Archive for February, 2011

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Ford launches Facebook for electric vehicles

February 28, 2011

Dearborn, Michigan – Ford has launched a new Facebook page for information on the company’s electrified vehicles. The page is part of Ford’s efforts to educate consumers on the variety of choices available with electrified vehicles.

The page can be found at Ford Electric Vehicles.

“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 page includes information on the differences between electrified vehicle technologies, such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles, and creates a place where consumers can initiate and participate in conversations around Ford’s vehicle offerings. The page includes links to videos and photos, user polls, a calendar of upcoming events and discussions.

 

(from autos.ca)

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The New Ford Fiesta – One Million Sold In Europe and Counting!

February 24, 2011

European sales of the latest-generation Ford Fiesta reached one million last month. The landmark was achieved just 28 months after the popular Ford small car – Ford’s No.1 top-selling car – went on sale in Ford dealerships across Europe. . . .

  • Sales of latest-generation Ford Fiesta reach one million in Europe
  • Sales landmark reached in January 2011, 28 months after latest-generation Ford
  • Fiesta sales commenced in October 2008
  • Ford Fiesta has been the best-selling small car in Europe for the past two years
  • Total global sales of the latest-generation Ford Fiesta are 1,140,000

COLOGNE, Germany, Feb, 2011 – European sales of the latest-generation Ford Fiesta reached one million last month. The landmark was achieved just 28 months after the popular Ford small car – Ford’s No.1 top-selling car – went on sale in Ford dealerships across Europe.

When it first drove out of Ford dealer showrooms in October 2008, the award-winning Ford Fiesta championed a new era in small car design, performance and functionality. Available in three- and five-door hatchback bodystyles and a range of fuel-efficient powertrains, it shot up the sales charts and became the No. 2 best-selling car in Europe in early 2009, a position it has retained ever since.

“I want to thank our customers across Europe for making the Ford Fiesta such a great success,” said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. “Its innovative design combined with state-of-the-art technology continues to be a great hit.”

“To reach the one million sales mark is a significant achievement, but there is much, much more to come as the Ford Fiesta continues to appeal to customers and goes from strength-to-strength in markets throughout Europe.”

The Ford Fiesta is produced in Europe in Ford’s state-of-the-art assembly plants in Cologne, Germany and Valencia, Spain. It is the most successful European-made small car sold in Europe ever, with cumulative sales totalling 14-million since the car was first launched in 1976.

For the past 35 years, the Ford Fiesta has been synonymous with economical, practical and dependable motoring. Today, it continues to appeal to a new generation of motorists, with research showing it is attracting younger, more affluent buyers who are choosing higher trim levels with more features and options.

Ford Fiesta Facts

  • The new Fiesta RS World Rally Car scored an impressive 1-2-3 in last week’s Rally Sweden on its first competitive outing
  • Ford Fiesta has gained a five-star safety rating in China, with similar maximum ratings in Europe and Australia/New Zealand
  • More than 55 per cent of the Fiesta body structure is made from ultra-high-strength steel
  • Key European markets for the Ford Fiesta are France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands and Turkey.
  • Last year the Ford Fiesta was the top-selling car in Greece and the UK.
  • Ford Fiesta is built at Ford plants in Cologne, Germany; Valencia, Spain; Nanjing, China; Rayong, Thailand and Cuautitlán, Mexico, and is sold globally in more than 100 markets.
  • The Fiesta ECOnetic model comes with ultra-low 3.7 l/100 km (76.2 mpg*) and 98 g/km CO2 emissions.

*Note: Fuel economy figures quoted are based on the European Fuel economy Directive  EU 80/1268/EEC and will differ from fuel economy drive cycle results in other regions of
the world.

Who buys the Ford Fiesta?

  • Conquest customers (those who coming to Ford from competitive brands) represent 45% of all buyers
  • Gender: Men 50%; Women 50%
  • Key option / Series take rates: 42% high series; 35%/65% diesel/petrol split; 25%/75% 3-door/5-door split

 

 

(from blueovalnews.com)

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Special WD-40/SEMA Cares Mustang sold for charity

February 23, 2011

San Diego, California – A special customized 2011 Ford Mustang GT has brought more than US$200,000 for charity. The car, a project of WD-40 and SEMA Cares, was sold at the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Show and Auction in Arizona.

The Mustang, which features a 5.0-litre V8 producing nearly 600 horsepower, plus a custom body kit, entertainment system, and paint scheme emulating the WD-40 brand, was “detailed” at the auction with signatures from baseball legend Reggie Jackson, NASCAR’s Rick Hendrick and actor Tim Allen before the bidding began. Allen closed the auction when the vehicle brought a $100,000 online bid, and then joined others in making additional donations to raise more money. The proceeds will benefit Childhelp, which provides services to abused and neglected children, and The Victory Junction Gang Camp, which provides camping experiences to special needs and chronically ill children.

The winning bid was from John and Jeanette Stallupi, who will feature the vehicle in the Cars of Dreams Museum in Palm Beach, Florida.

This is the second consecutive year that WD-40 has partnered with SEMA Cares, the charity arm of the Specialty Equipment Market Association, to build a custom vehicle for charity. Last year, a WD-40/SEMA Cares Camaro sold for $75,000 to benefit the same charity organizations.

 

(from autos.ca)

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New technology dominates auto show

February 22, 2011

Thousands of visitors to the Canadian International Auto Show will see a lot of new technological innovations ranging from the latest green engines to better seat belts here during the next week.

Among the innovators, Ford, which unveiled an electric version of the Focus, introduced a hands-free liftgate Thursday on its new C-Max multi-activity vehicle that will allow it to open with a gentle leg motion.

On the power train side, Ford is moving to technology that will automatically shut down the engine when a vehicle is in idle position.

The Automotive Journalists Association of Canada also awarded Ford with the “best new technology” for the company’s rear inflatable seat belts that spread impact forces more than five times the area than conventional devices.

 

(from Toronto Star)

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SYNC with MyFord Touch Leads Four Technologies from Ford Named as Finalists for 2011 Edison Best New Product Awards

February 21, 2011

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb, 2011 – Four of Ford Motor Company’s innovative new technologies that have helped draw new customers have now been named finalists by the internationally known 2011 Edison Best New Product Awards™.

Ford’s MyFord Touch, MyKey, SYNC AppLink and rear inflatable seat belts – each an industry-first innovation – are finalists in three categories honored by the Edison Awards.

MyFord Touch and SYNC AppLink are finalists in the Transportation – In-Car Driving Aids Category. MyKey is a finalist in the Transportation – Remote Driving Aids category. The rear inflatable seat belt system is a finalist in the Applied Technology category.

The distinguished awards symbolize the persistence and excellence personified by Thomas Alva Edison, inspiring America’s drive to remain in the forefront of innovation, creativity and ingenuity in the global economy.

“This year’s awards recognize a broad array of innovations including far-reaching products, services and technologies that impact daily life,” said Sarah Miller Caldicott, a great grandniece of Thomas Edison and Edison Awards Steering Committee chair.

“The awards applaud the forward-thinking innovations for which Thomas Edison remains internationally admired. It’s exciting to see companies like Ford continuing his legacy of challenging conventional thinking,” Caldicott said.

“We are pleased that four Ford technologies could win Edison Awards, which are well-respected achievements,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “We see in Ford showrooms every day that our connectivity technologies such as SYNC and industry-first safety innovations such as MyKey are helping us win over more customers.”

Ford technologies being honored include:

  • MyFord Touch – A simpler, safer and smarter way for drivers to interface with their car using voice commands to control the use of audio, climate control, navigation and phone
  • MyKey – Allows parents to preset limits on vehicle speed and audio system volume levels. MyKey also will mute the audio system if front occupants do not buckle their seat belts
  • SYNC AppLink – A free software program that gives SYNC users smarter, safer voice control of smartphone apps. The first SYNC-enabled apps are Pandora internet radio, Stitcher news radio and OpenBeak for Twitter
  • Rear inflatable seat belts – The inflatable belts can spread impact forces across five times more area of the chest than conventional seat belts. This reduces pressure from crashes on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion

The ballot of nominees for the Edison Best New Product Awards is judged by roughly 2,000 members of the not-for-profit Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), an organization comprising America’s top marketing professionals and academics. In a comprehensive peer-review process, the nominees are judged on marketplace innovation, marketplace success, technological innovation, market structure innovation, societal impact and design innovation.

Winners of the gold, silver and bronze awards will be announced April 5 at the historic Capitale ballroom in New York. In addition to announcing this year’s Best New Product Awards recipients, the evening will feature the presentation of the prestigious Edison Achievement Award to Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company, and to John Hendricks, founder and chairman of Discovery Communications, who both have made a significant and lasting contribution to innovation throughout their careers.

The Edison Awards Steering Committee is comprised of senior executives with diverse marketing, scientific and business backgrounds who monitor the development and successful launch of innovative products each year. The committee is responsible for bestowing the annual Edison Achievement Awards and serves as a guidepost in developing the list of nominees that is presented to the Edison Best New Product Awards judges.

The 2011 Edison Awards are sponsored by The Nielsen Company, Discovery Channel, Science Channel, Spencer Trask and Bzz Agent. The Edison Awards are granted under the aegis of the Thomas A. Edison Papers at Rutgers University, a globally recognized research network dedicated to the study of innovation and its application in the 21 century. For more information about the Edison Awards finalists, please visit www.edisonawards.com.

 

(from blueovalnews.com)

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Ford EcoBoost the little engine that could; V-6 combines power with fuel economy

February 18, 2011

Torture testing has proved Ford’s EcoBoost V-6 engine is a winner.

A series of torture test videos -all narrated by Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs fame -indicate that even after being punished for 265,550 kilometres, one particular EcoBoost V-6 engine was still within new build specifications. That’s a pretty good indication of how the EcoBoost is expected to perform in real world conditions.

Ford’s EcoBoost engine combines the words “power” and “fuel economy” in the same sentence -and that’s unusual. Unusual, because until recently, when it comes to the internal combustion engine, decent performance was often linked to poor gas mileage.

Ford is breaking that stereotype with the EcoBoost engines, variants of which are starting to appear in some of its North American models, including the Focus and the F-150.

These engines are the 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder units (Ford Focus, Edge and Explorer), and the 3.5-L V-6 (Ford F-150, Taurus SHO, Lincoln MKS and MKT).

What’s so special about the EcoBoost? According to Ford: “EcoBoost combines turbocharging and direct gasoline injection to deliver up to a 20 per cent improvement in fuel economy, 15 per cent fewer CO2 emissions and superior driving performance compared with larger displacement engines.”

Gasoline direct injection is nothing new, and several automakers are using the technology. Basically, highly pressurized fuel is injected directly into each cylinder. Traditionally, fuel and air would mix externally before being introduced to the combustion chamber.

Now, Ford has added turbocharging to the equation. Using waste exhaust gases, a turbine wheel and a compressor help increase the pressure of incoming air -necessary for combustion to occur.

These two technologies help a smaller engine provide the performance of a larger engine -all without using extra fuel.

“The EcoBoost engine is a gamechanger,” said Travis Eade, general manager of Woodridge Ford Lincoln. “The EcoBoost technology is able to deliver both power and performance, while providing amazing fuel efficiency and fuel economy.

“Customers really like it,” he added, “and that’s translated into positive sales growth for us.”

Ford hired Mike Rowe to narrate a series of torture test videos. These are available online at www.ford.com/trucks/f150.

Over six episodes, one V-6 engine, EcoBoost No. 448AA, is subjected to running a simulated 241,400 km on a dynamometer. Then, the same engine is installed in a red F-150 pickup truck, and the vehicle is used for timber hauling, 24-hour track racing and trailer towing.

The engine is then installed in a Baja truck, where it is subjected to the gruelling desert race. Finally, on Jan. 15, 2011, the engine is torn down in front of a live audience at the North American International Auto Show. Apparently, after some 265,550 km, engine No. 448AA was still within new-build tolerances, and would likely last another 241,400 km.

The twin-turbo 3.5-litre Eco-Boost V-6 produces 365 horsepower and 420 ft.-lbs. of torque, which are fairly uncommon specs for a V-6 engine.

The 2011 Ford F150’s 3.5-litre EcoBoost truck engine provides “an unbeatable combination of best-in-class towing of 11,300 pounds, payload of 3,060 pounds, torque of 420 ft.-lbs. and the fuel economy of a V-6,” Eade said.

“The new engine will change how people look at trucks.”

(from driving.ca)

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TOP GEAR TV STAR TANNER FOUST TO HOST AND COACH FORD FOCUS GLOBAL TEST DRIVE PARTICIPANTS

February 17, 2011

Ford confirmed today that bloggers and consumers attending the Ford Focus Global Test Drive next month in Madrid will be greeted, hosted and coached by the versatile Tanner Foust, HISTORY television personality on the American edition of Top Gear. Foust brings a wealth of experience…

 

  • Rallyist, stunt driver, drift champion and television personality Tanner Foust will help host the Ford Focus Global Test Drive event, Feb. 18-20, 2011 near Madrid, Spain, coaching consumer test drivers in the 2012 Ford Focus
  • The National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA) near Madrid will be the location for this first-ever event
  • Participants in Focus Global Test Drive – a unique opportunity for social media mavens – will start more than a car by raising funds for their preferred charity

Dearborn, Mich., Jan. 31, 2011 – Ford confirmed today that bloggers and consumers attending the Ford Focus Global Test Drive next month in Madrid will be greeted, hosted and coached by the versatile Tanner Foust, HISTORY television personality on the American edition of Top Gear. Foust brings a wealth of experience to the Global Test Drive program, with stunt driving, rally competition, three X Games gold medals and a pair of Formula D drift championships to his credit.

Teaming with 24 Hours of Le Mans, Trans-Am and American Le Mans Series (ALMS) veteran Justin Bell, Foust will host, coach and assist bloggers and consumer participants in the first-ever Focus Global Test Drive program.

Foust and Bell will help host Focus Global Test Drive participants at the National Institute for Aerospace Technology (INTA), near Madrid. An aeronautical research facility, INTA and its varied surfaces make an ideal location for dynamic driving events.

“Focus Global Test Drive will be a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience for the participants,” said Foust. “I’m looking forward to helping these drivers put the next-generation Focus to the test, and to benefit the driver’s charities of choice.”

At the three-day event, Feb. 18-20, 2011, consumers and bloggers will be able to experience the Ford Focus in a unique new manner. Each challenge and course will highlight the driving dynamics and technologies in the vehicle. And throughout the event, charities will benefit.

To participate in Focus Global Test Drive, friends and fans from around the world were invited to submit simple video applications explaining why they should be included in this unique behind-the-scenes event. The application process invites prospective test drivers to “start more than a car” by generating the market equivalent of $10,000 for a specific charity of their choice from the categories of hunger, education and environment/sustainability.

With Focus Global Test Drive, there is something for everyone. Ford engineers will get rapid feedback from interested customers and prospects; drivers get a first look at the new car before it goes on sale; friends get to come along for the ride of a lifetime; and deserving charities will benefit in a big way.

All-new Ford Focus
The all-new Ford Focus is the result of a global product development program bringing together Ford’s best engineers and technologies from around the world. A global Ford nameplate, Focus will be nearly identical in all 122 world markets in which it will eventually be sold, with 80 percent parts commonality.

Focus goes on sale in markets around the world early this year.

 

(from blueovalnews.com)