Archive for January 2011

FORD CREDIT EARNS $2 BILLION IN 2010*

Ford Motor Credit Company reported net income of $2 billion in 2010, an improvement of $0.7 billion from earnings of $1.3 billion a year earlier. On a pre-tax basis, Ford Credit earned $3.1 billion in 2010, compared with $2 billion in the previous year. The full year increase in pre-tax earnings is primarily explained by a lower provision for credit losses and lower depreciation expense for leased vehicles related to higher auction values, offset partially by lower volume and the non-recurrence of net gains related to unhedged currency exposure primarily from cross-border intercompany lending.

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FORD CREDIT EARNS $2 BILLION IN 2010*

FORD REPORTS 2010 FULL YEAR NET INCOME OF $6.6 BILLION; FOURTH QUARTER NET INCOME OF $190 MILLION+

Ford Motor Company [NYSE: F] today reported 2010 full year net income of $6.6 billion, or $1.66 per share, an increase of $3.8 billion, or 80 cents per share, from 2009. This was Ford’s highest net income in more than 10 years, as strong products and new investments fueled improvements in all of the company’s business operations around the world.

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FORD REPORTS 2010 FULL YEAR NET INCOME OF $6.6 BILLION; FOURTH QUARTER NET INCOME OF $190 MILLION+

FORD BLENDS MATH, CREATIVE THINKING, COMPUTING POWER TO BRING SUPERIOR SHIFT QUALITY TO FOCUS

The 2012 Ford Focus will offer up exceptional shift quality to drivers, powered in part by an inventive Ford transmission technology that has been waiting nearly 25 years for computing power to catch up to make it a reality.

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FORD BLENDS MATH, CREATIVE THINKING, COMPUTING POWER TO BRING SUPERIOR SHIFT QUALITY TO FOCUS

New Ford Mustang V6 2011

New Ford Mustang V6 2011

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New Ford Mustang V6 2011

FORD F-150 ECOBOOST ‘HERO’ ENGINE LAID BARE IN FRONT OF LIVE AUDIENCE IN FINAL WEB DOCUMENTARY

  • Key internal components of 2011 F-150 EcoBoost™ “hero” engine found to be within rigid factory specifications during unprecedented live teardown at the 2011 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS)
  • Ford engineers say EcoBoost truck engine could go another 150,000 miles after enduring harsh testing that simulated more than 160,000 miles
  • Engine teardown featured in final episode of series of web-based documentaries demonstrating the durability of the new EcoBoost truck engine

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 26, 2011 – The block, pistons, turbos, crankshaft, valves and other internal parts of the 3.5-liter F-150 EcoBoost “hero” engine are still within rigid factory specifications after enduring testing that simulated 10 years of wear or about 160,000 miles.

In an unprecedented – and high-stakes – public reveal, Ford engineers disassembled the engine for the first time in front of a live audience of nearly 1,000 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

“I was amazed that, first, the engine looked as good as it did, and second, Ford took the chance of opening it up in front of the public,” said Gary Heinz, coordinator of the Automotive Student Service Education Training program at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn.

“You know that in a Detroit crowd, there are a lot of auto mechanics who know a good engine from a worn out one,” said Heinz, a long-time engine mechanic who watched the teardown with a group of students.

Heinz said he credits the engine design, the high-quality manufacturing process and the precise tolerances between the moving parts with the low wear found on the components.

Over the past three months, EcoBoost engine No. 448AA performed a series of rigorous events to prove out the new technology’s durability. Specifically, the engine hauled 55 tons of lumber, ran at full throttle for 24 straight hours towing 11,300 pounds, beat competitors’ larger V8 engines in an uphill towing competition and completed the world’s toughest desert endurance race, the SCORE Tecate Baja 1000, in Mexico.

Said one spectator: “Ford has a lot of guts to take this apart in public, especially after all that has been done to this engine.”

Ford powertrain technician Chris Rahill has torn down nearly 2,000 engines in his 20-year career at Ford Motor Company. He said the engine he disassembled is not even close to being near the end of its life.

“Given the intense engineering and research and the severity of the durability tests we run that go into all Ford engines, I’m not at all surprised how good this engine looked,” said Rahill. “Everything was within manufacturing specification. Nothing was out of the norm.”

Back to the dyno lab
After completing the SCORE Tecate Baja 1000 in just over 38 hours, the engine was pulled from its race truck and sent to Dearborn for analysis. There it produced best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque and 364 horsepower – one horsepower less than its original number.

“The results on the dyno confirmed that the EcoBoost truck engine still delivered outstanding power even after the extreme use this engine had been subjected to,” said Phil Fabien, Powertrain Operations.

The dyno and teardown events are captured in the final episode of a web-based documentary that goes live today at http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/experiencef150. The documentary series explores the engine’s durability.

Key findings related to the durability of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost truck engine discovered at the teardown include:

  • Turbochargers: No visual issues with the compressor or turbine, which rotated freely
  • Pistons: Rings spun freely and pistons showed no obvious signs of wear
  • Carbon deposits: Nominal. Carbon deposits can vary based on quality of fuel used and when in the cycle the engine was stopped
  • Cylinder leakdown test: The engine’s cylinders are pressurized with 100 pounds of air to measure the sealing performance of the rings and valves. The cylinder leakdown test results ranged from 6 percent to 13 percent. That’s well within manufacturing tolerances, and as demonstrated by the dyno test, had no affect on the engine’s performance.

Why the EcoBoost engine was so clean
The comparative lack of engine sludge/grime indicates that the engine’s PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) system and the recommended Motorcraft 5W-30 synthetic blend motor oil – available off the shelf – worked in harmony to contribute to clean engine operation.

The PCV system essentially “recycles” crankcase gases back into the intake for reburning, which contributes to improved fuel economy and lower emissions.

In terms of oil consumption, the 2011 F-150 EcoBoost has a 10,000-mile oil change interval and includes an intelligent oil life monitor (IOLM). The IOLM uses actual engine and vehicle operating conditions to more precisely calculate anticipated service intervals, depending on vehicle operating conditions, as follows:

  • Up to 10,000 miles: normal commuting with highway driving
  • 5,000 to 7,500 miles: trailer tow/high-load driving
  • 3,000 to 5,000 miles: short-trip usage, extreme temperatures

Instead of using a predetermined interval schedule (either by time or mileage), the IOLM tells customers, based on their driving habits and engine operating conditions, when to change the oil through simple communications in the message center.

Intense testing key to durability
The F-150 EcoBoost engine saw its first action on the dyno in July. Engineers punished it in temperature and load extremes simulating a regimen tougher than any customer’s.

“In the initial dyno test, we accelerated real-world mileage or engine cycles,” said Fabien. “We ran at much higher engine speeds and higher torque levels and added in more extreme temperature swings than a customer can possibly do. We can go from minus-20 coolant temperature to 235 degrees within three minutes at peak power.

“Essentially, with these accelerated tests, we can run conditions customers may be able to get into for a short period of time, but we do it for hours on end.”

After the dyno testing, most engines would be ready to be rebuilt or retired, but the EcoBoost torture test was just beginning.

The entire live teardown can be viewed on YouTube via the following links:

Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/v/PG6xZ3e4_pI
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/v/3L8rEGAGMJg
Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/v/PG2d_Y1bmKI

For more on the 2011 Ford F-150, please go here.

DETAILS OF FORD MOTOR COMPANY’S JANUARY 2011 U.S. SALES CONFERENCE CALL

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) will release its January 2011 U.S. sales results at approximately noon ET Tuesday, February 1. At 1 p.m. ET, George Pipas, Ford U.S. sales analyst, will host a conference call for the investment community and news media to discuss the results and related market trends. He will be joined by Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service, and Emily Kolinski Morris, Ford senior U.S. economist.

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DETAILS OF FORD MOTOR COMPANY’S JANUARY 2011 U.S. SALES CONFERENCE CALL

ALL-NEW FORD FOCUS FEATURES ECOMODE TO HELP DRIVERS PERFECT ECO-DRIVING TECHNIQUES

New Ford Focus owners can learn a thing or two about driving skills that can maximize their miles per gallon – and they can have a little fun in the process.

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ALL-NEW FORD FOCUS FEATURES ECOMODE TO HELP DRIVERS PERFECT ECO-DRIVING TECHNIQUES

DYNAMIC ALL-NEW FORD FOCUS MODELS BRING EXPRESSIVE DESIGN

  • Focus features the latest dynamic evolution of Ford’s kinetic design form language in two exciting bodystyles
  • Focus offers a driver-focused interior with cockpit-style layout and superior craftsmanship
  • The stylish Focus interior combines sporty appeal with practicality

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24, 2011 – The exciting all-new Ford Focus brings a dynamic and innovative style to the small-car segment with a stylish four-door sedan and a sporty new five-door hatchback.

Expressive exterior and interior design is the core appeal of the new Focus, taking Ford’s acclaimed kinetic design language to the next level and providing customers with a rewarding ownership experience.

Drivers will appreciate the sporty driving environment and superior craftsmanship, while enjoying the comfort and practicality of the cabin, a well-known feature of the Focus.

“We set out to make the new Focus great to sit in and great to drive, and its distinctive and dynamic design sends a clear message about the vehicle’s undoubted driver appeal,” said Martin Smith, Ford of Europe executive design director. “With its sleek exterior and stylish, sporty interior, the new Ford Focus is a vehicle customers will be proud to have in their driveways.”

Sleek and dynamic exterior design
Ford Focus five-door hatchback and four-door sedan share a sporty and dynamic character, developing the kinetic design theme that has contributed to the growing popularity of the company’s portfolio.

With its striking front end, sleek profile, dramatic rising beltline and athletic stance, the new Focus clearly communicates the rewarding driving experience customers will experience when they take the wheel and drive.

The sporty five-door hatchback and sleek four-door sedan Focus models have been carefully developed to have their own distinctive appeal. Both bodystyles have their own clear identity and unique rear-end treatment, while sharing the same sporting front-end appearance with the dynamic new interpretation of Ford’s signature lower trapezoidal grille.

Distinctive, driver-focused interior
The dynamic quality of the exterior is reinforced by the distinctive design of the cabin. The new Focus has a contemporary, cockpit-style interior with the stylish center console wrapped around the driver, providing outstanding access to the vehicle’s major controls and display panels.

A key element of the interior is the quality of craftsmanship. The cabin’s bold and contemporary graphics, the sculpted shape of the soft-touch instrument panel and choice of superior trim materials all help to give occupants the feeling of a premium-class car.

The dynamic nature of the interior is reflected in sophisticated, contemporary color combinations, providing a harmonious environment that is both stylish and original. Authentic chrome surfaces and high-gloss finishes provide passengers with visual and tactile highlights, while emphasizing the premium quality of the cabin.

“We have designed an interior that fits the driver like a glove,” said Smith. “The stylish cockpit and premium materials ensure the Focus cabin is truly a special place to be.”

Sporty appeal with Focus practicality
The Focus interior combines a sporting driving environment with the comfort and practicality that customers will appreciate.

In addition to the ergonomically optimized cockpit layout, the new Focus includes a host of features to make life behind the wheel enjoyable. These include a completely new front-seat design, offering significantly better support, ample interior stowage with larger cupholders and door bins front and rear, and flexible 60/40 folding rear seats that can further extend the generous luggage compartment.

The interior design was refined using Ford’s advanced 3D Computer Aided Virtual Engineering (CAVE) system. The CAVE creates a virtual, full-sized interior of a car; issues such as cockpit layout, seating position, visibility and even reflections on the instrument panel could be tested and optimized during the early design stages.

FORD VERTREK NAMED BEST CONCEPT AT 2011 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW BY AUTOWEEK

The AutoWeek editorial team has named Ford Vertrek the Best Concept of the 2011 North American International Auto Show. The Vertrek concept rose above such contenders as the Mini Paceman, GMC Sierra All Terrain HD and Toyota Prius C to win the coveted award.

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FORD VERTREK NAMED BEST CONCEPT AT 2011 NORTH AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW BY AUTOWEEK

DETAILS OF FORD MOTOR COMPANY’S JANUARY 28 BRIEFING ON 2010 FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR RESULTS

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) will release its preliminary 2010 fourth quarter and full year financial results at 7 a.m. EST Friday, Jan. 28.

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DETAILS OF FORD MOTOR COMPANY’S JANUARY 28 BRIEFING ON 2010 FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR RESULTS