Ford Plastics and Biomaterials Research Group researches and develops sustainable material alternatives to petroleum based plastics and composites (and foams), including renewable (bio-based) and/or recycled content. The video clips show a range of typical functions and tests for the various bio-based material developments such as formulation, material production, molding of test specimens, mechanical testing and evaluations.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
2013 Ford F-150 Limited: Building on a decade of luxury pickup truck leadership, Ford introduces the new range-topping Limited series. Redefining pickup truck comfort, convenience and connectivity with class-leading levels of content, Limited brings tasteful design touches, inside and out.
Monday, August 27, 2012
2013 Ford E-Series: E-Series features a 6.5-inch touch-screen display with Navigation System, Crew Chiefª telematics to give fleet managers real-time operating data, and class-exclusive connectivity of SYNC¨, which can integrate with smartphones and other devices using hands-free Bluetooth¨ technology for safer voice-based calling.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Thursday, August 23, 2012
- New SHOWCASE app offers Ford sales consultants “anytime, anywhere” access to their inventory and product information
- App provides rich video content on features and technologies linked to vehicle inventory
- SHOWCASE app allows dealerships to save and share customer vehicle preferences
- The app integrates the online experience with the off-line purchase experience
DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 13, 2012 – For most people, buying a new car, truck or SUV is the second-biggest purchase they make after their home, so ensuring the process is as easy and stress-free as possible is critical to customer satisfaction. The new SHOWCASE app being used by Ford sales associates with the Apple iPad® is helping dealers find just the right car for their customers faster than ever.
To view the new SHOWCASE app in action, visit the link below:
“Waiting for the sales consultant to check the inventory or wandering the aisles of a car lot in search of just the right combination of colors and options can be a tedious and time-consuming process,” says Michelle Moody, Cross Vehicle Marketing manager for Ford. “If the weather is bad or the sun has gone down early in the winter months, venturing outside is even less appealing.
“In early 2011 we decided to take advantage of the portable technology that became available with the launch of the iPad to facilitate an improved purchase experience for our customers,” Moody says.
In recent years customers have become accustomed to using various shopping tools to configure and compare vehicles on the Ford.com website. The new SHOWCASE app links this experience to the showroom, giving sales associates new technology to determine what features a customer wants and to immediately check inventory to see which vehicles in stock most closely match those needs.
“We had tried using kiosks in the showroom to enable customers to check out our vehicles and features, but many customers were not as comfortable using these on their own,” Moody says.
Using the new SHOWCASE app running on an iPad, the salesperson can sit with the customer to pick out the model that person wants, then filter the selection based on trim level, colors, equipment and price. The app then displays all the vehicles in stock that match the customer’s criteria including a list of all the equipment installed on each vehicle.
“I have to say it has never been easier finding the right vehicle,” said Maxx Springman, a customer who recently bought a new Escape from All-American Ford in Old Bridge, N.J. “I can’t believe we were able to build the exact Escape I was looking for right there at the salesman’s desk.
“Then we actually found the right one on the lot without having to spend an hour walking around outside looking at different window stickers like I’ve done in the past. Thank goodness, too, because it was, like, 110 degrees out and ready to pour!”
The SHOWCASE app provides instant access to more information including videos about the available features, such technology as SYNC® and MyFord® Touch, as well as driver assist features like adaptive cruise control and active park assist. Using the app, the salesperson can quickly demonstrate features like collision warning with brake support, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) or Lane-Keeping System, which may not be easy to show off during a test drive.
If the customer needs time to consider or discuss the purchase with his or her significant other, the sales associate can email the information on the specific vehicles in stock directly to the customer.
“Customers don’t like to wait while the salesperson walks away to check inventory,” says Rich Savino, owner of All-American Ford, a participant in the pilot program. “The SHOWCASE app helps to create a more intimate experience; it lets customers see what is available instantly and make adjustments if they don’t find what they are looking for.”
The SHOWCASE app was developed by Ford and user interface design specialists Razorfish over a period of several months in 2011. A pilot group of 14 Ford dealers participated in defining the app and then testing it beginning in November 2011. Open registration for all Ford dealers began on Aug. 1, 2012 and nearly 200 dealers have already signed up to use the new app.
Recently, the Build and Price section of Ford.com was enhanced to give customers the ability to save their builds. Ford is also working on a number of future enhancements for the Showcase app including the ability for the sales associate to retrieve custom builds previously saved by the customer and then automatically search inventory to find vehicles that match the customer’s needs.
The SHOWCASE app is just the latest step in Ford’s efforts to improve the customer experience before, during and after the purchase of a new vehicle.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
In 2000, Bill Ford spearheaded a sustainability report for the company his great-grandfather founded nearly a century earlier. "Sustainability issues are neither incidental nor avoidable," he wrote in the report, "they are at the heart of our business." At the time, the green ideas were not well-received. Today, in the wake of rising fuel prices and global economic crisis, they are at the center of Ford Motor Company's strategy for success.
Under Bill's leadership, Ford has repositioned itself as the auto industry's sustainability leader. From incorporating biodegradable materials in vehicle interiors and introducing eco-minded vehicles like hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and EVs, to improving energy efficiency at the factory level, Bill has radically transformed the way his company operates and the cars it produces.
"We want to be green, global and high-tech," he says. "We are using our global resources to produce innovative technology for safer, cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles."
Friday, August 17, 2012
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Here's a cute little short delivery worker--an 8' stakebed with underbed boxes and hitch mounted on a Ford Ranger. This unit was built by West Coast Truck Equipment in West Sacramento, CA. You can contact them at 916-376-0690. You can also see more on their website at http://www.westcoasttruckequipment.com/.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Knapheide is excited to announce the availability of their recently redesigned dump bodies with a cross member understructure. The new cross member dump bodies are available in fixed side applications and are compatible with Class 3-5 chassis including Chevy, Ford, GMC, Ram, International, among others.
Available models include 9’ or 11’ body lengths with either 12” or 16” high sides. Body capacity ranges from 2 yards up to 4 yards. The understructure is a stacked design with 3” structural steel cross sills on 12” centers with 6” structural steel long sills. Self-cleaning sloped top rails and lower rails allow for effortless dirt-shedding. The tailgate offers both dump-through and drop down applications with a quick release, one-handed lever for convenience. Complete immersion in Knapheide’s exclusive E-Coat system along with undercoating provides superior corrosion resistance.
A variety of options are available including dual-acting hoists, full or quarter cab protectors, storage packs and underbody toolboxes, metering chutes, tarps, LED lights, and many others. Knapheide cross member dump bodies are now available for order through Knapheide’s extensive nationwide distribution network. To learn more about Knapheide crosss member dump bodies, go to
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Ford’s Global One Manufacturing System Drives Efficiencies, Increases Capabilities and Lowers Total Cost of Production
Ford’s Global One Manufacturing System Drives Efficiencies, Increases Capabilities and Lowers Total Cost of Production
- Ford is deploying a single manufacturing operating system that will drive improved efficiencies, better capacity utilization
- As part of increasing plant flexibility, Ford will be able to produce 25 percent more vehicle derivatives per plant by 2015
- Ford will increase investment efficiency 8 percent a year by using standard processes and virtual tools
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Aug. 6, 2012 – Ford Motor Company is supporting its biggest global expansion in 50 years by rolling out a single manufacturing operating system that will drive improved efficiencies, increase capacity utilization and make the company an industry leader in lowest total cost production.
“The global One Ford plan is making it possible for us to deploy One Manufacturing, a single Ford production system that will pay tremendous dividends through standard processes, greater flexibility and improved investment efficiency,” said John Fleming, Ford executive vice president, Global Manufacturing, at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars today.
Ford is adding capacity around the world, including a broad expansion in Asia Pacific Africa (APA), where the company is adding nine new plants. The facilities will increase APA’s capacity to produce 2.9 million vehicles a year, part of a global plan to meet Ford’s goal of selling 8 million vehicles a year by mid-decade.
As Ford brings on new facilities, it is expanding the use of common manufacturing processes and standard systems for tracking material, delivery, maintenance and environmental costs so that new and existing plants are aligned in how they operate. Ford is also making broader use of virtual tools that reduce the cost of new plants and improve the efficiencies of new model changeovers.
“It is critical that all of our assembly operations, wherever they are located, speak the same language when it comes to producing high-quality vehicles in a safe and efficient way,” said Fleming.
Ford’s One Manufacturing system includes:
- Improved flexibility: Last year, 55 percent of Ford’s operations had flexible body shops, a figure that will increase to 65 percent in 2012. As the company launches new plants, each one will have a flexible body shop. Also, the number of vehicle derivatives that can be assembled at a single factory is increasing. By 2015, Ford will be able to produce 25 percent more derivatives per plant from 2011. Some new plants in APA will be capable of producing six and seven vehicles from a single facility
- Process/quality improvement: Ford is expanding the use of virtual tools that simulate how cars are assembled. By studying the best way for operators to install a seat, for example, Ford can design assembly lines that reduce injuries and accidents while improving quality. Since 2006, Ford has reduced the number of manufacturing build issues when a vehicle is first produced by more than 90 percent
- Investment efficiency: Virtual tools have already reduced the investment it takes to assemble a vehicle by more than 20 percent since 2009. In addition, the company has reduced the investment to produce a vehicle derivative by 60 percent. Going forward, expanding the use of virtual tools and standard processes will reduce total vehicle investment by 8 percent a year
- Capacity utilization: As Ford launches new plants, it is also reducing the number of platforms that vehicles are developed from. When combined with improved flexibility and more efficiencies, Ford will be able to take advantage of global economies of scale and significantly improve capacity utilization. By 2016, Ford’s global capacity utilization on a two-shift basis will increase 27 percent compared to 2011
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
11 Foot Fire TruckBody
Harbor Truck Bodies built a different kind of fire truck for a local fire department. This is an 11' Highliner Body, which is essentially an 11' service body with boxes added to the top that has doors opening upward to be able to see inside the compartments. In addition, this unique vehicle has an 18" bumper extension with compartments on both sides for small items and a work space and non-slip grip tread, or as some call it, spray on liner. Then, it has a 19" drop in tailgate with a 3-piece cargo bed enclosure that glides on teflon style pads and is so easy to move. The 3-piece enclosure opens up two thirds of the bed area when fully opened. And, of course, it wouldn't be a fire truck if it wasn't heavy duty and pretty too, so it's sitting on a Ford F450-550 uplevel chassis with Alcoa aluminum wheels. Pretty sweet, don't you think?
9 Foot Fire and Rescue Style Body
This custom SuperStructure 9' Service Body was built for Mono County Search and Rescue. This is a great looking, and very functional body with room for lots of things.This body has horizontal compartments on both sides, where the horizontal compartment normally over the wheels only is extended to the end of the body to allow the carrying of longer tools and items that would not normally fit in any of the service body compartments. The good news about that is that it is typically a "no charge" option. Those huge upper compartments can carry some really large items by removing the shelf. Then there are those awesome light to light up the whole area on all three sides of the body. And, last, there is the whole lockable area in the rear which will take care of what won't fit in the compartments. All that mounted on a Ford Crew Cab F450 makes an awesome package.
56 Inch Tall Fire Truck Body
Here's a bright red beauty built for the Mountain Gate Fire Department in Northern California and sold through Corning Ford in Corning, CA.This is a custom body similar to Harbor's 56" tall Service Body and this one has a horizontal series compartment where the compartment over the rear wheel goes all the way to the end of the body. It also has upper doors that open upward allowing access to a huge space for storage.
See more about Harbor at www.htbi.net