The light-duty F-150 may be the MVP of the Ford truck roster, but there also are plenty of fan favorites on the heavy-duty side of the ball, and that popularity is paying off for the folks who build the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty. That’s because the Blue Oval’s Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville will welcome 350 jobs and an $80 million investment to build more models of the F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550. “Customer demand for F-Series Super Duty trucks is growing substantially, and F-Series overall is America’s best-selling truck for 37 years running,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Building on more than 100 years of manufacturing in Kentucky, we are proud to expand our profitable growth in the region as a result of our leadership in trucks and SUVs.” Another result: Backed by the increased production capability, the plant is expected to produce the 5-millionth Super Duty truck later in 2014, an achievement that’s taken fewer than 15 years. Of course, it also will help that the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty benefits from a major powertrain overhaul, thanks to the debut of the next-gen 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel that serves up more torque, more horsepower and more towing capability than the previous engine. Added Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department: “We are happy to be adding new jobs at Kentucky Truck Plant, because we know the impact these jobs will have on the local community. It’s especially rewarding to know these jobs come as a result of customer demand. It shows customers understand and appreciate the dedication our UAW Ford workers put into delivering top-quality products like Ford F-Series Super Duty.” (Note: Along with the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty, the automaker’s Kentucky Truck Plant also will build the 2015 Ford Expedition and the significantly redesigned 2015 Lincoln Navigator.) Source: http://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/30/ford-invests–80-million–creates-350-jobs-at-kentucky-truck-pla.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
The best-selling vehicle nameplate in the world is worn by the 2014 Ford Focus, which led the industry in sales registrations through the third quarter of 2013. According to the latest data from the experts at Polk, customers around the world registered 856,587 Focus models during that time, representing a 16.1 percent jump in volume over the same period in 2012. Further, the Focus expanded its lead over the No. 2 entry to 75,000 registrations. Among the key enablers of that performance: The company’s decision to unify the Focus platform in markets across the world as part of the One Ford strategy. Said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln: “Our success with Focus serving more and more customers around the world underscores the strength of our One Ford plan. We remain absolutely committed to developing a full family of vehicles that, like Focus, offer outstanding quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.” In fact, as a perfect example of the global popularity of the 2014 Ford Focus, the car’s top market through the first nine months of 2013 was China, where customers pushed up registrations by 85 percent on the strength of 303,481 registrations. But it’s not just the Focus that’s benefiting from the company’s new international approach. The 2014 Ford Fiesta joined the Focus on the global top-5 list for the period in question, thanks to 545,968 registrations of its own. Both the 2014 Ford Focus and Fiesta remain on sale in the United States, of course, with the former priced from $16,810 and the latter starting at $14,100. Source: http://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/27/double-digit-growth-strengthens-ford-focus-lead-as-best-selling-.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford.
The first 2015 Ford Mustang GT fastback, helping celebrate the Mustang’s first 50 years on the market, sold for $300,000 at a recent Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. All proceeds from the winning bid will go to the JDRF, which is the leading global organization for funding of type 1 diabetes research. Barrett-Jackson’s 2015 Ford Mustang GT goes into the books as part of an extensive roster of past pony cars auctioned for charity, including an all-time auction top-10 list of: 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Super Snake fastback : An MSRP of $8,000 was deemed too high to put this car into production in 1967, so the only one ever built brought $1.3 million when it crossed the auction block in 2013. 1967 Ford Mustang fastback : In 2013, a bidder paid $1.07 million for the star car of the remake of “Gone in 60 Seconds,” which came out in 2000. 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R fastback : One of just 34 GT350s prepared for the 1965 motorsports season by Shelby American, this example went for $$990,000 in 2012. 1969 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 convertible : Carroll Shelby’s own convertible had surpassed 70,000 miles before being auctioned for $742,000 in 2008. 2007 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 coupe : Earning $648,000 in 2006, the first GT500 of its generation set fresh records for power and speed; although they’ve since been eclipsed by current models. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Sportsroof coupe : Forget the roof, this Boss was one of the first 50 powered by the “820-S” NASCAR engine, and went home for $605,000 at a 2007 charity event. 2007 Ford Shelby GT Mustang coupe : The revived Hertz rent-a-racer reeled in a $600,000 bid at auction in 2007. 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR coupe : A king’s ransom of $550,000 was the take for the first “King of the Road” production model, auctioned in 2008. 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 Sportsroof coupe : Configured for drag racing, yet still with the factory plastic wrap on its seats, this low-mileage model went under the hammer in 2013 for $555,000. 1965 Ford Shelby GT350 Supercharged fastback : This one-of-a-kind prototype previewed new style upgrades for the 1965 production car and proved worthy of a $528,000 winning bid in 2007. Sources: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/17/first-retail-2015-ford-mustang-gt-could-join-the-list-of-most-va.html and https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/20/first-retail-unit-2015-ford-mustang-gt-fastback-sells-for-300.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford.
It’s not easy improving on the best-selling vehicle in the country, but the brand-new 2015 Ford F-150 is going to do just that. Introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and scheduled to go on sale later this year, the truck will showcase new features like: Integrated loading ramps for easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles and more A new “BoxLink” system of cleats and brackets for attaching bed accessories Advanced camera technologies, including a 360-degree bird’s-eye-view system and a rearview camera with special guidelines to simplify hitching Remote tail-gate release and lock/unlock functionality 400-watt in-cabin power outlets Side-mirror-mounted LED spotlights and LED bed-box lights Ford’s next-gen tailgate step Driver-assistance aides including adaptive cruise control and curve control, as well as lane-keeping and blindspot-information systems There’s also something new available under the hood of the 2015 Ford F-150: a 2.7-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that delivers an “extremely high output and lightweight design.” Then, returning for the 2015 model year will be Ford’s 5.0-liter V-8, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6, all providing their own unique combinations of “power, capability and efficiency.” The 2015 Ford F-150 will get a bolder and more modern appearance, too, but the biggest news is actually under the skin. That’s where Ford engineers have deployed a frame that now relies on high-strength, military-grade aluminum. As a result, while the 2015 Ford F-150 will serve up all the capabilities one expects from the Blue Oval’s workhorse, it will do so at a fighting weight that’s up to 700 lbs. lower than last year’s model. The bottom line from Mark Fields, chief operating officer of the Ford Motor Company: “F-150 is well-known for being Built Ford Tough. Now, it is both tough and smart. The all-new F-150 redefines the future of trucks, and it is yet another example of our One Ford plan producing vehicles that serve customers with a commitment to the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.” Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/13/all-new-ford-f-150-redefines-full-size-trucks.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo by Charles Krome.
Consider it the plug-in hybrid that doesn’t need a plug: Instead, the new Ford C-Max Solar Energi concept relies on a combination of sunlight and advanced Ford technologies to provide a greener way to travel. It all starts with the Ford C-Max hybrid, which provides a versatile and efficient package capable of topping 40 mpg in all facets of EPA testing. Engineers then added a sophisticated plug-in hybrid system that still delivers a fuel-economy line of 44 mpg city/41 mpg highway/43 mpg combined, but now adds a 21-mile all-electric driving range at a rate of 100 MPGe combined. Finally, Ford finishes up the C-Max Solar Energi concept by installing a high-tech solar-panel system that can transform a day’s worth of sun power into a full battery charge. The difference-maker here is a special “concentrator” that acts sort of like a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays on the car’s roof-mounted solar panel. As a result, not only does the Ford C-Max Solar Energi deliver all the efficiency advantages of the plug-in production model, it also does so while reducing the greenhouse-gas emissions of the typical driver by about four metric tons. The new Ford C-Max concept is scheduled to debut at the upcoming International CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, where the brand-new 2015 Ford Mustang will also serve as the event’s “official car.” “Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept shines a new light on electric transportation and renewable energy,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. “As an innovation leader, we want to further the public dialog about the art of the possible in moving the world toward a cleaner future.” Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/01/02/let-the-sun-in–ford-c-max-solar-energi-concept-goes-off-the-gri.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
The 2015 Ford Mustang may boast a brand-new design, its first-ever EcoBoost engine and the latest Sync with MyFord Touch technologies, but Ford baked in plenty of tradition, too. For example, the 50 th anniversary Mustang will continue to showcase a powerful V-8 engine, an iconic fastback shape and a commitment to supporting the JDRF as the country’s leading organization for type 1 diabetes research. Which brings us to an exclusive opportunity for pony-car proponents: On Jan. 18, 2014, the very first retail model of the 2015 Ford Mustang GT will be up for grabs at a Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, with all proceeds going to the JDRF. Going to the winning bidder will be a car that also serves up: More than 420 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque The new owner’s choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmission New front and rear suspensions systems Launch control and other high-performance technologies Driver-assistance features like Ford’s Blind Spot Information System and adaptive cruise control Said Jeffrey Brewer, president and CEO of the research foundation: “JDRF is very grateful for the generous and steadfast support from Ford and its employees over the years. It is an incredible honor to be a part of Mustang’s 50 th celebration and we are so thankful for the donation of the auction proceeds, which will go directly to JDRF’s type 1 diabetes research programs. “Ford’s charitable vehicle sales at Barrett-Jackson have raised more than $3 million for JDRF through the years, and these funds are helping us make tremendous progress towards therapies and treatments that will make life better for people with type 1 diabetes today as we work to find a cure for this terrible disease.” For bidding information on the first 2015 Ford Mustang GT, please visit: www.Barrett-Jackson.com . Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/12/20/first-retail-2015-ford-mustang-gt-fastback-crossing-barrett-jack.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
Even though the 2014 Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in America, Blue Oval engineers remain committed to offering truck buyers more benefits on a regular basis. The latest example comes to market from the Show-me State, which has now begun building 2014 Ford F-150 models that are capable of running on compressed natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas. It’s another first for Ford, which is now the only manufacturer with an available gaseous-fuel prep package for its half-ton pickups. The system is a $315 option on the 2014 Ford F-150 with its 3.7-liter V-6 engine, with upfitting from a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier, running approximately $6,000 to $9,000. But that price of admission delivers a range of up to 750 miles, the ability to run on an affordable and clean-burning fuel, and in a growing number of states, access to a range of tax incentives and rebates. At the same time, Ford is providing a growing number of CNG-capable vehicles. By the end of next summer, customers will be able to choose a CNG package for: Transit Connect (van and wagon) Transit (van, wagon, cutaway and chassis cab) E-Series (van, wagon, cutaway and stripped chassis) F-series Super Duty (F-350 pickup and chassis cab, F-450 chassis cab and F-550 chassis cab) F-650 medium-duty truck F53 and F59 stripped chassis F-150 light-duty pickup This is good news for folks like Jerome Webber, vice president of global fleet operations for AT&T. According to Webber: “We’re almost halfway to our company-wide goal of deploying 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles by the end of 2018. Vehicles such as CNG F-350s from Ford have helped us avoid purchasing 7.7 million gallons of gasoline over the past five years while reducing our fleet’s emissions.” Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/11/21/first-cng-capable-2014-ford-f-150-rolls-off-the-line-in-kansas-c.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
After saving more than 400,000 barrels of oil since introducing its “PlantBottle Technology” in 2009, Coca-Cola is showcasing a 2014 Ford Fusion that uses the same material to help satisfy drivers’ thirst for more sustainable motoring. Needless to say, the car isn’t an ordinary 2014 Fusion. Although that car is plenty green right out of the box, with a 34-mpg highway mark, Coke’s concept starts with a 2014 Ford Fusion Energi, which adds the advantages of a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The result is a 21-mile all-electric driving range, and that’s complemented by a nearly 600-mile gas-engine range and an EPA rating of 43 mpg in combined travel. The Ford-Coke partnership then used the latter’s PlantBottle materials for seats in the former’s Fusion, covering its cushions, backs and head restraints, as well as the car’s door-panel inserts and headliner. “By using PlantBottle Technology in a plug-in hybrid, Ford and Coca-Cola are showing the broad potential to leverage renewable materials that help replace petroleum and other fossil fuels, reducing the overall environmental impact of future vehicles,” said John Viera, global director of sustainability and vehicle environmental matters at Ford. Neither Ford nor Coke commented on whether the PlantBottle material would ever end up in a production vehicle, but it is worth remembering that, even now, all 2014 Ford Fusion models include enough recycled denim to make two pair of blue jeans, along with seat cushions that contain more than 30,000 soybeans. Further, in select cloth-seat models, the equivalent of almost 40 bottles worth of recycled plastic goes into the upholstery. Also, Coca-Cola’s Scott Vitters is clear that the road is open for future automotive applications with the Blue Oval: “We are pleased to share this technology with Ford, and look forward to continuing to expand the application of PlantBottle Technology.” Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/11/15/driving-innovation–the-coca-cola-company-and-ford-unveil-ford-f.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
Backed by sales of the Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion Energi, the Ford Motor Company led the industry in plug-in hybrid sales in October, outpacing the Toyota Prius Plug-in by nearly 100 units. At the same time, the combined sales of the plug-in Ford C-Max and Fusion reached their highest monthly total ever, with 2,179 deliveries that represented a 45 percent advance over the duo’s previous high point for monthly sales. Other fun facts about Ford’s high-Energi hybrids: Their market share in the plug-in hybrid segment has gone from 0 to 34 percent in just more than a year. Data from MyFord Mobile indicates that the Ford C-Max and Fusion Energi models drive about 203,000 all-electric, zero-emissions miles each day. Almost 30 percent of all trips taken in the two cars rely solely on electricity. Also notable is the fact that plug-in sales in general are on the rise in the United States. Through October, deliveries in the segment are ahead of last year’s sales pace by 32 percent, with much of that growth coming from new areas of the country. For example, it’s true that California customers still lead the way in plug-in hybrid purchases, buying about 38 percent of them; but demand in midwestern and eastern markets is sky-rocketing. Today, New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., are responsible for 32 percent of all Ford C-Max Energi sales and 34 percent of all Fusion Energi sales for the year. Both the 2014 Ford C-Max Energi and Ford Fusion Energi are, of course, at dealerships now, and both also qualify for up to $3,750 in federal tax credits, bringing their net retail costs to as low as $29,200 and $34,950, respectively. Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/11/04/ford-c-max-energi–fusion-energi-overtake-toyota-in-plug-in-hybr.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
The first modern-day subcompact to reach 45 mpg without the benefit of hybrid help is the 2014 Ford Fiesta. When configured with its new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine and a five-speed manual transmission, in both hatchback and sedan body styles, the Fiesta has been certified to reach 32 mpg city/45 mpg highway/27 mpg combined. But the real benefit to the Blue Oval’s new three-cylinder engine goes beyond its green performance to also include a notably aggressive approach to green lights. Not only does that mighty mite of a motor deliver 123 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. right out of the box, it also features an overboost function that allows drivers to enjoy up to 145 lb.-ft. of twist for up to 15 seconds. Unsurprisingly, that powerplant was named International Engine of the Year in both 2012 and 2013. “With the new Fiesta 1.0-liter EcoBoost we’re pushing into fuel-economy numbers only seen on hybrids and diesels,” said Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of the Americas for Ford. “Coupled with the new Fiesta ST, Fiesta covers the performance-efficiency continuum in the subcompact segment better than any other nameplate in the market.” That’s because said continuum also includes the standard 2014 Ford Fiesta, with 120 horsepower and 112 lb.-ft. of torque matched to an EPA line of up to 27/38/31, along with the just-mentioned Fiesta ST, which holsters a 4-cylinder EcoBoost unit that serves up 197 horsepower, 202 lb.-ft. of torque and EPA marks of up to 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway/29 mpg combined. The popular portfolio of 2014 Ford Fiesta models is at dealerships now with MSRPs that start at $14,000. Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/10/29/2014-ford-fiesta-with-new-1-0-liter-ecoboost-engine-sets-new-ben.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.