Blue Oval Connect Auto Show Newswire

January 11, 2010

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In this Blue Oval Connect Auto Show Newswire…

  • Ford Sweeps North America Car and Truck of the Year Awards
  • Ford Launches the Next-Generation Ford Focus
  • Executive Q&A: Derrick Kuzak on the Global Nature of the Next-Generation Ford Focus
  • Ford Reveals Biggest, Most Experiential Display at 2010 North American International Auto Show


For the latest news, photos and video from the North American International Auto Show, click to @Ford Online.


Top Stories

Ford Fusion Hybrid
Ford Sweeps North America Car and Truck of the Year Awards
Ford Motor Company scored a historic doubleheader today, capturing both the North American Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year awards for the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2010 Ford Transit Connect, respectively, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). It is only the third time in 17 years that one manufacturer has won both titles.

"Winning both of these prestigious awards is confirmation that the ONE Ford plan is working, delivering industry-leading products for our customers," said Mark Fields, president of The Americas.

The North American Car and Truck of the Year awards recognize vehicles based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. A jury of 49 automotive journalists in the United States and Canada vote for the vehicles, which must be “all-new” or “substantially changed” from the previous model to qualify for the award.

The Fusion Hybrid edged out finalists including the Buick LaCrosse and Volkswagen Golf/GTI to win the North American Car of the Year award. It is the fourth hybrid vehicle in 17 years to win recognition as North American Car (or Truck) of the Year. It also is the second hybrid win for Ford – the most hybrid wins for any automaker. The Ford Escape Hybrid was named North American Truck of the Year in 2005.

Transit Connect

The Transit Connect bested finalists including the Chevrolet Equinox and Subaru Outback to win the North American Truck of the Year award. It is the sixth Ford truck to win the award – the most wins of any automaker in the 17-year history of the awards program. It also is the second year in a row that Ford has captured the title. Last year, top honors went to the 2009 Ford F-150.

To read the full article, click here.

Ford Focus
Dynamic Next-Generation Ford Focus Debuts
The next-generation Ford Focus makes its worldwide debut providing customers with more affordable technologies and features than ever in this segment, as well as detailed craftsmanship, outstanding fuel economy and a new standard for driving quality.

Sleek, stylish and sporty, both the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback body styles of the next-generation Focus are previewed prior to their production start for Europe and North America late in 2010 and market launch early in 2011. The new Focus will be nearly identical in all markets, with 80 percent parts commonality around the world.

Ford Focus

"The new Ford Focus is a clear demonstration that our ONE Ford strategy is providing global consumers with great products that harness the best of Ford Motor Company," said Alan Mulally, Ford's president and CEO.

The new Ford Focus has been developed by a global team, led from Ford’s European small and medium vehicle center of excellence in Merkenich, near Cologne, Germany, with powertrain development led by a similar team at Ford’s technical center in Dunton, England. In developing the vehicle for global markets, the product team in Europe was able to call on the experience acquired from recent programs like the much-acclaimed new Ford Fiesta, and was supported by the expertise of vehicle and powertrain technology specialists located in Ford's engineering center in Dearborn, Mich.

Ford Focus

Production of the next-generation Ford Focus will begin simultaneously in Europe and North America in late 2010, with individual market launches starting early in 2011. Launches in Asia, Africa and South America will follow. Initial production will be concentrated at the Saarlouis (Germany), Michigan (United States) and Chongqing (China) assembly plants.

To read the full article, click here.

Later today, Ford will announce electrification plans for the next-generation Focus, click to @Ford Online after 4:30 p.m. EST for more information.

Related Material:

 

Executive Q&A
Derrick Kuzak

Derrick Kuzak
Group Vice President, Global Product Development
Ford Motor Company

Today's reveal of the next generation Ford Focus at the North American International Auto Show is the first tangible result of our global product strategy. Derrick Kuzak, group vice president of Global Product Development answers a few questions on Focus.

Q: Why are we optimistic Focus will be profitable?
A: We can build cars profitably in the U.S., along with the rest of the world, going forward largely because we our leveraging our global scale. It's also important that the Focus and the Fiesta are both going to be world class cars.

Q: What really will make them world class?
A: There are several reasons. Focus will be fun to drive and will deliver outstanding fuel economy and CO2 emissions levels. The quality of the materials and craftsmanship will be immediately apparent, and the interior quietness will be better than Focus competitors and many vehicles in the next up class. And Focus is really loaded with technology that's intuitive and intelligent. The amount of technology should really take customers by surprise.

Q: What technology will be standard?
A: That will vary in different markets, but we expect Focus to offer a collection of technology and features that many of our rivals can't match. Naturally, important features like stability control, antilock brakes, side-curtain air bags will be standard.

Q: How many models will be built on the new Global C-Car platform on which the next-generation Focus is built?
A: The new C platform will spawn products for all regions around the globe – we expect combined C platforms sales to account for more than 2 million units annually over time. Once fully launched, upwards of 10 models will be built on the new global C-car platform. We have confirmed seven models: the C-MAX and Grand C-MAX, the 4- and 5-door Focus, the Focus Electric, a new small car for Mercury and the next-generation Escape / Kuga. We have not provided details on the other models.

 

Ford News
Ford Stand at NAIAS
Ford Reveals Biggest, Most Experiential Display at 2010 North American International Auto Show
Ford Motor Company's stand at the 2010 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) promises to be the biggest and most engaging in history, with more than 54,000 square feet of new vehicle displays, 24 all-new interactive displays and a variety of high-tech presentations including live driving demonstrations inside Cobo Center.

The auto shows held throughout the year – beginning with NAIAS in Detroit – are an important way for Ford to communicate with consumers about new Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products and technologies. Last year’s Ford display generated more than 125,000 consumer leads, 22,000 actual test drives and 2,020 vehicle sales to date.

One of the highlights of this year’s Ford show stand – which is 48 percent larger than last year's – will be live driving demonstrations of Ford's new Active Park Assist (APA) technology, which helps drivers parallel park a vehicle with the touch of a button and without ever laying a hand on the steering wheel.

Also for the first time ever at NAIAS, Ford executives from around the world will host a social media press conference on Jan. 11, which will include 12 hours of continuous live social media activities on Twitter Q&As, Live Stream Interviews, Facebook Wall chats and blogger interviews.

At NAIAS, Ford Motor Company will display 60 new Ford cars and trucks and 21 new Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. A new powertrain display includes two assembly-line robots from the Cleveland Engine Plant, named Eco and Boost, where the company's new EcoBoost engines are built. Ford's entire new car portfolio will be on display inside the floor’s Blue Oval – everything from the new Ford Fiesta to the company’s flagship sedan, the Ford Taurus.

To read the full article, click here.

 

Announcements
NAIAS Logo
Coming Up Tomorrow (Jan. 12):
Lincoln Mercury NAIAS Press Conference

  • Ford will debut next generation of a key Lincoln product.
  • The Lincoln Mercury press conference is at 8 a.m. a.m. EST on Jan. 12. To view the press conference LIVE, click to www.ford.com no earlier than 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the event.

Be sure to check your e-mail also boxes on Jan. 12 for the next Blue Oval Connect Automotive Newswire with the latest product and technology auto show news, including video of today's NAIAS Ford Division press conference! Also check @Ford Online for news throughout the week.

Discounted 2010 North American International Auto Show Tickets
This year's show runs Jan. 16 through Jan. 24. FERA any day ticket prices: Adult - $9, Children (7-12)/Senior (65+) - $6. Tickets are available at the FERA desk 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in WHQ. For more information, click to www.fera.org or e-mail FERA@ford.com.

 



FCN News Team:
Publisher: Sara Tatchio
Associate Publisher: Susan Krusel
Managing Editor: Jenn Corney

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