“Oh, she’s electric,” remarked a young man on the pavement as I stepped out of our Outlander. I should explain, in case you think I’d encountered someone who spends his days standing on street corners quoting Oasis songs at people, that this budding car enthusiast had merely spotted the large 'PHEV' badge on the flanks of the car.
Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford and the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, called Miller "an extraordinary leader" who had a profound impact on the competitiveness and resurgence of Ford Motor Co. at a key juncture.
And it wasn’t just externally where things had changed. Sure, underneath was basically the same front-wheel-drive chassis as the Mk2, but the heavily revised suspension, we quipped, gave it "a far more compliant and comfortable ride at speed". What's more, "the Cavalier is a car you know is going to be a joy to drive almost as soon as the wheels start to turn", due to its "stability" and "crisp" turn-in.
Regular Outlanders have always sold pretty well, even if they make do with nothing more exciting than a conventional 2.2-litre diesel engine. But it’s the PHEV version that has caught the eye of more than just the young man I mentioned earlier – it’s the UK’s best-selling electrified vehicle, with more than 25,000 cars sold, and that's despite the halving last year of the Government grant that applies when buying a new one. So popular is it that it actually accounts for nearly 50% of all the PHEVs on the road.
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Krause's reported departure follows a string of other high-profile talent losses at the struggling company: Supply chain management head Tom Wessner left the company at the beginning of October, while human resources vice president Alan Cherry left in August.
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The other oversteer situation happens on the exit of a corner, and usually happens when too much power has been applied. You'll see this situation in TV shows where presenters drive powerful rear-drive cars in tyre-smoking burnouts, and it's the basic principle behind the drift movement. Again, if this happens in the real world, you need to steer in the direction of the skid to mitigate the situation. Braking suddenly will only make the situation worse, so you need to try and be smooth and either maintain speed or scrub off speed gradually while adjusting the steering so that the nose of the car is pointing in the direction of travel. Again, look where you want to go, and the car should follow.
"We were just lost -- out of our element. We were whipsawed," Miller recalled when the presidents of Detroit's three auto companies were summoned to testify before Congress after the publication of 'Unsafe at Any Speed,' Ralph Nader's 1965 groundbreaking book that exposed the American auto industry's lax safety practices.