Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ford Puts First Truck Customers Behind Wheel of the All-New F-150 to Kick Off ‘You Test’ Video Series

    Out of more than 15,000 entrants, four truck customers won theopportunity to be the first to test the all-new 2015 F-150 – thesmartest, toughest, most capable Ford F-150 pickup yet

    Each ofthe four customers is testing a 2015 Ford F-150 Lariat 3.5-liter EcoBoost® 4x4 around North America – from off-road in the Arizona desert; to hauling boulders in Oregon; to towing hay bales in Montana;to transporting supplies across the Arctic from Fairbanks, Alaska, to
Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada

    First customer “You Test”video debuts today at BuiltToughTest.com to show truck customers just
how tough the all-new F-150 is on the job and in customers’ hands





Out of more than 15,000 entrants, four truck customers won the opportunity to be the first to test the all-new 2015 F-150 – the smartest, toughest, most capable Ford F-150 pickup yet


Each of the four customers is testing a 2015 Ford F-150 Lariat 3.5-liter EcoBoost® 4x4 around North America – from off-road in the Arizona desert; to hauling boulders in Oregon; to towing hay bales in Montana; to transporting supplies across the Arctic from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada


First customer “You Test” video debuts today at BuiltToughTest.com to show truck customers just how tough the all-new F-150 is on the job and in customers’ hands

Four lucky truck customers are taking their turn behind the wheel of the all-new F-150, Ford’s toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 yet, to put it through some of the toughest testing to date – their own.


Beginning today, the first of four videos in the “You Test” series will show how these customers tested the all-new F-150 at BuiltToughTest.com.

These truck customers were selected from more than 15,000 submissions, in which entrants described how they would test the toughness of the new F-150 pickup. 


“Our four winners demonstrate how Built Ford Tough isn’t simply a tagline – it’s our brand commitment that F-150 gets the job done, day in and day out,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group marketing manager. “The videos show real-world testing beyond testing already conducted by Ford engineers. This is what matters most – serving our customers.”


Truck shoppers excited to see how tough the all-new F-150 is will witness each of the four customers testing a 2015 F-150 Lariat 3.5-liter EcoBoost® 4x4 in different regions of North America. They will be tackling such challenges as military-intensive off-road trails in the desert, hauling rocks, towing hay bales and transporting supplies more than 900 miles.


Proving it in Yuma


The first video features Brian Schober, a systems engineer for military vehicle testing, in Yuma, Arizona.


Schober ran the 2015 F-150 through a series of off-road tests in the Arizona desert – some of which are used for the military vehicles he tests. The F-150’s durability was proven in 36 straight hours navigating a rugged 10-mile loop, which included rock crawls, sand washes and suspension challenges in triple-digit temperatures.


“I work at the U.S. Army proving grounds where I drive approximately 350 miles a day on gravel and dirt roads, hauling parts and people. I’ve gone through my fair share of vehicles,” said Schober. “We currently rent a 2013 F-150 and consider it a workhorse. With a new F-150 on my radar for my next vehicle, the 2015 looks like it will do the trick.”


EcoBoost power, efficiency and popularity


More than 550,000 F-150s with 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines have been sold since the availability of EcoBoost starting in 2011.


F-150 is the preferred light-duty pickup among workers in some of the toughest vocations.*


Videos of the three other winners testing the all-new F-150 will be posted in the coming weeks, showcasing the truck hauling boulders in Oregon, towing bales of hay in Montana, and transporting supplies more than 900 miles on primarily gravel roads from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories in Canada.


* Percentage based on IHS Automotive, Polk U.S. light-duty pickups; Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, Chevrolet Avalanche 1500, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra combined new registrations January 2013 to May 2014 (year-to-date) within: Admin-Environmental Quality Programs, Agricultural Production-Livestock, Auto Repair Services and Parking/Rental, Electric Gas and Sanitary Services, Emergency Vehicles, Executive Legislative and General Government, Heavy Construction Except Building, Hazardous Materials, Road/Highway Maintenance, Pipelines Except Natural Gas, Manufacturing, Agriculture/Farm, Roofing Siding and Sheet Metal Work, Specialized Heavy Hauling, Landscaping.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

2015 Ford Transit Van

A media event demonstrated the driving versatility of the Transit as Ford launches its E-Series replacement.

A group of automotive media representatives descended onto "Paris of the Plains" (a.k.a. Kansas City) in early June to test out the newest iteration of the 2015 Ford Transit, actually nine versions of it to be exact.

After a quick presentation from the Ford execs, we were unleashed on the high-, medium- and high roof versions of the Transit, as well as three different body lengths, and passenger and cargo versions.
The first part of the test drive was held on a closed course next to Kansas City's Kemper Arena. The car took to the slalom turns and quick stops quite easily, and made its way through the turnaround section quickly with little effort on the part of the driver.

After spending an hour driving the course with each van, including the 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V-6, 3.5-liter EcoBoost, and 3.2-liter I-5 Power Stroke Turbo Diesel engines powering us, the group split into reporter/Ford technician pairs to make their way around the Kansas City area.

The first stop was the Ford assembly plant, which is running three shifts to meet expected demand for the E-Series replacement. As I made my way onto the freeway, a quick press of the pedal pumped the EcoBoost engine to speeds matching the flow of traffic without having to cause any congestion. The fuel economy seemed undaunted by my rapid and necessary accelerations, as I constantly checked the gas gauge along the way.

Photo by Stephane Babcock.

The interior had all of the creature comforts you'd expect in the van, but everything was easily in reach, from the in-dash touchscreen to the cup and cellphone holders on either side of the steering wheel. There were also multiple USB ports so that you can charge your cellphone and play music from your iPod through the vehicle's audio system at the same time (for those of us who do not have an iPhone). The seating was comfortable and offered a helpful view of the road ahead.
Whether taking it across Kansas City freeways or through city and rural roads, the new Transit made for a comfortable and easy to hahttp://www.government-fleet.comndle drive, even when the navigator forgot to inform you to make a turn and a split-second change had to be made on a well-traveled city road.

Photos by Stephanie Babcock.

From  http://www.government-fleet.com

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2015 Ford Transit. It’s the easiest part of this plumber’s day.




A plumber spends his days stuffing himself behind water heaters and under sinks. His apprentice is no help, but his all-new Ford Transit full-size van makes his job easier because it fits him like a work glove.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

10 Driver Friendly Features the Ford F-150 Team Thought of So Customers Wouldn't Have To


  • Ford engineers designed 10 features that make interacting with the all-new F-150 easier
  • These 10 features include a tailgate step large enough to fit a full-size work boot, raised tactile keypad buttons for keyless entry, and finger indents on the back of the steering wheel
  • Customer research conducted by Ford human factor engineers led the team to cluster the control buttons together for ease of use; customer feedback also drove the decision to keep the instrument cluster free of entertainment information

There are 10 features of the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup that were designed to satisfy customers without them ever even noticing.
“If I do my job, the customer simply intuits that things are right – both inside and outside of his truck – without even having to think about it,” said Cary Diehl, Ford human factors engineer, who worked on the design and development of the all-new F-150.

The 10 things F-150 engineers thought of

1. Hard buttons on keypad: Designers wanted smooth capacitive touch keypad buttons on the outside of the driver-side door, but pickup truck drivers prefer tactile feedback, allowing easier usability for when they’re wearing gloves. For customers who wear bifocals, hard buttons also enable input by feel, instead of having to tilt their head back to read numerals.



2. Beltline armrest on front doors: The beltline on the front doors is wide enough to accommodate most arms with the window up. The feature could be considered an armrest, and is at the same height as the center armrest.
 

3. Sculpted, finger relief inside door handle for easy hold: When grabbing the inside handle, the hand is already holding the door – a helpful feature to avoid losing control of the door on a windy day.



4. Buttons clustered for ease of use: Customer surveys showed a strong preference for controls clustered together. All lighting controls – headlamps, side spotlights, bed light – are grouped together on the left-hand side of the instrument panel, while all radio controls are to the right and below with the climate controls. Towing and other controls are to the right of the steering wheel as well.



5. Steering wheel feel: Finger indents remain on the back side of the steering wheel, a feature that on some competitor trucks is now smooth. These indents allow a lighter feel on the wheel for ease of maneuverability, especially when backing up a trailer or off-roading.




6. MyView productivity screen customization: Because each customer uses the truck differently, the importance of specific features can vary. The truck is the “multi-tool” of vehicles. Some truck owners haul produce to farmers markets, while others tow horse trailers or go off-roading, making it tricky sometimes for engineers to determine the most essential information to include in the instrument cluster. Ford’s solution is MyView, which allows truck customers to sort and organize their top seven favorite gauges in the cluster on the 2015 F-150’s 8-inch screen. One button click can shift between individual tire pressure, trailer information, off-road mode or trip fuel – whichever their favorites are.



7. Entertainment information exclusively in center stack: Ford made a data-driven decision to not include any radio or entertainment features in the instrument panel cluster behind the steering wheel. “Our customers were adamant that trucks are different from cars, and vehicle information is essential,” Diehl explained. “Their truck is their tool, and they need to know what it’s doing. Other stuff can be in the center of the dashboard, or what we call the center stack.” The only entertainment information that appears in the instrument cluster of the F-150 are incoming calls and turn-by-turn directions.


8. Four-spoke steering wheel: F-150’s traditional, four-spoke design allows for a comfortable grip on the lower portion of the steering wheel. Other pickup truck manufacturers have closed off the bottom portion of the steering wheel.



9. Grooves in tailgate handle: For ease of grip and use, grooves in the tailgate handle allow a customer to open and close the tailgate with one hand.



10. Large box step: Ford made sure there was enough surface area on the box step of F-150 for a customer to place a full-size work boot – both to stand on the step and to push it back under the bed when not in use.



Always Built Ford Tough
From nose to tailgate, the 2015 F-150 is an entirely new vehicle, right down to its signature feature – an all-new, fully boxed ladder frame with more high-strength steel than ever to make the truck stronger yet lighter. For the first time, high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys are used throughout the F-150 body. These alloys, already used in aerospace, commercial transportation and other industries, make the new truck’s body lighter, stronger and more resistant to dents. Overall, F-150 is up to 700 pounds lighter, helping it tow and haul more, accelerate and stop faster, and operate more efficiently.



 

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Jarrett Edwards and Towing in Manual with the Ford F-150




TV host Jarrett Edwards discusses the advantages of towing in manual with the Ford F-150. Find out what the F-150 can do for you!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ford and DTE Team Up to Build Michigan’s Largest Solar Array



Ford Motor Co. is working with DTE Energy to build a solar carport that could provide enough energy to power more than 150 homes for a year.

The new carport at the Ford's headquarters will provide employees with 360 covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-invehicles.


DTE Energy will be funding the project that's scheduled to begin in September, and expected to be completed by early 2015, according to Ford.


The solar canopy will have the capacity to generate 1.038 megawatts of electricity. The new solar array will be the second-largest in the Midwest, following the 1.1-megawatt facility at the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio.


The deal with Ford is a part of a DTE initiative called SolarCurrents. The program hopes to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2015.


From http://www.greenfleetmagazine.com

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Secrets of the All-New Ford F-150 Seamless Sliding Rear Window



  •     Ford to launch new seamless sliding rear window design, available on the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 – the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 yet
  •     New technology hides window seams, setting a new trend for power sliders by improving looks and functionality while reducing components and manufacturing complexity
  •     Seamless sliding rear window was developed through a Ford and Magna International association
When people see the all-new Ford F-150 for the first time, they tend to do two things: First, they tap their knuckles against the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body, and then they marvel at the pickup truck’s available segment-first seamless sliding rear window.




The seamless design conceals the vertical seams that mark the edges of conventional pickup truck sliding rear windows, creating a smooth opening when viewed from outside.

Developed by global automotive supplier Magna International, in association with Ford, the first-to-market design sets a new trend for power sliders by reducing component needs and improving overall functionality and manufacturing efficiency.

“Delivering the latest in innovation and technology to our customer is a top priority for Ford,” said Noah Mass, Ford body mechanisms manager. “The seamless sliding rear window is another great example of the intricate detail that goes into producing the next-generation F-150, setting it apart from any pickup on the market today.”

Standard sliding rear windows typically contain three pieces of glass – left and right panes that don’t move plus the sliding portion in the middle, all held together by a support structure that requires numerous components. The seamless sliding rear window uses only two pieces of glass – the exterior surround and the sliding portion, reducing build componentry and complexity. The window’s opening is the same size as the outgoing design.

In addition to its streamlined looks, the window’s two-piece design enables continuous uninterrupted defrost capability for the larger surrounding glass.

The new design also contributes to vehicle weight savings, as the seamless power slider uses a lighter window control module. Overall, up to 700 pounds have been saved through the use of smarter design and advanced materials, helping the all-new F-150 tow more, haul more, accelerate quicker and stop shorter, and contributing to efficiency.
All-New F-150 Seamless Sliding Rear Window

“We designed the seamless sliding rear window to deliver not only a new look and improved functionality, but also to start a trend in the truck sliding window market,” said Troy Tooker, design engineering manager for Magna International. “With pickup sliders being one of our core products, we wanted to show our leadership and raise the bar on the new F-150.”

All-new Ford F-150 – the future of trucks
The 2015 Ford F-150 is the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever – setting the standard for the future of trucks. Its signature fully boxed ladder frame is all-new, with more high-strength steel than ever – making the truck both stronger and lighter.

High-strength, military-grade aluminum is used throughout the F-150 body for the first time, improving dent and ding resistance and also saving weight.

When it arrives in showrooms later this year, the all-new F-150 will have undergone the equivalent of more than 10 million miles of torture testing to ensure it meets or exceeds Built Ford Tough standards.

2015 Ford F-150 Platinum

In addition to an all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine offering, a complete lineup of powertrains lets customers tailor the toughest, smartest, most capable pickup truck ever to their needs. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine returns, an all-new normally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 debuts and there is an improved 5.0-liter V8.



F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series lineup. Now in its 66th year, F-Series has been the best-selling truck in America for 37 consecutive years and the best-selling vehicle in America for 32 consecutive years.

The all-new F-150 will be manufactured at Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.


About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit corporate.ford.com.
About Magna International

Magna is a leading global automotive supplier with 317 manufacturing operations and 83 product development, engineering and sales centers in 29 countries. We have over 130,000 employees focused on delivering superior value to its customers through innovative products and processes, and World Class Manufacturing. Magna’s product capabilities include producing body, chassis, interior, exterior, seating, powertrain, electronic, vision, closure and roof systems and modules, as well as complete vehicle engineering and contract manufacturing. Common Shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MG) and the New York Stock Exchange (MGA). For further information about Magna, visit www.magna.com.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Spied: 2016/2017 Ford Super Duty Interiors



After the dramatic images last week of a new Ford Super Duty burning to the ground in California's Death Valley, you can imagine that our spy shooters were hypersensitive to Super Duty testing. Their attentiveness paid off as they were able to close enough to a new test truck to look inside. It looks as if all three HD truckmakers will have interiors that look similar to their half-ton counterparts. Here's what they had to say:

    "We now have the first interior photos of Ford's overhauled 2016/2017 Super Duty pickups, caught clean and unobstructed — including a look into the backseat area.

    "Recent iterations of Ford's Super Duty trucks have traditionally had a different dashboard design from its lighter-duty brethren, but there appears to be a much greater design confluence between the next-gen Super Duty models and redesigned 2015 F-150. This strategy might be a cost-cutting measure to help counteract the Super Duty's presumably more expensive all-aluminum body (although Ford execs claim that price bumps on the 2015 F-150 are due to increased content, not its new use of aluminum). Regardless, it appears that the dashboards of the Super Duty trucks are going to be closer to the F-150.

    "We also managed to grab a quick shot into the rear cabin area of the Super Duty prototype, and can now discern some of what is lurking beneath all of that heavy camouflage. We can see that the crew cab will get a slight kick-up at the base of the rear-side-window, resembling a similar design flourish found on the new F-150. It also appears that the prototype's C-pillar is thicker than on the current Super Duty, suggesting potentially greater cab volume to rival Ram's Mega Cab."



From www. pickuptrucks.com

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ford, Suppliers Help Develop Industry-First Technologies for Mustang, F-150; Working Together Key to Ford's Aggressive 2014 Product Launches



Ford announces details on innovative techniques used to develop its all-new 2015 Mustang and F-150 – two of 23 products coming to market globally in 2014 that are the result of the company’s strong supplier relationships

Ford’s Aligned Business Framework with its Matched Pairs and Executive Business Technology Review initiatives help guide the company’s process to attract the industry’s best technologies

Ford strives to be suppliers’ customer of choice through the industry’s highest product refresh rates, commitment to product excellence and innovation, and clear brand positioning

Ford Motor Company today announced details on new development techniques used to create its all-new Mustang and F-150, originating with the automaker’s suppliers. As Ford embarks on its most aggressive product launch year to date, with 23 launches globally – 16 in North America – the company is looking to its suppliers to help differentiate its products in the global marketplace, while continuing to meet customer expectations for safety, quality, sustainability and technology.

“As part of our One Ford plan, our suppliers are critical to creating profitable growth for all,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president, Ford Global Purchasing. “With the industry’s highest product refresh rates, commitment to product excellence and innovation, and clear brand positioning, Ford is a preferred customer with the supply base.”

At the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminar, Thai-Tang outlined several industry-first, Ford-supplier technologies that are being introduced on new 2015 products including:

Quarter windows for 2015 Mustang 50 Years Limited Edition: Rather than a traditional plastic or metal louver that sits on top of the glass, Ford worked with Magna International to create quarter windows consisting of an industry-first louvered glass. The result is a modern homage to a classic design cue that is unique to the Mustang 50 Years Limited Edition
Hydroformed A-pillar and roof rails, 2015 Mustang: To deliver top performance with the most efficient headroom package and weight, Ford worked with Schuler and Midway to engineer the heaviest-gauge steel hydroformed A-pillar and roof rails. Through the collaboration, torsional stiffness increases 28 percent for the new car while the body-in-white is lighter than the previous model
Stronger, lighter high-strength steel frame, 2015 F-150: As part of Ford’s collaboration with Metalsa, the company used tailor-rolled blanks with variable material thickness, patented structures that reduce material usage without decreasing performance, increased high-strength steel from 22 percent to 77 percent and improved joining to take more than 60 pounds out of the frame while improving rigidity and enabling higher towing and hauling ratings

Segment-first LED headlamps, 2015 F-150: Ford collaborated with OSRAM and Flex-n-Gate to design an innovative full-solid-state headlamp design that saves energy, is designed for longevity, and casts a much brighter and clearer light down the road than halogen or incandescent lamps. A jewel-like optical cube channels light energy from a single LED chip to provide optimal lighting and visibility

“Considering the impact suppliers have on our business, with 70 percent of the value of the vehicle being purchased from our supplier partners, our suppliers are critical to our ability to offer attractive solutions to our customers,” said Thai-Tang. “Ford’s Aligned Business Framework, which we introduced close to ten years ago, fosters an environment of transparency and will continue to guide our close relationships with our suppliers.”

Strong ties with suppliers
Ford has relationships with more than 1,100 production suppliers operating at more than 4,600 manufacturing sites that produce 130,000 parts for inclusion in vehicles the company sells. Because of the integral role its suppliers play in the company’s overall growth and sustainability, Ford works to foster a business environment that is both creative and transparent, leading to new innovations and acceleration in the development of new vehicles.

A core component of Ford’s strong supplier relationship is its Matched Pairs system, an internal alignment initiative between its product development and purchasing departments. Through the system, not only are the technical and commercial strategies aligned, but members from each department are paired so that decisions are made in tandem from the beginning. This approach increases collaboration from product design through procurement, and simplifies communication by reducing the points of contact for each commodity. The alignment of the two departments means they share a common cost objective, and improves interaction with suppliers by allowing them to engage directly at the right level.

The Matched Pairs system is part of Ford’s Aligned Business Framework. It enables supplier innovations to reach customers quicker by providing more robust tracking of new technologies, from idea to implementation. The framework encourages more communication between suppliers and senior Ford leaders, offers greater opportunities to increase scale, and engages suppliers earlier in the product design process. Ford has more than 100 Aligned Business Framework suppliers.

Another framework initiative helping to spur supplier innovation is the Executive Business Technology Review. This allows Ford’s senior leadership team from product development and purchasing to experience suppliers’ latest technologies through a show-and-tell, and for Ford to potentially be the first automaker to introduce these technologies to drivers around the world. Key technologies introduced through the review include Ford’s hands-free liftgate, active park assist and lane-keeping system, which debuted on various 2012 and 2013 Ford vehicles. Ford will continue to leverage its Aligned Business Framework to provide a systematic structure for suppliers to introduce new technologies to Ford customers.

“Many technologies on the road today were developed as a result of our supplier relationships,” said Thai-Tang. “We will continue to strive to be our suppliers’ customer of choice through our continued new product introductions and emphasis on technology excellence.”
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Consumer Confidence Drives Booming Sales of Motorhomes Built on Ford Chassis and Vans

    
Sales of Class A motorhomes, which can retail for more than $150,000, are up 12 percent year-to-date through May, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., reflecting a growing economy and increasing consumer confidence; sales of smaller Class C motorhomes are up 14 percent for the same period

  •     Ford motorhome chassis sales are outperforming the market, with the automaker’s Class A stripped chassis sales up 17 percent and Class C chassis sales up 16 percent year-to-date through May, according to the market analysis firm. Ford increased production of its stripped chassis by 33 percent in 2014 to meet growing demand
  •     Ford has broadened its motorhome and recreational vehicle chassis lineup with the introduction of the 2015 Transit van and cutaway, giving customers more options in Class B and Class C segments


Ford Motor Company, America’s best-selling motorhome chassis manufacturer, has boosted production of its Class A motorhome chassis and introduced new options in response to growing consumer confidence and demand for recreational vehicles.

Total motorhome sales are up 13 percent year-to-date through May, according to data from Statistical Surveys Inc., a market analysis company specializing in the RV, marine and manufactured housing industries. Sales of Class A motorhomes – the largest and most luxurious on the road – are up 12 percent through May.

Sales of smaller van cutaway-based Class C motorhomes are up 14 percent for the same period.

“Motorhome sales are cyclical, and correlate with improving economic performance,” said Erich Merkle, Ford sales analyst. “Like boats, homes and luxury cars, motorhomes – especially Class A – are big-ticket items, so when we see a continued upward trend in sales, it means people have far greater confidence to make a large, discretionary purchase.”

Ford leads both the Class A and Class C motorhome chassis markets, with a 63 percent share of the Class A market and 72 percent share in Class C chassis year-to-date through May, according to data from Statistical Surveys Inc.

Ford motorhome chassis sales are outpacing the market. Total Ford motorhome chassis sales are up 16.5 percent year-to-date through May, compared to the 13 percent growth in total motorhome sales. Ford Class A motorhome stripped chassis sales are up 17 percent versus the total Class A market’s 12 percent, while Ford’s Class C van cutaway chassis sales, at 16 percent growth, are outpacing total Class C chassis sales gains by 2 percentage points.

Ford increased production of its F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis used for Class A motorhomes and commercial vehicle applications, such as parcel delivery, by 33 percent through the first half of 2014 to meet growing demand.

“We believe we will see further growth as the industry continues to recover,” said Merkle. “Demographic drivers of this overall growth in the RV market include retiring baby boomers with more time for travel and leisure.”

Class A motorhomes are recreational vehicles built on a stripped truck chassis where the driver’s area is part of the living area. Ford supplies frame rails, suspension, powertrain and steering components to Detroit Chassis for assembly into motorhome chassis for customers like Winnebago and Thor Motor Coach. Prices for Class A motorhomes can exceed $150,000.

Class C motorhomes are built on a cutaway chassis consisting of frame, suspension, powertrain and cab. The living area is accessible behind the driver’s compartment. Class C motorhomes retail from $43,000 to $200,000, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. Ford’s E-Series cutaway is the top chassis choice in this market. The all-new 2015 Ford Transit cutaway offers customers more options for lighter-weight chassis in Class C motorhomes.

The introduction of Transit also gives customers additional choices for their Class B motorhome.

Commonly called “camper vans,” Class B motorhomes are built using OEM vans or panel trucks. They drive like a van, and retail for between $60,000 and $130,000, according to the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association. Transit’s choice of three roof heights, two wheelbases and three powertrains gives customers the ability to customize their camper van cost-effectively, as choosing the high-roof Transit model eliminates the need to raise the roof or drop the floor of a traditional van.

“Transit versatility makes it a great fit for the motorhome market,” said Minyang Jiang, Ford brand manager for Transit, Transit Connect and E-Series. “While our E-Series cutaway will continue to address the heavier needs of the Class C motorhome market, Transit cutaway provides a lighter-weight option. And for camper vans, you can’t beat the high-roof Transit’s best-in-class interior height – passengers more than 6 feet 4 inches tall can stand upright inside.”
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Real World Testing: 2015 Ford F-150



Two and a half years before production Ford secretly tested six prototype F-150s with high-strength aluminum cargo boxes. The goal was to prove the durability of aluminum alloy through real-world extreme experiences that ensured the new F-150 could stand up to the tough work of our customers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

SpaceKap on How Its Made



See how we manufacture our Transferable Service Bodies in this video as was shown on Discovery Channel's How It's Made. www.spacekap.com

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mark Your Calendar: Work Truck Show 2015 and 2016 Dates Announced

FARMINGTON HILLS, MI (July 28, 2014) — North America’s largest work truck event will return to Indianapolis, IN, where it has enjoyed sustained success over the past four years. NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry has committed to hosting The Work Truck Show® at the Indiana Convention Center through 2016.

The Work Truck Show® 2015
March 4–6, 2015
Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN
Educational programming, including the Green Truck Summit, begins March 3

The Work Truck Show® 2016
March 2–4, 2016
Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, IN
Educational programming, including the Green Truck Summit, begins March 1

“Our many successful years in Indianapolis have allowed us to expand The Work Truck Show in both size and scope,” says Steve Carey, NTEA executive director. “The trade show floor has grown each year the event has been held in the city, and the extensive slate of educational sessions has evolved to meet changing industry needs. In 2015, The Work Truck Show will provide attendees with the latest information needed to make their operations more efficient, capable and profitable.”

Each year, The Work Truck Show brings together more than 10,000 truck fleet managers, manufacturers, distributors, dealers, equipment buyers and maintenance personnel. It features more than 500,000 square feet of the newest vocational trucks, vans and equipment, ride-and-drives and opportunities to connect with other work truck industry professionals.

Registration for The Work Truck Show 2015 opens in October. For more information, visit www.ntea.com/worktruckshow or call 1-800-441-6832.

Connect with the NTEA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NTEA.TheAssociationForTheWorkTruckIndustry, and join the Work Truck Show conversation on Twitter at @WorkTruckShow and with the official hashtag: #wts15.

ABOUT THE NTEA
Established in 1964, NTEA, the Association for the Work Truck Industry, represents approximately 1,650 companies that manufacture, distribute, install, sell and repair commercial trucks, truck bodies, truck equipment, trailers and accessories. Buyers of work trucks and the major commercial truck chassis manufacturers also belong to the Association. NTEA provides in-depth technical information, education, and member programs and services, and produces The Work Truck Show. The Association maintains its administrative headquarters in suburban Detroit and government relations offices in Washington, DC, and Ottawa, ON, Canada.

 Editor’s Note: High-resolution photos from the The Work Truck Show 2014 are available for download in the online pressroom at www.ntea.com/worktruckshow/photoslogos/.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

All-New Ford F-150 2.7-Liter EcoBoost V6 Engine Delivers V8 Capability and Performance


    Tougher, lighter 2015 Ford F-150 welcomes two new engines to its four-engine lineup, providing choices to meet almost any customer need – from hauling tools to towing trailers

    High-output 2.7-liter EcoBoost® with standard Auto Start-Stop broadens engine lineup by providing mid-range V8-like towing capability of 8,500 pounds, payload of 2,250 pounds, 325 horsepower, 375 lb.-ft. of torque

    Standard 3.5-liter V6 engine with twin independent variable camshaft timing delivers impressive power and efficiency with towing of 7,600 pounds that can’t be beat, 1,910 pounds of payload, 283 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque

    Use of high-strength steel and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy plus smart engineering saves up to 700 pounds, improving power-to-weight ratio and allowing for gains in towing, performance and efficiency

With its new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® with standard Auto Start-Stop and new 3.5-liter V6 with twin independent variable camshaft timing, the 2015 Ford F-150 resets the bar in light-duty pickup truck performance, capability and efficiency.

“The 2015 F-150 is the most capable F-150 yet, while shedding up to 700 pounds,” said Bob Fascetti, vice president, Powertrain Engineering. “These two new V6 engines – the 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost and normally aspirated 3.5-liter Ti-VCT – set a new standard for Ford for capability and efficiency.”

2.7-liter EcoBoost power
The high-output, twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 features an entirely new design that delivers power and performance in a strong, smart package. The engine produces 325 horsepower and 375 lb.-ft. of torque – improving the power-to-weight ratio of the 2015 truck by 15 percent over the 2014 5.0-liter V8-equipped F-150 with similar torque output, thanks to vehicle light-weighting.

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost 4x2 has a maximum payload rating of 2,250 pounds and maximum tow rating of 8,500 pounds, ideal for meeting mid-range capability needs.

Boosting 2.7-liter EcoBoost fuel efficiency is the debut of standard Auto Start-Stop technology for F-150. This technology, specially tuned for truck customers, shuts off the engine when the vehicle is at a stop. When the brake is released, the engine restarts quickly. Auto Start-Stop helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions when the truck is stopped and the engine is off. The technology is off when towing or in four-wheel-drive mode.

The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine also features Ford’s first use of a compacted graphite iron cylinder block in a gasoline engine, the same material used in Ford’s 6.7-liter Power Stroke® turbo diesel V8 in Super Duty trucks. The composite CGI/aluminum cylinder block saves weight while providing strength where it’s needed most for durability.

Advanced technology, power and efficiency combine to create an engine for F-150 that boasts more than twice the horsepower, torque and towing capability of the Toyota Tacoma midsize pickup truck with identical displacement 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine.

Ford testing shows the 2.7-liter EcoBoost also outperforming Ram 1500 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 5.3-liter V8 while towing a 7,000-pound enclosed trailer up Davis Dam in Arizona. This is the same grade the Society of Automotive Engineers uses for its J2807 towing testing standards, which the 2015 Ford F-150 will follow.


Engine Horsepower Torque (lb.-ft.) Payload (lbs.) Towing (lbs.)
2015 Ford F-150 4x4 325 375 2,160 8,400
2.7-liter EcoBoost
2014 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 159 180 1,335 3,500
2.7-liter four-cylinder
2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4x4 355 383 2,007 11,200
5.3-liter V8
2014 Ram 1500 4x4 3.0-liter 240 420 1,620 9,050
V6 EcoDiesel


3.5-liter V6 tuned for responsive power
Thanks to vehicle weight savings, the standard 3.5-liter V6 with Ti-VCT offers a 5 percent improvement in power-to-weight ratio over the larger 3.7-liter V6 in the 2014 F-150, with better fuel efficiency and performance.

The 3.5-liter V6 produces 283 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine has a maximum payload of 1,910 pounds and a maximum tow rating of 7,600 pounds – unsurpassed for standard V6 light-duty pickup trucks.

Designed for impressive power and durability, the 24-valve 3.5-liter V6 features a valvetrain with direct-acting polished mechanical buckets with twin independent variable camshaft timing for impressive torque across a wide rpm range. Six-bolt main bearing caps, a fully counterweighted forged steel crankshaft and cast exhaust manifolds are designed for heavy-duty operation.

Both the upper and lower intake manifolds of the 3.5-liter V6 are tuned for responsive power, and both the intake manifolds and cam covers are composite-formed to reduce weight. The die-cast aluminum cylinder block features bay-to-bay breathing to reduce internal pumping losses, while a deep-sump oil pan contributes to extended oil-change intervals.

Advanced materials save weight
Extensive research by Ford engineers led to the use of more advanced materials on the 2015 F-150 than found in previous trucks. Military-grade aluminum alloys make the new truck’s body lighter, stronger and more resistant to dents.

Overall, F-150 is up to 700 pounds lighter – helping the truck tow and haul more, accelerate and stop faster, and operate more efficiently than the previous F-150. High-strength steel in the frame and high-strength aluminum alloy throughout the body produce an inherently stiffer truck with greater dent and ding resistance. The aluminum upper body sits on a fully boxed ladder frame with more high-strength steel than ever to make it stronger yet lighter.

In addition to the new V6 engines, the all-new 2015 F-150 offers the proven 3.5-liter EcoBoost and the 5.0-liter V8 with Ti-VCT, providing a comprehensive, capable and efficient engine lineup to meet the specific needs of Ford truck customers.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.


Friday, August 1, 2014

2015 Ford F-450 Superduty Video Review




We recently had the chance to drive the full lineup of 2015 Ford Super Dutys, some of which are relatively unchanged from 2014 with the exception of the newly upgraded and tuned 6.7-liter V-8 turbo-diesel and stronger transmission combination. The new engine leads the HD segment with 440 horsepower and 860 pounds-feet of torque and feels impressive, but that singular change does not make up for all of the Super Duty's faults.

After a full-blown media test-drive event we were able to take an all-new F-450 Super Duty (which does offer a stronger front axle, rear springs, steering components, torque converter, and an upgraded transmission) from West Virginia to Detroit. The good thing is that we spent enough time behind the wheel to be sufficiently impressed with this new truck and powertrain. The problem was that we weren't towing or hauling anything (in fact, we made the run completely empty), which meant we had to deal an exceptionally stiff and punishing suspension.

Still, there is a lot to like about this up-sized one-ton Super Duty, so we found some nice spots along our route to stop and talk about the truck. Yes, this is the monster that has Ford stating it is the best-In-class towing champ of the segment, but we can say that the trade-off (the unloaded ride quality) might be too much for many pickup truck customers to handle.

If you're thinking about buying this truck, you better have a sizable trailer (upward of 20,000-plus pounds) that you have to tow more than 75 percent of the time. Until we get our hands on one of these new trucks to do a more thorough and controlled towing and payload test, this will have to do. Look for our full story on the 2015 Super Dutys to come.


From www.pickuptrucks.com


Cars.com photo by Mark Williams