In our previous post, we spoke on how Ford is helping to improve the quality of life domestically. However, the company is also making its impact abroad, too. The Ford Motor Company Fund, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, and the Bill Ford Better World Challenge are funding World Vision South Africa’s upcoming water generation project.
The Better World Challenge gives employees and non-profit organizations (NPOs) across the globe the chance to handle crucial concerns in their communities, whether related to mobility, shelter, or food and water. Accordingly, as the winner of the 2018 Bill Ford Better World Challenge, World Vision South Africa has been using its $200,000 grant to respond to the drought that’s deeply impacting the Eastern Cape. Since then, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering have provided an additional $130,000 in funding. The money is now being used to acquire a Watergen water-from-air solution that will be utilized to extract clean drinking water from the air in an energy-efficient way.
"The Eastern Cape has been severely impacted by drought in recent years, and the poorest communities are the hardest hit. Accordingly, the project will primarily focus on assisting schools, clinics and Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDs), as well as households where the need is greatest," says Chikondi Phiri, Officer in Charge, World Vision South Africa.
Ford’s big on philanthropy and that’s never been more clear. This week, it was announced that as part of its Celebrating Culture and Community Grants Program, the Big Blue Oval company has awarded $250,000 this year alone to bolster nonprofit projects in the neighborhoods that surround Michigan Central Station. Specifically, the grants are part of Ford’s renovation of the 105-year-old Michigan Central Station train depot, which itself will act as a mobility and innovation hub in the city. All told, the company will invest $2 million total over the next four years to support nonprofit projects to benefit community residents.
“We want to thank everyone who submitted creative and thoughtful ideas for celebrating the vibrant culture of our neighborhoods,” said Pamela Alexander, director, Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “With help from the community, we determined these four proposals represent a diversity of talent and topics. We look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have in the neighborhoods surrounding Michigan Central Station for years to come.”
Click here to see the full list of grant recipients in this round. Each recipient is expected to finish their project in 2020; the train station is slated to be fully renovated by 2022.
As Peter Rander, President of Argo AI (now owned by Ford) writes in his Medium blog post, Ford has now expanded testing of their upcoming self-driving vehicle technology, encompassing five total cities—Miami, Washington D.C., Palo Alto, Pittsburgh, and Detroit. Moreover, their new third-generation test vehicle—based on the Ford Fusion Hybrid—brings new equipment to further elevate the technology.
The third-generation machines offer a new sensor suite with cameras and radar sets that sport higher dynamic range and better resolution. Due to these improvements in conjunction with more advanced software, the autonomous machine can now see farther ahead and more easily classify objects. Further, there’s a wholly new computer system onboard that boasts both greater processing power and enhanced thermal management systems, the latter of which reduce heat and noise inside the cabin.
Just as impressive as the above is the fact that the third-generation vehicle now provides redundant braking and steering systems that can maintain appropriate motion control even if one of the units fails. Impressive stuff!
Ford gets it—long trips can be rough, as can daily commutes. That’s why the team at the Big Blue Oval has banded together to ensure that the seats in the new 2020 Ford Explorer are the best yet for ride comfort.
The new seats have been crafted by Ford’s global seating team, including Mike Kolich. Mike’s Ph.D. in industrial and manufacturing systems engineering and overall obsession with seat comfort has led to him being dubbed “Dr. Derriere”—and it shows in the design of the Explorer’s new cushions. They meet more than 100 engineering metrics for optimal comfort, supply support for a wider range of body types than ever before, and include a new ventilation feature as well as eight and 10-way power-adjustable front-row functionality.
“Road trips can be largely defined by how comfortable people are – and when you get down to it, how comfortable our seats allow them to be,” said Kolich. “As engineers, we’re thrilled with this new seat, but really it’s what our customers say and think that matters.”
Notably, the Explorer ST and Platinum trims also come with a multi-contour system that boasts sophisticated massage patterns.
(Posted on May 19, 2019 at 05:36PM by Danielle Smyth)
At its May 9, 2019, shareholder meeting, Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed a hybrid Bronco is in the works and will be available in 2020, two years after it was first announced. Whether the first hybrid Bronco is the small, Escape-based off-roader known affectionately as the “baby Bronco” or the full-size version is still up in the air.
Recently filed Ford trademark applications have requested both the Scout and Bronco Scout names—one could be for the off-roader, which is being designed to take on the Jeep Renegade.
The new full-size Bronco will have to compete with the Jeep Wrangler’s removable hardtop and doors, and it will do that with doors that can be stored in the trunk and mirrors mounted to the A-pillars—you’ll still have mirrors when the doors are off. The new Bronco’s EcoBoost engine should have at least 325 horsepower.
So we’re afraid you’re just going to have to wait a while longer for the Bronco family. But if you’d like to stop by Sound Ford just outside Seattle, Washington, to talk about what we’ve got to offer when it comes to off-roading options, we’d love to take you for a test ride in one of our new or pre-owned vehicles like the 2019 Ford Escape SE. You’re sure to be impressed!
(Posted on May 18, 2019 at 01:34PM by Danielle Smyth)
An autonomous self-driving robot called Survival shares Ford’s LiDAR technology and saves Ford Spain workers up to 40 hours a day by delivering spare parts and welding materials to them, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks. With an automated shelf and 17 slots, workers can access the parts assigned to them while the slots open and close automatically.
Developed by Ford engineers and the first of its kind to be used in Ford European facilities, it has learned the entire plant floor. Its sensors mean Survival can now navigate the entire facility with external guidance. “While at first workers stopped and stared at Survival as it went by, the bot is now part of the team and people get on with their day letting the bot work.”
Survival has been on trial for nearly a year at the facility that manufactures Kugas, Mondeos, and the S-MAX. It’s performed flawlessly so far and has not replaced a single employee.
Ford’s autonomous cars aren’t going to be here for a while. But if you’d like to test drive a new or new-to-you vehicle in the meantime, stop by Sound Ford in Renton, Washington, so we can show you some of the other innovative technology Ford’s known for. How about the 2019 Ford Escape S, for instance? It’s got lots of modern tech, like variable speed intermittent wipers, an mp3 player, and an outside temperature gauge. You’re going to love it!
(Posted on May 11, 2019 at 07:29AM by Danielle Smyth)
While it’s closing a Brazilian factory, shutting down its Russian operations, and struggling with Brexit uncertainty issues at its UK plants, Ford is adding U.S. jobs, both of which are primarily service-oriented initiatives.
A recently announced 55,000 square foot call center in Houston, TX, to open early in July will create more than 500 jobs to handle customer inquiries on Ford trucks such as the F-150. Houston was chosen because it’s in the middle of “truck country” and will be a prototype for future call centers to make sure customers get the service they deserve. The center could also service customers who are considering SUVs like the Explorer and Expedition.
A Ford Mobile Service program has also been announced to provide mobile vehicle maintenance and light service work to customers wherever they are. The pilot’s already begun in California and will expand to Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, and Florida throughout May 2019. Ford has provided this service to UK commercial fleet customers since 2017.
Other Ford customer experience initiatives include a New York and Philadelphia pilot Personal Lease Assist program, Drive New (personalized vehicle offers), and FordPass Rewards that give Ford customers points towards complementary maintenance, parts, service, and new vehicles.
Want to check out a great new SUV like those discussed above? How about the 2019 Ford Explorer XLT? It’s available now for a great price at Sound Ford in Renton, Washington.
(Posted on May 11, 2019 at 06:46AM by Danielle Smyth)
Ford is decreasing production of its 5.0-liter V8 Coyote-equipped Ford F-150s in Canada as demand for the EcoBoost V6 option ramps up. With down shifts every week since January at Ford's Canadian Windsor Engine Plant, there are four more down weeks scheduled between now and the end of September as sales of the 5.0-liter engine continue to drop.
That doesn’t translate to job losses though, as employees will be able to work at the Windsor Engine Plant Annex on 7.3-liter EcoBoost engine production. Ford is working hard to get electric and hybrid powertrains available for the F-150 series on the market.
Here are the stats on current F-150 motor options:
3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 450 hp at 5,000 rpm and 510 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm
5.0-liter Coyote V8 395 hp at 5,750 rpm and 400 lb-ft of torque peaking at 4,500 rpm
3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 375 hp at 5,000 rpm and 470 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm
2.7-liter EcoBoost 325 hp at 5,000 rpm, and 400 lb-ft at 2,750 rpm.
3.3-liter naturally aspirated V6 290 hp at 6,500 rpm and 265 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm
Powerstroke 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 250 hp at 3,250 rpm and 440 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm.
(Posted on May 11, 2019 at 06:40AM by Danielle Smyth)
Ford’s been offering discounts on its Transit Connect this year. March and April discounts will continue through May and up to the end of June, discounts of up to $3000 discount available. Between January 1 and March 31, 2019, sales on this model grew 35 percent to almost 9000 units.
Here’s what you can get:
$2,500 customer cash + $500 auto show consumer cash + $500 VIN specific inventory customer cash = $3,000 total discount. This discount is available thru July 1st, 2019.
Financing offer: 2.9 percent APR for 60 months through Ford Credit Financing for well-qualified buyers. This discount is available thru July 1st, 2019.
Those discounts apply to in-stock vehicles that have been on dealer lots for at least 61 days prior to the sale date, although buyers can choose newer inventory if they’re willing to forego the $500 VIN-specific inventory customer cash.
The 2019 Transit Connect is available in various trim levels. Here’s a breakdown of their starting MSRPs, including the destination charge of $1,295.
(Posted on May 11, 2019 at 06:25AM by Danielle Smyth)
Whatever it ends up being called, a Mustang-inspired SUV is in the works and it’ll only be another six months before details are available. “Not the Mach 1” 2021 models should be available sometime in 2020. Consumer response to the proposed Mach 1 name was negative, so Ford will have to come up with something else.
Ford Authority’s got some Russian renderings of what that Mustang SUV might look like that use the Mustang’s front and rear ends and its rear hips to envision what Ford might build.
While the drawings of the Mustang SUV may look more like a four-door wagon (think Subaru Outback or VW Golf Alltrack), it’s all just speculation at the moment. One thing is for almost-sure though: the Mustang SUV will only come with an electric drivetrain—there won’t be a 460 hp, 5.0-liter Mustang look-alike SUV.
Instead, Ford will probably offer two electric drivetrain variants, one powertrain with more than a 300-mile driving range, the other offering closer to 400 miles (373). And there may be a high-performance version too.
While you’re waiting till November to see what the Mustang SUV’s really going to look like and find out what Ford’s calling it, come in to Sound Ford near Seattle, Washington, to see our variety of new and pre-owned SUVs. Or to test-drive a 2019 Ford Mustang EcoBoost!