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      Drex
      Age: 37
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    • By William Maley
      Last week, Ford unveiled the Raptor Ranger. The bad news as we reported was the model wasn't going to come here, but a tweet from Ford's North America Product Communications manager gave some hope that possibly, a smaller Raptor could come.
      More fuel has been added to this fire via some comments made by the chief engineer for Ford Performance, Jamal Hameedi. Speaking with Australian outlet Drive, Hameedi said the truck "would do really well in the states."
      “I think it’s certainly like it’s a baby Raptor, it depends what you’re looking for. There are a lot of people that just want that size in a pickup truck and they don’t want anything larger,” said Hameedi. 
      Hameedi went on to say that the diesel engine found in the Ranger Raptor would likely be swapped for a gas engine.
      “I think most American off-roaders would actually prefer a petrol gas engine, but a diesel is the absolute way to go for the rest of the world.”
      We think a version of Ford's 2.3 EcoBoost could be the engine of choice for a U.S. variant. 
      But it will likely be a while before a final decision is made on the Ranger Raptor coming to the U.S.
      “We haven’t said anything about availability in the US, our first priority is to get a Raptor available to everyone on the planet earth. So Americans already have an F-150 Raptor, we’ve got to spread Raptors to the rest of the planet,” said Hameedi.
      Source: Drive

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Last week, Ford unveiled the Raptor Ranger. The bad news as we reported was the model wasn't going to come here, but a tweet from Ford's North America Product Communications manager gave some hope that possibly, a smaller Raptor could come.
      More fuel has been added to this fire via some comments made by the chief engineer for Ford Performance, Jamal Hameedi. Speaking with Australian outlet Drive, Hameedi said the truck "would do really well in the states."
      “I think it’s certainly like it’s a baby Raptor, it depends what you’re looking for. There are a lot of people that just want that size in a pickup truck and they don’t want anything larger,” said Hameedi. 
      Hameedi went on to say that the diesel engine found in the Ranger Raptor would likely be swapped for a gas engine.
      “I think most American off-roaders would actually prefer a petrol gas engine, but a diesel is the absolute way to go for the rest of the world.”
      We think a version of Ford's 2.3 EcoBoost could be the engine of choice for a U.S. variant. 
      But it will likely be a while before a final decision is made on the Ranger Raptor coming to the U.S.
      “We haven’t said anything about availability in the US, our first priority is to get a Raptor available to everyone on the planet earth. So Americans already have an F-150 Raptor, we’ve got to spread Raptors to the rest of the planet,” said Hameedi.
      Source: Drive
    • By William Maley
      The redesigned Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator have been moving quite rapidly off dealer lots. In January, sales of the Expedition rose 59 percent while the Navigator saw a jaw-dropping 132 percent increase. But this is proving to be a problem for Ford as their dealers can't get enough of either model to satisfy consumer demand. A source told Automotive News that CEO Jim Hackett has banned Ford employees from ordering Expeditions and Navigators to help get more out into the world. The source said restricting employees from ordering a mainstream vehicle is very rare. 
      "We could have sold a lot more in January if we had them," said Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president for U.S. marketing, sales and service during Ford's monthly sales call earlier this month.
      Ford will be addressing this issue with a $25 million investment into their Kentucky Truck Plant today. The investment will allow the plant to produce 25 percent more Expedition and Navigator models.
      "It's important for this plant to produce more vehicles. In this segment, people will pay for a great product. The dealer feedback has been even stronger than we've hoped for," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global markets.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2


      FORD INCREASING PRODUCTION OF ALL-NEW LINCOLN NAVIGATOR, FORD EXPEDITION TO MEET GREATER-THAN-ANTICIPATED CUSTOMER DEMAND
      Ford is increasing production of two entirely new SUVs – the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition – to meet surging customer demand A new $25 million investment brings Ford’s total investment at Kentucky Truck Plant to $925 million and allows the company to increase manufacturing line speed; company has boosted production targets for full-size SUVs approximately 25 percent since fall This additional investment and advanced manufacturing upgrades all help the company improve its operational fitness. Upgrades include 400 new robots, enhanced data analytics to help the plant operate more efficiently and a new 3D printer that enables workers to make parts and tools more quickly and cheaper LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 12, 2018 – Ford is increasing production of two popular full-size SUVs to meet surging demand for both all-new models.
      The company is using advanced manufacturing technologies and an upskilled workforce to increase line speed at its Kentucky Truck Plant to build even more Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition SUVs, boosting production targets approximately 25 percent since last fall when the SUVs hit the market.
      “The response from customers regarding our new full-size SUVs has been exceptional,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Global Operations. “Using a combination of Ford’s advanced manufacturing and American hard work and ingenuity, we’ll deliver more high-quality Lincoln Navigators and Ford Expeditions to customers than originally planned.”
      A new $25 million investment for additional manufacturing enhancements brings Ford’s total investment at Kentucky Truck Plant to $925 million and allows the company to increase manufacturing line speed.
      This investment and advanced manufacturing upgrades are examples of the company’s quest to improve its operational fitness. Upgrades include 400 new robots, a new 3D printer that enables workers to make parts and tools more quickly and cheaper as well as enhanced data analytics to keep the assembly line moving as efficiently as possible.
      Surging customer demand
      Lincoln dealers simply can’t keep the entirely new Navigator on dealer lots; the luxury SUVs are spending an average of just seven days at the dealership before they are sold.
      Customers are trading in Land Rover and Mercedes vehicles in exchange for a Navigator, and nearly 85 percent of all Navigator buyers are choosing high-end Black Label and Reserve models.
      Customer demand for the highly-equipped Black Label and Reserve series contributed to an average transaction price increase of more than $21,000 in January versus a year ago. Navigator retail sales were up triple digits in every region of the country last month. Navigator sales more than doubled last month, thanks to growth in key markets including Florida, Texas and California, a competitive conquest rate of 40 percent and new interest from younger consumers.
      Expedition also is off to a strong start, with the top-of-the-line Platinum trim models representing 29 percent of sales – pushing transaction price increases up $7,800 in January. Expedition retail sales were up nearly 57 percent last month and vehicles are spending just seven days on dealer lots.
      To ensure customers can get vehicles as quickly as possible, Kentucky Truck Plant assembly line workers are working overtime and voluntary weekend shifts.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The redesigned Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator have been moving quite rapidly off dealer lots. In January, sales of the Expedition rose 59 percent while the Navigator saw a jaw-dropping 132 percent increase. But this is proving to be a problem for Ford as their dealers can't get enough of either model to satisfy consumer demand. A source told Automotive News that CEO Jim Hackett has banned Ford employees from ordering Expeditions and Navigators to help get more out into the world. The source said restricting employees from ordering a mainstream vehicle is very rare. 
      "We could have sold a lot more in January if we had them," said Mark LaNeve, Ford's vice president for U.S. marketing, sales and service during Ford's monthly sales call earlier this month.
      Ford will be addressing this issue with a $25 million investment into their Kentucky Truck Plant today. The investment will allow the plant to produce 25 percent more Expedition and Navigator models.
      "It's important for this plant to produce more vehicles. In this segment, people will pay for a great product. The dealer feedback has been even stronger than we've hoped for," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of global markets.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2


      FORD INCREASING PRODUCTION OF ALL-NEW LINCOLN NAVIGATOR, FORD EXPEDITION TO MEET GREATER-THAN-ANTICIPATED CUSTOMER DEMAND
      Ford is increasing production of two entirely new SUVs – the Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition – to meet surging customer demand A new $25 million investment brings Ford’s total investment at Kentucky Truck Plant to $925 million and allows the company to increase manufacturing line speed; company has boosted production targets for full-size SUVs approximately 25 percent since fall This additional investment and advanced manufacturing upgrades all help the company improve its operational fitness. Upgrades include 400 new robots, enhanced data analytics to help the plant operate more efficiently and a new 3D printer that enables workers to make parts and tools more quickly and cheaper LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 12, 2018 – Ford is increasing production of two popular full-size SUVs to meet surging demand for both all-new models.
      The company is using advanced manufacturing technologies and an upskilled workforce to increase line speed at its Kentucky Truck Plant to build even more Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition SUVs, boosting production targets approximately 25 percent since last fall when the SUVs hit the market.
      “The response from customers regarding our new full-size SUVs has been exceptional,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Global Operations. “Using a combination of Ford’s advanced manufacturing and American hard work and ingenuity, we’ll deliver more high-quality Lincoln Navigators and Ford Expeditions to customers than originally planned.”
      A new $25 million investment for additional manufacturing enhancements brings Ford’s total investment at Kentucky Truck Plant to $925 million and allows the company to increase manufacturing line speed.
      This investment and advanced manufacturing upgrades are examples of the company’s quest to improve its operational fitness. Upgrades include 400 new robots, a new 3D printer that enables workers to make parts and tools more quickly and cheaper as well as enhanced data analytics to keep the assembly line moving as efficiently as possible.
      Surging customer demand
      Lincoln dealers simply can’t keep the entirely new Navigator on dealer lots; the luxury SUVs are spending an average of just seven days at the dealership before they are sold.
      Customers are trading in Land Rover and Mercedes vehicles in exchange for a Navigator, and nearly 85 percent of all Navigator buyers are choosing high-end Black Label and Reserve models.
      Customer demand for the highly-equipped Black Label and Reserve series contributed to an average transaction price increase of more than $21,000 in January versus a year ago. Navigator retail sales were up triple digits in every region of the country last month. Navigator sales more than doubled last month, thanks to growth in key markets including Florida, Texas and California, a competitive conquest rate of 40 percent and new interest from younger consumers.
      Expedition also is off to a strong start, with the top-of-the-line Platinum trim models representing 29 percent of sales – pushing transaction price increases up $7,800 in January. Expedition retail sales were up nearly 57 percent last month and vehicles are spending just seven days on dealer lots.
      To ensure customers can get vehicles as quickly as possible, Kentucky Truck Plant assembly line workers are working overtime and voluntary weekend shifts.
    • By William Maley
      It has been almost a decade since the Transit Connect made its way to North America and started a wave of small commercial vans arriving to the marketplace. For 2019, Ford is introducing a number of new updates to keep the Connect one step ahead of the competition.
      At the Chicago Auto Show, Ford will be showing the passenger van variant, known for 2019 as the Transit Connect Wagon. Ford is positioning this an alternative to minivans and as an option for active baby boomers.
      “Baby Boomers have always embraced life’s adventures and to them age is just another experience to master. From being easy to get in and out of, plus flexible seating and cargo space, Transit Connect Wagon makes it convenient for Boomers to keep enjoying family time or explore new hobbies and careers,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service in a statement.
      The changes begin outside where the Connect features new sheetmetal and grille design for the front. The interior comes with a revised instrument cluster, redesigned center stack that moves the infotainment system to the top, 4G LTE with Wi-Fi connectivity, and more padding for the seats. Ford will offer the Wagon in a standard-wheelbase that offers seating for five or a long-wheelbase that provides seating for seven.
      Under the hood, Ford is offering two new engines for the Connect. The most interesting of the two is a new 1.5L turbodiesel called EcoBlue. This engine recently made its debut in the European-spec EcoSport crossover. Power figures stand at 120 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque - peak torque arrives at 1,700 rpm. The other engine is a 2.0L four-cylinder featuring direct-injection and auto stop-start. No power figures were given for this engine. Both will come paired with an eight-speed automatic.
      For safety, the Transit Connect Wagon comes with automatic emergency braking as standard equipment. Optional safety features include blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, HID headlights, and lane keep assist.
      The 2019 Ford Transit Connect Wagon arrives at dealers this fall.
      Source: Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2


      LIFE’S STILL A TRIP: NEW TRANSIT CONNECT WAGON IS TODAY’S MAGIC BUS FOR ACTIVE BABY BOOMERS AND ENTREPRENEURS
      For Baby Boomers who need space, versatility and technology without the expensive minivan price tag, Ford introduces the new Transit Connect Wagon – affordable, flexible and smart With space for up to seven, 2019 Ford Transit Connect Wagon easily switches from work to play to accommodate entrepreneurial small business needs, hobbies and grandkids Transit Connect Wagon offers segment-exclusive diesel engine and new driver-assist technologies, including standard Automatic Emergency Braking CHICAGO, Feb. 8, 2018 – Ford has reinvented the van for Baby Boomers whose idea of rocking doesn’t involve a chair.
      Today, Ford unveils the redesigned Transit Connect Wagon at the Chicago Auto Show.  The last Transit Connect Wagon won over Boomers-born from 1946 to 1964 that grew up driving vans-with its unique combination of affordable, fun and easy-to-use people mover attributes and cargo hauling capabilities. 
      At 111 million strong and holding 63 percent of American financial assets, the 50+ demographic is the number one consumer demographic in the United States - far exceeding Gen X’s 61 million and Millennials’ 75 million.  And one in three Boomers plans to purchase a car in the next three years, according to AARP.
      Surfer grandpa gets his van
      Kevin Brown, age 63, of Nassau Bay, Texas, is the kind of “active Boomer” who loves the Transit Connect Wagon.  Brown grew up driving vans in the 1970s and now, this Gulf Coast surfer and grandfather of nine drives a 2014 Ford Transit Connect Wagon for his work as an illustrator and custom T-shirt printer.  “If I’m not shuttling family to the beach, I’m working,” he said. “My Transit Connect lets me pull double duty.”
      With room for five to seven passengers and offering easy conversion to cargo duty, the 2019 Ford Transit Connect Wagon takes care of business with a versatility and maneuverability that make everyday adventures easy.
      The wagon features all-new gas and diesel engines and a suite of driver-assist technologies, including standard Automatic Emergency Braking. The feature is included with Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – a segment-exclusive.
      “Baby Boomers have always embraced life’s adventures and to them age is just another experience to master,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “From being easy to get in and out of, plus flexible seating and cargo space, Transit Connect Wagon makes it convenient for Boomers to keep enjoying family time or explore new hobbies and careers.”
      Packed with technology
      The new Transit Connect Wagon features new driver-assist features, including standard Automatic Emergency Braking. The feature is included with segment-exclusive Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection to help avoid collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians who might accidentally cross in front of the vehicle’s path. Adaptive Cruise Control is also available. The system makes highway driving easier by automatically slowing the vehicle when radar detects traffic slowing ahead.  Available Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert also uses radar to detect surrounding vehicles – providing alerts if vehicles approach unseen from either side.
      To help avoid lane drift while driving, available Lane Keeping System vibrates the steering wheel and can apply extra steering wheel torque to help you keep the vehicle centered on the road.
      Designed for life on the go
      Available in two wheelbases to accommodate five or seven passengers and in three trim levels, XL, XLT and Titanium, Transit Connect Wagon can be built to meet the needs of any customer. A spacious, flexible interior makes loading cargo a cinch. Dual sliding side doors provide added convenience, and available roof rails extend its versatility with any number of accessories that can be fitted to the roof to haul bikes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards or luggage.
      Transit Connect Wagon’s new instrument panel is centered on features that are both useful and straightforward – an available 6.5-inch floating touch screen, a digital driver information center in the cluster, and available wireless charging for your mobile device. Coming soon, Waze compatibility will help drivers steer clear of troublesome traffic spots. Staying connected is easy thanks to the standard embedded 4G LTE modem providing Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices and available SYNC® 3 with Ford+Alexa personal assistant functionality.
      All-new under the hood
      A new powertrain lineup provides greater customer choice with a class-exclusive diesel engine offering. The new 2019 Transit Connect with all-new 1.5-liter EcoBlue® diesel engine is targeted to return an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating* of at least 30 mpg highway. The diesel engine is paired with an all-new 8-speed automatic transmission.
      A new 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with direct injection comes with Auto Start-Stop as standard equipment. It too comes mated to the all-new 8-speed automatic.
      Affordable, flexible, smart
      The Transit Connect Wagon is expected to be one of the most affordable seven-passenger vehicles in the United States. The long-wheelbase model has more interior cargo volume behind the first row than the 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe, making the task of getting oversized items home a snap. And with a turning radius of just 38.3 feet for the short-wheelbase van, getting around busy streets is easy.
      For those who need to tow a trailer, Transit Connect Wagon is expected to offer unsurpassed towing capability of 2,000 pounds when paired with the available trailer tow package. The 2019 Ford Transit Connect Wagon goes on sale this fall.

      View full article
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