As SUV Growth Continues, Ford Announces Explorer Updates for 2018

  • Ford projects the SUV segment will continue growing, accounting for more than 45 percent of the non-premium U.S. retail industry in the next five to seven years
  • Ford is well-positioned for further SUV growth, with plans to add five all-new SUVs to its North American lineup by 2020
  • New 2018 Explorer strengthens Ford’s most well-known SUV, giving customers upgraded style, technology improvements and more choice, including an available 4G modem with standard new Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 devices, plus SYNC® 3

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Ford sees the SUV segment growing further – accounting for more than 45 percent of the non-premium U.S. retail auto industry in the next five to seven years. Ford is well-positioned for this growth, with plans to add five all-new SUVs to its lineup in North America by 2020.

Demographics are driving the anticipated trend, as more millennials and baby boomers favor the functionality and technology SUVs bring.

“In the 1990s, SUVs defined the unstoppable American spirit, and once again, we’re seeing a utility boom take hold with a whole new generation of customers,” Continue reading

Ford Introduces ‘Built Ford Tough’ To China; Ford Ranger Coming In 2018

  • Ford is introducing its best-selling Built Ford Tough truck franchise in China to pursue growth opportunities in the country’s pickup market
  • The popular Ford Ranger mid-size pick-up will be launched in China starting in 2018
  • The most powerful Ford pickup, the all-new F-150 Raptor, is now available in China. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) will be announced at Ford’s “Go Further, China” event in Shanghai on April 8

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Ford Motor Company plans to introduce its best-selling Built Ford Tough truck brand in China to pursue growth opportunities in the country’s emerging pickup market.

Ford will outline the strategy Saturday at a special event in Shanghai led by President and CEO Mark Fields. In addition to announcing pricing for the F-150 Raptor high performance pickup going on sale now in China, Ford will announce plans to start selling the globally popular Ford Ranger mid-size pickup in the market from 2018. Continue reading

Here We Grow Again! Ford Investing $1.2 Billion in Three Michigan Facilities

  • $850 million Michigan Assembly Plant upgrade supports return of Ford Ranger, Bronco
  • $150 million investment and 130 jobs at Romeo Engine expands capacity for engine components for several vehicles, including Ranger and Bronco
  • $200 million investment for advanced data center in Michigan supports Ford’s expansion to an auto and mobility company and expected dramatic increase in data storage needs
  • Investments are in addition to $700 million and 700 new jobs at Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan facility, announced in January, for high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles; Ford has announced $1.9 billion in new investments in Michigan this year

Ford Motor Company is investing $1.2 billion in three Michigan manufacturing facilities to strengthen its leadership in trucks and SUVs and support the company’s expansion to an auto and mobility company.

Ford Investing in Three Michigan FacilitiesFord is investing $850 million in Michigan Assembly Plant to retool the plant to build the all-new Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco. Employees at Michigan Assembly Plant will begin building Ranger at the end of 2018 and Bronco in 2020.

The company also plans to create or retain 130 jobs and invest $150 million to expand capacity for engine components for several vehicles, including Ranger and Bronco, at Romeo Engine Plant in Michigan.

In addition, Ford is investing $200 million for an advanced data center to support the company’s expansion to an auto and a mobility company. It is the second of two new data centers Ford is building in Michigan, as the company expects its data usage to increase 1,000 percent – driven by manufacturing and business needs and new mobility services, such as more connected, autonomous and electrified vehicles.

The second new data center will be located at Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant, where the company is investing $700 million and adding 700 direct new jobs – announced in January – to create a factory capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles. Continue reading

“Born To Baja,” A Virtual Reality/360 Experience Featuring the All-New F-150 Raptor

A baptism of dust and rock. 36 hours of unrelenting torture and the world’s most brutal test of a truck – and the people inside. This is “Born to Baja,” the latest FordVR story featuring the all-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.

“We are excited to debut this virtual reality story, a first for the all-new Raptor,” said Henry Ford III, Global Marketing Manager of Ford Performance. “’Born to Baja’ showcases the Built Ford Tough attitude that is at the heart of this performance monster. This grueling race proves once again that we have the most-capable, production off-road truck in the industry.” Continue reading

Former TV Show Home Designer Kim Lewis Begins New Adventure in “Pearl,” Her Vintage Ford F-150 Ranger

  • An iconic blue-and-white 1977 Ford F-150 Ranger belonging to former “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” production designer Kim Lewis is a familiar sight in Austin, Texas, home to her new studio, Kim Lewis Designs
  • Hailing from a longtime Ford truck family, the Texas native learned to drive in her grandfather’s Ford F-150, so when she went to build her design business looking to establish a tough brand identity, Lewis sought out a vintage Ford truck she calls “Pearl”
  • Lewis and Pearl’s story figures into Ford’s yearlong 40 Years Tough celebration – marking F-Series as America’s best-selling truck for 40 straight years and best-selling vehicle for 35 straight years

Texas-based designer Kim Lewis, no stranger to the spotlight, has come to appreciate the value of iconic design. As a production designer on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” Lewis helped design and renovate more than 120 homes across America over the course of six years.

“No pressure there,” laughs Lewis, sitting on the back of her treasured workhorse – a vintage 1977 blue-and-white Ford F-150 Ranger she calls “Pearl.” She bought the truck after moving back to Austin from Los Angeles to launch Kim Lewis Designs, and it’s become an integral part of her global design business.

Lewis, hailing from a longtime Ford truck family, learned to drive in her grandfather’s 1978 Ford F-150. That truck remains in the family to this day, and is what inspired her to find her own vintage Ford truck. “All around Texas, people know Pearl – we’re two peas in a pod,” says Lewis. “She’s exactly what I needed to start my business and has become part of my brand. My Ford truck was built for life and built for my work.”

In 2006, working as a marketing manager for a furniture company, Lewis seized on an opportunity to design for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Her first project, which took her all the way to Alaska, was a success. Within two years, she would take over managing the show’s entire design team.

“I was constantly running to and from the airport to work on projects all around the country,” says Lewis. “It was a modern-day barn-raising, as we worked with local communities to help raise people up and inspire them.”

Today, Lewis designs restaurants and tiny homes all around the world – using Pearl whenever possible to travel to job sites or to deliver furniture and accessories. She recently worked on a Thanksgiving Day makeover of Dallas Fire Station No. 43 with the Dallas Cowboys, Fox Sports, Leary Firefighters Foundation and Ford Motor Company, which donated a 2017 F-Series Super Duty to the firefighters.

Lewis has also launched an accessory line to provide women in places like Ethiopia, Ghana and Honduras with sustainable economic opportunities. She frequently travels to developing countries to train and assist women, finding new inspiration for design along the way.

For details on Ford’s 40 Years Tough series, including more on Lewis and Pearl, or to share your F-Series story, visit www.40YearsTough.com.

Scared of the Dark? You’re Not Alone. Fear Handed Down from Cavemen Ancestors Causes On-road Stress; This New Tech Could Help

It’s not just children who are afraid of the dark. Whether preferring to sleep with a light on – or worrying about driving at night – grown-ups get scared too.Driving in the Dark

Some experts believe fear of the dark, or nyctophobia, can be traced back to our cave-dwelling ancestors, who were more at risk of being attacked by predators in the dark.  Today it affects us behind the wheel.

Worries over night blindness, and fear of hitting someone – or something – top a new poll of night-time driving fears, commissioned by Ford. * And for the latter at least, there is now a solution that goes beyond simply eating more carrots. The company is for the first time introducing new technology that is designed to detect pedestrians at night and then automatically apply the brakes if the driver does not respond to initial warnings. Continue reading

Available 24/7, New Smart Service Kiosk from Ford, Panasonic Saves Customers Time By Automating Vehicle Service Process

We’ve all been there: You’re in a rush, need to drop off your vehicle for a service appointment, and upon arriving at the dealership, you realize a half-dozen other customers are already in line ahead of you.SmartService Gif

This scenario is one example of why – to save customers time and make their lives easier – Ford and Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, are testing an industry-first Smart Service Kiosk aimed at increasing customer convenience related to vehicle service. The kiosk allows customers to come to the dealership at any time to drop off and pick up their vehicle key or obtain keys to a loaner vehicle, select needed services from a quick-pick menu, and pay for service using a credit or debit card. Continue reading