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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Ford to harvest product ideas from Web

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Ford to harvest product ideas from Web

Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. is creating a "idea portal" on its Web site, to give consumers the opportunity to suggest new features, allow others to critique them and vote for which ones should be considered by Ford's product development team.

The new "Your Ideas" section of its Ford Story Web site -- www.thefordstory.com -- is scheduled to go live today, and Ford Americas President Mark Fields is to discuss the company's plans for the Web during a speech at the Automotive Industry Breakfast in Detroit this morning. He said it is designed to elevate the customer connections Ford has made through that site.

"The Ford Story has connected with customers because it's a place where Ford is sharing its successes and challenges in a more open and transparent way," Fields said.

"We now see it as a platform to further the conversation driving innovative ideas, just as we engage others outside of the automotive sector, such as university students for research, suppliers for their expertise, and other industry leaders."

The Ford Story site has logged 2.6 million visits since it went live in 2008, providing updates on the company's turnaround efforts.

Users will be able to discuss each other's ideas and vote for their favorites. Those that receive the most votes will be considered by Ford's advanced product planning and marketing teams.

"It's a very cool idea. They'll probably get a million crazy ideas, but there's always that one nugget that comes through that you've never really thought of," said analyst Erich Merkle of Autoconomy.com.

But he said the real benefit is to Ford's brand image. "It gets the customer involved," he said. "When people feel as though their ideas are being heard, they're much more likely to become a fan of Ford -- and, at some point, that translates into a sale."

There are no plans to reward or compensate participants. Ford stressed that this is not a contest, but part of its market research aimed at finding out what consumers want in their next car or truck.

"Ford continues to innovate when it comes to engaging consumers in what's next for Ford cars and trucks," said Joe Pierucci, head of the global advanced product strategy team at Ford. "We are enhancing traditional consumer market research, studies and focus groups by turning to the social Web as an innovative way of generating new vehicle feature ideas."

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100413/AUTO01/4130330/1148/auto01/Ford-to-harvest-product-ideas-from-Web#ixzz0kz4Zmh45

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Ford Web site to solicit ideas

Discussion portal to be unveiled today

BY BRENT SNAVELY

FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

Ford President of the Americas Mark Fields is expected to announce a new Web portal today that is designed to solicit ideas and public debate about automotive technology.

The "Your Ideas" portal will be part of a Web site called the Ford Story, which is at www.thefordstory.com.

Fields is expected to announce the new portal at an industry breakfast that coincides with the opening of the SAE World Congress, an annual event that draws thousands of automotive engineers to Detroit.

Ford launched its Ford Story Web site in December 2008 in an effort to differentiate itself after skyrocketing gas prices and a national recession pushed domestic automakers to the brink of collapse.

The site already gives people an opportunity to post their favorite Ford story, photos and videos and comment about the company.

Now, consumers will be able to participate in a Web-based discussion where they can review and rate ideas and track what people say about their own ideas. Proposals that receive positive reviews will become part of a most-popular list that is to be reviewed by Ford's product planning and marketing teams.

"Our philosophy about innovation has rapidly evolved," Gerhard Schmidt, Ford's chief technical officer, said in a statement. "We ... embrace the fact that every good idea for our customers doesn't have to start with us."

link:

http://www.freep.com/article/20100413/BUSINESS01/4130325/1331/business01/Ford-Web-site-to-solicit-ideas

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Ohoh!!! I've got one!

How about an interlock so that while the vehicle is in motion, the power trunk release doesn't operate? Especially since Ford located the power truck release next to the dashboard dimmer on the Fusion Hybrid which has a very bright dashboard at night.

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Ohoh!!! I've got one!

How about an interlock so that while the vehicle is in motion, the power trunk release doesn't operate? Especially since Ford located the power truck release next to the dashboard dimmer on the Fusion Hybrid which has a very bright dashboard at night.

Maybe GM has a legal lock on this one... the Bonneville will only pop the trunk if the car is in park or neutral.

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Also, how about making the switch inoperable if you press the button from an open window as an "anti-theft" feature.

I don't know why, but the Camaro's hatch release button doesn't work if you press on it from the top with the window down. You have to be sitting in the car before it will activate.

Edited by whiteknight
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Also, how about making the switch inoperable if you press the button from an open window as an "anti-theft" feature.

I don't know why, but the Camaro's hatch release button doesn't work if you press on it from the top with the window down. You have to be sitting in the car before it will activate.

You mean the hatch release in the glove compartment? Are the doors locked with the key fob? It could be the anti-theft system. I believe it also disables the door lock/unlock buttons when activated.

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