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    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    February 9, 2012
    Today, Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally announced that two key executives will step down from their positions in April. The two executives are Derrick Kuzak, Ford's head of global product development and Lewis Booth, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
    Kuzak has been in his current role since 2006 and is one of the people instrumental in creating "One Ford", the plan to develop cars on single global platforms with only cosmetic changes to account for local tastes. Kuzak is also responsible for the increase in measured quality.
    Booth a 34-year veteran of Ford, was tapped in 2008 as the CFO. His tenure included playing a key role in selling off the Premier Automotive Group brands – Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin. Booth also handled the finance department during Ford's resurgence to profitability.
    Stepping in their places will be Raj Nair, currently Ford's head of engineering and Bob Shanks, Ford's vice president and controller.
    Ford also announced that former Utah Governor and Presidential candidate, John Huntsman Jr. will become a member of the board of directors.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Ford CFO Lewis Booth and Global Product Chief Derrick Kuzak to Retire; Veteran Executives Named as Successors


    Lewis Booth, executive vice president and chief financial officer, has elected to retire effective April 1, after a 34-year career
    Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development, has elected to retire effective April 1, after a 33-year career
    Booth will be succeeded by Bob Shanks, currently vice president and Controller
    Kuzak will be succeeded by Raj Nair, currently vice president, Engineering, Global Product Development

    DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 9, 2012 – Ford Motor Company today announced that Lewis Booth, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development, have elected to retire effective April 1. Each has served the automaker for more than 30 years.
    Booth, 63, will be succeeded by Bob Shanks, who is currently vice president and Controller. Kuzak, 60, will be succeeded by Raj Nair, who is currently vice president, Engineering, Global Product Development. Shanks and Nair assume their new positions April 1.
    In addition to these changes, Ford is announcing the following moves, also effective April 1:
    Stuart Rowley, 44, currently chief financial officer, Ford of Europe, has been elected a company officer and will succeed Shanks as vice president and Controller
    Hau Thai-Tang, 45, currently executive director, Global Product Programs, has been elected a company officer and will succeed Nair as vice president, Engineering, Global Product Development

    “Lewis Booth and Derrick Kuzak represent the very best of Ford and our culture and built a legacy of leadership, integrity and commitment to excellence that will benefit us for years to come,” said Bill Ford, Ford’s executive chairman. “Lewis and Derrick were absolutely integral to the comeback of Ford and they are retiring with our deepest respect and gratitude.”
    Finance Changes
    Booth, a native of Liverpool, England, who was trained as both an accountant and engineer, rose up through the company in a series of financial and operational jobs, including working in Ford’s product development, manufacturing and vehicle operations departments in North America. Booth went on to lead operations for Ford in South Africa and Mazda before being tapped to head Ford of Europe and the Premier Automotive Group, Ford’s former family of European premium brands.
    In late 2008, a week after the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a financial crisis, Booth returned to Dearborn as the company’s chief financial officer.
    Under his leadership, the Ford treasury and finance teams executed a series of complex moves to shore up Ford's liquidity and reduce debt. Over the last three years, Ford has significantly strengthened its balance sheet, improving its net cash level by $20 billion. The company also has seen its credit rating improve six notches to one level below investment grade. In addition, the dividend is being restored and the company has begun derisking the pension plans.
    “Lewis brought to his role as chief financial officer a unique blend of financial and operational experience,” said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. “He has helped fully implement the One Ford plan by supporting a fully-funded product plan and delivering a profitably growing Ford for the good of all of us.”
    Booth began his career with Ford in 1978 as a financial analyst in Product Development for Ford of Europe. Since that time, he has been known not only for his financial and operational expertise but also for his passion for people and products.
    “During my 34 years at Ford, I’ve had the opportunity to lead the company’s operations on three continents as well as head up our talented Finance team,” Booth said. “It’s been an incredibly rewarding journey. I’m honored to have had the privilege to play a key role in the company’s turnaround and to have worked with outstanding people in the Ford team around the world.”
    In his new role, Shanks, 59, will assume direct responsibility for the company’s financial operations, including the Controller’s Office, Treasury and Ford Motor Credit Company. He will report to Mulally.
    “Bob is a terrific leader,” Mulally said. “He has been a wonderful partner to the leadership team in the implementation and institutionalization of the One Ford plan. His deep experience in finance, combined with his global perspective will allow us to continue to deliver an exciting profitably growing Ford.”
    Since joining Ford as an accounts receivable analyst in 1977, Shanks has held a variety of leadership positions including serving as Controller for The Americas, head of Operations Support, Finance and Strategy for Ford of Europe and Premier Automotive Group (PAG), chief financial officer for PAG and chief financial officer for Mazda Motor Corporation. In addition to other finance positions within Mazda, North America and South America, he led the finance function in Taiwan’s Ford Lio Ho Motor Company and business development activities in Ford's Asia-Pacific operations.
    Shanks holds a bachelor's degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and a master's degree in international management from the American Graduate School of International Management.
    Rowley joined Ford in 1990 as a financial analyst for Ford of Britain and has served as the CFO and Vice President Strategic Planning of Ford Europe since August 2010. Previously, he served as CFO and Senior Vice President of Volvo Car Corporation and as Vice President Finance Ford Australia in addition to finance management positions in the Philippines, North America and Europe.
    Product Development Changes
    Kuzak, a native of Michigan, led the creation of the One Ford global product cycle plan, defining the company’s vehicle DNA for Ford and Lincoln, transforming Ford’s global product development system, leading platform consolidation across key global vehicle segments, and driving the company’s fuel efficiency, technology, and quality leadership to unprecedented heights.
    “Derrick’s commitment to product excellence and continuous improvement has allowed Ford to deliver to our customers the industry’s freshest showroom with a complete family of best-in-class products,” said Mulally. “At the same time, he prioritized the development of the next generation of talented, experienced product leaders who will continue to deliver for our global customers.”
    Kuzak was appointed to his current role in December 2006. Before serving as global product development chief, Kuzak served in a variety of leadership positions in Europe and The Americas.
    He began his career with Ford in 1978 as a research engineer. He holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Detroit, where he also earned a doctorate in systems engineering.
    In 2010, Kuzak also was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the highest and most prestigious award in the engineering community.
    “It has been an honor to work with so many talented men and women to develop for customers so many meaningful vehicles during the past 33 years,” Kuzak said. “The most rewarding accomplishment is to see all of our teams working together around the world to deliver vehicles in each region that are now consistently great to look at, great to sit in and fun to drive – with bold, emotive designs and fuel economy as a reason to buy.”
    In his new role, Nair, 47, will assume direct responsibility for all aspects of Ford Motor Company’s product development system. He will report to Mulally. As Kuzak did before him, Nair also will report to Mark Fields, executive vice president of the company and president of The Americas for North American product development.
    “Raj is the right leader to build on what has been accomplished to date,” Mulally said. “He understands the potential of moving to global platforms with our One Ford plan and he is committed to continuing to serve the world’s customers with best-in-class cars and trucks. In addition, Raj understands how to lead skilled and motivated professionals and further encourage working together around the world.”
    Since joining Ford as a Body and Assembly launch engineer in 1987, Nair has held a variety of leadership positions in Europe, Asia Pacific Africa and The Americas, including vice president of Operations for Ford’s Asia Pacific and Africa region, executive director of Commodity Business Planning, executive director, North American Product Development and director of New Model Programs for Advanced & Manufacturing Engineering.
    Nair holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with an automotive specialty from Kettering University in Flint, Mich., and was named the recipient of the 2007 Kettering Alumni Achievement Award in Engineering.
    Thai-Tang joined Ford in 1988 as a college graduate trainee. In addition to serving in his current role since January 2011, Thai-Tang previously served as the director of product development for Ford South America as well as the director of Advanced Product Creation and Special Vehicle Teams (SVT). Prior to that, he was the chief nameplate engineer for the Ford Mustang. His Ford experience also includes an assignment in Germany, as well as working with Ford Racing as part of the company’s CART program. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

    Ford Names Jon Huntsman to Board of Directors


    DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 9, 2012 – Ford Motor Company announced today the election of Jon M. Huntsman Jr. to the company’s Board of Directors effective immediately.
    Huntsman, 51, is chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, a Utah-based cancer charity. The former Republican candidate for president of the United States has served in numerous public and private positions around the world, most recently as the United States Ambassador to China.
    “Jon brings to Ford’s board of directors extensive global knowledge and experience – particularly in Asia with trade issues – and operational experience gained as governor of Utah, a state that has grown jobs even during the economic crisis,” said Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. “Jon understands the importance of strengthening the country’s manufacturing base, which will contribute to our success going forward.”
    Huntsman was twice elected Governor of Utah, serving from 2005 to 2009. His public service career began as a White House staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan and has since included appointments as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Asia, U.S. Ambassador to Singapore and Deputy U.S. Trade Representative.
    He is a founding director of the Pacific Council on International Policy and has served on various boards such as the Brookings Institute Asia Policy Board, the Center for Strategic and International Studies Pacific Forum, the Asia Society in New York and the National Bureau of Asian Research.
    Huntsman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has six honorary doctorate degrees.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 25, 2012
    Ford is going down a different path from other automakers. The company says it will not go after the segment leader, the Toyota Camry with its brand new 2013 Fusion. The plan is to focus on a finding a balance between price and volume.
    “Between price and volume, we’ll sort out the right mix. I don’t think we’re very enamored with being No. 1 just to be No. 1. We’re much more enamored with getting the right price point and the right kind of people to buy the car,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s global marketing chief.
    Even though Ford’s decision to balance price with volume is a calculated move, Ford couldn’t compete with Toyota on volume if they wanted to. Research firm IHS Automotive says Ford’s production capacity for the Fusion is 400,000. However, Toyota’s production capacity for the Camry is 500,000. Although neither company is planning to run their sedan plants at full capacity, IHS forecasts the Camry will hold a slight lead.
    This strategy will also cause the Fusion to drop in the sales charts. Jessica Caldwell, sales analyst with Edmunds.com says the Fusion will drop from third to forth place. The Camry will be first, followed by the Accord and then the Altima.
    t’s going to be hard to outsell the Camry. Camry has been on top so long they’ve built up a huge, loyal owner base. Just from the sheer numbers, Camry is hard to beat,” Caldwell said.
    Source: Bloomberg

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 13, 2012
    Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress, Ford's global marketing chief Jim Farley said the company is accelerating the One Ford global product development plan by reducing the number of platforms from eleven to nine and moving the date from 2014 to 2013.
    "It's a decision to accelerate the reduction of complexity. Derrick [Kuzak, Ford's group vice president of global product development] and his team have committed to accelerating the process," Farley said.
    When asked which platforms would be cut, Farley decline to answer.
    The revised plan calls for 85% of Ford's global sales volume by 2013 to be built on nine platforms, of which five will be global platforms and four regional platforms. The five global platforms are:
    B (Ford Fiesta)
    C (Ford Focus)
    C/D (Ford Fusion)
    Light Truck (Global Ranger)
    Commerical Vehicle (Ford Transit)

    Source: Autoweek

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    January 4, 2012
    With stiffer Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards on their way, Ford is looking at whether to add aluminum body panels on the next generation F-150. According to Ward's Auto, two sources say the company will utlize aluminum body panels, including doors and fenders on the next generation F-150. This comes as a surprise since steel has been the standard for trucks for decades.
    But this move coincides with a statement made by Ford's Group Vice President of Global Product Development, Derrick Kuzak. Kuzak said the company has a goal by 2019 to drop 700 lbs for each model.
    Source: Ward's Auto

    Drew Dowdell
    Continuing its role as the come-back king, the Ford brand has surpassed 2 million vehicle sales for 2011, a first for the brand since 2007, making it the best selling automotive brand name in the US. The increase isn't attributable to just one vehicle segment; Ford has increased sales across their entire lineup. Small car sales are up over 20% this year. The Ford Escape has taken the title of America's best selling utility vehicle. The already best selling truck, the Ford F-150, bolstered by its new V6 and V8 engine lineup, has increased sales nearly 10%.
    Press Release is on page 2
    Ford Brand Sales Top 2 Million for 1st Time Since 2007
    DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 30, 2011 – U.S. sales of the Ford brand this week topped 2 million vehicles for the first time since 2007. The milestone makes Ford the best selling brand in America and the first automotive brand to hit the 2 million mark since 2007.
    “Ford’s lineup of high-quality, fuel-efficient cars, utilities and trucks continues to attract more and more new customers,” said Erich Merkle, Ford’s sales analysis manager. “With gasoline prices tracking higher than last year, customers continue to move toward smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, whether they are passenger cars or utilities.”
    Both the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus achieve 40 mpg highway, while the Ford Explorer brings a class leading 28 mpg highway with its new EcoBoost engine.
    Ford’s smallest utility, the fuel-efficient Escape, has achieved record sales volumes this year and is America’s best selling utility vehicle.
    Overall, Ford brand small cars are on pace to post an increase of more than 20 percent this year. Ford brand utilities are tracking to post more than a 30 percent gain.
    Most Ford products deliver best-in-class fuel economy and provide customers with the opportunity to choose what best works for them – from EcoBoost-powered gasoline vehicles to hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electrified vehicles. In fact, with the company’s new electrified vehicle introductions, nearly one-third of Ford’s vehicle lines in the U.S. will feature a model with 40 mpg or more in 2012 – a claim no other full-line automaker can match.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 29, 2011
    Ford wowed crowds at November's LA Auto Show with their 650 HP Shelby GT500 coupe. Now, Ford could be readying a second act with the Shelby GT500.
    Topspeed reports Ford could show a Shelby GT500 Convertible at next month's Detroit Auto Show. The convertible will use the 5.8L supercharged V8 found in the coupe producing 650 HP. The convertible will not hit the same 200 MPH top speed as the coupe.
    We'll see if this pans out.
    Source: TopSpeed

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 28, 2011
    Left Lane News posted spyshots of a couple Ford S-Max prototypes running around in Dearborn yesterday. The vehicles in the shots are the Ford Grand C-Max. However, an extended wheelbase and and a larger rear cargo area state this is an S-Max in drag.
    Left Lane News speculates the next generation S-Max could making it’s way to our shores. Their reasoning; Ford nixed the idea offering the C-Max as a seven passenger model due to it not being a true seven seater (5+2 layout) and it not suiting to American tastes. The S-Max is a true seven seater and would suit American tastes.
    At first, this seems a bit ridiculous. But a quick dig in the C&G news archive brings up a comment from Ford spokesman Mark Schirmer when asked if Ford was keeping the 7-seat C-Max on the back burner.
    "we never close the door" completely on bringing over the C-Max.
    If Ford was to offer a production S-Max, expect a range of gas and hybrid powertrains and for it to come out sometime within the next few years.
    We’re not holding our breath on this.
    Source: Left Lane News

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 21, 2011
    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has closed their investigation into 29,807 Ford Mustangs equipped with the manual transmission due to complaints alleging a faulty transmission.
    "There is no indication of loss of motive power or unreasonable safety risk associated with the alleged defect in the subject vehicles. The preliminary evaluation is closed," said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a statement on its Web site.
    NHTSA looked into 364 reports of shift quality issues and data from Ford to determine what is the issue and whether a recall would be issued.
    During the investigation, NHTSA and Ford discovered several factors which caused the shift quality to go downhill.
    "Ford identified several factors that may contribute to shift quality concerns in the subject vehicles, including cold transmission, clutch stay-out at high engine speeds, gear clash or grinding, and gradual loosening of clutch plate bolts in some early production vehicles," said NHTSA in its defect investigations summary.
    NHTSA says the largest percentage of complaints came from owners who lived in a cold climate and the problem would go away once the vehicle warmed up.
    Source: Inside Line

    Blake Noble
    December 19th, 2011 - "black-knight" - CheersandGears.com
    As we've mentioned before, teaser shots are all the rage these days with automakers. Defining details of future production and concept cars are deliberately hidden and buried by very low lighting -- such has become a signature hallmark of these photographs. Ford, though, is taking another direction for their latest teaser, this time of their upcoming EcoSport concept.
    Instead of a profile, front three-quarter, or rear three-quarter sketch or photograph that you can barely make out, Ford simply took a head-on shot of the car and cropped it to reveal part of the grille and a headlight, as well as the tumblehome of the glasshouse. They actually left the lighting alone for this one and what's left to look at in the photo appears to pretty much be standard-spec Ford design.
    Don't bother looking for the EcoSport at the Detroit Auto Show next month, though, because chances are Ford probably won't sell it here. Instead, look for this Fiesta-based small crossover to take a bow at the upcoming Dalhi Auto Expo in India and appear in the European and Central and South American markets in addition to the Indian market where it will replace the European Fusion and a Fusion-based crossover of the same name.
    The press release from Ford is on page two.

    William Maley

    The Last Ford Ranger

    By William Maley, in Ford,

    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 16, 2011
    This morning, the final Ford Ranger rolled off the Twin Cities assembly line, ending the twenty-nine year life of Ford’s compact truck.
    The Ranger was introduced back in 1982 as 1983 model and came into the growing market of compact trucks, becoming one the best selling trucks. In 1993, Ford revised the Ranger and got a Mazda counterpart, the B-Series a year later. With both four-cylinder and V6 engines, manual or automatic transmissions, and two or four-wheel drive, the Ranger and B-Series became a formidable force in the sales charts throughout the 90’s.
    But during the 2000s, the demand for small pickups began to fall from 6% to 2% in 2010. The Ranger still stood strong despite using technology from the stone age and limited marketing, selling 60,000 last year.
    Ford has said there will no direct replacement for the Ranger and will push people towards the F-150. Dealers and and customers say that is a poor idea, especially with GM, Ram, and other readying their next small trucks.
    The ending of Ranger production also signals the end of the Twin Cities assembly line which has been building vehicles for 86 years, ranging from the Model T to the Ranger.
    Source: Auto Guide

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com
    December 14, 2011
    Ford is making the hybrid and electric market a bit more exciting with some recent announcements today with their new Focus Electric, C-Max Hybrid, and C-Max Energi models.
    Starting with Focus Electric, Ford says it will be "the first all-electric vehicle to achieve a 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) fuel efficiency rating." However, the Mitsubishi i EV gets 112 MPGe on the EPA combined cycle, thus beating the Focus Electric? Kind of; the Mitsubishi i EV can only seat four people while the Focus Electric can seat five, thus the Focus Electric can keep it's title.
    Ford also says the charging time of the Focus Electric is about 3 to 4 hours when plugged into a 240V charger. That's in part to some new battery charging technology.
    Then we come to the C-Max Hybrid and Energi models. Ford says the C-Max Hybrid will get "better fuel economy than Toyota Prius V." The C-Max Energi is expected to have "miles per gallon equivalent rating in electric mode better than Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid" and travel a full 500 miles on a single tank of fuel. If so, that would eclipse the Chevrolet Volt's 310 mile range.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    Ford Introduces Gas-Free Focus Electric with 100+ MPGe Expected; Nearly a Third of Lineup Now Offers 40-mpg Model


    Ford introduces gasoline-free 2012 Focus Electric, expected to be the first five-passenger electric vehicle with a 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe)
    Nearly one-third of Ford’s vehicle lines will feature a model with 40 mpg or more in 2012
    Focus Electric is the first all-electric vehicle to offer faster charging technology, allowing it to charge in half the time of a Nissan Leaf using 240-volt outlets
    C-MAX Hybrid is projected to achieve better fuel economy than Toyota Prius v and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid projected to achieve better miles per gallon equivalent in electric mode than Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid.With the C-MAX lineup, Ford becomes the largest hybrid transmission producer in North America

    Visit the Ford Electrified Vehicles Media Site for more information.
    WAYNE, Mich., Dec. 14, 2011 – Ford’s world-class Michigan Assembly Plant is starting production of the 2012 Focus Electric, expected to be the first five-passenger, all-electric car to achieve more than a 100 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) fuel efficiency rating.
    Focus Electric also is the first of its kind to feature faster charging, which will halve Nissan Leaf’s time to fully recharge the battery and help drivers to more than double the expected single-charge range in a busy day of driving and recharging.
    The car headlines Ford’s transformed lineup, one-third of which will feature a model with 40 mpg or more in 2012, building on the company’s commitment to give fuel-efficiency-minded customers the Power of Choice.
    “The Focus Electric is a shining example of the leading fuel economy Ford is offering for each new vehicle,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Whether people want a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full battery-electric vehicle, we have a family of vehicles for them to consider, providing a range of options to best meet their needs and support their driving habits and lifestyles.”
    Even with relatively stable gas prices, fuel economy is the top purchase consideration for new vehicles. Nearly 45 percent of customers say fuel economy is their top consideration based on a Ford survey of Americans in 36 cities this fall. Styling is the next consideration, with only 16 percent of study participants saying it is their top purchase driver.
    Ford’s rollout of electrified vehicles began in December 2010 with the 2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric – a small commercial van built in collaboration with Azure Dynamics. Ford’s other 40-mpg vehicles include:
    Focus SE
    Fiesta
    Focus Electric
    C-MAX Hybrid
    C-MAX Energi
    Three vehicles yet to be announced

    With 20 years of Ford research and innovation behind the software and hardware technology, the company offers proven engineering and design with Focus Electric. Ford holds approximately 500 patents on the hybrid technology used in the new Focus Electric and its other electrified vehicles.
    Faster charging
    Focus Electric is designed to offer enough range to cover the majority of daily driving habits of Americans. Its expected 100 MPGe is better than Chevrolet Volt and all electric vehicles with seating for five.
    It will be the first electrified vehicle to offer faster charging with 240-volt outlets, which can be installed in customer homes. The battery can be recharged in just more than three hours using a 240-volt charging station, about half the charging time of the 2012 Nissan Leaf.
    Faster charging with 240 volts also can extend range as drivers can more quickly recharge between stops – up to 30 miles per charge hour – so they can more than double the vehicle’s range with multiple charging stops during a busy day of driving.
    A unique value charging feature, powered by Microsoft, will help owners in the U.S. charge their vehicles at the cheapest utility rates, lowering the cost of ownership.
    Elec-tech
    Focus Electric introduces new features and technologies – including a unique version of the MyFord Touch® driver connect system especially for electric vehicles and a smartphone app called MyFord® Mobile that helps plug-in owners control their vehicles remotely.
    The sleek and stylish five-door hatchback is designed to deliver real driving enjoyment as well. The all-electric powertrain and single-speed transmission provide immediate responsiveness and smooth acceleration when the driver steps on the accelerator, up to a top speed of 84 mph.
    The Focus Electric is a dynamic driver’s car, sharing the steering, handling and braking feel with the agile, sporty, fuel-powered Focus models upon which it’s based. At the same time, the absence of a gasoline or diesel engine and outstanding aerodynamics lead to a remarkably quiet, comfortable in-car experience.
    A limited number of Focus Electrics will first be available in California and the New York/New Jersey areas. Availability of the Focus Electric will expand in 2012 to the remaining 15 launch markets as production ramps up.
    The 19 launch markets also include Atlanta; Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Los Angeles; San Francisco; San Diego; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh-Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.
    MAXimum efficiency
    The Ford C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid are Ford’s first compact multi-activity vehicles (MAVs) in North America and offer high mileage and low emissions as well as a distinctive design and flexible interior.
    The C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi use the company’s next-generation powersplit hybrid technology in combination with a lighter, smaller lithium-ion battery system. Both models provide maximum fuel efficiency by pairing the high-voltage lithium-ion battery and electric traction motor with a high-efficiency Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine. This technology enables the gasoline engine to run less than the previous generation.
    C-MAX Hybrid is targeted to deliver better fuel economy than the Toyota Prius v. C-MAX Energi is expected to deliver better MPGe in electric mode than the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid and to achieve more than 500 miles of driving range using the battery and engine.
    The C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi, like the Focus Electric, have been engineered and built to deliver engaging driving dynamics and technologies. In addition, C-MAX Energi and Focus Electric will offer MyFord Touch and MyFord Mobile, designed to make charging and driving the vehicle even more efficient, affordable and easier to live with.
    Hybrid transmission leader
    When C-MAX Hybrid launches, Ford becomes North America’s largest maker of hybrid transmissions.
    Ford engineered the transmission and upgraded the controls with a goal of creating the industry’s highest-performing and smoothest-operating hybrid transmission. Among the hybrid transmission’s innovations:
    Electric motors capable of operating at higher electric speeds
    A new, super-efficient cooling system that enables higher speeds in electric drive
    Optimized gear ratios enabling improvement in fuel economy
    More precise controls to deliver higher levels of refinement as the powertrain transitions between engine and electric drive
    Reduced weight to help increase fuel economy

    This is the first hybrid transmission to be designed and built by Ford. Production is moving from a supplier in Japan to the Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., which also will assemble battery packs for Ford’s hybrid and electric vehicles.
    Building green vehicles cleaner
    Ford completely transformed Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., into an environmentally friendly workplace with flexible manufacturing capability.
    With the new electrified vehicles and the new Focus ST performance model also coming in 2012, Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant is the first facility in the world capable of building a full array of vehicles – gas-powered, EcoBoost®, electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid – all on the same production line.
    The plant also features one of the largest solar power generation systems in the state as well as several electric vehicle charging stations, allowing the facility to operate on a blend of renewable and conventional electricity.
    Renewable energy collected by the solar panels directly feeds the energy-efficient microgrid, helping power the plant. When the plant is inactive, such as holidays, the stored solar energy will provide power during periods of insufficient or inconsistent sunlight. Projected energy cost savings are approximately $160,000 per year.
    The plant also has 10 electric vehicle charging stations that recharge the electric switcher trucks that transport parts between adjacent facilities – saving an estimated 86,000 gallons of gas a year.
    Plus, 50 percent of the parts arriving for the all-new Focus are packed in cardboard, are carefully collected, sorted and recycled, as is the bubble wrap, the Styrofoam and the water bottles used by employees.

    William Maley
    Ford is thinking about expanding their track car lineup which includes the Boss 302S and 302R. At the recent Performance Racing Industry trade show in Orlando, FL., Ford quietly introduced the 302SX concept.
    Ford says the 302SX is the “ultimate track day car” and slots in between the Boss 302S and the Boss 302R race cars.
    Outside, the 302SX carries many cues from the refreshed 2013 Boss 302 including a more aggressive front end, vented hood and 1970-style graphics, along with a more aggressive front splitter and adjustable rear wing.
    Under the hood lies a 5.0L V-8 producing 500 HP and goes through a six speed manual from the Boss 302R. The 302SX also comes equipped with a fully adjustable coilover suspension, adjustable front and rear sway bars, camber/caster plates, limited slip differential, Brembo brakes and racing slicks
    Inside, Ford ripped out all of the interior and put in a six-point rollcage, lightweight seats, a quick release steering wheel, and a system to record lap times.
    Source: Mustangs Daily

    William Maley
    Ford is going towards a more funky look for the refreshed Flex Crossover making its debut at the LA Auto Show next week.
    The front end gets a a more rounded fascia, new headlights, grill treatment, and Flex lettering on the hood. Around back, the Flex gets a revised tailgate.
    Inside, the Flex gets a new dash and instrument cluster that includes the lastest version of MyFordTouch. Other interior changes include pushbutton start, rain sensing wipers and the addition of more safety features including optional rear inflatable seatbelts and a good amount of collision-avoidance technologies.
    Powertrains for the 2013 Flex include a more powerful 3.5L V6 packing 20 more horsepower for 285. Mileage also improves for the 3.5L with the FWD model getting 18/25 mpg (city/highway) and the AWD model getting 17/24 mpg . The optional 3.5L twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 stays the same.
    The 2013 Flex arrives at your local Ford dealer next spring.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    New Ford Flex Brings More Technology, Better Fuel Economy, Modern Sophistication to Seven-Passenger Crossover


    The latest three-row, seven-passenger Ford Flex offers comfort and advanced technology in a distinctive package, including sleek new front end and modern interior
    New Flex features the latest MyFord Touch® system, new safety and driver-aid features such as adaptive cruise control, Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) as well as push- button start, rear inflatable belts, rain-sensing wipers and active park assist
    Under the hood, Flex is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 that delivers 20 more horsepower and projected 1 mpg better fuel economy, or the popular and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine

    DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 8, 2011 – Fans of the Ford Flex have even more to love next year with an upgraded model with a sleek new look and even more technology to make driving safer, easier and more fuel-efficient.
    “Flex appeals to people who want to stand out from the crowd and has the highest retention rate of any vehicle in the Ford lineup,” said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. “With technologies not found in other full-size utilities, even better fuel economy and a more modern, sophisticated look, we’re offering people even more reasons to choose Flex with the new model.”
    The seven-passenger, three-row crossover – which debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month – comes equipped with the new generation of MyFord Touch, rear inflatable belts, collision-avoidance technologies, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, first-row heated and cooled seats, power-fold mirrors and an optional new Appearance Package. Plus, the base 3.5-liter engine is projected to deliver 1 mpg better fuel economy on the highway and in the city, with 20 more horsepower.
    Enhanced technology
    The new Flex features SYNC® with the new generation of MyFord Touch®, making it easier to manage information, control features and adjust settings.
    “We’ve listened to our customers and have improved what they love about MyFord Touch,” said Kenneth Williams, systems integration engineer. “In this upgrade, the screens have a cleaner, clearer display. The words on the screens are larger and easier to read, the pressable areas on the screen look more like buttons, and we have made the functions clearer for faster navigation.
    “What separates MyFord Touch is that there are multiple ways for customers to manage and control what they want through voice commands, menus accessed through the steering wheel controls, touch screen, buttons or knobs – whatever they prefer.”
    MyFord Touch includes two 4.2-inch screens in the instrument cluster and an eight-inch screen in the center stack. The feature pairs with the latest version of SYNC.
    The base SYNC package includes:
    Hands-free, voice-activated calling via a Bluetooth®-connected mobile phone or USB-connected digital music player
    911 Assist™, the automated emergency calling service that is free for the life of the vehicle
    Vehicle Health Report, the on-demand diagnostic and maintenance information service

    Enhanced safety and driver-aid technology
    The new Flex is equipped with the automotive world’s first production rear inflatable belts to offer improved comfort and protection for rear seat passengers. Last month, this safety innovation was named a Breakthrough Product Award winner by Popular Mechanics, part of the magazine’s seventh annual Breakthrough Awards.
    The advanced restraint system is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries.
    Advances in airbag inflation and safety belt construction methods have enabled Ford and its suppliers to develop inflatable seat belts that are designed to deploy over a vehicle occupant’s torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash.
    The new second-row belts operate like traditional safety belts in everyday use and inflate when sensors indicate a collision event. Each belt’s tubular airbag inflates with cold compressed gas, which flows through a specially designed buckle from a cylinder housed below the seat.
    The new Flex also boasts available radar-enabled adaptive cruise control (ACC) and collision warning with brake support and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert. These technologies help drivers avoid potential accidents using radar to detect the relative position of other vehicles and warn the driver with a combination of visual and audio alerts.
    The ACC technology uses advanced radar to scan for vehicles in front of Flex at 20 times per second. The sensor can detect vehicles up to 150 yards away and detect speed changes as small as ¼ mph. When the system is activated, it functions like normal cruise control with the exception of being able to slow down the car when vehicles in front are detected to be slowing down. When traffic has cleared, the vehicle resumes the set speed. Four distance settings accommodate a range of driving styles and road conditions. The driver can set distance, speed and the time gap between vehicles.
    Fuel economy bolstered by engines, technologies
    Under the hood, Flex’s new base engine delivers even more efficiency and performance with the addition of twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to the 3.5-liter V6.
    The upgraded 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine provides 285 horsepower – an approximate 20 horsepower increase from the previous engine – and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. The new Flex also is projected to deliver 1 mpg more fuel economy, with projected fuel economy of 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
    This efficient V6 allows precise, variable control of valve overlap, or the window of time in which both the intake and exhaust valves in an engine are open at the same time. By adjusting overlap continuously, the engine can operate at optimum settings for peak fuel economy or peak power output as conditions demand.
    The popular 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 remains on the new Flex, bringing the fuel economy of V6 engines with all-wheel-drive capability and V8-like performance of 355 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.
    A key contributor to EcoBoost fuel efficiency is direct injection of gasoline. This system precisely delivers a fine mist of fuel directly into each cylinder for optimal performance, economy and emissions.
    EcoBoost engines are fundamental to the Ford strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver exceptional fuel economy and uncompromised performance for millions of drivers around the world. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford’s North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost technology. Ford holds more than 125 patents on its EcoBoost engine technology.
    Both engines are mated to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic® transmission.
    The SelectShift advanced gearbox offers the driver a choice between fully automatic operation and manual control. With SelectShift with EcoBoost, paddle shifters are integrated into the steering wheel spokes. Intuitive to operate, a squeeze back on either paddle will deliver an upshift, while a gentle push forward on either paddle will induce a matched-rev downshift. SelectShift won’t second-guess the driver with an override shift; manual control is truly manually controlled. The thumb shift is new for 2013 with the standard engine models.
    Both engines also are made more efficient with EPAS (electric power-assisted steering). EPAS improves fuel economy approximately 4 percent and reduces emissions while improving steering performance primarily because the steering system is powered by an electric motor connected to the vehicle’s battery, instead of engine-mounted hydraulic pump steering systems.
    In addition, the new Flex’s battery management system operates the vehicle’s power supply system in a more economical manner to save fuel. The system:
    Allows the alternator and system voltage to be controlled based on battery condition, vehicle operating state and electrical load status
    Provides feedback to the vehicle regarding battery condition for active load management and battery diagnostics
    Monitors battery temperature (higher voltage in lower temperatures, lower voltage in higher temperatures), extending the battery life

    Fresh new look, touches – inside and out
    Flex’s new front end rounds out the previously boxy edges, creating more visual harmony between the front and the rest of the vehicle. The signature Ford blue oval has been removed from the front, which now solely bears the Flex badge.
    In the rear, Flex now has standard dual exhaust and available rear appliqué.
    Inside the Flex customers will find a modern, sophisticated driver zone with new clusters, steering wheel and electronic finish panels, as well as new seat trim and foam.
    Class-exclusives include the available second-row refrigerated console and the latest generation of MyFord Touch with SYNC.
    Appearance Package and paint, wheel choices
    Also new is an Appearance Package on Limited and SEL models that includes an available two-tone roof and mirrors, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, leather seats, unique door trim panels and other interior upgrades for a truly distinctive, premium look and feel.
    The new Flex comes in nine exterior colors, including three new colors for the 2013 model year: Ruby Red, Deep Impact Blue and Kodiak Brown. Customers also can choose from body-color roofs, or two-tone with white, gray or black available on the Appearance Package.
    Six wheel styles are available for Flex as well.
    Production
    The Ford Flex is built at Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario, Canada.New Ford Flex Brings More Technology, Better Fuel Economy, Modern Sophistication to Seven-Passenger Crossover

    The latest three-row, seven-passenger Ford Flex offers comfort and advanced technology in a distinctive package, including sleek new front end and modern interior
    New Flex features the latest MyFord Touch® system, new safety and driver-aid features such as adaptive cruise control, Ford’s Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) as well as push- button start, rear inflatable belts, rain-sensing wipers and active park assist
    Under the hood, Flex is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 that delivers 20 more horsepower and projected 1 mpg better fuel economy, or the popular and fuel-efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine

    DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 8, 2011 – Fans of the Ford Flex have even more to love next year with an upgraded model with a sleek new look and even more technology to make driving safer, easier and more fuel-efficient.
    “Flex appeals to people who want to stand out from the crowd and has the highest retention rate of any vehicle in the Ford lineup,” said Mark Fields, president of The Americas. “With technologies not found in other full-size utilities, even better fuel economy and a more modern, sophisticated look, we’re offering people even more reasons to choose Flex with the new model.”
    The seven-passenger, three-row crossover – which debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month – comes equipped with the new generation of MyFord Touch, rear inflatable belts, collision-avoidance technologies, rain-sensing wipers, keyless entry, first-row heated and cooled seats, power-fold mirrors and an optional new Appearance Package. Plus, the base 3.5-liter engine is projected to deliver 1 mpg better fuel economy on the highway and in the city, with 20 more horsepower.
    Enhanced technology
    The new Flex features SYNC® with the new generation of MyFord Touch®, making it easier to manage information, control features and adjust settings.
    “We’ve listened to our customers and have improved what they love about MyFord Touch,” said Kenneth Williams, systems integration engineer. “In this upgrade, the screens have a cleaner, clearer display. The words on the screens are larger and easier to read, the pressable areas on the screen look more like buttons, and we have made the functions clearer for faster navigation.
    “What separates MyFord Touch is that there are multiple ways for customers to manage and control what they want through voice commands, menus accessed through the steering wheel controls, touch screen, buttons or knobs – whatever they prefer.”
    MyFord Touch includes two 4.2-inch screens in the instrument cluster and an eight-inch screen in the center stack. The feature pairs with the latest version of SYNC.
    The base SYNC package includes:
    Hands-free, voice-activated calling via a Bluetooth®-connected mobile phone or USB-connected digital music player
    911 Assist™, the automated emergency calling service that is free for the life of the vehicle
    Vehicle Health Report, the on-demand diagnostic and maintenance information service

    Enhanced safety and driver-aid technology
    The new Flex is equipped with the automotive world’s first production rear inflatable belts to offer improved comfort and protection for rear seat passengers. Last month, this safety innovation was named a Breakthrough Product Award winner by Popular Mechanics, part of the magazine’s seventh annual Breakthrough Awards.
    The advanced restraint system is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries.
    Advances in airbag inflation and safety belt construction methods have enabled Ford and its suppliers to develop inflatable seat belts that are designed to deploy over a vehicle occupant’s torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash.
    The new second-row belts operate like traditional safety belts in everyday use and inflate when sensors indicate a collision event. Each belt’s tubular airbag inflates with cold compressed gas, which flows through a specially designed buckle from a cylinder housed below the seat.
    The new Flex also boasts available radar-enabled adaptive cruise control (ACC) and collision warning with brake support and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert. These technologies help drivers avoid potential accidents using radar to detect the relative position of other vehicles and warn the driver with a combination of visual and audio alerts.
    The ACC technology uses advanced radar to scan for vehicles in front of Flex at 20 times per second. The sensor can detect vehicles up to 150 yards away and detect speed changes as small as ¼ mph. When the system is activated, it functions like normal cruise control with the exception of being able to slow down the car when vehicles in front are detected to be slowing down. When traffic has cleared, the vehicle resumes the set speed. Four distance settings accommodate a range of driving styles and road conditions. The driver can set distance, speed and the time gap between vehicles.
    Fuel economy bolstered by engines, technologies
    Under the hood, Flex’s new base engine delivers even more efficiency and performance with the addition of twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to the 3.5-liter V6.
    The upgraded 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine provides 285 horsepower – an approximate 20 horsepower increase from the previous engine – and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. The new Flex also is projected to deliver 1 mpg more fuel economy, with projected fuel economy of 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
    This efficient V6 allows precise, variable control of valve overlap, or the window of time in which both the intake and exhaust valves in an engine are open at the same time. By adjusting overlap continuously, the engine can operate at optimum settings for peak fuel economy or peak power output as conditions demand.
    The popular 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 remains on the new Flex, bringing the fuel economy of V6 engines with all-wheel-drive capability and V8-like performance of 355 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.
    A key contributor to EcoBoost fuel efficiency is direct injection of gasoline. This system precisely delivers a fine mist of fuel directly into each cylinder for optimal performance, economy and emissions.
    EcoBoost engines are fundamental to the Ford strategy of providing technologically advanced, high-output, smaller-displacement powertrains that deliver exceptional fuel economy and uncompromised performance for millions of drivers around the world. By 2013, more than 90 percent of Ford’s North American lineup will be available with EcoBoost technology. Ford holds more than 125 patents on its EcoBoost engine technology.
    Both engines are mated to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic® transmission.
    The SelectShift advanced gearbox offers the driver a choice between fully automatic operation and manual control. With SelectShift with EcoBoost, paddle shifters are integrated into the steering wheel spokes. Intuitive to operate, a squeeze back on either paddle will deliver an upshift, while a gentle push forward on either paddle will induce a matched-rev downshift. SelectShift won’t second-guess the driver with an override shift; manual control is truly manually controlled. The thumb shift is new for 2013 with the standard engine models.
    Both engines also are made more efficient with EPAS (electric power-assisted steering). EPAS improves fuel economy approximately 4 percent and reduces emissions while improving steering performance primarily because the steering system is powered by an electric motor connected to the vehicle’s battery, instead of engine-mounted hydraulic pump steering systems.
    In addition, the new Flex’s battery management system operates the vehicle’s power supply system in a more economical manner to save fuel. The system:
    Allows the alternator and system voltage to be controlled based on battery condition, vehicle operating state and electrical load status
    Provides feedback to the vehicle regarding battery condition for active load management and battery diagnostics
    Monitors battery temperature (higher voltage in lower temperatures, lower voltage in higher temperatures), extending the battery life

    Fresh new look, touches – inside and out
    Flex’s new front end rounds out the previously boxy edges, creating more visual harmony between the front and the rest of the vehicle. The signature Ford blue oval has been removed from the front, which now solely bears the Flex badge.
    In the rear, Flex now has standard dual exhaust and available rear appliqué.
    Inside the Flex customers will find a modern, sophisticated driver zone with new clusters, steering wheel and electronic finish panels, as well as new seat trim and foam.
    Class-exclusives include the available second-row refrigerated console and the latest generation of MyFord Touch with SYNC.
    Appearance Package and paint, wheel choices
    Also new is an Appearance Package on Limited and SEL models that includes an available two-tone roof and mirrors, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, leather seats, unique door trim panels and other interior upgrades for a truly distinctive, premium look and feel.
    The new Flex comes in nine exterior colors, including three new colors for the 2013 model year: Ruby Red, Deep Impact Blue and Kodiak Brown. Customers also can choose from body-color roofs, or two-tone with white, gray or black available on the Appearance Package.
    Six wheel styles are available for Flex as well.
    Production
    The Ford Flex is built at Oakville Assembly Complex in Ontario, Canada.

    William Maley
    To say MyFordTouch has been on a rough road since it's introduction this year would be understatement. The system which uses a combination of capacitive controls and a touchscreen to control certain fuctions has been criticized by owners and reviews for many things.The system has also caused Ford's rating in the industry's leading quality indexes to drop. Now, the blue oval han announced an update for some of the issues with its system for 2013 models and existing models.
    The big news comes in the form of a reworked interface for the touchscreen. Ford says they have reworked over a 1,000 screens in the MyFord Touch system by using larger, bolder fonts, making the designs more consistent, and removing low-priority elements while bringing the most frequently used controls closer to the driver. Response time has also improved with Ford saying the update makes the system two times faster.
    The update also brings support for the Apple iPad, access to Audible.com audiobooks through voice commands or the touchscreen, improvements to the Bluetooth system, updated map experience from TeleNav and Navteq, and improved voice recognition.
    The update will appear in Ford's 2013 models including the new Ford Escape, Flex and Taurus. Owners of existing models with MyFordTouch will be sent either a USB flash drive or can visit their Ford dealer to get the update around the same time.

    Press Release and Video is on Page 2
    Faster, Simpler, Better: MyFord Touch Upgrade Provides New and Existing Customers Enhancements and New Features

    Ford will launch performance upgrades and new features for MyFordTouch® beginning with 2013 models – no-charge upgrade will be available to existing owners
    Simpler graphics, faster touch-screen response and easier-to-use controls are among the many enhancements to the voice-activated in-car connectivity system

    DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 7, 2011 – Ford customers said MyFord Touch® could be faster and feature simpler graphics that are easier to use and that’s exactly what Ford plans to deliver with a broad set of performance upgrades to the system – launching first on the new 2013 Ford Escape, Flex and Taurus.
    Available early next year – and offered at no charge to existing MyFord Touch owners – the software upgrade enhances the ownership experience as it was developed by listening and responding to customer feedback.
    “SYNC® has clearly been a game-changing technology and now we’re changing the game again, showing how quickly we can deliver more of what customers really want,” said Graydon Reitz, director, Ford Global Electronics and Electrical Systems Engineering. “Our strategy to create the SYNC software platform and add the customizable screens of MyFord Touch gives us a level of flexibility and speed to respond to customer input like never before seen in the auto industry.”
    The new touch-screen interface features simpler graphics and controls that are easier to use. Customers will also experience significantly faster touch-screen response times, one of the top requests from owners.
    New features include support for tablet devices and Audible.com audiobooks, improved navigation maps and enhanced voice recognition interaction.
    Listening to customers
    Since MyFord launched last fall, Ford has held four customer clinics in which hundreds of owners talked directly to Ford engineers about their experiences with the new technology. Owner feedback was clear and consistent, revealing that MyFord Touch was a key purchase reason.
    A survey of 2011 Ford Edge owners shows that four of the top seven purchase reasons were elements of the MyFord Touch system: the touch screen, steering wheel controls, voice recognition and dashboard styling.
    While owners reported that they love the system, there were distinct areas where they wanted improvements. Earlier this year, Ford started delivering on their requests, beginning with more instructions and information on how to best utilize the capabilities of the system.
    Ford launched two programs modeled after what consumers experience when purchasing a new electronic device. First, the company added a new MyFord Touch owner support website featuring how-to videos at www.syncmyride.com. Second, free “SYNC My Ride” personalized training sessions for new owners are now offered through Ford dealers – scheduled at customers’ convenience.
    “The keys to continuous improvement are simple: Listen, learn and respond. That’s how we’re going to keep our customers happy,” said Gary Jablonski, manager, SYNC Platform Development. “Evolving the software with meaningful enhanced features was part of our plan from the very beginning. It’s no different than the experience with our smartphones and laptop computers – except now, it’s your car that gets better.”
    Upgrade your ride
    All of the new improvements will be offered to existing owners of MyFord Touch-equipped vehicles, including the 2011 and 2012 models of Ford Explorer and Edge and the 2012 Focus. Owners of 2011 and 2012 Lincoln MKX crossovers will also receive the upgrade for their MyLincoln Touch™ systems.
    “We’re seizing the opportunity to continuously improve the Ford ownership experience, and revolutionize what it means to own a car,” said Reitz. “Introducing new technology is only one step in our journey to become known as a technology company. Consistently improving it based on what our customers are telling us marks another milestone in that journey.”
    Early next year, owners located in the U.S. will be mailed a USB flash drive with the software upgrade for installation that they can do at their own convenience. If they prefer, owners may also visit their local Ford or Lincoln dealer for the software installation. The upgrade mailing will include instructions informing owners how to simply plug the USB flash drive into the MyFord Touch Media Hub’s USB port in order for installation to automatically begin.
    New look
    The visual enhancements to MyFord Touch are based on simplifying the graphics with larger, bolder fonts, removing low-priority visual content, and designing screens based on a consistent pattern. More than 1,000 screens in total have been updated with the improved look.
    “Our goal when designing the upgrade was to simplify the screens and give customers a fast and easy way to get information at any given moment,” said Jennifer Brace, User Interface Design engineer for Ford. “That meant removing buttons, relocating high-use controls closer to the driver’s reach, simplifying tasks and improving font size.”
    The new fonts are as much as 40 percent larger on some redesigned screens. The fonts also are wider and bolder to provide easier legibility, particularly among the rapidly increasing number of drivers age 60 and older.
    New features
    Ford also took the opportunity to update the performance of the system and add new features for customers to help them keep pace with the fast-moving consumer electronics market.
    Faster touch-screen response time, for example, was a key request from owners. Initial testing shows that touch and voice response is at least two times faster than the current system.
    Also, the software upgrade includes the following enhancements:
    Improved voice recognition experience powered by Nuance
    Quicker voice recognition upon startup and faster command prompt when the voice button is pushed
    Voice commands used in conjunction with navigation are simplified through elimination of the need to provide street direction, e.g., “Main Street” instead of “North Main Street”
    Music requests are simpler by removing the need to include the additional song, album or artist information often found at the end of a name in parenthesis or brackets
    Customers can find their favorite sports team in action via new Sirius Game Finder simply by saying a command such as “Tune to Detroit Lions game”

    Tablet device compatibility
    Music and other media content from most popular tablet computers like the Apple iPad can now be accessed through a simple USB connection

    Audible.com audiobook support
    Listen to Audible.com content using voice commands or the easy-to-use touch-screen controls

    Connected navigation powered by TeleNav features new map data by NAVTEQ
    Updated map views are richer and feature more 3D landmarks
    views of freeway junctions and signs are enhanced through photorealistic screen images
    Smart routing options are provided based on a database of historical traffic patterns

    Phone compatibility
    Automatic Bluetooth® connection upon vehicle entry has been improved
    Noise and echo cancellation during phone calls has been improved to enhance call quality

    Gracenote® album cover art database
    inclusion of the latest music metadata available enhancing the music playback experience
    Improved voice recognition for music search allowing drivers to pinpoint artists with hard-to-pronounce names or nicknames


    William Maley
    The Ford Focus Electric has appeared on the company's website configurator this week with a base price of $39,200 before state and federal incentives, plus an additional $795 for destination charges. Compared the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf, the Focus Electric is the same price as the Volt ($39,995) and is $3,945 more than a base Nissan Leaf ($36,050).
    So what do you get for your $39,995? Well, the Focus Electric comes with a electric motor producing 123 HP and 181 lb-ft of torque and is fed by a 23 kwh lithium-ion battery system. Power goes through a single speed transmission to the front wheels. Ford says the Focus Electric can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge. A full charge can happen in 18-20 hours by a typical 120v outlet or 3-4 hours with a special 240v charger. Inside, MyFordTouch with Navigation, SYNC, Sony audio, push button start, and Ford's MyKey technology is standard.
    Only three options are available: Blue Candy ($395) and White Platinum ($495) paint, as well as leather seats ($995) to replace the standard cloth seats.
    Press Release is on page 2

    Ford Opens Reservations for 2012 Focus Electric


    2012 Focus electric is Ford’s first all-electric, 100% gas-free, passenger car and the first of five planned electrified vehicles
    Detailed product specifications and virtually build and price available at online website:http://www.ford.com/...selectric/2012/
    Ford Certified EV dealers in California and New York/New Jersey markets will begin taking first orders for the 2012 Focus Electric

    SEATTLE, WA., Nov. 2, 2011 – Starting today, drivers that want to go completely gasoline-free will be able to configure the all-new 2012 Ford Focus Electric online at Ford.com and place their orders with a Certified Electric Vehicle (EV) dealer.
    “Today is an historic day, as Ford opens up the order banks for the company’s first full production, all-electric passenger vehicle – the Focus Electric,” said Chad D’Arcy, Focus Electric Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company. “The all-new Focus Electric is an important part of Ford’s overall strategy, bringing still another option to customers who want a car that is fun-to-drive, easy to own and fully electric.”
    Drivers interested in learning more about the 2012 Focus Electric will be able to see detailed product specs and virtually build and price one at a dedicated online website:http://www.ford.com/...selectric/2012/ starting Wednesday.
    Focus Electric comes standard with: MyFord Touch with 8-inch touchscreen; two driver-configurable 4.2-inch color LCD displays in cluster for unique EV driving screens; MyFord™ Mobile App (for remotely monitoring and scheduling battery charging with owners’ smartphone as well as remote start); HID Headlamps; 17-inch aluminum wheels, ambient lighting, seats made from 100-percent recycled material; Rear Camera with Rear Parking Sensor; Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start; MyKey®; voice-activated Navigation System; Particulate Air Filter; hands-free SYNC® Bluetooth telephone connectivity with Traffic, Direction and Information Services; electronic traction control; Sony®-Branded audio with nine speakers; SIRIUS® Satellite Radio and HD Radio™.
    The only options on well-equipped Focus Electrics are leather seats and two paint colors.
    “Ford believes driving electric doesn’t mean consumers should have to sacrifice on driving experience or vehicle quality,” said D’Arcy. “The Focus Electric comes with more standard features than any other comparable all-electric vehicle.”
    In addition to silently cruising past gas stations, Focus Electric drivers will never need oil changes or any of the other service required on gasoline engines. Focus Electric exclusively stores energy in an advanced lithium-ion battery pack. The battery pack uses liquid-cooling to help ensure a long-life and optimal performance under all weather and driving conditions.
    The Focus Electric’s battery can be recharged in just over three hours using a 240-volt charging station, about half the charging time of the 2012 Nissan Leaf. Drivers also can top off the battery any standard 120-volt outlet using the included charging cord.
    The online site also provides potential customers the ability to find the location of their nearest Ford Certified EV dealer so they can place their order.
    A limited number of Focus Electrics will first be available in California and the New York/New Jersey regions. Availability of the Focus Electric will expand next year to the remaining 15 launch markets as production ramps up.
    The 19 launch markets include: Atlanta, Austin and Houston, Texas; Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York, Orlando, Fla., Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh Durham, N.C.; Richmond, Va., Seattle, and Washington, D.C.
    Markets were chosen based on several criteria, including commuting patterns, existing hybrid purchase trends, utility company collaboration and local government commitment to electrification.
    Power of choice
    Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy, which includes the launch of five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and in Europe by 2013. Ford launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010 and will launch the all-new Focus Electric later this year. In 2012, these models will be joined in North America by the new C-MAX Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. This diverse range of electrified vehicles allows Ford to meet a variety of consumer driving needs.

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