Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Ford Advantage Plan Test-Drive Program

There's Never Been a Better Time to Give Back

In times like these, giving back to the community is more important than ever. So when you test-drive a Ford vehicle between April 21 and June 1, Ford will donate $20 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure® on your behalf – to the Komen affiliate in the city of your choice.


$20 Donation to Susan G. Komen


When you test-drive a Ford, you’ll see a real difference. While others tell you there’s no credit available, Ford Credit is ready to help you finance your Ford vehicle. With the Ford Advantage Plan, you can buy or lease a new Ford vehicle and we’ll cover your payments for up to 12 months if you lose your paycheck.* Drive one today.


*Customer must be employed for 30 days after purchase. Must be employed full-time for 90 continuous days before job loss. Not available to self-employed, part-time or seasonal workers. Maximum monthly payment $700. Not available on E/F-450 and higher models. Program subject to change. Take new delivery from dealer stock by 6/1/09. See dealer for full program details and qualifications.


Go to to download your certificate or click here.


On behalf of Roy O'Brien Ford, when you test drive a new Ford vehicle, Roy O'Brien Ford will match the $20 Ford is donating to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, up to $1,000. Stop in today and drive one!

Friday, April 17, 2009

After 45 Years, Mustang is Ford's trusty steed

Forty-five years ago today, Ford Motor Co. introduced the Mustang -- one of the most iconic cars in American history -- at the World's Fair in New York. The company expected to sell 100,000 Mustangs the first year, but sold 417,000. On the very first day the car was shown, 22,000 orders were taken, with a price tag of $2,368. Today, the Mustang starts at $20,995 and sales have passed the 9 million mark.

Biggest party

Birmingham, Ala., will play host today to one of the biggest Mustang rallies to celebrate the car's birthday. Ford predicts more than 2,500 enthusiasts will be on hand to mark the occasion, including nine original owners of the first production Mustangs.


1964 1/2 or 1965?


Just when you thought it was settled.


Purists refer to Mustangs built between April and August 1964 as the model year 1964 1/2. Sorry, they are wrong; there is no 1964 1/2 model year. If you check the Vehicle Identification Number, it's a 1965 model.


But there's no reason to let facts get in the way of a classic. There are differences between the first Mustangs built between April and August 1964 and those built afterward and through July 1965 -- the traditional time frame for 1965 models. The first Mustangs used a generator instead of an alternator and the originals came with a 260-cubic-inch V-8 instead of the 289-cubic-inch V-8 that went under the hood of true 1965 models.

Mustang in the movies

"Goldfinger," 1964: A beautiful woman assassin drives a white 1964 convertible Mustang in this James Bond film starring Sean Connery.


"Bullitt," 1968: Steve McQueen is a hardened police detective who chases killers in a 1968 Mustang GT390.


"Diamonds Are Forever," 1971: Sean Connery eludes police in a 1971 Mustang Mach I in this James Bond film.


"Gone in 60 Seconds," 1974: A 1973 Mustang Mach I is the getaway vehicle in 40-minute chase that destroys 93 cars.


"Bull Durham," 1988: Fading ballplayer Kevin Costner picks up a 1968 Shelby Mustang GT350.


"Gone in Sixty Seconds," 2000: In this remake, retired car thief Nicolas Cage goes after the ultimate prize, a black 1967 Shelby GT500 styled by car designer Chip Foose.


"I Am Legend," 2007: Will Smith, the sole survivor of an apocalypse, races around the deserted streets of New York in a 2007 Shelby Mustang GT500.


This article is from the Detroit News, view the original article.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2010 Fusion is Ford's best midsize sedan in decades


I didn't think Ford could build a midsize sedan this good.

The 2010 Fusion midsize sedan jumps to the head of its class for fuel economy, features, value, looks and comfort.

At the point in a vehicle's lifecycle where most automakers tweak the grille and lights -- mid-cycle freshening is the industry term -- Ford rethought and reworked every part of the Fusion your eyes, hands and the seat of your pants interacts with.

The result is the first Ford midsize sedan since the original 1986 Taurus that you must test before you buy any of its competitors. Otherwise, you'll never know what you're missing.

The original Fusion went on sale just three years ago. The 2010 model keeps that model's platform -- the floor pan and basic structure -- but otherwise is virtually all new. A distinctive new exterior, a vastly improved interior, new engines and transmissions. A raft of features you can't get on any other midsize sedan.

Prices for the 2010 Ford Fusion start at $19,270 for a front-wheel drive model with a 175-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission.

A six-speed automatic is also available, as are all-wheel drive and a 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 and 263-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Ford also offers a hybrid version of the Fusion that I reviewed in January.

The top model in the line, an AWD Sport model with the 3.5-liter engine, stickers at $27,675. All prices exclude destination charges.

I tested two Fusions, a nicely equipped SE with the four-cylinder engine, manual transmission and a $21,440 sticker price; and an option-laden Sport AWD with the 3.5-liter and automatic transmission that cost $30,670.

Both cars represent excellent values. The SE would compete with four-cylinder midsize sedans like the Chevrolet Malibu, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. The jaunty Sport takes on models like the Acura TSX and TL, Nissan Maxima and Subaru Legacy.

The Fusion's chassis is among the best in its class, providing a comfortable ride and very good handling.

Ford left those virtues unchanged, but gave the 2010 model a new trunk lid, hood, grille, headlight and taillights.

The changes pay off, injecting an elegant and refined look into what had been an attractive but somewhat bland car.

The interior got an even more thorough makeover. Every surface is now covered in high-quality soft-touch materials, with tastefully applied, lighter-colored accents.

The hood on the Sport model I tested was poorly fitted, with a noticeably wider gap to the right fender than the left, but fit and finish were otherwise excellent in both.

New features include the latest generation of the breakthrough Sync system Ford developed with Microsoft. In addition to hands-free control of mobile phones, iPods and other audio, Ford has added a voice-controlled navigation system that functions as well or better than what any luxury brand offers.

The Fusion also now offers blind-spot alert and an ultrasonic rear parking assist that peeks around the corner when you back out of a parking space to warn of oncoming cross traffic.

Both engines provide ample power.

The six-speed manual transmission had a precise and easy motion, while the automatic was smooth and quick. Brake feel is excellent, and the steering feel, which I found heavy in the original Fusion, is considerably better in four-cylinder models.

The AWD Sport has the looks, performance and features to make Audi, Lexus and Subaru nervous about the prices of their all-wheel drive sport sedans.

The SE hugged curves and demonstrated again how enjoyable a well-engineered front-wheel drive four-cylinder car can be.

The fuel economy with all powertrain combinations is at or near the top of its class.

The 2007 Fusion was a good car; the 2010 is an unexpectedly great one. Sometimes, the second time is the charm.

Contact MARK PHELAN: or 313-222-6731.

Additional Facts
Competitive EPA fuel economy ratings

(automatic transmission models)
Ford Fusion...23 m.p.g. city/34 m.p.g. highway
Chevrolet Malibu ...22/33
Honda Accord ...21/30
Nissan Altima ...23/31

Ford Fusion ...18/27 (All-wheel drive: 17/24)
Chevrolet Malibu ...18/29
Honda Accord ...19/29
Toyota Camry ...19/28

Ford Fusion ...41/36
Saturn Aura ...26/34
Toyota Camry ...33/34

You can also view the article on

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Mustang Facts: 1994-Present

The 1994 Mustang, which ushered in the fourth generation of Mustangs, was dramatically restyled to evoke its pony car heritage. The hatchback style was dropped, leaving the two-door coupe and convertible. The SVT (Special Vehicle Team) Cobra launched with a 240-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8.


1995 was the final model year for the 5.0-liter V-8, which began life as the 260- and later 289-cid engine. The second SVT Cobra R was introduced with a 300-horsepower 5.8-liter V-8 and five-speed manual transmission.


In 1996, Mustang GTs and SVT Mustang Cobras were equipped for the first time with 4.6-liter Dual Overhead Cam (DOHC) V-8, which produced 305 horsepower.


Ford’s Passive Anti-Theft System became standard on all models in 1997.


In 1998, the output of Mustang GT’s 4.6-liter V-8 was increased to 225 horsepower.


A redesigned Mustang debuted in 1999. It sported sharper lines, pronounced wheel arches plus new hood, grille, fascias and lamps. The SVT Mustang Cobra became the first Mustang with independent rear suspension. The 4.6-liter DOHC V-8 produced 320 horsepower.


In 2000, the third Mustang SVT Cobra R was produced in a 300-unit run. It came with a 386-horsepower, 5.4-liter DOHC V-8 mated to Mustang’s first ever six-speed transmission.


Inspired by the 1968 movie, the first Mustang Bullitt GT model was offered. It featured unique side scoops, 17-inch “Bullitt”-styled wheels and lowered and specially-tuned suspension.


In 2002, production ended for two of Mustang’s closest competitors: Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.


The Mach I returned in 2003 with a 305-horsepower V-8 under a signature ram-air “Shaker” hood scoop. The supercharged SVT Mustang Cobra produced 390 horsepower.


In 2004, Ford produced its 300 millionth car – a Mustang GT convertible 40th anniversary edition. The 2004 models were the last cars built at Ford’s fabled Dearborn Assembly Plant, which built Mustangs since the car’s 1964 introduction.


In 2005, production of the all-new Mustang moved to Flat Rock, Mich. Plant. The Mustang’s V-6 engine was increased to 4.0-liters and the V-8 increased to 300 horsepower.


The V-6 “Pony Package” debuted in 2006. GT models got 18-inch wheels, and owners could configure instrument panel lighting in 125 different colors, an industry first, using Ford’s MyColor instrument gauge.


In 2007, Ford introduced a special “Warriors in Pink” Mustang, designed to help raise funds for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure breast cancer research. The vehicle lineup also included the Mustang Shelby GT and the Shelby GT500KR. The second limited-edition Mustang Bullitt was introduced in November.


The 9 millionth Mustang – a GT convertible – was built in 2008 and sold to an Iowa farmer.


The 2009 Mustang features a glass roof option and special 45th anniversary badging.


The 2010 Mustang was introduced in November at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It cleverly combines modern technology with Mustang heritage and a V-8 with even more horsepower and even throatier signature Mustang exhaust sound. It will be available at Ford dealerships later this spring.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Mustang Facts: 1983-1993

By 1983, the Mustang convertible was back. And so was the “Boss,” as Ford’s pony car steadily returned to its roots as a performance vehicle, following the gas crisis and tighter emissions standards that influenced the Mustangs of the 70s.


In 1984, Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) team created the Mustang SVO. It sported a front fascia with fog lamps, functional hood scoop and a unique dual-wing rear spoiler. A turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine produced 175 horsepower.


Also in 1984, a special V-8 powered Mustang GT was created to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Mustang. It was a special limited edition done in Oxford White with a Canyon Red interior.


In 1985, Mustang received a 5.0-liter high output V-8 that made 210 horsepower when mated to a manual transmission. New Quadra-Shock rear suspension provided better acceleration and reduced wheel hop on fast takeoffs.


Mustang’s V-8 traded its carburetor for sequential multi-port fuel injection in 1986.


In 1987, the Mustang was restyled with a new “aero-look” body. The 5.0-liter V-8 produced 225 horsepower.


For its 25th Anniversary, all Mustangs produced between April 17, 1989 and April 17, 1990 sported the familiar running horse on the dashboard with “25 Years” inscribed underneath.


In 1990, Mustang sported a driver’s-side airbag as standard equipment.


In 1991, entry-level Mustangs received an improved 105-horsepower, twin-plug 2.3-liter four-cylinder with distributorless ignition. All V-8 models came with new five-spoke 16 x 7-inch cast aluminum wheels.


The stealthy Mustang LX 5.0 developed a cult following in 1992 and outsold all other models combined. Wire-style wheel covers and whitewall tires disappeared from the options list.


In 1993, Ford’s new Special Vehicle Team (SVT) introduced the limited-production SVT Mustang Cobra with subtle but distinctive styling cues and performance upgrades. The low-volume 1993 Cobra R, developed to be used as a race car, sold out prior to production.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ford Advantage Plan - Questions & Answers

Here is an FAQ on the Ford Advantage Plan. This also can be downloaded here in a pdf document.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is covered under The Ford Payment Protection Program?

Only the primary purchaser/lessee responsible for the outstanding financing of the new Ford vehicle is covered under The Ford Payment Protection Program and is eligible for Benefits. Co-purchasers and co-lessees are not covered under this program.


2. What are my Benefits?


The Ford Payment Protection Program will pay, on your behalf, the monthly payment (purchase: principal + interest / lease: lease fee + taxes) due on your vehicle financing up to $700 per month for up to 12 months provided you are Involuntarily Unemployed before January 1, 2010, remain Involuntarily Unemployed, and continue to submit proof of unemployment on a monthly basis.


3. When is enrollment effective?


Your enrollment in The Ford Payment Protection Program becomes effective the day you purchase/lease your new vehicle. Please note, however, that there is a 30-day exclusionary period. You must become Involuntarily Unemployed after this initial 30-day exclusionary period in order to qualify for Benefits, and then you must be unemployed for at least 30 consecutive days before you can request your Benefit.


For example:

• New vehicle purchased/leased on: March 31, 2009

• Program Enrollment Date effective on: March 31, 2009

• 30-Day Exclusionary Period for Eligibility ends: May 1, 2009

• Involuntary Unemployment event must occur between May 1,  2009, and before January 1, 2010

• Involuntary Unemployment occurs May 2, 2009

• 30-Day Unemployment Waiting Period ends: June 1, 2009

In this example, the first day you are able to request a Benefit, provided you meet all other requirements, is June 1, 2009.

4. What type of Employment is covered?


To qualify for The Ford Payment Protection Program you must have been working full-time for 90 consecutive days, at least 30 hours per week, before you became Involuntarily Unemployed. This program does not cover part-time (less than 30 hours per week), seasonal, self-employment or persons employed by a family household member.


5. What does it mean to become Involuntarily Unemployed?


Involuntary Unemployment means that you are terminated by your employer prior to January 1, 2010, due to individual or mass layoff, strike, labor dispute or lockout. It does not include termination of employment due to: retirement, normal seasonal unemployment, resignation, voluntary forfeiture of salary, wages or employment income, scheduled termination of an employment contract, disability (as a result of sickness, illness, disease, accident, pregnancy, injury or other cause) and willful or criminal misconduct or incarceration. Also, excluded is Involuntary Unemployment which occurred, or for which you received notice of, prior to your enrollment in The Ford Payment Protection Program (i.e. the date you purchased/leased your vehicle).


6. How do I request for my Benefits to be activated?


If you become Involuntarily Unemployed prior to January 1, 2010, and believe that you have met all of the necessary qualifications, call 1-888-262-9809 to request a Benefit Form. You must complete a Benefit Form and submit all required documentation within 90 days of the day you became Involuntarily Unemployed in order to be eligible for Benefits. An associate will be available to assist you Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST and will provide you with specific instructions.


7. What documentation do I need to provide in order to receive Benefits?


Along with a completed and signed Benefit Form, provided by the customer service representative, you need to submit the following:


• Proper proof of unemployment: A copy of your State Determination Letter, Unemployment check stubs, Unemployment debit card statement(s) or Registration Card

• A copy of your financing agreement with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

• A copy of your most recent monthly financing statement or coupon book (or similar documentation that shows the finance source information including account number, payment amount and payment mailing address)

8. Once I submit all of the required documentation, how long will it take before I know whether my request for Benefits was approved?


Provided that all the documentation has been submitted, it generally takes 7-10 business days from the date we receive your documentation before an approval for Benefits will be issued. You will be contacted if any additional information is needed in order to determine whether you have met all eligibility requirements.

9. How do I know if my request for Benefits has been approved?

When your Benefits have been approved, you will receive a letter advising you of your Benefit approval and the amount paid to your financing source. It is important for you to continue to make the required payments on your account until you have received notification that your Benefits have been approved in order to maintain your account current.


10. When do my Benefits begin?


Once your Benefit is approved, payments are retroactive to the day you became Involuntarily Unemployed (subject to verification). Benefit payments will then continue on a monthly basis, in 30-day increments, provided you continue to submit the required documentation for each month you remain Involuntarily Unemployed, up to the program maximum of 12 months.

For example:
• You purchased/leased the vehicle on June 1, 2009
• Your 30-day exclusionary period for eligibility ends on July 1, 2009
• You become Involuntarily Unemployed on August 1, 2009
• Your 30-day unemployment waiting period ends on September 1, 2009
• You call to request a Benefit Form on September 15, 2009 and submit the required documentation by September 30, 2009

In this scenario, a monthly benefit payment(s), retroactive to August 1, 2009 will be issued. Then, monthly Benefits will be disbursed provided you continue to submit the required documentation for each additional month you remain Involuntarily Unemployed, up to the program maximum of 12 months. If you have questions on how your Benefit payments will be applied to your financing account, please contact your finance source directly.


11. Once my Benefit is approved, will my Benefit be paid on the day that my monthly financing payment is due?


No. The Benefit is paid once all required documentation has been received and reviewed, and your Benefit request has been approved. Because of this process, the Benefit payment may or may not be issued on the precise day when your monthly financing payment is due. As such, it is important that you continue to make your required monthly financing payments until your Benefit has been approved.

12. What about financing payment amounts that are above the $700 maximum monthly Benefit?


The Benefit paid is the scheduled monthly purchase/lease payment established with your financing source when the finance agreement was originated, up to a maximum $700 per month Benefit. The purchaser/lessee is responsible for monthly financing payment amounts above the maximum $700 per month Benefit.


13. Will the Benefits cover any late fees I have accrued because I was not able to pay my bill on time?

No. The Benefit only serves to cover your standard vehicle payment obligation and not any additional fees associated with your account.


14. How do I continue to receive my Benefits?

In order for your Benefits to remain active, you must submit proof of continued Involuntary Unemployment (a copy of your State Determination Letter, Unemployment check stubs, Unemployment debit card statement(s) or Registration Card on a monthly basis along with your continuing Benefit Form.

15. If I get a job but find myself Involuntarily Unemployed again, can I request for my Benefits to be activated again?


Yes. If you find yourself in a situation where you are again Involuntarily Unemployed in 2009, you are eligible to request the remaining available Benefits provided that you:


• Have met the requirement to be a full-time employee for 90 consecutive days, at least 30 hours per week, immediately before you became Involuntarily Unemployed again in 2009

• Have been unemployed for at least 30 consecutive days

• Have not reached the 12-month maximum Benefit payout

• Meet all other eligibility requirements

16. If I run out of Benefits, can I reapply for Benefits?


No. Once 12 monthly Benefit payments have been disbursed no additional Benefits are available.


17. If I pay off my loan because I refinanced my vehicle before January 1, 2010, but become Involuntarily Unemployed, am I still eligible to receive Benefits?

Yes, you are still covered as long as you:

• Still have the vehicle originally purchased
• Are still the primary purchaser/lessee responsible for the vehicle financing
• Have a monthly vehicle payment due with a financing source for the vehicle originally purchased/leased
• Continue to meet all other eligibility requirements


18. If I sell my vehicle, is the new owner covered under The Ford Payment Protection Program as well?


No. The Benefit only covers the original purchaser/lessee of the vehicle. These Benefits are not transferable.

19. Am I paying for this program?

No. This program is offered to you as a valued customer, free of charge and compliments of Ford Motor Company.


20. What do I have to do to be enrolled?

Nothing. You are automatically enrolled in The Ford Payment Protection Program as of the effective date of your new vehicle purchase/lease.


21. If I don’t use The Ford Payment Protection Program, can I still get a credit for the unused amount?

No. The purpose of The Ford Payment Protection Program is to assist loyal Ford customers during a time of need. The program has no credit or cash value to the customer outside the Benefits Approval process.

22. Do I have to pay the Benefit back?

No. These Benefits do not need to be repaid.