Friday, November 19, 2010

Driving Dynamics to New Levels

The Ford Focus Takes Driving Dynamics to New Levels

Driving dynamics and responsive handling have been elevated across the entire all-new Focus range for 2012. All Focus models feature a standard electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, independent Control Blade rear suspension and torque vectoring control. These features combine to make Focus more agile and confidence-inspiring for enthusiast and normal drivers alike.
“Our enthusiast customers told us exactly what they want in an all-new Focus,” said Mark Rushbrook, Ford vehicle dynamics manager for the 2012 Ford Focus. “They asked us to give Focus more responsive handling, and they asked that we develop and offer a factory-engineered handling package with beefier suspension hardware. We’ve done just that, fine-tuning a pair of available packages for mid-level SE and up-range Titanium models.”
The automotive enthusiast community should appreciate the sharpened handling offered in the volume-series Focus SE four-door sedan and five-door hatchback. The SE Sport Package features sport-tuned suspension, 16-inch aluminum wheels, sport seats, four-wheel disc brakes, piano black grille, metallic interior trim accents, leather-wrapped steering wheel and standard five-speed manual transmission.
Focus SE Sport Package four-door models add a rear spoiler, while all SE Sport Package models with the PowerShift™ dual-clutch transmission add SelectShift Automatic™ functionality for manual override gear selection. SE Sport Package is the only mid-level Focus model to offer premium Yellow Blaze Metallic Tri-coat paint, as well.
Two additional wheel packages are offered with the Focus SE Sport Package. A 16-inch machined alloy wheel with painted pockets is offered as an upgrade, while serious enthusiasts may wish to add the 17-inch machined and painted alloy wheel option.
The range-topping Focus Titanium model is fitted with the sport-tuned suspension as standard equipment. This includes stiffer springs and dampers.
Enthusiast buyers specifying a Focus Titanium sedan or hatchback can add the Titanium Handling Package with optimized suspension components, special 18-inch alloy wheels, low-profile summer performance tires and a trunk-mounted full-size spare.
“Focus enthusiasts spoke and we listened, providing them with additional packages,” said Rushbrook, an active amateur Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) racer. “Serious drivers looking for even more grip in the corners will really appreciate the SE Sport and Titanium Handling Packages.”
North American Ford Focus hatchback and sedan with optional handling packages will go on sale – in SE and Titanium trim series levels – at Ford dealerships in early 2011.
Stop by Beach Ford in Virginia Beach or Beach Ford Lincoln in Suffolk for more information.
Source: Ford

  Ford Posts Third Quarter 2010 Net Income of $1.7 Billion

Ford Motor Company yesterday reported third quarter net income of $1.7 billion, or 43 cents per share, a $690 million improvement from third quarter 2009, as strong products, momentum in North America and continued success at Ford Credit fueled growth amid still-challenging business conditions.
The company is on track to gain full-year market share in the U.S. for the second straight year, marking the first time since 1993 that Ford has achieved consecutive annual increases.
“This was another strong quarter and we continue to gain momentum with our One Ford plan,” said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. “Delivering world class products and aggressively restructuring our business has enabled us to profitably grow even at low industry volumes in key regions.”
“They key drivers for improvement in 2011 will be our growing product strength, a gradually strengthening economy and an unrelenting focus on improving the competitiveness of all our operations,” Mulally added.
Ford now expects Automotive operating-related cash to be about equal to its debt by year end, earlier than previously expected. This will be an improvement of $8 billion to $9 billion from the end of last year.
“Our performance through the first nine months has clearly exceeded our initial expectations and is enabling us to make additional significant balance sheet improvements in the fourth quarter,” said Lewis Booth, Ford executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We are now in a period where we are focusing on growing the business profitably around the world following the hard work that has been done by the entire Ford team to fix the fundamentals of the business.”
Ford expects fourth quarter 2010 production to be up 27,000 units compared with year-ago levels. Fourth quarter production will be up 89,000 units compared to third quarter 2010 production, reflecting the normal seasonal increase following summer shutdowns, as well as new product launches and projected industry growth as economic conditions improve. Overall, Ford’s production plans are consistent with its strategy to match supply to demand.
Ford expects full-year 2010 U.S. industry volume to be 11.6 million units. In the 19 markets Ford tracks in Europe, full-year industry volume is expected to be 15 million units.
Each of Ford’s regions is on track to improve quality compared with a year ago, based on the latest Global Quality Research System surveys.
Ford expects to build upon its performance this year with continued improvement in 2011 in total Company profitability and Automotive operating-related cash flow. This includes improvement in its Automotive operations, driven primarily by growing product strength with new vehicles, continued productivity improvements and the gradually strengthening global economy.
Global industry volume for 2011 is expected to grow from the 2010 level.
“The entire global Ford team remains focused on continuously improving our core operations and expanding the business in key growth regions of the world,” Mulally said. “Our plan is to continue to improve our competitiveness to deliver profitable growth for all.”
Source: Ford

Ford Recognized for Significant Contributions to American Farming

Ford’s extensive involvement in the sustainability and future of American farming was recognized Friday before the 55,000 attendees at the annual convention of the National FFA Organization (formerly Future Farmers of America). 2010 marks the 62nd year of National FFA support by Ford Trucks, participating Ford Truck dealers and Ford Fund and Community Services.
The National FFA Organization is honoring Ford Motor Company with its Distinguished Service Citation for outstanding contributions to FFA and agricultural education over an extended period of time. As the largest corporate sponsor of scholarships in the National FFA scholarship program, Ford has awarded more than $6,060,000 in scholarships to FFA members since 1997. In addition, Ford supports the National FFA Chapter Award program, the National FFA Alumni and the National FFA Convention and Career Show.
A new element of the partnership involves the expansion of Ford’s award-winning teen safe driving program – Ford Driving Skills for Life — through the FFA National Chapter Program. Ford DSFL is a national safe driving program that focuses on the leading cause of teenage crashes and fatalities: inexperience. FFA chapters are invited to use the Ford DSFL program to create safe driving promotions targeting peers in their community. In addition to hands-on events, DSFL offers learning tools on an interactive Web site including quizzes, car care videos, driving tip videos, interactive games and an enhanced eco-driving curriculum. Free educator packets are available for students, parents and educators.
“Ford Motor Company has truly gone above and beyond for the FFA and for the farm community for more the six decades,” said Glenn Sims, senior regional director, National FFA Foundation. “The 2010 Distinguished Service Citation recognizes Ford’s many significant contributions to the FFA.”
Also this week, two universities are receiving $50,000 Ford College Community Challenge Grants for research and implementation of pilot projects extending the use of alternative fuel technology in small farm operations. Kettering University and the Harvesting Earth Educational Farm will research and implement practical and cost effective renewable energy resources to extend the growing season for a community greenhouse where local, underprivileged residents learn horticulture skills. The grant to Florida A&M University will research renewable biofuels production and use on small farms through its StateWide® Small Farm Collaborative.
Source: Ford

  The 2012 Ford Focus Achieves Fuel Efficiency with New Engine

The 2.0-liter engine coming early next year to the North American version of the 2012 Ford Focus will be one of the first on the market to combine the technology of gasoline direct injection (DI) with twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) and E85 flex fuel capability.
The combination of these technologies help make the dual-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) Focus 4-cylinder one of the most powerful, fuel-efficient and refined engines in its class and one of the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powerplants Ford has ever offered. Horsepower is rated at 160 and torque 146 lb.-ft., up from 140 and 136 respectively in the 2011 Ford Focus.
Direct injection improves fuel economy and performance by delivering the precise amount of gasoline right into the combustion chamber. The advanced fuel injection system works in concert with Ti-VCT, which adjusts the valve timing for optimum performance, helping Focus achieve an estimated 40 mpg highway with automatic transmission. And flex fuel capability gives drivers the choice of using less-expensive E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
The direct-injected 2.0-liter Ti-VCT I-4 also serves as another example of Ford delivering fuel economy leadership by using advanced technologies to produce surprising power from minimal displacement. The engine can deliver outstanding fuel economy and emissions along with the throttle response, performance and flexibility expected from a world-class engine.
“By combining direct injection and Ti-VCT, we’ve been able to make a quantum leap in fuel economy and performance,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “We’re meeting the goals of our global powertrain strategy, and we now have another key engine in our lineup.”