Saturday, August 31, 2013

1966 Ford Mustang Mach I Concept

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In late 1966, Ford designers prepared a Mustang concept to preview some of the design updates coming for the 1969 model. The Mustang Mach I was a two-seat fastback with a very aggressive looking chopped roof profile. Each of the rear pillars featured a flip-open racing-style gas cap while larger than normal air-scoops dominated the flanks. The sloped rear end included a hatchback, a feature that wouldn’t appear on a production model until the 1974 Mustang II.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ford Introduces First Bacon-Wrapped Car, Satisfying Even the Most Insatiable Appetite

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  • Ford gives “breakfast to go” a whole new meaning by wrapping a 2014 Ford Fiesta in bacon to mark International Bacon Day Aug. 31
  • Ford Fiesta drivers can now buy bacon wraps for their ride to fully express their personality and commitment to pork’s crowning jewel
  • Allan Benton, CEO of Benton’s Country Hams and producer of what some consider the world’s greatest bacon, proudly approves the design

Bacon has been a cornerstone of cuisine since ancient Rome. In recent years the cured meat has transformed from a food to a lifestyle – inspiring everything from medical supplies to plush toys. Now, with International Bacon Day just around the corner, Ford is savoring the salty side dish with the introduction of what is believed to be the first bacon-wrapped car – a 2014 Ford Fiesta.
Ford is announcing the availability of custom bacon graphics that pork purists can have installed on their new Fiesta. The small car synonymous with fun and individuality is hitting dealerships around the country.

“In the 40 years I’ve been in this business, I’ve never seen so much interest in bacon,” said Allan Benton, CEO of Benton’s Country Hams. “It’s being used in bourbon, chocolate, ground beef, caramel corn and whatever else you can think of. This car just makes so much sense.”

The pièce de résistance is the full “Bacon Wrap” – 10 giant strips of delicious bacon rolled around the entire Fiesta for a carb-free ride. Benton, known as the King of Bacon among venerable food writers and chefs, personally approved the design, and has deemed the bacon-wrapped Fiesta good enough to eat – and drive.

“You can only imagine that a hillbilly from Tennessee is pretty happy to hear about a Ford wrapped in bacon,” said Benton. “I expect there will be some real excitement among the young city crowd.”
Other options from the bacon-wrap Fiesta menu include:

  • Bacon Racing Strips – two pieces of bacon that go on the car’s hood and resemble classic dual racing stripes
  • Side of Bacon – two individual strips of bacon that wrap over rear wheel – popular among those on a diet

“It’s no secret that bacon inspires a lot of passion, and that’s what the Fiesta celebrates,” said Liz Elser, Ford Fiesta marketing manager. “Our customers have a hunger for self-expression. Plus, it’s just awesome to drive down the road in a piece of bacon.”

While the bacon-wrapped Fiesta has all the looks of indulgence, it’s incredibly lean at the pump – with an EPA-estimated rating of up to 41 mpg on the highway. And unlike bacon grease, nothing gets sizzled away from the Fiesta interior, with technology and features worthy of a blue ribbon at any county fair.

The bacon graphics are just a few custom exterior vinyl graphics Fiesta buyers can have installed on their ride to express their personalities. The wraps are produced by Ford Custom Graphics, along with 3M Original Wraps, and are available at

Thursday, August 29, 2013

1,400 New Ford Employees Kick Off U.S. Production of Fusion to Meet Surging Customer Demand

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  • With 1,400 new jobs and a $555 million investment, Flat Rock Assembly Plant begins Ford Fusion production
  • Production added to improve tight availability of Ford Fusion; U.S. Fusion sales up 13 percent this year
  • Ford will hire almost 6,500 workers in the U.S. this year to support new products, growth and investment; company has added more than three-quarters of the 12,000 hourly jobs it committed to add in the U.S. by 2015
Supported by 1,400 new employees, the new Ford Fusion will roll off the line at Flat Rock Assembly Plant today, marking the first time the popular car has been built in the United States.

The move expands Fusion availability by more than 30 percent – up to 350,000 units annually – as the midsize sedan is setting sales records for Ford.

“With its bold design and great fuel economy, Fusion has exceeded all of our expectations, with demand outstripping supply,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Fusion in Flat Rock is a win for all of our stakeholders – including customers, employees and dealers. At the same time, Ford is continuing its massive investment in America by creating another 1,400 jobs.”

The 1,400 new employees Ford hired to support added production at Flat Rock Assembly Plant puts the company more than 75 percent of the way toward its goal of creating 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States by 2015. In 2013 alone, Ford is hiring nearly 6,500 new hourly and salaried employees in the U.S. to support products, growth and investment.

Strong Fusion sales

Fusion sales – up 13 percent in the U.S. this year – remain very strong. Through July, Ford sold more than 181,000 Fusions, 21,000 more than were sold in the same period last year. Fusion vehicles are selling in fewer than 20 days in such key markets as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, compared with the industry average of approximately 60 days. The high-end Fusion Titanium is turning even faster in these markets – fewer than 15 days on dealer lots.

Demand for Fusion is growing as the sedan continues to win over buyers from other automakers, particularly Asian manufacturers, with a competitive conquest rate of 50 percent.

Fusion has earned accolades from customers and influential publications, winning seven major awards in its first nine months of production.

Featuring a sleek silhouette and fresh face, the new Fusion is the latest in a series of vehicles from Ford – following the 2011 Fiesta subcompact and 2012 Focus small car – developed to serve customers who want leading fuel efficiency, smart technologies and game-changing design.

Fusion is the first sedan to offer gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, underscoring Ford’s commitment to give customers the power of choice. Fusion Hybrid is EPA-certified with a best-in-class 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined fuel economy rating.

Customers can choose from Fusion’s widest-ever portfolio of fuel-efficient powertrains, including EcoBoost® gasoline-powered, hybrid and plug-in hybrid, automatic and manual transmission offerings and Auto Start-Stop technology.

With seven must-have technologies – including a Lane-Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, active park assist and MyFord Touch® – Fusion demonstrates Ford’s commitment to deliver features customers truly want and value in their vehicles.

Flat Rock transformation

“We are thrilled to have added production of Fusion at Flat Rock Assembly Plant – not just for our dedicated workforce here, but for the entire metro Detroit community and the associated jobs it will create,” said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles. “Together with the domestic automakers and through the collective bargaining process, we are able to bring jobs to the U.S. that were previously located offshore. Fusion production in Flat Rock is a key part of that.”

To prepare Flat Rock’s newest hires to build Fusion, a simulated factory has been introduced to provide hands-on training in a real-world environment. The simulated factory allows workers to master the tasks they may be performing on the line. It also is expected to help reduce employee attrition and improve overall manufacturing and safety.

As part of a $555 million investment, Flat Rock Assembly Plant has added a state-of-the-art, fully flexible body shop to allow multiple models to be produced on the same assembly line, supporting Ford’s flexible manufacturing efforts.

“We have completely transformed Flat Rock Assembly Plant to help prepare for Fusion production. These upgrades have allowed us to ensure we are building the highest-quality cars,” said Tim Young, plant manager, Flat Rock Assembly Plant.

Ford also has upgraded the plant’s paint shop with installation of its three-wet paint process. It is more environmentally friendly and takes less time than conventional paint processes, without compromising vehicle paint quality or durability.

Other technologies incorporated at Flat Rock include laser brazing, a form of welding that will be used on Fusion to attach the roof of the car to the body with a high-quality, aesthetically pleasing seam. In 2014, dirt detection technology will be introduced at Flat Rock to ensure optimal paint and surface quality, leading to smoother, shinier cars.

Flat Rock Assembly Plant also produces the iconic Ford Mustang, now in its 50th year. The plant recently celebrated the 1 millionth Mustang built at the facility. With the addition of Fusion production, Flat Rock Assembly Plant will have approximately 3,000 employees working two shifts at full line speed.

The Flat Rock factory has been producing vehicles since 1987, when it opened as Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA and built the Mazda MX-6. Ford purchased a 50 percent share in the facility in 1992, and it was renamed AutoAlliance International. During the years, the plant has produced the Mazda 626, Mazda6, Mercury Cougar and Ford Probe.

Fusion also is produced at Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico. Chongqing Assembly Plant 1 in China also builds the car, which is known as the Ford Mondeo in other markets globally.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New 2014 Ford F-150 STX SuperCrew Delivers Extra Space and Value; STX Sport Package Adds Style

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  • Arrival of new 2014 Ford F-150 STX SuperCrew® gives customers full range of cab options on value-oriented pickup; stylish new STX Sport Package now available as well
  • Ford F-150 STX comes standard with 3.7-liter V6 engine, delivering an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway; Ford F-150 also offers the half-ton segment’s only available compressed natural gas prep package
  • SuperCrew offers customers more cabin space and four doors to accommodate crews on a work site or a family night out
Ford, America’s truck leader, adds the 2014 Ford F-150 STX SuperCrew® and STX Sport Package to its lineup, offering entry-level and value-oriented truck customers capable, roomy and stylish new options.

“With the rapidly expanding full-size pickup market continuing to benefit from economic growth and replacement demand, price-conscious buyers are returning looking for an affordable truck with space, capability and style,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “Adding the Ford F-150 STX SuperCrew and the new STX Sport Package to our 2014 lineup gives these truck shoppers more value-oriented F-150 models to consider.”

The F-150 STX SuperCrew meets the needs of first-time and returning value-conscious pickup truck customers, especially those who need to transport a crew to a job site or take the family on a trip.
Positioned between the work-ready XL and popular XLT models, STX offers upgraded exterior and interior features beyond what’s usually available for entry-level crew cab pickups:

  • Body-color front bumper fascia, grille surrounds, and front and rear step bumpers
  • Power Equipment Group, which includes power door locks, integrated keyhead transmitter remotes, power one-touch up/down windows and sideview mirrors, Illuminated Entry System and perimeter alarm
  • 17-inch machined aluminum wheels
  • Audio input jack
  • Cruise control
  • Customer information display
  • MyKey® , a programmable feature that allows fleet owners and parents to limit top speed and audio volume, and set speed-alert chimes to encourage safer driving
  • Outside temperature display
  • Front-row 40/20/40 premium cloth bench seat
  • Driver manual lumbar adjust
  • Air conditioning
  • AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • AM/FM stereo with single CD player

Ford F-150 STX comes standard with a 302-horsepower, 278-lb.-ft.-of-torque 3.7-liter V6 engine, delivering an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. Ford F-150 also offers the half-ton segment’s only available compressed natural gas prep package.

A 5.0-liter V8 rated at 360 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque is also available, enabling STX SuperCrew to tow up to 9,500 pounds when properly equipped.

For buyers looking for extra style and personalization, the new STX Sport Package, available in all cab configurations, strengthens vehicle appearance with custom-inspired details.
The new STX Sport Package adds:

  • 20-inch machined aluminum painted wheels with P275/55R20 tires
  • Black billet grille with body-color surround
  • Black tubular running boards
  • Black and Gray Piston cloth front seats (40/console/40 on SuperCab and SuperCrew, 40/20/40 on Regular Cab)
  • Color-coordinated carpet
  • Unique box decals

Ford is offering this new configuration at a time when truck sales continue to be a bright spot in the economy. Sales of full-size pickups through July are up 23 percent, compared to an industry that is up 8 percent, making it the fastest growth segment this year. Through July, 427,935 Ford F-Series pickups have been sold. Ford F-Series is America’s best-selling vehicle for 31 consecutive years and best-selling truck for 36 consecutive years.

The 2014 Ford F-150 STX model lineup starts under $30,000. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price for STX SuperCrew starts at $33,145 for the 4x2 version with 3.7-liter V6 and $37,570 for the 4x4 with 5.0-liter V8. Current available discounts reduce the final price of the STX Sport Package, and F-150 Equipment Group 201A featuring the Trailer Tow Package, SYNC® voice-activated controls and SiriusXM Satellite Radio, to $980. Destination charges are $1,095.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ford Helps Businesses Design Ultimate ‘Billboard on Wheels’ Through New Custom Graphics Tool

  • Ford helps business owners design, quote, share and purchase custom-designed vehicle wraps through redesigned and simplified Ford Commercial Graphics tool
  • Improvements to the tool include access to more than 5 million images from the library of Getty Images, and an on-call designer to help businesses design their brand image
  • Custom options are available for the all-new Ford Transit family; the tool can be used by both small and large businesses to create a custom “billboard on wheels”

Entrepreneurs and businesses that want to develop the ultimate “billboard on wheels” now have access to Ford’s redesigned custom vehicle graphics site,

Improvements to the Ford Commercial Graphics tool have made the process of creating, ordering and purchasing vehicle wraps simpler than ever. The tool’s cleaner interface, ability to better customize images visually and streamlined ordering process provides customers with more control than ever to develop their brand image, said Kevin Koswick, Ford’s director of North American fleet, lease and remarketing operations.

“The site accommodates a variety of designs and budgets – from businesses that operate a single vehicle to larger fleets,” Koswick said. “Graphics are a tremendous way to make a first impression and the retooling of this site helps customers make a better design more easily.”

For even more choices and inspiration, customers now have the ability to tap into more than 5 million images from the library of Getty Images, a world leader in stock photos. Customers also can upload their own pictures.

A new service through 3M, the company that produces Ford Commercial Graphics, allows customers to work with on-staff designers to develop a theme for their vehicle, helping businesses enhance their brand.

“It’s a true advantage to have design experts take customers through the design process of their vehicle wrap,” Koswick said. “The business still has control over the design of its graphic, but our team can help them refine their brand image.”

All production is done in-house, and installation is handled by the customer’s certified Ford dealer or a specially trained installation company obtained through the dealer. Designs are covered with a clear over-laminate to add durability to the product and lessen the effects of UV light on the material. Graphics are designed to last from three to five years.

The site also allows customers to share their designs through social media sites including Facebook, giving businesses the opportunity to become even more interactive with their community and receive early feedback on designs.

Operators of the original Ford Transit Connect were among the first to take advantage of customizing their vehicles through this graphics service. Now Ford offers the option throughout its fleet of commercial vehicles so that customers of F-Series Super Duty, E-Series, the new Transit Connect and the upcoming Transit van can raise awareness for their business.

“One of the strengths of Ford’s commercial vehicles, like the Transit family, is that they are available in several configurations that can be easily customized for small-business owners,” said Koswick. “This website mirrors that versatility to allow customers to create their vision of the ideal rolling billboard for their business.”

Monday, August 26, 2013

The First Generation Ford Mustang – From Sketch to Production

The First Generation Ford Mustang – From Sketch to Production

In early 1961 a group of Ford Motor Company engineers, designers, product planners, marketers and executives began a series of off-site meetings at the Fairlane Inn in Dearborn, Mich. The goal was to formulate a response to the rapidly changing demographics of the American automotive market. The first wave of the post-war baby boom was coming of age and these younger drivers wanted something different from what their parents wanted.

The group which became known as the “Fairlane Committee” formulated a business plan for a new sporty, stylish and affordable compact car derived from the recently launched Falcon. By the fall of 1961, designers from every Ford studio began sketching up their ideas for a car to fit this template and then rendering them in clay and fiberglass. However, until September 1962, none of the proposals were really catching on. That’s when a new sketch from Gale Halderman finally became the “IT” design.  Within 2 weeks, a clay model was ready and the car was on its way to production in April 1964.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Extreme Longboarding | Ford One Tank Adventure Videos

Watch as filmmaker Devin Super Tramp goes on a one-tank adventure with the Ford Focus ST. This amazing longboarding adventure was brought to you by a company that's all about MPG AND. Let Ford take you on your one-tank adventures because, at Ford, And is better.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Dirt on Ford’s New 3D Dirt Detection Technology: There Isn’t Any

3D Dirt Detection Technology
  • Industry-first dirt detection technology uses high-resolution cameras to generate a 3D model so Ford can identify and eliminate dirt particles smaller than a grain of salt on vehicle paint surfaces
  • Ford data show new automated vision system led to an 82 percent improvement in combined paint quality and customer satisfaction metrics for surface finish within one year
  • Digital imaging system analyzes more than 3,000 images in 15 seconds to identify dirt particles. Previously, paint inspections were based solely on the human eye
  • This year, the dirt detection technology launches at three more Ford assembly plants in North America, followed by two additional assembly plants in 2014
Here’s the dirt on Ford’s new paint technology: There isn’t any.

New Ford F-Series models are the latest vehicles to benefit from the company’s industry-first dirt detection technology to ensure optimal paint and surface quality. The system uses high-resolution cameras and reflected light to digitally identify surface imperfections finer than a grain of salt in final vehicle assembly, and to cue operators where to polish and buff out imperfections.

By using dirt detection technology, Ford improved paint quality and reduced customer complaints of vehicle surface finish by 82 percent within one year, as measured by customer warranty data for F-Series models produced at the company’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich.

“This system ensures better paint jobs and surface finishes for Ford customers around the world,” said Tom Dougan, project manager, global paint applications at Ford.

How it works

Ford’s dirt detection technology takes microscopic scans of each painted vehicle surface, and then cues final assembly operators to address repairs where necessary. In the past, paint and surface inspections were based on human-eye examination.

The 3D imaging system applies varying degrees and angles of light while scoping the paint surface of vehicle bodies to identify dirt in paint and other irregular paint conditions. High-resolution images – 3,150 images are captured in 15 seconds for every vehicle made – are stitched together for a full 3D image that is digitally compared to a perfect computer model.

The dirt on the dirt

Dirt particles in paint are difficult to manage with conventional quality control methods. Minute particles can enter a shop floor from multiple environmental sources, machinery or workers, which makes paint quality one of the toughest variables to control in production. Along with Dearborn Truck Plant, the automated inspection system is now being used in the United States at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant.

“This is one of the most exciting integrations of optical science and digital technology in the automotive industry,” said Dougan. “By combining innovations in vision technology, processing speed and software, Ford continues to invent new technologies that give our customers better paint quality and surpass competitor offerings.”


Globally, dirt detection technology is used at three Ford assembly plants. Here are the plants and the vehicles built there:
The technology launches later this year at these plants:
In 2014, Ford will launch dirt detection technology at the following plants:

Friday, August 23, 2013

Technology Helps Fiesta Outsell Competitive Subcompacts as Ford Sees Fastest Share Growth Among Millennials

2014 Ford Fiesta 5dr
  • The stylish, fuel-efficient and technology-loaded Ford Fiesta outsold the Toyota and Scion brands’ triplet of subcompact vehicles in the first half of 2013, and is drawing a younger audience of 46 percent gen Y and gen X buyers – compared to Toyota’s 36 percent average
  • Based on Ford analysis of Polk retail registration data, the Ford brand has grown its retail share of the millennial market faster than any other automotive brand since 2009 – a pace that would soon make Ford the No. 1 choice for young buyers
  • Fifty-four percent of Fiesta buyers cite Ford SYNC® technology as a top purchase driver compared to Toyota’s 37 percent average; 2014 Fiesta SE with Super Fuel Economy package is EPA-rated at 41 mpg highway – the only subcompact to achieve more than 40 mpg
  • One Ford global product strategy continues delivering innovations more rapidly, as the freshened 2014 Ford Fiesta adds the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine and MyFord Touch® driver connect technology

Fiesta was first of a wave of new global products from Ford that has helped the company turn the tables on imports in the United States, with increasing sales and a pace of millennial market share growth that soon could make Ford the top auto brand for young buyers.

The new Fiesta is significantly freshened, with more style, technology and fuel efficiency – keys to Ford’s sales and young-buyer surges. Fiesta has helped outsell Toyota and Scion’s three subcompact vehicles, 45,831 units to 32,510 units in 2013.

Based on Polk retail registration data, the Ford brand has had the fastest retail share growth of any U.S. brand among shoppers 18 to 34 years old, posting an 80 percent increase from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2013, compared to a 35 percent increase for the industry overall.

“Fiesta started the momentum we are seeing across our car and crossover lineups, which is helping us attract younger buyers and grow in coastal markets where the imports long have dominated,” says Amy Marentic, marketing manager, large cars and crossovers. “We are adding the EcoBoost engine and MyFord Touch to the new Fiesta because we have younger buyers switching to us for unique features such as SYNC that cannot be found on other small cars.”

The data indicate Ford brand retail share increased with these buyers 3.1 points, from 9.4 percent to 12.5 percent during that time – more than any brand in America. This growth is led by Ford vehicles such as Fiesta, Focus, C-MAX, Escape, Fusion and Explorer – which combined account for nearly 70 percent of the increase.

The new Fiesta features MyFord Touch® driver connect technology, and later this year will offer Ford’s acclaimed 1.0-liter EcoBoost® engine. Fiesta also offers a rear view camera, leather seats and sunroof – features not available on Toyota Yaris or Scion iQ or xD. Fiesta SE with Super Fuel Economy package is EPA-rated at 41 mpg highway, the only subcompact to achieve more than 40 mpg.

These types of innovations are helping Fiesta draw a younger audience of 46 percent gen Y and gen X buyers compared to Toyota and Scion’s 36 percent subcompact average, according to internal Ford data. Ford SYNC®, Fiesta’s voice-activated technology, is cited as an important purchase reason by 54 percent of buyers compared to Toyota’s 37 percent average.

The subcompact B-segment is a key market for cultivating loyalty, and is the fastest-growing non-premium segment in the United States. Nearly one-third of Fiesta customers are first-time buyers, and 67 percent choose another Ford when it comes time to trade in.

Fiesta is a top Ford vehicle for bringing in buyers on the coasts, with 45 percent of its customers on the east or west coast, compared to the company’s 38 percent average across the lineup.

These younger consumers trend toward smaller vehicles that fit with more urban lifestyles. They are also looking for a car that offers strong fuel economy while not sacrificing the fun-to-drive factor.

“Gone are the days when loading up a B-segment vehicle meant adding power windows, door locks and air conditioning,” says Marentic. “Today’s millennials and gen Xers demand the kinds of technology features that allow them to stay connected while behind the wheel, and to fully integrate the mobile devices they depend on every day.”

One Ford, many innovations

Thanks to One Ford global product strategy and Fiesta’s roots as one of the top-selling vehicles in the world, North American customers benefit from advanced innovations not found on competitors such as Toyota Yaris or Scion xD. Fiesta technologies include standard SYNC and an available 6.5-inch LCD screen with MyFord Touch, AppLink, rear view camera and sensors, Intelligent Access with push-button start and Sony HD Radio.

Further, Fiesta allows for personalization through touches such as an adaptable ambient lighting system and custom exterior graphics, as well as higher-end options such as leather seats and a sunroof.

For 2014, Fiesta offers new powertrain options, with increased performance from the efficient, 197-horsepower 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine in the new Fiesta ST, along with the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.

“Younger buyers are savvy consumers, what we call forensic buyers, with reams of data at their fingertips,” says Marentic. “They can find out nearly instantly if your car has as many bells and whistles as others, and if it is a good value.”

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ford's Dirt Detection Technology

Ford's world-first technology uses high-resolution cameras to generate a 3-D digital model so Ford can identify and eliminate dirt particles smaller than a grain of salt on vehicle surfaces.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ford Studies Space Robots for Connected Vehicle Communications

Ford Studies Space Robots for Connected Vehicle Communications
  • Ford begins three-year research project with St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia to observe the communication models of robots in space, with potential for connected vehicle communications applications
  • By studying communication between robots on the International Space Station and with Earth, the project aims to improve the reliability of connected vehicle communications and aid in the advancement of emergency vehicle communication methods
  • Ford is analyzing the most robust and reliable global telematics networks to help reduce traffic accidents; ease congestion; and provide faster, more accurate EMS response through vehicle-to-cloud, vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-vehicle and other communications

Ford is studying communications between space robots and Earth to enhance future applications of the connected car communications protocol. The research furthers the company’s commitment to industry leadership in the development of connected vehicle communications to help reduce traffic congestion and aid in the advancement of emergency vehicle communication methods.

Just one way Ford is making good on this commitment is through the launch of a three-year research partnership with the telematics department of St. Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia in its association with that country’s space industry. The goal of Ford’s relationship with the university is to analyze space-based robotic communications systems for vehicle mesh networks to aid in mobility solutions.

The development of connected vehicle communications has the potential to reduce traffic accidents and ease congestion by enabling vehicles to communicate with each other, and to communicate with buildings, traffic lights, the cloud and other systems to deliver a message or detect and respond to imminent collision warnings.

“Ford has been committed to the research and development of connected vehicle communications for more than a decade,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technical officer and vice president, Ford research and innovation. “Our participation in this research can aid in the development of next-generation Ford driver-assist technologies. These technologies will globally benefit Ford customers, other road users and the environment.”

Emergency situations

One promising development from Ford’s research project with St. Petersburg Polytechnic University is the advancement in emergency vehicle communication methods. Ford is analyzing how emergency messages should be sent to ensure delivery if network failures were to occur, identifying the systems and methods that provide redundancy in case of primary delivery failure.

For example, if an accident were to cause vehicle-to-cloud communications (V2C) to be broken, a vehicle may still have access to a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications network. An emergency signal message could potentially be sent through V2V to a vehicle nearby, and then between vehicles and infrastructures until it reached EMS.

“The research of fallback options and robust message networks is important,” said Oleg Gusikhin, technical leader in systems analytics for Ford. “If one network is down, alternatives need to be identified and strengthened to reliably propagate messages between networks.”

Space telematics

Telematics – the long-distance transmission of digital information – developed for use on space stations provide excellent potential for improving the reliability of future vehicle-to-cloud, vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-vehicle and other forms of communication (V2X). The communications blend multiple networking technologies including dedicated short-range communication (DSRC), cellular LTE wireless broadband and mesh networking to ensure robust and reliable connectivity for optimum signal strength for critical messages.

Using the knowledge accrued from analyzing the space robots, Ford engineers could then develop an algorithm that is integrated into the V2X system resulting in a message that would route through the appropriate network depending on the level of its importance. An emergency message, for example, may be communicated through the faster mesh network, whereas an entertainment-related message would route through a vehicle-to-infrastructure application, an embedded device or a brought-in device network.

“We are analyzing the data to research which networks are the most robust and reliable for certain types of messages, as well as fallback options if networks were to fail in a particular scenario,” said Gusikhin. “In a crash, for example, a vehicle could have the option to communicate an emergency though a DSRC, LTE or a mesh network based on the type of signal, speed and robustness required to reach emergency responders as quickly as possible.”

The specific space robots leveraged for Ford’s telematics analysis include the JUSTIN Humanoid, EUROBOT Ground Prototype and NASA Robonaut R2.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hot-Selling Ford Police Interceptor Utility Vehicle Now Offers 365-Horsepower EcoBoost Engine

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  • Ford adds 3.5-liter EcoBoost® utility vehicle model to Police Interceptor lineup to provide best-in-class horsepower and torque for police agencies
  • Since launch of the new Ford Police Interceptor products in 2012, the utility model accounts for half of the company’s police vehicle sales

Ford today announced police agencies will soon be able to order a Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicle with the 365-horsepower 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6.

The engine, which delivers 350 lb.-ft. of torque, has been available in a variety of Ford vehicles, including the Police Interceptor sedan, and is the choice for more than 40 percent of Ford F-150 truck buyers.

“We continue to look at ways we can offer our customers additional product enhancements to further meet their unique needs,” said Gerry Koss, Ford fleet marketing manager. “Our Police Advisory Board and customers across the country identified the EcoBoost engine as their No. 1 want in the Police Interceptor utility vehicle.”

Agencies often need to outfit vehicles with an increasing amount of equipment, but still require first-responder, pursuit-capable performance and handling; the new Ford Police Interceptor utility vehicle is designed to meet these requirements.

“With the Police Interceptor utility vehicle representing half of our police orders, it is evident our two-vehicle strategy was on target,” said Koss. “Our engineering team designed this vehicle specifically for the police market.”

The Police Interceptor utility has received very positive feedback from law enforcement agencies, including the performance of the standard 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine, which delivers 304 horsepower and 279 lb.-ft. of torque, said Bill Gubing, chief engineer for Police Interceptor.

Gubing cited recently released results of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department testing and evaluation of 2013 model year vehicles, which show Ford’s Police Interceptor utility vehicle swept all categories, including acceleration, braking, 32-lap high-speed and pursuit versus the Chevrolet Tahoe equipped with a 5.3-liter V8 engine.

“The 3.5-liter EcoBoost will offer best-in-class performance and top-notch fuel economy,” said Gubing. “That means law enforcement agencies that require this level of capability won’t have to compromise.

“It also complements our strategy of offering a choice of either sedan or utility vehicle based on a common platform, and sharing a large amount of common components, including powertrains, brakes, wheels/tires, seats and maintenance items,” Gubing added.

Lt. Charlie Powell, commander of fleet operations for Nevada Highway Patrol, said Ford “has made a good vehicle even more impressive” with the addition of the EcoBoost engine for the Police Interceptor utility vehicle. “This is good news,” he said. “We at Nevada Highway Patrol look forward to putting this platform in the field as soon as practical.”

Ford’s Police Interceptor engine strategy provides a V6 lineup that outperforms V8 engines of years past. The Police Interceptor sedan is available with three powertrain options – a 3.5-liter V6 with front-wheel drive, 3.7-liter V6 with all-wheel drive and the powerhouse 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine with all-wheel drive – allowing police to choose the powerplant that best meets their patrol requirements.

For more information on Ford Police Interceptor, visit

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sold for $500,000: 2014 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible Delivers for Brain Injury Association of America at Hot August Nights

The last retail 2014MY Ford Shelby GT500 convertible auctioned by Ford Motor Company to benefit the Brain Injury Association of America fetched a whopping $500,000 at the inaugural Hot August Nights Auction Presented by Barrett-Jackson in Reno, Nev.

On Saturday, Aug. 10, Don Damon of Great Bend, Kan., purchased the Shelby in a spirited bidding war, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the BIAA. Parnelli Jones, 1963 Indy 500 winner and advocate for the charity, cheered on the competition.

“It was thrilling to watch the bidding unfold,” said Steve Ling, North America car marketing manager for Ford. “The moment showed the power of a great charity and a great car, and the tremendous generosity of the Damon family and our friends at Barrett-Jackson.”

Jones was introduced to the BIAA when his son Page Jones, a rising star in racing, suffered a severe brain injury in a Sprint Car race. His prognosis was grim, yet with the support of his family, Page has gone on to have a fulfilling, productive and joyous life. With the upcoming documentary, Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones, both the family and BIAA hope to raise awareness of the importance of rehabilitation for those who suffer from a traumatic brain injury.

“It’s my 80th birthday, and I can’t imagine a better present,” said Parnelli Jones. “We worked hard to help Page recover from his injury, but we couldn’t have done it alone. We received help from the BIAA, and this funding will aid so many others who have suffered from similar injuries.”
The Ford Shelby GT500 is another in a line of vehicles sold by Ford Motor Company to support charities over the past several years. Other recipients have included the Carroll Shelby Foundation and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

“We at the BIAA are overcome with gratitude,” said Susan H. Connors, president and CEO of the BIAA. “This Ford Shelby GT500 sale provides vital funding for research, treatment and education to help the 3.5 million Americans who suffer from traumatic brain injuries. It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with Ford, Barrett-Jackson, Parnelli and Page.”

With 662 horsepower, superb handling and a 0-60 mph time of under 4.0 seconds, the Shelby GT500 is one of the world’s greatest muscle cars. As the winning bidder for the 2014 Shelby, Damon can choose any interior, exterior and stripe color combination offered by Ford, making this a one-off factory custom car. Additionally, Parnelli Jones will sign the Shelby in appreciation for the BIAA donation. The car is scheduled to be delivered to Damon by year’s end.

At Hot August Nights, Ford also celebrated America’s love affair with cars and rock ’n’ roll. During the festivities, Ford offered both Ride-and-Drives and hot lap experiences at the parking lot of Atlantis Casino Resort. The Ride-and-Drives featured Ford’s elite stable of vehicles – including Explorer, Focus and Mustang – and Ford fans were able to run hot laps in the Shelby GT500, Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Ford also showcased its vehicles in the Reno to Sparks cruise-in.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ford Upgrades 2014 C-MAX Hybrid for Better Fuel Economy, Changes 2013 Label to Improve Customer Satisfaction

  • 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid on sale later this year is upgraded with new transmission gearing and enhanced aerodynamics to further improve fuel efficiency performance
  • Ford voluntarily changing its approach to C-MAX Hybrid fuel economy labeling going forward to better match performance and improve customer satisfaction
  • Label changes will result in a lower 2013 C-MAX Hybrid miles-per-gallon label – though still class-leading and a better combined label than the Toyota Prius v; current C-MAX Hybrid owners will receive a goodwill payment for the difference
  • Customer demand for C-MAX Hybrid remains very strong, with two-thirds of buyers from imports; C-MAX Hybrid helps drive Ford to best quarterly hybrid U.S. sales ever

Underscoring its commitment to fuel economy leadership, Ford Motor Company today said it is upgrading the 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid, which will go on sale in December. The company also is changing the way it tests and labels the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid for fuel economy to better match performance and improve customer satisfaction.

The upgrades build on powertrain software updates Ford announced last month for the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid. The 2014 C-MAX also will benefit from several hardware changes, including:

  • Gearing changes that result in a more efficient transmission drive ratio
  • New hood seal, front and rear tire deflectors, A-pillar moldings and the addition of rear lift gate deflectors to improve vehicle aerodynamics
  • New engine oil with reduced friction

The enhancements to the 2014 C-MAX Hybrid are expected to improve customers’ on-road fuel economy, especially at highway speeds.

“Ford is absolutely committed to being a leader in the hybrid market and to top fuel efficiency across our lineup,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, global product development. “We are taking actions with our popular C-MAX Hybrid so that customers are even more satisfied with the vehicle’s on-road fuel efficiency performance.”

The variability of on-road fuel economy is greater for hybrids than for conventional vehicles. Relatively small differences in driver behavior and driving conditions can have a significant effect on the degree to which a hybrid’s gasoline engine is used for propulsion, which affects fuel efficiency.

Changes to C-MAX Hybrid fuel economy labeling process

In addition to improving the vehicle itself, Ford is changing the way it generates the miles-per-gallon label for C-MAX Hybrid going forward. Previously – and consistent with EPA’s General Label rules – testing of the Fusion Hybrid was used to generate fuel economy labels for a family of vehicles, including both Fusion Hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid. The result was the same fuel economy label values for both vehicles.

While the company could continue to use EPA’s General Label for C-MAX Hybrid, Ford voluntarily has decided to test and label C-MAX Hybrid separately going forward. The result will be a lower miles-per-gallon label for the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid. Testing to generate a label for the 2014 C-MAX Hybrid is not yet complete.

The revised 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid label will carry a class-leading EPA combined fuel economy value of 43 mpg – topping the combined label value of 42 mpg for the Toyota Prius v.

Because this voluntary step results in miles-per-gallon values different from the original C-MAX Hybrid label, Ford also is making a goodwill payment to current C-MAX Hybrid owners for the estimated average fuel cost of the difference between the two labels. Customers who purchased their vehicle will receive a check from Ford for $550. Customers who leased their vehicle will receive a check for $325.

Existing customers will be notified by mail, and Ford is working with dealers to re-label vehicles on dealer lots. Customers with questions can contact the Ford Customer Relationship Center at, or +1-800-392-3673.

Strong C-MAX customer reaction

Customer response to Ford C-MAX is strong. In fact, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid are driving record U.S. electrified vehicle sales. Ford sold 53,014 electrified vehicles through July – 392 percent higher than a year ago. Two-thirds of buyers are coming from imports.

In addition, the latest J.D. Power APEAL study shows C-MAX Hybrid is scoring high with customers. Engine responsiveness, smoothness, passing power/acceleration, interior quietness and visibility all rank significantly higher than the segment average. Customers also report C-MAX is “more luxurious” and “more innovative,” as well as more environmentally friendly.

Ford’s electrified vehicle market share through the first seven months of this year is 15.4 percent -- a 12-point increase compared with the same period last year.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Racing the Boss: Parnelli Jones -- Mustang Countdown

Motorsports has been a part of the Ford Mustang story since the pony car's very earliest days in 1964. Not long after it debuted, a pair of Mustangs finished and second in class in the Tour de France rally. One of the most iconic racing Mustangs of the past 49 years was the School Bus Yellow #15 Boss 302 driven by Parnelli Jones in the TransAm series during 1969 and 1970. After missing out on the championship in 1969, Jones led Ford to the top in 1970 with five wins in 11 races including a tough race in the finale at Riverside.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mustang Alley Features Nearly 50 Years of Ford Mustang Heritage On Display at the Annual Woodward Dream Cruise

  • Annual Mustang Alley attraction the annual Woodward Dream Cruise to feature more than 800 classic Ford Mustangs from the first 49 years of the world’s favorite pony car
  • Ford marketing manager Jacques Brent will cut the ribbon for Mustang Alley on Friday, Aug. 16 at 4 p.m.
  • The full lineup of 2014 Ford Mustangs and SVT vehicles plus, the new 2014 F-150 Tremor sport truck will be on display in Mustang Alley

It’s summertime in Detroit so that means it’s time to go cruising once again on Woodward Ave. As fans around the world celebrate the 50th consecutive year of Ford Mustang production, the intersection of 9 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue in Ferndale, just north of Detroit city limits, will again be the home for Mustang Alley during the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17 – rain or shine – this high-octane destination will highlight 49 years of the world’s favorite pony car with more than 800 classic and modern Mustang models from 1964 through the present day.

The annual Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day classic car event. About 1.5 million visitors and 40,000 antique and classic cars from all over North America are expected to visit the Dream Cruise, which stretches from suburban Detroit north to Pontiac in a celebration of all things automotive.

The full 2014 Mustang lineup will be on display, including the 662-horsepower Ford Shelby GT500 and the Mustang GT and V6 coupe with Performance Package.
The SVT display will feature the latest 2014 Shelby GT500, along with the Focus ST and Fiesta ST.
The new 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor sport truck will also be on display. Tremor is the first sport truck powered by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine.

Mustang Alley is the place to be for performance enthusiasts building Ford-powered street rods and race cars. Ford Racing will have a large display of street and strip crate engines on display. A cadre of Ford Racing technicians and engineers will be on hand to meet with the public and answer detailed technical questions about performance, installation, tuning and other topics.
Numerous Ford partners will have displays at Mustang Alley including:
  • Falken Tire
  • Roush
  • MRT
  • HPI (remote control cars)
  • Ford Racing
  • Dembeste (Shelby engine company)
  • Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  • Mustang Club of America
  • Capaldi Racing
  • Shelby American
  • Classic Design Concepts

On Friday, Aug. 16 at 4 p.m. Jacques Brent, Ford marketing manager will deliver a keynote speech and cut the ribbon at Mustang Alley.

Mustang Countdown

Ford has launched Mustang Countdown, an online video series to throw the spotlight on the legendary sports car and the culture that has formed around it all across the globe, and to continue the celebration leading up to the 50th birthday of Mustang on April 17, 2014.

The series kicks off with – Where It All Started: The Mustang 1 Concept – and turning the clock back to the 1962 debut of the first concept car to wear the pony badge. From there, other episodes lift the lid on Ford’s exhaustive Mustang archives, Mustang toys, custom Mustangs and more – all featuring unique and often rare footage, exclusive new interviews and expert insight. Subscribe to the Mustang Countdown playlist to never miss an episode.

50 years of Mustang

The Ford Mustang is about to become the newest member of a very exclusive club – vehicles in continuous production for 50 years. In its first 49 years of production, Mustang has gained a worldwide base of avid fans, including more than 5 million on Facebook, the most of any vehicle nameplate. The car’s unique combination of style, performance and affordability established an entirely new class of sporty cars, and Mustang has led the segment ever since.

Over the past 49 years, of the more than 9.2 million Mustangs produced and sold, most of them have originated close to Ford’s home base in Dearborn, Mich. From the racetrack to the silver screen to the airwaves to the toy box, Mustang has become an enduring part of pop culture.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ford Expands Availability of Rear Inflatable Safety Belt to 2014 Fusion

  • The 2014 Ford Fusion becomes the only vehicle in its class to offer rear inflatable safety belts, which combine the attributes of safety belts and airbags
  • Rear inflatable safety belts provide additional protection for rear-seat passengers, who often are children or older adults more vulnerable to head, neck and chest injuries
  • Ford introduced the industry’s first inflatable safety belts on the 2011 Ford Explorer; it is now available on six Ford and Lincoln models: Ford Explorer, Fusion, Flex, Taurus and Lincoln MKT and Lincoln MKZ
  • Ford Fusion owners benefit from a number of available driver-assist technologies, with 72 percent of Fusions sold equipped with Ford’s cross-traffic alert rear sensing technology and 58 percent equipped with a rear-view camera
The new 2014 Ford Fusion is the only car in the popular midsize segment to offer rear inflatable safety belts, adding to the sedan’s suite of available safety and driver-assist technologies. This option is also available in the Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi.
Rear inflatable safety belts combine the attributes of safety belts and airbags. The shoulder belt developed for the outboard rear seats contains an airbag. During a crash, sensors determine when the inflatable belt should deploy and signal the belt’s tubular airbag to rapidly inflate with compressed gas.

“The inflatable belt is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear-seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries,” said Srinivasan Sundararajan, safety technical leader with Ford’s research and advanced engineering group. “This is another unique family technology that builds on our safety leadership.”

Ford introduced inflatable rear safety belts on the 2011 Ford Explorer; along with Fusion, the technology is now also available on Ford Flex and Ford Taurus, and Lincoln MKT and Lincoln MKZ. The class-exclusive technology will also be available in Australia when the new Ford Mondeo arrives in that market in late 2014.

In everyday use, inflatable belts operate like conventional safety belts, and are compatible with child car seats and boosters. (Always refer to the child car seat or booster seat manufacturer’s instructions for specific information.) During a crash, the inflatable belt helps distribute crash forces across more of a passenger’s torso than a traditional belt – up to five times more. Spreading the pressure over a larger area helps reduce pressure on the passenger’s chest, and helps control head and neck motion.
Safety experts acknowledge that the back seat is the safest place for children, and Ford is committed to keeping all vehicle occupants safe.

Ford Fusion owners benefit from a number of available driver-assist technologies. Seventy-two percent of vehicles sold are equipped with Ford’s cross-traffic alert rear sensing technology and 58 percent are equipped with a rear view camera.

Strong demand for Fusion is driving national share gains for Ford, especially in the western and southeastern areas of the United States. In the first half of 2013, Fusion sales rose 17.8 percent to 161,146 vehicles, compared with the same period in 2012.

Ford builds Fusion at the company’s Hermosillo, Mexico, manufacturing facility, and will soon add production at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Ford Focus Remains Best-Selling Vehicle Nameplate in the World, Bolstered by Strong Sales in First-Quarter 2013

  • Based on Ford’s analysis of Polk’s latest global vehicle registration data, Ford Focus continues to be the world’s best-selling vehicle nameplate
  • Focus global retail registrations up 18 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the same period last year
  • Focus now produced in nine plants worldwide, giving Ford capacity to build more than two Focus vehicles every minute

DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 13, 2013 – Ford Focus, the best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world last year, retains that ranking through the first quarter of 2013 with global vehicle registrations up 18 percent compared to the same period in 2012.

Based on analysis of Polk’s latest global registration to date, 288,724 Focus vehicles were registered in the quarter ending March 31 – the most recent figures available.

Strong demand in key markets such as China and Brazil fueled the growth. Focus registrations in China reached 104,065 vehicles, up 153 percent compared to the first quarter of 2012. In Brazil, demand rose 18 percent, with 7,227 vehicles registered during the period.

To meet growing customer demand for Focus, Ford has ramped up capacity worldwide. In July, the company’s plant in Pacheco, Argentina, became the latest to produce Focus on a global platform. Focus is now built in nine plants on four continents. Factories in the United States, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Russia, Germany and Argentina have a combined capacity to produce more than 1.5 million Focus vehicles annually at a rate of more than two vehicles per minute.
Focus is available in a range of models depending on market, including sedan, hatchback, wagon, an electric-powered model and the high-performance Focus ST.

Monday, August 12, 2013

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor Sport Truck Will Pace Field for NASCAR Trucks Race at Michigan International Speedway


  • 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor has been chosen to pace the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Michigan National Guard 200 on Saturday, Aug. 17
  • 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor sport truck with EcoBoost® engine cranks out 365 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque, delivering V8 power with V6 fuel economy
  • Ford F-150 Tremor will be on sale this fall

The 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor – the first EcoBoost®-powered sport truck – will lead the field to the green flag at the always-fast Michigan International Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Michigan National Guard 200 on Saturday, Aug. 17.

“Michigan International Speedway is one of the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit, so the vehicle pacing the field also needs to be fast,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “The 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor, with its light-weight configuration, EcoBoost engine and launch-optimized performance, is well-suited for this job.”

This 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor’s EcoBoost engine is the same powerful powertrain customers can buy – the only major modification to the pace truck is a bank of safety lights mandated by NASCAR. The short-wheelbase, regular-cab Tremor goes on sale this fall delivering distinctive looks and performance.

The all-new truck couples the style of the FX Appearance Package with an EcoBoost engine and a launch-optimized 4.10 rear axle – the shortest final drive ratio offered in an EcoBoost F-150 – to help provide customers with fast acceleration. The FX Appearance Package features stealthy, flat-black accents that include unique 20-inch wheels, stylized bodyside graphics and black badges with red lettering.

Tremor is the only regular-cab F-150 offering a flow-through center console and bucket seats. Interior touches include black leather seating surfaces with red piping, brushed-metal accents and a red-stitched steering wheel. Alcantara® seat inserts add texture and style as well.

F-150 Tremor is powered exclusively by Ford’s groundbreaking 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which features:

  • 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular fuel
  • 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm
  • Twin independent variable camshaft timing for improved performance and fuel economy

An electronic locking rear differential that’s standard for both two- and four-wheel-drive versions helps deliver the power to the pavement by improving traction during takeoff.
The 2014 F-150 Tremor also comes standard with SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, which includes a large 8-inch LCD color touch screen mounted in the center stack. This package adds a media hub with two USB ports, an SD card reader and audio/video input jacks.

Saturday’s race caps a busy week for the Ford F-150 Tremor:

  • On Wednesday, Aug. 14, reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski will drive hot laps with the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor at Michigan International Speedway. The Rochester Hills, Mich., native is looking to defend his Sprint Cup title in his Ford Fusion
  • On Thursday, Aug. 15, the F-150 Tremor will be the subject of a live Tremor Talk web chat featuring Brian Bell, F-150 marketing manager, also known as the father of the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor, co-hosted with

“We are proud to continue using Ford trucks to pace the field at MIS,” said Allison. “Just like last year when we showcased the F-150 FX4, we’re using this Michigan race as a platform to promote another one of the outstanding products in the Ford F-150 lineup.”

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Built Ford Green: Sustainable Materials Make America’s Best-Selling Truck Environmentally Friendly and Tough

  • Rice hulls are the latest sustainable material used in Ford F-150; the hulls reinforce plastic used in an electrical harness in 2014 F-150
  • Other eco-friendly materials in F-Series trucks are soybeans and post-industrial recycled cotton – one 2014 Ford F-150 truck uses the equivalent of about 10 pairs of jeans, 26 bath towels or 31 T-shirts as carpet insulation or sound absorber
  • Eco-friendly materials complement fuel efficient F-Series powertrains, including an available 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine, which improves fuel economy up to 20 percent and reduces CO2 emissions up to 15 percent compared to similarly capable V8 engines

Ford is proving that pickups can be green and tough by adding rice hulls to the list of sustainable materials used to build F-150 – America’s best-selling truck.

Ford is using plastic reinforced with rice hulls – a byproduct of rice grain – in an electrical harness in the 2014 F-150. The company will need at least 45,000 pounds of hulls in the first year.

“The 2014 F-Series exemplifies our continued efforts to use recycled content in our vehicles,” said John Viera, Ford global director of sustainability and vehicle environmental matters. “We can have greater impact in this case because of the size and sales volume of this product.”

The rice hulls are sourced from farms in Arkansas and will replace a talc-based reinforcement in a polypropylene composite made by RheTech, a Whitmore Lake, Mich.-based automotive supplier.

“We developed this resin specifically for Ford over the last three years, working with the automaker closely, including in all phases of material qualification,” said David Preston, director of business development for RheTech. “The whole process has been a rewarding success for both Ford and RheTech, which can add yet another natural-fiber based product to our RheVision line.”

Rice hull-reinforced plastic is the most recent example of Ford researchers and engineers using sustainable material whenever possible in the F-Series – without compromising toughness and durability. F-Series trucks already feature:

  • Recycled cotton: Used as carpet insulation and a sound absorber; every 2014 F-150 contains enough recycled cotton to make the equivalent of 10 pairs of jeans
  • Soybeans: Used to make seat cushions, seat backs and head restraints
  • Recycled carpet: Some F-150 trucks have cylinder head covers made with EcoLon, a nylon resin produced from 100 percent post-consumer recycled carpet
  • Recycled tires: A thermoplastic material made from recycled tires and post-consumer recycled polypropylene is used to make shields and some underbody covers on F-150
  • Recycled plastic soda pop and water bottles: A lightweight fiber derived from recycled plastic soda pop and water bottles is used to construct F-150 wheel liners and shields. The parts are significantly lighter than traditional injection molded parts and lead to a quieter ride. Select F-Series trucks feature fabric made from recycled fiber
  • Recycled post-industrial plastics: Used in interior finish panels, including around radio and climate controls

Researchers in Dearborn are constantly searching for the next sustainable material that can feasibly be used in Ford vehicles. Finding a source of material is only the beginning of the process, however, because before making it to production, components made from recycled content must perform as well or better than comparable virgin-grade material.

Materials development engineers at Ford Materials Engineering, Testing and Standards in Dearborn, in conjunction with RheTech, conducted testing of the rice hull material for more than a year, examining everything from smell and appearance to functionality and flammability. The rice hull-based material successfully passed all tests.

With F-Series as America’s best-selling truck for 36 years – averaging more than 650,000 sales per year – the environmental impact of being as sustainable as possible adds up fast. Ford estimates about 10 million pounds of recycled cotton are used in F-Series trucks annually.

“Fuel economy is a top priority when it comes to Ford’s environmental impact,” says Carrie Majeske, Ford product sustainability manager. “But we also recognize the tremendous impact that can be made by using sustainable materials inside our cars, utilities and trucks.”

The eco-friendly aspects of F-Series extend to the powertrain. The available 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine combines technologies typically associated with heavy-duty truck diesel engines – turbocharging and direct fuel injection – in a gasoline engine. The engine delivers fuel economy gains of up to 20 percent, while reducing CO2 emissions by up to 15 percent.

Further, the 2014 F-150 equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine will be available this fall with a factory-installed package that allows the engine to operate on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.

The complete F-Series Super Duty pickup truck and chassis cab lineup is available with gasoline, diesel, B20, and dedicated compressed natural gas or liquid propane gas capability, or CNG/LPG bi-fuel capability, while Ford F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks can be outfitted for gasoline, biodiesel or CNG/LPG operation. In addition to biodiesel and CNG/LPG offerings, the 6.2-liter V8 can operate on E85, an ethanol-gasoline mix.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Ford Works to Strengthen Supplier Relationships to Provide Customers with Best-in-Class Technologies

  • Ford introduces Aligned Business Framework 2.0, to help roll out new technologies to customers more quickly while improving quality and overall profitability
  • The integration of the ABF has helped Ford become the preferred domestic automaker among suppliers
  • ABF 2.0 will help Ford continue building strong relationships with its suppliers, while also helping to increase scale and meet capacity needs
Ford Motor Company is introducing Aligned Business Framework 2.0 – the evolution of an initiative that helps strengthen supplier relationships and bring new technologies to more Ford customers faster.

ABF 2.0 will enable supplier innovations to reach customers quicker by providing more robust tracking of new technologies from idea to implementation. Additionally, ABF 2.0 will foster more communication between suppliers and senior Ford leaders, offer greater opportunities to increase scale, and engage suppliers earlier in the vehicle design process.

“The evolution of the Aligned Business Framework helps us to further integrate with our product development team, and encourages our suppliers to bring their best and most innovative technologies to Ford,” said Birgit Behrendt, Ford vice president of global programs and purchasing operations. Speaking today at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars, she added, “As we continue to consolidate our supply base, we plan to increase the amount of business we’re conducting with ABF suppliers to around 70 percent.”

The initiative identifies key component and service suppliers through which to consolidate the company’s supply base, helping deliver the One Ford goal of profitable growth for all – including suppliers. Since 2005, the ABF has promoted transparency, communication, collaboration and trust between Ford and its supply base. The ABF’s success also includes its production scale; Ford is sourcing 65 percent of its global production business with ABF suppliers, up from 34 percent during the first year of the initiative.

Since implementing the ABF, Ford has improved its supplier relationships, and leads in supplier favorability among domestic automakers in consulting firm IHS Automotive’s 2013 study on OEM-supplier relations, and the 2013 OEM-Supplier Working Relations Index from Birmingham, Mich.-based Planning Perspectives.

“The introduction of the ABF has greatly improved the supply base’s perception of Ford,” said Behrendt. “We wanted to be their automaker of choice, and ABF has allowed us to achieve that.”
In North America, for example, Ford suppliers were key to successfully adding 400,000 units of capacity in 2012, followed by another 200,000 units in 2013. Ford continues to evolve ABF based on nearly a decade of key insights gained through the initiative.

An important ABF initiative is the Executive Business Technology Review. This allows senior Ford product development and purchasing leaders to experience suppliers’ latest technologies through a show-and-tell approach, and for Ford, in many cases, to be the first automaker to introduce these technologies to drivers around the world.

Key technologies introduced through the review include Ford’s hands-free liftgate, active park assist and Lane-Keeping System, which debuted on various 2012 and 2013 model Ford vehicles.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Voting Opens to the Public for Ford Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge

  • Mobile and Web-based apps that take advantage of vehicle data gathered through OpenXC to help drivers improve their personal fuel efficiency will be eligible for $50,000 in cash prizes, including a $25,000 grand prize and a $1,000 popular choice prize
  • $50,000 cash prize to be shared by creators who win the Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge; visit to vote and learn more
  • At the end of the public voting period, the votes will be tallied and verified to determine the Popular Choice award winner

Voting has officially opened for the OpenXC Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge, and the creativity of the developer community that participated knows no bounds. From vehicle data-driven Piggy Banks to audible games that encourage careful driving behind the wheel, over 20 applications will be voted on by a qualified judging panel as well as the public for a chance to share $50,000 in cash prizes.

The Personalized Fuel Efficiency App Challenge was announced in April at the New York International Auto Show by Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln, with the goal of providing drivers with tools that show how they are using fuel and where they can save.

“The flexible nature of OpenXC makes it ideal for user-innovation and has attracted participating developers to submit novel methods of solving for personal fuel efficiency,” said K. Venkatesh Prasad, senior technical leader of Open Innovation within Ford's Research and Innovation department. “Our judges will have their work cut out for them.”

In addition to the apps submitted by developers, Ford also offered the opportunity to non-developers to participate by challenging them to submit ideas for the apps they would like to see developed. The top ideas will win $100 each.

While voting is open for anyone to participate in determining the winner of the Popular Choice award and a $1,000 cash prize, the grand prize of $25,000 will be decided by a judging panel that includes executives from Ford, Microsoft, and Shell.

“We started this competition by asking the question ‘What type of personal fuel-economy app would allow you and your car to get to know each other better and enhance your ownership experience?’,’ said Prasad. “With the OpenXC Fuel Efficiency App Challenge, I think we are closer to finding out.”

Learn more about the Fuel Efficiency App Challenge at

Thursday, August 8, 2013

2013 Ford Focus Earns Highest Possible Safety Rating from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

  • The 2013 Ford Focus earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the  Insurance Institute for Highway (IIHS), demonstrating Ford’s commitment to vehicle safety
  • 2013 Ford Focus is one of only six small cars tested to earn top marks from IIHS
  • Focus previously earned the federal government’s highest safety rating – a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The 2013 Ford Focus earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Focus is one of six vehicles in the small car segment to achieve IIHS’s highest rating.
Top Safety Pick+ is a new category in the IIHS ratings. Vehicles must earn a “good” rating for occupant protection in four evaluations: moderate overlap frontal crash, side impact, rollover, and seats/head restraints. The tests are scored “good,” “acceptable,” “marginal” or “poor.” In addition, vehicles must achieve “good” or “acceptable” in a fifth test – small overlap frontal crash. Focus was rated “good” in each of the first four tests and “acceptable” in the small overlap frontal crash.

“Ford is committed to designing vehicles that help keep people safe,” said Steve Kenner, global director of Ford’s Automotive Safety Office. “We are constantly seeking innovative ways to help drivers avoid accidents and keep occupants safe when an incident does occur.”

Structured to keep families safe

With families in mind, Ford took a holistic approach to safety when designing the Focus – from its ultra-high-strength steel structure to advanced safety technologies. This approach also helped the small car earn top safety ratings from the federal government. The 2013 and 2014 Ford Focus sedan and hatchback, and the 2013 Focus Electric were each awarded a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The body structure of the Focus is engineered to be highly protective. It makes extensive use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels that to help protect the passenger cabin in a collision. Boron steel in the Focus’ structure absorbs and redirects crash forces to protect vehicle occupants in the event of a crash.

Focus also features Ford’s MyKey® technology, an industry exclusive. MyKey is designed for families with teen drivers and can be programed to limit audio system volume, to limit top vehicle speed, and to encourage teens to wear their safety belts with the use of chimes and by muting the radio if the front-row safety belts are not buckled. MyKey is standard on the 2013 Focus.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Ford’s New Sustainable Workforce Initiative Helps Ensure Hourly Employee Health, Efficiency and Productivity

  • Ford takes a four-pronged approach – strategic hiring, training, protection and safety, and health care initiatives – to build and maintain a sustainable hourly workforce
  • Ford’s virtual and simulated factories improve manufacturing quality and safety
  • With the rollout of global safety standards, overall injury rates have dropped 90 percent since 2000
Ford is taking environmental sustainability a step further through an initiative called Sustainable Workforce meant to ensure the long-term health, efficiency and productivity of the company’s most important asset – its people.

“Ford could not exist without all of our hard-working employees, so it’s important for us to do everything in our power to provide a safe and sustainable work environment,” said Jim Tetreault, vice president, Ford North America manufacturing. Speaking today at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars, Tetreault added, “Through our Sustainable Workforce initiative, we’re taking a new, holistic approach to fostering growth and well-being amongst our workers, and making sure Ford is a great place to build a career over the long-term.”

The goal of Sustainable Workforce is to keep hourly employees healthy and safe throughout their careers with Ford – from before their first day on the job through their retirement. The initiative focuses on four components: high-performance hiring, advanced training, protection and safety, and health and well-being for life.

High-performance hiring

Selecting the right candidates for open hourly positions can be challenging, said Tetreault, given the ratio of job applicants to open positions – nearly 30 to 1. To narrow the field, Ford’s human resources team determines which candidates are likely to be high performers based on a comprehensive test that looks at skills, abilities and motivation.

“We look at what candidates can do as well as what they will do,” said Tetreault. “Factors associated with motivation – work ethic, conscientiousness and teamwork – are just as important in an effective employee as skills and abilities such as reading, arithmetic, defect spotting and manual assembly. Looking at candidates from both perspectives allows us to better select potential high performers who we want working with us.”

Advanced training

After strategic hiring, training is crucial to ensure new hourly employees are prepared to work safely and efficiently. Base operators receive several weeks of training – a combination of classroom, simulated factory and hands-on factory work. Semiskilled operators receive up to six months of training, and skilled trades training has increased to more than six months, or up to nine months prior to a model launch.

Simulated factory training, which was developed at Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky, has expanded to Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan in preparation for the start of Ford Fusion production.

“This training process – which provides workers with hands-on training in a real-world work environment – has been so successful that it is now considered a global standard and is being implemented in our plants worldwide,” said Tetreault.

Protection and safety

In 1999, Ford revamped its safety program to create global safety process standards. Employees must “stop, think and plan” before taking on any task – whether it’s replacing a light bulb or a production task on the assembly line.

“By having our employees analyze the task before any work begins, we are able to better prevent safety incidents in our facilities,” said Tetreault. “Overall injury rates have dropped to one-tenth of the levels of 1999, and our lost-time case rate is just a fraction of what it was in 2000.”

To identify ergonomic issues early and reduce the risk of chronic repetitive motion injuries, Ford conducts virtual ergonomic assessments in its virtual factory. Resolving issues before the production of physical parts plays a significant role in keeping employees safe in the workplace.

“Since implementation of our virtual factory, the number of ergonomic issues during physical builds has been greatly reduced,” said Tetreault. “So far in 2013, our days away and restricted time rate has fallen to less than one-sixth of where it was in 2001, and we continue to make progress.”

Health and well-being for life

Ensuring employees’ long-term health is the final step in maintaining a sustainable workforce. To improve the health care experience and outcome for hourly employees with the greatest need, Ford recently announced its Enhanced Care Program in conjunction with the UAW and UAW Trust. This voluntary two-year pilot program uses a personalized care approach to help eligible participants manage chronic health care needs and prevent future problems when possible.

“Our hourly worker population tends to be more high-risk, to have more chronic conditions like asthma and diabetes, and to use preventive services less often compared with the national average,” said Tetreault. “As health care spending continues to increase, Ford, the UAW and health care providers continue to work together to develop and promote programs that will maintain or improve employees’ health while reducing costs at the same time. We think the goal is imminently achievable.”

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Third Production Crew with 900 New U.S. Jobs Begins to Meet Surging Ford F-Series Demand

  • Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant today launches a third crew that adds 900 new jobs to meet surging customer demand for Ford F-Series, part of the 200,000 units of added annual straight-time capacity Ford plans for 2013
  • Through July, Ford F-Series sales 50 percent higher than the second-best-selling vehicle in America
  • With the additional crew at Kansas City Assembly Plant, Ford has reached 75 percent of its goal to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States by 2015
  • Ford has added 2,335 hourly jobs and 1,500 salary jobs in the United States this year alone
Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 5, 2013 – Ford, America’s truck leader, today welcomes a third crew of 900 new hourly workers at its Kansas City Assembly Plant to meet surging customer demand for the Ford F-150.

Ford F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series lineup, the nation’s No. 1-selling vehicle for 31 years and the best-selling truck for 36 years.

“Ford F-Series sales are the strongest since 2006, and we are increasing production to meet this demand.” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager. “This is an important indicator that our economy is growing again. We are proud that Ford Trucks are helping more and more of our customers get back to work.”

The additional production crew is Ford’s first step in bringing more than 2,000 jobs to Kansas City Assembly Plant to meet growing truck demand and to launch production of the all-new Ford Transit van early next year.

Over the past year, Ford announced it will increase capacity by 600,000 units in North America to meet surging demand for its cars, trucks and utilities.

F-Series demand

Customer demand for Ford F-Series continues to strengthen:

  • F-Series sales increased 22 percent from January to July 2013, compared to the same period last year
  • F-Series sales were at 60,449 in July, representing the best July sales month since 2006 and a 23 percent increase over 2012
  • Based on July U.S. sales results, F-Series sales now have increased for 24 consecutive months

The Built Ford Tough F-150 delivers the segment’s best combination of power, capability, safety and fuel economy. F-150 leads in a variety of fields, including:
  • 68 percent market share in hazardous materials work
  • 67 percent share in the oil pipeline industry
  • 62 percent share in road and highway maintenance

“Whether it’s construction, farming, energy or law enforcement, Ford trucks keep America working,” said Scott.

Going further

The additional jobs at Kansas City Assembly Plant come as Ford continues to retool and expand the facility through a $1.1 billion investment to ready for Transit production. Kansas City Assembly Plant has more than 250 suppliers nationally and more than 10 suppliers locally that will benefit from the addition of a third crew. When Transit production begins, close to 275 suppliers nationally and six suppliers locally will grow their business.

“Missouri’s resurgent auto industry continues to drive economic growth and create good jobs for Missouri families in Kansas City and across the state,” Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said. “I applaud Ford for their historic investment in this region and congratulate the hundreds of additional autoworkers going to work building America’s most popular pickup right here in the Show-Me State.”

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Ford Motor Company Posts Best July Since 2006 and Best Retail Sales Since 2005

  • Ford Motor Company’s U.S. sales for July increase 11 percent compared with a year ago, for the best total July monthly sales since 2006; retail sales surge 19 percent, for the best July retail sales since 2005
  • Ford small cars – Fiesta, Focus and C-MAX hybrids – are up 32 percent, driving coastal retail share gains
  • Ford utility vehicles also strong, with Edge up 15 percent, Explorer up 13 percent and Escape up 4 percent, putting all three vehicles on pace for a record-setting year
  • F-Series posts best July sales since 2006

Ford Motor Company’s U.S. sales grew 11 percent compared with a year ago – the best total July sales since 2006. Retail sales are up 19 percent, marking the company’s best July retail sales month since 2005.

With tight inventories, retail car sales are up 13 percent, utilities are up 19 percent, and trucks are up 27 percent – with strong growth in the coastal regions.

“We saw continued strength and growth in our retail business, particularly in the coastal regions of the country,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. “Our small cars and hybrids continue to attract new customers to Ford and away from our competitors, thanks to the vehicles’ combination of styling, technology, fuel economy and performance.”

Ford small cars – including Fiesta, Focus and C-MAX hybrids – are up 32 percent, with a combined 27,131 sales, making it Ford’s best July for small car performance since 2000.

All three Ford utility vehicles are on pace to set sales records this year, with Escape up 4 percent in July to 22,343 vehicles sold and Explorer up 13 percent to 12,742 vehicles sold. Edge also posted a record July with 10,541 vehicles sold, a 15 percent increase from last year.

F-Series sales increased 23 percent, with 60,449 vehicles sold. F-Series sales now have increased for 24 consecutive months, and July 2013 marks the best July sales month for F-Series since 2006.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ford Launching ‘Mustang Countdown’ Video Series Celebrating Nearly 50 Years of Mustang Culture and Legend

  • Ford announces new ‘Mustang Countdown’ online weekly video series, celebrating 50 years of one of the world’s most beloved sports cars
  • ‘Mustang Countdown’ reveals the stories behind Ford Mustang and how it has touched people all around the world
  • Videos include behind-the-scenes looks at the Mustang 1 concept car, the build of the 1 millionth Mustang at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, and the burgeoning toy industry spawned by consumers’ connection with the brand while future episodes will cover restomods, racing and more

Ford is launching ‘Mustang Countdown,’ an online video series to throw the spotlight on the legendary sports car and the culture that has formed around it all across the globe, and to continue the celebration leading up to the 50th birthday of the car on April 17, 2014.

Kicking off the series – Where It All Started: The Mustang 1 Concept – turns the clock back to the 1962 debut of the first concept car to wear the pony badge. From there, other episodes lift the lid on Ford’s exhaustive Mustang archives, Mustang toys, custom Mustangs and more all featuring unique and often rare footage, exclusive new interviews and expert insight.

RC Movie Magic: Filming a Chase”, takes a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of filmmaker Zach King’s recent project “The Cliché RC Action Chase.” That short film went viral earlier this year, garnering nearly 3 million views on YouTube. Just like the extensive filmography featuring Ford Mustang over the past 49 years, King’s video puts the Mustang in a prominent role. A pair of radio controlled Ford Mustangs star in an action-packed sequence that features drifting around corners, tight racing and helicopter gunships, all without any computer-generated imagery.

“Fans around the world share a passion for Mustang that embodies the freedom of the open road and the spirit of performance driving,” said Steve Ling, Ford car marketing manager. “The ‘Mustang Countdown’ series is another way in which Ford is honoring that heritage with numerous celebrations over the next year,”

Upcoming episodes will tackle video games, Mustang’s competition heritage custom restomods and more.

More than 9.2 million Ford Mustangs have been sold since the car’s 1964 debut. Mustang has made more than 3,000 appearances on film and TV – including “Bullitt” (1968), “Gone in 60 Seconds” (1974 and 2000), “I Am Legend” (2007) and Drive (2011). In 2014, a modified Mustang will be the hero car in “Need for Speed,” based on the long-running video game series from Electronic Arts.

Click here for the complete ‘Mustang Countdown’ series playlist on the Ford Mustang YouTube channel.