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Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford delivers keynote speech at a special event by the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.
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 Bill Ford Speaks on Urban Mobility in Bangkok, Hosts Town Hall, Visits Ford’s Newest Plant

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BANGKOK, Thailand — Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman, Bill Ford, shared his vision on urban mobility during a visit to Thailand last week, addressing a group of 300 guests in Bangkok that included business leaders, representatives from the U.S. Embassy and Thai government, and media, on the looming concerns of ‘global gridlock’ in cities around the world.

Before giving the address at a special luncheon organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand, Mr. Ford had an opportunity to meet privately with a small group of representatives from the Thailand-branch of the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Association, as well as student-leaders from several of Thailand’s top universities.

The group discussed the challenges of transportation in Bangkok, as well as current mass-transit solutions, and potential future solutions tied to Mr. Ford’s vision.  
They also exchanged the idea of how different parties, including corporations, entrepreneurs, NGOs, universities and governments, can all play a role in helping to identify and implement solutions, which Mr. Ford said would be unique to each city in tackling a common issue, depending on things such as existing infrastructures, stages of a country’s development, government policies, as well as assets and resources.
“While breakthroughs made in recent years have provided solutions to the CO2 challenge, another issue – global gridlock – is quietly taking its place,” said Ford. “To fully address this issue, we will need new technologies, as well as new ways of looking at the world.” 
“The impact of global gridlock goes far beyond the inconvenience of being stuck in traffic.  If we look at the numbers and the state of our global transportation infrastructure, it is not difficult to see a future where the flow of commerce, the environment and even healthcare are compromised.  As people struggle to receive necessary goods and services, this becomes a human rights issue.”
“There’s no single answer to this new threat to our mobility, and it isn’t going to be solved by one person or group. But all parties need to work together to build a global, inter-connected system of transportation and mobility solutions,” he added. Ford’s keynote speech emphasised that cars will always be a major mobility enabler, but they will need to better work in harmony with other cars and other forms of transportations. He also noted that government and business also must come together and focus on making the changes in policy and investment that will be required.
“We need smart cars and smart infrastructure that communicate and use real-time data to maximize their efficiency. We also need to tie in innovative solutions like new, ground up development models, traffic management, and smart parking. The good news is that progress is being made on all of these fronts,” he explained.
Ford is rapidly expanding its commitment to intelligent cars that can wirelessly talk to each other to help make driving safer, more efficient and more enjoyable.  The company doubled its intelligent vehicle investment in 2011, and initiated a new 20-member task force of scientists and engineers to explore the technology’s broader possibilities.  
As part of the Thailand visit, Ford was joined by newly appointed president, Ford Asia Pacific, Dave Schoch, and Ford ASEAN President, Matt Bradley, for a Town Hall with over 200 Bangkok-based Ford employees.  
He thanked employees for all of the hard work that has contributed to the strong growth and reputation of the Ford brand in Thailand and ASEAN. He also commented on how proud he was to see the employees support each other, and Ford’s suppliers, in helping get back on their feet so soon after the devastating floods in Thailand last year.
Ford explained to employees that although it will always be important to produce great vehicles, it is equally as important for the Company to do great things in giving back to the community, and for people know that Ford is helping to make the world a better place.
“I know that some of the people whose lives we touch may never be Ford customers, and that is okay. But if they know and understand that Ford is a company that cares, then that is something to be proud of. I’m so proud to see all the things that we’re doing here in Thailand and in ASEAN through our Global Week of Caring, Driving Skills for Life, as well as all the other initiatives going on in the region,” explained Ford. “It’s really great to see.”
During the town hall, Ford also presented Long Service Awards to employees who have served the company for five, ten and fifteen years. 
Ford wrapped up his visit in Thailand with a trip to Rayong, where visited the Company’s new and state-of-the-art Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) facility, as well as Ford’s joint-venture assembly plant, AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT).
Ford hosted an employee town hall at both plants, as well as taking a tour of both facilities which gave him an opportunity to walk the line and shake hands with some of the 9,000 employees working between the two facilities.
 
Luncheon with Thai government representatives and business leaders in Bangkok.
Discussing urban mobility with student leaders and members of the Intelligent Transportation System Association.
   
Ford thanked all employees for their hard work in building good reputation for the company.
A warm welcome from the Ford team at the town hall in Bangkok. 
   
Trevor Negus, manufacturing director, Ford Thailand Manufacturing, led the tour around the new, state-of-the-art facility in Rayong, Thailand.
Touring the plant, greeting staff on the shop floor at FTM and AAT.
   
 
 

  

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12/3/2012 10:55 PM