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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.
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.
It’s not often that paying six figures for a 2014 Ford Mustang can be considered a good deal, but that certainly was the case at the recent Barrett-Jackson auto auction in Las Vegas. It was there that heated bidding drove up the price paid for the 2014 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet prototype to $200,000, with all proceeds going to benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “We cannot be more grateful to the entire team at Ford Motor Company for their tireless work for our cause,” said Elana Sullivan, president of the Michigan Chapter of the National MS Society. “Because of the incredible outcome of this auction, we will be able to move even closer to creating a world free of MS.” But while the money went to an excellent cause, the auction winner didn’t exactly go home empty-handed. That anonymous bidder gets the very car used to help develop the 2014 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, the Blue Oval’s turnkey drag racer. The prototype itself is NHRA legal and has been fitted with: A supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 engine and T4 racing transmission Lightweight racing brakes Custom Cobra-branded Recaro seats Chrome-moly safety cage Three-link rear suspension and 9.0-in rear axle Cobra Jet wheels backed up by a rear “wheelie” bar Then, along with the 2014 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet prototype itself, the automaker is providing a package that includes instruction at Roy Hill’s Drag Racing School in North Carolina; membership on the Ford Racing team with a chance to visit the Ford Product Development Center, Ford Design Studio and Ford Racing HQ; and a video of the vehicle being built, tested and sold at auction. “We’re pleased this Mustang Cobra Jet captured so much attention at the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas sale,” says Steve Ling, North America car marketing manager for Ford. “Ford’s long-standing relationship with Barrett-Jackson gives us the opportunity to help charities such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Brain Injury Association of America; Carroll Shelby Foundation; and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation through unique vehicle sales.” https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/10/03/2014-ford-mustang-cobra-jet-prototype-sells-for–200-000-at-barr.html
Backed by a $555 million investment and 1,400 new employees, the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan recently became the U.S. headquarters for production of the 2014 Ford Fusion. The Flat Rock expansion increases the overall production capacity for the car to 350,000 units annually, and comes at an ideal time. After all, through the first seven months of 2013, Fusion sales are ahead of the previous year’s pace by about 13.4 percent. That represents more than 181,000 U.S. deliveries with five more months of selling still on the calendar. “With its bold design and great fuel economy, Fusion has exceeded all of our expectations, with demand outstripping supply,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas. “Fusion in Flat Rock is a win for all of our stakeholders—including customers, employees and dealers. At the same time, Ford is continuing its massive investment in America by creating another 1,400 jobs.” But that’s just a fraction of the 6,500 new hires Ford has planned for this year in the United States, with the company currently on its way to creating 12,000 hourly jobs by the end of 2015. UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles also noted that: “We are thrilled to have added production of Fusion at Flat Rock Assembly Plant—not just for our dedicated workforce here, but for the entire metro Detroit community and the associated jobs it will create. Together with the domestic automakers and through the collective bargaining process, we are able to bring jobs to the U.S. that were previously located offshore. Fusion production in Flat Rock is a key part of that.” Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/08/29/1-400-new-ford-employees-kick-off-u-s–production-of-fusion-to-m.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
There are about 35 different auto brands to choose from in this country, and in July, the Ford F-150 outsold all but six of them. In fact, with 60,449 deliveries last month, the Blue Oval’s big pickup sold more units than the Volkswagen and Chrysler divisions combined, while also enjoying a 22.6 percent advance over July of 2012. Another way to gauge the ongoing success of the best-selling vehicle in America: Ford just set a third crew to work at its Kansas City Assembly Plant to keep up with demand, adding 900 new jobs to the U.S. economy. But like the hot sales of the Ford F-150, the automaker’s hiring spree isn’t a new trend. It’s actually part of continuing Ford’s efforts to grow its workforce in this country. So far this year, the company has added 2,335 hourly and 1,500 salaried team members to its roster, and is now 75 percent of the way to reaching its goal of creating 12,000 hourly jobs in this country by 2015. Also helping matters is a $1.1 billion investment at the Kansas City complex to build the upcoming Ford Transit full-size commercial van. Of course, it’s not just the people building the Ford F-150 who will benefit from increased production of the truck. Keeping up with the sizzling demand for the F-Series also helps those who need the pickups for their own business, and there are plenty. According to current data provided by the automaker, the Ford F-150 owns more than 60 percent of the market in fields like hazardous materials work, the oil pipeline industry and road/highway maintenance. “Ford F-Series sales are the strongest since 2006, and we are increasing production to meet this demand.” said Doug Scott, marketing manager for the Ford Truck Group. “This is an important indicator that our economy is growing again. We are proud that Ford Trucks are helping more and more of our customers get back to work.” Source: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2013/08/05/third-production-crew-with-900-new-u-s–jobs-begins-to-meet-surg.html Written by Charles Krome. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.
The Ford F-150 is now approaching its fourth decade as the best-selling vehicle in America, a title the truck is showing no signs of relinquishing. In fact, just last month, Ford sold 59,030 F-150s—the truck’s highest April sales total since 2006—while growing volume by an impressive 24.4 percent. To put those marks into perspective, the F-150 almost tripled the 8.5 percent growth rate of the industry as a whole, with the Ford outperforming the No. 2 vehicle in the country by nearly 20,000 units. Those strong sales have led to an equally strong response from Ford: The company is adding 900 jobs to its Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant to build more pickups. “Customer demand for today’s F-150 is strong and continues growing, the truck segment is growing three times faster than the overall industry, the housing market is strengthening, and we are seeing growth in the U.S. economy,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Our ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150 is America’s favorite pickup, and we are going to expand operations in Kansas City to ensure we have enough trucks to meet customer demand.” In addition, to recognize and take advantage of the high-quality work being done at the Kansas City complex, the Blue Oval will be adding yet another 1,100 jobs in KC to prepare for the launch of the all-new full-size Ford Transit van that will go on sale in 2014. “Today we celebrate the commitment to excellence displayed every day by the men and women of Kansas City Assembly Plant,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director of the National Ford Department. “These additional jobs are the direct result of the dedicated effort our UAW members display every day at facilities all across the country and serve as another reminder of the resilience of American workers and our nation’s manufacturing sector.”
The Midwest Automotive Media Association, gracious hosts of the Spring Collection Road Rally at Road America each year, has bestowed on the 2013 Ford Fusion its Family Vehicle of the Year award. Eligible cars must start under $50,000, be new or significantly updated, and have made an appearance at a MAMA rally for journalists to drive and evaluate. Click here for more.
It’s not easy to improve on a truck that has been the best-selling vehicle in America for more than three decades, but Ford engineers are hard at work doing just that—as proven by the unveiling of the Ford Atlas concept at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “We wanted the concept to reflect how Ford trucks help customers in both their worlds—professionally and personally,” said J Mays, Ford group vice president and chief creative officer. “Every surface and feature in the vehicle has been crafted for purpose and capability while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough look.” The Atlas—and the coming all-new F-150—will break new ground for pickup prowess, with innovations like a revised tailgate step that doubles as a bed-extending cargo cradle, Dynamic Hitch Assist technology that leverages a center-stack display screen to help hook up trailers, a 360-degree camera system, LED bed lighting, and stowable cargo ramps to help load wheeled items. Yet there’s also a laser-like focus on continuing the fuel-economy success story that Ford opened with today’s truck. Thus, the Atlas boasts an EcoBoost 2.0 powertrain, an auto start/stop system and cutting-edge aero features like active grille shutters, a retractable front air dam, power-activated running boards, and even active wheel shutters, too. By leveraging all these advantages and more, Ford expects the latest F-150 will see a 2 mpg gain in highway fuel economy. As for the cabin, it was designed “with structural styling cues and features the latest thinking in comfort, utility and refinement,” including a lightweight seat design that is more comfortable for front-row occupants and provides more legroom for second-row passengers. “The Ford Atlas Concept previews the innovations that will transform what people expect from their pickup,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “With 36 years as America’s best-selling pickup, we are absolutely committed to setting the agenda in the truck market.”
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