SFord’s story has been the same the past couple of years. The company teases a cool new car in the works. Rumors emanate. Excitement builds. Then, nothing. Ford kills the project outright. Ford opts not to sell it in the United States. Or, Ford never makes it happen. One might say Ford has been America’s ultimate car tease.

Do you like hot hatches? Rumors were afoot Ford was building a super-hot Fiesta RS based on their rally car. Ford decided against it because the turbo three-pot Fiesta ST was an already fiery hot hatch. That version, of course, won’t be sold in the U.S. as the model gets killed off. Ditto for a rumored 400hp hybrid version of the bigger Focus RS. Ford planned to placate U.S. buyers with the crossover/wagon Focus Active, which, you guessed it, won’t be sold in the U.S. because of the tariff war with China.

Well, trucks are still doing well, right? Ford announced the return of the fan favorite Ranger to the midsize pickup segment. Ford also announced the suped-up Ford Ranger Raptor with a YouTube video rated “B for Badass.” That, of course, won’t be sold in the U.S. at this time. Neither would the just-debuted Ford Ranger Storm.

Ford kept the iconic Mustang as its lone car. But, it’s no more apparent what is going on there. Ford teased a Mustang-based high-performance electric SUV for 2020 called the “Mach 1.” That vehicle should still materialize, without the name, which Ford shelved. The rumor mill has fired up again of late that Ford will develop a four-door V8 Mustang-based sports sedan.

Ford has generated much talk, but little end product.

We also have the still-on-track but yet-to-be-revealed Ford Bronco revamp for 2020 which rumors have roaring back with a seven-speed manual. Enthusiasts will hope it is more “robust Jeep Wrangler 4×4 competitor” and less “ubiquitous crossover vaguely Bronco-shaped.”

Need more Ford discussion material to get jazzed about and potentially disappointed over? There are ongoing negotiations about a partnership with Volkswagen on R&D for autonomous vehicles, self-driving vehicles and pickup trucks.

Ford has generated much talk, but little end product. Ford partisans are perplexed. Sales are down. Shareholders are antsy. Inquiring looks can be directed toward one man, chief executive Jim Hackett, who took over in May 2017. Understanding what Hackett is up to may require a look back at his previous high-profile gig: interim University of Michigan athletic director.

Hackett arrived in 2014 with a clear directive: fix the storied but moribund football program. There were a murky couple of months. Pressure mounted. National media circled like vultures ready to pick through the wreckage. Hackett, with no experience in college athletics administration, appeared to be out of his depth.

The story ended with Hackett convincing Jim Harbaugh, the NFL’s most sought-after head coach, returning to coach his alma mater. Hackett also landed Michigan a landmark $170 million dollar Nike deal before clocking out.

Perhaps a Bronco relaunch and radical restructuring for the automotive feature play out similarly for Ford?