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  1. Ford is giving taxi companies two new fuel efficient options for their next vehicle. This week, the automaker unveiled the Fusion Hybrid and Transit Connect diesel taxis. “Taxi operators want vehicles that are reliable, efficient and comfortable. Transit Connect Taxi and Fusion Hybrid Taxi offer all three with special attention to potentially help lower fuel costs. Plus, Fusion Hybrid underscores our commitment to introduce even more efficient and capable hybrids in the future,” said Imran Jalal, brand and communications manager for Ford fleet marketing. The Fusion Hybrid taxi isn't based on the model you can pickup from dealers. Instead, Ford is plucking some parts from the Police Responder Hybrid to handle the rigors of a taxi. This includes the suspension, high-performance brakes, and steel wheels. Buyers can choose either between heavy-duty cloth or vinyl upholstery. For the Transit Connect taxi, Ford is equipping it with their upcoming EcoBlue 1.4L turbodiesel engine. Taxi specific features include a recessed second-row seat, taxi upfit wiring harness, roof access hole for signage, and rear backup sensors. The Transit Connect taxi can also be made wheelchair accessible via Ford's Qualified Vehicle Modifier program. Both taxi models will go on sale later this year. Source: Ford Ford Introduces Two New Fuel-Efficient Taxis; Hybrid And Diesel Versions Give Operators More Choice, Potential Savings Company introduces two new taxis today – diesel and hybrid – giving operators even more choices to potentially save fuel New Transit Connect Taxi, when equipped with an available EcoBlue® diesel engine, is targeted to return an EPA-estimated Highway rating of at least 30 mpg All-new Fusion Hybrid Taxi is purpose-built for livery service; includes parts designed for the rigorous duty cycle of the 2019 Police Responder Hybrid Sedan and is projected to offer an EPA-estimated Combined rating of 38 mpg DEARBORN, Mich., June 14, 2018 – Ford, America’s commercial vehicle leader, introduces two new taxis: the new 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and Ford’s most fuel-efficient, purpose-built taxi ever – the 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi. “Taxi operators want vehicles that are reliable, efficient and comfortable,” said Imran Jalal, brand and communications manager for Ford fleet marketing. “Transit Connect Taxi and Fusion Hybrid Taxi offer all three with special attention to potentially help lower fuel costs. Plus, Fusion Hybrid underscores our commitment to introduce even more efficient and capable hybrids in the future.” New 2019 Transit Connect Taxi Transit Connect Taxi, when equipped with available 1.5-liter EcoBlue® diesel engine, is targeted to return an EPA-estimated Highway rating of at least 30 mpg. Actual mileage will vary. Final EPA-estimated ratings available early 2019. The Transit Connect Taxi offers seating for five with a roomy, flexible interior well-suited for livery service. It features more than 60 cubic-feet cargo volume behind the second row, more than the Nissan NV200 Taxi. Along with the newly available EcoBlue diesel engine, the new 2019 Transit Connect Taxi comes with a recessed second-row seat, a taxi upfit wiring harness, first-row side curtain airbags, optional roof access hole for signage and a reverse sensing system. It is also available with School Bus Yellow paint. Standard dual sliding side doors provide riders with a wide entrance and exit. A low vehicle floor ensures easy step-ups and step-downs. The new taxi can be made wheelchair accessible through the Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier program. The modification features an easy-to-deploy ramp that doubles as a deck for cargo when stowed in the back. First-ever Fusion Hybrid Taxi The first-ever Fusion Hybrid Taxi shares parts with the Ford Police Responder Hybrid for improved durability in a livery duty cycle (police vehicles come with many heavy-duty chassis parts, like wheels and suspension). For Fusion Hybrid Taxi, Ford is projecting EPA-estimated ranges comparable to that of the Ford Police Responder Hybrid (projected EPA-estimated ratings of 40 mpg City/36 mpg Highway/38 mpg Combined). Actual mileage will vary. The 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi includes a police-tuned suspension with increased ride height and calibrated high-performance brakes, plus steel wheels. It features heavy-duty cloth seating or optional vinyl seating, vinyl floors, available School Bus Yellow paint, a standard rearview camera, and a mounting plate on top of the instrument panel to secure taxi meters and other fleet equipment. The 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi can be ordered now. The 1.5-liter EcoBlue® diesel on 2019 Transit Connect will be available to order soon. Both Ford taxi models go on sale by year-end. View full article
  2. Ford is giving taxi companies two new fuel efficient options for their next vehicle. This week, the automaker unveiled the Fusion Hybrid and Transit Connect diesel taxis. “Taxi operators want vehicles that are reliable, efficient and comfortable. Transit Connect Taxi and Fusion Hybrid Taxi offer all three with special attention to potentially help lower fuel costs. Plus, Fusion Hybrid underscores our commitment to introduce even more efficient and capable hybrids in the future,” said Imran Jalal, brand and communications manager for Ford fleet marketing. The Fusion Hybrid taxi isn't based on the model you can pickup from dealers. Instead, Ford is plucking some parts from the Police Responder Hybrid to handle the rigors of a taxi. This includes the suspension, high-performance brakes, and steel wheels. Buyers can choose either between heavy-duty cloth or vinyl upholstery. For the Transit Connect taxi, Ford is equipping it with their upcoming EcoBlue 1.4L turbodiesel engine. Taxi specific features include a recessed second-row seat, taxi upfit wiring harness, roof access hole for signage, and rear backup sensors. The Transit Connect taxi can also be made wheelchair accessible via Ford's Qualified Vehicle Modifier program. Both taxi models will go on sale later this year. Source: Ford Ford Introduces Two New Fuel-Efficient Taxis; Hybrid And Diesel Versions Give Operators More Choice, Potential Savings Company introduces two new taxis today – diesel and hybrid – giving operators even more choices to potentially save fuel New Transit Connect Taxi, when equipped with an available EcoBlue® diesel engine, is targeted to return an EPA-estimated Highway rating of at least 30 mpg All-new Fusion Hybrid Taxi is purpose-built for livery service; includes parts designed for the rigorous duty cycle of the 2019 Police Responder Hybrid Sedan and is projected to offer an EPA-estimated Combined rating of 38 mpg DEARBORN, Mich., June 14, 2018 – Ford, America’s commercial vehicle leader, introduces two new taxis: the new 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and Ford’s most fuel-efficient, purpose-built taxi ever – the 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi. “Taxi operators want vehicles that are reliable, efficient and comfortable,” said Imran Jalal, brand and communications manager for Ford fleet marketing. “Transit Connect Taxi and Fusion Hybrid Taxi offer all three with special attention to potentially help lower fuel costs. Plus, Fusion Hybrid underscores our commitment to introduce even more efficient and capable hybrids in the future.” New 2019 Transit Connect Taxi Transit Connect Taxi, when equipped with available 1.5-liter EcoBlue® diesel engine, is targeted to return an EPA-estimated Highway rating of at least 30 mpg. Actual mileage will vary. Final EPA-estimated ratings available early 2019. The Transit Connect Taxi offers seating for five with a roomy, flexible interior well-suited for livery service. It features more than 60 cubic-feet cargo volume behind the second row, more than the Nissan NV200 Taxi. Along with the newly available EcoBlue diesel engine, the new 2019 Transit Connect Taxi comes with a recessed second-row seat, a taxi upfit wiring harness, first-row side curtain airbags, optional roof access hole for signage and a reverse sensing system. It is also available with School Bus Yellow paint. Standard dual sliding side doors provide riders with a wide entrance and exit. A low vehicle floor ensures easy step-ups and step-downs. The new taxi can be made wheelchair accessible through the Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier program. The modification features an easy-to-deploy ramp that doubles as a deck for cargo when stowed in the back. First-ever Fusion Hybrid Taxi The first-ever Fusion Hybrid Taxi shares parts with the Ford Police Responder Hybrid for improved durability in a livery duty cycle (police vehicles come with many heavy-duty chassis parts, like wheels and suspension). For Fusion Hybrid Taxi, Ford is projecting EPA-estimated ranges comparable to that of the Ford Police Responder Hybrid (projected EPA-estimated ratings of 40 mpg City/36 mpg Highway/38 mpg Combined). Actual mileage will vary. The 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi includes a police-tuned suspension with increased ride height and calibrated high-performance brakes, plus steel wheels. It features heavy-duty cloth seating or optional vinyl seating, vinyl floors, available School Bus Yellow paint, a standard rearview camera, and a mounting plate on top of the instrument panel to secure taxi meters and other fleet equipment. The 2019 Transit Connect Taxi and 2019 Fusion Hybrid Taxi can be ordered now. The 1.5-liter EcoBlue® diesel on 2019 Transit Connect will be available to order soon. Both Ford taxi models go on sale by year-end.
  3. Ford has sneakily teased the next-generation Explorer by releasing some photos of the next-generation Police Interceptor Utility. At first glance, you might think that you're looking at current Interceptor Utility. But Car and Driver did some tweaks to the photos which reveal some key changes. Proportions more in line with a rear-wheel drive platform - longer front, shorter rear. Dash-to-axle ratio is different to the current model A belt line that rises Slightly tapered roofline (We've done our own set of tweaks to the photos which can be seen at the bottom of the article.) Ford also announced that the next-generation Police Interceptor Utility will offer some sort of hybrid powertrain. The company is tight-lipped on specifics on the powertrain (like if it uses a four-cylinder or a V6), but says it is 40 percent more efficient than the 3.7L V6 and will return a combined figure of 24 mpg - 2 mpg better than the front-wheel drive 2.0L EcoBoost. Ford also claims the new Interceptor also boasts a larger cargo model, even with the hybrid's battery pack. Ford isn't saying either if this would be appearing on the civilian Explorer, but it would seem to be a safe bet as Ford announced that their utility vehicles would offer some sort of electrification. Source: Ford All-New Ford Police Interceptor Utility Pursuit-Rated Hybrid Offers Improved Performance, Lower Gas Costs All-New Ford Police Interceptor Utility is purpose-built for law enforcement with a standard hybrid powertrain that doesn’t compromise interior space, improves pursuit performance and aims to lower fuel costs, and it comes with standard all-wheel drive Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid expected to save an estimated $3,200 per vehicle in yearly fuel bills versus today’s non-hybrid model, saving tax dollars Ford Telematics with built-in Ford modem and complimentary two-year subscription comes with every vehicle to enable agencies to gain access to quality vehicle information, including fuel use data, CO2 emissions reduction, vehicle health alerts and more WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2018 – Ford, America's best-selling police brand, today introduced the all-new Police Interceptor Utility, the industry's first pursuit-rated hybrid SUV. The all-new Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid responds to calls from law enforcement agencies for improved performance with lower operating costs to help make the lives of law enforcement officers easier with improved pursuit performance and standard all-wheel drive – and save agencies and taxpayers money. Its hybrid batteries are specially placed inside the vehicle so they do not compromise passenger or cargo space. The all-new Police Interceptor Utility also reflects Ford’s plan to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid or both versions for every new utility in North America. “We’re committed to electrifying vehicles for all customers, including law enforcement who need the high performance and low operating costs that Ford’s next-generation hybrids will excel at providing,” said Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing. “Standard all-wheel drive is important because crooks don’t stop when it rains.” While fuel economy certification isn’t complete, the Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is expected to have a projected EPA-estimated combined label of at least 24 mpg – approximately 40 percent improvement over the current 3.7-liter V6. Anticipated fuel economy gains, combined with expected fuel savings from reduced engine idling time, are expected to help save law-enforcement customers an estimated $3,200 per vehicle in yearly fuel bills versus the current Police Interceptor Utility. If you applied these savings to every Ford Police Interceptor Utility sold in 2017, it would equate to more than $126 million at $2.93 a gallon, or more than 43 million gallons of fuel. Sales of Ford Police Interceptor Utility rose 5 percent in 2018, building on five straight years of sales growth and capturing 65 percent of the total U.S. police vehicle market. The all-new Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is projected to accelerate faster, achieve a higher top speed and have at least 40 percent better fuel economy than the previous V6-powered model, helping catch suspected lawbreakers and reduce costs. The new hybrid-powered Police Interceptor Utility also reduces engine idling time to save fuel when the vehicle is stationary. They hybrid can power demanding electrical loads from lights, computers, radios and other equipment using its lithium-ion hybrid battery, allowing the gasoline engine to shut off and intermittently run to charge the battery. The Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is calibrated for law enforcement’s unique duty cycle. The utility automatically switches to maximum performance – with the engine and battery working at peak acceleration levels – when needed. In addition to improved performance and no trade-offs in utility, cargo and passenger space, the Police Interceptor Utility features exclusive 75-mph rear impact protection for safety. Technology Upgrades The new Police Interceptor Utility also offers the following features, including: Standard Ford modem and two-year complimentary Ford Telematics service – a powerful simple-to-use tool that provides vehicle data regarding fuel use, CO2 emissions reduction, and vehicle health Available all-new Police Perimeter Alert enhances previous Surveillance Mode by using the vehicle’s Blind Spot Information System that can monitor approximately 270-degrees of movement outside the vehicle, and analyze motion to determine potentially threatening behavior. It features a visual display in the instrument cluster that shows moving objects, the motion trail, and threat level. When suspicious behavior is detected, the vehicle automatically sounds a chime, rolls up the windows and locks the doors Available Rear Camera on Demand that allows officers to see what’s happening behind the vehicle Available Class III trailer tow package that enables Police Interceptor Utility to tow up to 5,000 pounds “With Ford Telematics, we’re helping our police customers unlock the data from their vehicles to provide them with more effective ways to manage their fleets and improve operations,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford Police Brand Marketing Manager. The all-new Ford Police Interceptor hybrid will be built at Ford Chicago Assembly plant and up-fitted at Ford’s Chicago Modification Center. It goes on sale next summer. View full article
  4. Ford has sneakily teased the next-generation Explorer by releasing some photos of the next-generation Police Interceptor Utility. At first glance, you might think that you're looking at current Interceptor Utility. But Car and Driver did some tweaks to the photos which reveal some key changes. Proportions more in line with a rear-wheel drive platform - longer front, shorter rear. Dash-to-axle ratio is different to the current model A belt line that rises Slightly tapered roofline (We've done our own set of tweaks to the photos which can be seen at the bottom of the article.) Ford also announced that the next-generation Police Interceptor Utility will offer some sort of hybrid powertrain. The company is tight-lipped on specifics on the powertrain (like if it uses a four-cylinder or a V6), but says it is 40 percent more efficient than the 3.7L V6 and will return a combined figure of 24 mpg - 2 mpg better than the front-wheel drive 2.0L EcoBoost. Ford also claims the new Interceptor also boasts a larger cargo model, even with the hybrid's battery pack. Ford isn't saying either if this would be appearing on the civilian Explorer, but it would seem to be a safe bet as Ford announced that their utility vehicles would offer some sort of electrification. Source: Ford All-New Ford Police Interceptor Utility Pursuit-Rated Hybrid Offers Improved Performance, Lower Gas Costs All-New Ford Police Interceptor Utility is purpose-built for law enforcement with a standard hybrid powertrain that doesn’t compromise interior space, improves pursuit performance and aims to lower fuel costs, and it comes with standard all-wheel drive Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid expected to save an estimated $3,200 per vehicle in yearly fuel bills versus today’s non-hybrid model, saving tax dollars Ford Telematics with built-in Ford modem and complimentary two-year subscription comes with every vehicle to enable agencies to gain access to quality vehicle information, including fuel use data, CO2 emissions reduction, vehicle health alerts and more WASHINGTON, D.C., June 12, 2018 – Ford, America's best-selling police brand, today introduced the all-new Police Interceptor Utility, the industry's first pursuit-rated hybrid SUV. The all-new Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid responds to calls from law enforcement agencies for improved performance with lower operating costs to help make the lives of law enforcement officers easier with improved pursuit performance and standard all-wheel drive – and save agencies and taxpayers money. Its hybrid batteries are specially placed inside the vehicle so they do not compromise passenger or cargo space. The all-new Police Interceptor Utility also reflects Ford’s plan to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid or both versions for every new utility in North America. “We’re committed to electrifying vehicles for all customers, including law enforcement who need the high performance and low operating costs that Ford’s next-generation hybrids will excel at providing,” said Hau Thai-Tang, executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing. “Standard all-wheel drive is important because crooks don’t stop when it rains.” While fuel economy certification isn’t complete, the Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is expected to have a projected EPA-estimated combined label of at least 24 mpg – approximately 40 percent improvement over the current 3.7-liter V6. Anticipated fuel economy gains, combined with expected fuel savings from reduced engine idling time, are expected to help save law-enforcement customers an estimated $3,200 per vehicle in yearly fuel bills versus the current Police Interceptor Utility. If you applied these savings to every Ford Police Interceptor Utility sold in 2017, it would equate to more than $126 million at $2.93 a gallon, or more than 43 million gallons of fuel. Sales of Ford Police Interceptor Utility rose 5 percent in 2018, building on five straight years of sales growth and capturing 65 percent of the total U.S. police vehicle market. The all-new Ford Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is projected to accelerate faster, achieve a higher top speed and have at least 40 percent better fuel economy than the previous V6-powered model, helping catch suspected lawbreakers and reduce costs. The new hybrid-powered Police Interceptor Utility also reduces engine idling time to save fuel when the vehicle is stationary. They hybrid can power demanding electrical loads from lights, computers, radios and other equipment using its lithium-ion hybrid battery, allowing the gasoline engine to shut off and intermittently run to charge the battery. The Police Interceptor Utility hybrid is calibrated for law enforcement’s unique duty cycle. The utility automatically switches to maximum performance – with the engine and battery working at peak acceleration levels – when needed. In addition to improved performance and no trade-offs in utility, cargo and passenger space, the Police Interceptor Utility features exclusive 75-mph rear impact protection for safety. Technology Upgrades The new Police Interceptor Utility also offers the following features, including: Standard Ford modem and two-year complimentary Ford Telematics service – a powerful simple-to-use tool that provides vehicle data regarding fuel use, CO2 emissions reduction, and vehicle health Available all-new Police Perimeter Alert enhances previous Surveillance Mode by using the vehicle’s Blind Spot Information System that can monitor approximately 270-degrees of movement outside the vehicle, and analyze motion to determine potentially threatening behavior. It features a visual display in the instrument cluster that shows moving objects, the motion trail, and threat level. When suspicious behavior is detected, the vehicle automatically sounds a chime, rolls up the windows and locks the doors Available Rear Camera on Demand that allows officers to see what’s happening behind the vehicle Available Class III trailer tow package that enables Police Interceptor Utility to tow up to 5,000 pounds “With Ford Telematics, we’re helping our police customers unlock the data from their vehicles to provide them with more effective ways to manage their fleets and improve operations,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford Police Brand Marketing Manager. The all-new Ford Police Interceptor hybrid will be built at Ford Chicago Assembly plant and up-fitted at Ford’s Chicago Modification Center. It goes on sale next summer.
  5. The Mustang Shelby GT350 is already quick around a track, but Ford believed they could do better. So they brought the GT350 into their workshop and made various tweaks and changes. The end result is the 2019 Shelby GT350 that not only promises to be quicker, but also easier to drive at the limit. It begins with the tires. Ford worked with Michelin on developing tires specific to the GT350. The end result is a set of special Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a unique tread pattern and compound. They wrap around a set of restyled 19-inch wheels. The anti-lock brakes and steering have been retuned to handle the performance of the tires. The suspension gets a new set of springs, anti-roll bars, and an updated tune for the MagneRide adaptive dampers. A new aero package includes a revised grille with sections that are blocked out, revised rear wing, and a Gurney flap. Ford has also worked on making the Shelby GT350 a bit more comfortable for passengers. There are new door panel inserts, power adjustments for the front seats, dual-zone climate control, 12-speaker audio system, and a eight-inch touchscreen. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the 2019 GT350 will be available beginning early next year. Source: Ford ‘Somewhere, Carroll Is Smiling;’ New 2019 Shelby GT350 Adds Tech From Mustang Road Course Racing And All-New Shelby GT500 Upgraded 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 improves on precision and balance all to deliver faster lap times and performance on-track and on the street 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 performance enhancements include improved aerodynamics that reduce drag with the new spoiler and adds downforce with new available Gurney flap installed, new custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, plus chassis and antilock brake tuning for dramatically greater grip Shelby GT350 benefits from Ford Performance Mustang road course racing experience and Shelby GT500 aerodynamic advancements, plus hundreds of hours of on-track and full vehicle simulations; Billy Johnson, Ford GT World Endurance driver, helped dial in final performance tuning DEARBORN, Mich., June 11, 2018 – To improve the new Ford Mustang Shelby® GT350 driver confidence and lap times, Ford Performance leveraged its Mustang road course racing programs and all-new upcoming Shelby® GT500, infusing GT350 with the very latest in track and street technology. “Somewhere, Carroll is smiling,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director for Ford Performance vehicle programs. “The new Shelby GT350 is our ultimate track Mustang. We’ve stuck to Carroll Shelby’s original formula for winning championships and made our Shelby GT350 even better with the latest in race-proven aerodynamics, tire and chassis technology.” From F-150 Raptor to the Ford GT supercar, Ford Performance is creating authentic performance cars, trucks and utilities that deliver heart-pounding excitement for customers around the world. Next-level chassis technology and aerodynamics Building on a road course racing and track-focused legacy born in 1965, Ford Performance engineers and designers incorporated the latest advances in tire, aerodynamics and chassis technology into the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350. Working exclusively with Michelin, the team also engineered new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a Shelby GT350-specific tread pattern and different compound to deliver more grip for significantly improved acceleration and lateral acceleration, as well as braking. The 295/35 front and 305/35 rear tires are fitted to improved stiffness and optimize new 19-inch aluminum wheels. An all-new rear spoiler with optional Gurney flap and optimized grille closeout was designed and tuned with experience gained from wind tunnel development of the Ford Performance Mustang road course racing cars and upcoming Shelby GT500 model. Together, they deliver significant rear greater aerodynamic efficiency when equipped with the new optional Gurney flap on the rear spoiler, which will be available after launch. Upgrades to Mustang Shelby GT350’s standard MagneRide active suspension complement the aero and tire enhancements with recalibrated springs and revised damping to take full advantage of the improvements. Stopping power is provided by six-piston front and four-piston rear caliper Brembo™ brakes. For added control and improved driver feedback, Shelby GT350’s electric power-assist steering and three-mode electronic stability control settings feature enhancements taken from Ford Performance’s hundreds of hours of competitive track testing. Tuning with Billy Johnson in the driver’s seat Billy Johnson knows racing. As a driver for the FIA World Endurance Ford GT and IMSA Mustang GT4 programs, Johnson has broad expertise in what makes for a great driver’s car. He worked with Ford Performance to dial in the Shelby GT350 for 2019. Shelby GT350’s exclusive high-revving 5.2-liter V8 remains the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever and the only one of its type in the segment – delivering 526 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque at a blistering 8,250-rpm redline. It’s mated to a track-proven and precise-shifting Tremec® 6-speed manual transmission. Johnson said the result of the new Mustang Shelby GT350’s aerodynamics tuning, revised brake calibration, and much greater downforce is a more balanced, higher-performing car on the straightaways and especially in the corners. “Along with improved grip, brake and chassis refinements, Shelby GT350 brings a whole new level of performance driving,” he said. “It’s a rewarding car to drive on track for amateurs and pros alike, while making the driver feel like a superhero. It’s confidence inspiring in corners and begs to be pushed harder and to take corners faster.” More craftsmanship, technology and style Inside, driver and passengers of the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 are treated to a comfortable, stylish and purpose-built cockpit boasting the latest in advanced technology and premium materials expected of a world-class sports car. Fresh sporting cues include a standard machined aluminum instrument panel appliqué with an available exposed carbon fiber version, plus newly designed door panel inserts in dark slate Miko® suede with accent stitching. A wrapped center console offers rich world-class craftsmanship. Standard Recaro race seats with firm side bolstering and open pass-throughs for safety harnesses offer the highest level of performance, while new power-adjustable seating is available with Miko suede inserts for those looking for added comfort. A new high-performance, custom-tuned 12-speaker B&O PLAY audio system by HARMAN is now available for the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350, controlled via the now standard 8-inch SYNC® 3 touch screen that features SiriusXM and FordPass™ Connect. Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control is now standard, along with a universal garage door opener. New colors for the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 include Velocity Blue and for the first time, Ford Performance Blue. Optional factory-painted over-the-top racing stripes are available in high-gloss Shadow Black, Oxford White or Kona Blue. Mirror-mounted Shelby Cobra Projection Lamps come standard in the available Technology Package. The 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 will be available starting in early 2019 and will be built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. Enrollment in an exclusive, complimentary Track Attack driving program from Ford Performance is included with each vehicle. View full article
  6. William Maley

    2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Gets Upgraded

    The Mustang Shelby GT350 is already quick around a track, but Ford believed they could do better. So they brought the GT350 into their workshop and made various tweaks and changes. The end result is the 2019 Shelby GT350 that not only promises to be quicker, but also easier to drive at the limit. It begins with the tires. Ford worked with Michelin on developing tires specific to the GT350. The end result is a set of special Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a unique tread pattern and compound. They wrap around a set of restyled 19-inch wheels. The anti-lock brakes and steering have been retuned to handle the performance of the tires. The suspension gets a new set of springs, anti-roll bars, and an updated tune for the MagneRide adaptive dampers. A new aero package includes a revised grille with sections that are blocked out, revised rear wing, and a Gurney flap. Ford has also worked on making the Shelby GT350 a bit more comfortable for passengers. There are new door panel inserts, power adjustments for the front seats, dual-zone climate control, 12-speaker audio system, and a eight-inch touchscreen. Pricing hasn't been announced, but the 2019 GT350 will be available beginning early next year. Source: Ford ‘Somewhere, Carroll Is Smiling;’ New 2019 Shelby GT350 Adds Tech From Mustang Road Course Racing And All-New Shelby GT500 Upgraded 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 improves on precision and balance all to deliver faster lap times and performance on-track and on the street 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 performance enhancements include improved aerodynamics that reduce drag with the new spoiler and adds downforce with new available Gurney flap installed, new custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, plus chassis and antilock brake tuning for dramatically greater grip Shelby GT350 benefits from Ford Performance Mustang road course racing experience and Shelby GT500 aerodynamic advancements, plus hundreds of hours of on-track and full vehicle simulations; Billy Johnson, Ford GT World Endurance driver, helped dial in final performance tuning DEARBORN, Mich., June 11, 2018 – To improve the new Ford Mustang Shelby® GT350 driver confidence and lap times, Ford Performance leveraged its Mustang road course racing programs and all-new upcoming Shelby® GT500, infusing GT350 with the very latest in track and street technology. “Somewhere, Carroll is smiling,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director for Ford Performance vehicle programs. “The new Shelby GT350 is our ultimate track Mustang. We’ve stuck to Carroll Shelby’s original formula for winning championships and made our Shelby GT350 even better with the latest in race-proven aerodynamics, tire and chassis technology.” From F-150 Raptor to the Ford GT supercar, Ford Performance is creating authentic performance cars, trucks and utilities that deliver heart-pounding excitement for customers around the world. Next-level chassis technology and aerodynamics Building on a road course racing and track-focused legacy born in 1965, Ford Performance engineers and designers incorporated the latest advances in tire, aerodynamics and chassis technology into the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350. Working exclusively with Michelin, the team also engineered new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a Shelby GT350-specific tread pattern and different compound to deliver more grip for significantly improved acceleration and lateral acceleration, as well as braking. The 295/35 front and 305/35 rear tires are fitted to improved stiffness and optimize new 19-inch aluminum wheels. An all-new rear spoiler with optional Gurney flap and optimized grille closeout was designed and tuned with experience gained from wind tunnel development of the Ford Performance Mustang road course racing cars and upcoming Shelby GT500 model. Together, they deliver significant rear greater aerodynamic efficiency when equipped with the new optional Gurney flap on the rear spoiler, which will be available after launch. Upgrades to Mustang Shelby GT350’s standard MagneRide active suspension complement the aero and tire enhancements with recalibrated springs and revised damping to take full advantage of the improvements. Stopping power is provided by six-piston front and four-piston rear caliper Brembo™ brakes. For added control and improved driver feedback, Shelby GT350’s electric power-assist steering and three-mode electronic stability control settings feature enhancements taken from Ford Performance’s hundreds of hours of competitive track testing. Tuning with Billy Johnson in the driver’s seat Billy Johnson knows racing. As a driver for the FIA World Endurance Ford GT and IMSA Mustang GT4 programs, Johnson has broad expertise in what makes for a great driver’s car. He worked with Ford Performance to dial in the Shelby GT350 for 2019. Shelby GT350’s exclusive high-revving 5.2-liter V8 remains the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever and the only one of its type in the segment – delivering 526 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque at a blistering 8,250-rpm redline. It’s mated to a track-proven and precise-shifting Tremec® 6-speed manual transmission. Johnson said the result of the new Mustang Shelby GT350’s aerodynamics tuning, revised brake calibration, and much greater downforce is a more balanced, higher-performing car on the straightaways and especially in the corners. “Along with improved grip, brake and chassis refinements, Shelby GT350 brings a whole new level of performance driving,” he said. “It’s a rewarding car to drive on track for amateurs and pros alike, while making the driver feel like a superhero. It’s confidence inspiring in corners and begs to be pushed harder and to take corners faster.” More craftsmanship, technology and style Inside, driver and passengers of the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 are treated to a comfortable, stylish and purpose-built cockpit boasting the latest in advanced technology and premium materials expected of a world-class sports car. Fresh sporting cues include a standard machined aluminum instrument panel appliqué with an available exposed carbon fiber version, plus newly designed door panel inserts in dark slate Miko® suede with accent stitching. A wrapped center console offers rich world-class craftsmanship. Standard Recaro race seats with firm side bolstering and open pass-throughs for safety harnesses offer the highest level of performance, while new power-adjustable seating is available with Miko suede inserts for those looking for added comfort. A new high-performance, custom-tuned 12-speaker B&O PLAY audio system by HARMAN is now available for the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350, controlled via the now standard 8-inch SYNC® 3 touch screen that features SiriusXM and FordPass™ Connect. Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control is now standard, along with a universal garage door opener. New colors for the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 include Velocity Blue and for the first time, Ford Performance Blue. Optional factory-painted over-the-top racing stripes are available in high-gloss Shadow Black, Oxford White or Kona Blue. Mirror-mounted Shelby Cobra Projection Lamps come standard in the available Technology Package. The 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 will be available starting in early 2019 and will be built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. Enrollment in an exclusive, complimentary Track Attack driving program from Ford Performance is included with each vehicle.
  7. Before the start of this year's Detroit Auto Show, Ford held a press conference revealing new models such as the new Bullitt Mustang and Ranger. But they also teased a new electric crossover wearing an iconic name - Mach 1. The only details provided by Ford is that it would provide a range of 300 miles and launch in 2020. A new report from Autocar has some possible new details on the vehicle. The Mach 1 crossover currently has the codename of CX430 and will likely have some design cues inspired by the Mustang. Underpinning the model will be Ford's C2 platform. Currently, this platform is being used for the next-generation Focus and Escape crossover. The Mach 1 is part of Ford's plan to launch 16 electric vehicles by 2022. Source: Autocar
  8. Before the start of this year's Detroit Auto Show, Ford held a press conference revealing new models such as the new Bullitt Mustang and Ranger. But they also teased a new electric crossover wearing an iconic name - Mach 1. The only details provided by Ford is that it would provide a range of 300 miles and launch in 2020. A new report from Autocar has some possible new details on the vehicle. The Mach 1 crossover currently has the codename of CX430 and will likely have some design cues inspired by the Mustang. Underpinning the model will be Ford's C2 platform. Currently, this platform is being used for the next-generation Focus and Escape crossover. The Mach 1 is part of Ford's plan to launch 16 electric vehicles by 2022. Source: Autocar View full article
  9. William Maley

    Ford Slices and Dices Their Car Lineup

    Ford is serious about cutting costs and that means cars will be cut. During the company's first-quarter earnings, it was announced that Ford would be killing off the Fiesta, Focus Sedan/Hatch, Fusion, and Taurus in North America. The only vehicles that will remain are the Mustang and the upcoming Focus Active in 2019. This will save Ford $11.5 billion and up their cost-cutting goal to $25.5 billion by 2022. This is a sizeable increase from $14 billion projected by CEO Jim Hackett in October. “Everything is on the table. We can exit products (and) markets. We will do that. That work (started in October) has really gained traction. We have looked at every single part of the business. It’s a very complex endeavor. We are determined to turn this business around right throughout the whole company. There’s more work that’s underway,” said Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks. The move to reduce Ford's passenger car lineup is not shocking. Sales of Ford's passenger cars have been tanking for the past couple of years as trucks/SUVs have taken off. We've also be reporting on the death of Ford's car lineup in the rumorpile within the past year. It is unclear the timeframe as to when the various models will end production for North America. Our guess would be Taurus, Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion. Ford is also not planning "next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America.” Instead, the company will focus on what it calls “white space” silhouette vehicles - models hat combine attributes from cars and utility vehicles (A.K.A. crossovers) Also in the cards are hybrid powertrains for various models and 16 electric vehicles by 2022. By 2020, the company expects 90 percent of their North American lineup will be comprised of pickups, SUVs, and commercial vehicles. For the time being, other markets will continue to get the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus. One item that is still up in the air is what will happen to the Lincoln models that share platforms - the Continental and MKZ. Source: Ford, Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg, The Detroit News
  10. Ford is serious about cutting costs and that means cars will be cut. During the company's first-quarter earnings, it was announced that Ford would be killing off the Fiesta, Focus Sedan/Hatch, Fusion, and Taurus in North America. The only vehicles that will remain are the Mustang and the upcoming Focus Active in 2019. This will save Ford $11.5 billion and up their cost-cutting goal to $25.5 billion by 2022. This is a sizeable increase from $14 billion projected by CEO Jim Hackett in October. “Everything is on the table. We can exit products (and) markets. We will do that. That work (started in October) has really gained traction. We have looked at every single part of the business. It’s a very complex endeavor. We are determined to turn this business around right throughout the whole company. There’s more work that’s underway,” said Ford Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks. The move to reduce Ford's passenger car lineup is not shocking. Sales of Ford's passenger cars have been tanking for the past couple of years as trucks/SUVs have taken off. We've also be reporting on the death of Ford's car lineup in the rumorpile within the past year. It is unclear the timeframe as to when the various models will end production for North America. Our guess would be Taurus, Fiesta, Focus, and Fusion. Ford is also not planning "next generations of traditional Ford sedans for North America.” Instead, the company will focus on what it calls “white space” silhouette vehicles - models hat combine attributes from cars and utility vehicles (A.K.A. crossovers) Also in the cards are hybrid powertrains for various models and 16 electric vehicles by 2022. By 2020, the company expects 90 percent of their North American lineup will be comprised of pickups, SUVs, and commercial vehicles. For the time being, other markets will continue to get the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus. One item that is still up in the air is what will happen to the Lincoln models that share platforms - the Continental and MKZ. Source: Ford, Automotive News (Subscription Required), Bloomberg, The Detroit News View full article
  11. Camaro or Mustang EV CUV? We have heard from Ford that an EV auto will be part of their auto lineup and that a Mustang AWD EV could be part of that lineup. Ford also stated that the mustang name could make it onto a CUV or at least something other than the traditional 2 door pony car. They have pretty much stated that this would be a Mach1 Mustang Based EV SUV. Fast forward a few month to the Chevrolet Dealership meeting where many things were shown off to them and slipping out to a forum from an attendee was that they were shown a performance EV crossover with similarity to a Camaro. Is GM following Ford and planning to have a Performance Camaro CUV? Pulling from Motor1 and thoughts from InsideEV we end up with the following potential CUV like versions of a Camaro & Mustang. Seems 2020 is going to be an exciting EV year with options that many never had before in their lifetime. What are your thoughts on these potential EV Concepts / Production versions? InsideEV Story Motor1 Camaro Story Motor1 Mustang Story
  12. William Maley

    Ford To Restart F-150 Production Tomorrow

    Last week, Ford halted production of their F-Series pickup after a fire ravaged a supplier's plant in Southwestern Michigan. While Ford and supplier Meridan said everything was ok, analysts said it the shutdown could hurt Ford if it lasted more than a week. Last night, Ford announced that it would restart production of the F-150 at their Dearborn plant on Friday. Production at Kansas City and Louisville will come back online on Monday. Getting to this point took a lot of work for both Ford and Meridan. According to Automotive News, Ford was the first automaker on site after the fire and was able to retrieve all of the tooling over a 48-hour period. One of dies used was shipped to Meridan's plant in Nottingham, UK. To get it there was a bit of a challenge since it weighs 87,000 pounds. Ford was able to charter an Antonov cargo plane (one of just 21 planes in the world that handle this task) and get it shipped to the UK in just 30 hours. Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork. Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets," said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development and purchasing in a statement. Ford declined to say how much production was lost during the shutdown. James Albertine, an analyst with Consumer Edge Research said the week before that Ford could lose up to 15,000 trucks due per week due to the shutdown. The company is planning to make up for some of the lost production by shortening the summer shutdown at the Dearborn and Kansas City plants. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford Ford Restarting F-150, Super Duty Production Ahead Of Schedule After Fire At Magnesium Parts Supplier Ford is resuming production of the F-150 pickup at Dearborn Truck Plant on Friday. Ford team has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty; production targeted to restart by Monday for Super Duty at Kentucky Truck Plant and F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant Ford marshaled a global team of experts, that included partners and suppliers, following a May 2 fire at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Mich., to quickly refurbish and relocate tooling needed to produce parts for the Ford F-150, Super Duty and five other vehicles – Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT Because of this quick action, Meridian is producing truck parts again at its Eaton Rapids facility. Plus, Ford airlifted tooling to a Meridian facility in the U.K. to produce parts for F-150, which will further speed production ramp-up Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT production continue uninterrupted Company reaffirms 2018 adjusted EPS guidance range of $1.45 to $1.70; expects adverse impact of $0.12 to $0.14 per share in second quarter due to lost production DEARBORN, Mich., May 16, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is restarting production of the popular F-150 at Dearborn Truck Plant Friday after just over one week of downtime. The company has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty, with production targeted to restart by Monday at the Kentucky Truck Plant as well as the Kansas City Assembly Plant that also makes F-150 pickups. This follows the massive May 2 fire at the Meridian Magnesium Products facility in Eaton Rapids, Mich. “While the situation remains extremely dynamic, our teams are focused on returning our plants to full production as fast as possible,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations. “The ramp-up time to full production is improving every day.” Ford teams, together with suppliers including Walbridge and other contractors, worked nearly around the clock to get America’s best-selling vehicle franchise back on line as quickly as possible. The teams removed 19 dies from Meridian’s badly damaged facility, and in one case, moved an 87,000-pound die from Eaton Rapids, Mich., to Nottingham, U.K., via an Antonov cargo plane – one of the largest in the world – in just 30 hours door-to-door. A die is a tool used to cut or shape material using a press. “Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing. “Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets.” Work started immediately in the aftermath of the May 2 fire. Teams removed and remediated safety concerns – including dangling siding – and restored electricity, gaining approval to access the site while debris still smoldered inside. This allowed Ford and Meridian to safely retrieve and relocate tools to more quickly resume part production and work to minimize the financial impact of the stalled plants. Ford recovered, repaired and validated most dies that were at the Eaton Rapids facility, and Meridian is now producing parts for the F-150 at two locations – Eaton Rapids and Nottingham, U.K. Production of bolsters for Super Duty is also restarting at the Eaton Rapids plant. Under normal circumstances, moving tooling the size of a bolster die would take approximately 10 days just to get the proper import and export approvals. However, Ford and its suppliers managed to cut the total time for the entire move to 30 hours, including trans-Atlantic flight time. When the team removed the die from the Eaton Rapids factory, it was shipped to Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. Rickenbacker had both the capacity to handle such a large piece of equipment and allowed an Antonov An-124 Russian plane, one of the largest planes in the world – typically used to transport trains, dump trucks and even a 25-foot sea yacht – to take off as soon as the equipment was loaded. Nearly 4,000 miles away, a team in Nottingham was waiting to receive the die and take it to Meridian’s nearby factory. In between, the Ford team received a U.K. import license for the die – a mere two hours before the plane touched down. Parts produced at Nottingham are being shipped via daily flights on a Boeing 747 jet until production in Eaton Rapids returns to pre-fire levels. Inventories of Ford’s best-selling F-Series pickups and other vehicles remain strong and customers won’t have a problem finding the model they want.
  13. Last week, Ford halted production of their F-Series pickup after a fire ravaged a supplier's plant in Southwestern Michigan. While Ford and supplier Meridan said everything was ok, analysts said it the shutdown could hurt Ford if it lasted more than a week. Last night, Ford announced that it would restart production of the F-150 at their Dearborn plant on Friday. Production at Kansas City and Louisville will come back online on Monday. Getting to this point took a lot of work for both Ford and Meridan. According to Automotive News, Ford was the first automaker on site after the fire and was able to retrieve all of the tooling over a 48-hour period. One of dies used was shipped to Meridan's plant in Nottingham, UK. To get it there was a bit of a challenge since it weighs 87,000 pounds. Ford was able to charter an Antonov cargo plane (one of just 21 planes in the world that handle this task) and get it shipped to the UK in just 30 hours. Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork. Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets," said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford's executive vice president of product development and purchasing in a statement. Ford declined to say how much production was lost during the shutdown. James Albertine, an analyst with Consumer Edge Research said the week before that Ford could lose up to 15,000 trucks due per week due to the shutdown. The company is planning to make up for some of the lost production by shortening the summer shutdown at the Dearborn and Kansas City plants. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Ford Ford Restarting F-150, Super Duty Production Ahead Of Schedule After Fire At Magnesium Parts Supplier Ford is resuming production of the F-150 pickup at Dearborn Truck Plant on Friday. Ford team has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty; production targeted to restart by Monday for Super Duty at Kentucky Truck Plant and F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant Ford marshaled a global team of experts, that included partners and suppliers, following a May 2 fire at Meridian Magnesium Products in Eaton Rapids, Mich., to quickly refurbish and relocate tooling needed to produce parts for the Ford F-150, Super Duty and five other vehicles – Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT Because of this quick action, Meridian is producing truck parts again at its Eaton Rapids facility. Plus, Ford airlifted tooling to a Meridian facility in the U.K. to produce parts for F-150, which will further speed production ramp-up Ford Expedition, Explorer, Flex and Lincoln Navigator and MKT production continue uninterrupted Company reaffirms 2018 adjusted EPS guidance range of $1.45 to $1.70; expects adverse impact of $0.12 to $0.14 per share in second quarter due to lost production DEARBORN, Mich., May 16, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is restarting production of the popular F-150 at Dearborn Truck Plant Friday after just over one week of downtime. The company has also successfully repaired the supply chain for Super Duty, with production targeted to restart by Monday at the Kentucky Truck Plant as well as the Kansas City Assembly Plant that also makes F-150 pickups. This follows the massive May 2 fire at the Meridian Magnesium Products facility in Eaton Rapids, Mich. “While the situation remains extremely dynamic, our teams are focused on returning our plants to full production as fast as possible,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, Global Operations. “The ramp-up time to full production is improving every day.” Ford teams, together with suppliers including Walbridge and other contractors, worked nearly around the clock to get America’s best-selling vehicle franchise back on line as quickly as possible. The teams removed 19 dies from Meridian’s badly damaged facility, and in one case, moved an 87,000-pound die from Eaton Rapids, Mich., to Nottingham, U.K., via an Antonov cargo plane – one of the largest in the world – in just 30 hours door-to-door. A die is a tool used to cut or shape material using a press. “Faced with unexpected adversity, the Ford team, including our global supply partners, showed unbelievable resiliency, turning a devastating event into a shining example of teamwork,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s executive vice president of Product Development and Purchasing. “Thanks to their heroic efforts, we are resuming production of some of our most important vehicles ahead of our original targets.” Work started immediately in the aftermath of the May 2 fire. Teams removed and remediated safety concerns – including dangling siding – and restored electricity, gaining approval to access the site while debris still smoldered inside. This allowed Ford and Meridian to safely retrieve and relocate tools to more quickly resume part production and work to minimize the financial impact of the stalled plants. Ford recovered, repaired and validated most dies that were at the Eaton Rapids facility, and Meridian is now producing parts for the F-150 at two locations – Eaton Rapids and Nottingham, U.K. Production of bolsters for Super Duty is also restarting at the Eaton Rapids plant. Under normal circumstances, moving tooling the size of a bolster die would take approximately 10 days just to get the proper import and export approvals. However, Ford and its suppliers managed to cut the total time for the entire move to 30 hours, including trans-Atlantic flight time. When the team removed the die from the Eaton Rapids factory, it was shipped to Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. Rickenbacker had both the capacity to handle such a large piece of equipment and allowed an Antonov An-124 Russian plane, one of the largest planes in the world – typically used to transport trains, dump trucks and even a 25-foot sea yacht – to take off as soon as the equipment was loaded. Nearly 4,000 miles away, a team in Nottingham was waiting to receive the die and take it to Meridian’s nearby factory. In between, the Ford team received a U.K. import license for the die – a mere two hours before the plane touched down. Parts produced at Nottingham are being shipped via daily flights on a Boeing 747 jet until production in Eaton Rapids returns to pre-fire levels. Inventories of Ford’s best-selling F-Series pickups and other vehicles remain strong and customers won’t have a problem finding the model they want. View full article
  14. Yesterday, Ford held its annual shareholder meeting and executives were once again defending the decision to cut most of their car lineup and focusing on trucks and utility vehicles. Automotive News reports that shareholders questioned CEO Jim Hackett and Executive Chairman Bill Ford about the move and the two said the changes are necessary due to the changing tastes of customers. Ford expects 90 percent of its North American mix to be made up of trucks and utility models by 2020. "This doesn't mean we intend to lose those customers. We want to give them what they're telling us they really want. We're simply reinventing the American car," said Hackett. "We don't want anyone to think we're leaving anything. We're just moving to a modern version. This is an exciting new generation of vehicles coming from Ford." Bill Ford blamed the media coverage for the negative reaction to this move. The company officially made the announcement during their first-quarter earnings reports, but rumors of this move had been floating around for over a year. "I wish the coverage had been a little different. If you got beyond the headline, you'll see we're adding to our product lineup and by 2020 we'll have the freshest showroom in the industry. The headlines look like Ford's retreating. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth." We have to think a fair amount of this 'negative' media coverage comes from Ford comes from the lack of information concerning the future of Ford's entry-level lineup and Lincoln. Ford's entry-level crossover is the EcoSport which begins at $19,995 and only returns EPA figures of 27 City/29 Highway/28 Combined (23/25/29 for the AWD model), which will push some buyers away. We don't know if Ford is planning an update to the EcoSport to boost fuel economy figures or has another model in the cards to sit underneath the EcoSport. Lincoln's future is murkier. The only comment made about the brand was by Hackett, saying the Continental (only introduced two years ago) would continue "through its life cycle". This is leading a fair number of people to think the Continental's days are numbered. For now, Ford is focusing on their $25.5 billion cost-cutting goal by 2022 and getting those trucks and SUVs out the door. The hope is this will help Ford's stock price, which has been a major point of contention with shareholders for many years. "I share your frustration. The whole management team does. Look, we want to get the stock price moving. The business can get fitter, and it will get fitter," said Bill Ford. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  15. Yesterday, Ford held its annual shareholder meeting and executives were once again defending the decision to cut most of their car lineup and focusing on trucks and utility vehicles. Automotive News reports that shareholders questioned CEO Jim Hackett and Executive Chairman Bill Ford about the move and the two said the changes are necessary due to the changing tastes of customers. Ford expects 90 percent of its North American mix to be made up of trucks and utility models by 2020. "This doesn't mean we intend to lose those customers. We want to give them what they're telling us they really want. We're simply reinventing the American car," said Hackett. "We don't want anyone to think we're leaving anything. We're just moving to a modern version. This is an exciting new generation of vehicles coming from Ford." Bill Ford blamed the media coverage for the negative reaction to this move. The company officially made the announcement during their first-quarter earnings reports, but rumors of this move had been floating around for over a year. "I wish the coverage had been a little different. If you got beyond the headline, you'll see we're adding to our product lineup and by 2020 we'll have the freshest showroom in the industry. The headlines look like Ford's retreating. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth." We have to think a fair amount of this 'negative' media coverage comes from Ford comes from the lack of information concerning the future of Ford's entry-level lineup and Lincoln. Ford's entry-level crossover is the EcoSport which begins at $19,995 and only returns EPA figures of 27 City/29 Highway/28 Combined (23/25/29 for the AWD model), which will push some buyers away. We don't know if Ford is planning an update to the EcoSport to boost fuel economy figures or has another model in the cards to sit underneath the EcoSport. Lincoln's future is murkier. The only comment made about the brand was by Hackett, saying the Continental (only introduced two years ago) would continue "through its life cycle". This is leading a fair number of people to think the Continental's days are numbered. For now, Ford is focusing on their $25.5 billion cost-cutting goal by 2022 and getting those trucks and SUVs out the door. The hope is this will help Ford's stock price, which has been a major point of contention with shareholders for many years. "I share your frustration. The whole management team does. Look, we want to get the stock price moving. The business can get fitter, and it will get fitter," said Bill Ford. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  16. A fire at a supplier's plant last week is causing some headaches for Ford. The company has halted production of the F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant, and F-Series Super Duty at Kentucky Truck and Ohio Assembly due to a parts shortage. F-150 production at Ford's Dearborn plant is expected to be idled either today or tomorrow. The supplier, Meridian Lightweight Technologies makes instrument panel components for the F-Series trucks. Last Wednesday, the company's factory in Eaton Rapids, Michigan caught fire. The cause is still being investigated, but the Lansing State Journal reports the fire started in an area known as the "tunnel," a place where workers put magnesium scraps on a conveyor belt to be melted down. The fire caused a number of explosions to take place in the factory. Two people were injured and 150 workers were evacuated. The situation at the moment is ok according to Ford and analysts if the shutdown only lasts a week. There is an 84-day supply of trucks and Ford is working with Meridan to figure out the “next steps.” But as AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan points out, this could cause some serious problems for Ford if it lasts more than a week. "They should be able to weather a short-term shutdown. But if this goes longer than a week, it could really hurt second-quarter performance," Sullivan tells the Free Press. Ford isn't the only automaker that is being affected by this. General Motors has halted production of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana at their Wentizville assembly plant in Missouri. FCA told Automotive News that the fire has affected the output of the Chrysler Pacifica, built at their Windsor, Ontario plant. They are "adjusting production schedules as needed to minimize plant downtime (and) will make up any lost production." Mercedes-Benz in a statement said, "we have cancelled production shifts in certain areas and adjusted production hours for our team members this week," at their Vance, Alabama plant - home to C-Class, GLE-Class, GLE-Coupe, and GLS-Class production. BMW told Automotive News that production of the X5 at their South Carolina plant will be affected somewhat, but their current supply of parts should keep them running for the time being. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal
  17. A fire at a supplier's plant last week is causing some headaches for Ford. The company has halted production of the F-150 at Kansas City Assembly Plant, and F-Series Super Duty at Kentucky Truck and Ohio Assembly due to a parts shortage. F-150 production at Ford's Dearborn plant is expected to be idled either today or tomorrow. The supplier, Meridian Lightweight Technologies makes instrument panel components for the F-Series trucks. Last Wednesday, the company's factory in Eaton Rapids, Michigan caught fire. The cause is still being investigated, but the Lansing State Journal reports the fire started in an area known as the "tunnel," a place where workers put magnesium scraps on a conveyor belt to be melted down. The fire caused a number of explosions to take place in the factory. Two people were injured and 150 workers were evacuated. The situation at the moment is ok according to Ford and analysts if the shutdown only lasts a week. There is an 84-day supply of trucks and Ford is working with Meridan to figure out the “next steps.” But as AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan points out, this could cause some serious problems for Ford if it lasts more than a week. "They should be able to weather a short-term shutdown. But if this goes longer than a week, it could really hurt second-quarter performance," Sullivan tells the Free Press. Ford isn't the only automaker that is being affected by this. General Motors has halted production of the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana at their Wentizville assembly plant in Missouri. FCA told Automotive News that the fire has affected the output of the Chrysler Pacifica, built at their Windsor, Ontario plant. They are "adjusting production schedules as needed to minimize plant downtime (and) will make up any lost production." Mercedes-Benz in a statement said, "we have cancelled production shifts in certain areas and adjusted production hours for our team members this week," at their Vance, Alabama plant - home to C-Class, GLE-Class, GLE-Coupe, and GLS-Class production. BMW told Automotive News that production of the X5 at their South Carolina plant will be affected somewhat, but their current supply of parts should keep them running for the time being. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal View full article
  18. William Maley

    Spying: 2020 Ford Escape Sees the Light

    The Escape is an important model for Ford. Last year, the company moved 308,296 Escapes off dealer lots. But with the announcement last week that Ford will be focusing more on trucks and utility models in the coming years, the Escape will be playing a bigger role. Car and Driver obtained the first spy shots of the next-generation Escape, expected sometime next year as 2020 model. Due to the extensive use of camouflage on the mule, we can't tell much about the design. We're guessing the front end might look similar to the EcoSport partly due to the flat shape. The lone shot of the interior reveals an interior layout similar to the EcoSport and Focus with the infotainment system sitting on top of the center stack. The next-generation Escape is expected to move from the C1 platform to yet, an unnamed global platform that underpins the next Focus. This will address two shortcomings of the current Escape - poor crash test scores and not being able to fit a hybrid/plug-in hybrid powertrain. Powertrains are expected to include the 1.5 and 2.0 EcoBoost four-cylinders, and a hybrid powertrain. We wouldn't be surprised if a plug-in is also available. Source: Car and Driver
  19. The Escape is an important model for Ford. Last year, the company moved 308,296 Escapes off dealer lots. But with the announcement last week that Ford will be focusing more on trucks and utility models in the coming years, the Escape will be playing a bigger role. Car and Driver obtained the first spy shots of the next-generation Escape, expected sometime next year as 2020 model. Due to the extensive use of camouflage on the mule, we can't tell much about the design. We're guessing the front end might look similar to the EcoSport partly due to the flat shape. The lone shot of the interior reveals an interior layout similar to the EcoSport and Focus with the infotainment system sitting on top of the center stack. The next-generation Escape is expected to move from the C1 platform to yet, an unnamed global platform that underpins the next Focus. This will address two shortcomings of the current Escape - poor crash test scores and not being able to fit a hybrid/plug-in hybrid powertrain. Powertrains are expected to include the 1.5 and 2.0 EcoBoost four-cylinders, and a hybrid powertrain. We wouldn't be surprised if a plug-in is also available. Source: Car and Driver View full article
  20. Last week, Ford shocked the industry by announcing that it would cut most of its passenger car lineup. The only models that would remain are the Mustang and the upcoming Focus Active - due to arrive in 2019. The move has earned a fair amount of ire from various folks, but the company is trying to push back and explain their reasoning. "We're going to feed the healthy part of our business and deal decisively with the parts that destroy value," said Ford CEO Jim Hackett to Automotive News. The "healthy part" are Ford's utilities and trucks. According to Ford CFO Bob Shanks, this part made more than $3 billion in the first quarter of 2018. Ford is projecting that light trucks will make up 90 percent of North American sales in the near future. The car side hasn't been faring as well with sales declining for the past few years. Ford hasn't said how much money they have been hemorrhaging on cars, but UBS analyst Colin Langan estimates Ford is losing $800 million per year on small cars in North America. Automotive News also notes that consumer demand for cars may be even weaker than first thought. Looking registration data from Polk, the outlet reports that a third of Fusions sold last year went to fleet buyers (about 69,874 models). Shanks said there are other items that could be cut, including "most Lincoln products" and chunks of Ford's overseas business. A number of people who hate this idea point out that this could hurt Ford if gas prices spike up like they did in the 2000s. But Jim Farley, Ford's head of global markets points out that the gap in fuel economy between sedans and crossovers has closed up significantly. The 2018 Fusion has a combined fuel economy rating of 27, while the Escape is rated at 26 mpg. Farley also insisted that Ford isn't repeating the mistakes from the mid-2000s with their utility vehicles that almost sent them to the brink. The industry he says has "fundamentally changed" since then. "Customer view and experimentation on the utility side is so much more broad. Utilities are the preferred body style. This wasn't the case before the downturn," said Farley. "We intend to expand our passenger car lineup in the U.S We also intend to serve similar, affordable price points to today. What's changed here is just the format of the vehicle. Our dealers will have just as much opportunity to grow, just with a different portfolio." Still, there are some that are very skeptical about Ford's new strategy. "Eight years ago, Ford Motor Co. announced it was killing Mercury. It assured us not to worry, because there would be no problem taking care of Mercury customers at Ford dealerships — those customers would just buy Tauruses and Fusions," said Chris Lemley, owner of Sentry Auto Group near Boston. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  21. Last week, Ford shocked the industry by announcing that it would cut most of its passenger car lineup. The only models that would remain are the Mustang and the upcoming Focus Active - due to arrive in 2019. The move has earned a fair amount of ire from various folks, but the company is trying to push back and explain their reasoning. "We're going to feed the healthy part of our business and deal decisively with the parts that destroy value," said Ford CEO Jim Hackett to Automotive News. The "healthy part" are Ford's utilities and trucks. According to Ford CFO Bob Shanks, this part made more than $3 billion in the first quarter of 2018. Ford is projecting that light trucks will make up 90 percent of North American sales in the near future. The car side hasn't been faring as well with sales declining for the past few years. Ford hasn't said how much money they have been hemorrhaging on cars, but UBS analyst Colin Langan estimates Ford is losing $800 million per year on small cars in North America. Automotive News also notes that consumer demand for cars may be even weaker than first thought. Looking registration data from Polk, the outlet reports that a third of Fusions sold last year went to fleet buyers (about 69,874 models). Shanks said there are other items that could be cut, including "most Lincoln products" and chunks of Ford's overseas business. A number of people who hate this idea point out that this could hurt Ford if gas prices spike up like they did in the 2000s. But Jim Farley, Ford's head of global markets points out that the gap in fuel economy between sedans and crossovers has closed up significantly. The 2018 Fusion has a combined fuel economy rating of 27, while the Escape is rated at 26 mpg. Farley also insisted that Ford isn't repeating the mistakes from the mid-2000s with their utility vehicles that almost sent them to the brink. The industry he says has "fundamentally changed" since then. "Customer view and experimentation on the utility side is so much more broad. Utilities are the preferred body style. This wasn't the case before the downturn," said Farley. "We intend to expand our passenger car lineup in the U.S We also intend to serve similar, affordable price points to today. What's changed here is just the format of the vehicle. Our dealers will have just as much opportunity to grow, just with a different portfolio." Still, there are some that are very skeptical about Ford's new strategy. "Eight years ago, Ford Motor Co. announced it was killing Mercury. It assured us not to worry, because there would be no problem taking care of Mercury customers at Ford dealerships — those customers would just buy Tauruses and Fusions," said Chris Lemley, owner of Sentry Auto Group near Boston. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  22. William Maley

    April 2018: Ford Motor Company

    F-Series Posts Best April Results In 18 Years While New Expedition Climbs 26 Percent At Retail; New Navigator Retail Sales Jump 135 Percent
  23. When Ford announced the new 3.0L Power Stroke V6 diesel for the 2018 F-150, the company said the engine should return 30 mpg on the highway. Today, the official EPA numbers for the Power Stroke V6 have come out and it will return 22 City/30 Highway/25 Combined. But there is a catch to this. As The Car Connection notes, this is for the two-wheel drive variant. The four-wheel drive variant is more thirsty with EPA figures of 20/25/22. Still, the 3.0L Power Stoke V6 beats the 3.0L EcoDiesel found in the current Ram 1500 - 20/27/23 for 2WD and 19/27/22 for 4WD. “Even a few years ago, customers wouldn’t have imagined an EPA-estimated rating of 30 mpg highway would be possible in a full-size pickup, but our team of crazy-smart engineers rose to the challenge,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, product development and purchasing in a statement. Ford says the Power Stroke V6 can tow up to 11,400 pounds and has a max payload of 2,020 pounds for XL and XLT fleet applications (1,940 pounds for retail applications). Source: Ford, The Car Connection New Ford F-150 Power Stroke Diesel Has Best-In-Class EPA-Estimated 30 MPG Highway Fuel Economy Rating Efficient: 2018 F-150 3.0-liter Power Stroke® diesel has a best-in-class EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 30 mpg highway Powerful: First-ever F-150 Power Stroke diesel engine offers best-in-class 250 diesel horsepower and 440 lb.-ft. of torque Capable: Diesel-equipped F-150 brings best-in-class diesel towing and payload capacity DEARBORN, Mich., April 19, 2018 – The 2018 Ford F-150’s first 3.0-liter Power Stroke® diesel engine officially boasts EPA-estimated ratings of 30 mpg highway, 22 mpg city and 25 mpg combined. These are the highest EPA-estimated ratings available in a full-size pickup truck. These benchmark figures are the result of more than a decade of work developing a lightweight high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body, a 10-speed SelectShift® transmission, and robust engine construction of aluminum and compacted graphite iron to deliver durability, reduced weight and stump-pulling torque. “Even a few years ago, customers wouldn’t have imagined an EPA-estimated rating of 30 mpg highway would be possible in a full-size pickup, but our team of crazy-smart engineers rose to the challenge,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, product development and purchasing. In addition to its leading fuel economy ratings, the all-new F-150 Power Stroke boasts best-in-class* diesel power – 250 horsepower and a stout 440 lb.-ft. of torque – greater torque than a 2019 Ram 1500 Hemi V8. It provides best-in-class diesel towing of 11,400 pounds for pulling boats, horses or RVs. The new engine also provides best-in-class diesel payload – 2,020 pounds for XL and XLT fleet applications, and 1,940 pounds for retail applications – to easily haul equipment, supplies or a slide-in camper. F-150 Power Stroke diesel shares its proven commercial-grade technology with F-Series Super Duty’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke – America’s most powerful, capable heavy-duty pickup truck ever. The 2018 Ford F-150 with all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine will begin shipping to dealers in May. *Class is full-size pickups under 8,500 pounds. GVWR based on Ford segmentation.
  24. In April of 2013, Ford and General Motors announced they would be working together on developing new nine and ten-speed automatic transmissions. The nine-speed automatic would be for front-wheel drive models, while rear-drive models got the ten-speed. Already, a number of Ford and GM vehicles are using the ten-speed. But GM will be the only one using the nine-speed. Automotive News reports that Ford is electing to use a new series of eight-speed automatic transmission on their vehicles. The company said the new nine-speed didn't provide enough of an improvement in fuel economy to justify the added cost and weight. According to a source, Ford made this decision before GM began to use this transmission on their production models. "Typically, if anyone gave me a transmission that didn't require much work, outside of tuning it for a specific vehicle, I would take it and run. It's a lot of design work after the fact to come up with their own flavor. It shows there might be some different schools of thought in terms of transmission efficiency," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific Inc. While GM claims the nine-speed brings “smoother shifts” and a better driving experience, it hasn't brought any real gains to fuel economy. The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu 2.0T only saw an increase of one mpg on the highway when compared to the 2016 model with a six-speed automatic (33 vs. 32). The 2019 Buick Envision 2.0T saw its highway fuel economy drop by one when equipped with the nine-speed auto (25 vs. 26). It should be noted that one of the eight-speed transmissions Ford is using is based on the new nine-speed, minus a gear. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  25. In April of 2013, Ford and General Motors announced they would be working together on developing new nine and ten-speed automatic transmissions. The nine-speed automatic would be for front-wheel drive models, while rear-drive models got the ten-speed. Already, a number of Ford and GM vehicles are using the ten-speed. But GM will be the only one using the nine-speed. Automotive News reports that Ford is electing to use a new series of eight-speed automatic transmission on their vehicles. The company said the new nine-speed didn't provide enough of an improvement in fuel economy to justify the added cost and weight. According to a source, Ford made this decision before GM began to use this transmission on their production models. "Typically, if anyone gave me a transmission that didn't require much work, outside of tuning it for a specific vehicle, I would take it and run. It's a lot of design work after the fact to come up with their own flavor. It shows there might be some different schools of thought in terms of transmission efficiency," said Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific Inc. While GM claims the nine-speed brings “smoother shifts” and a better driving experience, it hasn't brought any real gains to fuel economy. The 2017 Chevrolet Malibu 2.0T only saw an increase of one mpg on the highway when compared to the 2016 model with a six-speed automatic (33 vs. 32). The 2019 Buick Envision 2.0T saw its highway fuel economy drop by one when equipped with the nine-speed auto (25 vs. 26). It should be noted that one of the eight-speed transmissions Ford is using is based on the new nine-speed, minus a gear. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article

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