Sunday, August 31, 2014

Detroit Lions and Ford Motor Company Announce Quick Lane Bowl Game at Ford Field

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  • Ford Motor Company’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center has been designated by the Detroit Lions as title sponsor of an annual college football bowl game to be held at Ford Field
  • The Quick Lane Bowl will feature teams from the Big Ten Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference
  • The bowl game will air nationally on ESPN, Dec. 26, 2014 at 4:30 p.m.
The Detroit Lions and Ford Motor Company announced today a multiyear agreement designating Ford’s Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center as title sponsor for an annual college football bowl game held at Ford Field in Detroit. This year’s game is scheduled for Dec. 26 at 4:30 p.m. The Quick Lane Bowl will air nationally on ESPN.

Tickets for the game are available for purchase at, the Ford Field box office (open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or by calling 877.212.8898.

“With a national platform to showcase the city of Detroit as well as Southeast Michigan football tradition, it was important for us to partner with an organization like Quick Lane who has a strong local and national presence,” said Detroit Lions President Tom Lewand. “We look forward to collaborating to institute a great bowl game tradition at Ford Field for years to come.”

The Quick Lane Bowl will feature teams from the Big Ten Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference. At the end of the college football season, officials from both conferences will meet with bowl officials to determine the best possible matchup and choose their team representatives.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to help kick off a new football tradition,” said Frederiek Toney, vice president, Ford Motor Company and president, Ford Customer Service. “With more than 700 Quick Lanes available in communities across the United States, we’re hoping to continue to raise awareness among consumers about the fast service, value and convenience our Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center delivers.”

The Detroit Lions are only the second NFL team (after the Houston Texans) to host and operate a college football bowl game. The team’s entertainment division, DLI Entertainment, has promoted multiple large-scale shows and events at Ford Field, including seven consecutive sold-out Kenny Chesney concerts, Taylor Swift, the 2003 Basketbowl, 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball Regionals, 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and the 2010 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sheryl Connelly | A Ford Futurist Gives Perspectives On The Female Frontier

Sheryl Connelly, Global Trends and Futuring Manager at Ford, explores why women are reaching new levels of achievement, shifts in society and the female frontier.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ford Puts First Truck Customers Behind Wheel of the All-New F-150 to Kick Off ‘You Test’ Video Series

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  • Out of more than 15,000 entrants, four truck customers won the opportunity to be the first to test the all-new 2015 F-150 – the smartest, toughest, most capable Ford F-150 pickup yet
  • Each of the four customers is testing a 2015 Ford F-150 Lariat 3.5-liter EcoBoost® 4x4 around North America – from off-road in the Arizona desert; to hauling boulders in Oregon; to towing hay bales in Montana; to transporting supplies across the Arctic from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • First customer “You Test” video debuts today at to show truck customers just how tough the all-new F-150 is on the job and in customers’ hands

Four lucky truck customers are taking their turn behind the wheel of the all-new F-150, Ford’s toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 yet, to put it through some of the toughest testing to date – their own.

Beginning today, the first of four videos in the “You Test” series will show how these customers tested the all-new F-150 at

These truck customers were selected from more than 15,000 submissions, in which entrants described how they would test the toughness of the new F-150 pickup.

“Our four winners demonstrate how Built Ford Tough isn’t simply a tagline – it’s our brand commitment that F-150 gets the job done, day in and day out,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group marketing manager. “The videos show real-world testing beyond testing already conducted by Ford engineers. This is what matters most – serving our customers.”

Truck shoppers excited to see how tough the all-new F-150 is will witness each of the four customers testing a 2015 F-150 Lariat 3.5-liter EcoBoost® 4x4 in different regions of North America. They will be tackling such challenges as military-intensive off-road trails in the desert, hauling rocks, towing hay bales and transporting supplies more than 900 miles.

Proving it in Yuma

The first video features Brian Schober, a systems engineer for military vehicle testing, in Yuma, Arizona.

Schober ran the 2015 F-150 through a series of off-road tests in the Arizona desert – some of which are used for the military vehicles he tests. The F-150’s durability was proven in 36 straight hours navigating a rugged 10-mile loop, which included rock crawls, sand washes and suspension challenges in triple-digit temperatures.

“I work at the U.S. Army proving grounds where I drive approximately 350 miles a day on gravel and dirt roads, hauling parts and people. I’ve gone through my fair share of vehicles,” said Schober. “We currently rent a 2013 F-150 and consider it a workhorse. With a new F-150 on my radar for my next vehicle, the 2015 looks like it will do the trick.”

EcoBoost power, efficiency and popularity

More than 550,000 F-150s with 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines have been sold since the availability of EcoBoost starting in 2011.

F-150 is the preferred light-duty pickup among workers in some of the toughest vocations.*

Videos of the three other winners testing the all-new F-150 will be posted in the coming weeks, showcasing the truck hauling boulders in Oregon, towing bales of hay in Montana, and transporting supplies more than 900 miles on primarily gravel roads from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories in Canada.

* Percentage based on IHS Automotive, Polk U.S. light-duty pickups; Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Avalanche 1500, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra combined new registrations January 2013 to May 2014 (year-to-date) within: Admin-Environmental Quality Programs, Agricultural Production-Livestock, Auto Repair Services and Parking/Rental, Electric Gas and Sanitary Services, Emergency Vehicles, Executive Legislative and General Government, Heavy Construction Except Building, Hazardous Materials, Road/Highway Maintenance, Pipelines Except Natural Gas, Manufacturing, Agriculture/Farm, Roofing Siding and Sheet Metal Work, Specialized Heavy Hauling, Landscaping.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

All-New 2015 Ford Mustang Begins Production at Flat Rock Assembly Plant; Marks Global Availability of Iconic Pony Car

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  • 2015 Mustang starts production at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant; car to be exported globally for the first time in its 50-year history
  • New Mustang goes on sale this fall in the United States, and in more than 120 countries next year
  • Mustang sets new performance and dynamics benchmarks for the brand with world-class handling, more precise steering control and enhanced ride comfort

The highly anticipated, all-new Ford Mustang rolls off the line today at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, marking production of the sixth-generation pony car. For the first time in its 50-year history, Mustang will be available globally to customers in more than 120 countries around the world.

The addition of a right-hand-drive Mustang to Ford’s global vehicle lineup will allow the iconic pony car to be exported to more than 25 right-hand-drive markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa.

“Mustang is and will continue to be an automotive icon,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Expanding its availability globally affords our customers around the world the opportunity to have a true firsthand Mustang experience – one unlike any other.”

In April, Ford celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original Mustang. In commemoration of this, each 2015 model will be adorned with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.”

Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the more than 9.2 million cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. It has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is the most-liked vehicle on Facebook, with close to 8 million likes.

 An enhanced experience, but still a true Mustang

The way Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience that makes drivers want to get in and hit the open road. The clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements – including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck – in a contemporary execution.

With more options to choose from, there is a Mustang to fit any lifestyle. The upgraded V8 is joined by a 3.7-liter V6 and an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang.

Mustang GT continues with the latest edition of the throaty 5.0-liter V8 – now featuring upgraded valvetrain, new intake manifold and improved cylinder heads – that yields 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque.

The Mustang 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and a twin-scroll turbocharger to deliver the performance Mustang drivers expect with an output of 310 horsepower and 320 lb.-ft. of torque.

 With Mustang, it’s all in the ride

When life throws drivers a curve, the all-new Mustang sets new handling benchmarks for the brand, delivering world-class dynamics and ride quality.

Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride.

At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent suspension. Geometry, springs, dampers and bushings are all specially tuned for this high-performance application. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.

Transformed Flat Rock Assembly Plant

In 2013, nine years after moving Mustang production there, Flat Rock Assembly Plant celebrated the 1 millionth Mustang built at the facility.

“What an honor it is for the hardworking and dedicated UAW Local 3000 workers of Flat Rock Assembly Plant to build the next-generation Mustang,” said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles. “I don’t think there is any place in the world where this vehicle is not known. To build it right here in Michigan is something to be proud of.”

In the last year, the plant has been transformed. As part of a $555 million investment, it has added a state-of-the-art, fully flexible body shop to allow multiple models to be produced on the same line, supporting Ford’s flexible manufacturing efforts. Other technologies recently incorporated at Flat Rock include three-wet paint process, dirt detection and laser brazing.

In addition to Mustang, Flat Rock Assembly Plant also produces Ford Fusion. The facility has approximately 3,000 employees working two shifts at full line speed.

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ford Motor Company Fund Celebrates Jackie Robinson West Little League U.S. Champions with Annual Scholarship

  • Ford to contribute toward scholarship honoring accomplishments of the Jackie Robinson West Little League U.S. Champions
  • Scholarship will build on Ford’s long manufacturing presence in Chicago and legacy of supporting education
  • Ford Motor Company Fund, the charitable arm of Ford Motor Company, donates more than $8 million a year toward scholarships and other education initiatives

Ford Motor Company is honoring the accomplishments of the Jackie Robinson West Little League U.S. Champions by contributing to an annual scholarship at the team’s namesake, the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Jackie Robinson West captured the hearts of fans in Chicago and across the country as the team advanced from its home field on the city’s far South Side to become U.S. Little League Champions.

“Ford Motor Company Fund salutes the tremendous impact these youngsters and the Jackie Robinson West league have had on Chicago and across the nation,” said Ziad Ojakli, group vice president, Government and Community Relations, Ford Motor Company. “Supporting education has been a cornerstone of Ford since the company was founded more than 100 years ago. We’re proud to build on that legacy and our long manufacturing presence in Chicago by assisting a student who best exemplifies the ideals Jackie Robinson represented.”

Ford’s contribution of $10,000 a year will go toward a four-year Jackie Robinson Foundation college scholarship awarded to a member of the Jackie Robinson West Little League, beginning in summer 2015. The player earning the scholarship will join a select group of college-bound students chosen annually who receive grants and a host of mentoring services, internship placements and practical life skills during their four years of college.

Ford Motor Company Fund invests more than $8 million a year in scholarships and other education initiatives, including other support to the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Since 1973, the Jackie Robinson Foundation has awarded more than $65 million in scholarships and other support for 1,450 undergraduate and graduate students.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How Ford Engineers Made the All-New F-150 the Toughest-Looking, Most Aerodynamically Efficient F-150 Ever

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  • Distinctive Built Ford Tough style of the all-new F-150 pushes boundaries of bold design while increasing aerodynamic efficiency over the previous model
  • F-150 evolves hallmark design cues from first F-Series trucks
  • Restyled badge echoes design elements throughout

Designers of the 2015 Ford F-150 had a challenging goal to meet when they set out to reimagine the world’s best-selling pickup: Create an aerodynamic, efficient design that did not compromise the tough, bold looks that define Ford trucks.

The team succeeded.

The new F-150’s structured look features squared-off edges, shapes and surfaces that convey confidence, capability and work readiness. Yet these elements also work together to allow F-150 to slip through the air more efficiently.

“The truck’s sharp, boxy shape gives it a tough appearance, but actually the key to the design is aerodynamic efficiency – getting the most out of the shape,” said Brad Richards, Ford F-150 exterior design manager. “We made F-150 look tough and capable, while also reducing wind resistance.”

Aerodynamic testing ensures a happy medium

Richards and team accomplished the feat of balancing strength and efficiency by incorporating sharp edges into the overall design. The strategically designed edges convey toughness, but also enable airflow to hug the surfaces at the front portion of the truck. Rear corners are designed to allow the air to cleanly detach from the vehicle to reduce turbulence and swirling air that can cause drag and reduce efficiency. The improved aerodynamics help increase efficiency by reducing the work performed by the engine to overcome aerodynamic drag.

The grille is vertical, yet its outer portions are angled back and lead to the headlamps and bumper corners that are also swept back to smoothly direct airflow down the sides, reducing drag. The beveled leading edge of the hood helps promote smooth airflow to the windshield and roof.

As the design of the all-new F-150 evolved with clay models, wind tunnel testing enabled designers to see where they could gain greater aerodynamic efficiencies:

  • Flush-mounted windshield eliminates need for molding that would disrupt smooth airflow
  • Tailgate top is designed to act as a spoiler, giving air that flows off the roof a place to land before smoothly trailing off, reducing turbulence behind the truck
  • Cargo box is narrower than the cab, with no reduction in box volume, which enhances airflow, while a trim piece prevents air from getting trapped between cab and box
  • Rear corners including taillamps are precisely angled so air breaks off cleanly, reducing turbulence behind the truck
  • The duct under the headlamp channels air through to the wheel housing and reduces the wake generated from the wheel.

“Testing in the wind tunnel helped us fine-tune a happy medium between styling, aerodynamics, engineering and cost,” said Richards. “We learned where we could push shape and design to reduce drag, and where to stop when we weren’t gaining anything.”

Toughness is in the details

“The shapes, lines, angles and motifs are much stronger on the all-new F-150, and the chiseled edges convey toughness,” said Richards. “The hallmark beltline along the outside mirrors is the strongest piece of Built Ford Tough DNA. That’s inspired by heavy equipment such as cranes and bulldozers. It looks good, but it also improves driver visibility.”

The dropped beltline styling element can be seen in the outline of the headlamps and taillamps, while bevels, angles and notches are incorporated into the hood, windshield and tailgate, as well as throughout the interior, including the sew patterns on the seats.

F-150 also retains heritage design cues, such as the familiar headlamp shape that evokes the grille surround of the 1948 Ford F-1 and wraparound steel front bumper.

New badge signifies efficiency, leadership

Design details of the truck carry over to the new badge design, in which the characters are shaped with bevels to mimic those found in the body design.

The signature “F” has been opened up to signify a lighter, more efficient truck, yet it’s also larger to emphasize F-Series truck leadership.

The new badge design, using a font called Bold Leadership, will eventually find its way onto all F-Series trucks – right on through to the medium-duty Ford F-750.

“F-Series is all about bold and tough,” said Marco Querciagrossa, who leads badge design for Ford vehicles. “We created a badge that confidently conveys that.”

Monday, August 25, 2014

Unleashed by Mustang: Ford Reveals Limited-Edition Fashion Collaboration with Global Designers

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  • Five top fashion designers from around the world collaborate with Ford on the Mustang Unleashed collection – a limited-edition line of graphic shirts inspired by Mustang
  • Mustang Unleashed visionary designers include Anna Sui; Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay-Hahn of Rogan; Paula Cademartori; Tomaso Anfossi and Francesco Ferrari of CO|TE; and Pamela Love
  • The limited-edition 15-shirt collection will be available exclusively through

Fashion innovators Anna Sui, Rogan, Paula Cademartori, CO|TE and Pamela Love join Ford Motor Company to celebrate the iconic Ford Mustang with the debut of Mustang Unleashed, a limited-edition line of one-of-a-kind shirts.

These five designers from around the world each created three unique Mustang-inspired shirts, resulting in a collection of 15 designs. The line is produced by Loomstate, a leader in organic and sustainable apparel. It will be available starting in September exclusively at, an innovative online shopping destination.

“Mustang embraces passion, power, adventure and freedom, and by collaborating with top designers known for their expressive personalities and designs, we are blending the parallels between the worlds of fashion and automotive like never before,” said Kim Cape, Ford group marketing manager. “The Mustang Unleashed collection celebrates the passion and freedom of Mustang, and its inspiration to pop culture over the last 50 years.”

Five visionary designers ‘unleashed’

As trendsetters, the Mustang Unleashed designers embody the Mustang spirit. They are emotive, expressive and “unleashed” in their own right – living and working with a sense of freedom and individual style. This is the inspiration for their unique designs:

  • Anna Sui: Detroit native Sui and Mustang have quite a bit in common. Sui’s designs illustrate a rock ’n’ roll fantasy – reflecting the freedom, authenticity and inspiration embodied in Mustang
  • Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay-Hahn of Rogan: With a respect for soulful minimalism and traditional quality, Rogan’s designs were inspired by the raw American heritage expressed in the modern, high-tech Mustang. The designer incorporated this into the graphics of the shirt, using the simplicity of natural, hand-drawn lines
  • Paula Cademartori: Cademartori’s passion for femininity and fine details are distinct in her designs and collection of bags. For her, “unleashed” represents power, freedom and creating new experiences. Cademartori’s Mustang-inspired designs highlight geometric shapes, the fantasy of color and glamour
  • Tomaso Anfossi and Francesco Ferrari of CO|TE: With a philosophy of freely interpreting established design themes from a contemporary point of view, CO|TE – like Mustang – moves forward and pushes boundaries. The inspiration comes from thinking without preconceptions, while paying attention to quality and tradition. CO|TE designs showcase Mustang’s attention to detail and geometric elements
  • Pamela Love: Love, with a passion for unique jewelry pieces, and Mustang come together as artifacts of a narrative. The inspiration comes from Mustang’s enduring role in American pop culture, and the idea of moving forward while leaving the past behind. Love’s designs highlight the horse as a symbol of power, strength and freedom

“Having grown up in Detroit,” said Sui, “I wanted to incorporate my memories of Mustang and celebrate the spirit of pop culture and Americana in my designs. As a designer, I am constantly inspired by everything around me and often include a nod to my roots – referring to nostalgic, romantic and rock influences – just like Ford Mustang.”

Working together toward sustainability and innovation

Each Mustang Unleashed collection shirt is proudly made by Loomstate in the United States. Using 100 percent organic cotton, Loomstate is committed to supporting best practices globally – growing communities by developing fashionable and quality products that create a more equitable and sustainable future. Ford Motor Company – with its own rich American legacy that now includes Mustang joining an exclusive club of vehicles in continuous production for 50 years – is proud to work with Loomstate on this project.

For the Mustang Unleashed collection, the women’s casual-fit T-shirt will feature a unique U/V-shaped neckline, slightly fitted sleeves and Loomstate signature skewed sides. The men’s collection will be available in Loomstate classic crew-neck style.

Innovation is a key theme of the collaboration between Ford Mustang and Gilt, a retailer that pushes the boundaries of online shopping by providing instant insider access to top designer labels. As a brand that believes every day is an opportunity to inspire and be inspired, Gilt serves as a unique collaborator to celebrate Mustang’s inspiration to pop culture and the visionary lineup of Mustang Unleashed designers.

“We are excited to work with Ford to exclusively launch the Mustang Unleashed collection on,” said Steven Schneider, president, Gilt City and Gilt Business Development. “We’re always looking for ways to give our members access to unique products and experiences they can’t find anywhere else. This is a perfect opportunity to bring together fashion and automotive design in a way we know our members will love.”

The 15-shirt limited-edition collection will be sold exclusively at, with pre-orders beginning Aug. 26. Each Mustang Unleashed limited-edition shirt will retail for $39.

Friday, August 22, 2014

10 Driver Friendly Features the Ford F-150 Team Thought of So Customers Wouldn't Have To

  • Ford engineers designed 10 features that make interacting with the all-new F-150 easier
  • These 10 features include a tailgate step large enough to fit a full-size work boot, raised tactile keypad buttons for keyless entry, and finger indents on the back of the steering wheel
  • Customer research conducted by Ford human factor engineers led the team to cluster the control buttons together for ease of use; customer feedback also drove the decision to keep the instrument cluster free of entertainment information

There are 10 features of the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup that were designed to satisfy customers without them ever even noticing.

“If I do my job, the customer simply intuits that things are right – both inside and outside of his truck – without even having to think about it,” said Cary Diehl, Ford human factors engineer, who worked on the design and development of the all-new F-150.

The 10 things F-150 engineers thought of

1. Hard buttons on keypad: Designers wanted smooth capacitive touch keypad buttons on the outside of the driver-side door, but pickup truck drivers prefer tactile feedback, allowing easier usability for when they’re wearing gloves. For customers who wear bifocals, hard buttons also enable input by feel, instead of having to tilt their head back to read numerals.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

2. Beltline armrest on front doors: The beltline on the front doors is wide enough to accommodate most arms with the window up. The feature could be considered an armrest, and is at the same height as the center armrest.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

3. Sculpted, finger relief inside door handle for easy hold: When grabbing the inside handle, the hand is already holding the door – a helpful feature to avoid losing control of the door on a windy day.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

4. Buttons clustered for ease of use: Customer surveys showed a strong preference for controls clustered together. All lighting controls – headlamps, side spotlights, bed light – are grouped together on the left-hand side of the instrument panel, while all radio controls are to the right and below with the climate controls. Towing and other controls are to the right of the steering wheel as well.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

5. Steering wheel feel: Finger indents remain on the back side of the steering wheel, a feature that on some competitor trucks is now smooth. These indents allow a lighter feel on the wheel for ease of maneuverability, especially when backing up a trailer or off-roading.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

6. MyView productivity screen customization: Because each customer uses the truck differently, the importance of specific features can vary. The truck is the “multi-tool” of vehicles. Some truck owners haul produce to farmers markets, while others tow horse trailers or go off-roading, making it tricky sometimes for engineers to determine the most essential information to include in the instrument cluster. Ford’s solution is MyView, which allows truck customers to sort and organize their top seven favorite gauges in the cluster on the 2015 F-150’s 8-inch screen. One button click can shift between individual tire pressure, trailer information, off-road mode or trip fuel – whichever their favorites are.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

7. Entertainment information exclusively in center stack: Ford made a data-driven decision to not include any radio or entertainment features in the instrument panel cluster behind the steering wheel. “Our customers were adamant that trucks are different from cars, and vehicle information is essential,” Diehl explained. “Their truck is their tool, and they need to know what it’s doing. Other stuff can be in the center of the dashboard, or what we call the center stack.” The only entertainment information that appears in the instrument cluster of the F-150 are incoming calls and turn-by-turn directions.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

8. Four-spoke steering wheel: F-150’s traditional, four-spoke design allows for a comfortable grip on the lower portion of the steering wheel. Other pickup truck manufacturers have closed off the bottom portion of the steering wheel.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

9. Grooves in tailgate handle: For ease of grip and use, grooves in the tailgate handle allow a customer to open and close the tailgate with one hand.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

10. Large box step: Ford made sure there was enough surface area on the box step of F-150 for a customer to place a full-size work boot – both to stand on the step and to push it back under the bed when not in use.

10 Driver Friendly Features on the 2015 F-150

Always Built Ford Tough

From nose to tailgate, the 2015 F-150 is an entirely new vehicle, right down to its signature feature – an all-new, fully boxed ladder frame with more high-strength steel than ever to make the truck stronger yet lighter. For the first time, high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys are used throughout the F-150 body. These alloys, already used in aerospace, commercial transportation and other industries, make the new truck’s body lighter, stronger and more resistant to dents. Overall, F-150 is up to 700 pounds lighter, helping it tow and haul more, accelerate and stop faster, and operate more efficiently.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Science goes mobile: Ford Fund donates Transit Connect Wagon to help Michigan Science Center

Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development and Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO, Michigan Science Center, unveiled an all-new 2014 Transit Connect Wagon that will serve as the center’s traveling MiSci van. Donated by Ford Motor Company, the van will support the center’s traveling science program by allowing the museum to conduct hands-on research at schools, community centers and libraries in more than 25 communities across the state. Michigan Science Center aims to provide engaging, interactive exhibits that ignite passion for science, technology, engineering and math in Michigan’s youth. This summer’s program, the “Fizz, Bang, Traveling Science” tour, will give children the chance to build rockets and learn about chemical reactions. Ford supported the initial opening of Michigan Science Center in 2012, with a $400,000 commitment over three years.

2014 Transit Connect Wagon MiSci Van

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ford Now Leads Sales Consideration with Millennials

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  • Renewed interest in utility vehicles helping Ford sales consideration among younger buyers
  • Beginning in 2012, Ford surpassed other manufacturers to become the No. 1 brand first considered by millennial buyers
  • Millennial sales consideration for Ford  moves from fourth place in 2008 to first place today

Growing interest in utility vehicles among America’s 80 million-strong millennial generation – those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s – is bolstering purchase consideration for the Ford brand.

Maritz Research, a St. Louis-based marketing research firm, collects data from consumers as part of its annual New Vehicle Customer Study, asking would-be buyers and actual buyers about their new vehicle preferences and buying behaviors. The data in this study came from research conducted between 2008 and 2013.

Marketers understand purchase consideration to be a leading indicator for future purchases in what’s known in the industry as the “sales funnel.” In simplest terms, consumers move from awareness of a brand to consideration to eventual purchase. Strong consideration tends to correlate highly with future purchase decisions.

Small and midsize cars remain the top two segments both considered and purchased by younger buyers, but compact and full-size SUV segments – such as Ford Escape and Ford Explorer – show the largest jumps in consideration, with increases of 1.1 percentage points and 1.7 percentage points, respectively.

While these percentage point increases appear small, in terms of potential sales volume, they represent hundreds of thousands of vehicles. For instance, in a vehicle market of 16.5 million units sold, a 1.1 percentage point increase equates to roughly 181,000 vehicles and a 1.7 percentage point gain equates to approximately 280,000 vehicles.

In the same period in which millennials began to show greater interest in SUVs, Ford overhauled its high-volume utility vehicle lineup, most notably Explorer in 2011 and Escape in 2012.

“The trend of millennials starting families comes at the same time Ford is updating or replacing nearly its entire product lineup,” said Amy Marentic, Ford global car and crossover marketing manager. “These fastest-growing segments – like small utilities – coincide with Ford’s product strengths.”

Explorer sales were up 32 percent last month with 16,797 vehicles sold, for the best July sales since 2005. And Escape had its best July ever, with 26,558 vehicles sold – a 19 percent gain.

Millennial brand preferences changing 

In 2008, Ford ranked fourth with millennials in terms of brand consideration. By 2013, it had jumped to first. Not only did Ford become the brand first considered most often, it also showed the biggest jump in “first consideration” ranking, rising 5.5 percentage points.

Increasing purchase consideration and sales to millennials are important for Ford. The top millennial markets by population – California, New York, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania – are those regions in which Ford’s overall market share has the most capacity to grow, especially in the “super segment” of subcompacts, compacts, midsize sedans and small utility vehicles.

“Millennials are an important group of buyers in the industry today,” said Chris Travell, vice president, strategic consulting for Maritz Research, “and not just in terms of sheer size. They are also helping to refine the vehicle shopping and ownership experience.
“These younger buyers are much more connected than previous car buyers,” he added. “The manufacturer that develops a strategy that resonates with millennial buyers will increase the likelihood of consideration the next time that customer is in the market. In turn, this will increase the likelihood of selling a car to that customer. It appears Ford’s millennial strategy is working.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

Secrets of the All-New Ford F-150 Seamless Sliding Rear Window

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  • Ford to launch new seamless sliding rear window design, available on the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 – the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 yet
  • New technology hides window seams, setting a new trend for power sliders by improving looks and functionality while reducing components and manufacturing complexity
  • Seamless sliding rear window was developed through a Ford and Magna International association

When people see the all-new Ford F-150 for the first time, they tend to do two things: First, they tap their knuckles against the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body, and then they marvel at the pickup truck’s available segment-first seamless sliding rear window.
The seamless design conceals the vertical seams that mark the edges of conventional pickup truck sliding rear windows, creating a smooth opening when viewed from outside.

Developed by global automotive supplier Magna International, in association with Ford, the first-to-market design sets a new trend for power sliders by reducing component needs and improving overall functionality and manufacturing efficiency.

“Delivering the latest in innovation and technology to our customer is a top priority for Ford,” said Noah Mass, Ford body mechanisms manager. “The seamless sliding rear window is another great example of the intricate detail that goes into producing the next-generation F-150, setting it apart from any pickup on the market today.”

Standard sliding rear windows typically contain three pieces of glass – left and right panes that don’t move plus the sliding portion in the middle, all held together by a support structure that requires numerous components. The seamless sliding rear window uses only two pieces of glass – the exterior surround and the sliding portion, reducing build componentry and complexity. The window’s opening is the same size as the outgoing design.

In addition to its streamlined looks, the window’s two-piece design enables continuous uninterrupted defrost capability for the larger surrounding glass.

The new design also contributes to vehicle weight savings, as the seamless power slider uses a lighter window control module. Overall, up to 700 pounds have been saved through the use of smarter design and advanced materials, helping the all-new F-150 tow more, haul more, accelerate quicker and stop shorter, and contributing to efficiency.

All-New F-150 Seamless Sliding Rear Window

“We designed the seamless sliding rear window to deliver not only a new look and improved functionality, but also to start a trend in the truck sliding window market,” said Troy Tooker, design engineering manager for Magna International. “With pickup sliders being one of our core products, we wanted to show our leadership and raise the bar on the new F-150.”

All-new Ford F-150 – the future of trucks

The 2015 Ford F-150 is the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever – setting the standard for the future of trucks. Its signature fully boxed ladder frame is all-new, with more high-strength steel than ever – making the truck both stronger and lighter.

High-strength, military-grade aluminum is used throughout the F-150 body for the first time, improving dent and ding resistance and also saving weight.

When it arrives in showrooms later this year, the all-new F-150 will have undergone the equivalent of more than 10 million miles of torture testing to ensure it meets or exceeds Built Ford Tough standards.

2015 Ford F-150 Platinum

In addition to an all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine offering, a complete lineup of powertrains lets customers tailor the toughest, smartest, most capable pickup truck ever to their needs. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine returns, an all-new normally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 debuts and there is an improved 5.0-liter V8.

F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series lineup. Now in its 66th year, F-Series has been the best-selling truck in America for 37 consecutive years and the best-selling vehicle in America for 32 consecutive years.

The all-new F-150 will be manufactured at Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

All-New 2015 Ford Transit Goes to Work on Great American Country Network’s ‘Farm Kings’

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  • 2015 Ford Transit joins the cast for season four of “Farm Kings,” a lifestyle series that premieres Friday, Aug. 15 at 10 p.m. EDT on the Great American Country channel
  • Transit capability and flexibility make it a versatile tool that helps the King family get their farming chores and deliveries done
  • Transit will serve as a rolling workshop for property maintenance and to haul produce and equipment to market

The all-new Ford Transit will help the King family complete farm chores on season four of the Great American Country Network’s lifestyle series “Farm Kings,” which premieres Friday, Aug. 15 at 10 p.m. EDT.

The Kings will put Transit to work as a rolling workshop stocked with tools and supplies to maintain the farm’s daily operations. A custom shelving unit has been installed in the van to organize and secure gear. They’ll also use Transit to haul produce, signage, tables and chairs to their stand at the local farmer’s market.

The King family owns and runs Freedom Farms, a 200-acre operation outside of Butler, Pennsylvania, that pasture-raises chickens, cows and pigs without the use of antibiotics or artificial hormones. The farm also grows fruits and vegetables. “Farm Kings” shows how tough farming can be, especially when the stresses of a large family come into play.

“The partnership with Ford and Great American Country’s ‘Farm Kings’ created the perfect environment to showcase all of the new Transit’s capabilities, and our new lifestyle series delivers highly engaged consumers,” said Bob Calandruccio, vice president of sales for Great American Country. “We look forward to building more partnerships with top advertisers like Ford.”

The van featured on the show is a medium-roof, long-wheelbase (148 inches) Transit 250 in Ingot Silver, with 357.1 cubic feet of cargo space and 72 inches of maximum interior height. It is powered by a Ford-built 3.2-liter Power Stroke® five-cylinder turbo-diesel that delivers 185 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, making it ideal for heavy-duty work. Like the larger Power Stroke found in F-Series Super Duty trucks, the 3.2-liter has proven Ford diesel ruggedness and dependability.

With rear doors that open 270 degrees and a floor height of 29 inches, Transit is well suited for loading and unloading and other farm chores. When properly equipped, Transit 250 with the 3.2-liter Power Stroke can carry up to 3,390 pounds of cargo and tow up to 7,400 pounds.

“Farming is a tough life, and the Kings work hard at making their family business successful,” said Minyang Jiang, Ford brand manager for Transit. “The new Ford Transit is another tool to help them deliver on their promise of serving and feeding their community and educating the public about the importance of farming. This tool happens to be Built Ford Tough.”

A 2014 Ford F-150 has been added to the King family vehicle lineup this season as well, for agricultural work more suited to pickup truck duty.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ford, DTE Energy to Build Michigan's Largest Solar Array

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  • Ford and DTE Energy work together to build Michigan’s largest solar array, second largest solar carport in the Midwest
  • The project, funded by DTE Energy, will provide 360 covered parking spaces and facilitate for 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn
  • Carport expected to generate 1.13 million kilowatt-hours annually – enough energy to power 158 average-sized homes for a year

Ford Motor Company is teaming with DTE Energy to build Michigan’s largest solar array at Ford World Headquarters.

The project, funded by DTE Energy, will provide employees with 360 covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles such as the company’s Ford Fusion Energi and C-MAX Hybrid Energi. A kiosk will also be on site offering general information to visitors about solar power and specific details about the Ford carport.

“Ford has a long history of innovation and a deep commitment to sustainability,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company. “Our fundamental purpose as a company is to make people’s lives better. We do that by creating outstanding products, by investing in communities where our employees live and work, and by using technology to tackle global sustainability challenges. Those beliefs are embodied in this project.”

The solar canopy will have capacity to generate 1.038 megawatts of electricity – enough to power 158 average-sized homes. It will be the second-largest solar carport in the Midwest, after a 1.1-megawatt facility at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, and it will reduce the amount of electricity Ford pulls from the grid to run its offices.

The solar array will offset an estimated 794 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with DTE Energy to bring a more efficient, renewable energy source to our offices,” said Donna Inch, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor Land Development Corporation. “This is an innovative project that will benefit both DTE Energy and Ford, and is yet another example of our work toward building a more sustainable future.”

Under a recently finalized agreement, DTE Energy will construct, operate and maintain the carport for 20 years. Construction is slated to begin in September and be completed in early 2015.

The solar installation is part of an initiative DTE Energy launched in 2009 called SolarCurrents. The program works to fulfill DTE Energy’s commitment to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015.

“The SolarCurrents canopy project is another example of how DTE Energy and Ford are working to build a more energy-efficient and sustainable future,” said Irene Dimitry, DTE Energy vice president, marketing and renewables. “At the same time, this project will help us come closer to meeting Michigan’s renewable energy goals and diversify our energy portfolio.”

This is the second collaboration between Ford and DTE Energy in recent years.

In 2010, the companies teamed up to install a 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. Energy generated by the system helps power vehicle production at the plant, where Ford Focus, Focus Electric, C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi are built.

Ford World Headquarters is home to other environmental innovations. In 2012, a “living roof” was installed when a 2,500-square-foot portion of the rooftop needed repair.

Multiple varieties of sedum were planted to reduce storm water runoff from the building. The project built on the success Ford saw a decade ago when it developed its first green roof at Dearborn Truck Plant, home of F-150 pickup production. Consider the numbers:

  • 10.4 acres of drought-resistant vegetation (the equivalent of eight football fields) was planted on top of the truck plant
  • The vegetation helps create a natural storm water management system that costs two-thirds less to operate than a conventional treatment system
  • The roof, covered with 11 plant species that act as insulation, lowers the amount of heat entering the building by 70 percent, reducing cooling costs by 5 percent

Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon Gains in Popularity, Contributes to Nameplate's Best-Ever Sales

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  • U.S. sales of new Ford Transit Connect and Transit Connect Wagon up 27 percent for the three-month period ending July 31, compared to the same period last year
  • June was best month ever for Transit Connect, with 4,573 sales of the van and wagon model combined – a 29 percent year-over-year increase
  • So far this year, Transit Connect Wagon, also known as the #unminivan, represents 34 percent of total Transit Connect sales

Over the past three months U.S. sales of the new Ford Transit Connect have been running at a best-ever pace. Year-over-year combined sales of Transit Connect and Transit Connect Wagon are up 27 percent for the three-month period ending July 31.

June was the single highest sales month since the 2009 launch of the vehicle in the United States, with 4,573 vehicles sold – a 29 percent year-over-year increase. Last month marked the best-ever July for Transit Connect, with 4,090 vehicles sold – a 42 percent increase over 2013.

The percentage of new wagon models being sold is nearly three times higher than last year, as retail demand for Transit Connect Wagon, an affordable and fuel-efficient people mover, continues to build.

With the launch of the 2014 Transit Connect, the vehicle is now available in both van and wagon versions, with the wagon allowing for seating up to seven. So far this year, Transit Connect Wagon represents 34 percent of total Transit Connect sales. Compare that to the first-generation Transit Connect Wagon, which topped out at just 13 percent of total nameplate sales in 2013.

The top five retail markets for Transit Connect and Transit Connect Wagon this year are New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston and Chicago.

The first-generation wagon, a five-passenger vehicle, was first sold in the United States as a 2010 model.

In 2012, Ford revealed the second-generation Transit Connect and Transit Connect Wagon at the North American International Auto Show as 2014 models. For the first time in North America, long-wheelbase versions across the Transit Connect family were offered.

“Consumer demand is being driven by people who want a modern vehicle that brings utility along with value and efficiency,” said Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst. “Transit Connect and Transit Connect Wagon offer capability and flexibility in a stylish package that resonates with the customer.”

Retail favorite

The new Transit Connect Wagon, the #unminivan, has exceeded retail sales expectations. With that momentum, Ford dealers are increasing orders to fill their lots.

Early indicators show Hispanic buyers have responded especially well to the long-wheelbase Transit Connect Wagon. This appeal appears to be based on the fact it seats seven, is fuel efficient and has a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting at $24,525. Along with dual sliding side doors, Transit Connect Wagon features fold-flat second- and third-row seating, a maximum payload of 1,270 pounds, and choice of a rear liftgate or 180-degree symmetrical cargo doors.

Customers can also choose between two fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines – a standard 2.5-liter or the available 1.6-liter EcoBoost®. The 2.5-liter has an EPA-estimated rating of 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost has an EPA-estimated rating of 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. With either engine, actual mileage will vary. Both engines are paired to a six-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission.

“We positioned Transit Connect Wagon – the #unminivan – as a unique, efficient and affordable alternative to the more expensive people movers, and we’re seeing positive results,” said Minyang Jiang, brand manager for Transit Connect Wagon. “Customers understand Transit Connect Wagon is something different and that it has everything they’re looking for, including two wheelbase options, great styling and fewer trips to the gas station.”

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Even Music Sounds Better in the 2015 Ford Mustang

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  • 2015 Ford Mustang will be available with three audio systems including a standard  six-speaker configuration, a premium nine-speaker system with an eight-inch touch-screen  or a 12-speaker ShakerPro with trunk-mounted subwoofer
  • New car’s improved structure and aerodynamics provide a better acoustical foundation for audio fidelity
  • Mustang is the first Ford vehicle to feature a high-power, 2.1-amp USB port that charges phones and other devices twice as fast as other ports

The throaty rumble of a V8 or the refined though aggressive note of an EcoBoost® engine is generally the preferred soundtrack when driving a Ford Mustang. Yet for those times when a favorite road trip tune is called for, the all-new 2015 Mustang has that situation covered as well.

“As our team developed this Mustang, the goal was to improve the car’s fidelity in every respect – from the way it slices through a corner to the way the audio system reproduces the sound of favorite driving songs,” said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. “The process of rebuilding this car from the ground up allowed us to improve all aspects of the driving experience.”

Creating a solid foundation is essential to extracting the maximum performance out of the tires and suspension on the road. But that same foundation also provides numerous side benefits, such as enabling the audio system to provide cleaner, clearer sound.

The stronger body structure of the 2015 Mustang fastback is 28 percent more resistant to twisting than the previous model, resulting in less noise. The acoustic environment is also aided by improved aerodynamics that result from twice as much simulation and wind tunnel development – significantly reducing wind noise, especially at highway speeds.

“With a fundamentally quieter baseline to work from, we had a better acoustic environment to tune the audio systems in the new car,” said Joe Kafati, multimedia systems supervisor. “The reduction in ambient noise enabled us to achieve the same sound pressure levels in the cabin with much less power and distortion.”

The new Mustang is again available with three audio systems, each of which is better than the system it replaces in the outgoing model. The baseline system features a six-speaker configuration with separate high-frequency tweeters, now mounted in the A-pillars and pointing across the cabin to provide more direct sound to the driver and front passenger.

The more rigid doors of the new Mustang enable the use of slimmer, lighter 6.5-inch door speakers that don’t need as much travel to produce comparable audio volume, with higher-fidelity mid-range and bass sound. A pair of 6.5-inch round full-range speakers are mounted in the rear package tray of the fastback, or in the quarter panels in the convertible.

Both available premium audio systems add a front center speaker mounted in the top of the instrument panel for improved vocal and speech clarity. These systems add a separate 8+1-channel amplifier, and use powerful neodymium magnet speakers to help reduce weight while improving overall sensitivity and sound reproduction. The mid-range nine-speaker system adds a second speaker to each door, separating the low and mid-range frequencies for improved fidelity.

Stepping up to the top-end Shaker Pro system that is available on Mustang EcoBoost Premium and Mustang GT Premium brings 12 polymer cone speakers, with a pair of coaxial tweeter/woofers in the rear, plus a trunk-mounted subwoofer for maximum bass response. The subwoofer has been repackaged to fit into the rear corner of the trunk, leaving more space for cargo. Even with the Shaker Pro audio system, the 2015 Mustang convertible can still accommodate two large golf bags, or everything you would need for a weekend getaway.

“We took advantage of our new acoustics lab to tune the equalization modes for each system to provide improved clarity across all frequency ranges and in different driving conditions,” said Kafati. “The lab provides us with a consistent baseline for measuring the response of audio systems with a wide variety of music and spoken word content.”

Using the lab, Kafati and his colleagues can take objective measurements and bring in listeners to evaluate the audio from each seating position, ensuring everything sounds clear and well balanced.

With mobile technology constantly evolving, Ford SYNC® has always been designed to enable drivers to easily connect devices of their choice. Mustang is the first Ford vehicle to feature a high-power, 2.1-amp USB port in the media bin at the base of the center stack to charge those devices twice as fast as before.

No matter which audio system a Mustang customer selects, supplemental controls on the steering wheel and voice activation for hands-free operation are standard. With standard Bluetooth wireless connectivity, drivers don’t even have to take their phone out of pocket or purse to stream music or take calls.

Each of the three available systems includes a single-disc CD player and auxiliary input. The standard audio system also features next-generation SYNC AppLink, enabling drivers to take advantage of selected smartphone apps while keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

“Whether it’s a V8 rumble or ‘Mustang Sally,’ we’ve worked to make this the best-sounding Mustang ever,” said Kafati.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Folsom Lake Ford Fleet Department

Dan Raimondi, Fleet Director of Folsom Lake Ford in Folsom, CA talks about his department and the volume and expanse of their business.

Folsom Lake Ford is located in Folsom, CA and the Fleet and Commercial department website is

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ford Super Duty Towing with Jarrett Edwards

TV host Jarrett Edwards discusses towing with the Ford Super Duty. Find out what the Super Duty can do for you!

Friday, August 8, 2014

2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid Earns Top Safety Pick from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

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  • 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid named a Top Safety Pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
  • C-MAX Hybrid earned a rating of “good” in moderate overlap front, side, head restraint and seating tests
  • C-MAX Hybrid safety features include standard multiple airbags, AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control and antilock brakes

The 2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for the second consecutive year.

The organization performed multiple crash tests on C-MAX Hybrid, resulting in a “good” rating in side crash, roof strength, restraint and seating evaluations.

“Ford takes the safety of our customers very seriously,” said Steve Kenner, global director, Ford Automotive Safety Office. “We are proud C-MAX Hybrid has achieved a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.”

Standard C-MAX Hybrid safety equipment includes MyKey®, AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control, driver and passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags, safety canopy system, SOS Post Crash Alert System and a tire pressure monitoring system.

Available driver-assist features include a rearview camera, active park assist, forward sensing system, reverse sensing system and rain-sensing wipers.

The 2014 C-MAX has best-in-class passenger volume with 99.7 cubic feet. It also has class-exclusive features such as SmartGauge® with EcoGuide, integrated blind spot mirrors, Active Grille Shutters, dual-zone automatic temperature control and Easy Fuel® capless fuel filler. Available class-exclusive features include leather-trimmed seats and a hands-free liftgate.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ford, Suppliers Help Develop Industry-First Technologies for Mustang, F-150; Working Together Key to Ford's Aggressive 2014 Product Launches

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  • Ford announces details on innovative techniques used to develop its all-new 2015 Mustang and F-150 – two of 23 products coming to market globally in 2014 that are the result of the company’s strong supplier relationships
  • Ford’s Aligned Business Framework with its Matched Pairs and Executive Business Technology Review initiatives help guide the company’s process to attract the industry’s best technologies
  • Ford strives to be suppliers’ customer of choice through the industry’s highest product refresh rates, commitment to product excellence and innovation, and clear brand positioning
Ford Motor Company today announced details on new development techniques used to create its all-new Mustang and F-150, originating with the automaker’s suppliers. As Ford embarks on its most aggressive product launch year to date, with 23 launches globally – 16 in North America – the company is looking to its suppliers to help differentiate its products in the global marketplace, while continuing to meet customer expectations for safety, quality, sustainability and technology.

“As part of our One Ford plan, our suppliers are critical to creating profitable growth for all,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president, Ford Global Purchasing. “With the industry’s highest product refresh rates, commitment to product excellence and innovation, and clear brand positioning, Ford is a preferred customer with the supply base.”

At the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminar, Thai-Tang outlined several industry-first, Ford-supplier technologies that are being introduced on new 2015 products including:

  • Quarter windows for 2015 Mustang 50 Years Limited Edition: Rather than a traditional plastic or metal louver that sits on top of the glass, Ford worked with Magna International to create quarter windows consisting of an industry-first louvered glass. The result is a modern homage to a classic design cue that is unique to the Mustang 50 Years Limited Edition
  • Hydroformed A-pillar and roof rails, 2015 Mustang: To deliver top performance with the most efficient headroom package and weight, Ford worked with Schuler and Midway to engineer the heaviest-gauge steel hydroformed A-pillar and roof rails. Through the collaboration, torsional stiffness increases 28 percent for the new car while the body-in-white is lighter than the previous model
  • Stronger, lighter high-strength steel frame, 2015 F-150: As part of Ford’s collaboration with Metalsa, the company used tailor-rolled blanks with variable material thickness, patented structures that reduce material usage without decreasing performance, increased high-strength steel from 22 percent to 77 percent and improved joining to take more than 60 pounds out of the frame while improving rigidity and enabling higher towing and hauling ratings

    Segment-first LED headlamps, 2015 F-150: Ford collaborated with OSRAM and Flex-n-Gate to design an innovative full-solid-state headlamp design that saves energy, is designed for longevity, and casts a much brighter and clearer light down the road than halogen or incandescent lamps. A jewel-like optical cube channels light energy from a single LED chip to provide optimal lighting and visibility

“Considering the impact suppliers have on our business, with 70 percent of the value of the vehicle being purchased from our supplier partners, our suppliers are critical to our ability to offer attractive solutions to our customers,” said Thai-Tang. “Ford’s Aligned Business Framework, which we introduced close to ten years ago, fosters an environment of transparency and will continue to guide our close relationships with our suppliers.”

Strong ties with suppliers

Ford has relationships with more than 1,100 production suppliers operating at more than 4,600 manufacturing sites that produce 130,000 parts for inclusion in vehicles the company sells. Because of the integral role its suppliers play in the company’s overall growth and sustainability, Ford works to foster a business environment that is both creative and transparent, leading to new innovations and acceleration in the development of new vehicles.

A core component of Ford’s strong supplier relationship is its Matched Pairs system, an internal alignment initiative between its product development and purchasing departments. Through the system, not only are the technical and commercial strategies aligned, but members from each department are paired so that decisions are made in tandem from the beginning. This approach increases collaboration from product design through procurement, and simplifies communication by reducing the points of contact for each commodity. The alignment of the two departments means they share a common cost objective, and improves interaction with suppliers by allowing them to engage directly at the right level.

The Matched Pairs system is part of Ford’s Aligned Business Framework. It enables supplier innovations to reach customers quicker by providing more robust tracking of new technologies, from idea to implementation. The framework encourages more communication between suppliers and senior Ford leaders, offers greater opportunities to increase scale, and engages suppliers earlier in the product design process. Ford has more than 100 Aligned Business Framework suppliers.

Another framework initiative helping to spur supplier innovation is the Executive Business Technology Review. This allows Ford’s senior leadership team from product development and purchasing to experience suppliers’ latest technologies through a show-and-tell, and for Ford to potentially 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 Ford vehicles. Ford will continue to leverage its Aligned Business Framework to provide a systematic structure for suppliers to introduce new technologies to Ford customers.

“Many technologies on the road today were developed as a result of our supplier relationships,” said Thai-Tang. “We will continue to strive to be our suppliers’ customer of choice through our continued new product introductions and emphasis on technology excellence.”

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

2014 Transit Connect: Most Popular Ford Retail Vehicle Mobility Solution for Independent Living

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  • New Ford Transit Connect Wagon features outstanding value, unique style and capability for people with limited mobility seeking a vehicle to be upfitted for independent living
  • 2014 Transit Connect Wagon, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price starting under $25,000, is an affordable option for a complete upfit; estimated upfit costs can be $12,500 depending on technology
  • Since its introduction to North America in 2009, Transit Connect has quickly become the No. 1 vehicle for retail customers participating in the Ford Mobility Motoring Reimbursement Program

Ford Transit Connect is now the most popular vehicle for retail customers with limited mobility who are participating in the Ford Mobility Motoring Reimbursement Program.

The new Transit Connect Wagon is building off that success as an affordable people mover for those with limited mobility seeking a vehicle ready to be upfitted for independent living.

The 2014 Transit Connect Wagon, which went on sale earlier this year with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $24,525, can be upfitted with a premium seat that lowers for easy access and a lift to accommodate a motorized scooter or chair for an estimated $12,500, according to Gresham Driving Aids, a Michigan-based company that installs upfit equipment. Ultimately, the cost of upfitting a vehicle depends on what technologies are added. Some buyers opt only for the lift, which is approximately $4,000.

The affordability and functionality of the first-generation Transit Connect helped make it a popular choice for customers with mobility needs. It was the No. 1 vehicle in 2012 and 2013 for retail customers seeking reimbursement through the Ford mobility program. The program offers up to $1,000 to customers who need a modified vehicle for accessibility.


Ford Mobility Motoring Reimbursement was developed by Ford Motor Company in 1991 following passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It has processed reimbursement requests since 1992, fulfilling more than 230,000 claims.

It took less than five years for Transit Connect to get to the No. 1 spot, becoming the most popular retail vehicle with customers in the mobility program and surpassing E-Series in 2012.

“Transit Connect Wagon is a great vehicle for our program’s customers, and this is reflected in the sales momentum,” said Faye Shanor, project manager for Ford Mobility Motoring Reimbursement. “The spacious interior, capability, efficiency and affordability make it a no-brainer.”

Installing the equipment into a Transit Connect Wagon can take less than a day, depending on features. Wisconsin-based Bruno Independent Living Aids is a global manufacturer of accessibility products, with Gresham Driving Aids providing installation for local markets.

“The equipment being installed depends upon the needs of the customers,” said William Dillon, president of Gresham Driving Aids. “Some clients only need a lift for a power chair or scooter, while others may need an actual chair for the vehicle that assists them in entering and exiting the vehicle.”

The total cost of modifying a vehicle can be $12,500, given the range of chairs and lifts manufactured by Bruno Independent Living Aids, Dillon said.

Because of Transit Connect Wagon’s commercial vehicle roots, customers can also take advantage of its maximum payload of 1,270 pounds, when properly equipped.

“Transit Connect Wagon offers the right mixture of affordability, interior spaciousness and capability that is appealing to all people,” said Andrew Bayer, automotive products manager, Bruno Independent Living Aids. “Bruno is proud to work with Ford to ensure people with limited mobility are able to equip Transit Connect Wagon with the upfit options they need to help lead an independent lifestyle.”

In addition to being affordable, Transit Connect Wagon offers a spacious interior and ample headroom, especially with the long-wheelbase version. This allows for easy installation of a lift for a power scooter or chair. The vehicle has 45.1 inches of headroom in the second row; the long-wheelbase version has 41.3 inches in the third row.

Driver and front passenger door openings are wide enough to accommodate the knees and feet of occupants who need accessible seating. The doors swing open wide enough so installation technicians don’t have to alter the vehicle to accommodate an accessible seat.

Transit Connect Wagon, known as the #unminivan, is also fun and easy to drive, sharing its Ford global small car architecture with the sporty Focus model. Electric power-assisted steering is standard, making it easier for drivers to maneuver in parking lots at low speeds, or on curvy roads at higher speeds.

Customers can choose one of two fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines – the standard 2.5-liter or an optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost®. The 2.5-liter has an EPA-estimated rating of 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. Actual mileage will vary. The 1.6-liter EcoBoost has an EPA-estimated rating of 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. Actual mileage may vary. Both engines are paired to a six-speed SelectShift® transmission.

For more information about the Ford Mobility Motoring Reimbursement Program, visit

Monday, August 4, 2014

Fusion, Explorer, Escape Lead Ford’s Best July Results in Eight Years; F-Series and Lincoln Also Post Gains

  • Ford Motor Company U.S. July sales increased 10 percent with 212,236 vehicles sold for best July performance in eight years
  • Ford Fusion posted a record July sales month with 23,942 cars sold, up 17 percent
  • Ford Explorer sales increased 32 percent; Ford Escape posted best July with a 19 percent sales increase
  • Ford F-Series again topped 60,000-vehicle mark, up 5 percent
  • Lincoln sales increased 14 percent on building MKC stock

Ford Motor Company U.S. sales of 212,236 vehicles increased 10 percent over a year ago for the best July in eight years. Retail sales of 162,028 vehicles are up 7 percent.  

“July proved to be a very good month for Ford and Lincoln with positive gains across the board in all the major segments,” said John Felice, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Escape and Fusion were big contributors to our sales increases, with both setting July sales records. F-Series again topped the 60,000-vehicle sales mark and we’re seeing great initial demand for our launch vehicles, such as the Transit Connect, Transit Connect Wagon and the Lincoln MKC as availability builds.”

Ford Fusion set an all-time monthly sales record in July with 23,942 cars sold, a gain of 17 percent. The West region of the United States continues to drive Fusion sales higher, with a 24 percent retail increase relative to a 22 percent increase nationally.

Ford Explorer sales are up 32 percent with 16,797 vehicles sold, for the vehicle’s best July since 2005. Ford Escape sales are up 19 percent, setting an all-time performance record for July.
Ford F-Series sales are up 5 percent with 63,240 trucks sold, a number achieved with the lowest incentives of the three largest pickup truck manufacturers.

Lincoln sales of 7,863 vehicles are up 14 percent, giving the brand its best July result in six years. Stock for Lincoln MKC is expanding and momentum is building, with 1,534 vehicles sold in July.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Jarrett Edwards and Towing in Manual with the Ford F-150

TV host Jarrett Edwards discusses the advantages of towing in manual with the Ford F-150. Find out what the F-150 can do for you!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

DSO on-the-Go with Ford

Ford Motor Company and Detroit Symphony Orchestra are building on their long history together by launching a new performance series, “DSO on-the-Go with Ford,” which features 10 free performances by DSO musicians at neighborhood locations around Detroit.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Real Ford Owners: Dan

Your Local Ford Store sponsored a promotion asking Real Ford Owners to tell us about their Ford story. Meet Dan and find out about his Ford vehicles and how Fords have been in his family for over 100 years!