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Found 851 results

  1. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 12, 2012 Some peculiar Ford F-150s have made their way onto the web thanks to a spy photographer. The trucks in question features awkward panel fits, shorten cabs, and modified truck beds. What is the deal with these truck. Most likely, the trucks are the mules for the next F-150, due out in 2015. Automobile Magazine also speculates the trucks are also testing aluminum body panels, something we reported back in July. This would allow engineers to gain knowledge about whether its a good idea or not to implement aluminum in the next truck. Rumor has the 2015 F-150 having a aluminum hood and bed, but this is somewhat sketchy. Source: Automobile Magazine William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  2. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 11, 2012 Bloomberg is reporting that Ford will announce Mark Fields as its new Chief Operating Officer, putting him right behind CEO Alan Mulally in the chain of command. Until now, Ford has not had a COO under Mulally. This has led many to speculate that this promotion will clearly put Fields in line to be the successor for CEO. Rumors of someone replacing Mulally as CEO have been swirling for months. Although Mulally, 67, says he has no plans to step down anytime soon, it's widely believed that Ford is preparing for new leadership behind the scenes. “We do not comment on speculation about personnel actions. Regarding succession, Ford Motor Co. takes succession planning very seriously, and we have succession plans in place for each of our key leadership positions,” said Ray Day, a Ford spokesman in an e-mail. Fields isn't the only one being considered for the CEO position. Joe Hinrichs, head of Ford's Asia operations, and Jim Farley, Ford's sales and marketing head are also under consideration. The two are also being looked at for President of the Americas. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  3. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com September 11, 2012 Bloomberg is reporting that Ford will announce Mark Fields as its new Chief Operating Officer, putting him right behind CEO Alan Mulally in the chain of command. Until now, Ford has not had a COO under Mulally. This has led many to speculate that this promotion will clearly put Fields in line to be the successor for CEO. Rumors of someone replacing Mulally as CEO have been swirling for months. Although Mulally, 67, says he has no plans to step down anytime soon, it's widely believed that Ford is preparing for new leadership behind the scenes. “We do not comment on speculation about personnel actions. Regarding succession, Ford Motor Co. takes succession planning very seriously, and we have succession plans in place for each of our key leadership positions,” said Ray Day, a Ford spokesman in an e-mail. Fields isn't the only one being considered for the CEO position. Joe Hinrichs, head of Ford's Asia operations, and Jim Farley, Ford's sales and marketing head are also under consideration. The two are also being looked at for President of the Americas. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 29, 2012 This week, Ford announced that its luxury branch, Lincoln will be heading out to China in the second half of 2014. "Lincoln is an important part of our plan, and introducing Lincoln in China marks the next step in our expansion in Asia and our commitment to serving customers in the luxury market," said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. Lincoln says that by the end of this decade, luxury cars will account for 2.7 million sales. Lincoln also says that China will dwarf the U.S. in sales. What is Lincoln's strategy to take a slice of China's market? "Lincoln will deliver an exceptional and personalized brand experience for Chinese customers seeking luxury tailored to their own needs." Lincoln isn't saying what that will mean for their vehicle lineup in China, most likely long-wheelbase models are on the table. Source: Lincoln William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Lincoln Coming to China, Bringing Rich Heritage and Unique Alternative to Growing Luxury Market Lincoln will be coming to China, offering its rich and unique heritage to customers seeking a new level of luxury Lincoln will provide a personalized brand experience for affluent Chinese customers seeking a luxury experience tailored to their specific needs Expansion into China further strengthens Ford Motor Company’s commitment and aggressive growth strategy in China and establishes Lincoln as a brand with global appeal; this mark’s Ford’s largest expansion in 50 years Lincoln cars will be available in China in the second half of 2014 BEIJING, 28 August, 2012 – Lincoln is coming to China, bringing its rich heritage and a unique alternative to the evolving luxury car customers in one of the world’s most important auto markets. With a nearly 100-year history, Lincoln will deliver an exceptional and personalized brand experience for Chinese customers seeking luxury tailored to their own needs. New Lincoln products will begin to be sold in China in the second half of 2014 through an independent dealer network. The company begins meeting with dealers interested in being part of Lincoln’s growth in China in the fourth quarter of this year. “Lincoln is an important part of our plan, and introducing Lincoln in China marks the next step in our expansion in Asia and our commitment to serving customers in the luxury market,” said Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally. “We recognize the growth potential for Lincoln in China, building on the growing appeal of our new Lincoln products and unique, personalized customer experience in North America.” Luxury for an Evolving Market The luxury segment in China is forecast to surpass the luxury segment in the United States by 2020. In China, luxury vehicle sales are expected to more than double – from 6 percent of the market today to nearly 9 percent by the end of the decade, according to IHS. Annual sales of luxury cars are forecast to be approximately 2.7 million units by then. In China, consumers now see luxury as more than a product, according to an intensive observation study of luxury car buyers conducted by TNS China, “Targeting luxury car drivers in China”. The study also shows that while many affluent consumers in China are still motivated by a primary desire to display their wealth noticeably, data gathered over the last 2 years reveals that a select group of consumers are evolving towards purchasing luxury for the personal experience rather than as an outward signal to others. Their motivation to purchase is also led by self-discovery of products and services that meet their own unique demands, providing a high degree of self-reward in making the right choice. Lincoln’s combination of outstanding products and a personalized luxury buying and ownership experience is expected to be particularly appealing to this evolving group of Chinese luxury consumers. “Globally, we’re seeing a new generation of luxury clients who value more individualistic and tailored options,” said Jim Farley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing Sales and Service, Ford Motor Company. “In China, the emerging luxury buyers are younger and fast-changing, and they have a strong desire to understand and appreciate the heritage of a brand- the origins of its real values such as timeless elegance, sophistication and craftsmanship in Lincoln.” A Luxury Brand Heritage, Unique Vision for the Future Lincoln, named after U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, was founded by Henry Leland. Lincoln was acquired by Ford Motor Company in 1922 when it saw the potential in the brand and identified with its purpose to serve luxury customers uniquely. “Lincoln will distinguish itself by providing more individual and personalized motor cars, and a more personal and crafted experience to match,” said Farley. “The Lincoln experience promises to deliver elegant simplicity, something warmer and more personally engaging.” “Research shows that for luxury consumers in China, international credentials are not enough; heritage and excellence are also expected of a luxury car.” From the brand’s start, Lincolns were known for challenging convention and driving innovation in design and craftsmanship. This includes the ground-breaking design of the Lincoln Zephyr and original Lincoln Continental. Today, Lincoln is combining outstanding vehicles with personal and innovative customer service at every step. Ford Motor Company Expanding Aggressively in China “Lincoln’s introduction to China represents a significant step forward in Ford’s aggressive growth strategy for the country”, said Dave Schoch, Chairman and CEO, Ford Motor China. “We are on track to deliver 15 new Ford-branded vehicles and 20 powertrains by 2015 to Chinese customers. With Lincoln, we will be expanding our product offering to cover China’s fast-growing luxury car segment.” Ford Motor Company is building five new plants in China, including in Chongqing, which is home to the largest manufacturing location for Ford outside southeast Michigan. Once completed, the plants will double the company’s capacity in China to 1.2 million passenger vehicles a year. The expansion, the largest by Ford in 50 years, will help the automaker realize an increase in global sales by around 50 percent from 2010 to about 8 million vehicles annually by mid-decade.
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 29, 2012 This week, Ford announced that its luxury branch, Lincoln will be heading out to China in the second half of 2014. "Lincoln is an important part of our plan, and introducing Lincoln in China marks the next step in our expansion in Asia and our commitment to serving customers in the luxury market," said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. Lincoln says that by the end of this decade, luxury cars will account for 2.7 million sales. Lincoln also says that China will dwarf the U.S. in sales. What is Lincoln's strategy to take a slice of China's market? "Lincoln will deliver an exceptional and personalized brand experience for Chinese customers seeking luxury tailored to their own needs." Lincoln isn't saying what that will mean for their vehicle lineup in China, most likely long-wheelbase models are on the table. Source: Lincoln William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Release is on Page 2 Lincoln Coming to China, Bringing Rich Heritage and Unique Alternative to Growing Luxury Market Lincoln will be coming to China, offering its rich and unique heritage to customers seeking a new level of luxury Lincoln will provide a personalized brand experience for affluent Chinese customers seeking a luxury experience tailored to their specific needs Expansion into China further strengthens Ford Motor Company’s commitment and aggressive growth strategy in China and establishes Lincoln as a brand with global appeal; this mark’s Ford’s largest expansion in 50 years Lincoln cars will be available in China in the second half of 2014 BEIJING, 28 August, 2012 – Lincoln is coming to China, bringing its rich heritage and a unique alternative to the evolving luxury car customers in one of the world’s most important auto markets. With a nearly 100-year history, Lincoln will deliver an exceptional and personalized brand experience for Chinese customers seeking luxury tailored to their own needs. New Lincoln products will begin to be sold in China in the second half of 2014 through an independent dealer network. The company begins meeting with dealers interested in being part of Lincoln’s growth in China in the fourth quarter of this year. “Lincoln is an important part of our plan, and introducing Lincoln in China marks the next step in our expansion in Asia and our commitment to serving customers in the luxury market,” said Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally. “We recognize the growth potential for Lincoln in China, building on the growing appeal of our new Lincoln products and unique, personalized customer experience in North America.” Luxury for an Evolving Market The luxury segment in China is forecast to surpass the luxury segment in the United States by 2020. In China, luxury vehicle sales are expected to more than double – from 6 percent of the market today to nearly 9 percent by the end of the decade, according to IHS. Annual sales of luxury cars are forecast to be approximately 2.7 million units by then. In China, consumers now see luxury as more than a product, according to an intensive observation study of luxury car buyers conducted by TNS China, “Targeting luxury car drivers in China”. The study also shows that while many affluent consumers in China are still motivated by a primary desire to display their wealth noticeably, data gathered over the last 2 years reveals that a select group of consumers are evolving towards purchasing luxury for the personal experience rather than as an outward signal to others. Their motivation to purchase is also led by self-discovery of products and services that meet their own unique demands, providing a high degree of self-reward in making the right choice. Lincoln’s combination of outstanding products and a personalized luxury buying and ownership experience is expected to be particularly appealing to this evolving group of Chinese luxury consumers. “Globally, we’re seeing a new generation of luxury clients who value more individualistic and tailored options,” said Jim Farley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing Sales and Service, Ford Motor Company. “In China, the emerging luxury buyers are younger and fast-changing, and they have a strong desire to understand and appreciate the heritage of a brand- the origins of its real values such as timeless elegance, sophistication and craftsmanship in Lincoln.” A Luxury Brand Heritage, Unique Vision for the Future Lincoln, named after U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, was founded by Henry Leland. Lincoln was acquired by Ford Motor Company in 1922 when it saw the potential in the brand and identified with its purpose to serve luxury customers uniquely. “Lincoln will distinguish itself by providing more individual and personalized motor cars, and a more personal and crafted experience to match,” said Farley. “The Lincoln experience promises to deliver elegant simplicity, something warmer and more personally engaging.” “Research shows that for luxury consumers in China, international credentials are not enough; heritage and excellence are also expected of a luxury car.” From the brand’s start, Lincolns were known for challenging convention and driving innovation in design and craftsmanship. This includes the ground-breaking design of the Lincoln Zephyr and original Lincoln Continental. Today, Lincoln is combining outstanding vehicles with personal and innovative customer service at every step. Ford Motor Company Expanding Aggressively in China “Lincoln’s introduction to China represents a significant step forward in Ford’s aggressive growth strategy for the country”, said Dave Schoch, Chairman and CEO, Ford Motor China. “We are on track to deliver 15 new Ford-branded vehicles and 20 powertrains by 2015 to Chinese customers. With Lincoln, we will be expanding our product offering to cover China’s fast-growing luxury car segment.” Ford Motor Company is building five new plants in China, including in Chongqing, which is home to the largest manufacturing location for Ford outside southeast Michigan. Once completed, the plants will double the company’s capacity in China to 1.2 million passenger vehicles a year. The expansion, the largest by Ford in 50 years, will help the automaker realize an increase in global sales by around 50 percent from 2010 to about 8 million vehicles annually by mid-decade. View full article
  6. DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 4, 2012 – Ford Motor Company’s U.S. total sales increased 13 percent in August compared with last year – and 19 percent for retail sales – with gains in cars, utilities and trucks. “As fuel prices rose again during August, we saw growing numbers of people gravitate toward our fuel-efficient vehicles – cars, utilities and trucks,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Customers increasingly value savings at the pump, and Ford is answering the call with a full family of vehicles with leading fuel efficiency and the power to choose which vehicle best meets their needs.” Ford also added a third crew at the Louisville Assembly Plant in August to support demand for the new Escape small utility – the fastest-turning vehicle in Ford’s U.S. lineup. Escape posted its best August sales results ever, with a 37 percent gain versus last year, with 28,188 vehicles sold. Explorer posted its best August sales results since 2006, with 13,168 vehicles sold. Ford passenger car sales were up 7 percent in August, including 35 percent in retail sales. Fusion posted a sixth consecutive monthly sales record, with best-ever August sales totaling 21,690 vehicles – a 21 percent increase over last year. Focus sales totaled 19,073 vehicles, a 35 percent increase versus last year. Mustang posted a 12 percent increase, with 6,387 vehicles sold. Sales of Ford trucks increased 6 percent in August. America’s best-selling vehicle, the Ford F-Series, reported sales of 58,201 vehicles – 19 percent increase year-over-year – for its 13th straight month of sales increases and its best sales month of 2012. EcoBoost-equipped F-150s surpassed the 200,000 sales threshold in August. In addition, Ford is announcing its fourth-quarter North American production plan. The company plans to build 725,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, up 7 percent (50,000 vehicles) from the fourth quarter of 2011. The company also said it will be slightly below its previous third quarter 2012 North American production guidance of 690,000 vehicles, with one month of production left in the quarter.
  7. DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 4, 2012 – Ford Motor Company’s U.S. total sales increased 13 percent in August compared with last year – and 19 percent for retail sales – with gains in cars, utilities and trucks. “As fuel prices rose again during August, we saw growing numbers of people gravitate toward our fuel-efficient vehicles – cars, utilities and trucks,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Customers increasingly value savings at the pump, and Ford is answering the call with a full family of vehicles with leading fuel efficiency and the power to choose which vehicle best meets their needs.” Ford also added a third crew at the Louisville Assembly Plant in August to support demand for the new Escape small utility – the fastest-turning vehicle in Ford’s U.S. lineup. Escape posted its best August sales results ever, with a 37 percent gain versus last year, with 28,188 vehicles sold. Explorer posted its best August sales results since 2006, with 13,168 vehicles sold. Ford passenger car sales were up 7 percent in August, including 35 percent in retail sales. Fusion posted a sixth consecutive monthly sales record, with best-ever August sales totaling 21,690 vehicles – a 21 percent increase over last year. Focus sales totaled 19,073 vehicles, a 35 percent increase versus last year. Mustang posted a 12 percent increase, with 6,387 vehicles sold. Sales of Ford trucks increased 6 percent in August. America’s best-selling vehicle, the Ford F-Series, reported sales of 58,201 vehicles – 19 percent increase year-over-year – for its 13th straight month of sales increases and its best sales month of 2012. EcoBoost-equipped F-150s surpassed the 200,000 sales threshold in August. In addition, Ford is announcing its fourth-quarter North American production plan. The company plans to build 725,000 vehicles in the fourth quarter, up 7 percent (50,000 vehicles) from the fourth quarter of 2011. The company also said it will be slightly below its previous third quarter 2012 North American production guidance of 690,000 vehicles, with one month of production left in the quarter. View full article
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 20, 2012 Ford's decision to end Ranger production and move towards an expanded F-150 lineup could cost it about half of its Ranger owners, a new report says. Ford ended production of the Ranger last year and closed down its St. Paul, Minnesota, assembly plant where the truck was built. Ford said that the market for small pickups was dwindling and the decision was made to not continue with the Ranger. Instead, Ford is pushing Ranger owners to the F-150 or other Ford vehicles. "We are retaining some Ranger buyers, with the bulk of them moving to F-Series and Escape. As for the compact pickup segment, it has become a much smaller part of the overall industry over the last 12 years," said Erich Merkle, Ford's U.S. sales analyst. Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry analysis for TrueCar.com says Ford overestimated the number of Ranger owners who would be willing to step up to the F-150. "We do know that a good portion of would-be Ranger buyers are going to different brand. Ford may have been too optimistic in their assumption of how many Ranger buyers want to buy an F-150." Reasons as to why Ranger owners aren't snatching up F-150s are the higher price-tag and the large size of the F-150 compared to the Ranger. What are former Ranger owners looking at? The Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. Source: The Detroit News
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 20, 2012 Ford's decision to end Ranger production and move towards an expanded F-150 lineup could cost it about half of its Ranger owners, a new report says. Ford ended production of the Ranger last year and closed down its St. Paul, Minnesota, assembly plant where the truck was built. Ford said that the market for small pickups was dwindling and the decision was made to not continue with the Ranger. Instead, Ford is pushing Ranger owners to the F-150 or other Ford vehicles. "We are retaining some Ranger buyers, with the bulk of them moving to F-Series and Escape. As for the compact pickup segment, it has become a much smaller part of the overall industry over the last 12 years," said Erich Merkle, Ford's U.S. sales analyst. Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry analysis for TrueCar.com says Ford overestimated the number of Ranger owners who would be willing to step up to the F-150. "We do know that a good portion of would-be Ranger buyers are going to different brand. Ford may have been too optimistic in their assumption of how many Ranger buyers want to buy an F-150." Reasons as to why Ranger owners aren't snatching up F-150s are the higher price-tag and the large size of the F-150 compared to the Ranger. What are former Ranger owners looking at? The Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier. Source: The Detroit News View full article
  10. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 15, 2012 When Ford launched the Fiesta in the United States in 2010, they had very high hopes for it. However, the Fiesta has been seeing its sales dip. So far this year, Fiesta sales are down 25% to 35,385 vehicles. The reason? Consumers are flocking to the Fiesta's big brother, the Focus. So far in 2012, the Focus has seen its sales go up by 31% to 147,877 vehicles. Ford is standing behind the Fiesta, despite the sales slide. “The small-car segment, given its size, the largest in the industry, is large enough for two vehicles,” said Erich Merkle, Ford’s U.S. sales analyst. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 15, 2012 When Ford launched the Fiesta in the United States in 2010, they had very high hopes for it. However, the Fiesta has been seeing its sales dip. So far this year, Fiesta sales are down 25% to 35,385 vehicles. The reason? Consumers are flocking to the Fiesta's big brother, the Focus. So far in 2012, the Focus has seen its sales go up by 31% to 147,877 vehicles. Ford is standing behind the Fiesta, despite the sales slide. “The small-car segment, given its size, the largest in the industry, is large enough for two vehicles,” said Erich Merkle, Ford’s U.S. sales analyst. Source: Bloomberg William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 9, 2012 The updated Ford Fiesta has been caught once again while doing some testing and it gives us our best look at what to expect. The front end has a vibe of the upcoming 2013 Ford Fusion, with its Aston Martin-esk fascia and similar styling on the headlights. Around the back is a new lip spoiler on the trunk and the taillights getting the Fusion treatment. The current Fiesta's engine; a 1.6L inline-4 making 120 HP and 112 lb-ft of torque will be replaced with a 1.0L turbocharged inline-3, producing around 125 HP and 147 lb-ft of torque. The new Fiesta is expected to come out at this year's LA Auto Show. Source: Motor Trend William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 9, 2012 The updated Ford Fiesta has been caught once again while doing some testing and it gives us our best look at what to expect. The front end has a vibe of the upcoming 2013 Ford Fusion, with its Aston Martin-esk fascia and similar styling on the headlights. Around the back is a new lip spoiler on the trunk and the taillights getting the Fusion treatment. The current Fiesta's engine; a 1.6L inline-4 making 120 HP and 112 lb-ft of torque will be replaced with a 1.0L turbocharged inline-3, producing around 125 HP and 147 lb-ft of torque. The new Fiesta is expected to come out at this year's LA Auto Show. Source: Motor Trend William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  14. Ford Fusion Achieves Best-Ever July Sales, Explorer Best July Sales in Six Years, F-Series Gains for 12th Straight Month Ford Fusion sales increase 21 percent – the best July ever – with 23,326 vehicles sold Explorer posts best July sales since 2006 with 11,313 vehicles sold F-Series sales total 49,314 vehicles, marking 12 straight months of monthly sales gains Ford Motor Company’s July U.S. sales totaled 173,966 – a 4 percent decline due to lower fleet sales; July retail sales grow 2 percent compared with last year DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 1, 2012 – Ford Motor Company’s U.S. retail sales increased 2 percent in July versus year-ago levels, driven by strong retail customer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. Fusion exceeded its best-ever July sales record last month, with 23,326 vehicles sold. Mustang sales increased 8 percent versus last year, with 7,371 vehicles sold, representing its third straight month of sales gains since 2013 models started arriving in dealerships. Explorer sales totaled 11,313 vehicles in July – its best-ever July sales result since 2006. Ford F-Series, America’s best-selling vehicle, reported its 12th straight month of sales increases, with 49,314 F-Series sold. EcoBoost-equipped F-150s made up 42 percent of retail sales in July. Overall, Ford Motor Company sales were down 4 percent in July due to lower fleet sales. Fleet sales were down 16 percent. Retail sales were up 2 percent.
  15. Ford Fusion Achieves Best-Ever July Sales, Explorer Best July Sales in Six Years, F-Series Gains for 12th Straight Month Ford Fusion sales increase 21 percent – the best July ever – with 23,326 vehicles sold Explorer posts best July sales since 2006 with 11,313 vehicles sold F-Series sales total 49,314 vehicles, marking 12 straight months of monthly sales gains Ford Motor Company’s July U.S. sales totaled 173,966 – a 4 percent decline due to lower fleet sales; July retail sales grow 2 percent compared with last year DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 1, 2012 – Ford Motor Company’s U.S. retail sales increased 2 percent in July versus year-ago levels, driven by strong retail customer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles. Fusion exceeded its best-ever July sales record last month, with 23,326 vehicles sold. Mustang sales increased 8 percent versus last year, with 7,371 vehicles sold, representing its third straight month of sales gains since 2013 models started arriving in dealerships. Explorer sales totaled 11,313 vehicles in July – its best-ever July sales result since 2006. Ford F-Series, America’s best-selling vehicle, reported its 12th straight month of sales increases, with 49,314 F-Series sold. EcoBoost-equipped F-150s made up 42 percent of retail sales in July. Overall, Ford Motor Company sales were down 4 percent in July due to lower fleet sales. Fleet sales were down 16 percent. Retail sales were up 2 percent. View full article
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 27, 2012 The Wall Street Journal reports that Ford is considering using a aluminum body in the next generation F-150 pickup. The move would drop about 700 lbs, a 15% drop in weight from the current F-150. The reason as to why Ford is exploring the aluminum pickup is due to upcoming CAFE regulations that by 2025, the U.S. vehicle fleet has to average 54.5 miles per gallon. Also, the regulations would ramp up fuel economy goals for vehicles of different sizes each year. Analysts aren't too sure if Ford will go the aluminum body route, saying it wouldn't be too practical. "Full-aluminum structured vehicles are much more expensive to insure because they are much more expensive to repair," said Jim Hall, analyst with 2953 Analytics LLP to the The Detroit News. Hall also said that most body shops cannot work on aluminum cars. Analysts also point out aluminum isn't as durable as steel, which could pose a threat to the F-150 since part of its reputation is built on durability. Analysts believe Ford will use more aluminum in the next generation F-150. Currently, Ford uses aluminum in the F-150's hood and the lower control arm on the SVT Raptor. A source at Ford confirms this to The Detroit News, but also said a design hasn't been finalized. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) via Auto Guide, The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com July 27, 2012 The Wall Street Journal reports that Ford is considering using a aluminum body in the next generation F-150 pickup. The move would drop about 700 lbs, a 15% drop in weight from the current F-150. The reason as to why Ford is exploring the aluminum pickup is due to upcoming CAFE regulations that by 2025, the U.S. vehicle fleet has to average 54.5 miles per gallon. Also, the regulations would ramp up fuel economy goals for vehicles of different sizes each year. Analysts aren't too sure if Ford will go the aluminum body route, saying it wouldn't be too practical. "Full-aluminum structured vehicles are much more expensive to insure because they are much more expensive to repair," said Jim Hall, analyst with 2953 Analytics LLP to the The Detroit News. Hall also said that most body shops cannot work on aluminum cars. Analysts also point out aluminum isn't as durable as steel, which could pose a threat to the F-150 since part of its reputation is built on durability. Analysts believe Ford will use more aluminum in the next generation F-150. Currently, Ford uses aluminum in the F-150's hood and the lower control arm on the SVT Raptor. A source at Ford confirms this to The Detroit News, but also said a design hasn't been finalized. Source: Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required) via Auto Guide, The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  18. Ford Motor Company June and Year-to-Date Sales Up 7%; Escape Sales Best Ever, While Fusion Posts June Record Ford Motor Company’s year-to-date U.S. sales through June increase 7 percent, totaling 1.14 million vehicles; June sales increase 7 percent from last year at 207,759 vehicles sold Ford Escape sales increase 28 percent – the vehicle’s best month ever; the all-new 2013 Escape is selling on dealer lots in less than five days Ford Fusion sales in June increase 17 percent – the best June sales performance ever Ford Explorer sales up 35 percent in June and 15 percent year to date Ford F-Series sales top 50,000 – the best June sales performance in five years, with 55,025 pickups sold DEARBORN, Mich., July 3, 2012 – Ford Motor Company’s U.S. sales are up 7 percent so far this year, with 1.14 million vehicles sold. June sales also increased 7 percent from last year, with 207,759 vehicles sold. Ford sales are increasing across the company’s lineup – with cars up 3 percent, utilities up 9 percent and trucks up 9 percent year to date. In June, the Ford Escape set an any-month record – with sales up 28 percent – while the Ford Fusion set a record for June. Ford Explorer sales were up 35 percent from last year, and F-Series sales are up 11 percent and topped 50,000 for the first June in five years. “June was a good month for Ford and a particularly strong month for vehicles like Escape, Fusion, Explorer and F-Series,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “The new 2013 Escape also is off to a very strong start, with vehicles selling on dealer lots in less than five days – even topping the strong start of the new Explorer in 2010.” Fusion has posted four months in a row of sales records, including its best June result ever with 24,433 vehicles sold – a 17 percent increase from last year. In the first half of this year, Fusion sales are up over last year’s record first half by 4 percent, with 136,849 vehicles sold. Other sales milestones in June: Explorer sales are up 35 percent; Edge sales are up 6 percent; and America’s top-selling vehicle for 30 years, the F-Series, sold 55,025 pickups. F-Series remains America’s number one selling vehicle in the first half of 2012.
  19. Ford Motor Company June and Year-to-Date Sales Up 7%; Escape Sales Best Ever, While Fusion Posts June Record Ford Motor Company’s year-to-date U.S. sales through June increase 7 percent, totaling 1.14 million vehicles; June sales increase 7 percent from last year at 207,759 vehicles sold Ford Escape sales increase 28 percent – the vehicle’s best month ever; the all-new 2013 Escape is selling on dealer lots in less than five days Ford Fusion sales in June increase 17 percent – the best June sales performance ever Ford Explorer sales up 35 percent in June and 15 percent year to date Ford F-Series sales top 50,000 – the best June sales performance in five years, with 55,025 pickups sold DEARBORN, Mich., July 3, 2012 – Ford Motor Company’s U.S. sales are up 7 percent so far this year, with 1.14 million vehicles sold. June sales also increased 7 percent from last year, with 207,759 vehicles sold. Ford sales are increasing across the company’s lineup – with cars up 3 percent, utilities up 9 percent and trucks up 9 percent year to date. In June, the Ford Escape set an any-month record – with sales up 28 percent – while the Ford Fusion set a record for June. Ford Explorer sales were up 35 percent from last year, and F-Series sales are up 11 percent and topped 50,000 for the first June in five years. “June was a good month for Ford and a particularly strong month for vehicles like Escape, Fusion, Explorer and F-Series,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “The new 2013 Escape also is off to a very strong start, with vehicles selling on dealer lots in less than five days – even topping the strong start of the new Explorer in 2010.” Fusion has posted four months in a row of sales records, including its best June result ever with 24,433 vehicles sold – a 17 percent increase from last year. In the first half of this year, Fusion sales are up over last year’s record first half by 4 percent, with 136,849 vehicles sold. Other sales milestones in June: Explorer sales are up 35 percent; Edge sales are up 6 percent; and America’s top-selling vehicle for 30 years, the F-Series, sold 55,025 pickups. F-Series remains America’s number one selling vehicle in the first half of 2012. View full article
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 26, 2012 Ford's current policy on pickup trucks is to continuously update them with new models and powertrains. For the 2013 model year, Ford introduced a mild-refresh of the F-150 and now has a new model to introduce, the F-150 Limited. The Limited takes the place of the King Ranch, Harley-Davidson, and Platinum of being the top dog in the F-150 lineup. With four trucks taking the luxury stance in the F-150 lineup, you're left wondering what makes the Limited special. Unlike the King Ranch, Harley-Davidson, and Platinum, the Limited doesn't really have a stand-out identity.Think of it as a Lariat with more luxuries. The Limited's exterior gets a set of 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, more chrome trim, HID headlights, and raised “Limited” lettering on each side of the bed. The front and rear bumpers, grille surround, fender flares, and side-mirror caps are painted in of three colors available on the Limited: Ruby Red, Tuxedo Black, and White Platinum. Inside, the F-150 Limited gets heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and MyFordTouch standard. Also standard on the Limited is a backup camera, voice-activated navigation, Sony audio system, power-sliding rear window, power running boards, power-folding side mirrors, a 110-volt outlet, a tow package and trailer brake controller, and a reverse sensing system. If you want an F-150 Limited, be prepared since you can only order it as a SuperCrew and get it with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 making 365 HP and a six-speed automatic. You can spec either two or four-wheel drive for the Limited. The F-150 Limited will come out sometime this fall. What Does Ford Have In Store For The 2013 Raptor? 2012 saw massive improvements for the Raptor with a Torsen limited-slip front differential, an available front-view camera, and other items. For 2013, Ford decided to make the Raptor more off-road ready by introducing factory beadlock-compatible alloy wheels, which happen to be the first wheels in the world to offer conventional and Beadlock mounts. Beadlocks secure the edges of the tire between two surfaces, keeping the tire on the rim when off-roading with low tire pressure. If you want this for your 2013 Raptor, you'll need to get a beadlock ring kit from Ford Racing. Other changes for the 2013 Raptor include HID headlights, MyFord Touch, and a new exterior color called Terrain. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Releases on Page 3 & 4 Ford Sets Truck Standard Again with New F-150 Limited, Offering Class-Leading Luxury and Capability Building on three decades of truck leadership and a decade of luxury pickup innovation, Ford marks the 2013 model year with its most refined F-150 yet Offering standard SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, navigation with SiriusXM® Travel Link™, rain-sensing windshield wipers and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, F-150 Limited features an unprecedented level of customer convenience and connectivity technologies Featuring series-specific Limited details on the exterior like dimensional box-side lettering and unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, F-150 Limited has stylish red and black full-grain leather and genuine aluminum and piano black finishes DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2012 – Ford, the industry’s truck leader, marks the launch of the latest F-150 with a new statement on pickup luxury for 2013 – the F-150 Limited. “The F-150 Limited signifies the highest levels of design refinement, luxury and technology that we’ve ever offered in a Built Ford Tough pickup truck,” said Ford Group Vice President for Product Development, Raj Nair. “The F-150 Limited reflects a growing trend – more and more customers today have high expectations for luxury and convenience, yet their needs call for a truly capable truck.” Ford leads the luxury truck segment. In 1999, the company introduced the special-edition 2000 Harley-Davidson F-150. In 2001, the first King Ranch F-150 arrived. The 2009 F-150 took truck luxury to new heights with the Platinum model. Today, more than 30 percent of F-150 sales are from these high-end trims, with MSRPs that start at more than $35,000 and reach almost $50,000. Limited meets the still untapped and growing luxury needs of customers and dealers interested in exclusivity and fine craftsmanship who want to differentiate themselves from other high-end options. F-150 Limited surpasses the well-appointed Lariat, western-themed King Ranch and contemporary Platinum. Refined exterior design The 2013 Ford F-150 Limited design combines unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and center caps with a monochromatic exterior theme available in three handsome hues – Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Tuxedo Black Metallic and White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat. The theme carries through the F-150 Limited exterior design with body-color front and rear bumpers, front bumper valance, sideview mirror caps, wheel-lip molding, upper fascia and grille surround. Segment-first HID headlamps provide a signature look while delivering two and a half times more light than conventional halogen lamps. Lamp detailing even incorporates F-150 insignias. Jewel-like chrome highlights the bold three-bar grille, tie-down hooks lining the cargo box, the single tip of the tuned exhaust and the tow hooks on 4x4 variants. “LIMITED” dimensional lettering accents the box sides. F-150 Limited is available exclusively with a SuperCrew four-door cab configuration. Inside Limited Rich red and black full-grain leather-trimmed seats take luxury and style to new heights in trucks – capitalizing on a trend seen in other high-end luxury vehicles. The seats also offer cooling and heating with memory functionality to remember seating preferences for two different drivers. Head restraints are four-way-adjustable and second-row seats are heated, too. Aluminum trims the center panel and console, lending a sophisticated yet technical touch that complements the piano black accents. Ambient lighting can shift the mood of the F-150 Limited interior, offering five accent colors. A standard moonroof provides the upward view, while the rear view camera aids maneuvering visibility. Voice-activated navigation offers a bird’s-eye view via a centrally mounted 8-inch LCD screen. A power-sliding rear window features privacy tint and defrost functionality. Connectivity comes standard with MyFord Touch® powered by SYNC®. Designers have optimized the physical interface for MyFord Touch to accommodate truck users who may be wearing work gloves by providing easy access to climate controls and audio presets on the center stack. Limited offers a unique gauge cluster design with a 4.2-inch driver-programmable productivity screen that can be customized to monitor various vehicle systems. The new series level also includes a media hub with USB ports, an SD-card reader and RCA video input jacks. A powerful Sony® Audio System is standard. Built Ford Tough F-150 Limited brings uncompromised capability for entrepreneurial and lifestyle pursuits with an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode, trailer tow package, trailer brake controller, Reverse Sensing System, power-deployable running boards and a 110-volt power inverter. PowerFold side mirrors keep warm and dry in inclement weather and help ensure driver visibility with heated glass, memory position functionality, puddle lamps, turn signals and self-dimming actuation. F-150 Limited is powered exclusively by Ford’s ground breaking 3.5-liter Ti-VCT EcoBoost® engine, featuring: 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular fuel Unsurpassed 22 mpg highway for 4x2 model Twin independent variable camshaft timing for improved fuel economy Best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm vs. premium V8 competitors Up to 90 percent peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm To complement that power, sport-tuned dampers are fitted front and rear for confidence-inspiring road dynamics. F-150 Limited arrives at dealerships this fall. Ford Raptor Redefines Factory Off-Road Truck with Exclusive New Beadlock Wheels, High Technology, Camo-Inspired Color Ford raises the F-150 SVT Raptor bar again for 2013, offering industry-exclusive beadlock-capable wheels to help increase grip in low-traction conditions SVT Raptor now offers high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps for improved visibility, SYNC® with MyFord Touch® for added connectivity and an all-new earth-toned color called Terrain New Raptor offerings build on internal triple-bypass FOX Racing Shox™ dampers, Torsen® front differential and front-mounted camera technologies, adding even more high-performance off-road capability DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2012 – Ford is delivering higher levels of capability in the new 2013 F-150 SVT Raptor, answering the call from off-road enthusiasts for even more performance. The latest Raptor features available industry-first, direct-from-the-factory forged-aluminum conventional wheels that can be upgraded after purchase to extra-capable beadlocks, plus other functional improvements. These include available high-intensity discharge HID headlamps that are brighter and whiter than standard lamps, significantly expanded connectivity features and Terrain, a new earth-toned exterior color. “Ford F-150 SVT Raptor’s popularity continues to grow based on its proven reputation,” said Ford SVT Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi. “It’s the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup, so it’s critical that we continue to push the boundaries of off-road capability. New available beadlock wheels help to improve Raptor’s performance in soft sand and other challenging conditions, enabling our customers to go further.” SVT Raptor sales are up 20 percent in 2012, breaking last year’s record in the January to May period. Off-road high performance Raptor’s newly available forged wheel combines the proven reliability of a conventional wheel with the capability to convert to a true beadlock wheel. Beadlock wheels secure the edges of a tire to the wheel between two surfaces so the tire is unlikely to roll off the rim if it’s aired down to very low pressure, providing extra grip on the trail. Raptor’s wheels are unique because converting from conventional rim to beadlock only requires that customers unbolt the standard outer decorative ring, dismount the tire from its regular position and then remount the tire in the lock-enabled position with the available beadlock ring kit from Ford Racing. This marks the first application of a wheel that has both conventional and beadlock-mounting abilities – a solution so innovative that Ford has filed for a patent on the system. “Raptor’s exclusive beadlock wheels give the customer the best of both on- and off-road worlds,” said Adam Wirth, SVT chassis engineer. “Tire inflation can be dropped to a very low threshold for maximum traction under extreme conditions, yet holds tight – and stays tight – when returning to the road.” SVT Raptor connectivity SVT Raptor features Ford’s acclaimed SYNC® communications and entertainment system, allowing hands-free voice-activated control of a driver’s mobile device and the truck’s audio system. For 2013, SVT Raptor adds a new 4.2-inch multifunction LCD screen for the MyFord® driver connect technology. SVT Raptor’s driver connectivity can be upgraded to MyFord Touch® using an 8-inch center stack touch screen with five-way controls mounted on the steering wheel. In addition, this connectivity upgrade features the 4.2-inch productivity screen, mounted in the instrument cluster. Driver-configurable, this LCD screen includes menus for gauge setup, trip computer, fuel economy and towing/off-road applications. Truck-specific MyFord Touch offers additional button controls and rotating knobs to accommodate a driver’s work gloves. SVT Raptor can be specified with an available voice-activated Navigation System using the 8-inch screen and SD-card capability for map and points-of-interest storage. A rear view camera is available as well. Inside SVT Raptor SVT Raptor is equipped with standard unique leather and cloth-trimmed seats, with driver’s side power actuation and six-way adjustability. These seats feature Raptor-specific bolsters to keep the driver and first-row passenger firmly in place, regardless of terrain conditions. The SVT Raptor interior features unique center stack and door trim appliqué finish and leather-trimmed steering wheel with thumb pads. SVT Raptor can be ordered with an optional Luxury Package, adding numerous comfort and convenience technologies. In addition, SVT Raptor can be specified with an interior color accent package, featuring contrasting blue against a black environment and real aluminum trim components. Cloth-trimmed sport seats are available to government and fleet buyers. Outside, SVT Raptor is available in Race Red, Blue Flame Metallic, Tuxedo Black Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, Oxford White and a new Raptor-exclusive hue for 2013, desert camouflage-inspired Terrain. SVT Raptor prowess and power Since launching as a 2010 model, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has set the benchmark for low- and high-speed off-road performance. Aggressive all-terrain tires, industry-exclusive internal triple-bypass FOX Racing Shox™ dampers, skid plates and standard Hill Descent Control™ have established Raptor as an off-road force to be reckoned with. Building on this foundation, SVT engineers expanded Raptor’s footprint for 2011 with a four-door SuperCrew model, joining the two-door SuperCab original. A Raptor development imperative has been to continually improve off-road prowess in every dimension, from rock-crawling to hammer-down desert-running. Last year, Ford began offering a front grille-mounted camera to improve driver visibility when climbing over rocks and other obstacles that might be obscured by the front of the truck. The camera transmits the captured image via the center stack-mounted LCD screen. A washer function helps keep the camera’s field of vision clear in wet and muddy conditions. The 2012 model year saw Raptor add a Torsen® limited-slip differential to the 4WD system enabling the truck to balance traction between both front wheels. If the left front wheel loses traction, the system forces torque to the right front wheel, and vice versa. The system is optimized to help minimize steering kickback when navigating challenging surfaces. The SVT Raptor is available exclusively with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, producing best-in-class 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode and SelectShift Automatic® functionality. The 4WD system features electronic shift-on-the-fly capability for the transfer case. The front axle features the Torsen differential with 4.10 to 1 gearing. The rear axle is also 4.10 to 1, with an electronic-locking differential.
  21. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 26, 2012 Ford's current policy on pickup trucks is to continuously update them with new models and powertrains. For the 2013 model year, Ford introduced a mild-refresh of the F-150 and now has a new model to introduce, the F-150 Limited. The Limited takes the place of the King Ranch, Harley-Davidson, and Platinum of being the top dog in the F-150 lineup. With four trucks taking the luxury stance in the F-150 lineup, you're left wondering what makes the Limited special. Unlike the King Ranch, Harley-Davidson, and Platinum, the Limited doesn't really have a stand-out identity.Think of it as a Lariat with more luxuries. The Limited's exterior gets a set of 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, more chrome trim, HID headlights, and raised “Limited” lettering on each side of the bed. The front and rear bumpers, grille surround, fender flares, and side-mirror caps are painted in of three colors available on the Limited: Ruby Red, Tuxedo Black, and White Platinum. Inside, the F-150 Limited gets heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and MyFordTouch standard. Also standard on the Limited is a backup camera, voice-activated navigation, Sony audio system, power-sliding rear window, power running boards, power-folding side mirrors, a 110-volt outlet, a tow package and trailer brake controller, and a reverse sensing system. If you want an F-150 Limited, be prepared since you can only order it as a SuperCrew and get it with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 making 365 HP and a six-speed automatic. You can spec either two or four-wheel drive for the Limited. The F-150 Limited will come out sometime this fall. What Does Ford Have In Store For The 2013 Raptor? 2012 saw massive improvements for the Raptor with a Torsen limited-slip front differential, an available front-view camera, and other items. For 2013, Ford decided to make the Raptor more off-road ready by introducing factory beadlock-compatible alloy wheels, which happen to be the first wheels in the world to offer conventional and Beadlock mounts. Beadlocks secure the edges of the tire between two surfaces, keeping the tire on the rim when off-roading with low tire pressure. If you want this for your 2013 Raptor, you'll need to get a beadlock ring kit from Ford Racing. Other changes for the 2013 Raptor include HID headlights, MyFord Touch, and a new exterior color called Terrain. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Press Releases on Page 3 & 4 Ford Sets Truck Standard Again with New F-150 Limited, Offering Class-Leading Luxury and Capability Building on three decades of truck leadership and a decade of luxury pickup innovation, Ford marks the 2013 model year with its most refined F-150 yet Offering standard SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, navigation with SiriusXM® Travel Link™, rain-sensing windshield wipers and high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, F-150 Limited features an unprecedented level of customer convenience and connectivity technologies Featuring series-specific Limited details on the exterior like dimensional box-side lettering and unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, F-150 Limited has stylish red and black full-grain leather and genuine aluminum and piano black finishes DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2012 – Ford, the industry’s truck leader, marks the launch of the latest F-150 with a new statement on pickup luxury for 2013 – the F-150 Limited. “The F-150 Limited signifies the highest levels of design refinement, luxury and technology that we’ve ever offered in a Built Ford Tough pickup truck,” said Ford Group Vice President for Product Development, Raj Nair. “The F-150 Limited reflects a growing trend – more and more customers today have high expectations for luxury and convenience, yet their needs call for a truly capable truck.” Ford leads the luxury truck segment. In 1999, the company introduced the special-edition 2000 Harley-Davidson F-150. In 2001, the first King Ranch F-150 arrived. The 2009 F-150 took truck luxury to new heights with the Platinum model. Today, more than 30 percent of F-150 sales are from these high-end trims, with MSRPs that start at more than $35,000 and reach almost $50,000. Limited meets the still untapped and growing luxury needs of customers and dealers interested in exclusivity and fine craftsmanship who want to differentiate themselves from other high-end options. F-150 Limited surpasses the well-appointed Lariat, western-themed King Ranch and contemporary Platinum. Refined exterior design The 2013 Ford F-150 Limited design combines unique 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and center caps with a monochromatic exterior theme available in three handsome hues – Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Tuxedo Black Metallic and White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat. The theme carries through the F-150 Limited exterior design with body-color front and rear bumpers, front bumper valance, sideview mirror caps, wheel-lip molding, upper fascia and grille surround. Segment-first HID headlamps provide a signature look while delivering two and a half times more light than conventional halogen lamps. Lamp detailing even incorporates F-150 insignias. Jewel-like chrome highlights the bold three-bar grille, tie-down hooks lining the cargo box, the single tip of the tuned exhaust and the tow hooks on 4x4 variants. “LIMITED” dimensional lettering accents the box sides. F-150 Limited is available exclusively with a SuperCrew four-door cab configuration. Inside Limited Rich red and black full-grain leather-trimmed seats take luxury and style to new heights in trucks – capitalizing on a trend seen in other high-end luxury vehicles. The seats also offer cooling and heating with memory functionality to remember seating preferences for two different drivers. Head restraints are four-way-adjustable and second-row seats are heated, too. Aluminum trims the center panel and console, lending a sophisticated yet technical touch that complements the piano black accents. Ambient lighting can shift the mood of the F-150 Limited interior, offering five accent colors. A standard moonroof provides the upward view, while the rear view camera aids maneuvering visibility. Voice-activated navigation offers a bird’s-eye view via a centrally mounted 8-inch LCD screen. A power-sliding rear window features privacy tint and defrost functionality. Connectivity comes standard with MyFord Touch® powered by SYNC®. Designers have optimized the physical interface for MyFord Touch to accommodate truck users who may be wearing work gloves by providing easy access to climate controls and audio presets on the center stack. Limited offers a unique gauge cluster design with a 4.2-inch driver-programmable productivity screen that can be customized to monitor various vehicle systems. The new series level also includes a media hub with USB ports, an SD-card reader and RCA video input jacks. A powerful Sony® Audio System is standard. Built Ford Tough F-150 Limited brings uncompromised capability for entrepreneurial and lifestyle pursuits with an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode, trailer tow package, trailer brake controller, Reverse Sensing System, power-deployable running boards and a 110-volt power inverter. PowerFold side mirrors keep warm and dry in inclement weather and help ensure driver visibility with heated glass, memory position functionality, puddle lamps, turn signals and self-dimming actuation. F-150 Limited is powered exclusively by Ford’s ground breaking 3.5-liter Ti-VCT EcoBoost® engine, featuring: 365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular fuel Unsurpassed 22 mpg highway for 4x2 model Twin independent variable camshaft timing for improved fuel economy Best-in-class 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm vs. premium V8 competitors Up to 90 percent peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm To complement that power, sport-tuned dampers are fitted front and rear for confidence-inspiring road dynamics. F-150 Limited arrives at dealerships this fall. Ford Raptor Redefines Factory Off-Road Truck with Exclusive New Beadlock Wheels, High Technology, Camo-Inspired Color Ford raises the F-150 SVT Raptor bar again for 2013, offering industry-exclusive beadlock-capable wheels to help increase grip in low-traction conditions SVT Raptor now offers high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps for improved visibility, SYNC® with MyFord Touch® for added connectivity and an all-new earth-toned color called Terrain New Raptor offerings build on internal triple-bypass FOX Racing Shox™ dampers, Torsen® front differential and front-mounted camera technologies, adding even more high-performance off-road capability DEARBORN, Mich., June 26, 2012 – Ford is delivering higher levels of capability in the new 2013 F-150 SVT Raptor, answering the call from off-road enthusiasts for even more performance. The latest Raptor features available industry-first, direct-from-the-factory forged-aluminum conventional wheels that can be upgraded after purchase to extra-capable beadlocks, plus other functional improvements. These include available high-intensity discharge HID headlamps that are brighter and whiter than standard lamps, significantly expanded connectivity features and Terrain, a new earth-toned exterior color. “Ford F-150 SVT Raptor’s popularity continues to grow based on its proven reputation,” said Ford SVT Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi. “It’s the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup, so it’s critical that we continue to push the boundaries of off-road capability. New available beadlock wheels help to improve Raptor’s performance in soft sand and other challenging conditions, enabling our customers to go further.” SVT Raptor sales are up 20 percent in 2012, breaking last year’s record in the January to May period. Off-road high performance Raptor’s newly available forged wheel combines the proven reliability of a conventional wheel with the capability to convert to a true beadlock wheel. Beadlock wheels secure the edges of a tire to the wheel between two surfaces so the tire is unlikely to roll off the rim if it’s aired down to very low pressure, providing extra grip on the trail. Raptor’s wheels are unique because converting from conventional rim to beadlock only requires that customers unbolt the standard outer decorative ring, dismount the tire from its regular position and then remount the tire in the lock-enabled position with the available beadlock ring kit from Ford Racing. This marks the first application of a wheel that has both conventional and beadlock-mounting abilities – a solution so innovative that Ford has filed for a patent on the system. “Raptor’s exclusive beadlock wheels give the customer the best of both on- and off-road worlds,” said Adam Wirth, SVT chassis engineer. “Tire inflation can be dropped to a very low threshold for maximum traction under extreme conditions, yet holds tight – and stays tight – when returning to the road.” SVT Raptor connectivity SVT Raptor features Ford’s acclaimed SYNC® communications and entertainment system, allowing hands-free voice-activated control of a driver’s mobile device and the truck’s audio system. For 2013, SVT Raptor adds a new 4.2-inch multifunction LCD screen for the MyFord® driver connect technology. SVT Raptor’s driver connectivity can be upgraded to MyFord Touch® using an 8-inch center stack touch screen with five-way controls mounted on the steering wheel. In addition, this connectivity upgrade features the 4.2-inch productivity screen, mounted in the instrument cluster. Driver-configurable, this LCD screen includes menus for gauge setup, trip computer, fuel economy and towing/off-road applications. Truck-specific MyFord Touch offers additional button controls and rotating knobs to accommodate a driver’s work gloves. SVT Raptor can be specified with an available voice-activated Navigation System using the 8-inch screen and SD-card capability for map and points-of-interest storage. A rear view camera is available as well. Inside SVT Raptor SVT Raptor is equipped with standard unique leather and cloth-trimmed seats, with driver’s side power actuation and six-way adjustability. These seats feature Raptor-specific bolsters to keep the driver and first-row passenger firmly in place, regardless of terrain conditions. The SVT Raptor interior features unique center stack and door trim appliqué finish and leather-trimmed steering wheel with thumb pads. SVT Raptor can be ordered with an optional Luxury Package, adding numerous comfort and convenience technologies. In addition, SVT Raptor can be specified with an interior color accent package, featuring contrasting blue against a black environment and real aluminum trim components. Cloth-trimmed sport seats are available to government and fleet buyers. Outside, SVT Raptor is available in Race Red, Blue Flame Metallic, Tuxedo Black Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, Oxford White and a new Raptor-exclusive hue for 2013, desert camouflage-inspired Terrain. SVT Raptor prowess and power Since launching as a 2010 model, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has set the benchmark for low- and high-speed off-road performance. Aggressive all-terrain tires, industry-exclusive internal triple-bypass FOX Racing Shox™ dampers, skid plates and standard Hill Descent Control™ have established Raptor as an off-road force to be reckoned with. Building on this foundation, SVT engineers expanded Raptor’s footprint for 2011 with a four-door SuperCrew model, joining the two-door SuperCab original. A Raptor development imperative has been to continually improve off-road prowess in every dimension, from rock-crawling to hammer-down desert-running. Last year, Ford began offering a front grille-mounted camera to improve driver visibility when climbing over rocks and other obstacles that might be obscured by the front of the truck. The camera transmits the captured image via the center stack-mounted LCD screen. A washer function helps keep the camera’s field of vision clear in wet and muddy conditions. The 2012 model year saw Raptor add a Torsen® limited-slip differential to the 4WD system enabling the truck to balance traction between both front wheels. If the left front wheel loses traction, the system forces torque to the right front wheel, and vice versa. The system is optimized to help minimize steering kickback when navigating challenging surfaces. The SVT Raptor is available exclusively with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, producing best-in-class 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode and SelectShift Automatic® functionality. The 4WD system features electronic shift-on-the-fly capability for the transfer case. The front axle features the Torsen differential with 4.10 to 1 gearing. The rear axle is also 4.10 to 1, with an electronic-locking differential. View full article
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 28, 2012 The average age of a vehicle in the U.S. has hit a record high. According to Experian Automotive, the average age of the 245 million vehicles registered in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2012 was 11 years. That's an increase of just over 2 months when compared to last year. Experian Automotive goes onto say that more than 52 million cars and trucks in the U.S. are 16 years or older. Experian Automotive's analysis also found that Ford has the most models on the road compared to any other automaker. That really shouldn't come as a surprise since the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 30 straight years. The top four automakers with the oldest models on the road include; Ford: 17.2% Chevrolet: 15.8% Honda: 10.4% Toyota: 7.3% The four most popular models are; Ford F-150: 3.4% Honda Accord: 2.6% Toyota Camry: 2.6% Chevrolet Sliverado: 2.0% Why are there more old vehicles on the road? For one, the recession and sluggish recovery has caused people put off buying or trading-in for a new or used car. Also, vehicles are just better built. During the 90's, improvement in quality picked up serious momentum. Source: CNBC William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster
  23. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com June 28, 2012 The average age of a vehicle in the U.S. has hit a record high. According to Experian Automotive, the average age of the 245 million vehicles registered in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2012 was 11 years. That's an increase of just over 2 months when compared to last year. Experian Automotive goes onto say that more than 52 million cars and trucks in the U.S. are 16 years or older. Experian Automotive's analysis also found that Ford has the most models on the road compared to any other automaker. That really shouldn't come as a surprise since the Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for 30 straight years. The top four automakers with the oldest models on the road include; Ford: 17.2% Chevrolet: 15.8% Honda: 10.4% Toyota: 7.3% The four most popular models are; Ford F-150: 3.4% Honda Accord: 2.6% Toyota Camry: 2.6% Chevrolet Sliverado: 2.0% Why are there more old vehicles on the road? For one, the recession and sluggish recovery has caused people put off buying or trading-in for a new or used car. Also, vehicles are just better built. During the 90's, improvement in quality picked up serious momentum. Source: CNBC William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster View full article
  24. Focus ST, Ford’s First Global Performance Car, Pairs Performance with Comfort, Style with Power All-new Ford Focus ST brings the Sport Technologies badge to customers worldwide for the first time, offering that blend of refinement and performance for which ST is renowned Focus ST will be available in more than 40 markets including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and 15 countries in Europe The Ford Global Performance Vehicles group – a partnership between Europe’s Team RS and North America’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) – is responsible for the engineering of the Focus ST DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 3, 2011 – Beginning next year with the Ford Focus ST, North American drivers will be able to own a performance car previously unavailable on this continent. The Focus ST is Ford’s first truly global performance car, building on the heritage of previous Focus ST models in Europe and giving drivers around the world the opportunity to share the exhilarating performance, excellent handling, addictive sound and sporty design Ford’s ST badge represents. The North American production car makes its U.S. debut this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Ford ST global DNA Beneath the skin of the new Focus ST lies the DNA for the ST range. Working together, the Global Performance Vehicles group – made up of Team RS in Europe and Special Vehicle Team (SVT) in the United States – devised a strategy for all future global performance Ford cars. “Focus ST has not come around by chance,” said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles. “What came first was our global performance strategy, which has been developed with North America, Europe and Asia together. With this, the core DNA attributes – steering, driving dynamics, sound quality and power enhancements for all ST models – have been defined to the extent that our engineers can take that global DNA fingerprint and use it to create the new Focus ST.” The new Focus ST has key physical DNA attributes like the aggressively enhanced front and rear bumpers, the addition of a rear spoiler and side skirts, plus unique signature colors. The five-door Focus ST delivers the same driving attributes that make all Ford ST models stand out. The chassis, engine, sound and comfort of the car are tuned to deliver a truly sporty experience combined with a high level of refinement. These same attributes will form the genetic code for future models bearing the Sport Technologies badge. Performance meets efficiency under the hood Focus ST is powered by the 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost® engine, which offers an uncompromising mix of performance and efficiency. Ford’s lightweight, all-aluminum EcoBoost engines provide the power of a larger engine in a fuel-efficient smaller displacement, leveraging three key technologies. High-pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbocharging and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) create an advanced combustion system that brings new levels of performance and fuel efficiency. The EcoBoost 2.0-liter in the Focus ST reduces both CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. “This is the first time we have used a Ford EcoBoost engine in a high-performance model, and the result will leave drivers smiling,” said Capito. “They will have a lot of power and torque at their disposal throughout the rev range. For everyday driving, though, the characteristics of this car will let them drive in a more fuel-efficient way than previously, which is an essential part of the ST’s DNA.” Mated to the 2.0-liter engine is a six-speed manual transmission, which has specially revised gearing to produce the maximum punch from each throw of the gearshift. The Global Performance Vehicles group devoted significant attention to detail to ensure the ratio of sixth gear was perfectly in tune with the Focus ST, giving the driver optimum performance while remaining long enough to help maintain excellent fuel economy on longer runs. Five-cylinder sound The previous-generation European Focus ST was acclaimed for its five-cylinder engine sound. With the introduction of the four-cylinder EcoBoost into the new Focus ST, Ford sound engineers ensured the audible delights from the new engine maintain the same robust tone. A significant part of this process is the reworking of the famed sound symposer, first found on the previous Focus ST and subsequently employed on European Focus RS and RS500 models. “People loved the sound of the previous Focus ST,” said Capito. “The physics and acoustics of a five-cylinder engine compared to a four-cylinder are very different, but like Beethoven and Mozart – both of whom created fantastic, yet very different music – we believe the engine note of the new Focus ST will delight enthusiasts in the same way.” It’s not only the engine note that sounds fantastic on the new Focus ST. The exhaust system – with unique center-exit tailpipes – is tuned to deliver a perfectly balanced audible experience. Drivers will be rewarded with an orchestra of sporty sounds to heighten the driving experience, but should they desire a more relaxing drive, the refinement of the cabin and tuning of exhaust and engine note will give them exactly that at lower rpm. Thrilling driving dynamics Incredible driving dynamics are at the heart of the Focus ST. Innovation and technology combine to create a chassis capable of exceeding the expectations of even the most demanding enthusiast, while giving novice drivers an unforgettable experience. From the driver’s seat, customers will experience the newly developed Ford sport steering system. This variable-ratio steering rack is designed to increase the agility of the Focus ST on winding roads yet still inspire the same high-speed confidence. The unique system makes steering less sensitive when driving in a straight line but increases the sensitivity during cornering. Drivers can keep their hands firmly on the steering wheel through tight hairpins, maximizing their control over the car. It also has benefits in slow-speed situations such as tight parking maneuvers, with less input needed from the driver to direct the car into the space. Focus ST’s electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) also is enhanced with Ford’s torque steer compensation. More aggressive tuning of the torque steer compensation allows drivers to accelerate at full throttle yet still find grip on roads with uneven surfaces. The system detects the torque steer that those conditions can create and communicates with the EPAS software, which then counteracts the effect to virtually eliminate the sensation for the driver. Further enhancements have been made to the Focus ST’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC), with emphasis placed on driver enjoyment. Drivers will have three modes of ESC to choose from. These can be selected according to weather and road conditions or simply to match the driver’s desire for help from additional driving aids. In the first instance, ESC works much the same way as the innovative system found on the base-model Focus, though for ST it is tuned to be nonintrusive. This standard mode supports the driver on all surfaces – dry, wet or snowy – providing the confidence to drive safely regardless of the conditions. The driver can opt to select the second mode, called reduced or wide-slip mode, in which the traction control is turned off. Here, traction is handled by the driver, while the ESC is programmed to intrude only when absolutely necessary. ESC can be switched off completely, resulting in the Focus ST in its purest form, giving full control of the chassis to the driver who is in a position to exploit it, such as on a racetrack. Only the sub-features – such as enhanced Torque Vectoring Control (ETVC) – remain active, optimizing the enjoyment of the Focus ST’s abilities. Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control Through the corners, ETVC is an essential aid for Focus ST drivers, a tuned version of the Torque Vectoring Control found on the base-model Focus. The standard system uses torque vectoring by braking, in which brake torque is applied to the inner wheel of the Focus through a corner, reducing understeer and allowing for more traction, much like a traditional limited-slip differential. The Focus ST’s ETVC applies steering pressure more aggressively and also adds cornering control, which applies torque to create a yaw effect based on the car’s understeer, both in power-on and power-off conditions. Combined, they ensure ETVC is a crucial element in helping make the front-wheel-drive Focus ST a true driver’s machine, able to tackle any corner with confidence. Sports suspension Working in harmony with the advanced driver-assistance features is the finely tuned suspension setup of the new Focus ST. Upgraded shock absorbers and springs lower the ST chassis for a more aggressive stance while the center of gravity is brought closer to the road, which aids precise cornering. The rear suspension has been revised with a number of new parts developed specifically for Focus ST. Key components are the uprated suspension knuckles and an all-new anti-roll bar design, both the result of the development team’s desire to give drivers an outstanding amount of feedback and control. Iconic alloy wheels The iconic Y-shaped spoke design of the European Focus ST has evolved for the new incarnation. A set of 18-inch alloy wheels carries on the recognized Focus ST style, and subtle revisions bring it up to date for 2012. Wrapped around the alloy wheels are high-performance 235/40R-18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tires, developed after rigorous testing on all kinds of road surfaces and in all kinds of conditions, including the Nürburgring in Germany. “The same tires will be offered on the Focus ST in every country,” said Matthias Tonn, chief program engineer for the Focus ST. “They are designed to extract the best performance from the car on all road conditions. They don’t compromise on performance, and they get the best out of the chassis and driver systems of the car.” Bold and muscular outside In North America the new Focus ST will be available as a five-door hatchback. The new signature production color, Tangerine Scream, reflects the exciting and energetic character of the Focus ST, but the other available colors in North America – Performance Blue, Race Red, Oxford White, Tuxedo Black and Ingot Silver – also indicate a car built for performance. “The changes we made to deliver superior aerodynamics and vehicle performance have made the new Focus ST even more sporty and distinctive,” explained Martin Smith, executive design director, Ford of Europe. “Exciting new design treatments at the front and rear give the ST a more dynamic and purposeful character, making it very clear this is definitely a sporting Focus.” From the striking one-piece design interpretation of Ford’s signature trapezoidal grille at the front, through the sculpted side skirts and dynamic rear bumper with prominent diffuser-style vents in the lower fascia, Focus ST’s design adds aggression and aerodynamic stability compared to the base models. Drivers following Focus ST will notice the highly effective roof spoiler, optimized to deliver improved high-speed stability and reduced drag. They will also see the unique center-exit exhaust with a tailpipe design influenced by the exclusive hexagonal mesh of the front bumper. Stylish and sporty inside Inside, Ford designers worked hard to ensure the driver feels as connected to the car as possible. Sporty Recaro seats – available in partial or full leather – help deliver a unique, cockpit look and provide exceptional support and comfort. Building on the Focus’ cockpit feel, the ST’s sporty feeling is further heightened. Details range from specially designed pedals to the steering wheel and gearshift. The darker headlining and trim on the pillars, an integral part of the ST’s design DNA, adds to the performance feel. Rooted in history, built for the future The all-new Ford Focus ST boasts almost double the output from its 2.0-liter EcoBoost than the original European Focus ST. Yet the dynamic driving hallmarks of that original hot Focus can also be found in this new edition.
  25. Ford Boss 302 TracKey Comes With Different Warranty William Maley - Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com October 29, 2011 In the why you should read the fine print files; Mustang Daily says owners who opt to have a TracKey installed in to their Boss 302 at a Ford Dealer will have a shorter warranty. Instead of a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty that comes standard on the Mustang Boss 302, the track key drops the warranty down to three-year, 36,000-mile warranty. Also, Ford has said any modifications done to a Boss 302, including cold air kits, cams, headers or superchargers used alongside the TracKey can cause engine damage and will not be covered by the warranty. Despite the shorten warranty, a Ford Racing spokesman tells Mustang Daily they don’t see any reliability issues with the TracKey. “We’ve done our homework and expect this to be a zero occurrence issue but we have to cover it just in case,” he said. Source: Mustang Daily

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