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The latest Ford News in the Pacific Northwest.
Ford News For Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellevue Washington
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Ford's 'Trading One Uniform For Another' Program Awards Scholarships to Five US Military Veterans

(Posted on Jan 10, 2017 at 08:00PM )
Quick Lane BowlFive U.S. military veterans were recently awarded $10,000 scholarships as part of Ford Motor Company's "Trading One Uniform for Another" program, which was developed in partnership with the Disabled American Veterans organization (DAV).

Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center announced the award recipients, as stated in a Ford release, saying that the scholarships will help offset expenditures related to obtaining a certification in automotive maintenance and repair.

Representatives at Quick Lane promoted the awards to demonstrate the importance of supporting service men and women who have retired from active military duty. The awards will put the veterans on the track to become qualified automotive technicians, giving them an opportunity for a bright future beyond their military duties. The scholarships are able to be applied towards tuition, books and other fees at community colleges, universities, trade or vocational schools nationwide that provide accredited programs for automotive mechanics.

As stated in the same release by Frederiek Toney, the president of Global Ford's Customer Service Division, “The ‘Trading One Uniform For Another’ program is another example of Quick Lane’s commitment to the men and women who served our country and helping to provide employment opportunities after their service. We are proud to stand beside the DAV in awarding these scholarships to our U.S. military veterans, thanking them for their service, and congratulating them on the pursuit of a career in automotive maintenance and repair.”

Recipients of the scholarships are listed below:

  • Walter J. Decker, United States Army veteran, King, North Carolina
  • Casey Markvicka, United States Army veteran, Burwell, Nebraska
  • Robert Jarden, United States Army veteran, Nashville, Illinois
  • Jessica Johnson, United States Marine Corps veteran, Kennewick, Washington
  • Marie Sussenbach, United States Air Force veteran, Greenville, Illinois
See how Ford is giving back to veterans and more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington!
MotorcraftIncreasingly competitive pricing and a greater availability of parts are notable takeaways from Motorcraft's more recent upgrade, which came about after an extensive review that focused on improving the parts purchase and repair experience for customers, dealers, distributors and repair shops.

Marc Liskey, the manager of Repair Product Planning Maintenance & Light Repair in North America, said in a Ford statement that the new updates will ultimately improve customer satisfaction.

“We are listening to our customers and taking significant steps to give them what they want,” he said. “Offering competitive pricing and consolidating parts will make it easier to stock and sell Motorcraft parts, helping dealers, distributors and installers to do their job more effectively.”

Although Ford and Motorcraft parts often have distinct advantages over other brands, independent shops don't always opt for those products. Consequently, customers often have to bring vehicles in for repairs, which contributes to lower customer satisfaction overall. Acknowledging this common occurrence, Ford and Motorcraft are working together to expand the usage of Motorcraft parts and, ultimately, propel installer and customer satisfaction. One method to increase the purchase of Motorcraft parts involves broadening parts coverage for vehicles with older model years, which ensures that customers with varying vehicle ages and budgets - such as a used 2004 Ford Ranger, or a 2006 Ford F-150 -  have quality parts.

“Motorcraft has a very strong reputation in the industry as a provider of OE quality parts for Ford and Lincoln vehicles that always fit right, are easy to install, and are backed by a strong limited warranty,” Brett Wheatley, the executive director of Ford's Customer Service Division, said in a release. “We’re building on these advantages by expanding our coverage to older models with attractive parts pricing and simplified product lines to make it easier for our dealers and installers to stock the Motorcraft parts our customers are looking for.”

Learn more about how Motorcraft parts can improve your Ford vehicle by talking to our representatives at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today.

Ford, National FFA Organization and Discovery Education Inspire Agriculture Leaders of the Future

(Posted on Jan 3, 2017 at 08:00PM )
FFA students with an F-Series TruckIn joint efforts to cultivate new ideas and promote growth, Ford recently partnered up with the National FFA Organization and Discovery Education to provide more than 54,000 students nationwide the inside scoop on Ford's engineering and design efforts for the future.

Specifically, the occasion demonstrated how the Blue Oval is crafting its F-Series trucks to meet the needs of agriculture customers. Participating students were able to observe how Ford's F-150 and Super Duty trucks are built and tested to increase farmer productivity; a virtual field trip also provided attendees with introductions to Ford truck designers and engineers. A live stream of the event ensured that students nationwide could join in; over 1,000 classrooms tuned into the stream.

The collaboration wasn't Ford's first foray into the realm of agriculture. They have been a sponsor of the National FFA since 1948 and, perhaps most notably, has sponsored Built Ford Tough scholarships for prospective farmers. Ford's investment recognizes what consumers demand - agriculture and livestock industries are representative of markets where the F-Series has the highest level of reputability, compared to other trucks' 40 percent of farmworkers drive F-150 trucks and 36 percent use Super Duty trucks to carry out their daily jobs, as cited by a Ford release that references IHS data.  

Doug Scott, Ford's truck group marketing manager, expressed his enthusiasm for the event in the same release. “We were excited to undertake this new opportunity with FFA and Discovery Education,” he said. "What better way to demonstrate the power and capability of F-Series trucks, and the customer leadership Ford owns, than through the hands and eyes of our future toughest employees and customers.”

Learn more about how Ford's giving back and paving the way for tomorrow's leaders by visiting Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today.

One of the many ideas submitted by Ford inventors this year.
With approximately 1,500 U.S. patents on record this year, the employees at Ford are kicking up dust with the rate that they're driving industry-wide innovations. Not only is the number of patents the most of any automaker, it's also a 25 percent increase year-over-year. Additionally, employees at the Blue Oval have submitted 8,000 new inventions in 2016, which is the highest number in the automaker's 113-year lifespan domestically and globally. That calculates out to a 40-percent increase from last year and a 90-percent boost from 2014!

The big numbers don't lie. Even more so, they reflect one of Ford's guiding principles, which is to promote innovation vertically and laterally. “We are living the innovation mindset in all parts of our business across the globe,” Raj Nair, the executive vice president, product development, and chief technical officer at Ford, said in a released statement. “Our employees are delivering exciting new technologies for our customers at record levels. As an auto and mobility company, this is an exciting time, and our employees are aggressively advancing emerging technologies and increasing our mobility patents at record levels.”

Adding in 1,700 
patents in other countries, the total number climbs to 3,200 worldwide in 2016. Notably, one of them lays out a vision to equip autonomous vehicles with drones, allowing vehicles to monitor surrounding areas in real-time and detect what lies ahead of one's vantage point. 

Speaking to the patent in the same release, Tony Lockwood, Ford's manager of virtual driver systems and autonomous vehicle development, said, “At 
Ford we are fully engaged in the current climate where inventions and out-side-the-box thinking are being produced rapidly. Ultimately, customers benefit as we open ourselves to new ideas and advance mobility using emerging technologies.” Along with his colleague Joe Stanek, Lockwood was granted a patent for the idea.

Up until early December of this year, over 5,500 Ford employees have submitted invention disclosures; nearly half of that number were first-time inventors. Overall, more than 4,000 new 
inventors have submitted applications since the beginning of 2015. Bolstering the flow of creativity and ingenuity is TechShop Detroit, a collaboration Ford started with TechShop; the 33,000-square-foot workshop in Allen Park, Michigan provides a platform for aspiring innovators of all degrees to foster ideas, build prototypes and more.

As Ford's inventors and innovators continue to move their ideas forward, stay in the loop by talking to our team at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington.
Don't miss the Quick Lane Bowl tonight!Feeling fatigued from the holidays? Trade the jingling bells for flying pigskins and tune into the 2016 Quick Lane Bowl tonight. Boston College and the University of Maryland take to Ford Field at 2:30 PM for the long-awaited game, which will air on ESPN nationwide.

The face-off has been on the horizon since the Boston College Eagles racked up a 6-6 regular-season record this year, which earned them the ultimate touchdown: bowl eligibility, for the third time in four years.

Leading the team is head coach Steve Addazio, who recently took the team to Ireland to kick off the season in Dublin for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. Challenging the Eagles were the players of Georgia Tech, who ultimately took the win. Coming off the heels of the loss in Ireland, though, the boys of Boston rebounded at Massachusetts, and later picked up their first Atlantic Coast Conference win at NC State. From there, they lost two games in a row to Louisville and Florida State, but couldn't be deterred - with a 30-0 victory, they shut out Connecticut and Wake Forest to pick up their bowl eligibility. Although the path to the Bowl wasn't carved without its obstacles, it ultimately led the team to tonight's showdown.

Also coming in with a 6-6 record, Maryland's Terps are making their third bowl appearance in the last four years as well. It also marks the 27th all-time appearance for the team. After starting the year strong with a 4-0 record, the Terps lost three games consecutively to nationally ranked teams; however, they claimed a 31-13 win over Rutgers in its season finale to become eligible for this year's Bowl. Tonight's game will be led on Maryland's side by DJ Durkin, who makes his Bowl debut with the team as its first-year coach.

Tonight also marks the third year that Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center will be the title sponsor of the annual college football bowl game at Ford Field. After recently renewing their title sponsorship of the Quick Lane Bowl with the Detroit Lions, it's clear that Quick Lane isn't making a quick appearance - with naming rights of the bowl through 2019, their commitment to the game is evident.

Have any questions before tonight's big game? Talk to any of our representatives at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington - and don't forget to take a test drive of the vehicles on our lot while you're there!
One million isn't a number to turn your nose up at. Whether if it's in reference to dollars earned or grains of sand on a beach, it's hard to argue that it's not a big number. In the case of Ford and its joint ventures in China, the big number represents the number of vehicles sold in 2016 - a statistic recently reported by Ford representatives. According to the released statement, this notable accomplishment occurred earlier than anticipated; in 2015, it took an extra month before one million vehicles were sold. Additionally, monthly sales reached an all-time November high of 124,113 cars, a 17-percent year-over-year increase. 

Peter Fleet, the vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service, Asia Pacific, shared his excitement for the news. “Ford is gaining more momentum in China each month and we are on pace for a record year in China,” he said. “We are seeing increasing demand across our lineup, particularly our full family of SUVs.”

Adding to the accolades, monthly sales also were on the up-and-up for Changan Ford Automobile, Ford's passenger car joint venture in China. In total, sales reached over 96,000 vehicles, a 14-percent increase compared to the same time last year. To date, CAF has sold approximately 842,000 vehicles, which is also a 14-percent increase from 2015.

Leading the charge for this year's successes were Ford's family of SUVs; specifically, the Ford Explorer. Its sales came in with a 73-percent increase. Not to be overshadowed, sales for the Ford Edge also increased 21 percent in November, while the Ford Focus and Ford Escort increased by 28 and 50 percent, respectively. Watch the Explorer in the video below:

China-based Jiangling Motor Corporation, Ford's commercial vehicle investment in the area, also reported strong numbers in November. Overall, the corporation sold over 26,000 vehicles, translating to a 29-percent increase compared to last year's numbers for the month. A five-percent increase year-to-date was also reported, with year-to-date sales surpassing 232,000 vehicles total. 

Learn more about Ford Motor Company's successes - both domestically and internationally - by speaking to our team at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today.
While it's often entertaining to reflect on trends and standout moments as each year comes to a close, Ford Motor Company also knows the inherent value of looking ahead. By evaluating aggregated data, the team at Ford is able to preempt and address potential trends, problems and opportunities on the horizon. This year, according to a statement recently released by the Blue Oval, consumers have change on the mind going into 2017. In particular, representatives for Ford anticipate that buyers' definitions of value for time, possessions and more will have an impact on next year's trends.Ford Looks to the Future with New Report  

According to the Looking Further with Ford 2017 trend report, it's imperative that Ford's team effectively continue to incorporate learnings within and beyond the auto industry to 
vehicles and services that add value to customers. Ford's been a pioneer in that arena, with its innovative outlook that has translated into various groundbreaking features and initiatives.

“What’s fascinating is how Ford is adapting and innovating – offering customers and society at large tangible ways to improve their mobility needs and ultimately, their daily way of life,” Sheryl Connelly, the global trend and 
futuring manager for Ford, commented.

The report dives further into what to expect moving forward by also looking 
backwards, identifying relevant trends that have carried over and influenced the future. An example of such is what Ford calls "Sustainability Blues," an idea introduced in 2015 that emphasizes consumers' concern for and prioritization of the collective water footprint, which can manifest itself in droughts, water contamination and more. Continuing onward, that thought remains at the forefront of many buyers' minds, as well as additional 'micro-trends' that the report also details. Among them is the belief that larger isn't always better - in vehicles and otherwise - and experiences and values can take precedence over material possessions. Ford's already addressed this belief with its ever-growing philanthropic branch, which impacts communities in the Detroit area and beyond.

From the detailed report, Ford's commitment to changing the way the world moves hasn't swayed from its humble beginnings over a century ago. However, its methods to do so have morphed over the years to reflect the needs and desires of the consumer, while taking into consideration the effects of progress on other elements of the environment and more. Overall, "We’re inspired by the creativity and enterprising spirit driving innovation in the marketplace,” Connelly says. “It gives us hope for what the future holds.” See what else the future holds for Ford by visiting Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today.
The fight for equality most notably found its beginnings with the women's rights movement and the civil rights movement in the early parts of the twentieth century; however, many would argue that the battle is far from over. The new millennium ushered in a wave of change on the front of LGBT equality, encouraging organizations worldwide to show support for employees that identify within those communities.Ford receives perfect score for LGBT equality in the workplace

Although other companies have been slower to embrace this mentality, Ford Motor Company need not count itself among them. Recently, the Blue Oval received a notable 100 percent on this year's Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, the highest score possible; the perfect marks reinforce the automaker's belief that equality in the workplace is something to be prioritized, not simply accepted.

The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index is a national benchmarking survey and report, which accounts for corporate practices and policies relevant to LGBT equality in the workplace. This year, the Index rated over one thousand businesses on how they fell within the standard categories related to LGBT practices and policies, including domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, non-discrimination workplace protections, public engagement with the LGBT community, and competency programs. While other organizations have yet to reach the paragon Ford set within the rankings, 2016's perfect score is not the first time that Ford's received gold stars - every year since 2004, it's received nothing short of 100 percent.

As Meeta Higgins, the chief diversity officer at Ford Motor Company, said, “Ford is committed to creating an environment that promotes diversity and inclusion within our workforce and communities. The diverse backgrounds of our employees truly make us a stronger company and we are extremely proud of our policies and programs that support equality."

Find out more about Ford's diversity programs by paying a visit to Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington today!
Ford recently announced that this year's Quick Lane Bowl, which was established in 2014, will be held on Monday, December 26 at 2:30 PM at Ford Field, in partnership with Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center. The Detroit Lions officially broke the news that Quick Lane is renewing its standing as the title sponsor for the annual bowl game, with a multi-year extension agreement that goes through 2019. For pigskin fans unable to catch the Bowl in person, it will also air nationally on ESPN and is slated to feature teams from the ACC and Big Ten conferences. Don't miss the Quick Lane Bowl on December 26!

According to Brett Wheatley, the executive director for North America, Ford Customer Service Division, “We are so proud of this annual event which brings national attention to the city of Detroit that we are committing to another multi-year sponsorship. This partnership both builds awareness of the great service people can get at Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers and delivers something we know football fans appreciate; a great game!”

By the buzzer at last year's game, the University of Minnesota Gophers emerged victorious over the Central Michigan University Chippewas. The face-off represented the MAC conference, 21-24, and was highlighted by a standout performance from UMN's quarterback Mitch Leidner, who ran 13 yards in the fourth quarter for a touchdown with less than five minutes on the clock. He was awarded the MVP status for the Bowl. Only a year before, the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights captured the title with a 40-21 win over the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Michael Burton, who is now the fullback for the Detroit Lions, was a key player in the game - his show-stealing display was a pivotal moment that helped seal the deal with the Lions, resulting in his 2015 draft to the team.

Rod Wood, the Detroit Lions president, expressed his excitement for the extended partnership and its implications for Detroit's presence on the whole.

“We are very excited to be extending our bowl game’s title sponsor agreement with Quick Lane for an additional three years," he said. "Quick Lane has been a great partner as we’ve worked collaboratively to build upon the game’s success each year. We look forward to continuing our shared mission of making Detroit a college bowl destination.”

Considering the Blue Oval's prominent presence in the Detroit community, Quick Lane's contract extension and the Detroit Lions' ongoing promotion of the Bowl reiterates the overarching value for community involvement in the area. The Lions' entertainment division, DU Entertainment, has made many an appearance at Ford Field for a multitude of occasions.

Want to prepare accordingly for the game? Call 877-212-8898 to purchase tickets, and visit Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington to learn more about Ford's local involvement.
Don't have time to put on your sleuthing cap and investigate what's on tap for the 2018 Ford Mustang? The job's already been done, although the details aren't all confirmed for Ford enthusiasts this early in the game.

According to spy photos released across the web, the 2018 Mustang will likely sport brand new head- and taillights; a facelift for the bumper is a potential change as well. But if anything, the notable updates will be to the vehicle's options overall. As reports, "The most significant change is the potential removal of the V6 model from the Mustang lineup, as the body type codes for the V6 come up as invalid in the dealer system." Some drivers may consider this a surprising reveal; others may perceive it as a long time coming - after all, Ford has slowly set things in motion to replace the 3.7-liter V6 model with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost, and the V6 model has lacked in the upgrade,
option and package in the past few years. Check out the current-gen Mustang in the video below:

Additionally, the 2018 Mustang's options list now include a dual exhaust option as well as a 10-speed automatic. Mustang6G's team predicts that the former "almost assuredly refers to the quad tip active exhaust system" noted on 2018 Mustang prototypes as of late. Extra pizzazz comes in the form of MagneRide damper options, an unexpected perk that is anticipated to make an appearance on the Mustang GT and the EcoBoost. Auto enthusiasts are already relating the 2018 Mustang to the Shelby GT350 for that reason.

Moving on to the expected packages, the EcoBoost Performance Pack comes with a modified suspension, brakes that pack more of a punch, and different wheels. Even more intriguing is what the folks at Ford coined the "Performance Package 2," a track-focused which will be offered in addition to the standard GT Performance Package.

Get the scoop on the 2018 Mustang and more at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington and chat with our team today!

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