Archive for February 2011

Ford Focus Electric Revealed In Detroit

Ford’s very first all-electric passenger car—the Focus Electric —made its world premiere at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit last month, where company execs hailed the vehicle as just one of five new electrified vehicles Ford would launch by 2013. “Focus Electric is the flagship of our new family of electrified vehicles, showcasing our commitment to offer consumers choice when it comes to fuel-efficient or fuel-free vehicles,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development. “Its advanced powertrain will deliver significant energy efficiency advantages and zero CO2 emissions without compromising driving enjoyment. And its suite of smart driver information technologies will transform the way customers think about energy usage and their transportation needs.” Also notable: Ford promises the Focus Electric will launch with a better mpg equivalent rating than the Chevrolet Volt and be able to replenish its batteries with a home-based 240-watt charger in three to four hours—half the time required by the Nissan Leaf. And while full specifications have yet to be released, the company also says the car will “offer enough range to cover the majority of daily driving habits of Americans,” at speeds of up to 84 mph. Two other components of Ford’s electrification strategy were revealed in Detroit as well. Leveraging the impressive all-new Ford C-MAX , with its innovative “5+2” seating, the automaker will start selling the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi in 2012. The C-MAX Hybrid will offer better EPA ratings than the current Fusion Hybrid—the most fuel-efficient sedan now on sale in the U.S.—and a top speed of about 47 mph when operating in its hybrid-powered electric mode. The C-MAX Energi takes things to the next level by adding plug-in capability to that proven hybrid powertrain. This will allow the new people mover to provide customers with a significant all-electric driving range and then, if its battery pack is depleted, hundreds of additional miles worth of driving when operating as a “regular” hybrid. Combining these features, the C-MAX Energi is expected to deliver an overall driving range of more than 500 miles, over 100 more than the Volt. “Ford’s plan to deliver a full range of exciting, energy-efficient vehicles is on track and fully charged,” said Sherif Marakby, director of Ford’s electrification programs and engineering. “Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi and C-MAX Hybrid demonstrate Ford’s commitment to delivering significant fuel economy gains and reduced CO2 emissions to meet our customers’ functional needs without compromising their driving enjoyment.”

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Ford Focus Electric Revealed In Detroit

Today’s Ford Vertrek: Tomorrow’s New Compact SUV?

Making another strong step forward with its already-successful “One Ford” growth strategy , the Ford Motor Company introduced the Vertrek Concept at the recent North American International Auto Show in Detroit, displaying a compact SUV that combines the versatility and roominess of the Ford Escape with the European flair of the Ford Kuga , the company’s segment entry in overseas markets. “This concept supports the idea of ‘grab your gear and go’ capability, but does it in a very sophisticated way,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s group vice president for Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “It blends capability and great design and craftsmanship.” In addition to its sculpted exterior and dynamic stance, the Vertrek also showcases the latest new Ford technologies, including: The Ford SYNC in-car connectivity, communications and entertainment system Active park assist A blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert Intelligent Access with push-button start Ford’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine Also in the mix with the new concept vehicle is the Ford Auto Start-Stop system, which can shut off a vehicle’s engine at traffic lights or in similar situations, then automatically and seamlessly start it up again as soon as the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal. It’s another important contributor to increased fuel efficiency and can cut gasoline use by up to 10 percent. The technology already is available on Ford’s hybrid products (Fusion Hybrid, Escape Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid), and is expected to debut on the new Ford Focus and Ford C-MAX later in the 2012 model year. The Ford Vertrek? While it’s clearly a concept, an all-new Ford compact SUV is expected in the same time frame, so stay tuned.

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Today’s Ford Vertrek: Tomorrow’s New Compact SUV?

Ford Delivers 12 Fuel Economy Leaders Across Its Lineup; Unrivaled Four Models in the Forties

With oil nearing $100 per barrel and gasoline prices continuing to rise, Ford and Lincoln customers have reason to smile – 12 cars, trucks and utilities that lead their sales segments in fuel economy, including four with EPA-certified ratings of 40 mpg or more.

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Ford Delivers 12 Fuel Economy Leaders Across Its Lineup; Unrivaled Four Models in the Forties

Ford Suppliers Add 5,500 Jobs to Support Global Launch of All-New Ford Focus

As the all-new Ford Focus gets set to hit dealer showrooms across Europe and North America, Ford’s global supply network is expanding to meet the needs of the vehicle’s international launch.

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Ford Suppliers Add 5,500 Jobs to Support Global Launch of All-New Ford Focus

2011 Ford Explorer: 2011 North American Truck Of The Year

It’s a three-peat of epic proportions: When the all-new Ford Explorer was named 2011 North American Truck of the Year just prior to the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, it marked the third straight time that a Ford product had taken home the honor. “It’s a proud moment for Ford, our employees and our customers to have Explorer named North American Truck of the Year,” said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. “Winning this honor for the third consecutive year confirms our One Ford plan is working to deliver vehicles people truly want and value, with industry-leading quality, fuel efficiency, safety and smart technology.” It’s also a direct reflection on Ford’s leadership role in powertrain innovation—a key driver of the Explorer’s success. The standard engine in Ford’s SUV is an advanced 3.5-liter V6 that leverages technologies like twin independent variable camshaft timing to give the Explorer both the best highway fuel economy in its class (a full 25 mpg, to go with a notable mark of 17 mpg city) as well as a robust 290 hp. Also notable: Later this year, the Explorer will be available with one of Ford’s innovative 2.0-liter Ecoboost I4 engines for even better fuel efficiency . The North American Truck of the Year Award was chosen by a jury of 49 top automotive journalists from across the U.S. and Canada. They evaluated the design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar of the past year’s “all-new”/”substantially changed” trucks before honoring the Explorer. This is the seventh time Ford has won the award in the prize’s 18-year history; the most recent winners for the automaker prior to the Explorer were the Transit Connect , in 2010, and the F-150, in 2009.

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2011 Ford Explorer: 2011 North American Truck Of The Year

Ford eNews – Feb. 23, 2011

More than a pretty face: Ford Fiesta is tops in safety, too; Ford’s bright idea brings cost savings, CO 2 reduction; Ford Electrified Vehicle Facebook page puts consumers first; Leading Edge in Canada; Ford’s inflatable seat belt wins 2011 Best New Technology award

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Ford eNews – Feb. 23, 2011

Ford eNews – Feb. 23, 2011

More than a pretty face: Ford Fiesta is tops in safety, too; Ford’s bright idea brings cost savings, CO 2 reduction; Ford Electrified Vehicle Facebook page puts consumers first; Leading Edge in Canada; Ford’s inflatable seat belt wins 2011 Best New Technology award

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Ford eNews – Feb. 23, 2011

All-new Ford Explorer and Flex make kbb.com Top 10 Family Cars list

Two Ford utility vehicles are among Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com 2011 Top 10 Family Cars, which recognizes safety, comfort, economy of operation, child-friendliness, a reasonable purchase price and good resale value. The 2011 Ford Explorer, called the “best Explorer ever” by kbb.com editors, was praised for offering “better ride, better handling and better fuel efficiency” and for delivering “far more than most families will ever need.” Ford Flex was lauded as the “most fun-to-drive, most car-like family hauler you can get your hands on for less than $30,000.” Click here for the full release.

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All-new Ford Explorer and Flex make kbb.com Top 10 Family Cars list

All-new Ford Explorer and Flex make kbb.com Top 10 Family Cars list

Two Ford utility vehicles are among Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com 2011 Top 10 Family Cars, which recognizes safety, comfort, economy of operation, child-friendliness, a reasonable purchase price and good resale value. The 2011 Ford Explorer, called the “best Explorer ever” by kbb.com editors, was praised for offering “better ride, better handling and better fuel efficiency” and for delivering “far more than most families will ever need.” Ford Flex was lauded as the “most fun-to-drive, most car-like family hauler you can get your hands on for less than $30,000.” Click here for the full release.

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All-new Ford Explorer and Flex make kbb.com Top 10 Family Cars list

New Ford Electrified Vehicle Facebook Page Engages Fans

  • Ford has developed a Facebook page dedicated to educating consumers about the differences in electrified vehicle technologies and providing the latest information about the five electrified vehicles the company will introduce (www.facebook.com/FordElectricVehicles)
  • Fans of the page can access assets – videos, photos, polls and announcements, join discussions about electrified vehicles and even direct questions to the engineers on Ford’s electric vehicle development team
  • The Electrified Vehicle Facebook page is where Ford first teased information about the all-new Focus Electric reveal and showed live-streaming video of its reveal from the Consumer Electronics Show in January

Ford has launched an Electrified Vehicle Facebook page to serve as a place where passionate enthusiasts or curious consumers can find and share information about the company’s electrified vehicles. The page, available at www.facebook.com/FordElectricVehicles, is part of Ford’s efforts to educate consumers on the variety of choices available with electrified vehicles and what the company is doing to make an electric lifestyle as easy as possible.

“People who are passionate about electrified vehicles or just interested in learning more about the technology are using the Internet as the source to participate in discussions or gather information,” said David Finnegan, Ford electric vehicles marketing manager. “Launching a Ford-specific Electrified Vehicle Facebook page allows us to create a forum for discussion and a place where we can interact with fans.”

The Ford Electrified Vehicle page for Facebook was developed to help consumers understand the differences between electricified vehicle technologies so they can make informed decisions about whether a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle fits their driving habits. The page also creates a place where consumers can initiate and participate in conversations around Ford’s electrified vehicle offerings and gives Ford a forum to respond to consumers who are interested in electrified vehicles.

“We’re committed to engaging in an ongoing dialogue with our fans in a way that provides value for the time they choose to spend with Ford online,” said Scott Monty, Ford digital and multimedia communications manager. “As we’ve proven with Fiesta Movement and the Explorer reveal on Facebook, it’s important to pay attention to what people are saying, and for us to be able to respond and provide a unique experience for them as well.”

The Electrified Vehicle Facebook page offers visitors links to videos and photos of Ford’s electrified vehicles, as well as a place to learn about the powertrains in each vehicle. There are areas for discussion between fans, along with user polls, a place where fans can direct questions to Ford’s electric vehicles team, and a calendar for upcoming events.

The Facebook page was used to tease the reveal of the all-new Focus Electric at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The reveal was streamed live on the page, along with video from the Ford display on-site.

“You never know what will pop up next on the page,” said Finnegan. “One day we could host a live discussion with an electric vehicle engineer, post the first information about Focus Electric orders or announce details surrounding a consumer contest. You’ll just have to friend the page and find out.”

Ford’s power of choice
Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy. Ford’s aggressive strategy includes the launch of five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013. Ford launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010, will launch Focus Electric later this year and will introduce C-MAX Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid in 2012. The range of electrified vehicles allows Ford to meet a variety of consumer driving needs.