Ford

Ford Just Built its 10 Millionth Mustang

Since March of 1964, Ford’s been building Mustangs. Today, 54 years after production began, the 10 millionth one rolled off the assembly line. As a tribute to the first production Mustang, Ford made sure the milestone car was a white convertible with a V-8 and a manual transmission. To celebrate, Ford held events at its Dearborn headquarters and Flat Rock Assembly Plant that included flyovers from three P-51 Mustang fighter planes and a parade of Mustangs from every generation that drove from Dearborn to Flat Rock. And in case that 10-million-Mustang sales figure isn’t impressive enough, Ford claims the Mustang has been the world’s best-selling sports car for the last three years. Over the last 50 years, Ford says it’s also been the best-selling sports car in the U.S. Having just driven the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt, it’s clear the original pony car has come a long way in the last 54 years. Even the regular GT now makes 460 hp, up significantly from the first Mustang’s 164. An independent suspension has also transformed the Mustang into a legitimate sports car. “Mustang is the heart and soul of this company and a favorite around the world,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s head of global markets, in a release. “I get the same thrill seeing a Mustang roll down a street in Detroit, London, or Beijing that I felt when I bought my first car—a 1966 Mustang coupe that I drove across the country as a teenager. Mustang is a smile-maker in any language.”

Agreed!!  As a life-long Mustang owner, I can tell you they certainly make me smile!  To see photos from this event yesterday in Michigan, click on the text above.    🙂

Ford to drop slow-selling sedans from lineup by 2020

Ford announced on Wednesday that it will stop selling sedans in North America, saying the Mustang and a new crossover will be the only survivors in a reduced lineup of passenger cars. The Dearborn-based automaker, which reported better first-quarter earnings and revenue than expected, said it will transition to a truck- and SUV-focused lineup over the next few years as a result of declining consumer demand for small cars. The segment also generates weaker profit margins for manufacturers. The revamped Ford car portfolio in North America, the company’s largest market, will be comprised of the Mustang sports coupe and Focus Active, a crossover scheduled to launch next year. Ford’s current lineup of passenger cars includes the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion and Taurus sedans. The company didn’t share any new details about the model lineup at its luxury brand, Lincoln. “The key to success is focusing on where your customers are and where your strengths lie, and for Ford doubling down on trucks and SUVs could be just what the brand needs,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of industry analysis for Edmunds. “But this move isn’t without risk: Ford is willingly alienating its car owners and conceding market share in segments that, while declining, are still relevant to some buyers.” Ford earned net income of $1.74 billion during the first quarter, up from $1.59 billion in the same period a year earlier. Per-share earnings rose three pennies to 43 cents, beating Wall Street’s estimate of 41 cents. Revenue climbed 7% to $41.96 billion, which also beat forecasts for $37.2 billion. Ford’s bottom line benefited from a lower income tax rate. In an interview on FOX Business’ “After the Bell,” Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks said Ford held its costs in check, despite an increase in commodity prices. Ford plans to achieve $25.5 billion in cost cuts and efficiencies by 2022, an increase of $11.5 billion over its prior estimate. It also expects to boost profit margins to 8% by 2020, two years sooner than it previously expected. CEO Jim Hackett, who took the reins of the automaker last year, has led an effort to improve its financial “fitness” by cutting costs and shifting resources to profitable trucks and SUVs. Ford recently said it would reallocate $7 billion in cash from cars to SUVs Opens a New Window. , which are projected to account for half of the U.S. market by 2020. Ford shares were up 2.6% at $11.40 in after-hours trading Wednesday.

Wow..  If you want your Fusion or Taurus, better get it while ya can!

2018 Ford Mustang adds power, reduces 0-60 mph time

The 2018 Ford Mustang GT will be the fastest ever 0-60 mph – although Ford won’t say precisely how fast — thanks to a new 10-speed automatic transmission, electronic drag mode and upgraded 5.0-liter V8 engine. The V8’s output rises to 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, from 435 and 400 for the 2017 Mustang. The new engine and transmission are among a number of updates Ford gave the Mustang to keep fresh this year. A new drag strip mode manages the drivetrain electronically so torque doesn’t drop as the transmission runs quickly though its gears. “You get peak torque straight through,” Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann said. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo engine also gets quicker, hitting 60 mph in what Ford promises will be less than 5.0 seconds. The 2.3-liter adds torque and the 10-speed automatic, which has been available in the F-150 pickup since last fall, and 30 more pound feet of torque, to 350. Ford has dropped the less powerful 3.7-liter V6 that was previously the Mustang’s base engine. The GT’s 0-60 time requires an asterisk: Being the fastest Mustang GT does not make the new model the necessarily fastest Mustang ever, just the fastest with the base V8. High-output V8s in Shelby models of the Mustang have included the 662-horsepower Shelby GT500 and the current 526-horsepower Shelby GT350. However, the claimed sub-4.0 second time should give the Mustang GT an edge over its archrival, the V8 Chevrolet Camaro SS, which reports 4.0 seconds flat. Drag mode is one of five performance programs the 2018 Mustang will offer. The new 10-speed transmission has quicker shifts and better low-speed response than the outgoing six-speed automatic. Ford will reveal prices and fuel economy for the 2018 Mustang closer to when it goes on sale this fall.

2017 Ford GT test drive

The Ford GT is the most clutch car ever made, even though it has an automatic transmission. It was built for one reason: to win the top production class at the last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans and mark the 50th anniversary of the company’s legendary victory over Ferrari with another. We’re talking about the most grueling and competitive sports car race in the world, and Ford hadn’t even been to the track since 1969. Ferrari, Porsche and arch-rival Chevrolet, meanwhile, practically live there. No pressure. Ford thought about going for it with a Mustang, but realized that it was practically a pickup compared to the sleek 488s, 911s and Corvettes it would have had to compete with. So it decided to gamble untold millions to design an all-new mid-engine supercar for the task at hand. There would be no second chance. It didn’t need one. The GT took first, third and fourth places, with a Ferrari sandwiched between them for good measure. You can still hear the sighs of relief coming from Dearborn — and the meatballs hitting the wall in Maranello. At the launch event for the street version of the GT that Ford is selling to amortize the feat, I asked the Ford Performance division’s marketing boss, Henry Ford III (yeah, he’s related), if he thought people would have been willing to pay the $450,000 Ford is charging for it if it hadn’t won, especially if it had been beaten by a dang Chevy. He said yes, but of course he did. If nothing else, his job is much easier than it might’ve been. Ford is building a scant 250 GTs annually, and the first three years of production are already spoken for. Henry’s team got to choose the people it deemed to be the worthiest stewards for the car from a list of over 6,000 qualified applicants. Ford will sell it only to people that it’s confident will actually use it, and hopefully share their glorious experiences with millions of social media followers. If you have that many, and an equal amount of liquid assets, the order books for the last batch will open next year. If you think this all sounds a little hifalutin for a Ford, you’re not alone. When I heard the price, I was disappointed — not because I’m a label snob, but because I felt anyone could build a fast car for that kind of cash. The last time Ford made a supercar, the 2005 GT, it was world class and a relative bargain at $139,995. But it’s hard to argue with success. Along with notching the all-important Le Mans win, plus another at this year’s 24 Hours of Daytona, Ford has built one of the best sports cars in the world. It isn’t charging a lot of money for it just because it can. The GT is unlike anything the company has ever made. It was developed in secret by a small team in a forgotten basement studio that was being used for storage. There were nondisclosure agreements, code words and an old-fashioned padlock on the studio door for cover. Real skunkworks stuff.

Wow..  How fun would it be to have this?!?  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.  Go Ford!!     🙂

Ford tech creates water out of thin air

Ford doesn’t have a car yet that can run on water, but it does have one with running water. A powertrain engineer working for the automaker has developed a system that uses the condensation from an automobile’s air conditioner to provide drinkable water. Doug Martin got the idea for On-The-Go H20 when he drove by a billboard in Lima, Peru, fitted with similar technology that was extracting over 25 gallons of water from the air every day. It made him realize that a lot of potentially potable water generated by automobiles was being dumped on the road and wasted, when it could be put toward a good use. It’s a simple concept optimized for this automotive application with a collector positioned near the air conditioner’s condenser that channels the fluid into a reservoir. From there, it’s filtered and pumped to a faucet located either in the cabin — as it is in one demonstration vehicle Martin’s team put together – or on the outside of the vehicle. The current system supplies about 24 ounces of water per hour from the atmosphere, but can also be used to purify dirty water from other sources — even rain collected in channels on the roof. While the concept features a passive 1.2 micron filtration system, Martin is exploring the incorporation of a distiller powered by other powertrain heat sources, as well as ultraviolet light. Ford sees it as a boon to dry regions and underdeveloped areas where millions of people don’t have regular access to clean water. It could also be offered as a feature on adventure vehicles, or simply as a convenience for road trips. (While we’re throwing around ideas, it might make a good compliment to a high performance water-injection system, too.) Although there there are no current plans to put it into production, Martin says there’s been great interest in the technology from several of Ford’s centers around the world.

I bet!  How cool is this?!?   To see the video of this, click on the text above.  Go Ford!!    🙂

Ford CEO Mark Fields ‘Excited’ for Donald Trump ‘Renaissance in American Manufacturing’

e CEO of Ford Motor Company, Mark Fields, praised Donald Trump for working to restore American manufacturing after his meeting at the White House with top auto executives on Tuesday morning. “I think as an industry, we’re excited about working together with the president and his administration on tax policies, on regulation, and on trade to really create a renaissance in American manufacturing,” Fields told reporters after the meeting, according to the Detroit News. Fields also praised Trump’s decision to kill former President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, pointing out that it failed to address currency manipulation. “We’ve been very vocal both as an industry and as a company, and we’ve repeatedly said that the mother of all trade barriers is currency manipulation, and TPP failed in meaningfully dealing with that, and we appreciate the president’s courage to walk away from a bad trade deal,” Fields said.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Test Drive

I’m in a Ford F-150 doing 70 mph with one hand on the wheel while having a quiet conversation with the passenger beside me. It’s not an uncommon situation in today’s refined trucks. Except this time I’m doing it in the middle of the California desert, bounding over knee-high dunes and winding between dry scrub trees, with a smile on my face as wide as the horizon ahead of me. This is life in the 2017 F-150 Raptor, a second take on one of the most surprising automotive success stories of the past decade. Unveiled during the dark economic days of 2009, the original Raptor was nothing short of astonishing: a Baja 1000-ready pickup you could trade in your Crown Victoria for on the way home from work. It had the jacked-up, wide-body look of a modified race truck and a unique suspension that made the roughest terrain feel like freshly laid pavement. It was a novel project of what’s now known as the Ford Performance division, and the folks behind it figured they’d sell about 5,000 in a good year. Turned out they were off by a multiple of four — in the right direction. Customers in China were so desperate to get their hands on one — it was sold only in North America and the Gulf States of the Middle East — that some paid more than $150,000 to import them on the gray market. It’s no surprise that Ford will officially be exporting it there this time around. Despite its runaway success, Ford put the Raptor on hiatus after the 2014 model year to focus on launching its radical new aluminum-bodied F-150. But it didn’t put it out to pasture. It used the break to build an even better one. It was time well spent.

Indeed!  To read the rest of this article, and see of video of this cool Raptor, click on the text above.   🙂