Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ford Engineers Leave No Detail in the Shade

DEARBORN, Mich., June 28, 2012 – Can you look cool without sunglasses? Maybe not, so they are consistently among the top 10 items drivers carry in their cars, and accommodating this accessory is a priority for these Ford engineers.
Ford Engineers Leave No Detail in the Shade
Ford engineers evaluated – and modeled – more than 100 pairs of sunglasses from designer frames to drug store knockoffs to achieve accurate dimensions of a wide range of shades. The goal was to ensure 95 percent of all sunglasses fit well into the 2013 Ford Fusion overhead stowage bin. Talk about dedication to making it possible for every driver to look their best on sunny days.
Using the coordinate measuring machine – a laser scanning device that produces accurate, to-scale 3D models on the computer – the engineers scanned real sunglasses to simulate how different types would rest in the overhead container.
Sejal Shreffler – core accommodation and usage engineer – explains, “Older sunglasses holders were designed for thin, wire-framed pairs, but fashions have evolved toward thicker, plastic shades. So we changed the bins to keep up with the trends.”
For this team of Ford engineers, it’s all about style and size, whether it’s throwback wayfarers – that may actually have been purchased the first time they were in style – or the ever-convenient clip-on sunglasses. No matter what look drivers are going for, the 2013 Ford Fusion will have a spot for almost any pair of shades.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Ford Mustang Customizer Updated for 2013, Includes Chance to Win Your Fantasy Mustang

  • Social engagement is helping to fuel an 18 percent sales jump for Mustang in 2012
  • More than 4.1 million fans have already built dream Mustang using the Customizer
  • New enhanced and celebrity battle modes will let Facebook users cast ballots for their favorite custom Mustang
  • Four fans will win the fantasy Mustang they build in the Customizer
Dream Mustang Customizer
Over its nearly 50-year run, the Ford Mustang has sold more than 8.5 million examples and earned status as an American icon. In the parallel world of social media, its presence is even bigger and about to get bigger still.
To coincide with the new 2013 Mustang now hitting the road, Ford is relaunching its popular Mustang Customizer with a host of new features, such as enhanced battle modes, badges and stats as well as an opportunity for four lucky fans to win either a Mustang V6, GT, Boss 302 or Shelby GT500.
“Since the Customizer was originally launched in September 2011, more than 4.1 million different variations of the Mustang have been built by more than 1 million unique visitors,” said Lee Jelenic, Ford marketing communications manager. “We’re having great success in social marketing by actively engaging our fans and it’s helping to fuel the recent Mustang sales resurgence with sales up 18 percent so far in 2012.”
Customers consistently highlight design and personalization as the top reasons to buy a Mustang. The Customizer gives users a way to craft the look of their favorite ride and compare it with their friends.
Through customer research, Ford learned that for Mustang owners, present and future, Customizer was the perfect mechanism to hand the brand over to them. Ford created a rare opportunity for customers to have a meaningful and authentic experience with the product, without having to get them behind the wheel.
The Customizer, available as an app for iPhone, iPad and Android in mid-summer and online at, allows fans to choose a Mustang V6, GT, Boss 302 or the new 662-horsepower Shelby GT500. They can then apply a dizzying array of colors, graphics, body kits and wheels to achieve the look they want. If the standard color palette doesn’t have anything that looks just right, fans can even use the sliders to blend custom hues.
To make sure the final design looks just right, users can view the car from five different directions with a variety of backdrops and even add some burnouts.
“Fans can save their finished fantasy Mustang to a computer to use as desktop wallpaper or share to their Facebook account and enter into the battle mode,” said Brian McClary, Ford digital marketing manager. “The battle mode pits the designs head to head, where more than 5.1 million battle votes have already been cast.”
Since the special parts and graphics are available off the shelf, these custom Mustang don’t have to remain virtual. Customers can head down to their local Ford dealer and order a Mustang of their own exactly as they built it in the Customizer, except for the unique paint colors.
“We’ve significantly upgraded the Customizer this year,” added McClary. “The original battle mode has been enhanced, and we’ve added celebrity battles, smack talk capability, new user stats and leader boards, badges and points for the activities on the site and apps.”
Earlier this year, a special Mustang TV commercial highlighted some of the possibilities of the Customizer. Click here to view the Mustang Inner TV ad:
Over the rest of year, Ford will further sweeten the pot by selecting four dream Mustangs and building them for the creators. Ford will give away one unique Mustang V6, GT, Boss 302 and a Shelby GT500.

Fans can create their inner Mustang now at

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Friday, June 15, 2012

Ford Cuts Energy Use 22 Percent; New Sustainability Report Calls for Added 25 Percent Drop by 2016

  • Ford Motor Company has released its 13th annual Sustainability Report titled “Blueprint for Sustainability: Accelerating Ahead” – a voluntary and comprehensive annual account highlighting all things sustainable, from people to products
  • Ford’s success cutting energy use in its vehicle manufacturing process – and its announcement to cut another 25 percent in the next five years – comes as global energy use is being projected to soar 53 percent between 2008 and 2035
  • Other progress highlighted includes reduction in waste-to-landfill, water use and CO2 emissions; a summary of company financial health; improvement in vehicle fuel economy; and safety achievements

DEARBORN, Mich., June 15, 2012 – Ford announced today in its annual Sustainability Report that it has reduced the amount of energy required to produce each vehicle in its manufacturing facilities by 22 percent in the last six years. The company also announced plans to reduce usage another 25 percent on a per-vehicle basis by 2016.
Decreased energy consumption during vehicle manufacturing is just one highlight of Ford’s 13th annual Sustainability Report. The report – “Blueprint for Sustainability: Accelerating Ahead” – is a comprehensive showcase of the company’s efforts to tackle a myriad of sustainability challenges in a rapidly changing world.
Other successful initiatives featured include reductions in water use, waste-to-landfill and CO2 emissions as well as improvements in vehicle fuel economy and safety.
“Sustainability has moved from the periphery to the center of our strategy for succeeding in the marketplace and helping to address global challenges,” said Robert Brown, vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.
Ford issued its first Sustainability Report in 1999 to address the company’s initiatives regarding social, economic and environmental issues. Like Ford’s sustainability-related processes and results, the report has evolved, too. New this year are sections highlighting Ford’s regional sustainability initiatives in Europe, South America and Asia; commentary from third-party subject matter experts like Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, and multimedia elements.
“Our sustainability report is far from a bunch of tables and charts,” said John Viera, global director, Sustainability and Vehicle Environmental Matters. “Anyone who spends any amount of time with it will truly get a sense of just how committed Ford is to supporting positive change and reducing the environmental impact of its products and facilities.”
Consider the drop in energy consumption: The amount of electricity used to produce each vehicle in Ford’s manufacturing facilities has been reduced by about 800 kilowatt-hours – from 3,576 kwh in 2006 to 2,778 kwh in 2011. By comparison, average households in states like California, New York, Illinois and Michigan use between 562 kwh and 799 kwh monthly.
Ford’s progress has been achieved by investing in energy-saving practices and equipment. At Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., for example, the company uses a new “three-wet” paint application that reduces electricity use along with CO2 and Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions.
At the same plant, a new 500-kilowatt solar panel system has been installed to generate renewable energy for production of Ford vehicles like Focus and Focus Electric.
Thanks to such efforts already in place and Ford’s commitment to making further progress, the company projects a continued drop in energy consumption – 25 percent between 2011 and 2016.
This commitment is made against a backdrop of the U.S. Department of Energy announcement last September that global energy demand will increase 53 percent between 2008 and 2035.
Reduction in energy consumption is just one result of Ford’s focus on minimizing the environmental impact of the vehicles it produces and the facilities where they are made.
Each Ford facility uses measured environmental targets to track and accelerate improvements designed with the environment in mind. The targets are reviewed and updated annually.
In addition to its commitment to further reducing energy consumption, Ford also:
  • Reduced the total amount of waste sent to landfills globally by 11.3 percent from 2010 to 2011
  • Plans to further reduce its waste to landfill by 10 percent per vehicle this year, building on existing efforts that have reduced global waste by 100 million pounds (44 percent) in the last five years
  • Reduced CO2 emissions from global operations in 2011 by 8 percent on a per-vehicle basis compared with 2010
  • Turned what would have been 163 tons of recovered paint solids into enough power for 20 residential homes for one year through just one of many new ways the company is converting waste to energy
  • Advanced water-treatment technologies to allow the reuse of water and reduce water supply requirements, water discharges and use of treatment chemicals and the generation of solid waste
  • Reduced water use to 4.7 cubic meters per vehicle in 2011 within a corporate goal of reducing the amount of water used per vehicle by 30 percent between 2009 and 2015
“Integration of our sustainability initiatives into the Ford production system has enabled us to accelerate environmental improvements at our manufacturing facilities,” said Andy Hobbs, director, Environmental Quality Office. “This enables all members of the Ford manufacturing team to contribute to meeting our environmental targets.”
Sustainable Materials
Ford vehicles continue to be a major focal point of the company’s efforts to reduce environmental impact. For example, the seat fabric in most of Ford’s new or redesigned vehicles must now consist of at least 25 percent post-industrial or post-consumer recycled content. A total of 37 fabrics now meet the requirements and have been incorporated into Ford vehicles. Other highlights include:
  • A seat fabric containing a fiber made from recycled plastic water bottles is being used in the Focus Electric, Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi
  • Nonwoven headliner fabrics now contain 50 to 75 percent recycled yarns, depending on the color
  • Post-consumer recycled nylon is used in some underhood parts, including air cleaner housings, engine fans, fan shrouds, HVAC temperature valves, engine covers, cam covers and carbon canisters
  • Nearly 4.1 million pounds of carpet has been recycled into cylinder head covers, the equivalent of a carpet the size of more than 150 football fields – eliminating the use of more than 430,000 gallons of oil
  • Use of seat foam made with soy oil in all North America vehicles, also reducing dependency oil-use and CO2 emissions
Because Ford affects such a broad range of stakeholders – employees, dealers, investors, communities – the Sustainability Report also details some of the ways the company interacted with those parties in 2011, said David Berdish, manager, Social Sustainability.
For example, the report outlines how Ford revised its “Code of Human Rights, Basic Working Conditions and Corporate Responsibility,” which applies to not only Ford itself, but its $75 billion supply chain. The code deals with subjects such as working hours and conditions, nondiscrimination and other health, safety and environmental issues. Nearly 400 suppliers around the world were trained in 2011 through Ford-led and joint industry programs.
“Detailing our progress on human rights and sharing stories of our projects in the sustainability report is our primary source of communication regarding issues of social sustainability – and not just to media and customers,” said Berdish. “Investors are paying attention to working conditions, conflict minerals and trafficking more intensely, and our stakeholders want to be kept updated on all developments.”
Ford also is committed to customers and helping to keep them safe is a priority. That’s why the company works hard to develop and offer an array of advanced safety technologies across its entire vehicle lineup. Specific milestones achieved in the last year include:
  • Twelve Ford Motor Company vehicles earned Top Safety Picks from the IIHS in 2012: Ford Fiesta (sedan and hatchback), Focus, Fusion, Taurus, Edge, Explorer, Flex and F-150 (Crew Cab) and the Lincoln MKX, MKS, MKT and MKZ
  • Ford Fusion has been an IIHS Top Safety Pick for four years in a row starting with the 2009 model year
  • The 2012 Ford Fiesta is the first vehicle in its class to offer a driver’s knee airbag
  • Reaching 35,000 teen drivers in 2011 through the Ford Driving Skills for Life program – a driver education program designed for teens
  • Winning numerous awards for its available rear-seat inflatable safety belts that launched on the 2011 Ford Explorer and are an automotive industry exclusive. For the 2012 model year, Ford expanded the availability of these safety belts in North America to the Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT
To see details about the highlights above and much more, the full report can be found online at

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ford's Cherry Hill Farm Achieves Agricultural Honors

  • Ford Motor Company's Cherry Hill Farm is being honored by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) for effective land stewardship.
DEARBORN, Mich., June 12, 2012 – When you think of Ford Motor Company you're likely to think of cars and trucks – not farms. So it may come as a surprise to learn that the company has a storied farming history. Today Ford's last free-standing working farm – Cherry Hill Farm – is being honored by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) for effective land stewardship. MAEAP verification is a voluntary program that shows farmers how to reduce agricultural pollution.
The Cherry Hill Farm is an 882-acre working farm in Washtenaw County that produces corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. Once used by Ford's Tractor Division for testing, the land is managed by Ford Land, the company's real estate arm, and farmed by the VanWashenova family. The property includes three historic barns and a farmhouse. 
"I am honored to farm land that has such strong ties to Ford Motor Company," said Al VanWashenova. "Getting the Ford Cherry Hill Farm verified was the right thing to do, and I am very proud of this accomplishment."
"For the past 12 years, Ford and the VanWashenova family have made a great team," said Donna Inch, Ford Land chairman and CEO. "Today's recognition is another example of Ford's commitment to sustainability."
Strong Historical Ties to Agriculture
Starting in 1906 and continuing through the early part of the 20th century, Henry Ford acquired 26,000 acres of farm property in southern Michigan, and much of the farmland was managed in detail by Ford himself. During these years Ford began his experimentation with farming techniques, crops and tractors using many of these farms as laboratories. Ford's giant land holdings were made up of hundreds of small, family-sized farms – many with a livable house and usable barns like the Cherry Hill Farm. The Cherry Hill Farm was used to test tractors and their implements, and raise crops for experimentation including early biomaterials and food production.
Henry Ford made certain his properties were well fenced, the roads were in good repair and the schools for the farm children were the best possible. Many of the farms were used as meeting places for much of the community, and Cherry Hill is no exception. Dances were held in the historic barns on the property, and community meetings were held in the old farmhouse.
In the past few years, Ford has begun restoration efforts at the Cherry Hill Farm. Of the three barns, one has been restored, one is in the middle of the restoration process and the third is slated to begin restoration next year. In addition, work has been done to the old farmhouse including new siding and windows.
MAEAP Verification
To become MAEAP verified, farmers must complete three comprehensive steps which include attending an educational seminar, conducting a thorough on-farm risk assessment, and developing and implementing an action plan addressing potential environmental risks. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) conducts an on‑farm inspection to verify compliance. When completed, the producer receives a certificate of environmental assurance. To remain a MAEAP verified farm, inspections must be conducted every three years and action steps must be followed.
"With this farm’s historical tie to both the automotive and agriculture industries, we congratulate Ford Cherry Hill Farm and the VanWashenova family on this verification," said Gordon Wenk, MDARD’s chief deputy director. "This verification shows the strong commitment both Ford Motor Company and Cherry Hill Farm have to sustainable agriculture practices as well as safeguarding the environment."
MAEAP is a collaborative effort of farmers, MDARD, Michigan Farm Bureau, commodity organizations, universities, conservation districts, conservation and environmental groups, and state and federal agencies.  More than 100 local coordinators and technical service providers are available to assist farmers as they move through the MAEAP process toward verification. An average of 5,000 Michigan farmers attend educational programs annually; 10,000 Michigan farms have started the verification process; and more than 1,100 farms have been verified to date.
In March of 2011, Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 122 and House Bill 4212, now Public Acts 1 and 2 of 2011, to codify the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program into law.
MAEAP is a multi-year program allowing producers to meet personal objectives, while best managing both time and resources. The program encompasses three systems designed to help producers evaluate the environmental risks of their operation. Each system – Livestock, Farmstead, and Cropping – examines a different aspect of a farm, as each has a different environmental impact. By participating in all three systems, producers can comprehensively evaluate their entire farming operation for potential environmental risks. 
For more information, visit the MAEAP website at or contact Jan Wilford, MDARD’s MAEAP program manager, at 517-241-4730.

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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Ford Enables Industry’s First In-Car Voice Control of MOG Smartphone App via SYNC AppLink

DEARBORN, Mich. & BERKELEY, Calif., June 6, 2012 – Ford and MOG today announced Ford drivers can now enjoy MOG’s award-winning, on-demand music service at their request using SYNC AppLink and the power of their voice.
SYNC AppLink
SYNC® AppLink gives music lovers access to MOG’s vast catalog of more than 15 million songs in the car. Ford drivers simply need to launch the MOG app on their USB-connected iPhone and MOG will immediately become an available option. Once selected, the listener’s MOG play queue will instantly begin playing so users can pick up listening wherever they left off.
MOG can be controlled with voice commands and in-dash controls, allowing drivers to easily personalize their listening experience in a range of 2012 model Ford Motor Company vehicles. Ford drivers will have immediate access to their favorite songs and downloads via the AppLink interface along with access to custom radio channels that can be easily “tuned” by using the traditional tune knob on the in-dash interface.
“MOG continues to focus on delivering the best music experience for drivers,” says Drew Denbo, senior vice president of Business Development for MOG. “We are thrilled to launch MOG on the Ford AppLink platform, giving Ford’s huge number of customers access to more than 15 million songs on-demand and customized radio through their car stereo systems.”
“MOG offers a great mobile app experience, and now – using SYNC AppLink – we’ve enhanced it even further for in-car use by adding voice command and control,” says John Ellis, global technologist for Ford Connected Services. “And, thanks to the 320 kilo bits per second streaming quality unique to MOG, users will still get the high audio resolution they expect when listening to their favorite music.”
The MOG iPhone app enables the following capabilities through SYNC AppLink:
  • On-demand MOG radio: MOG offers the best music discovery engine that provides unlimited, ad-free listening of true “artist only” radio, or a full mix of “similar artists.” Simply use the tune knob to control the radio mix and voice command to turn radio on or off.
  • Shuffle “favorites” and “downloads”: Instant access to stored “favorites” and “downloads” by saying “Shuffle favorites” or “Shuffle downloads” at the voice prompt.
  • Program radio station presets: If you love what’s playing and want more, simply press and hold one of the radio preset buttons on the dashboard to assign it so it’s easy to come back and access your favorite artist station.
  • Playlist listening: Create the perfect driving playlist (and then some) on your desktop before hitting the open road. By saying “List playlists,” you’ll have complete access to all of your personal mixes.
  • Favorite on the fly: With one click or using the voice command, “Add to favorites,” drivers can save songs to their MOG “favorites” list, giving listeners the ability to add songs to their collection while in the car.
  • Storage: MOG allows users to store music from MOG on their mobile devices, enabling access to favorite titles even when a data connection is not available. Simply use voice commands such as “Shuffle downloads” to instantly play downloads from your device.
  • Curated content: If you want to hear the hottest tunes according to Billboard’s Top 50 Charts, just say “Top songs” for instant access.
The MOG app for SYNC AppLink is available on a range of 2012 model Ford vehicles including Fiesta, Fusion, F-150, Super Duty, E-Series, Mustang and Expedition.
To enable the MOG on-demand service in the vehicle, Ford customers need to become MOG subscribers and can sign up for a $9.99 plan by visiting Additional information and getting started guides are available at

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