Friday, February 25, 2011

All-New Ford Focus Officially Certified at 40 MPG with Features, Technology Competitors Can’t Match

  • The all-new Ford Focus is certified by the EPA at 40 mpg highway with a six-speed automatic transmission, which is overwhelmingly preferred by American drivers
  • Ford Motor Company now has four nameplates with an EPA-certified rating of 40 mpg or higher, more than any other full-line manufacturer
  • The outstanding fuel economy of the Ford Focus is complemented by available class-exclusive technology and features usually found only on larger cars
  • Ford data show that fuel economy is the No. 1 purchase reason for Ford Focus customers
2012 Ford Focus

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 25, 2011 – The all-new Ford Focus with the SFE (Super Fuel Economy) package delivers an EPA certified 40 mpg on the highway to go with its array of smart technologies, exceptional standards of craftsmanship and retuned suspension for a total driving experience not found anywhere else in the segment.

The new Focus is certified by the EPA at 40 mpg highway and 28 mpg city through its advanced six-speed automatic transmission.

Some competitors utilize a manual transmission to achieve their highest fuel economy ratings, though sales of vehicles with automatic transmissions account for more than 90 percent of the market.

Focus becomes the fourth vehicle in the Ford Motor Company vehicle lineup with an EPA-certified rating of 40 mpg or more.

“Our customers tell us that fuel economy is the top reason for purchasing a Focus,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “The all-new Focus meets that demand with great fuel economy, class-leading technologies and features, exceptional standards of craftsmanship and driving dynamics typically reserved for larger, more expensive vehicles.”

Affordable fuel economy
With the EPA certification of Focus, Ford continues to deliver on its promise to make fuel economy affordable for millions of consumers. Today, Ford Motor Company has 12 vehicles including cars, utilities and crossovers in the U.S. that lead their sales segments for fuel economy – a number no other automaker matches.

With the new Focus, four 2011 models achieve at least 40 mpg – the Ford Fiesta SE with SFE package (40 mpg highway) and the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (41 mpg city). No other automaker offers four nameplates with EPA-certified ratings of 40 mpg or more, according to the 2011 EPA Fuel Economy Guide .

Here's how the Ford Focus SFE compares with current 2011 model year competitor products with automatic transmissions:

Ford Focus SFE
Honda Civic
Toyota Corolla
Volkswagen Jetta
Chevrolet Cruze
Hyundai Elantra
Fuel economy city/highway

High fuel prices coming? Focus ready for challenge
That exceptional fuel economy could be vital in the months ahead. The Department of Energy is offering a somewhat bleak forecast at the gas pumps. Gas prices, now at a national average of $3.22, according to, could go as high as $3.50 a gallon, and there’s even a slim chance they could go higher – maybe even above $4.

The all-new Ford Focus answers that challenge with content that builds off the mid-range SE model four-door sedan with the PowerShift six-speed automatic transmission.

The engaging driver appeal of the new Ford Focus is magnified by an advanced powertrain. Focus is fitted with a completely new 2.0-liter gasoline direct-injection DOHC four-cylinder engine that combines high-pressure direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) for enhanced performance and fuel efficiency. This engine delivers more power than the current 2.0-liter Duratec® unit featured in the North American Focus, while contributing to fuel economy gains of more than 10 percent.

To maximize its performance and economy advantage, the engine is mated with the latest dry-clutch six-speed Ford PowerShift automatic transmission. A high-efficiency dual dry-clutch design, the transmission alone can help to reduce fuel consumption by up to 9 percent compared to a traditional four-speed automatic.

The SFE package also includes 16-inch steel wheels with aero wheel covers, active grille shutters, high-efficiency tires, four-wheel disc brakes, rear spoiler and a special SFE badge.

Unlike other competitors, the Ford Focus employs full active grille shutters. Active grille shutters help optimize aerodynamics by using vents to control airflow through the grille to the cooling system and engine compartment.

If air is required to cool the engine, the vents are opened. If no airflow is needed the vents are shut, contributing to significantly reduced aerodynamic drag.

Mounted in the grille aperture ahead of the radiator, the active grille shutters feature motorized horizontal vanes that can rotate through 90 degrees to block the airflow. Automatically controlled by the car’s electronic control unit, the vanes can be rotated into 15 different positions – from fully closed to fully open – depending on the amount of cooling air required.

When fully closed, the reduction in drag means the active grille shutters can reduce CO2 emissions by 2 percent.

As an additional benefit, the system keeps the vanes closed as long as possible when starting from cold, so the engine reaches its most efficient operating temperature more quickly. This also helps reduce fuel consumption.

Great looks, smart technology and true performance
The dynamic Focus exterior is reinforced by a modern, cockpit-style interior with a stylish center console.

The most significant interior innovation is the available SYNC® with MyFord™, which includes a sophisticated voice control system for vehicle functions, connected Bluetooth® devices, MP3 players and a wide variety of external media.

The interior combines functionality with outstanding craftsmanship. The cabin’s bold and contemporary graphics, the sculptured shape of the soft-touch instrument panel and the choice of superior trim materials combine to give occupants a premium-class experience.

Focus interior space rivals larger vehicles, with more shoulder room than an Audi A4 and more front headroom than a Toyota Camry. The second row of Focus provides more hip room than the Audi or Toyota.

The original Ford Focus brought new levels of driving agility to this segment of cars. Now Focus raises the benchmark to target class-leading driving quality, blending communicative steering with significantly improved ride quality.

“The all-new Ford Focus delivers the outstanding fuel economy our customers demand in a more stylish package with more technology and an even greater driving experience,” said Kuzak.

Visit our website for all your Metro Detroit Ford Vehicle needs, or view our new and used inventory at

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Ford Electrified Vehicle Facebook Page Engages Fans

  • Ford has developed a Facebook page dedicated to educating consumers about the differences in electrified vehicle technologies and providing the latest information about the five electrified vehicles the company will introduce (
  • Fans of the page can access assets – videos, photos, polls and announcements, join discussions about electrified vehicles and even direct questions to the engineers on Ford’s electric vehicle development team
  • The Electrified Vehicle Facebook page is where Ford first teased information about the all-new Focus Electric reveal and showed live-streaming video of its reveal from the Consumer Electronics Show in January
Ford Focus Electric

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 23, 2011 – Ford has launched an Electrified Vehicle Facebook page to serve as a place where passionate enthusiasts or curious consumers can find and share information about the company’s electrified vehicles. The page, available at, is part of Ford’s efforts to educate consumers on the variety of choices available with electrified vehicles and what the company is doing to make an electric lifestyle as easy as possible.

“People who are passionate about electrified vehicles or just interested in learning more about the technology are using the Internet as the source to participate in discussions or gather information,” said David Finnegan, Ford electric vehicles marketing manager. “Launching a Ford-specific Electrified Vehicle Facebook page allows us to create a forum for discussion and a place where we can interact with fans.”

The Ford Electrified Vehicle page for Facebook was developed to help consumers understand the differences between electricified vehicle technologies so they can make informed decisions about whether a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or all-electric vehicle fits their driving habits. The page also creates a place where consumers can initiate and participate in conversations around Ford’s electrified vehicle offerings and gives Ford a forum to respond to consumers who are interested in electrified vehicles.

“We’re committed to engaging in an ongoing dialogue with our fans in a way that provides value for the time they choose to spend with Ford online,” said Scott Monty, Ford digital and multimedia communications manager. “As we’ve proven with Fiesta Movement and the Explorer reveal on Facebook, it’s important to pay attention to what people are saying, and for us to be able to respond and provide a unique experience for them as well.”

The Electrified Vehicle Facebook page offers visitors links to videos and photos of Ford’s electrified vehicles, as well as a place to learn about the powertrains in each vehicle. There are areas for discussion between fans, along with user polls, a place where fans can direct questions to Ford’s electric vehicles team, and a calendar for upcoming events.

The Facebook page was used to tease the reveal of the all-new Focus Electric at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. The reveal was streamed live on the page, along with video from the Ford display on-site.

“You never know what will pop up next on the page,” said Finnegan. “One day we could host a live discussion with an electric vehicle engineer, post the first information about Focus Electric orders or announce details surrounding a consumer contest. You’ll just have to friend the page and find out.”

Ford’s power of choice
Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy. Ford’s aggressive strategy includes the launch of five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013. Ford launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010, will launch Focus Electric later this year and will introduce C-MAX Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid in 2012. The range of electrified vehicles allows Ford to meet a variety of consumer driving needs.

Visit our website for all your Metro Detroit Ford Vehicle needs, or view our new and used inventory at

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Ford dealer: It's all about family

3rd-generation business emerges from recession

Laurén Abdel-Razzaq
Automotive News -- February 7, 2011 - 12:01 am ET

DETROIT -- When his CFO, and boyhood friend, was diagnosed with lymphoma, Mark O'Brien mobilized his dealership for a bone marrow drive. He even shaved his head in solidarity.

That's what family does, and that's what Roy O'Brien Ford is about.

"Dad always said treat your customers better than you expect to be treated," said Mark O'Brien, chairman of the dealership his grandfather Roy opened 65 years ago.

Roy O'Brien began selling Fords in metro Detroit in 1946, buying an old firehouse and reopening it as a used-car dealership and service center. Eventually he passed along the business to his son, Roy Jr., who controlled the company until his death last May.

Now Roy, Jr.'s son, Mark, is at the helm of the dealership in St. Clair Shores, Mich.

It took Mark O'Brien 35 years to get into the family dealership. He worked at his maternal grandfather's grocery store for 11 years during his teens and after graduating from Michigan State University with a degree in business. It was a small store where workers knew the customers by name.

Something extra

When he moved to the dealership, O'Brien brought this mentality with him and extended it to his employees and customers.

"We try to hire people we would want to have over for dinner," he said. "For our customers, we always try to give them something more than they expected."

Whether that something is a free tank of gasoline with the purchase of a new vehicle or fixing a broken taillight during a routine oil change, O'Brien says it's part of his plan to attract and retain customers.

"You have so many choices, you don't have to come here," he said. "But we have to ask: 'What can we do to put ourselves first in your mind?'"

Until Jan. 1, O'Brien, 54, was general manager of the dealership. In the new year he passed along the position to his youngest brother, Roy Patrick, after 19 years. Although five of Roy Jr.'s seven children ended up in the business, they were never pressured to take over.

With two daughters and two sons of his own, O'Brien says he wants to adopt the same philosophy.

"They have an interest in the business world, they have an interest in this business, but I'm not going to push them to make a decision to get into the car business," he said. "I would really like my children to try something completely on their own."

Green technology

When the dealership suffered during the recession, everyone felt the belt tightening. Management eliminated 401(k) matching and stopped replacing workers who retired or left. Through this attrition, the staff has dropped to 106 from 135 employees in 2004.

But new products have helped turn things around. From 2009 to 2010, revenue rose 34 percent and the number of new and used vehicle sales increased by 261 units.

And over the past year, the dealership has begun spending on green technology.

In November, metro Detroit's Eco-Green Energy installed three hybrid lamps at the front of the dealership at an estimated cost of $40,000 before tax rebates. A combination of solar panels, wind turbines and backup batteries powers the lights.

O'Brien said he plans to have solar panels installed on the dealership roof by year end. The panels, which he estimates will cost $100,000 before rebates, will let the dealership operate on its own power most days.

And O'Brien hopes to have geothermal heating implemented throughout the building by 2013. At a cost of $150,000 to $200,000 before rebates, O'Brien says the technology is expected to pay for itself in eight years.

The decision to implement green technology was also prompted by O'Brien's family instinct.

"Maybe one day our grandkids will look at the utility bills and say, 'Thanks, grandpa, you took care of us.'"

On the rise
Unit sales increased at Roy O'Brien Ford from 2009 to 2010.
New vehicles Used vehicles
2009 1,734 817
2010 1,896 916

Read the article from Automotive News Here.

Visit our website for all your Metro Detroit Ford Vehicle needs, or view our new and used inventory at