(Posted on May 18, 2019 at 01:34PM by Danielle Smyth)
An autonomous self-driving robot called Survival shares Ford’s LiDAR technology and saves Ford Spain workers up to 40 hours a day by delivering spare parts and welding materials to them, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks. With an automated shelf and 17 slots, workers can access the parts assigned to them while the slots open and close automatically.
Developed by Ford engineers and the first of its kind to be used in Ford European facilities, it has learned the entire plant floor. Its sensors mean Survival can now navigate the entire facility with external guidance. “While at first workers stopped and stared at Survival as it went by, the bot is now part of the team and people get on with their day letting the bot work.”
Survival has been on trial for nearly a year at the facility that manufactures Kugas, Mondeos, and the S-MAX. It’s performed flawlessly so far and has not replaced a single employee.
Ford’s autonomous cars aren’t going to be here for a while. But if you’d like to test drive a new or new-to-you vehicle in the meantime, stop by Sound Ford in Renton, Washington, so we can show you some of the other innovative technology Ford’s known for. How about the 2019 Ford Escape S, for instance? It’s got lots of modern tech, like variable speed intermittent wipers, an mp3 player, and an outside temperature gauge. You’re going to love it!
(Posted on May 11, 2019 at 07:29AM by Danielle Smyth)
While it’s closing a Brazilian factory, shutting down its Russian operations, and struggling with Brexit uncertainty issues at its UK plants, Ford is adding U.S. jobs, both of which are primarily service-oriented initiatives.
A recently announced 55,000 square foot call center in Houston, TX, to open early in July will create more than 500 jobs to handle customer inquiries on Ford trucks such as the F-150. Houston was chosen because it’s in the middle of “truck country” and will be a prototype for future call centers to make sure customers get the service they deserve. The center could also service customers who are considering SUVs like the Explorer and Expedition.
A Ford Mobile Service program has also been announced to provide mobile vehicle maintenance and light service work to customers wherever they are. The pilot’s already begun in California and will expand to Texas, Illinois, New Jersey, and Florida throughout May 2019. Ford has provided this service to UK commercial fleet customers since 2017.
Other Ford customer experience initiatives include a New York and Philadelphia pilot Personal Lease Assist program, Drive New (personalized vehicle offers), and FordPass Rewards that give Ford customers points towards complementary maintenance, parts, service, and new vehicles.
Want to check out a great new SUV like those discussed above? How about the 2019 Ford Explorer XLT? It’s available now for a great price at Sound Ford in Renton, Washington.
(Posted on May 11, 2019 at 06:46AM by Danielle Smyth)
Ford is decreasing production of its 5.0-liter V8 Coyote-equipped Ford F-150s in Canada as demand for the EcoBoost V6 option ramps up. With down shifts every week since January at Ford's Canadian Windsor Engine Plant, there are four more down weeks scheduled between now and the end of September as sales of the 5.0-liter engine continue to drop.
That doesn’t translate to job losses though, as employees will be able to work at the Windsor Engine Plant Annex on 7.3-liter EcoBoost engine production. Ford is working hard to get electric and hybrid powertrains available for the F-150 series on the market.
Here are the stats on current F-150 motor options:
3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 450 hp at 5,000 rpm and 510 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm
5.0-liter Coyote V8 395 hp at 5,750 rpm and 400 lb-ft of torque peaking at 4,500 rpm
3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 375 hp at 5,000 rpm and 470 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm
2.7-liter EcoBoost 325 hp at 5,000 rpm, and 400 lb-ft at 2,750 rpm.
3.3-liter naturally aspirated V6 290 hp at 6,500 rpm and 265 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm
Powerstroke 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 250 hp at 3,250 rpm and 440 lb-ft of torque at 1,750 rpm.
(Posted on May 11, 2019 at 06:40AM by Danielle Smyth)
Ford’s been offering discounts on its Transit Connect this year. March and April discounts will continue through May and up to the end of June, discounts of up to $3000 discount available. Between January 1 and March 31, 2019, sales on this model grew 35 percent to almost 9000 units.
Here’s what you can get:
$2,500 customer cash + $500 auto show consumer cash + $500 VIN specific inventory customer cash = $3,000 total discount. This discount is available thru July 1st, 2019.
Financing offer: 2.9 percent APR for 60 months through Ford Credit Financing for well-qualified buyers. This discount is available thru July 1st, 2019.
Those discounts apply to in-stock vehicles that have been on dealer lots for at least 61 days prior to the sale date, although buyers can choose newer inventory if they’re willing to forego the $500 VIN-specific inventory customer cash.
The 2019 Transit Connect is available in various trim levels. Here’s a breakdown of their starting MSRPs, including the destination charge of $1,295.
(Posted on May 11, 2019 at 06:25AM by Danielle Smyth)
Whatever it ends up being called, a Mustang-inspired SUV is in the works and it’ll only be another six months before details are available. “Not the Mach 1” 2021 models should be available sometime in 2020. Consumer response to the proposed Mach 1 name was negative, so Ford will have to come up with something else.
Ford Authority’s got some Russian renderings of what that Mustang SUV might look like that use the Mustang’s front and rear ends and its rear hips to envision what Ford might build.
While the drawings of the Mustang SUV may look more like a four-door wagon (think Subaru Outback or VW Golf Alltrack), it’s all just speculation at the moment. One thing is for almost-sure though: the Mustang SUV will only come with an electric drivetrain—there won’t be a 460 hp, 5.0-liter Mustang look-alike SUV.
Instead, Ford will probably offer two electric drivetrain variants, one powertrain with more than a 300-mile driving range, the other offering closer to 400 miles (373). And there may be a high-performance version too.
While you’re waiting till November to see what the Mustang SUV’s really going to look like and find out what Ford’s calling it, come in to Sound Ford near Seattle, Washington, to see our variety of new and pre-owned SUVs. Or to test-drive a 2019 Ford Mustang EcoBoost!
(Posted on Apr 30, 2019 at 09:49AM by Danielle Smyth)
With its strategy of improving European sales by discontinuing underperforming product lines, Ford Europe has decided to discontinue production of its entry-level European car, the Ka+, in September 2019, although it will be available until supply runs out.
By focusing on three business groups (commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, and imports) and only its best performing lines, Ford Europe avoids penalties for CO2 emissions being imposed in Europe in 2020. Those penalties would have negatively impacted the base price of the Ka+.
The entry-level Ka+ was priced at £4,000 less than the base Fiesta in Europe, but still had trouble competing against the Renault Twingo and the Renault/Romanian subsidiary Dacia Sandero. While the Dacia Sandero is larger than the Ka+, it’s also cheaper. Whether Ford Europe will discount the Ka+ to get rid of inventory or not isn’t known. But that leaves the Fiesta as the entry-level European Ford, and that may mean producing a cheaper Fiesta with fewer features to get the price down.
Ford Europe has already announced the discontinuation of the C-Max in Europe and job cuts in the UK and Germany, and is closing two assembly plants and an engine factory in Russia that it operated jointly with Ford Sollers.
Want to check out a Ford Fiesta here in the States? Stop by Sound Ford in Renton, Washington, and take a test drive of the 2019 model. It’s got loads of features and a chic exterior that will turn heads wherever you go. Hurry in!
(Posted on Apr 28, 2019 at 06:12PM by Danielle Smyth)
Chinese automaker Beiqi Foton Motor Co Ltd might be in the running to purchase one of Ford’s worst-performing manufacturing facilities, the São Bernardo do Campo manufacturing plant in Brazil. Foton was planning to build a factory in Guaiba, also located in the southern region of Brazil, and hopes to focus on buses and other heavy vehicle production in that country.
Closing the São Bernardo do Campo factory was inevitable after the company decided to end production of the Fiesta in Brazil as well as leaving the South American heavy truck market. In 2018, only 11 vehicles per employee were produced at the plant, which is the oldest manufacturing facility Ford operated in Brazil and one of the largest, with 12 million square feet of space.
Foton’s Brazillian subsidiary CEO Marcio Vita couldn’t confirm the rumor, but there are apparently several automakers looking to make an offer on Ford’s Brazilian plant. In March 2019 a Brazilian automaker called CAOA was negotiating with Ford to put in an offer.
While 3,000 jobs will be eliminated, the plant was only in production three days a week, manufacturing heavy trucks and passenger cars. Both Fiat Chrysler and GM are also experiencing financial difficulties with their plants in Brazil as well.
In the market for a new vehicle? Things are going well here in the United States, and we have plenty of cars here at the Sound Ford lot near Renton, Washington. Hurry in today and test drive a 2018 Ford EcoSport SE. It’s got plenty of power and all the tech comforts you crave, including dual-zone air conditioning and auto-dimming mirrors. Hurry in!
(Posted on Apr 21, 2019 at 01:54PM by Danielle Smyth)
After announcing job cuts and cost-cutting measures in 2018 as part of a restructuring plan that includes a complete revamp of the Ford lineup and ambitious plans to bring 40 EVs to market by 2022, the company’s profit margin in 2018 was only 4.4 percent, down from 6.1 percent in 2017.
Of course $11 billion in investments can eat into profits. So it’s probably too soon to tell whether the company’s turned the corner or not, but the move to drop sedans and most cars—including the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, and Taurus—from its lineup to make way for more crossovers, SUVs, and EVs is the strategy in a nutshell. A Ford Mustang performance EV will start production at one of the Ford Mexico plants in 2020 for sale the same year.
“Just trust me on this. You’re going to be reading a lot about Ford performance going forward,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett told guests at the Detroit Economic Club April 12. There’s no question that this is going to mean great things for the automaker in the future.
A few days later, the company announced leadership changes that included promoting Joe Hinrichs president, Automotive, effective May 1. He’s tasked with achieving sustainable global earnings before taxes and interest of at least 8 percent.
(Posted on Apr 20, 2019 at 05:44AM by Danielle Smyth)
Ford’s best-selling vehicle after the F-series pickup is the Ford Escape. At the beginning of April, the redesigned compact SUV made its first appearance at a Greenfield Village media preview in Michigan. The 2020 Ford Escape is a response to consumer demand for more passenger space. This is its first major redesign since 2013.
"The Escape is arguably the most important vehicle for Ford behind the F-Series," said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis at Edmunds, an online car shopping network. "Small SUVs are not only the best-selling segment, they have displaced the midsize sedan as America's favorite family vehicle."
The standard 2020 model has 40.7 inches of backseat legroom (up from 37.3 inches in the 2019 model). The hybrid has slightly less, only 38.9 inches. But the back seat also slides back in the gas-powered models. There’s also more rear cargo space. The new Escape can hold a full-size dog crate or all your golf clubs.
Both the gas-powered Escape and a hybrid will be in showrooms by fall 2019, and a plug-in hybrid with a range of more than 30 miles should be available by spring of 2020.
If you’re curious about the 2018 Ford Escape SEL, stop by Sound Ford near Seattle to take one for a test drive or to have a look at all our new and pre-owned vehicles.
(Posted on Apr 12, 2019 at 06:42AM by Danielle Smyth)
With the Chinese government implementing policies to curb emissions, electric vehicle sales are booming. China, where Ford operates a 50/50 joint venture with Changan Automobile called Changan Ford, is the U.S. manufacturer’s second-largest market. While overall Chinese auto sales are slowing, EV sales continue to grow.
And that’s why Ford has recently announced it will introduce 30 new models in China, one third of which will be electric and all designed to meet local needs.
Truck sales are also rising in China, and Ford China plans to add a new, as yet unnamed model, to meet demand. The F-150 Raptor and Ranger are already available.
China will also see Ford vehicles that incorporate Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything or C-V2X communications technology before anyone else. The platform lets Ford cars communicate with each other, as well as with traffic infrastructure, as part of its ongoing mission to reduce both traffic jams and accidents. Forward collision warning, intersection movement assist, roadworks warnings and notifications about emergency vehicles approaches are all part of the C-V2X system. C-V2X also enables platooning, which can decrease the distances between vehicles and lets them to brake or accelerate simultaneously.
To see all the new safety features on current models, however, take a test ride at Sound Ford just outside Seattle, Washington. Take, for instance, the 2019 Ford Fusion SE. It’s got a wonderfully sporty exterior and all the comforts inside that you crave, including dual-zone air conditioning and auto-dimming mirrors. Hurry in!