Ford Hybrids: Racking Up Sales and Mileage

November 24, 2009

Ford Hybrids: Racking Up Sales and Mileage

Leave it to Ford to buck the industry trend. While hybrid sales across the industry are down 14 percent, sales of Ford hybrid cars and SUVs are up 73 percent. Curiously, more than 60 percent of these Ford hybrid customers previously owned an import car. Also curious is the way that taxi companies in New York and San Francisco are using Ford hybrids, racking up 300,000 miles on them before retiring them. Read on for more milestones that Ford hybrids are reaching.

The fuel economy and durability of hybrid versions of Ford Fusion and Escape and also Mercury Milan and Mariner are winning over large numbers of conquest customers, many of whom are previous import owners. Through September, Ford hybrid-vehicle sales are up 73 percent versus the same period in 2008, according to figures from Autodata Inc.

“Hybrid customers increasingly are considering Ford,” said David Finnegan, Ford hybrid marketing manager. ”More than 60 percent of Fusion Hybrid sales have been from non-Ford owners, and more than half of those are customers coming from import brands, mostly from Toyota and Honda.”

Ford’s strong 2009 hybrid sales have been fueled by the introduction of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids, the most fuel-efficient midsize sedans on the road. Both vehicles deliver an EPA-estimated 41 mpg rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.

Read Full Story Here

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We Challenge YOU To Drive The Ford Difference

November 24, 2009

Northside Ford in San Antonio, TX is American Owned, Not Owned By America.  At Northside Ford we are proud!  Proud to represent an American company that is succeeding in a tough economic environment, proud that Ford did NOT take our tax dollars to remain in business, proud that we sell a product whose quality is second to none. 

The Ford Year End Event is in full swing, and we challenge you to stop by Northside Ford and Drive the Ford Difference.

Read more here.

Northside Ford

2011 Ford Super Duty at San Antonio Auto Show

November 21, 2009

This 2009 San Antonio International Auto Show is in full swing right now and this is your chance to check out the all-new 2011 Ford Super Duty in person.  I posted the remaing schedule below.


Hosted at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center


 


ADMISSIONS TO THE AUTO & TRUCK SHOW


$8.00 for Adults and Children 11 & up. Children 10 and under are FREE.  Seniors & Active/Retired Military Discount price of $6. No other discounts apply. Ticket Sales stop at 9:PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 6:PM on Sunday.


 


SCHEDULE OF SHOW-TIMES


Saturday, November 21st, 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.


Sunday, November 22nd, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.


 



Ford Fusion wins 2010 Motor Trend Car of the Year award

November 17, 2009

Ford takes home yet another award and this time it’s the Motor TrendCar of the Year” award.  The all-new 2010 Ford Fusion took the honors as being Motor Trend’s 2010 Car of the year.  Here is a post from autoblog.com.

For the first time ever, Motor Trend announced the winner of its annual Car of the Year award this afternoon live via webcast. Though the field of 23 contenders was highly competitive this year (follow the jump for a complete list), we guessed immediately that the winner was a Ford as soon as the webcast came online. How’d we know? The fact they were broadcasting the announcement from Ford World Headquarters in Detroit was a not-so-subtle clue. The Fusion, Taurus and Mustang were all in the running, but it was Ford’s redesigned mid-size sedan, the Fusion, that took home the coveted Golden Calipers.

In retrospect, the choice is a solid one and not all that surprising. The Fusion was extensively reworked for the 2010 model year and features a new exterior design, new models and new powertrains. Ford offers a four-cylinder model, two strong V6 options and a full-on parallel hybrid variant, which means buyers should have no trouble finding a Fusion that fits their needs. And indeed they have, as the Fusion has already broken its own yearly sales record – with two months left to go.

Like MT, we’re big fans of the Fusion here at Autoblog, and even have high hopes that one day it could be the domestic car that knocks the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord from atop their perches as the best selling cars in the States. That said, this Ford still has a long way to go. Toyota has sold nearly twice as many Camry models as the Fusion so far this year, and the Accord and Nissan Altima are still flashing their taillights at Ford’s CoTY winner. It’s not just demand, as Ford doesn’t even have the production capacity at the moment to match Camry sales, and it doesn’t help that the Mercury Milan siphons off a few potential Fusion customers, as well.

Nevertheless, this is less about what the Fusion could be in the future than what it is today: the 2010 Motor Trend Car of the Year. Congrats to Ford and the Fusion team.

2010 Ford Fusion - Motor Trend Car of the Year

Active Park Assist Wins Popular Science Award

November 13, 2009

Ford's Active Park Assist technology wins Popular Science "2009 Best of What's New" award.  This is the third straight year that Ford Motor Company has been recognized with a Best of What’s New Award:Active Park Assist (2009); EcoBoost™ engine technology (2008);  Easy Fuel® Capless Fuel-Filler System (2008); Ford SYNC® (2007)

“We are honored to be recognized by Popular Science with a Best of What’s New award,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. “Active Park Assist is just one example of the smart technology features Ford is bringing to market not just for the sake of technology, but to meet the needs and wants of customers.”  

Active Park Assist uses sensors on the front and rear of the vehicle to guide the vehicle into a parking space. The technology is a major leap forward in speed and ease of use compared with camera-reliant systems. The Ford system requires less driver interface and reduces the risk of selecting a parking spot that is too tight. Unlike competing systems, Active Park Assist also works in downhill parking situations, and is available as an optional feature on several 2010 models including Ford Escape, Ford Flex, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKT and Mercury Mariner.

“For 22 years, Popular Science has honored the innovations that surprise and amaze us – those that make a positive impact on our world today and challenge our views of what’s possible in the future,” said Mark Jannot, editor-in-chief of Popular Science. “The Best of What’s New award is the magazine’s top honor, and the 100 winners represent the highest level of achievement in their fields.”

How Active Park Assist works:

  • The driver activates the system by pressing an instrument panel button, which activates the ultrasonic sensors to measure and identify a feasible parallel parking space.
  • The system then prompts the driver to accept its assistance to park.
  • The steering system then takes over and steers the car into the parking space hands-free. The driver still shifts the transmission and operates the gas and brake pedals.
  • A visual and/or audible driver interface advises the driver about the proximity of other cars, objects and people and provides instructions.
  • While the steering is all done automatically, the driver remains responsible for safe parking and can interrupt the system by grasping the steering wheel.

Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally “2010 Man of the Year”

November 10, 2009

Automobile Magazine has named Ford Motor Company's CEO Alan Mulally "Man of the Year – 2010".  Below is the article from Automobile Magazine.

Ford’s Inflatable Seat Belts In Action

November 6, 2009

FORD INTRODUCES INDUSTRY’S FIRST INFLATABLE SEAT BELTS

November 6, 2009

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 5, 2009 – Ford Motor Company is bringing to market the world’s first automotive inflatable seat belts, combining attributes of traditional seat belts and air bags to provide an added level of crash safety protection for rear seat occupants.

The advanced restraint system is designed to help reduce head, neck and chest injuries for rear seat passengers, often children and older passengers who can be more vulnerable to such injuries.

Ford will introduce inflatable rear seat belts on the next-generation Ford Explorer, which goes into production next year for the North American market. Over time, Ford plans to offer the technology in vehicles globally.

“Ford’s rear inflatable seat belt technology will enhance safety for rear-seat passengers of all ages, especially for young children who are more vulnerable in crashes,” said Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president of Sustainability, Environmental and Safety Engineering. “This is another unique family technology that builds on our safety leadership, including the most top safety ratings of any automaker.”

Safer and more comfortable

Advances in air bag inflation and seat belt construction methods have enabled Ford and its suppliers to develop inflatable seat belts that are designed to deploy over a vehicle occupant’s torso and shoulder in 40 milliseconds in the event of a crash.

In everyday use, the inflatable belts operate like conventional seat belts and are safe and compatible with infant and children safety car and booster seats. In Ford’s research, more than 90 percent of those who tested the inflatable seat belts found them to be similar to or more comfortable than a conventional belt because they feel padded and softer. That comfort factor could help improve the 61 percent rear belt usage rate in the U.S., which compares to 82 percent usage by front seat passengers, according National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

“Ford is pioneering inflatable seat belt technology to help enhance crash safety protection, while encouraging more people to buckle up with a more comfortable belt,” said Paul Mascarenas, Ford vice president, Engineering, Global Product Development.

In the event of a frontal or side crash, the inflatable belt’s increased diameter more effectively holds the occupant in the appropriate seating position, helping to reduce the risk of injury.

Vehicle safety sensors determine the severity of the collision in the blink of an eye and deploy the inflatable belts’ air bags. Each belt’s tubular air bag inflates with cold compressed gas, which flows through a specially designed buckle from a cylinder housed below the seat.

The inflatable belt’s accordion-folded bag breaks through the belt fabric as it fills with air, expanding sideways across the occupant’s body in about the same amount of time it takes a car traveling at highway speed to cover a yard of distance.

The use of cold compressed gas instead of a heat-generating chemical reaction – which is typical of traditional air bag systems – means the inflated belts feel no warmer on the wearer’s body than the ambient temperature. The inflatable belts also fill at a lower pressure and a slower rate than traditional air bags, because the device does not need to close a gap between the belt and the occupant.

“It’s a very simple and logical system, but it required extensive trial and error and testing over several years to prove out the technology and ensure precise reliable performance in a crash situation,” said Srini Sundararajan, safety technical leader for Ford research and advance engineering.

The inflated belt helps distribute crash force energy across five times more of the occupant’s torso than a traditional belt, which expands its range of protection and reduces risk of injury by diffusing crash pressure over a larger area, while providing additional support to the head and neck. After deployment, the belt remains inflated for several seconds before dispersing its air through the pores of the air bag.

Ford’s safety leadership record continues to grow

The inflatable seat belt debuting on the next-generation Ford Explorer continues Ford’s record of safety innovation. Ford today has more 5-star U.S. government ratings and “Top Safety Picks” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety than any other automaker.

Ford was the first automaker to introduce seat belts in 1955 and led the way in making driver and front-passenger air bags standard in most vehicles by 1993.

This year, Ford introduced radar-enabled Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning with Brake Support and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA). These technologies – introduced on the new 2010 Ford Taurus and Fusion – help drivers avoid potential dangerous crash situations using radar to detect the relative position of other vehicles and warn the driver with a combination of visual and audio alerts.

Ford’s other recent seat belt and air bag innovations include the industry-first BeltMinder system in 2000, which the U.S. government credited with increasing front belt usage by 5 percent in Ford vehicles. On the 2002 Explorer, Ford launched the industry’s first rollover-activated side curtain air bags – called Safety Canopy – as well as Roll Stability Control technology that goes a step beyond traditional stability control systems by helping measure and prevent side-to-side skidding and dangerous situations that could lead to rollovers.

Ford also introduced on the 2009 F-150 and 2010 Taurus some of the industry’s first pressure-based air bag technologies that help deploy side air bags up to 30 percent faster.

Information obtained from Ford Motor Company.

Ford Raptor XT; $100k Ford Truck

November 4, 2009

Little pop quiz for y'all.

The most expensive Ford Motor Company product is?

Wrong. FoMoCo already unloaded Aston Martin. The most expensive factory-built Ford is the FR (Ford Racing) Raptor XT truck that the company is to unveil today Tuesday at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. Well okay, so we exaggerate. The truck doesn't actually cost $100,000. It's only $99,950.

The XT is a turn-key professional pre-runner that Ford says is "nearly" the same truck it raced at the 2008 Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.This means you get a 6.2-liter V8 which at "about 500 hp," makes almost 100 more hp than the production 6.2-liter will make. A 6-speed automatic, electronically selectable 4×4 with 4.56 gear sets and front and rear e-lockers. A revised suspension (compared to even the pretty extreme standard Raptor) brings 15 inches of front wheel travel and 18 inches of rear travel. The XT also comes with a chromoly roll cage, extra skid plates, tubular front and rear bumpers and sweet lighting.

And, although the XT will not be street legal, it comes standard with air conditioning and power windows. Ford Racing will make only 50 XTs. If you want something a little more, you know, less hugely expensive and more useful, try a street legal Raptor with the new 6.2-liter motor.

Ford Raptor XT

Please note that the photo above is the race truck from Baja, not a production XT.  Article  from Edmunds Inside Line by Daniel Pund.

2009 San Antonio International Auto Show

November 4, 2009

It's that time again.  The 2009 San Antonio International Auto Show brought to you by the San Antonio Automobile Dealers Association is Thursday, November 19, through Sunday, November 22, 2009.  This is your chance to see all the new cars and trucks along with concept vehicles under on roof.

 

Hosted at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center

 

ADMISSIONS TO THE AUTO & TRUCK SHOW

$8.00 for Adults and Children 11 & up. Children 10 and under are FREE.  Seniors & Active/Retired Military Discount price of $6. No other discounts apply. Ticket Sales stop at 9:PM on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 6:PM on Sunday.

 

SCHEDULE OF SHOW-TIMES

Thursday, November 19th, 2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Friday, November 20th, 2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 21st, 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 22nd, 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.