trim, taking the total well past 10 choices to help the Fusion’s great stance and styling come to life.

New wheels are also a welcome addition, because they really enforce the first reaction people have to seeing this car: something new, trendy and very attractive. If you were not a car person, this could easily pass for an Audi A7 competitor.

The Fusion is a bit dorkier in the Hybrid colors and 17-inch wheels, but all handle pretty confidently with good weight balance and steering response.

The Titanium’s 18-inch rims barely harm the ride but help the 2014 Ford Fusion to look much more hunkered down to the road. An available trunk spoiler and a painted exhaust shroud down below really class up this Ford’s rump. The full LED rear lamps are terrific, with an LED halo for the taillights, and internal LEDs for the brake lights and indicators.

Ford is really off the pace for front LED lighting. Short supply and high prices for all automakers have largely shut the blue oval out of the volume LED contracts like BMW’s. No mind, the headlights up front are a sharp and squinty shape, with a projector ball for the low beams that is just halogen but still quite chic.

Lastly, a 19-inch rim option joins this list for 2014 and with summer tires coming as standard on this option, the Fusion will finally be as chuckable and fun as a Focus ST.

Inside this mid-size sedan, things get massaged as well. Cooled seats are now part of the big package bundles, and a heated steering wheel makes an appearance for the first time on the 2014 model.

The backup camera that is built into the MyFord SE package is the best value route to get a touchscreen infotainment display and the full backup/cross traffic system. This $900 option is very worthwhile versus the standard 4-inch displays that come standard in the gauge cluster and the center stack.

On the safety front, the Fusion is spectacularly advanced for this price range. Cargo and roominess wise, the Fusion’s interior closely matches the large new Camry and bests it with 16 cubic feet of trunk space.

And as always, the best place to purchase one of these is at Berge Ford in Mesa, Arizona. US60 & Mesa Drive! They will treat you right with exceptional service.

Read more:

You have met your match. This is no Skinny Minnie, this Lady in Red is one sultry beauty born to make your dreams come true. A 2013 Ford F250 Lariat 4×4 with a 6.7 PowerStroke diesel V8. She’s got a 6″ lift kit that comes with a 3 Year/36,000 Mile Powertrain, Parts & Labor Warranty INCLUDED, plus a 6 Month/6,000 Mile Alignment Warranty. Call AutoStyling@Berge Ford 480.497.7962 and we will hook you up!

Video  —  Posted: July 23, 2013 in Uncategorized
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From…..Our trusty spy photographers have snapped the first photos of the 2015 Ford Mustang prototype out on public streets. With nearly every square inch of the machine covered in heavy camouflage, it’s difficult to discern details, but we can see smallish horizontal headlamps at work in the coupe’s nose. Ford has made it clear that modern lighting technology will allow the company to get away from large, expensive headlamp arrays in the near future, and the 2015 Mustang may very well be the first of the automaker’s products to bow with the new tech. The philosophy was first displayed on the very attractive Evos Concept.

The extensive cladding doesn’t extend all the way to the prototype’s rockers in the instance, giving us a look at the heavily-sculpted sills. Overall, this test car looks considerably smaller than the current generation Mustang, and elements like a short front overhang and beefy dual-piston calipers give us plenty of hope for the future model. Of course, reports that the 2015 Mustang will bow with an independent rear suspension and EcoBoost power certainly don’t hurt our feelings, either.

UPDATE: Chris Doane reports the 2015 Mustang is currently codenamed S550 and will come with the current 3.7-liter V6 or 5.0-liter V8 under the hood. European buyers will be able to enjoy a turbocharged four-cyliner engine option, though it’s possible that engine could show up in the US as well.

Looking for a great way to secure your stuff in the bed of yout pick-up? Have us install a Bak Flip G2! Bak Flip G2 Tonneau Cover Install.

Video  —  Posted: June 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
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What is the most popular vehicle in the world?

ImageAmericans might say a Ford F Series pickup, since it’s the perpetual biggest seller in the U.S. Others, recognizing their international appeal, might say it’s a Toyota Camry or Honda Civic.

It’s not. The most popular model in the world for at least second year running is the Ford Focus. More than a million were sold last year, up from 879,914 in 2011, says Ford Motor, citing data from research service R.L. Polk.

Next, also for the second year, is one of the obvious candidates, the Corolla.

Only then comes Ford F Series, and it’s lucky to be there, considering it moved up several places on the list from 2012 to 2011.

The only vehilce on the list that would be completely unknown to most Americans is a Chinese family hauler, the Wuling Zhiguang sold in China, in fourth place. Overall, the list is dominated by small sedans.

Others in the Top 10 — the Camry, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Golf and Chevrolet Cruze, to name a few — underscore how global the auto industry has become.

The 2012 list top 10 with global registrations:

1 Ford Focus……. 1,020,410

2 Toyota Corolla.. 872,774

3 Ford F-Series,… 785,630

4 Wuling Zhiguang 768,870

5 Toyota Camry….. 729,793

6 Ford Fiesta……… 723,130

7 VW Golf …………..699,148

8 Chevrolet Cruze ….661,325

9 Honda Civic …….651,159

10 Honda CR-V…… 624,982

The figures validate Ford’s “One Ford” global strategy of designing, engineering, building, marketing and selling vehicles in all markets.

The strategy is embossed on wallet-size cards that executives carry. CEO Alan Mulally has repeated it like a mantra since he joined the company in 2006. Mulally found a composite of regional products and business practices, then spent years changing Ford so a compact car like Focus is built the same way at a plant anywhere in the world in order to save money from economies of scale.

“Focus and Fiesta (No. 6 on the list) represent the culmination of our One Ford global product strategy,” said Ford marketing chief Jim Farley.

A car known by a single name anywhere in the world reduces cost and can boost brand equity.

As companies build more vehicles locally, around the world, they are using a global name. Even in countries like China they are not changing model names as much,” said Haig Stoddard, industry analyst with WardsAuto.

Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS Consulting, said a single name helps in emerging markets.

With the impact of the Internet and name awareness, there are definitely economies of scale and the ability to build brand equity around the world,” Robinet said. “When you pick a name that is universally accepted, like Focus or Corolla or Fiesta or Beetle, it reduces marketing costs.” Ford may be ahead of some of its peers, but other carmakers are pursuing the strategy.

Chevrolet Cruze, for example, bears the same name everywhere but Australia where General Motors sells under the Holden brand, said GM spokesman Klaus-Peter Martin.

There is a compact Opel Astra sold in Europe and the Vauxhall Astra in the U.K., but it is a different vehicle, although close in size to the Cruze. Chevrolet also sells the Cruze in Europe, Martin said. Chrysler revived the Cherokee name for a new generation of what was the Jeep Liberty, because a version of the small SUV is sold as a Cherokee in other parts of the world.

Even Ford has naming discrepancies to address. The Ford Escape is sold as the Kuga in Europe; the Fusion is sold as the Mondeo. But executives are considering single names in the future and which names should prevail if they make the change.

Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle said the Focus is particularly strong in the U.S. and China. Ford sold almost 246,000 in the U.S. last year, up 40%.

China now accounts for one in four Focus sales. In China, consumers can buy a more affordable “classic” or previous-generation Focus or the more expensive current model.

Ford invested $490 million in Chongqing to produce the current Focus. Last year in China, Focus sales rose 51%, mostly in the second half of the year, Merkle said.

It ranked as the best-selling passenger car in China, Farley said.

With additional manufacturing capacity added last year, we now have a tremendous opportunity to further strengthen our global small-car sales in 2013,” Farley said.

It was a big start to the year for Ford, which feels it is well positioned with its models.

Ford says sales grew 22% last month, leading to its best January sales performance since 2006.

Best of all, the automakers saw a big increse sales to individual customers, instead of fleets. They were up 24%. Those so-called retail sales are an automakers most profitable because automakers don’t have to offer volume discounts.

Powering Ford’s increase was a 65% increase in sales of its Fusion sedan, one of its most important models because it compete in the crucial midsize sedan segment. Ford’s small car sales were up 29% in January. Ford’s says it was the best January for small car sales since 2000, although it has many more offerings now than it did then.

Ford is off to a strong start this year, with Fusion and Escape delivering January sales records and F-Series seeing a particularly strong reception this early in the year,” said Ken Czubay, a Ford vice president. “Our investment in fuel-efficient new vehicles – including EcoBoost (turbocharged) engines and hybrid technology – continues to pay off.

The Escape crossover also set a January record and Explorer, its larger crossover, saw a 46% sales increase. It was its best January since 2005.