Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Knapheide 8' Service Body With Roll Top Cover



This Knapheide 8' Service Body is fitted with a  Custom Roll-Top Cover, Custom Headboard / Window Protector, and Master Locking System. The body is mounted on a Ford Crew Cab single rear wheel 4x4. What is most unique about this unit is the roll-top cover which is interesting and rare to see. The advantage if the roll-top cover is that it rolls up like a window shade opening about 90% of the cargo area.



Monday, January 28, 2013

Ford F-Series - 65th Anniversary


On January 16, 1948, the Ford Motor Company publicly revealed the iconic F-1 pickup, beginning the F-Series legacy of tough trucks. This mini-site includes original launch press releases and photography, presented here as issued 65 years ago. Since 1948, more than 32 million trucks have proudly worn the F-Series badge. These legendary trucks have been the best-selling pickups for 36 consecutive years, and America's overall best-selling vehicle for 31 years. As Ford looks forward to the future of Built Ford Tough, it is appropriate to celebrate the 1948 Ford F-1 pickup that started it all. Happy 65th anniversary and long may you run.

Follow these links to the copies of Original Documents from the Greenfield Village Research Center and the Henry Ford Museum: 


Original Press Release

Series F1 Fact Sheet 

Body Builders Dimensional Drawing

Photos

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Special Cargo Bed Enclosure and Horizontal Series Service Body






This is a 9' Service Body on an uplevel Ford 56"CA Box Delete Chassis. Looks wonderful. The interesting part to show on this is how nicely this shows off the advantage of the horizontal series, which it a no charge option. This makes the horizontal box over the wheels extend to the end of the body and instead of a vertical compartment in the rear, it has a smaller square box below. This option allows a wide variety of tools, parts and other gear to fit in that long horizontal box. It's a great option.


The other interesting thing is that it has a Raised Cargo Bed Enclosure, but this one has a permanent top instead of the typical roll top or sliding roof. Notice the light on the inside roof and also how closely the rack fits to the top. It also has a conduit box mounted in the center which is more often mounted on one side rather than in the center.


There are some other minor options, like the Stainless Steel Vise Bracket, but all in all, this is one sweet looking truck!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ford Atlas Concept Hauls Away Autoweek Magazine’s Most Significant Vehicle Award



Ford Atlas Concept is named Most Significant vehicle of the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) by the writers of Autoweek Magazine and autoweek.com

Ford Atlas Concept showcases the design, capability, fuel efficiency and smart technologies that will define future pickup trucks

For the sixth year in a row, Ford vehicles on display at NAIAS have garnered Autoweek award recognition


DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 17, 2013 – The Ford Atlas Concept, a bold vision for the future of pickups, has been named Autoweek Magazine’s Most Significant vehicle of the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

“The Atlas Concept is clearly Most Significant winner for the things you don’t see, like hidden aerodynamic improvements and weight savings from high-strength steel and interior parts, like thinner seats,” said Bob Gritzinger, Autoweek executive editor. “Those things add up to significant fuel savings for pickup trucks down the road. A next-generation EcoBoost® with Auto Start-Stoptechnology also signals why Atlas is a real game changer.”

The Ford Atlas Concept made its worldwide debut at NAIAS on Tuesday, Jan. 15. A design and engineering study inspired by decades of listening to customers in the places where they work and play, the concept has tomorrow’s pickup buyers in mind.

Breakthrough features include active aerodynamic elements in the grille, front air dam and wheels that reduce wind resistance to save gas. Truck-specific features that improve capability, durability and productivity include a Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step that integrates with a roof cradle to become a rack for long objects like ladders, Hidden Cargo Ramps to load ATVs and motorcycles, Trailer Backup Assist to enable accurate reversing with a trailer via the simple twist of a knob, and more.

“We are thrilled by the enthusiastic response to the Ford Atlas Concept,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president for Global Product Development. “This award from Autoweek – plus overwhelming positive reaction from news media and across social channels alike – confirms Ford is the positive reaction from news media and across social channels alike – confirms Ford is the recognized thought leader in trucks, in addition to our position as truck sales leader for 36 years.”

This is the sixth year in a row Autoweek has honored Ford with one of its North American International Auto Show Editors’ Choice Awards:

2012: 2013 Ford Fusion named Best in Show

2011: Ford Vertrek Concept named Best Concept

2010: Next-generation Ford Focus named Most Significant

2009: 2010 Ford Taurus named Most Significant and 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 named Most Fun

2008: 2009 Ford F-150 named Most Significant

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ford Brings Out Entire Showroom, Commercial Vehicles and EcoBoost for North American International Auto Show


  • Ford presents its entire showroom for the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), offering guests a good look at everything from the all-new 2013 Fusion midsize sedan to its F-Series trucks
  • To help celebrate the 150th anniversary of Henry Ford’s birth, the company founder (played by a series of actors bearing an uncanny resemblance to Henry Ford) will walk guests around the exhibit, providing an audio tour that weaves the story of his life with a look at the modern Ford vehicle lineup and technological innovations such as EcoBoost® engines
  • Ford will feature its commercial vehicle story at this year’s auto show, including the Transit family of vehicles, with a display of people who protect, serve and help those in need

DETROIT, Jan. 16, 2013 – All-new Fusions, Fiestas, Escapes and Transit vans share the stage with muscular Mustangs, tough F-Series trucks and the rest of the freshest vehicle lineup available on the Ford stand at this year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

More than 65 vehicles will grace the Ford exhibit this year, including a Ford-based fire-rescue truck, a Gleaners mobile food pantry Transit Connect and Ford Police Interceptors.

“The theme of this year’s Ford stand is ‘People Serving People,’” said Elena Ford, director of Global Marketing, Sales and Service Operations. “The everyday heroes who use these commercial vehicles will be a part of the exhibit to share their experiences with guests.”

Throughout the approximately 60,000-square-foot exhibit, Ford will showcase power-revving and fuel-efficient EcoBoost® engine technology, a Focus ST road rally driving simulator, a Mustang Nation display, and ever-durable Ford trucks along with several other demonstrations. The stand boasts the freshest new vehicle lineup of any automaker, featuring EcoBoost engine technology available on nine different nameplates.

Henry Ford as your guide
To help celebrate 150 years of the man who put the world on wheels, Henry Ford – actually, an actor playing him – will guide guests around this year’s Ford stand.

Ford will start the tour near an original 1903 Model A, taking visitors through his life history while showing them Ford’s current lineup of vehicles. The full Ford showroom will be on display, as well as commercial vehicles including the all-new global Transit family.

Ford is the largest manufacturer in the global commercial vehicle segments where it competes, and North America’s best-selling commercial truck brand for 28 years. Ford is building on this leadership with introductions of the all-new Ford Transit and Ford Transit Connect vans.

Transit full-size cargo van and wagon are expected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy – averaging 25 percent better than today’s E-Series – and the segment’s lowest operating costs. Customers can choose from three roof heights, three body lengths, two wheelbases, and standard 3.7-liter V6,
3.5-liter EcoBoost or new 3.2-liter Power Stroke® five-cylinder diesel engines.

The all-new Ford Transit Connect compact van is available in two wheelbase lengths and in XL and XLT trim series. Transit Connects deliver a 1,600-pound payload, 130 cubic feet of cargo space, and have an available 2,000 pounds of towing capacity. Transit Connect is expected to achieve at least 30 mpg on the highway with its 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine.

Beyond its vehicle fleet and displays of technological innovations, Ford will offer NAIAS guests several experiential opportunities.

Boostical
Visitors will have the chance to produce an instant musical collage featuring the words “Eco” and “Boost” backed by sound effects. This fun sound mash-up will be shareable on social media networks instantly.

Taurus talent search
Guests interested in becoming a Taurus product specialist will be able to audition by recording a video. Participants will be given a short script to share via social media. Those with the highest number of “likes” will win the title of Best in Show.

Blue Oval card
For the second year, the display will feature Ford’s Blue Oval card, offering visitors a more focused, personalized experience they can share with their family and friends. Visitors can register online to receive a Blue Oval card, which they can then use to access relevant content throughout their time on the Ford stand.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ford Atlas Concept: The Future of Pickups


  • Ford Atlas Concept is the future vision for pickup trucks
  • Innovative design integrates capability and smart technologies to transform customer expectations of what Built Ford Tough® will look like in the future
  • Next-generation EcoBoost® – coupled with advanced engineering and design innovations – creates leading fuel efficiency and increased capability
  • Trailer towing and cargo hauling are made easier with innovative features designed specifically for truck owners to improve utility and confidence
Click here to visit the Ford Atlas Concept mini-site.
Soundbites: Ford Atlas Concept

DETROIT, Jan. 15, 2013 – Ford today unveiled the Ford Atlas Concept to showcase the design, capability, fuel efficiency and smart technologies that will define future pickup trucks.
“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.”

Design with purpose
The Ford Atlas Concept is inspired by decades of listening to customers at the places they work and play. The result is a purpose-driven design with prominent wheel arches, a wide stance and chiseled grille – all to reinforce its functional Built Ford Tough® image. 

“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.”

Designers enhanced truck functionality, while creating new advanced features(see infographic here). For example, multiple tie-down points are integrated within the cargo box walls and load floor, along with 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box to charge power tools. An integrated roof carrying system and hidden extendable ramps give the truck unique functionality for a variety of jobs.



The interior is themed with structural styling cues and features the latest thinking in comfort, utility and refinement. Innovative, thin, lightweight seating in comfortable leather allows for extra legroom for rear passengers – along with integrated storage for smaller items. “Floating” instrument pods and glove-friendly buttons and controls keep the interior functional and ruggedly stylish.

Leading fuel efficiency
The Ford Atlas Concept features a next-generation EcoBoost® powertrain, which introduces truck-enhanced Auto Start-Stop engine shutoff technology. Auto Start-Stop shuts off the engine when stopped in traffic to save fuel – and smartly suspends the feature when the truck knows it is towing.  

EcoBoost engines use gasoline direct injection and turbocharging to deliver fuel-economy gains of up to 20 percent and reduction of CO2 emissions of up to 15 percent, compared with larger-displacement engines. More than 500,000 EcoBoost engines have been sold globally, including 250,000 in the Ford F-150.

The Ford Atlas Concept goes further to save fuel through a combination of active aerodynamic elements that reduce wind resistance. They include:
  • Active Grille Shutters: Automatic shutters behind the grille stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, such as during low-speed stop-and-go driving or while working in hot weather. The shutters automatically close to improve aerodynamics when cruising on the highway at steady speeds
  • Active Wheel Shutters: Automatic shutters in the wheels are hidden to improve style at rest and low speeds, but automatically close at highway speeds to improve aerodynamics. Self-charging batteries use energy from the wheels’ motion to power the shutters
  • Drop-Down Front Air Dam: A drop-down front wind spoiler lowers at highway speeds to improve underbody airflow. The air dam is raised at low speeds to improve ground clearance – helpful for off-roading
  • Power Running Boards: Auto-deploying running boards help passengers enter the truck at rest and tuck up against the truck when it is moving to improve aerodynamics and ground clearance 
The combination of these fuel-saving features saves more than 2 mpg on the highway without diminishing towing or hauling capability.

Work and play smarter, not harder
Ford Atlas Concept is a rolling showcase of features that improve capability, durability and productivity to meet the diverse needs of pickup truck owners. Features include:
  • Dual-Purpose Tailgate Step and Cargo Cradle: The acclaimed Ford Tailgate Step goes a step further by adding the ability to also act as a cargo cradle – lifting and holding extra-long cargo items above the truck and freeing valuable bed spaceTrailer Backup Assist: This segment-first innovation allows drivers to back a trailer with the twist of a knob. Ford research shows that backing a trailer is often the most intimidating task a truck customer can face
  • Dynamic Hitch Assist: Hitching a trailer can be time consuming and difficult. Dynamic Hitch Assist helps precisely line up the truck’s hitch with the trailer coupling, eliminating maneuvering guesswork by showing visual cues in the truck’s center display screen
  • 360-Degree Point-of-View Camera: A Ford truck first, the system gives a bird’s-eye view of the truck to help position the vehicle in tight places or when there are obstacles near the truck – such as on a busy job site or grocery store parking lot
  • LED Headlamps and Taillamps: Advanced LED lighting offers better road illumination than conventional halogen or HID lights and lasts longer. LED lamps also offer near-instant response, giving valuable extra warning time for following traffic
  • LED Cargo Box and Side Mirror Lighting: Advanced, powerful yet efficient LED lighting brightly lights the cargo box and job site after the sun goes down with minimal battery drain compared to standard headlights or plug-in lights
  • Hidden Cargo Ramps: Lightweight, durable loading ramps stowed below the cargo box can be quickly removed and set up to assist with loading wheeled items into the bed – from landscaping equipment to dirt bikes

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013 Ford F-Series Super Duty Raises The Bar With Best-In-Class Towing and Payload Benchmarks

2013 Ford F-Series Super Duty Raises The Bar With Best-In-Class Towing and Payload Benchmarks
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Ford continues to strengthen the F-Series lineup for 2013, raising the bar for Super Duty® towing, hauling and braking to again set the standard among heavy duty trucks. Ford engineers have raised conventional towing capacity to a class-leading 18,500 lbs., besting the nearest competitor by 500 lbs. Increased towing brawn goes hand-in-hand with improved payload capability to a class-leading 7,260 lbs., an increase of more than 100 lbs. Super Duty brake system improvements enable higher payload figures.




Monday, January 14, 2013

Ford, Eaton, SunPower and Whirlpool Team Up for Electric Energy Initiative


  • Ford launches MyEnergi Lifestyle® collaboration to show how a typical American family can significantly reduce their electricity bills and CO2 footprint by integrating today’s home appliance and plug-in vehicle technology
  • Georgia Institute of Technology computer model predicts a 60 percent reduction in energy costs and savings of more than 9,000 kg of CO2 (55 percent reduction) from a single home when changes from a MyEnergi Lifestyle product are incorporated; if every home in the U.S. were to implement these energy-saving technologies, it would be the equivalent of taking all the homes in California, New York and Texas off the power grid (32 million homes)
  • Ford and its business associates will highlight MyEnergi Lifestyle technologies and detailed modeling results at the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 8-12
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 8, 2013 – Ford Motor Company today announces a strategic collaboration that will demonstrate how a typical American family can significantly reduce their electricity bills and CO2 footprint by integrating home appliance technology with a plug-in vehicle to achieve an energy-efficient lifestyle.

The Ford-led MyEnergi Lifestyle® collaboration – comprised of leaders in the home appliance, renewable energy and power management industries – includes Eaton (NYSE: ETN), SunPower (NASDAQ: SPWR) and Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR). Additional featured companies include semiconductor provider Infineon (FSE: IFX / OTCQX: IFNNY) and Nest Labs, with its latest learning thermostat represented in the research and implementation phase of the collaboration.

Specifically, MyEnergi Lifestyle showcases how combining renewable energy generation with “time-flexible” loads optimizes energy consumption across a plug-in vehicle and home appliances.

Ford and its business associates worked with researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to create a computer model that calculates the electricity usage of a typical single family in their home for one year and the associated savings with moving to an energy-efficient lifestyle. The cumulative results predict a 60 percent reduction in energy costs and more than 9,000 kg of CO2 (55 percent (reduction) saved from a single home. If every home in the U.S. were to implement these energy-saving technologies, it would be the equivalent of taking all the homes in California, New York and Texas off the power grid (32 million homes).

Additional results from the Georgia Tech computer model, including in-depth associate product savings, will be revealed at Ford’s display during the 2013 International CES in Las Vegas, Jan. 8-12.

To create a real-world example of how attainable, affordable and convenient a sustainable lifestyle can be, MyEnergi Lifestyle collaborators also announce plans to award a typical American family with delivery and installation of energy-saving products from each company, along with other leading energy-efficient products. All contest and promotion details will be included in a separate announcement soon.

“More than ever, cars are sharing the same energy source as the home,” says Mike Tinskey, global director of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure, Ford Motor Company. “The time is right for the home appliance and transportation sectors to converge if we are going to tackle a myriad of sustainability challenges in a rapidly changing world.”

The average American home uses more than 11,000 kWh of electricity a year, says Warwick Stirling, global director for Energy and Sustainability, Whirlpool Corporation. “But with recent technology advancements in our appliances, a family can use energy smarter and more efficiently,” he adds.

“SunPower is offering Ford plug-in vehicle owners the world’s most efficient solar power systems to ensure they maximize emission-free power generation for use at home and for their vehicles,” says Ken Fong, SunPower general manager, Americas. “SunPower systems offer the industry’s best warranty, so homeowners can count on 25 years or more of clean power to support their sustainability goals and generate significant annual savings on their electricity bills.”

“As innovation in home electrical technology advances, so does the need for safe, reliable and efficient power distribution,” says Joanne Edwards, vice president and general manager, Residential Division, Eaton. “At the same time, giving homeowners the tools to tap into the details of distributed power for their homes allows them to modify their behavior and further reduce energy consumption.”

Driving change: Technology trends
A plug-in vehicle is the largest electrified product most people will ever buy, and it serves as a catalyst for adoption of products that reduce CO2 and save money. Recent advancements in several technologies make this an ideal time to demonstrate the benefits that can be achieved by optimizing a home energy footprint.

Key factors driving MyEnergi Lifestyle include:
  • Electric vehicles, like the all-new Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, are more efficient and can charge during the low-cost electricity hours
  • Appliance efficiency has improved dramatically over the past decade
  • Hot water heaters are more efficient and use nighttime electricity
  • Connected appliances can use less energy during peak periods
  • The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself and automatically saves energy when a homeowner is away
  • Efficient, reliable and affordable rooftop solar systems enable families to generate renewable energy and save money on utility bills
  • Connected devices enable smarter use of energy
In addition to the energy benefits directly received from the latest product offerings of Ford, Eaton, SunPower and Whirlpool, the widespread deployment of smart meters (now in more than 40 million homes across the U.S.) enables households to take advantage of off-peak rates.

Utilities turning to off-peak rates
Most of today’s residential electrical load on the grid occurs in the daytime hours. Electrical utilities need to ensure this daytime peak demand load does not exceed their supply capacity. Consequently, utilities in many parts of the country offer reduced energy rates for off-peak usage as a way to incentivize customers to shift their usage patterns to nighttime or early-morning hours. Discounted off-peak hours are typically between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. Off-peak pricing is normally around half as much as on-peak, but peak pricing can be as much as 10 times higher than off-peak in some parts of the country.

Examples of household electrical loads that could be shifted to off-peak hours via an automated or controlled mobile app include charging a plug-in vehicle, running a dishwasher, running a hot water heater, running the refrigerator’s defrost cycle and ice-making.

Additionally, data from electric utilities indicate their power generation mix is based on a higher percentage of clean/renewable energy sources during off-peak hours. Therefore, a family can reduce their CO2 footprint even further by off-peak electricity usage.

Value charging in MyEnergi Lifestyle
Ford’s own off-peak electric usage technology – value charging – is available on all Ford plug-in vehicles, including C-MAX Energi, Fusion Energi and Focus Electric, via the MyFord® Mobile app. Value charging is a unique feature that harnesses the power of cloud computing to automatically charge the vehicle when utility rates are lowest, thus helping to minimize the cost to charge the vehicle and the potential ownership costs of an electric vehicle.

Drivers just need to enable a single setting in the app and then plug their cars in without worrying about what time the rates change in their area. The network monitors utility rate schedules and automatically transmits a signal to the vehicle through embedded cellular connectivity to start charging at the lowest cost.

Ford is the only automaker to offer the value charging feature and is working with other companies to allow access to its proprietary database of utility rates – thus enabling similar value charging functionality to all representative associate products.

The power of choice
Value charging is just one example of the efficiency Ford’s new electrified vehicles can provide owners. The all-new Ford C-MAX Energi is highlighted in MyEnergi Lifestyle and is America’s most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid with an EPA-estimated 108 MPGe city and 100 MPGe combined rating – 5 MPGe better than Toyota Prius plug-in. C-MAX Energi is America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid with a starting price of $29,995, after a federal tax credit and including destination and delivery costs.

C-MAX Energi is part of Ford’s overall strategy to give customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy across the lineup. Ford will offer eight vehicles that deliver 40 mpg or better in 2013 – more than any other automaker. This includes six all-new electrified vehicles – three hybrids and three plug-in vehicles.

Ford’s new electrified vehicles are equipped with innovative technologies that are designed to help win over both novice and experienced hybrid owners while giving them coaching tools to be more efficient drivers.

SmartGauge® with EcoGuide, for example, provides in-vehicle customizable displays, including instantaneous fuel economy readings and coaching functions to help drivers understand and optimize their fuel efficiency.

EV+ combines the built-in GPS of Ford SYNC® with proprietary software algorithms developed by Ford engineers to learn frequent destinations. As a result, vehicles give drivers more drive time in electric-only mode.

EV mode allows a driver to switch vehicle operation between three modes: all-electric, normal hybrid operation and conserve battery power for later use mode. This new feature debuted on the C-MAX Energi and will be featured on Fusion Energi.

More information about C-MAX Energi can be found here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Next-Generation Ford Transit Connect Breaks New Ground in Commercial Van Fuel Efficiency with 30+ MPG

  • Ford brings an all-new compact Transit Connect commercial van to market, ideally suited to small business owners and fleets placing high value on fuel efficiency
  • Transit Connect Van is expected to deliver at least 5 mpg better fuel economy on the highway than Ram C/V Cargo Van while carrying more payload than a full-size Ram 1500 pickup truck
  • Anticipating up to 30+ mpg on the highway with EcoBoost® power, Transit Connect Van offers customers their choice of two fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines, two wheelbase lengths, two model series and an available CNG/LPG prep package
  • Transit Connect Van takes versatility to a new level with convenient sliding side doors, side-hinged rear cargo doors, a choice of side and rear window configurations, and an estimated 1,600-pound payload
 
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 14, 2012 – With global commercial vehicle sales expected to jump significantly during the next several years, Ford’s all-new 2014 Transit Connect cargo van is set to provide cost-conscious commercial fleets and small business owners with unmatched fuel economy and versatility in an expanding commercial vehicle market.
 
Redesigned from the ground up, Ford Transit Connect cargo van drives and parks like a car, hauls more payload than a full-size Ram 1500 pickup, and delivers fuel efficiency unmatched by any other commercial vehicle in North America today – 30+ mpg on the highway.
 
“We have completely reengineered Transit Connect with North American business owners top of mind,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas. “This all-new cargo hauler offers entrepreneurs and fleet owners a unique combination of leading fuel efficiency, cargo capacity and maneuverability.”
 
With global commercial vehicle sales expected to grow by 4.8 million during the next several years to 21 million units annually by 2017, Transit Connect represents a major opportunity. Ford is the second-largest commercial brand in the world and best-selling commercial vehicle brand in North America. The company is leveraging its One Ford product strategy to meet the growing needs of Transit Connect customers in 66 global markets with vans that are Built Ford Tough and even more fuel efficient and capable and with greater choice of bodystyles.
 
Transit Connect joins the most fuel-efficient lineup in Ford Motor Company’s history. Next year, Ford will offer eight vehicles rated at 40 mpg or higher – double 2011’s total, and more than any other automaker. Ford tops Toyota in fuel economy in every segment in which both companies compete.
 
Transit Connect will be joined by the all-new 2014 Ford Transit full-size van, which will provide professional tradesmen and commercial fleet customers with a diverse array of bodystyles and configurations tailored to their work needs, unmatched fuel economy and low cost of operation.
 
To meet the needs of North American customers, Transit Connect Van is offered in two wheelbase lengths, in XL and XLT series levels, and with up to a 1,600-pound payload and more than 130 cubic feet of cargo space.
 
For the first time, this versatile compact van is also approved to tow up to 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.
 
Power of choice
Transit Connect Van offers North American customers a choice between two fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines – a standard 2.5-liter and an optional 1.6-liter EcoBoost® estimated to deliver 30+ mpg on the highway.
 
These powertrain alternatives make Transit Connect Van the gas mileage leader among commercial cargo haulers.
 
Transit Connect’s 2.5-liter engine can also be specified with a compressed natural gas/liquid propane gas (CNG/LPG) preparation package, enabling convenient conversion by Ford-certified upfit specialists.
 
Both engines come mated to an efficient six-speed automatic transmission, geared for around-town responsiveness and low-rpm highway cruising.
 
Transit Connect Van offers unexpected features in a high-value package, combined with low operating costs.
 
This stylish, contemporary cargo van is available with or without second-row seating, and offers useful options like rear view camera, 6.5-inch touch screen display with navigation, and SYNC® with MyFord Touch® – Ford’s highly acclaimed voice-activated mobile communications and entertainment system.
 
Transit Connect is a One Ford global design delivering substantial capability on a compact overall footprint with urban-friendly maneuverability. It is ideal for small business proprietors and fleets aiming to right-size vehicles to specific duties.
 
Commercial-strength DNA
The Transit Connect work ethic is reflected in this clever van’s cargo carrying and payload capabilities, and its high-strength body engineered to rigorous global commercial vehicle durability standards.
 
The all-new Transit Connect Van builds on the foundation of reliability and durability established by the current Transit Connect compact van. Introduced in North America in 2009, Transit Connect has become the must-have vehicle for small business proprietors and fleets.
 
Transit Connect was recognized as an innovative “white space” vehicle – literally carving out a new category in the market – by the automotive industry press corps when it was named North American Truck of the Year in January 2010 at the North American International Auto Show. Now selling at a pace of 35,000 units per year, Transit Connect has also become a favorite of taxi operators in major urban areas such as Los Angeles and New York City. Tradesmen and fleet administrators alike find its combination of car-like maneuverability, ease of handling and cargo capacity just right for many tasks.
 
All Transit Connect Van models feature first-row frontal and side airbags, first-row side curtain airbags, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
 
Ford’s award-winning MyKey® programmable ignition key, enabling owners and fleet administrators to restrict maximum vehicle speed and audio system volume, is standard.
 
Multiple vehicle fleets can specify Transit Connect with the available Ford Work Solutions Crew Chief telematics system, powered by Telogis®. This system enables a centralized fleet logistics leader to simultaneously monitor several vehicles in real time – for location, speed and excess idle time – thus improving productivity and efficiency.
 
Look for Transit Connect Van to begin arriving in dealerships in North America late next year.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ford Launches App Developer Program Marking New Course for Customer-Driven Innovation and Value Creation


  • Ford launches the automotive industry’s first open mobile app developer program enabling software developers to integrate their apps with SYNC® AppLink
  • The Ford Developer Program provides a software development kit, technical support from Ford engineers and a developer community

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 7, 2013 – Providing developers the information and tools needed for the creation of relevant, voice-activated experiences inside the car, Ford Motor Company today announces the launch of the Ford Developer Program (http://developer.ford.com) at the 2013 International CES.

Utilizing the SYNC® connectivity system and AppLink application programming interface (API), Ford becomes the first automaker in the world to launch an open developer program that enables software developers to directly interface with the vehicle and create apps that will enhance the driving experience.

“The Ford Developer Program marks a dramatic shift in how we will innovate new features and add value to our vehicles throughout the ownership period,” said Hau Thai-Tang, vice president of Engineering, Ford Global Product Development. “Opening the car to developers gives consumers a direct voice and hand in the creation of apps that can help our products remain relevant, up to date and valuable to our customers.”

According to a recent Nielsen survey, more than half of all American mobile subscribers now use smartphones of some kind and two-thirds of newly activated phones can run apps. Globally, there are now more than 1 billion smartphone users, a population that is expected to double by 2015. More than 55 billion apps have been downloaded from the leading digital markets, and American users have an average of 67 apps on their devices.

“When we first introduced SYNC in 2007, there was a need for an appropriate way to connect and control cellphones and digital music players in the car due to the massive consumer adoption trend,” continued Thai-Tang. “Offering voice control so drivers can keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road has proven to be popular with our customers. Now, with an even faster adoption rate of smartphones, there is a need for a renewed focus on voice control for the unique capabilities of these devices, especially for the use of apps.”

A recent Frost & Sullivan study shows one in five survey respondents acknowledge using apps while driving with absolutely no connection to the vehicle. While SYNC provides connectivity and voice control for phones and music players via Bluetooth® or USB, AppLink provides a voice-activated interface, allowing drivers to control smartphone apps without the need to pick up their devices. First launched in 2010, SYNC AppLink provides industry-leading voice command and control of mobile apps including popular services like Pandora personalized radio, Stitcher smart radio, NPR News, iHeartRadio digital radio and Scout personal navigation.

“The car presents an all-new opportunity for developers, especially the millennial market, and we’re looking forward to seeing what results,” said Thai-Tang. “Engaging innovators outside of the company is a key part of our strategy to be consumer-driven in all aspects of our business, helping us not only satisfy what’s going on today, but setting us up for innovative solutions to the challenges coming in the future.”

Millennials – those aged 18-33 – are particularly interested in customizing their experience with consumer products. Four in 10 respondents to a survey of millennials by Edelman 8095 want the opportunity to influence the products they use. Selecting and using apps is one of the easiest ways to personalize the functionality of both communications devices and vehicles they connect to for a unique user experience.

Ford Developer Program
Ford has been in a beta test with a group of invited developers as they work out details of the software development kit (SDK), documentation and technical support systems. With more than three dozen AppLink-compatible apps publicly available on Apple iOS and Google Android, the SDK is now mature enough that Ford engineers are ready to let the vast ecosystem of developers try it out.

The Ford program is similar to those at technology companies including Apple, Google and Facebook. App developers who want to enable their creations for AppLink can now register at http://developer.ford.com to download the AppLink SDK. The SDK contains code libraries and documentation for the APIs that enable two-way communication between mobile apps and the vehicle including voice commands from the driver.

“Since launching AppLink, we’ve worked with developers ranging from a two-man startup at Roximity to large organizations like National Public Radio and Major League Baseball,” said Julius Marchwicki, global product manager for Ford SYNC AppLink. “The experience we gained from these projects as well as supporting hackathons at TechCrunch Disrupt and Facebook has helped us refine the development and testing process.”

In addition to the libraries and documentation, developers will have access to technical support directly from Ford engineers and online discussion forums where they can share lessons learned with other developers.
Developers who have a great idea for an app but need some help building it can turn to jacAPPS. Michigan-based jacAPPS will be the recommended mobile app development house for the Ford Developer Program.
The company has been chosen to provide development and technical support to third-party developers wanting to create voice-activated smartphone apps for Ford SYNC AppLink.

“Our focus is to enhance the driving experience by minimizing the distractions caused by hand-held usage of smartphones while driving,” added Marchwicki. “We know consumers are using apps such as music and navigation while driving; therefore, by making AppLink available to developers, we can help ensure relevant apps can now be voice-controlled.”

Currently, the three main categories of AppLink-enabled apps include: News and Information, Music and Entertainment, Navigation and Location.

Once a developer has incorporated AppLink code into the app, it will be submitted for review by Ford engineers to ensure it works properly and is suitable for use in the vehicle. Once approved, Ford will then work with the developer to provide a distribution license, after which the app is submitted to the relevant app marketplace.

New AppLink-enabled apps
In addition to the launch of the Developer Program, Ford has worked with several new partners to offer SYNC AppLink-equipped vehicle owners all-new voice-activated versions of their apps.

To showcase the global nature of the Developer Program and launch of AppLink in Europe and Asia later this year, Ford has announced a collaboration with Sina to enable its Weibo mobile app with AppLink for use in Ford vehicles to provide news, weather, microblogging and location-based services. Sina is an online media company serving China and the global Chinese communities. The digital media network of SINA.com (portal), SINA.cn (mobile portal) and Weibo.com (social media) enables Internet users to access professional media and user-generated content in multimedia formats from the Web and mobile devices and share their interests with friends and acquaintances.

“Our Developer Program is open and available to anyone around the world,” said John Ellis, global technologist for Ford Connected Services. “A key advantage of our approach is the ability to quickly have relevant apps and services to support the launch of AppLink in Europe and Asia, by making it easy for local developers to tell us what the most popular and important apps are to suit the buyers in that region.”
Other new app partners that joined the existing Ford AppLink ecosystem include:

News and Information
  • Wall Street Journal – The Journal’s interactive app now features live and on-demand radio programming to stay on top of the latest news, markets, technology and lifestyle coverage from the nation’s largest newspaper
  • USA Today – Get 24/7 access to the latest USA TODAY content. Hear headlines from News, Money, Sports, Life, Tech and Travel categories. Play, pause, skip and go back within and between stories, for an easily customized listening experience
  • Kaliki – Radio talent reads audio versions of the most compelling articles from a variety of magazines and newspapers such as Shape Magazine, TV Guide, Men’s Fitness, OK! and Agence France-Presse. Launching with local papers in Detroit and Los Angeles with more publishers to come later in the year. All the content in Kaliki is free, with no subscription required
Music and Entertainment
  • Amazon Cloud Player – Drivers can listen to their personal music collection streamed from Amazon’s cloud-based music locker service
  • Aha Radio – Voice control of more than 30,000 stations of your favorite Internet content – radio, on-demand music services, news, entertainment, podcasts, audiobooks, social feeds, personalized restaurant, coffee, weather and hotel stations, and more
  • Rhapsody – Listen to millions of songs, plus radio stations and expert-created playlists from America’s top premium subscription music service on the road
  • Greater Media – Listen to live streams of favorite radio stations from around the United States
Navigation and Location
  • Glympse – Provide friends and family with an ETA and update of your location in real time on a dynamic map, completely hands-free
  • BeCouply – Get instant suggestions for cool date ideas in your area
SYNC history
SYNC was co-developed by Ford and Microsoft based on the recognition that consumer electronics evolve much more rapidly than vehicles. The connectivity system was architected to work with the mobile devices that drivers use every day, while providing an upgrade path that can bring new capabilities into the vehicle.
Since debuting in 2007 on the Focus, Ford has added numerous features to SYNC including AppLink, 911 Assist, Vehicle Health Report and SYNC Services, a cloud-based service network featuring traffic reports, turn-by-turn directions, business search, news, sports scores and movie listings.

“Thanks to our partner Microsoft and their expertise, we have turned the car into a development platform with extensive opportunities to continue to add value through new features delivered at the speed consumers now expect,” said Doug VanDagens, global director of Ford Connected Services. “With more than 1 billion smartphones now in service around the world, we expect mobile connectivity will continue to grow in importance.”


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ford Cars, Utilities and Trucks All Post U.S. Sales Gains in 2012; Company Posts Best December Sales Since 2006



  • Ford Motor Company delivers U.S. sales gains across its lineup in 2012 – with cars up 5 percent, utilities up 7 percent and trucks up 2 percent
  • F-Series sales up 10 percent for year; now America’s best-selling pickup for 36 years and best-selling vehicle for 31 years
  • Ford commercial truck sales up 7 percent in 2012, marking the best sales year since 2008
  • December total company sales up 2 percent – with the strongest December since 2006
DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 3, 2013 – Ford Motor Company’s U.S. sales grew across the board in 2012, with cars up 5 percent, utilities up 7 percent, and trucks up 2 percent for the year. Overall, the Ford brand ended 2012 with 2,168,015 vehicles sold – the only brand to top 2 million U.S. sales.

“Ford finished 2012 strong, with retail sales showing improved strength as more customers returned to dealer showrooms,” said Ken Czubay, Ford vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Ford’s fuel-efficient cars and hybrid vehicles showed the most dramatic growth for the year, and we achieved our best year for commercial vehicle sales since 2008.”

Sales of Ford’s small cars were up 29 percent in 2012, with 316,006 vehicles sold, and overall car sales were up 5 percent in 2012, with 760,646 sold. Focus sales gained 40 percent during the year, and the all-new C-MAX continues its strong selling rate. In the first four months of sales, 13,309 C-MAX vehicles were sold, making it the fastest sales start of any hybrid vehicle in the industry.

Ford again became America’s best-selling brand of utility vehicles in 2012, with 619,470 vehicles sold. Escape broke its 2011 record sales levels with 261,008 vehicles sold, up 3 percent. Explorer gained 17 percent for the year, with 158,344 vehicles sold.

Ford trucks continued to dominate in 2012 – with F-Series America’s best-selling pickup for the 36th straight year and 31 consecutive years as America’s best-selling vehicle. Overall, 645,316 F-Series were sold, a 10 percent increase versus 2011. Total Ford brand truck sales – including Transit Connect and E-Series – were up 2 percent for the year at 829,477 vehicles sold.

Ford also remained America’s largest maker of commercial trucks for 28 years, posting a 7 percent increase in 2012. That marks Ford’s best year for commercial truck sales since 2008.

Last month, Ford delivered its best December sales results since 2006, with 214,222 vehicles sold – a 2 percent increase.