One final employee wanted to share his experience with the MotorTrend Trophy.
James Swoish, HEV HV Battery Controls and Software Supervisor
My plan for the Motor Trend Car of the Year Trophy was to share it with as many people as possible. The trophy went on a local tour to visit many of the people who worked so hard to earn it. I also wanted to use it to influence our youth and show them that the American Automotive industry was still alive and strong and that Ford was leading the charge. Then I wanted to celebrate with as many family and friends a possible and tell them about the many great Ford products available.
The first visit was to walk the trophy around the office to let as many team members as possible hold the trophy and spend a few minutes with it as a tangible reminder of what they had each had a part in accomplishing. Each got a picture with the trophy as a remembrance. Many new team members also got a chance to hold the trophy to serve as symbol of where the bar has been set and what we need to accomplish going forward.
Next on the agenda for the trophy was to visit some Northville High School students and to take a picture with my son’s basketball team just after their last game of the season. Although their last game of the season did not go as they wanted, a picture with the trophy helped raise their spirits. The trophy was an inspiration and a symbol of what determination and excellence can achieve. It showed that even if you’re down in the final period you can make a comeback and win.
The next event was to get the team together after work in a more social setting. I arranged a celebration at On the Border in Allen Park for a few group shots. We enjoyed reminiscing and the interaction with patrons and wait staff. It was a great feeling to see how much positive energy there is for Ford Motor Company and our products in the public eye. Not only was the Fusion highly thought of but the new Taurus was really getting them excited. The key takeaways we had from this event was that people really believe in Ford and want us to succeed. There is a tremendous pool of good will for Ford Motor Company out there.
Along the trophy's travels, we stopped by a few local businesses we have patroned for many years. One of them was a local diner called Charley's Grill in Northville where the businesses namesake Charley and a few employees posed with the trophy for pictures that are now proudly added to their picture mural in the restaurant.
Last but not least, my wife Lisa had the great idea to share Ford's accomplishment with friends and family. We held a get together at the Post Bar in Novi and invited about 40 close friends. People really thought it was great to see, hold, and have a picture taken with the Motor Trend Trophy. Most had heard about the Motor Trend Trophy but had never seen it in person. The party provided lots of opportunity to tell people about the Fusion (especially the hybrid) and I even sold a Fusion to a friend replacing their Chevy Trail Blazer. That made my week and there may even be a few more conquest sales to come.
Gerald Stock, Product Development Supervisor
Last week, I was unable to enjoy the Motor Trend Car of the Year Trophy celebrations I had planned due to a minor health problem I experienced on Thursday. Needless to say everything is OK now. Instead of reporting out as I had planned on these small celebrations which didn't happen, I would like to share a bit of my perspective on the hybrid's part in Ford receiving the 2010 Car of the Year award.
As a member of the Program Management Team for the hybrid there were three major events (I will call tests) that we went through in successfully launching this new product.
The first of these tests, at TT Build, was the culmination of years of work effort from Ford design engineers and launch team, the whole supplier base, and the Hermosillo Assembly Plant management team and workers.
For TT build, approximately 6 months before Job #1, the Fusion Hybrid was built for the first time on the assembly line, using production tooling and processes – a little slower than normal assembly but just a small step before normal assembly speeds. Although all vehicle programs go through similar GPDS processes, the build of the first Fusion Hybrid at Hermosillo was special for everyone involved. But it was particularly special for the assembly workers at Hermosillo who had heard about hybrids - weren't exactly sure what they were or how hybrids operated - were a bit intimated by the high voltage system - but were extremely enthusiastic about the vehicles being build in Hermosillo - and all wanted to be part of this future.
It seemed that the entire plant had migrated to the first TT vehicle to witness the first major hybrid build milestone of decking the high voltage battery onto the back of the passenger seat through the vehicle trunk opening. The scene had turned into a bit of a mob where everyone was crowding around the barriers vying to catch a glimpse of the decking process. Even the Hermosillo Plant Manager was struggling to keep the enthusiastic crowd at bay in order to provide the decking team needed space and assure critical design and assembly team members' full view of the operation.
As the high voltage battery was flawlessly fitted emplace, the first of many loud roars echoed throughout the plant. The euphoria was contagious.
At assembly station after station, the vehicle proceeded ' …. On down the line' culminating in a highly successful End of Line Test. As an engineer this was the most exciting event in which I have ever participated at Ford. This was definitely a WOW!
With the first test achieved through the highly successful build of the first few TT hybrids, now came the second major test: 'How good are these vehicles?' This was answered in the Powertrain Production Validation Trip (PVT) in which I also participated. For the PVT we drove several of these initial TT vehicles in every reasonable condition possible to assure the driveability of the vehicles fully met all customer expectations.
The highly camouflaged vehicles (both exterior and the then secret Instrument Cluster with the now famous growing leaves) drove from Phoenix thru the mountains and deserts of Arizona/Nevada, then into Death Valley and over the Sierra Nevada into San Francisco down the coast to Los Angeles and back through Palm Springs into Phoenix. A great trip, nice locations and critically important.
Throughout the trip only very minor issues were identified during the nightly wrap-up meetings. The key take-out of this drive was not that these vehicles met the criteria of being production ready, but that they far exceeded expectations in almost every aspect. As certified by future press reviews, driveability of these vehicles was superb, transitions between electric drive and engine propulsion were hardly noticeable, and there were no 'extreme' drive modes in which the hybrid could be fooled into stumbling.
But best of all was the fuel economy results. No matter how hard I drove the vehicles during my stages of the drive, the answer came back +38 MPG as validated at each gas tank filling. A true harbinger of the future fantastic EPA Mileage Sticker results. Once again, this was a WOW!
So you ask 'What possibly could be the third test after all these successes?" Simply put, it is personal ownership. My wife and I very recently purchased our own Fusion Hybrid via the A-Plan at Blackwell Ford. Unfortunately, unlike the previous two tests where I was a full participant, she loves the vehicle such that I have yet to enjoy the drive for any extended period. Final results are still pending, but so far, I rate this also as a WOW!
Kristin Borsenik, Business Planning Analyst
My original idea to celebrate the Motor Trend Car of the Year award involved giving out apples (and a famous movie quote). Then I realized that a woman giving away an apple had, in the past, not ended well. If only she’d sought guidance from Ford Public Affairs as I did!
Actually, the apple idea was centered around displaying our trophy to the competition and was not representative of our hard-working yet humble team spirit. I decided to do something else much more consistent with the attitude at Ford these days and that was to have a party to celebrate our success and collect canned goods to support Gleaner’s Food Bank. Many thanks to all of the generous friends, family, and coworkers who donated over 100 lbs of groceries for Michigan families.
My Dad, retired with 37 years at Ford, got to stand next to the Car of the Year trophy for the first time, the cat got to check it out (so this is what Mom works on all day!), the planning team took it to Buddy’s for lunch, I even took it to Costco.
It was an honor to celebrate this very special achievement!
Kristin Borsenik and Marie Skladd
Neige the cat checks it out!
Jerry Borsenik (aka Dad) celebrates Ford's success.
Gil and Julie Portalatin
Rakesh and Lisa Sheth
Dawn and Ron
Dale Crombez, Technical Expert
When I received the MTCOTY trophy, I wanted to make sure I exposed it to as many people as possible in the short time I had with it. The first day it was passed around Chassis Engineering at PDC. That night, it went home with Jim Castellano, the manager of Regenerative Brake Systems for the Fusion Hybrid. Jim managed to lure his friends and family over by saying he had the Stanley Cup at his house. Night two was spent with Dan Gabor at the Advanced Electric Vehicles graduate class at UDM. It went to lunch with me on Friday with a group of Ford technicians. The next stop was Bill Brown Ford where the sales staff and service employees were all excited to get their picture taken with it. Saturday was spent driving the trophy around to my various kids' activities including spending the morning with the Redford Township Unicycle Club. But the highlight of the weekend came Sunday night when we had about 60 guests over for a Motor Trend Trophy and Super Bowl party. We had encouraged our guests to create their own "trophy wife" and 19 came through. The trophies were then judged by all the guests for a chance to have the winning trophy join the MTCOTY trophy in a special ceremony. All in all, I think I managed to pass the trophy around to over 250 people and before turning it back in, I had a chance to get one last picture with it.
Fusion Hybrid Regenerative Brake Team
Any of you old wind tunnel people will recognize Reed and Stan.
Some of the sales staff at Bill Brown Ford.
Redford Township Unicycle Club – You may have seen them at the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Pictures from the MTCOTY party including the Trophy Cake.
Some of the trophies created by our guests at the MTCOTY party.
Before returning the trophy, I had one last chance to get a picture with it.
Praveen Cherian, Program Manager
Well, I had all kinds of ideas on what I would do with the trophy but I ended up making this a family celebration (both personal family and church family) as they sacrificed much when I was away in Mexico launching this Program.
I also took it to Church to guilt all my Non-Ford driving brethren into buying Ford products. There are 8 Ford employees (names listed below) that attend our church and lobby often to get people into Ford products and this trophy was a big plug for us.
Christi Tracey, Hybrid Programs
Philip Jacob, Planning
Shawn Alexander, FCSD
Brad Guthrie, STA
Van Stewart, Aero Engineer
Jason Michener, Chassis Engineering
Kevin Krawczyk, FCSD
Malene O'connor, Marketing
Van Stewart – Ford AERO Engineer who helped us on the Fusion Program.
My two boys showing off their dad’s trophy.
My two boys showing off their dad’s trophy.
And that lasted for 30 seconds before I had to rescue the trophy.
And that lasted for 30 seconds before I had to rescue the trophy.
Scott Thompson, VSC Calibration Engineer
"What would I do if I had the MCOTY trophy?
The first day was spent at the Drivability Test Facility at Allen Park. The trophy was a part of a heater performance development test on a Hybrid Fusion. Workers at the facility were able to see the trophy and take a couple of pictures. They thought it was a great idea and enjoyed seeing it. They said that they would internally use the pictures themselves.
Over the weekend I had the trophy for my son's birthday party. Relatives and friends were able to see it. My 4 year-old son wanted to carry it around and said he wanted to put it on his train table. My friends and family asked a lot of questions on how I received it for the weekend. They enjoyed seeing it and appreciated the opportunity that Ford gave me in regards to being able to take it home. They also made a lot of congratulation comments for everyone who worked on the vehicle. Many of them had opportunities to see the test vehicles that I have brought home in the past.
I also split my time with my manager, Rob Iorio and Edward Gates in allowing other people within our department to take the trophy home as well."
Without a strong network of family and friends, our team would be unable to complete their quality work every day. Our team members spend countless long days and sleepless nights with their prototype vehicles in labs in and around Dearborn and away from their families testing from Arizona and Death Valley, California to Thompson, Manitoba. I wanted to share my time with the COTY trophy with my team who is responsible for both developing requirements of the propulsion system and developing the complete propulsion system calibration. Here are just a few moments of their time with the trophy.